Monday, June 11, 2007

Africa

"I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say, "Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you"

CHORUS:
It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I blessed the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had"

Ahh... Toto. Thank you for being a one hit wonder circa 1982. The song Africa, as many people have noted over the years, has little to do with the actual continent. Like most people's fascination with the Dark Continent - Toto's lyrics are really about Toto itself; or about the band's keyboardist missing his woman... and really who I am to judge?

Ahh... Africa. Never been. And yet... I get the sense these days that Africa is a theme park for your average Faux Hillary. Africa is the new Europe.

I got an email from a friend the other day, a self-described, typical Toronto snob. She had been unable to find a "real" job since graduation in Toronto. "I'm bored. So I've decided to go to Africa." Note... I'm not sure which country she's going to (Africa FYI is a pretty big place!). There was never a mention about really wanting to go to Africa. No, "I've always wanted to go to Africa. I've decided to use my undergraduate degree in African Studies with a minor in International Development Studies to actually learn first-hand about Africa." Nope. Nothing. Simply... yawn, Toronto is boring :( Africa is fun!

Another friend - CB is currently in Ghanna. I'm not quite sure what she's doing beyond "saving the children". Every once in a while I get a mass email about CB's latest exploits. The latest, "I now understand real poverty," have seemingly had a profound impact on her own life, "I think I finally understand myself," she writes, "all of my anger, my rage of the years... being hear and faced with such conflict and poverty has made me feel so much more in tune with myself; my own issues."

Just as Toto's Africa wasn't about the actual continent, today's Africa isn't about saving the world, its about saving your parents cash-money in therapy bills. At least there's more room for me at the Starbucks patio!

2 comments:

Sara said...

seriously jon, even though i didn't grow up in the faux hill, i feel like i did! i am having VERY similar experiences right now...
going to the keg friday, want to come?

The original Lawrence Tenan said...

You are a bad person.