Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beat Op-Ed

Saw a gem on Radoosh and had to pass it along. This Op-Ed piece from Binyavanga Wainaina, of the Johannesburg, South Africa Mail & Guardian, is unlike an Op-Ed we've ever seen before. Titled "Remember This Day," it reads more like Alan Ginsberg than David Brooks (we hate him so much), and although there is no real information to be gained from the piece, it's hard not to get swept up in the prose.

Check out this lede for christssake:

"If you have canine instincts, now is the time to piss on the four corners of your life so you can lift your nose and smell this month for the rest of your life."

Sweet lord that's a ballsy way to open! What follows is only part of the piece. Read the whole thing if you have a chance.

"Run. Run. As the whistle blows louder and louder. To the art gallery and spend $100-million on Damien Hirst’s new sculpture copied from a Genyuwyne Real Authentic Certified 19th-century skull — and cast in platinum and covered in 8 601 diamonds. The sculpture speaks to you. It is titled For the Love of God, What Are You Going to Do Next?

Cut all saturated fat, red meat. Buy small organic things, juice all your vegetables. You spend four times what you did before, but you save money in the long, long marathon of life, when you will die of a disease — but won’t diseases disappear because we know everybody’s genes?

Somebody will get into the car and tickle our tight washboard abs and make us giggle and start the flying car, vroom, and we are bouncing up and down on the back seat, our hypermuscles twitching as we head for America.

Soon we are hovering above the voting booth. You lean forward, hands on knees, breathing hard, on November 4. When you lie on the grass, your $3 000 carbon-fibre bicycle thrown carelessly to the side, watching the crowds in every city in America crying or cheering on your iPod, the sun in your eyes. You lean to the side for some shadow.

It will take 10 minutes to feel truly tired and free. You nap under the naked and dangerous sun, the election forgotten, the results not yet out. Your dog runs free in the park.

You walk home slowly, your bicycle a crutch, your iPod shut off, your ears confused by the muffled sounds of suffering life around you."

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