Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Nuts and Bolts

The push lawnmower broke
'Twas a sign of the times
Three screws and two missing bolts
Nyankopon disposed of them at one stroke

This pandemic's got you reassessing risk
Weighing up trips to Home Depot or taking Lyft
Against the likelihood of us all getting sick.
Nyame calmly suggested going back to basics

Ananse the spider by Peggy Appiah

Thus it was resolved, no more golden encounters
Now you balance the lure of the one-click shopper
Against the peril for those essential workers
Odomankoma didn't raise any social shirkers

Asase Yaa's solution came with simple terms:
Remember the lesson of the gospel of germs
Stay home, young man, and frequently wash your hands
She recalled Abosom's ancient libation chants

Ananse the spider

The Grand Reopening of Texas remains your trump card
So these days you've rather been digging up the backyard
Forget curb appeal, real estate and all that it entails
For dinner, you'll serve the family puna yams and snails

Growing puna yams in Texas

Recall that secular priest, Jon Elster, who, as it happens
Wrote sometime ago about the idea of the cement of society
He talked about nuts and bolts, and all manner of pieties
Advice on how to behave and tend to our social gardens

Nuts and Bolts for the social sciences Jon ElsterThe Cement of Society Jon Elster

Ananse scoffed and chuckled, he was not so easily impressed
With all this anthropological, high falutin business
For that griot, Burning Spear, had already done all the singing
"It takes behavior to get along", it's a matter of Social Living

Ɔbɔadeɛ quickly joined in the fray
"One simple mistake, and there's hell to pay
You modern folks can have your Social Studies
Down here in hell, the certainties are rather muddied"

ananse sky god water color

Ananse continued, you should only worry about planting some herbs,
As for the British and American trouble tickets in the Daily News now
Just remember the lesson of that old Ga proverb:
An elephant which is lean is still fatter than a cow.

The Westerners must believe they can afford the rising body counts,
After all, history has shown they have been nigh invincible
With Black Gold and conflict gems looted in their bank accounts.
We Africans, however, have long studied The Mosquito Principle

animals in the sky

Their confounding aversion to shame without pretense
Is really an embrace of collateral damage
That road leads only to depraved indifference
Resolved by these bouts of punitive damages.

We are learning the true meaning
Of that phrase herd immunity
Meanwhile, the corporate shell game of looting
Is the real mark of wholesale impunity.

Remember: flesh and blood are never inconveniences
Structural adjustments, even with a human face, leaves unanswered questions
Revolutionary justice may well restore some balance
Nyame's claims adjuster resolves the matter with soul insurance

ananse and the greedy lion

"Human capital stock" is such an uneasy phrase
It comes out of the mouth of wolves rather than that of babes
Ananse cast a jaundiced eye and careful gaze
At their White Houses and gleaming palaces

Self isolation, the perils of leaving the front door
Protection, your coup drill must also guard the back door
Avoid blame, stay grounded, sit here on this earthly floor
We have already reaped the bloody wages of Thermidor

ananse an unknown assignment

After a stray comment by The Father-in-law

Nuts and Bolts, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note (spotify version)

The muse wills what she wants, this time she demanded a folktale

I nominate this tale to the Things Fall Apart Series under the banner of Social Living. Let me know if it fits.

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