Saturday, December 1, 2007

The World of Poetry; And Ssempa

Reading poetry this morning (a nasty subject to some, yeah), I got a wave of insight.

Poetry does fascinate me. It is a living expression of life. Enduring, though the verse itself may have been penned very long ago. I do not understand why many poems fascinate me. Some I do, others elude me. Yet I read them again and again, seeking what, I do not know.

Van Gogh’s boots. The subject need not be deep, (nor the artist sane) to produce a masterpiece.

The world of Poetry.

Dip my finger to taste,
the world of poetry;
huge, unexplored, open before me
to transport me to the top
of mountains, the depths of valleys,
craggy fjords and broken passes.
Its all there, laid out,
no paths to follow, but my heart to pursue;
uncharted, perilous waters,
with the promise of pearls, dangers of deaths,
yet my heart I’ll follow
to my journey’s end, romantic me.

©GayUganda 01 Dec. 2007

Today is World AIDS Day. Remembering the disease that has challenged human kind. The new disease, the new era.

I have just seen a crowd of young people move in a demonstration. Kampala road towards Bombo road. A rowdy, happy set. Boys and girls. And one of the banners read something like ‘Break the Abstinence Stigma’.

Only one person is an ‘Abstinence Campaigner’ in Uganda. Pastor Ssempa.

Odd’s life. Twenty somethings, who are militant in their demonisation of sex.

There is no doubt the guy is charismatic. And no doubt that that charisma is not wedded to great intelligence. With the charisma, he has weaved a virtual world of influence in the country. The university (like all universities) is a source of the idealistic, the impressionable young, who adore him. And take his teachings with uncritical awe. Talk to a man on the street and he will tell you that the guy must be mad. (How many people thought Mein Kampf the rumblings of a mad guy?) He is a populist, articulate, a rubble rouser. My luck that he has taken my sexuality as an easy target!

So, he has made himself my enemy. Too bad. And interesting. Where does his ambition aim? Because it certainly will not remain in the university.

He has made his mark on HIV prevention in the country. As an ‘Abstinence Campaigner’ and a proponent of ‘Abstinence and Being Faithful’ and burning condoms! The Bush connection has not hurt. He even gave testimony to the US congress on how our return to our African values (abstinence and being faithful) checked the spread of HIV in Uganda! (Reputed) support from the First Lady has not hurt.

And of course he believes that the way to fight HIV in the gay community in Uganda is to make sure that the Sodomy law in Uganda is enforced. Life imprisonment, maybe?
It is illegal. One does not make programs for the illegal. It is only necessary to enforce the law. His words.

Life is odd.

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