19 November 2006

Captain Solo and General 'Fidy'

Democracy sometimes relies on the complete incompetence of its opponents.
One morning in Lusaka I was woken up by my dad, "Hey, get up there's a coup on." So I woke up, turned on the TV and there was a message flashing saying that the country had been taken over by the military and there was a curfew. Since we lived near the mass media complex (yes there was only one TV channel) we heard what sounded like machine gun fire as well. Rumours abounded that somebody from the military called 'Captain Solo' (no I'm not making this up) had taken over the country. After 3 hours or so the vice-President of Zambia, 'Grey Zulu' (no I'm not making this up either) came on TV, he looked shaken up, white as a ghost, with eyes darting all around, and sweating a flood said, "Don't worry, there was a coup attempt but it has been foiled. The perpetrators have been captured. We are still looking for Captain Solo. The president is safe, you are all safe." Well we didn't feel very safe after watching this guy's performance on TV, but were happy that things seemed to get back to normal. The whole story came out during the next few weeks. Apparently a few army soldiers including Captain Stephen Lungu (aka Captain Solo) had decided to take over the country. Their plan consisted of taking over the Presidential palace (and capturing the president) and also taking over the mass media complex so they could get on radio and TV that a coup had happened. They were able to take over the TV station but not the presidential palace because patriotic elements of the army parked a couple of tanks in front of the president's place. Anyway the loyal troops got to the mass media complex and captured all the guys except Captain Solo. He was later found hiding in a dustbin (garbage can for the Americans). There is an epilogue to this, the coup plotters were all jailed. After a few years a bunch of Ukranians got thrown in jail as well for overflying a sensitive military institution. Then Captain Solo and company were back in the news complaining that the Ukranians were too strong for them and treated them badly and ate all their food and so on. Actually I don't know what happened to them, I think the Ukranians were eventually deported, and the coup people were sentenced to death. I don't know if it was actually carried out.

The other day, in Madagascar, a general called 'Fidy', no relation to 50 cent (pronounced fidy cent in some circles), told the army to take over. The president, who was flying around, had his plane redirected to another airport. Apparently Fidy had some issues with not being able to run for President in the upcoming elections. Anyway the army said, "General Who?" and could not understand why he was telling them to take over so the civvies are still in control.

Lucky for Zambia and Madagascar that these clowns are so incompetent. Imagine if they knew a little bit of what they were doing, we'd have been plunged into warring factions like Somalia and other such tin pot countries.

...in other news 7 days to my thesis due date and 21 days to my defense... woohooo! This place is almost Doctor Warrier's Kraal!

11 November 2006

Ladies, get ready for Mr. Lova Lova

So I, my favourite 'citizen of the world' blogger Lova, and two unnamed persons of the female persuasion went to Chicago on Friday night to catch the incredibly funny Russell Peters and his opening act, Angelo Tsarouchas. As we got to Chicago with ample time left for dinner before watching the show, we, as in the ladies, decided that we should go to some place called "Nordstrom". Now people who have seen my pictures on the various blogs will realise that my understanding of the phrase 'shopping for clothes' means bargaining with roadside vendors who sport loud Hawaiian shirts, wear sunglasses at night, and have at least one missing tooth, for the express purpose of paying less than $10 for any item of clothing. So anyway we found ourselves in a shopping mall where names such as "Armani" stood out and every article of clothing seemed to be priced in Kwacha (Zambian currency, about 4000 Kwacha / dollar) based on the numbers of digits seen. While the ladies amused themselves by doing whatever they do in such establishments, Lova and I got the offer of going on a Comcast dating show for a renumeration of 20$ for recording a video profile and 300$ if we got selected. I of course felt all sorts of butterflies in my stomach and refused manfully to take part. Lova claims he was influenced by me to submit his profile and in the process signed some document swearing he is a U.S. citizen -add yet another one to his basket of nationalities - according to the lady who gave him the document, "Don't worry, we get lots of Puerto Ricans, they're not U.S. citizens either," anyway there was a TV setup and lots of lights and an interviewer asking Lova questions. After having chickened out of my own profile, I proceeded to be a good friend and to take some pictures for posterity's sake and also to humiliate him in the blogosphere.

Seriously though he came across as a good catch based on the snippets of the interview that I heard so ladies... he is out there. I'm sure he'll post some of the questions and answers on his blog (maybe with a little bit of persuasion on his comments space... not that I'm suggesting that you do that...)

Russell Peters, hilarious as always, totally different jokes from his 'outsourced' dvd that's going around. I was sure that we would get picked on, being in the front row, but we didn't, he picked on people in the second row. No, there was no tap some bong this time but the guy did an awesome Trinidadian accent. It was spot on. He has a good Bush impersonation as well, better than John Stewart's in my opinion. "The Indians, they gave me mangoes, I gave them nukl... nuku.... goshdang how do you say that word? nul... nukular secrets."

09 November 2006

Arabic proverb

quwatu l- 'insani fi 'aqlihi wa lisanihi

The strength of a person is in his intelligence and his tongue.

That is so true... have to work smart and present it well to people so that they appreciate it. Hard work will get you places, intelligence and a good presentation skills will let you rule those places.

02 November 2006

Dubya explained

Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said. Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.
Yes... I think this is already happening. Dubya, Kim Jong Il, Paris Hilton, the ozzie guy who said women are meat and men are cats. Why the hell does the "dim-witted underclass" have all the power? just had a scary thought... maybe they're not the dim witted ones.... oops.