Uganda: Ten questions with the Comrade

Beloved by the blogren for his prolific, provocative comments and his endless, passionate devotion to North Korea, the 27th Comrade was until recently one of Uganda's most active bloggers.

Self Portrait
27th Comrade

Two months ago the Comrade decided to take a hiatus from his blog Communist Socks and Boots, limiting his writing to the occasional post on the group blog The Kampalan. His decision was met with surprise, sadness and well-wishing on the part of the blogren, and this blogger missed his manifestos so much that she sought him out for a conversation about writing, reggae and, naturally, Communism:

ONE: How long have you been blogging?
Back when I was just starting out in serious software development, I had a small blog. Very clunky thing that I no longer maintain. I don't consider that phase, though. After all, it had only three readers – myself and my two alter-egos. Then came the real blogging, which I date starting in the last quarter of 2006, at CS&B. Not that much of a Long March to write books about, I'm afraid.

TWO: What made you decide to start a blog?
I had the ingredients: non-expensive internet, some stray time, and stuff to rant on about.

THREE: What do you use your blog for the most?
First I thought it would be something like an open journal. I have almost completely succeeded in keeping the tech stuff off the blog – it wasn't meant to be an outlet for my tech stuff. It was merely something to chronicle my more-interesting moments. And then, some day, I put an opinion out there. And then it became a kind of rant zone, on top of being a diary. By last post, the rant zone personality of the blog had won the civil war.

FOUR: Who influences your writing?
When I was in school, I used to read Ernest Bazanye's articles. Always. That cheeky, laid-back thing, you know. I like it. Other elements of my style came from Mario Vargas-Llosa, Salman Rushdie, Robert McLiam Wilson, and maybe Adam Thorpe.

FIVE: Top three favorite blogren?
Baz, funniest bugger alive. It's a shame he isn't announcing an up-coming novel, because I think Uganda's time is ripe for a Nobel Prize for Literature.

Tumwijuke has such rude talent with the camera that, while checking her well-written posts, I tend to wish I were a photographer myself.

Ivan. He's a graphic artist, and it shows in his writing. He writes paintings, in a cheeky style.

SIX: Why did you stop writing on CS&B?
I'm quitting my job to make some time for myself, so out goes the non-expensive internet. That's one of the ingredients for my blogging, and it won't be available for a while.

SEVEN: Do you think you'll start up again?
Yeah, definitely. You don't stop this kind of thing. I'll probably be programming my own blog engine when I'm off the job. When I come back, I may be self-hosted, or (if all that fails), I'll be back to CS&B. Both are equally likely.

EIGHT: Why are you a Communist?
Everyone is born a Communist. But living in a Capitalist society can quickly brain-wash people into thinking Capitalism is the norm. It isn't. Your mother didn't sell you breast milk. Your parents didn't rent a room out to you. And when you are taking care of them, you won't forward them the bills.

NINE: How do you feel about the United States?
How would you like it if every country were like America? If there were 200 countries in Iraq, 200 countries polluting the world, 200 slave histories, 200 Jena Sixes (that's Jena 1200), 200 million nuclear bombs at the ready, 200 hundred trigger-happy empires, 200 times that the American natives have been massacred, 200 bullying hegemonies, 200 causes and targets of modern terrorism. 200 stray, uncontrollable evils. The only positive of America is having shown us what Capitalism becomes if it is not squashed before it hatches. Looking at America, I find it harder to condemn the (rather brutal) purges that happened in twentieth-century Communist states.

So it's not just an act, then.
I'm Red. Through and through. Maybe nobody will doubt if I register the Communist Party of Uganda?

TEN: Last question: as an avowed fan of Bob Marley, do you have any comments on the death of South African Reggae star Lucky Dube?
A: I was shocked by what nobody seems to be saying about Lucky's death. He was killed by Capitalism. This rampant crime in South Africa, it is blamed on a trinity of poverty, un-employment, and the legacy of apartheid. Apartheid slave-driving and segregation were supposed to prop up the Capitalist machine. So was slavery in the USA. So was the raiding and massacring of the Australian Natives. So is the massacring of the environment. So is the massacring of the Middle Eastern children. Even when these regimes finally cave in to the revolutionary forces or civil rights movements or Umkhonto we Sizwe, the effects of the cannibalist nature of Capitalism will tarry with us for the next millennium.

Thanks, Comrade.


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