Wednesday, March 29, 2006


The sky darkens ominously outside my window and I remember the eclipse. I walk out onto the rooftop of the ministry where I work. God adjusts the dimmer switch and the sky turns a crepuscular hue. The obscured sun hides behind a cloud. All around, people stop for a moment. The workers down below point upwards and discuss. Others populate balconies around about. And then the clouds part and I steal a glimpse to the heavens. A sickle of shimmering steel. I close my eyes and the afterglow remains. A man appears with some cardboard specs with foil in the middle. Upwards again, and there is the sickle once more: China rising? Then, the sky lightens by imperceptible movements, and the sahelian glare returns.


the flying monkeys 1:15 pm  

Hi Jeremy

I love your blog!

Your statement "...God adjusts the dimmer switch and the sky turns a crepuscular hue... " reminds me of three things.

First, is a myth. The story from the bible, concerning Joshuas long day, where it was claimed that the Sun did actually stand still for 24 hours.

The second, an album by Al Di Meola titled "Land of the midnight sun" - where the sun shines 24 hours a day.

The third, reminds me of the truth. In northern Finland, from June, the sun in fact shines 24 hours a day for almost 60 days. Imagine golfing 24 hours a day in a vibrant, friendly country of sophistication, fascinating history and unspoiled natural beauty.

Continue the good work Jeremy.

St Antonym 3:23 pm  

Beautifully written, as always. Wish I could have been there. But reading these words is the next best thing.

baba sala,  10:50 pm  

hello j

I have a few questions here:

1) what sort of pc does Mr St Antonym use?

2) what time is it where he is?

3) are u sure this is not your brother you've been keeping secret from us?


Anonymous,  10:53 pm  

I can see the resemblance between them both.

Kingsley,  10:36 pm  

As a Nigerian living in the UK, I was pleased when I stumbled on your blog a few weeks ago. Your insight into Nigerian society is pretty good, but you do sound a little bit overwrought sometimes.

j 11:17 pm  

good evening...I am so glad you found my long lost cousin St. synonym.


Akin 12:14 am  

One thing you can never be in Nigeria is complacent or indifferent, it is always a frenzy that vacillates between the poles of being overwrought, overly exasperated or overwhelmed.

Jeremy's insights excite great passions as observation, critique, participation and experience expose the underbelly of a Nigeria we hardly deign to recognise in any form of expression.

For those of us in Diaspora, he probably provides a view closer to what our thinking might be than other commentary about Nigerian issues.

Overwrought, he may be sometimes, but that is the power of being able to convey deeper thought in expression.

grace,  10:22 am  

What the hell's going on?? Who's J and who's St antonym?? Somehow, I think they are the same person, both products of Jeremy's imagination. That's my theory.

kemi,  11:08 am  

st synonym? or antonym? this is dramatic

Jeremy 12:48 pm  

To clarify: I am not and have nothing to do with st antonym (or his repetitive brother st synonym). However, in the great chain of being, we are interlinked and mere monadic aspects of one another. Pieces of the same flesh..

Akin 12:54 pm  

Now, if that is a clarification, the plot of confusion thickens.

TheUsualKemi,  1:02 pm  

I need to find another moniker.
This name is too common.

j 2:08 pm  

At any rate, I would not waste much time on St. Antonym who is refusing to return home. He has left a comment on my blog, saying am not serious.

More importantly, I agree entirely absolutely with Jeremy. We are all interlinked. However, just to avoid confusion, I want to make it clear that I am trying not to read between the lines here. I am not and have nothing to do with Jeremy Weate of Naija Blog, who is a nice gentleman. My real name is Jeremy (Jnr) of Niger (not Naija) Blog.

Finally, please if anyone knows where I can find him, please let me know. He needs to come home. I am very serious and if he continues to refuse to come back home, then it would lead to at least plausible or a good deal of confusion. The truth about st antonym is this. He is seeking to remain in abeyance.

theusualAkin,  2:18 pm  

I too will find another moniker.

grace,  2:25 pm  

Jeremy of Niger blog, Your Madness is welcome.

Jeremy 2:51 pm  

Jeremy of Niger blog. In an ego-bound individual, you might threaten my identity (especially given the synonyms and antonyms forming the Chorus). However, as someone seeking refuge in the three jewels (aka buddhisming), I am happy that you exist as a doppleganger of sorts. It reminds me yet again of one of my favourite passages of literature, Borges and I (in JL Borges' Labyrinths). If I am not sure if you exist, the feeling may turn out to be mutual, and both our egos shall dissolve into a magnificent transcendence of being. Let us go and seek divination with Eshu. Shall you to Abuja or shall I to Niamey?

TheUsualKemi,  3:06 pm  

Only the owner of a doppelganger can see it, otherwise it is invisible to human eyes. Dogs and cats have been known to see doppelgangers. Jeremy are you are cat?

j 3:12 pm  

I prefer Timbuktu. You remain in Abuja? God knows where St Antonym is!

grace,  3:22 pm  

Jeremy of Naijablog or Jeremy of Nigerblog. I read and liked the most intriguing areas of the Labyrinth. But there is a lot you can learn from the following statement by JL Borges: "...Any time something is written against me, I not only share the sentiment but feel I could do the job far better myself..."

Akin 3:23 pm  

I think the whiff of burning cocaine in Kenya has pervaded the whole of Africa.

This is making antonym and synonym look more like effects of psychedelic drugs leading to multiple personalities than pseudonyms of discrete and entirely separate human beings.

And please, the usualakin only ever signs off as Akin, there is no other but the one and only real Akin - impostors would be beheaded.

I am not a violent man - trust me :-)

the-one-and-only-real-grace,  3:29 pm  

Hello Akin or theusualakin.

The following quote may be helpful to you.

"...As a rule, famous people are role models that can and do influence the masses. Star power has proven time and again to be the most potent form of advertising.

Think about it: the worlds most famous psychologist; the man that invented the light bulb; a stable of Hollywood silent film stars; and the inventor or the most popular soft drink in history - all on the pro-cocaine band wagon. All promoting the drug's positive effects. Some did it through personal testimonials that ran in printed pages across the nation. Others (in particular the silent film stars) promoted cocaine's acceptability through the examples they set by their well-publicized life styles.

In the same way as other narcotics like opium and heroin during this time, cocaine also began to be used as an active ingredient in a variety of "cure all", tonics and beverages. In many of the tonics that drug companies were producing at this time, cocaine would be mixed with opiates and administered freely to old and young alike. It wasn't until some years later that the dangers of these drugs became apparent.

In fact, it was the negative side effects of habitual cocaine use that was responsible for coining the phrase, "dope fiend". This terminology came about because of the behavior of a person abusing cocaine for prolonged periods of time. Because cocaine is such a powerful stimulant prolonged daily use of the drug creates severe sleep deprivation and loss of appetite. A person might go days or sometimes weeks without sleeping or eating properly. The user often experiences psychotic behavior. They hallucinate and become illusionary. Coming down from the drug causes a severe state of depression for the person in withdrawal. This person can then become so desperate for more of the drug that they will do just about anything to get more of it, including murder. If the drug is not readily available, the depression one experiences in withdrawal can become so great the user will sometimes become suicidal. It is because of this heinous effect on the user that the word "fiend" became associated with cocaine addiction....."

Akin 3:46 pm  

It is no wonder that lunacy accompanies anything to do with the moon.

This commentary thread has eclipsed any sense of normalcy.

The Real Grace, don't be fooled by this imposter,  3:46 pm  

That's not funny.

the real grace, don't be fooled by this imposter,  3:49 pm  

Okay it is. But stop it at once. It will get tired.

the real grace, don't be fooled by this imposter,  4:04 pm  

though quite unusual, I must admit.

j 4:04 pm  

Akin or is it the real Akin, are UNDOUBTEDLY a very intelligent person.

However, if you want to tell the truth, further to the European interference, since when has 'normalcy' been known in the area of Africa??

The sense of 'Nigerians as victims' eclipsed any sense of the pain caused by the West as parasites on we Africans.

Hence, the peculiar Nigerian phenomenon of displaced violence, in which Nigerians are insulted or abused by Jeremy of Naija blog will be totally unacceptable.

Anonymous,  4:07 pm  

but there is something mystical and psychedelic and ancestral about these transient communications that blogtec enables.

We write out into the universe. Its as if our words become like bubbles that float around cities and fields.

We lose track of whose bubble is whose, and then forget that ownership of bubbles has any importance.

This forgetting, and the beauty of seeing so many bubbles floating in the air, reflecting the world in the film layered into each surface, is new and quite extraordinary.

Perhaps the fundamentalisms that plague our time ARE a last gasp response to the reality dawning on humankind that every idea is relative, that the earth that we stand (and sway) on moves (in geotime), that everything solid will melt into air.

In other words, the hindhu vision of transcendence and loss of ego and embracing a higher consciousness sensitivity to the myriad pluralities of the world could be achieved by technology..

Or is it just the cocktail of antimalarials and antibiotics and herbal tinctures I've been lacing my soma with in the past few days that are now doing the talking? But who talks anyway? Perhaps all we say are just emanations from the earth - and all individuation is simply the veil of Maya.

the fake Jeremy

Jeremy 4:16 pm  

I think you err, my doppleganger. Tell me where I have insulted or abused Nigerians on my blog, and tell me where there is any 'displaced violence' and I will stop writing it. What takes place on these pages is constructive criticism - that way positive transformation takes place. How else would you have it?

What is most odd about your post is your denial of normalcy. Africa is replete with normal, humdrum places just like anywhere else. It is in the sphere of the miracles of everyday life that we will find redemption and avoid talk of victims.

grace,  5:59 pm  

Jeremy, are you a prophet? You are beginning to come accross as one, a very intellectual one as well!

Jeremy 6:13 pm  

Perhaps if I shaved my head, stuck a spot on my forehead and started chanting mantras I could make both a prophet and a profit!

It reminds me of a silly little story when I first moved to 9ja. I bought some crisps from a shop on Marina. The guy behind the till asked me if I wanted to buy a drink as well. I said no, I don't drink. He said, what, ever? I said yes, its my religion. We buddhists don't need to drink. A small crowd gathered at the news, life-of-Brian stylee. I then wove a story about how at the outskirts of Lagos, there are gates where you can wait, and if you solve the Riddle, you can enter (and not have to drink again). The riddle was the what walks on 4 legs, 2 legs 3 legs one (I know, a bit lame).

The guy behind the till kept bugging me for the answer for weeks (and many packets of Pringles) later. I felt several pangs of guilt for a while at having provoked the gullibility.

j 6:38 pm  

You will be surprised to learn that the guy behind the till would have felt an equal level of guilt for a while at having made you feel he was gullible. Nigerians are very intelligent people, if not the most intelligent on the planet. Stop underestimating them.

You are lucky the exchange failed to provoke partisan booing and cheering!

What about splintered opinions?

grace,  6:42 pm  

To have succeeded in selling you that many packets of Pringles in many weeks, Jeremy you must accept that the guy behind the till was clearly very clever.

St Antonym 11:17 pm  

Goodness, I step away for one day, and this is what happens?

Jeremy finds himself accused of creating triplicates? Commenters go mad from the glare?

But the surface of normalcy must be fractured every now and again. From this, something new is born.

Ex Africa semper, aliquod novi...

St Antonym 11:20 pm  

And before the Gods of Latin request my untutored head on a plate, let me adjust my trousers and my grammar...

Ex Africa semper aliquid novi.

It was meant perjoratively in times past ("Look, a negro!"), but we'll put a positive spin on it now.

Anonymous,  1:00 am  

Should we be expecting to see St Antagonym soon? and what is st synonym really trying to say? Could he and his brother please try to elaborate.

Anonymous,  1:12 am  

My name is priscilla prefix and have just been linked to this blog and am beginning to wonder whether a number of people are making fun of people with names like mine. Or am I paranoid?

By the way to Jeremy I think you are wonderful, you are so articulate amnd knowledgeable.

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