There’s No Hurry In Life

September 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ever tried to kill an ant? What about flies or wasps or even snakes? Not exactly quick shots, right? I thought I had killed a wasp several months ago with a mosquito spray. That didn’t seem to work, so I tried a few whacks with my slippers. That didn’t seem to work, either, so I cut off its head. This thing was still moving. I returned to the bathroom 5 minutes later, and it was still moving. Twenty minutes later when I was headed off to Accra, I checked again… still moving. When I returned, it was still moving. I went to bed; woke up, went back to the bathroom- still moving! It creeped me out that I brushed it into the toiled and flushed away. I had to kill a snake last week, but that’s for another time.

Now let’s imagine for a second how much it’ll take to kill a fully-grown human being. No, no… there’s a point to this; bear with me. I’m not going into what different ways one would use to kill a human being. I’ve never tried and save for an attack on my kids, I never will. But I’d imagine we’d all think besides gun shots, which aren’t exactly sure things, like my resilient wasp, it should take a tremendous amount of energy kill a fully grown adult, right? How about 22?

I think I’ve said once that I’m not easily moved by gore, but it seems Ghanaian TV stations keep trying to test just how much they can show to see where my limit lies. They didn’t succeed, but they came pretty close. The gruesome images of some 22-or-so bodies strewn across a hallway floor like matchsticks were probably the worst I’ve ever seen. What amount of force does it take to kill 22 people in one instant? The back story supposedly was that of a sleepy or tired limo bus driver who minutes before the crash had stopped to buy coffee. I’m not sorry to say that I didn’t care that the driver was killed. I have no sympathy for people who have no business being on any roads. One idiot in a tipper plowed through my mom’s car nearly 20 years ago and left her in a coma. Another drunk climbed a sidewalk in Accra and hit my sisters. Neither of these people got the punishment they deserved, and I’m sure quickly returned to sit behind many more steering wheels like nothing happed.

I would admit I have even less sympathy for the adult passengers who died. The talking heads on all the morning shows all pointed out that passengers are unwilling to speak up out of fear of being called ‘too know.’ There’s lots I’ll say about this ‘too know,’ but I’m saving that for whenever I write my last entry for this blog. But when you’re paying someone for a service; when you’re putting your life in the hands of someone, the last thing you should care about is whether some uneducated myopic morons think you’re a know-it-all. And if you allow this madman to do with your life as he chooses, then maybe you deserve the end you and he get. Harsh? Yeah… so what?

Something did get me boiling, though. In one video of the same story, a man who I would imagine was hospital personnel was holding the arm of a dead 6-month-old infant for the cameras. After a few moments he tossed the baby back onto what was now a pile of the corpses behind him. I’m not exaggerating. If you have the stomach for it, search for the video and you’ll see the same thing. He tossed a baby! I don’t care if the infant was dead, that was someone’s baby! I wanted to reach into the tele to choke him. There was no scolding, no admonishment from his superiors or from the talking heads- nothing! It was as if this is normal for Ghana. 22 today, maybe 16 yesterday, and perhaps 19 a few months from now, and no one does anything. Ok, they’ll talk about it on the radio and TV, and it’ll be headlines for print media for that news day, but will be quickly forgotten when the morning papers print the next sensationalizing junk.

You can ignore everything I’ve said, and I wouldn’t mind if you did. But just remember one thing: they tossed a baby corpse onto a pile of 20 other dead people. We are quick to mourn and celebrate the dead, even those not related to us and spend copious amounts of money when they’re dead in some phony display of honor, but not the penny needed when they were alive. What kind of culture are we when we don’t say a word when our bus driver emerges from a blue kiosk, observe police at hundreds of vehicle and traffic violations but no court cases or punishment come from them, or find any fault with a person dangling a dead baby for the cameras and tossing it like it was thrash?

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