Ice and Salem were sitting in their favourite spot drinking tea with their spliff. Ice had just finished telling Salem the saga of how he had met Mamarasta and Sista-Boodycall.
"Fuck! I can't believe you did all that."
"Me either. N the crazy thing is, I'm going to do it all again."
"Yeah. I agreed to meet them in Kisangani in October. There's a big convention on about displaced peoples of the world. After the convention I'm going to stay on in Zaire giving Billy support and just talking to people again. According to Sista-B the people of Zaire are far more open-minded and keen for changes. The problem of North Africa is the effect of hundred of years of slavery. I've read accounts by travellers visiting the area now known as Togo and Benin and remarking on the wonderful civilisation they encountered. That was pre-slave trading. Another traveller to the exact same spot some three hundred years later was horrified at the sheer barbarism in the area. Getting Africans involved in selling other Africans is what destroyed our original culture."
"And long before the slave traders plundered the West coast of Africa, the arabs were already doing it on the East coast. Hundreds of years ago the East coast of Africa was dotted with ports all trading with sailors from the East. Mostly Indian and Chinese. When the Portuguese rounded the Cape they did not bother with trading. They just plundered. Mostly they were looking for gold. When they saw the arabs buying slaves, they jumped on the band-wagon, going home laden with what they called 'Black Gold'."
Ice was amazed. "You know African history?"
"I read a couple of books. One was just a comic really. I'm interested in the history of slavery days. Crazy thing is when slavery was so-called abolished, it only happened in the west. The arabs who started it, have never abolished it. They've also never given back their colonies, not even in the token way that the west has. Because western countries have traded arab slaves and colonised or at least tried to colonise arab countries, the arabs act like they too are previously persecuted peoples but the very first colony in Africa was Abyssinia and it was an arab colony."
"Yeah, because the arabs as the darky descendants of Adam were underdogs to the romans, so they found people darker than themselves, in Africa, to lord it over. It's still one of the pitfalls of being an African. Arab operated human trafficking is still rife and western powers use them in order to procure their own slaves."
"Exactly. So what about the Jews; how do they fit in?"
"If you read the jewish scriptures you will see that their contact with god/Adam dates back to before the fall. He still was the force of original love upon earth at the time that they made a religion out of him. I figure it was their daughters who took the blame as havin seduced his sons. That is why the romans persecuted them and the moslems despised them."
"Yeah, and Hitler. Did you know that Hitler persecuted the gays as well as the jews? And he had the silent support of the churches of Europe. The two pillars of imperialism are the army and the church."
"I didn't know that. About the gays being persecuted by the Nazis. And both the romans and the moslems have this hang-up about sex and nudity and they both condemn non-reproductive sex. I've even heard of christians who believe it's bad to have sex unless you're actually trying to conceive. I saw a photo of an american couple, belonging to some obscure christian sect, with their fifteen children. The moslems are even worse. Their attitude is like, for the sake of the jihad we need many many foot soldiers."
"Damn. And that's morality – producing kids as cannon-fodder! But you're right the whole nudity hang-up definitely goes back to Adam and his sons. They were trying to pretend not to be interested in women they considered 'mere beasts' or 'she-wolves' but their penis gave them away every time so they made laws of modesty to hide their lust. Isn't it the classic depiction of them after the fall, hiding their genitals behind fig leaves? Doesn't that just prove where the real snake and apple were?"
"An it was never African culture to cover our bodies. Traditionally an African man would never be ashamed of his erection. In all senses, we were proud to be counted as men among all the creatures populating the planet."
"But the romans/moslems were never supposed to have populated the earth, that is why they are ashamed of their lust. It's why the moslems started this whole men over women thing."
"They were so hung up bout the sex thing but the 'daughters of men' had no such hang ups and were probably quite wild and wanton in bed. Actually I doubt in those days sex was confined to the bed as such. Anyway in order to contain the women's lust they made 'men over women' god's law. With the woman underneath during sex it's not so easy for them to be wild and wanton."
That cracked Salem up, totally. But Ice was thirsty. He tossed Salem the banky and took the tea cups. "I'm going to make some more tea."
By the time he got back Salem had built an extra large spliff and was just lighting it.
"But the worst thing by far," said Ice squatting next to him, "is what these religious cultures do to their kids. Because of their own guilt of sexual abuse of children, they deny their kids' sexuality. But children are fully sexual beings. African culture has always acknowledged that. Traditionally we don't interfere with our children's sexuality. It's their right just as it is for each and every person. The romans oppress it in their kids completely. They insist on childhood being a time of innocence as if it is the child's right. Meanwhile they are enforcing it with heavy discipline making it the child's duty."
"I know exactly what you mean. I saw a show on TV, talk show thing like Oprah only it was a man. There was this really uptight white american couple with their twelve year old daughter. She had sent her friend, a boyfriend, a picture of herself in her underwear. On their cell-phones y'know. Next thing it was circulating the school. Poor parents were traumatised," Salem laughed. "But the kid n her friends seemed to think the picture was quite tame. It was probably the kinda thing woulda made a cute ad in a magazine, only this was their own daughter and according to the father the picture was 'highly provocative'."
"Dirty old man," remarked Ice. Salem grinned.
"And get this. The host's point to the girl was that one day she would be grown up and want to become somebody with a career and this pic could come back at a crucial moment and destroy everything for her."
"Highly unlikely except now that he made her famous on his show just possibly he's destroyed her future."
"Exactly. The parents even admitted, though without any acknowledgement of their own guilt, that she had low self-esteem and that they had been worried about her since she was little cos she had been openly sexual and they had had a hard time disciplining it out of her. They jus don't see what they doing to their kids."
"As my friend Obelix says 'These romans are crazy'. It's the proof that they're not really human. They don't fit in with the natural culture of the human race. We need to embrace our true culture as it was before roman 'progress' in order to expose the romans in our midst. Instead more and more of us are embracin roman culture, willingly enlisting themselves in the bottom layer of the pyramid. Constantly striving to raise their level while unconsciously they're actually buildin the pyramid for the romans."
Salem looked at him through dope-soaked eyes. "It's getting cold. Let's go downstairs, I'll make us toast."
"Hey, where's Edie?"
"Aw she wanted me to go see a movie with her but I'm not into it. I think she went with Danny." He stood up. "I jus want to get another lickle bag o weed n I needa take a leak."
"Come." They went and pissed off the edge of the rocks into the bushes. Then Ice had the honour of being the first person to see Salem's secret stash place.
When they got downstairs Salem put the kettle on and started making toast while Ice made a little spliff to smoke while he made the big one to have with the tea.
"Check this," Salem put his favourite Peter Tosh CD in the machine. "Fari gave me this old speaker. It's dope man."
'Get up, stand up' sang Tosh and the sound was mega-amplified in the small room under the mountain. Salem grinned and adjusted the volume. "Sorry. I'm used to being on my own here."
"Hey, I don't mind. You can play it loud if you want." He passed Salem the spliff.
"Ta. Tea is ready, toast is coming. You can turn it up but so's we can still talk y'know."
"You hear what he's saying? Everyone in the roman pyramid thing is a downpresser cos you start at the bottom but everyone wants to get to the top n the only way to the top is to downpress. But listen what he says at the end bout the pyramid collapsing. Listen."
"They don't want your money
"Cos the money's going to get funny"
Ice lit the big spliff, "He wrote that like thirty years back, an now it's happening. Western banks are crashing and we needa get out from under the pyramid before it fall on us. The only way to do it is to stop using money. Is that whack?"
"Sure that's whack," nodded Salem. "Specially if you own a bank or somethin. But it's logical. Money has no real value. You can't eat it. You can't make warm clothes from it or build a house with it. When you really think about it, money is fuckin worthless stuff." Salem cackled.
"Those Rastas, the Wailers, Culture, all of them; they knew stuff. I reckon it was the culture of the slaves they preserved. Most of the slaves, when freed, couldn' wait to adopt the roman culture. 'S the problem with too much of post colonial Africans too. But the Rastas believed in their roots. They were from many different, though mostly African, cultures. They had many shared experiences plus many many more collectively pooled experiences and from that they figured a lot of the truth about the downpressers.
"Even after slavery was abolished, even after Jamaican independence, the rastas were still treated as low-life because they refused to help support the roman pyramid."
"Yeah," agreed Salem, "the rastas always sing about the romans. They knew already that they were behind it all – global warming, commodity trading, media hype – it's all part of their game of intellectual slavery."
"It's like this," said Ice, "the human race is governed by three forces. In their daily life, like governing their choices, not like gravity or local government. The three forces that govern our thoughts and decisions are Money, Religion and Sex. But both money and religion are systems invented by the romans in order to oppress the peoples of earth.
"Only sex is from god."
Salem looked at him, his eyes growing bigger as he realised the truth of what Ice had just said. Eventually, when he started breathing again, he released a huge cloud of smoke and passed the spliff.
They smoked in silence for a while. It was Salem who broke the silence. He looked across at Ice, who appeared to be miles away, and asked simply, "Will you stay tonight?"
Ice came back to earth, almost with a bump, only his feet could not seem to find the ground. "You bet."
* * * * * * *
Light was just beginning to filter downstairs when Salem awoke. He looked around but Ice was gone. A pity. He found a tub of water still luke warm. He could not be long gone. Salem washed his face, scrubbed here and there then, wrapping a cloth around his waist, he went upstairs to check out the weather. His normal daily routine.
Only this morning he found Ice upstairs inhaling the international herb. "Hey brother," Ice greeted him and passed the spliff. "Do you start work so early?"
"Nah, only in about three hours time. I just love this time of day. You?"
"God, no. Usually I'm only awake at this time if I haven't slept yet. But with all the travelling and sleeping outside often I started waking early. Sometimes I've even enjoyed walkin round before anyone else is up."
The morning peace was shattered by old Peter starting up the tractor.
"That ol' fool. He does this every morning even though he never uses the damn thing anymore. He's like an ol' war vet who still cleans his rifle every day."
"But aren't you worried Ice , that everything you saying is actually justifying the religious hierarchies?"
"I mean by saying they descended from Adam who was god personified."
"No, no, listen. Wait, pass me that newspaper." Salem passed it and he started crushing. "Adam was not god personified. The whole planet is god. Every living thing is the physical expression of god's will to live. The only difference with Adam was his level of consciousness. The rest of us were not unconscious but we were not conscious of god. And that was the way god wanted it cos that way the cosmos stayed in balance, everything worked in harmony."
"So you don't think Adam was god?"
"Just a splinter or a facet or aspect of god. Everything in the known universe is god."
"Every natural thing."
"Yeah, that's what I mean. I just remembered something. There was this ol' jewboy, a friend of Oldcastle, my mentor, who told me that according to the jewish scriptures, which are admittedly the oldest scriptures, the creator created a perpetual fabric from his own self. That perpetual fabric is the universe. That jus' proves what we been saying.
"The thing about Adam, he was originally more spirit than physical and he was supposed to stay that way. Instead he and his lady love broke their vow of chastity and committed the Original sin."
"I don' reckon they were necessarily so chaste. They could have still been fucking all along."
"How so and Eve never got pregnant?"
Salem gave him a look of pure disbelief.
"You mean he just wasn't using her 'apple'. Hey, yeah, why didn't I think of that?" He passed the spliff to Salem. "Maybe that's why they so down on everyone who doesn't conform to their ideas of normal meaning right or whatever even any form of non-reproductive sex is considered wicked."
"What are you muttering about, dude?"
Ice's head shot up. "Bro? Oh, I jus' reckon if that's so then these righteous ones is blaming us for what happened."
"Us gays n all the other perverts."
"Well if they hadn't got into all that kinky stuff they wouldn'a fallen. You see, they're blaming us."
"Hulle moere, man!"
"But I mean I can feel it, spiritually or whatever, the rightness of being gay. It's like the power is in my penis. Don' laugh. I'm serious.
"Once only I got into a relationship with a woman. I was about twenty n she like so fine n so keen. I mean," he shrugged. "But from the start to end, I dunno, it didn' last long. About three weeks of intense bonking followed by three months of tryna cut loose. But the whole time I'm jus' feeling confused, powerless. Almost entangled in some hidden force.
"It's never like that with a man. I always still have kinda control over my life. But some men even make me feel quite omnipotent. And I don' mean cos I can manipulate them or cos they are weaker'n me. It's when I'm involved with someone my true equal; we do stuff together, inspire each other. That's when I feel potent.
"Only lately I feel like I'm poaching on my sista."
"Hey, it's not like we're married. She's still little."
"How old are you?"
Ice gaped and then asked, "An you ballin my sista?"
"We-ell, ah, I'm well, ja." Ice looked at him. Salem laughed. "Do you believe me?"
"About being twenty one, no, About ballin my sista, yeah."
"Yeah, I'm twenty-four."
"Even that's young to be bigger'n me. I never stopped growin until bout two years back."
"How old are you?"
"Thirty. And who else you ballin? You got boyfriends?"
"No, god, I mean I never . . . it's like, I jus' never met a gay nigga before. I reckon me, I'm a nigga. I don' care who my father was, I'm a nigga. I'm jus' not into that whole hairy, fairy scene, y'know." He did the teapot. "I jus' never thought I would meet a gay nigga, but Hey!"
"Yeah well dat's me. Don' ever listen to them that's pushin this thing of 'it's not African to be gay' shit. That's them duppy romans again. You'll always find a church behind that kinda shit. I can tell you what is African culture, and it's the same throughout Africa, regardless of what country you're in, what language you speak or by what name your people are known."
"Cos that's just segregation," sang Salem.
"Everything you say man, it's like Tosh speakin from the grave. He tells the preacher man straight, 'You a ghost n you don' know what life is really worth'."
"Yeah, I remember that. An true African Culture don' need this game of technology. It's that very game that's destroyed everything that was beautiful bout Africa. In true African culture, the whole family sleeps in one bed. Did you know that? It's not our culture to hide in the bed n skotta. It's not our culture to hide our body in case someone see we got a hard-on. It's not our culture to feel shame bout such a thing.
"That's a hang-up spread by the romans, and it's the root cause of all male sexual dysfunction, which was never an African problem. But when I was by my ngunu in Q-double now, I went to get her some moriana at the pharmacy ka Setsing and every available space was either stocked with or advertising male sexual stimulants.
"Meanwhile all over the romans are building churched the size of barns and what the wealthy lying preachers are preachin is that prosperity is from god and poverty is punishment from god."
"What? But I thought here in Africa everyone knew that poverty was caused by the greed of the downpressers."
"What used to really upset my friend Herb, was that they preach it in the name of Jesus. It's the very attitude to which Jesus was totally opposed. It's called philistinism. The philistines were his worst. He was always preaching to people that they don' need all that extra baggage. If you just look at the modern roman lifestyle, philistines, the lot of them. But nobody sees it. But I digress," He giggled.
"The point I was trying to make is it's not our culture to get stressed about our sexuality, or anybody else's. That's the roman guilt thing and they're poisoning our sexuality with their churches, playing on everybody's desire to beat poverty. What I realised travellin through Africa, even in Q-double, when we meet people living in poverty we should learn from them so that we too can know how to live in poverty. Poverty is really jus' a roman dis-word for freedom cos their definition of poverty is people who don' have more than $1 per day with which to support their pyramid. When they find people living comfortably off da earth, they say 'Look these poor people livin in poverty. Let's enslave them so that they too can afford all the trappings of so-called civilisation.' The very thing that Jesus was preachin against n they all 'christians'."
"It was probably their guilt that poisoned the act of sex and created HIV."
"Jus' as it's their technology poisonin Africa, cos their kids aren't growin up in the same environment."
"An before they came here with their progress an technology, all our waste was natural. It didn' matter that we was dumpin on da river bank or anywhere cos whatever we discarded, jus' decayed n fed the soil. There was no pollution."
"My man, you gotta come with me. Now they blaming our cows for causin green-house gasses, but who's eatin all our beef."
"Besides the whole cattle hoardin culture started cos the europeans were comin with all kinds a wonderful excitin things to swap for fresh meat. Pity we hadn' figured out how worthless those things were. We already had everything we needed, that's why our culture had survived so long."
"But we still haven't learned Salem. Now the chinese are floodin Africa with worthless junk in exchange for our wealth. Why are we still doing this?"
"Ke nna le storie. Every time we import stuff that we can make here, we steal jobs from people here and when that stuff is the crap quality I've seen lots of lately, we jus' plain robbin ourselves."
"Yeah, yeah. And exportin is even worse. It's what makes our food so expensive cos we competin with people what's payin with euro's n dollars. Have you any idea how much food Africa is exportin while there are Africans going hungry?"
"And the grain they send to us as food aid can only be eaten – you can't plant it cos it's sterile. Meanwhile the original seed as created they've squirrelled away somewhere near the North Pole where only they have access to it. They jus' waitin for us all to die off!"
"You see, you not jus' a pretty face. But I really wanted to tell you the rest of the Mamarasta story."
"Ho, dude. I gotta get to work. But serious, I want in on your project; an I want to hear da rest a dat story."