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Opinions of Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Columnist: Afreh, Manu Bernard

Re: A Feast on Solecism

A tribute to the critic who sees no good in Rawlings.

Still nursing the lacerations he suffered after been slogged by my piece, it was tempting to dismiss his response as a minor irritation. There is something in the public space that is about propriety and a sense of proportion. To hit a man when he is down is not a sign of courage, but opportunism. In any culture at all, it would be considered cheesy. But he chose to overplay his hand. He threw needless jabs in the air. Sadly, going by his reverse logic of reasoning and narrow field of vision, he felt his wild shots could subdue me. His calculus was ill-conceived! The fire-crackers came, they saw, but could not conquer.

Now, reading Okoampa’s article, I was struck by its pointed immodesty. His decision to fly illogicalities in the face of common sense was an unwise to do; but when last did Okoampa stumble on anything wise? His malignant public outpours, in spite of their failed missions, necessitate for comments and gratifying them with silence would amount to a slap in the face of common sense.

But what really is Okoampa prancing about for? Well, nothing, I guess beyond the fact that, I out of nationalism chose to parry his wild shots at Rawlings. In spite of the fact that he has become a castaway baggage in social milieu, I took it on myself, at least as a nationalist, to educate him (old dinosaur) on the need to leave the crude path of excoriating accomplished men to gain prominence. But I was to be wrong, when he exhibited the disparaging attitude known to have unsettled friends before my very eyes.

Like the proverbial leopard, which never changes its colour, the geriatric debauchee chose to showcase his trademark loquacious disposition before the intelligent people of Ghana. I believe it is now crystal clear to forward-looking people, that he would not submit himself to the standards of decency, no matter how hard we try reforming him. I wonder if Mr. Needless to Say scans through readers’ comments to his submissions. Pray, when did it become literarily modest to so qualify one’s own writing? Judgement should be the preserve of readers or critics as the case may be. Doing otherwise only suggests a narcissistic mindset. An obscene exercise in self-praise. He is a tragic reminder of the disoriented mime artist, who thought shouting at the top of his lungs could earn him a place among greats.

In Ghana, when illustrious men tread on its earth, its constellation of comets glows with blue, distant flames. Horrible to say, Mr. Needless to Say has been a sorry sight to behold, his assertions marked by hesitancy where decisiveness was called for, paralysis where agility was required.

Okoampa Ahoofe, a product of surrogacy that he is, shamelessly chose to foist his inglorious-self amongst achievers. That shows the gravity of his desperation for relevance. The inimitable one, J.B Danquah, must surely be turning in his grave! Oh! Why would a man consigned to the cesspit, smuggle himself to the class of the illustrious men of our land? In spite of the Janus- face he wears, the bitter truth, which would be too hard for him to shy away from, is that, unless he cast aside his verbal rifle of blank bullets and stop making Rawlings the butt of his hallucinatory squawks, he would end as microdot at the footnote of history.

But then, these words are too many for Mr. Needless to Say. Perhaps they will help his inferiority complex, and confer some feeling of “importance” on him to compensate him for the failure that he is. Writers, the world over, strike always remarkably at the heart of societal tragedy. Leader essayists also do not lend themselves to the shameful enterprise of mudslinging. These fundamental facts are blatantly raped by the Okoampas of this world, who constantly stand truth on its head before nailing it to a bleeding cross. In the mental lexicon of Mr. Needless to Say, sincerity is amorphous.One interlocutor recently described Mr. Needless to Say, as insipid dross. Well, the phrase holds some substance. Incase you doubt it, how then could he have described Prof. Atta Mills and Prof. Awoonor as neophytes in Ghana’s politics? That is Mr. Needless to Say’s abracadabra! Crass and scorching ignorance! He surely must be hallucinating. The people of Ghana might soon hear him screaming that Rawlings and Atta Mills are ‘colluding’ to arrest his shadow.

A classless vermin, Kwame Okoampa, actually had enough whimsy to say I ‘was actually not brought forth by a Ghanaian mother, with human blood in her veins, but rather hacked out of a tree’. What irony! The Afrehs of this world do not blow their trumpets. The world is a global village, and readers can go ahead to google information about yours sincerely. Tragically, Okoampa Ahoofe oscillates between a yeti and an ogre and it is no wonder Ghanaians have never stumbled on any of his namesake.

Finally, I throw a challenge to Okoampa Ahoofe to return home to contribute to nation-building, with his empty arrogance and at least run and win even an election as an assembly member. His heart pounds his ribs! Imminent defeat stares him in the face, because, he is aware the sophisticated people of Ghana prefer the serious to the plebeian and mundane. It is an open secret that he now has liquid nitrogen running through his veins. It explains why he is uniquely cold and dull .Sadly, his dullness seems to be improving with time. But thank God, it is never too late. I call on the people of Akyem to start looking for remedies for their son, who for want of good advice has apparently worked himself into the swamp of sadism, fatalism and megalomania.

I am not a lickspittle of the ex-president; I stand for the nation and hate to see lies being peddled in the name of politics. Mr. Needless to Say, being a purveyor of cheap lies is unenviable. I advise you eschew that topsy-turvy logic of appealing to funny intellectual dwarfs and the badly informed section of society. This could not be a simmering slang match. Never round up your fulminations with all the mind, heart and sinew. Try to channel your energies and talents to lucrative avenues, instead of making incisive comments to service the corridors of aggression. Remember, a word is enough to the wise. The destiny is in your hands!

Afreh Manu Bernard,

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.