I have plenty to say but not enough time to write it out, so I'll write what should have been today's entry after work and post it tomorrow morning. But here are two quotes that always set me thinking. They're both by Kerouac, an American writer whose name and writings are synonymous with the beat generation.
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes - the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing that you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things.
Our own Kwaw Kese calls himself Abɔdam. Is he on to something? Judging from the many awards he's holding in the picture, i'm tempted to say yeah, maybe a little. But then an older (arguably wiser) man that I spoke with thinks that the Kwaw Kese kind of music is trash and the way to measure that is check who is listening to his 2008 songs in 2010. He says that good music lives on for decades. If that's the case, are Ghanaians buying his music for lack of anything better, or are we all just wanting to partake a bit in some abɔdam?
I'd like to know your thoughts on the following:1. Do you think you're this kind of person that Kerouac talks about?
2. If so, why, and how did you become that? If not, why not?
3. At the risk of launching into a "this is what Ghana needs" discussion, I'll ask, do you think it will make any difference if we have more people like this? Can we learn anything from the crazies?
4. Is this kind of lust for life overrated? or do people like this really change things?
5. Are there Ghanaian (or african) writers who talk about this kind of person or is this some foreign invention that has nothing to do with life in Ghana? Is Kwaw Kese it? If not, who is? Who do you know that lives like this?When I was in college, someone slipped me an anonymous note reading "At some point in our lives, we need to stop existing and start thriving". For a the young Ghanaian man or woman, what would thriving mean? And how do we reconcile that with Kerouac's idea of thriving being some sort of crazy living that makes things happen? Just think about it. America can talk about periods in its history when people have behaved crazily. talk abt the hippies, the beat generation, etc. I'm not sure that that is necessarily something to aspire to but it seems like out of such living, many talented writers, singers, business people have sprung. The life in Ghana appears a bit too uniform from one generation to next. Can one live a normal life their whole lives and then end up becoming extraordinary? Something's gotta get your juices flowing and I don't see that this life as we know it is it. Please correct me if I'm wrong and provide me examples of times when Ghanaians have really bought into a bigger idea or notion and lived it out in our lives. Are we just a boring people? I'm dying to be part of a generation that shakes things up and I see no outlet for all this energy. Was I born on the wrong continent and a wrong time? It looks like someone locked us in a room and put a sign on the door saying: No craziness here. hehe.I know exactly what I need. A space. About six people who like to talk, about Ghana, and life. Six people completely unlike me. Something to learn, something to teach. Young people, maybe an old person or two. Confused about life, living on the edge, creating art, music, businesses, anything, where they're making something that didn't exist before they showed up, failures, why do i get the feeling this would be so easy to find in Paris or even Italy? People who challenge me. People who own books like "bu me bE" I need to find the people who aren't so put together. Who haven't already figured it all out. Not already on the "success track". I know i'm looking in the wrong places, but I just don't know where to look.