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Spyglass: ‘Memento Mori’, Death Will Come! 

By Azore Opio

Death. Whether you like it or not, death will find you and make you his unwilling friend. As far as eternal peace is considered, death has always proved to be the best provider. Death visits everyone; the rich, the poor, the mighty, the beggarly… the all. Death has been our companion since Adam and Eve. It is a reminder that life is brief, and nobody is granted immortality, even those who claim to know God’s mind.

The brief and uncertain duration of human life was tacitly portrayed by 5th century BCE Greek historian, Herodotus, when he wrote about Egyptians placing a small image of a mummy upon the banquet tables as a reminder of the brevity of life. He described the Greeks too, as passing a small model of an embalmed body to the guests at banquets, each in turn repeating the formula, "eat, drink, and be merry, for when ye are dead ye will be like this."

The Book of Isaiah [Chapter 22] contains a similar and more familiar admonition to "eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die." The Romans used the byword "memento mori" [remember you will die] reminding military heroes of the importance of remaining humble, since their days of reckoning would not be far off. There is yet another expression, "carpe diem", [seize the day] reflecting the same concept. So since life is short and uncertain, may be you should just eat, drink and wait for the day of reckoning. If not, then let me say, by all means, spend a weekend relaxing  eat, drink and play that, more or less, will keep the fear of death at bay, for a while.

Like I said, death visits everyone. It took Mickey Mike in a hurry. Momentarily though, the laws of the universe were suspended and everything seemed to go right for the mega star, for he cut of his nose, patched it with plastic, molded a new chin and bleached his skin and everything just worked.

But he had been death-on-legs. Yes, death also tried to visit Spyglass. It was far from a happy accident. Mr. Death might have assumed the form of a human and hacked Spyglass to near death; it hacked it from the hip and left it to bleed. What I mean to say is that, Spyglass of Friday, July 10, Edition No. 01067 was carefully and conveniently mutilated by an unknown assailant and hurriedly stitched into a disjointed tapestry.

The way traitors behave is often a topic of concern to betrayal enthusiasts. Anyway, by and all, like I said, my interest was in the castration of our intellectuals, not physical but mental and spiritual. I had already said enough about our so-called intelligentsia being internal support for tyrannical regimes, followed by the legislature, the judiciary, the police, the media and the civil service landing on the poisoning part of it which has "no antidote, no cure," when the assailant leapt in with a cutlass.

My interest was in comparing the eunuch of the Byzantium, Roman Antiquity, Early Islamic societies, the Ottoman Empire, Chinese Dynasties or the Italian Castrati period who wielded great political influence and were recognised for their managerial style, wisdom and pedagogical skills and some of our own eunuchs who are contemporary stereotypes of the brain cell-deprived males. Presumably intellectually impotent.  I was saying, in good faith and with all due respect to the intelligentsia, that some of the intellectuals are satisfied with words and superficialities; mediocres who have taken refuge in gregariousness as they swear in the name of Big Brother and advocate for his eternity in power. Hallelujah, amen.

The spectre of eternal obsequiousness and a fantasy of intellectual castration by an intelligentsia that has embraced psychosis tactically, drenched in pathetic self-pity, torn by the desire to endear and invoke the quasi-divine grace of Big Brother, spells doom; that is what I was trying to say. Then I went on to say; how then does one capture the excitement and awe of some Cameroonians at the appointment of one of theirs to the king’s high table in the same way the Head of State’s recent delightful somersault in policy of government reshuffle, added joy and wonder at his magical gestures?

The tremendous "value" added in positioning a Northwesterner as prime minister cannot be overstated beyond Simon Fisherman’s demonstration, who has ceased to be a useful member of human society. Yes, this is what I said, but perhaps civil society should be better. He seems to have no opportunities other than this job of a palatial choir master, and he can’t do this job perfectly unless he is [mentally] castrated or has become a whore of sorts. I didn’t intend to apply "castrate" in its blunt sense, lest someone takes it for a hint to carry out the cruel act, but the mutilator preferred to use it raw, perhaps to justify his torture of Spyglass.

Anyway, I was saying that the Fisherman, a variant of the Etoudi troubadours, has transmogrified from a noble pedagogue into a monstrous quisling in league with the vanity and craving for power, which is forever whirring around the regime. Along with him are the big palace dogs that bark at anything.

I was going to talk about palace dogs, but let’s talk about the sheer idiocy and obsequiousness of our generation of intellectuals. It surprises anyone with good sense. Even more astounding is the manner in which the Simonic Chameleon has the unusual Jekyll-and-Hyde personality. He lived as a harmless Jiminy civil society activist cricket and for reasons not yet understood, he has undergone a psychological change.

He is mimicking the image of the predator; like a chameleon, he is slow in is walk towards Etoudi, stilted in fashion, he waves one limb from the "classroom" after the other through the streets of Bamenda, in a curious vacillatory, hesitant manner to convince his gullible minions before settling them on the palatial ground. He is scheming, the Fisherman, a panhandler asking for money in a way that smells of tricks and techniques.

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