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Where is the Source of the Nile?

Sun, 18 May 2014 Source: Kwarteng, Francis

This heavy-loaded question has bedeviled a cluster of ethno-animal philosophers for eons, for as long as they have been in Diopian material existence, even if others say otherwise. Oops! Did we merely say “material”? Evidently. Yes. What about the immaterial or spiritual? Don’t know! These are relatively difficult philosophical inquiries around which this cluster of friends has not succeeded in getting their animal-heads. Difficult, eh? Yes. Demonstrably. Life! Life! Life! What is this philosophic-orthographic loaded word all about? Does it verifiably possess an ethno-soul? Does it verifiably possess any sense of articulate corporeality? Does it have an ethno-mind? Can it subject itself to ethno-thinking? Who are Life’s ethno-parents?

Are The Sun and The Moon and The Stars and The Oceans Life? Is Death Life? Is Life a Human Being or an Animal? Ah! Is a Human Being not an Animal? Oh Life, how complete you ethno-think or ethno-seem!

“Animo!” blurted out The Death. “Life! Life! Life! Life is all about death, my sister! You know!” The Death chips in merely for ha-has?unsolicited. Besides, The Death, a sinewy strand of gynandromormous cobwebbed nebulosity, jumps into the conversational watercourse of community, of Ubuntu, just to engrave its presential awayness, in fact, its asymptotic awayness, into the close ethno-head of Life! Such is Life! Such is Death. In reality. Though both, namely, Life and Death, are phenomenological cognates of sorts!

Simply put, some all-knowing coprophiliac mouthparts, the negativists, say Life is of a sensual nature, while, the nameless “rest,” the positivists, say Life vigorously follows the spiritual path of existential non-romantic contours of the unseen or, better still, the seen, a kind of ethno-thinking derived from the psycho-emotional arithmetic of conflictual rhythmicity, of chaos theory. In other words, an existential ocean of conflicts, a central philosophical question which rigorously demands making judicious negotiations around issues of intellectual de-centeredness, where, for the part, emotional difficulties associated with internal compromises between Life’s mountains of disharmonies and Death’s valleys of harmonies, foreseeable and unforeseeable, do not intercede on behalf of intellectual centeredness!

Well, either-or! Indeed intellectual centeredness finds its locational decisionality in the vaginal centrality of either-or. Thus, intellectual centeredness is certainly not of emotional prevarication! Yet others also say Life is merely an existential Armageddon of choices an individual makes within the non-material exclusivity of ethno-human consciousness. Supposedly, is this not merely a reductionist feint of explanatory enterprise aimed at Life’s normative incomprehensibility, even of Death’s normative incomprehensibility? Maybe, maybe not! Well, is Life itself not pregnant with a panorama of “maybes” and “maybe nots”! Possibly. But, as it were, the orthographic variables of “possibly,” possibility,” “possibilism,” and “possible” are expressive characterizations for Life’s wormy vicissitudes! In effect, so, too, are their diametric cognates of “impossibly,” “impossibility,” “impossibilism,” and “impossible.”

Ask The Source of The Nile!

Where is The Source of The Nile? In fact, what is the relationship between Life and Nile? It seems Life is a rhyme for Nile. And vice versa. Such as the existential rhythmicity between Life and The Death. Obviously. Certainly. Look closely at their enunciative faces: N-i-l-e and L-i-f-e. What do you see? Look particularly at Life! Look at mischievous Life! It is making faces at Life Challenges, but, hey, Life Challenges is in no position to return a gesture of niceties, to throw a magpie of compromising reciprocity of boogie-woogie at Life, by itself, of itself. Laughing. Guffawing. Smiling. “Oh Life,” they say, “rules the universe, the universe of incomprehensibility!” True? What of Death? What of Good Name? What of The Death? Life is full of belly laugh!

Ask The Source of The Nile!

But where is The Source of The Nile? Ok. Which material or non-material forces give concrete expression to human feelings, to human thoughtfulness? The Source of The Nile! Oh no! Not Again! “Where is The Source of The Nile?” asks The Scarab Beetle. “Ha…ha…ha…ha,” The Wind boisterously smacks their forlorn visages with ejaculatory laughter of emotional gravity. Their? Certainly. Cluster of friends. Still, none of the Seven Animal Friends sitting at the dinosaurian table, with The Scarab Beetle situated at its head, seems to have a ready-made response, as they are trapped, possibly, irrecoverably, in an oceanic desert of aqueous abstraction. Soon, before long, the serenely ghost of cemeterial silence captures, even impounds, the talking-space of ethno-thinking, further placing The Seven Animal Friends in a tight inertia of psychological playfulness. Trans-contextual thinking, it appears, has suddenly lost its glare of psycho-emotional presentiality in the collective embrace of The Seven Animal Friends. All the same, the long arm of tranquility stretches itself thin across the topological legroom of psychological inaction.

Where is The Source of The Nile?

It is in the bosom of Life. Maybe! Maybe not! But Life, like Nile, is made up of only Four Letters. Only? Four? Yes. Only! Four! Characteristically, the Four Letters do in fact represent The Four Corners of The World, of The Wind, and the Four Corners of the World, in turn, represents a Full Circle. “This is a complex topological philosophy to grasp,” says The Gorilla, Idi Amin’s totem. Of course, explaining the not-so-visible topological relationship, a philosophical question based on Diopian psycho-emotional matrix, between a four-sided figure and a circle to his Six Animal Friends has proved irresistibly, impossibly, difficult for The Scarab Beetle, a generous philosopher, scientist, and mathematician whom they, The Six Animal Friends, privately refer to as The Dung Beetle behind his back.

Yet The Scarab Beetle’s parallax-personality is completely lost on them. How so? His behind is his front. His past is his future. His east is his west. His backward is his forward. His eyes are his occiput. His blindness is his pineal eye. His north is his south. And vice versa! But his mouth is not his anus. Not is his head his feet. That is. The Scarab Beetle could simultaneously think to and fro, simultaneously walk front and back, while, unsurprisingly, simultaneously defying the logic of ethno-cosmology, that is, of the rigid authoritarianism of space and time. As a matter of fact, Space-Time Continuum accounts for these strange phenomena of simultaneous compatibility of physiologic and anatomic existence, as his living biographies amply demonstrate.

In fact, The Scarab Beetle is the only ethno-creature in the universe of commonsensical-ness to have Two Shadows. One follows him and the other precedes him wherever he goes?even in the coal-darkness of social and political agreeableness, even in the snow-whiteness of social and political disagreeableness. Admittedly, together, they, The Seven Animal Friends, exist in simultaneous philosophical concreteness, in close anatomic and physiologic harmony. The secret is The Source of The Nile!

Where is The Source of The Nile?

What? Ideally, no Life is entire, but his, The Scarab Beetle’s, that is to say, seems to be a total negation of the proverbial, of the commonplace. A life well lived is worth Life’s commendation, emulation. Even. But a death well lived only makes sense from the emotional standpoint of Life. Philosophically. What a life! What a death! “Come with me!” he orders his Six Animal Friends, pointing to the tutelage-outside, the tutelage-outside of philosophical exploration, a portion of the Professorial Seacoast whose sandy-flesh enjoys a seamless strung-out of geographic elasticity from the concrete feet of his forecourt, the electrical site of his intelligence. Actually, the Beetle Scarab has lived a littoral existence all his life, and today, as yesterday, as every day, he hosts his friends there. There of today, as of yesteryear. The Seven Animal Friends had just finished reading George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” one of their all-time favorites, prior to the arrival of The Scarab Beetle’s stepping-order.

Why “Animal Farm”? They prefer “Animal Farm” because that is one of the few books which courageously pits Animal Intelligence against Human Intelligence, technically making animals superior to humans by every conceivably measurable standard. Anyway, they do not have any respect for Human Beings. They believe, quite rightly, that Human Beings are irreversibly, generally, stupid! Moreover, they also consider Human Beings as imperfect culmination of the cultural mechanics of the evolutionary process, of which their evolutionary primordiality made human speciation possible. Closely and remotely possible. Plausible. Even. Ha-ha! The Source of The Nile has all the clues.

Where is The Source of The Nile?

They step out eventually. And walk across the seemingly endless carpet of sand to the confluence of The Sea and The Professorial Seacoast. “Here!” he fingered them over. They inch close, close, close, then closer, closer, closer, until they finally approach closest, crowding around him, in sinusoidal lockstep with The Sea’s psycho-emotional rhythmicity. A Circle! The Scarab Beetle consequently digs the pointed pen of his index finger deep into the succulent, fluffy breast of The Earth. The Earth, another circle.

“Phish!” blurts out The Earth romantically. “Whoosh!”

“Sounds and looks like vaginal cornucopia!” says The Wind. The Wind licks his lips, staring down at the erectile state of his phallic stele. There is no palpable sign of The Source of The Nile! However. It seems completely lost in the cyclonic windiness of The Circle!

Inexplicably, The Scarab Beetle’s pen of index finger disappears into an ejaculation of a drawn circle in addition to a straight line. He looks up. “Can any of you swallow his or her mouth?” he asks. There is no answer. “Well,” he continues, asking further: “Do you have any clue what This Straight-Line here and This Circle there symbolize?” A pall of vocal stillness descends upon them like an angry cloud of bees. Paradoxically, This Straight-Line here and This Circle there are neither here nor there. Spatially. They are simultaneously here and there. Actually. “Topological philosophy,” answers The Hyena, Adolf Hitler’s totem. That is not a good enough response, however. Again, of course, The Scarab Beetle reframes the question—many and various—but draws no satisfactory responses from his friends. Either. The Scarab Beetle peers far into the emotional-distance of The Hyena’s overt thoughts and says: “A circle and a line are the same phenomenon!”

“How?” asks The Orangutan, Pol Pot’s totem.

Incidentally, The Dolphin, The Scarab Beetle’s totem, attempts a detailed explanation, first, by magically picking up the snake-like weight of The Straight-Line from the ground in both hands and joining their ends into a circle, and second, by magically picking up the orange-like weight of The Circle from the ground in both hands, disjoining it, and producing a straight line out of it. The entire philosophical exercise of explanatory topology takes after the string theory of mathematical ontology, an ideational exercise identical to Chinua Achebe’s or The Igbo’s Objanje, Hindi’s reincarnation, or Christological transfiguration.

Where is The Source of The Nile?

The angry cloud of bees looms large over them. They look at each other as the canopy of bees shuts down the faucet of trans-contextual thinking. Not even a drop of thinking-water makes its clang of rhetorical or gestural presence felt. “Do you know what this means?” The Scarab Beetle asks, finally breaking the iceberg of silence into emotional smithereens of talkativeness. Yet again, admittedly, the answer is not as clear as it seems. This is because philosophical mathematicization of Life Experiences is not an intimate or pedestrian preserve of any of the other six animals. In that case, what is an appropriate response to the question then? An apt response may be part of Ancient Egyptian thinking!

A bold statement posted on The Scarab Beetle’s door lintel replies from a vanishing distance: “Man, Know Thyself!” And where is this “Man, Know Thyself”? to be located?

The answer: Where is The Source of The Nile?

Someone, it turned out, may have had an answer somewhat close to “Where is The Source of The Nile.” The question is, Who is this Someone? The Atlantic Ocean remembers seeing “Man, Know Thyself” on The Scarab Beetle’s door lintel and blunders out: “Life is what you make it!” The angry cloud of bees finally disappears into emotional bubbles of self-recovery. This answer, in fact, that response, so to speak, may have been arguably the most appropriate riposte. It earns The Scarab Beetle’s laughing approbation. Nonetheless. “Certainly a good answer,” he injects into their venous conversation, adding: “And finding that path to Life’s blissfulness, whether circular or linear, is an individual’s choice, though, yet again, that choice, that unique individual choice, if we may add, occasionally, derives from a community of shared responsibility, belief, transparency, probity, and accountability values. Meant as an aside, this is not the sole responsibility of trained mathematicians. Every ethno-creature is a mathematician by nature.”

In the main, it also turns out The Atlantic Ocean and The Forest are two of the most assertively intelligent ethno-creatures in the universe, a scientific conclusion based on the vast body of brainy-water and verdant canopy of brainy-foliage atop The Atlantic Ocean and The Forest, respectively. Except Human Beings, every other ethno-creature strives to be like The Atlantic Ocean or The Forest, at least if not in intelligence then in spatial behavior. Understandably, Komodo Dragon and Tasmanian Devil are far removed from this large reservoir of intelligence, of creativity!

Where is The Source of The Nile?

Once again, The Scarab Beetle, it turns out, is more interested, even enamored of the intricacies of Life than social issues of extreme extraneity, so he launches into the philosophical depths of Life. As a result, he subjects the word Life to orthographic individuation: L-I-F-E. “L” he tells them is “love,” “listening,” “learn or learning,” “I” “insight” or “intelligence,” “F” “friendship,” “fruitfulness,” “foresight,” and, lastly, “E” “eye,” “ear,” or “eat.” Insight and foresight are spiritually or intellectually related to the piercing range of psychological sight. In other words, to an investigational depth of understanding, a priceless gift which an individual uniquely possesses and consequently exercises over nature. Activities involving insight and foresight as well as “eye” entail the psychological mechanics of critical thinking. Simply put, Life may appear to lose its instrumentalist value of analytic ontology outside the immediate social circumference of critical thinking. The political economy of critical thinking is exclusively typical of The Scarab Beetle.

Yet critical thinking is exactly what The Seven Animal Friends think Human Beings woefully lack. However, this contrarian view is highly controvertible because The Seven Animal Friends are yet to constitute themselves into a convincing assemblage of evidence to make their case?if at all. Still, the perennial question, “Where is the source of the Nile?”, obtains in the body politic, a question that has not been answered passably, if at all, since the dawn of conscious time. The point is that whoever, ethno-Animal or ethno-Human Being, discovers the answer gets the gene of longevity or of “eternity,” which the letter “E” in L-I-F-E also symbolizes. It should also be acknowledged that “eat” and “fruitfulness” are part of the intellectual scaffolding of critical thinking. “Eat” is theory or ideation and “fruitfulness” is praxis or productivity in the Animal World, the world of politics.

Unfortunately, Human Beings have not reached that emotional threshold of intellectual sophistication. Again, this explains why The Seven Animal Friends have no iota of respect for Human Beings. But, quite apart from these reservations, The Scarab Beetle knows Life is not as rosy as Human Beings say it is. He is about to explain this to his friends when a worm-like seismic electricity coursed through their bodies, their psycho-emotional anatomies, sending waves of oceanographic opprobrium to their intuitive hearts. It is a shrieking outburst, the politics of the Big Bang theory, concentrically radiating away from the inner vaginal-sancta of The Earth. The Earthquake!

The Earthquake romantically sings Salman Rushdie’s novelistic concerto?“The Ground Beneath Her Feet.” Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello, Koo Nimo and Prince Nico Mbarga add the crying-voice of their palm-wine guitars; Guy Warren of Ghana supplements the orchestra with his syncopated drumming-ness; the rocky voices of Peter Tosh, Fela Kuti, and Bob Marley make a militantly powerful showing; Thelonious Monk displays tactile dexterity on the piano; the vocal saxophonics of John Coltrane steams in; the elephantine trumpeting of Louis Armstrong and of Miles Davis take over the dirge of social and political confusion. The raspy, croaky, voice of Louis Armstrong joins the vocal symphony of Fela Kuti’s, Bob Marley’s and Peter Tosh’s.

Refrain: “Where is The Source of The Nile?” screamed the froggy voice of Louis Armstrong’s. “Life’s and Death’s dirge of philosophical incomprehensibility!”

Meanwhile, the uncontrollable rage of The Earth tosses and tumbles The Seven Animal Friends in a careless exercise of dice-tossing stochastics, a happenstance process of which The Celestial expanse is eloquently ignorant. And while they toss and tumble in the naked openness of The Atmosphere, the psycho-emotional stratosphere, mammoth balls of wailing fire, smoke, vapor, and lava throw up the past, the present, and the future from the gaping-crater of ethno-human consciousness. The Earth! The Earthquake! The Ground Beneath Her Feet. John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Yo-Yo Ma, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Miles Davis, Koo Nimo, Prince Nico Mbarga, Thelonious Monk, Guy Warren, Salman Rushdie’s “The Ground Beneath Her Feet,” the trumpet, the piano, the drum, the saxophone, the guitars…become a vocal dirge of cemeterial ghostiliness. Seemingly. So? Oh! Merely seemingly. Ostensibly. Apparently. On the face of it…

What is this seismic cacophony all about? Human Beings sometimes forget The Earth itself is Life, another ethno-human, and is the ‘E’ in N-i-l-e as well as in L-i-f-e, with both words placing The Earth in a position of cosmological extraneity! Do ethno-human politicians listen to The Earth when they go to sleep? Granted, since the letter “E” stands in for “ear” and “eye,” do ethno-humans respectively make it a point to listen to or try to see what those buried in The Earth, hardworking and conscientious brothers and sisters six feet under, men, women, and children who have passed on as a result of ethno-politicians’ callousness, political ethnocentrism, ethnic conflicts, political wars, and political kleptomania? Where is Salman Rushdie’s “The Ground Beneath Her Feet”?

And where is The Source of The Nile? Where are Bob Marley’s “Africa Unite” and “Crazy Baldhead”? Where is Peter Tosh’s “Mama Africa”? Where is Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”? Where is Fela Kuti’s “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense,” “Mister Follow Follow,” and “Lady”? Where is Prince Nico Mbarga’s “Sweet Mother”? Where is where? Where is You? Where is I? Where is They? Where is Us? Where is Life? Where is Death? Where is Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”? Where is Tsitsi Dangarembga’s “Nervous Condition”? Where is Frantz Fanon’s “The Wretched of The Earth” and “Black Skin, White Masks”? Where is Cheikh Anta Diop’s “African Origin of Civilization” and “The Cultural Unity of Black Africa”? Where is The Scarab Beetle? Where? Where? Where?

There is a sudden materialization of a tornado of public disapproval hurtled through the dust-devil of events, of seismic cacophony. Naturally, The Earth cracks open and a mountainous Hong Kong of continental insecurity, of elephantine proportions in terms of geographic marvel, juts out of a spit of acid-heat into a standing-doppelganger of national instability, a psycho-political trademark of the seismic terrorism of the Nation of Lazy Monsters (NLM). A sickly bombast of seismic pretense. Of sorts. It is no wonder these thundery globes of the Nation of Lazy Monsters (NLM) is cocooned in the internecine placenta of The Earth, particularly, as it were, in the compartmentalized Forest and Cave of Feudal Civilization.

Where is The Source of The Nile?

In a matter of seconds, the eldritch members of the NLM, otherwise referred to as The Feudal Dictators, have perfectly meshed with the psycho-emotional forest of plantation mentality, a serious disease born of mental backwardness and of ethno-racial inferiority complex. Among other things, they do not share The Dolphin’s noble idea of self-respect, democratic populism, and self-autonomy and, therefore, decide to substitute national circle-ness and straight-lineness for a countermine, a strategic alchemy of seismic terrorism. What is more, they also want to have political sex on the moon with him, The Scarab Beetle, in which the pundic philosophy of “irrational self-interest” of Adam Smith replaces the phallic philosophy of “rational self-interest” of The Dolphin.

All in all, The Scarab Beetle rejects their political transvestitism thinking having political sex on the moon, the Sodom-and-Gomorrah abode of the great epicene Kweku Ananse, that is, the plain mirror, The Esu-Elegbara, The Signifying Monkey, with him will be a sacrilege of the highest order. Politically incorrect. In the end, the sickly bombast of seismic pretense swallows up 300 innocent children, men, and women. Like Jonah in the whale’s mammoth belly. Like Jesus Christ in a grave for three days! Like the de-legging of Elizabeth Asantewaa! Like the death of Krobo Edusei’s Sister. Like the victimhood of Krobo Edusei’s wife. Like the Kulungugu Bombing! Like Tasmanian Devil (JB Danquah) and Komodo Dragon (KA Busia) working with the CIA. Like the dirge of Salman Rushdie’s “The Ground Beneath Her Feet”! Like! Like! Like!…Always like!

Death! Death! Death! Life! Life! Life! What a wonderful world! Life! Life! Life! Death! Death! Death!

Fortunately for them, The Seven Animal Friends escape the terroristic seismic fury of The Earth—unscathed. The Scarab Beetle blames the elements, human insensitivity, human technological and industrial inconsideration, and lack of environmental consciousness as reasons for The Earth’s blind fury. However, The Rat, Mobuto Sese Seko’s totem, is about to add gravity to the emotional crises suffered by The Earth, but, this, in no time, incurs a measured rebuttal from The Scarab Beetle. “The Earth is held in position by a system of neutralizing forces: Centripetal and Centrifugal!” says he. “Centrifugal force, namely, tears each other apart, jealousy, greed, and backbiting, are the dominant forces in ethno-human relations. Human wars are the result of centrifugal force.”

The Scarab Beetle simply means the crushing terrorism of the National Liberation Movement (NLM), Boko Haram, Ansaru, and Al-Shabab, plus those chronic problems in Northern Ghana.

Was the NLM George Orwell’’s “Animal Farm”? Where is The Source of The Nile?

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis