Sunday, March 08, 2009

AFRICkAn MESSage for all of us

A quick setup: Friday night I had supper with some wonderful acquaintances from KENYA and Saturday & Sunday I was hugging it out with my daughters' choreographer who is from MOZAMBIQUE.

Then last night I watched The INTERPRETER (an assassination attempt on an African despot scheduled to make a speech at the U.N. starring Nicole Kidman & Sean Penn thinly disguised stab at ZimBOB'sway tyrant Bob Mugabe) and
it occurred to me that since our species originated in Africa, maybe that is where we will start disappearing?

When I was a kid I loved Africa...well the Lions, Rhinos, me it was a gigantic Game Reserve. Every Saturday night I'd watch Tarzan and every Sunday there would be a couple of "Nature" programs. Our patrician Western view overlooked the people and concentrated on the wildlife.

We loved Africa but not Africans!

During the 60s I became aware that "we are all Kenyans" and that humans originated in Africa when I started reading about Anthropaleontologist Richard_Leakey and his Father in National Geographic Magazine. Leakey has had an incredible life which mirrors the transition of our Western View.

His decision as head of the Kenyan
Wildlife and Management Department in 89 to shoot Poachers on sight encapsulated the zeitgeist of the African Wildlife debacle; if you recall Elephants and their Ivory tusks once represented the ecological awareness movement, just as the Polar Bear = Global Warming today.

Leakey's view that the National Parks were a place to protect the wildlife by keeping people out still re
sonates with common sense for most of us in the West. Make room for the Wildlife, at least they have an excuse for acting like animals. Unlike the psychotic monsters who force others, even child soldiers, to hack women and children to death with machetes, necklace them with burning petrol-soaked tires, or mow down entire villages with a machine gun after raping all the girls and women.

As Gord Gekko said in the Movie Wall Street. "The thing that you need to remember about Wasps (white anglo-saxon protestants) is that they LOVE animals..can't stand people."

Forty years later I see the "Dark Continent" in a totally different light. Gone are the days that I imagined it as a time-travellers paradise where one could still look back into an Edenic wonderland of Wildlife and simple noble tribesmen content to live side by side in the Neolithic Age.

Now it's been replaced by years of TV ads showing horrifying
images of starving children, the HIV epidemic, Blood Diamonds, the genocidic horrors in Darfur and Rwanda, Somali Pirates, Tribal barbarism, and we still see images of poaching for Bush Meat and profit.

I admit that unlike BONO , I am still more concerned about the Wildlife?

Post Colonial Africa is circling the drain.... it is the poorest and most dangerous Continent on Earth for Humans to live. Why do Westerners worry about the survival of African Elephants, yet feel as if the probability of improving the lives of the African People is a hopeless cause?

Over half of the sub-Saharan countries are authoritarian states. The revolving door of despotism and pillaging foreign aid to amass personal fortune seems to be the standard form of Government throughout most of Africa.

According to the Economist, four generations of constant WAR can be partially attributed to dietary influenced neuro-biological defeciencies which manifests itself with low intelligence..

combined with a culture of fear, ageless tribal animosity, and poor educational opportunities, creates a perfect storm for conflict and misery.

According to this SURVEY ,
the 4th annual report prepared by the Fund For Peace, a mere 15 Countries on the planet are rated as having sustainable balanced political stability.

They are..
Japan 127.7M
Belgium 10.7M
Luxembourg 491,700
Netherlands 16.5M
Canada 33.5M

Australia 21.6M
Denmark 5.5M
New Zealand 4.3M
Iceland 325,500

Switzerland 7.7M
Ireland 4.5M
Sweden 9.3M
Finland 5.3M
Norway 4.8M

Humans originated in Africa and after 150,000 years of transitioning from hunter-gatherers to Civilization and spreading out across the globe and the best that we can do is produce 15 frickin' countries that are OK!?
265 Million people out of 6.7Billion!

"This is an assessment of the pressures on stability and political risk of countries by focusing on 12 key economic, social, and political indicators and 5 Core Institutions; Leadership, Military, Judiciary, Police & Civil Services, plus local issues, and their relations with other countries in the region."

There are synoptic, single-paragraph summations at the end of each here to check out your COUNTRY.

Of the 177 Countries assessed;

1-35 rated ALERT
36-127 WARNING
128-162 MODERATE

are the 15 Nations in immediate crisis, no big surprises but look at all the African nations!

Somalia 8.6M
Sudan 38.5M
Zimbabwe 13.3M
Chad 10.7M
Iraq 28.9M

Afghanistan 27.1M
Cote d'Ivoire 19.2M
Pakistan 165.8M
Central African Republic 4.3M

Bangladesh 158.6M
Burma 48.7M
Haiti 9.5M
North Korea 23.7M

Look at the African Nations listed under ALERT or WARNING!
All but Mauritius, which was rated Moderate like the USeh.

#80 Algeria
#56 Angola
#100 Benin
#120 Botswana
#36 Burkina Faso
#24 Burundi
#33 Cameroon
#65 Cape Verde
#10 Central African Republic
#4 Chad
#74 Comoros
#26 Rebuplic of Congo
#8 Cote d'Ivoire
#5 Democratic Republic of the Congo
#71 Djibouti
#40 Egypt
#42 Equatorial Guinea
#44 Eritrea
#16 Ethiopia
#93 Gabon
#83 Gambia
#123 Ghana
#11 Guinea
#32 Guinea-Bissau
#26 Kenya
#61 Lesotho
#34 Liberia
#111 Lybia
#86 Madagascar
#29 Malawi
#89 Mali
#47 Mauritania
#148 Mauritius
#88 Morocco
#85 Mozambique
#98 Namibia
#22 Niger
#19 Nigeria
#43 Rwanda
#78 SanTome
#107 Senegal
#114 Seychelles
#31 Sierra Leone
#1 Somalia
#125 South Africa
#72 Swaziland
#2 Sudan
#75 Tanzania
#45 Togo
#122 Tunisia
#17 Uganda
#63 Zambia
#3 Zimbabwe

The African Continent, the cradle of Mankind and home to nearly 1 Billion Humans is in A-frickin mess!

I contend that the Cosmic Creator may have left us a valuable clue by making the shape of the African Continent look exactly like a Human skull.

Africa holds the answers to our origins, maybe it also holds the answers to our demise?

Do you think that we will see the "beginning of the end" where it all began?


  1. Wow, Donn. Where do you come up with these ideas? And the time to research everything and get the pics all together?

    On the other hand, I love reading them and they make my little brain whirl faster.

    Like you, I care more about the wildlife than the people, mostly because the wildlife has no control over what is happening to them and the humans are the ones responsible for being such asshats and f**king up the environmental equilibrium all over the planet.

    I am just thankful I live in one of the top most stable countries. Despite whining and crying about the climate, I love being a Canadian. I have experienced life in the US and still prefer it up here. Well, except for the health care waits. But that is another story.

    Great post, Mr. Coppens... tanks a bunch!

  2. Ooh...graphs and charts. We sciency wiency types like those :)

    It is pretty alarming when yo ulook at it. We're so detached form it all over here in (stable) Canada. A friend of mine is currently over in Kenya helping an independant aid group build some schools and houses for people and he says the nature is less cruel than the people there...when you have to worry about having clean water, and shelter from the rain as daily issues, it makes you wonder what the politicians in those countries are even doing? Going to school is a priveledge...and medical care? Forget about it.
    According to him a lot of aid doesn't even get to the people that need it. HE's helping a little bit. And he's seen giraffes.
    Apparently yes, they are very tall and no you can't hug them, as they run away when you try to...
    I for one am glad I live over here, but I think it would only take 1 month of disruption of standard trade and importing to turn us all into crazy ass gun wielding lunatics.


  3. When I went to Tanzania a couple of years ago, one of the things I was really excited about seeing was the site where Leakey worked, and discovered Lucy.

  4. I think the sad fact of the matter is that had we never returned (us white folks from the pale European theatre) to enslave and colonize the place, Africa would have evolved in it's own unique way and would not have suffered the predations of "modern" civilization. Africans were perfectly adapted to their environment, able to eek out a more than sustainable way of life within their ecosystem; then came whitey and his iron horses, exotic diseases, and "superior" way to house, feed, and clothe a person. The Gods these people had crafted to suit their needs were crushed underfoot by a mean old white God who brooked no other gods, and confused them with a really hypocritical moral code. The Zulu nation might have grown into a true superpower left to it's own devices.

    Now, however, the whole continent is so damaged, every beautiful thing in it will be consumed by the evil we have brewed there like a really bad beer.

    South and central America's are marginally better, but are also doomed by our insidious programming.

    Hey, let's go to Meheco and watch the bodies pile up!

  5. when i was a gradeschool kid my family knew a man named Alan Burke. he was a small-time real estate mogul who was probably singlehandedly responsible for raping an entire small african country of every living thing bar humans. his entire house was done in game trophies. EVERY SINGLE ROOM. The bathrooms. the basement. the FUCKING GARAGE. lionskin rugs, leopard wall hangings...the beautiful and the ugly, cape buffalo, rhinocerous and hippopotamus...skins of gorgeous birds used for antimacassars on the chairs...elephant feet used for umbrella stands, chimpanzee head mounts, dikdik hides with tiny hooves intact used for seat throws on the dining room...bones and horns and antlers and teeth and skulls. the whole house was like a graveyard. and this was simply the work of one man living in a small town in oregon. all the wealthy whites of the world used Africa as their private toilet in the same way. we took advantage of the poverty and ignorance of the people and the greed and viciousness of their rulers. now everyone is crying.

    I agree. Africa is a microcosm...a stage where the future of the earth is being played out in 78.

  6. *cue Marlon Perkins fleeing country*

  7. Being someone who has a nagging belief that the Gaia theory may hold some merit and that humans are literally a form of cancer on the planet (which makes me super fun at parties)I'm not surprised by these dismal statistics.

    Canada is doing so well because we're so friggin' huge and hardly anyone lives here. We also got a good start from the British Empire and all the rewards of colonism. We have a bit more time to rape our resources and over populate and then lose our political stability and start living in hell.
    And on that cheery note, from a post with a nekkid woman and her magical beeping boobs to this? a little something for everyone. Go Donn!

  8. correcting my big typo...'colon-ism'?, that would be COLONIALISM, but same dif, it's all about gathering sh*t anyways.

  9. Well first off, Iceland is broke, the Dutch are just a sea storm away from being New Orleans, and is Luxembourg really a country?

    It's sad what's happened and is happening to Africa. I'd like to think that maybe it's not too late to give up hope. We all agree that something needs to be done; but what that thing is what we disagree on. Should we force out the dictators and wipe out the pirates and warlords? That would be just escalating the violence. But we can't just keep shipping them aid if the criminals keep seizing that food and money for their own private stores and armies. So do we let the poor and unfortunate suffer?

    I think that we really do need to decide together just how involved we should be in helping Africa and the world's poor. Because their problems don't just stay in their continent. We've grown to depend on each other, and the raw materials needed to build and run our cellphones and computers and power our homes and cars do come from Africa and some of the poorest regions in the world.

    I think we have to make some hard decisions and take some really tough, harsh actions to set things right. We may have to resort to both violence and persuasion. It may not be popular, but the right thing is never about being easy; it's about doing what's best and necessary. Sometimes, the best way to deal with cancer is to cut open the body and remove the tumor; it will leave scars; it may not succeed; but it is a move in the right direction. It could be the one thing that saves lives.

  10. it is truly frightening dude... and i live here!

  11. and just who comes up with them figures?

    give me a 38 26 36 everytime
    prefer a brunette if possible!


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