Monday, March 27, 2006

Zoe ka mo wa I've been sleepin' all day...I'm called Mr. Wombat/Oh oh oh oh...

The week has been eventfully uneventful. I fear this will be the norm of the next three months, and the new role. I am back to being in charge of a few people, and am rediscovering my issues with managing people. I should write an ontological discourse on the reduction of the other required in the process of management and thus file a complaint on my new role and the imposition of reductionism upon a newly ‘liberated’ nation-state. I would get fired, if one can get fired for absurdity. So it’s not that bad. But it is tedious. Rather they are tedious; other people that is. So it’s back to that complaint or issue I had discussed several months ago about being in an odd position as a 2nd generation American of a regional ethnicity. And since I’ll be doing this role for a longer time, I have more to consider, I think, that being longer term working relationships.

So there has been a lot going on in Afghanistan, as the news in the US is surely reporting. And the fighting in the south isn’t making my job any easier. I may get fired (that being the running theme of this post, my insecurities with my new role...and absurdity), if one could be absurdly fired for border fighting between tribes and nations.

We’ve also just about finished our reduction for the extension, and the dynamics of dinner (and the house) have dramatically changed. For the past few days, we’ve only had 5 people at dinner, down from a max of 14, and all this in the past few weeks. So there is that odd transition period where the roles will shift, and the dynamics shift and settle. So far, the conversations have been absurd. The dinner conversations at our house, through out my stay here so far, have usually devolved into the absurd, but usually start with some actual discussion of work and such. Now we skip the trivialities. Part of that has to do with the fact that much of the work we were doing before continues on, except with less than half the expat staff (we found a way to keep the majority of the national staff), so I think the consensus is to just completely revel in absurdity. It all makes sense then.

And so the theme music has been The Police for the past few days, and will likely continue to be (this is just a usual spring habit of mine though). In all my years of listening to them, and believing they are one of the best all time rock bands (I can’t believe I never burned the box set, but luckily I did burn Outlados, Reggatta, (and less thankfully) Ghost...i may have to iTunes Zenyatta and Synchronicity...) I never really appreciated how much the band reveled in the absurd. I mean beside the absurdity of some of the compositions themselves (and the brilliance in making them actual pop songs, catchy as hell ones at that), and the few obvious Copeland or Summers tracks, the likes of “Peanuts” or “Be My Girl Sally“, all of The Police seems to reek of absurdity explicitly, or in the least as an strong undertone, even the instrumentals such as “Masoko Tanga” (one of their best songs ever (along with at least 35 other songs), though Sting must have been high as a kite when he sung that the first time, and purportedly came up with the “lyrics”/jibberish** on the spot...by the way does anyone have a live version or heard a live version of the song??? Share dammit!).

So the point being, besides getting fired, is that I think I’m becoming one of those “1st worlders” that think the “3rd worlder” is simply absurd. I hate those people.

** I did find this note at a site when looking for the "lyrics" to “Masoko Tanga”:

(From here)

“NOTE: These lyrics, provided by Jake Keel, were included with the original Japanese vinyl release of Outlandos d'Amour. The Japanese distributer just payed an English speaker to interpret the lyrics, but they are as close to "official" as has been found. The lyrics also contained a footnote warning that the song illustrates the negative effects of drug use.

Actually, I read that Sting was under hypnosis when he "sang" this song. A famous illusionist was in Surrey Sound Studios when they recorded this, so they decided to mess around with that opportunity (that also explains those weird basslines that he's playing).”

19 comments:

NegativeMode said...

Have you, per chance, seen any of March Madness on satellite or internet or such? I'm sure you know Mason is in the Final Four.

I was at the Mason games Friday and Today. Amazing dude. The MCI Center was 98% green and gold.

Also, I didn't read your post yet.

Q. A. Shah said...

I was tempted to stay up to see if ESPN was broadcasting the game live, but I fell asleep. Been following it, and will catch the rebroadcast tonight.

I think i'll stay up for the next game, though the final four are usually evening games, no?

You had tickets? Mofo.

You did't read my post? Smart Mofo!

Shannon said...

This is the second most random post I believe I've ever read. Impressive, but still only the second. Although I believe you also read the first...I think you are right. The Police is a nice band for spring.

Shannon said...

By read I meant wrote.

Q. A. Shah said...

Second? I thought I've topped the previous, though I can't recall the first, purported first, that is.

Random? By that I take it you mean a brilliant narrative arc. Remember, me getting fired(i.e. subsequent impending "Dead End Job"(patting myself on the back for another Police pun), and absurdity.

Spring? Police are an anytime/everytime band, but yeah, especially in the spring.

And thanks, i guess. But what else could result when "Masoko Tanga" was on repeat.

hamesha: said...

you remind me of some things Easterly wrote in the Elusive Quest for Growth... especially your closing quote about the 1st and 3rd worlders...

Q. A. Shah said...

Hamesha,
Had to look up Easterly and the book. Looks like I should track it down and read it. Never read much economics, but I've become more interested.

So, was Easterly talking about IntDev practitioners attitudes towards the developing world?

By the way, I'm gonna throw up a link to your blog.

...q

reza said...

hi there
i am in UK and you are in my country i hope you are safe and i wish you a nice spring with lots of red flower from the north of afghanistan. good luck sir..

Q. A. Shah said...

Thanks Reza. It's been a wonderful spring so far. And a great stay over all. I wish you the best of luck as well.

hamesha: said...

Easterly is a career development economist who -like many in that trade- has realized after a lifetime of practice that they may actually have it all wrong when it comes to prescibing silver-bullet, blanket solutions like the Washington consensus to real time problems of the developing world countries... from hubris to humility... thanks for the link...

Q. A. Shah said...

And thank you for the tip-off to a new person to read. Unfortunately, I may have to wait a while before getting my hands on that book, hopefully I'll remember when the time is right. I'll see what I can find online in the mean time...any recommendations?

And yes, the link.

Hilal said...

please fight the urge to become "one of those ppl" (re: 1st worldist/dev. worlder).

sincerely,

a kabulog reader/fan

Anonymous said...

You need a new post.

Or I am filing a complaint with the BoB (Board of Bloggers)

Anonymous said...

That scary anonymous post was mine (asiyah)

Q. A. Shah said...

Hilal,
Welcome, and thank you for reading. So I dont think it's an urge, and i was born and raised in the west, so inherently a 1st worlder, but you are are right that perhaps a distinction can be made between a 1st worldER and 1st worldIST. So it seems like it was a temporary state, that i'm sure will show it's ugly head again.

Asiyah,
Scary? The BoB action was a threat? The only "Bob" i'm scared of is the pipe smokin' Bob. I fear my membership in the Church has , ahem, slacked.

And an even BETTER link, since they are all about da' benjamins.

NegativeMode said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
NegativeMode said...

Groundbreaking News -- A new Camp Lo joint!

Q. A. Shah said...

Heh. The, umm...Camp Lo joint (that seems to be posted by none other than N-mode himself) doesn't seem to want to play on my computer. I thank you for the offering nonetheless. Its the thought that counts...

NegativeMode said...

Hmmm. It most definitely works on my computer. And on PositiveMode's computer. I'd get a new computer if I were you ... it's worth it.