To stop six new living heads from growing back on the three undead necks that kept the monster alive, Hercules’ red (hot) iron killed the monster’s evil genes and the false hope it kept
By Attorney Keith Neville Asumuyaya Best
Last week, we drifted (went back) to the story of the mythical (storybook) hero of Greek lore, (background, experience). We went back there because the author’s skillful use of that powerful writing dynamic or technique, called: “allegory.” This story of “Hercules and the Hydra-headed Monster,” does wonders for our narrative which has an allegorical twist, as well.
An allegory is what results when the author or writer puts real people from the past, into a story, to represent the characters (or make-believe people) who make the story happen by acting out the parts that the writer wants something that took place a long time ago, brought to life via, (through, by way of) the stage or the screen for the benefit of today’s people, the world over. These actors’ activity creates a narrative, based on real-experiences from the past, reenacted…in living color.
So, up steps Hercules, in a ‘fight-to-the-death,’ with a hydra-headed monster we introduced last week, whose malignant, (sick) tissue allowed it to re-sprout, (grow back) two additional heads after each one was severed (cut off).
To show what happens when something bad hits town, and creates problems for the nation’s citizens, we did a review, of what happened in 1979, when the Rice Riot that turned the country upside-down, was staged. It showed how unnecessary trouble, can be side-stepped by simply taking things ‘light;’ in other word: society’s leadership must try and handle developments, without going crazy over a little saber-rattling.
MUSA DEAN TAKES A BOW
A protest demonstration that was peaceful and quiet, with no more than a few realizing that it came, happened, and went away. This paper applauded Justice Minister Musa Dean for not playing with anything considered vital, (very important) to the Liberian man: rice, money or club beer—whatever touches the Liberian man’s heart. Instead, Minister Dean agreed to just step back and let the people walk around peacefully, grow tired, and then go home to eat their rice. That is how things turned out.
ALL IS NOT WELL
But, just as things were not all that sugar and spice back in the 1970’s, something new has come ashore from where it has been lurking for some time. That development, for a while, had remained low-key, waiting for the right moment for actors to step into the limelight and wreak havoc—cause trouble in “the town” we call Liberia.
It is something that people feel and sense, and have begun to act quietly and make it clear that citizens need to start thinking, talking, and peaceably getting together to straighten out in Herculean fashion, whatever might not be right—that would dictate taking one thing, one problem, one step at a time!
THE POWERS THAT WERE
For more than a century, the word was bandied (raised again and again) about, that the Liberian presidency had become more powerful than had been intended by the American Colonization Society that founded the nation in 1847; so something was needed to be done!
Unfortunately, not too many—besides Albert Porte—are known to have made any serious attempt to do anything about it. Albert was an army of one—but he could do little more than write— publish his pamphlets—and go to jail!
Albert Porte was not much of an organizer, and not too many people were ready for much activity during the William V. S. Tubman presidency, when Porte started going to jail, for challenging Tubman for amassing too much power in the presidency; Tubman also kept asking the Legislature to restore “emergency” powers to the presidency, whenever he felt like it.
To President William R. Tolbert’s credit, he attempted to tolerate the emergence as well as the birthing of two opposition political movements that blossomed under Tolbert.
They were styled the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), and the Revelation Magazine movement that proposed, organized and launched the first independent challenge to the True Whig Party in almost half-a-century, with the Sawyer for Mayor (of Monrovia) Campaign, in 1979, following the Rice Riot of the same year.
THEN CAME ELLEN:
It wasn’t until Ellen Johnson Sirleaf began taking the presidency to an unprecedented, (unparalleled, unmatched, first time) level—during her second term—that that much power was seen exercised, handled, or used, by any single individual anywhere; not at any time or at any place in the world—and with what seemed as no more than ‘the lift of a finger.’
Neither Liberia’s W.V.S. Tubman, Charles Taylor nor the German dictator, Hitler—power maniac, all—came close to doing what Ellen was able to, stepping beyond the Nobel, to kick the political butts of everyone of consequence in Liberia, to help nudge George Weah into the presidency:
She fingered Joe, slapped down the Judiciary, Legislature, and everybody else around, calling them whatever she thought they looked like, while wowing the entire global community with her success at almost everything she attempted.
In doing so, she “defied the norms of society and practically infringed upon the realm of the Creator, as the literary critic, Ellen Moers, labeled Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly, in her critique of Shelly’s creation of her character in her novel, Frankenstein.
It was probably because Ellen literally, had built a bridge too far—going to the limits that she did—(whatever those limits were) that others, competing for state power within the political ecosystem leapt to venture out as well.
With almost as much chutzpah nerve, gall and balls as Ellen, the Legislative guys and gals of one branch, and the Judicial gentlemen, women-folk of the other, saw an opening and began reaching for power. They crashed the gates, attempting anything they believed was theirs for the taking, and the consequences, be damned.
Today, the Judiciary, the Legislature and not too far behind, in their reach for power; we see the presidency, coming into view, bringing up the rear, for now. Between the three, something seem to be in the making; something akin to what—looked like the Masonic Craft, the Church and the True Whig Party of yesteryears, dominating the society and doing whatever collectively and severally they wish about all and sundry, (a variety of everything else) depending on (impulse, craze, urge).
It was dubbed a veritable “Triumvirate;” an unholy alliance something akin to what we see now emerging that leaves the three branches of government, a veritable hydra-headed monster, already running amok (off the chain): the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive Branches: our government!
And it is time our citizens began to think seriously about taking on the first of those three heads—one at a time, to put things back to where they belong! (STAY WITH US!)
Note: For our purpose, the allegory allowed us to draw out a deeper understanding of the realities or truth of a certain time, place and event from that primitive past depicted by Hercules, through whose eyes, today’s, people can draw parallels between some of the facts and realities of pasts that still challenge the people of today, as well as their heroes who, often must step up and try to make a difference.”