Tuesday aftermost anniversary was one of those canicule back the weight of a accurate abstraction overpowers your will to move assimilate another. It was the abstraction of carelessness again!
Sometime in 2016, with a cursory concern about the arresting accountable of carelessness and in an accomplishment to bury the state’s accusation on Stella Nyanzi, I attempted a cover-to-cover apprehend of the French philosopher Michel Foucault’s book – Carelessness and Civilisation.
My acquaintance Moses Khisa had referred to it in his own assay of the carelessness allegation as a accompaniment apparatus for delegitimization. That’s how I begin the appetite to revisit it with new lenses.
Reluctantly, though, for it has generally been a asperous brainy exercise account Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Friedrich Hegel. I anticipate some writers unnecessarily complicate philosophy; as such, alienating abounding from the basic discipline.
Oh, abnormality is my weakness! Back to the book; about forth the way, I had gotten apathetic and alone it. But aftermost week, I was at the book again. There are some accompany I doubtable to be mad, but I’m not abiding if it’s not my own shortcomings, preferences, and adventures that acquaint my suspicion. ‘Normal’ is a awful about and accidental concept. And it is generally calmly a apparatus for society’s absolutism on the individual.
That is how it comes to be in some cases that, admitting psychiatric science may be agreed on assertive states of apperception as accepted instances of madness, one society’s accustomed is another’s madness. Also, calculation the cases of geniuses that are counted as crazy because, with its cerebral limitations, the blow of association fails to accept their choices and behaviour that abatement alfresco agreeable norms and conventions.
This time round, accepting gotten actual insights into how societies assemble what qualifies as reasonable and unreasonable, accustomed and abnormal, I put the book a with a afire anxious to allocution to some of our ‘madmen’/ ‘madwomen’. I accepted the risk, but could not abide the appetite for addition point of view.
I was chanced to accommodated him afresh about Lubaga, afterwards his ‘performance’ at a car garage. It was my third time affair the man that moves about with some huge affair that looks like the adungu agreeable instrument, but busy to dysfunction with all sorts of metals and plastics, and sprayed into army-like camouflage, attractive it a weapon-like look.
It appeared rather heavy, but he ably agitated it alongside added boundless accouterments he had covered his anatomy with. And yes, it appeared he had had a continued anniversary abroad from a bath. Madness? Yes, I would characterization the behaviour after any hesitation.
I had yet afresh heard him acquaint himself as a rapper and titling his ‘song’ as World War Three. I couldn’t accomplish abundant from the ambit of rather ad-lib words, but there was some faculty of accent whose complete I couldn’t hear.
As he absolved away, pocketing his Shs 2,000 that was the show’s pay, I prompted him for a chat. ‘Oyagalaki ate, rasta? Oli wa popi, oba oyagala kulyawo buswazzi bwange bwenva okutala?’ (What do you want, rasta?
Are you a badge administrator or you appetite to abduct my money I’ve aloof earned?) He retorted, as he visually inspected my appearance. At his request, I handed him my big canteen of water, and he downed it to bisected as we sat beneath a roadside timberline to talk.
It was all in Luganda argot, with $.25 of English actuality and there. I told him I aloof capital us to babble because I was amused by his means and how he didn’t assume agitated by comments befuddled at him by onlookers. I had to be accurate not to overstretch my advance and nosiness.
“Oh, what do you acquisition agreeable about my ways? Bodies say I accept a abbreviate ambit in the head.” I approved not to laugh. But back he had additionally begin it funny, I aing in. He continued: “I’m bedlam because I acquisition it absorbing for mad bodies to anticipate that I’m mad’.
Look, I am free! I do what I appetite after caring about mad people. I bath back I want, eat what I appetite and allocution back I want… I cut him abbreviate back I access out laughing. I had recalled the crazy break back I was talking on buzz while active in apathetic cartage gridlock. I heard a articulation from the car ancillary in ‘northern accent’, “wewe, area is your active permit?”
I fidgeted, bound affable up an excuse. Only to turn, and there was this bedraggled scarcely-teethed dreadlocked adolescent in the window! Noticing my panic, he cackled out loud adage in English: “Look, I got this madman! He is scared”.
Well, abnormality is my weakness. Back to our timberline chat. In any case, he charge accept anticipation I was bedlam in amusement of his ‘philosophy’ of freedom. So, he was encouraged to admit some more. You see, you bodies who anticipate I am mad pay to see me sing. You who anticipate you are sane acquisition my actualization funny. Who is mad?”
He stood up, biconcave his duke through the tins angry about his waist into his pocket. It came out with a doughnut, which he bit as he asked me: “Can you backpack your aliment in the abridged like me? You are not free. You abhorrence what bodies will think. You abhorrence disease. I don’t bethink the aftermost time I was sick, yet I eat what I want, from wherever I want.”
“If you don’t comb, anybody will admonish you to do so. I do not comb, and cipher cares, because they apperceive I’m chargeless to do what I want. You see? What some bodies alarm carelessness is liberation. I am absolved from society”.
Hmm! Sometimes we charge a ‘madman’ to get us cerebration about our sanity!
The columnist works with the Center for African Studies at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi.
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