Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Extra Gunpowder? Shocking!


Here we have the Chinese "gunpowder" green tea of legend and lore, the No. 2 attraction for tourists to Morocco (if you don't know what No. 1 is, I'm not telling you...) The story is that the term gunpowder refers to the fact that the leaves, balled up and very black, resemble the black powder of old musketry. Here we have another take on that idea.

This specimen was procured by family members in Tamale, northern Ghana. While millions of tourists come to Ghana each year, they tend to stay down in the south--forests, beaches, waterfalls--with one trip north to the game park and then back home. If they stayed a bit longer, they might find that some cultural patterns, particularly in the northwest, are very close to those of north Africa. One practice, the drinking of at-te, is nearly identical between Bole and Tangier.

Thus packaging that includes Arabic and French, spoken by nearly everyone between Bole and Tangier.

Arabic:

saddam, a reference to the shock or clash the caffeine will have with your sleepiness, but not without forgetting everyone's favorite dead tyrant.

shay ash-shin al-akhdar: Chinese green tea (note no reference to guns or powder)

French:

The Vert de Chine: Chinese green tea (again, no reference to guns or powder)

Directions: boil it, steep it, make it cold. Keep cool and dry. (loose translation)

English:

fax, email, quantity, producer, and Extra Gunpowder.

Then we have ASKIA: Askia Muhammad I (1442-1538) was the greatest Soninke king. After taking over from the legendary Sunni Ali Ber, Askia Muhammad I extended the Songhay empire to the greatest extent of any of the West African empires. During his reign, what is today Mali became one of the world's great centers for science and scholarship.

According to Wikipedia, askia means in Songhay, like saddam does in Arabic, "forceful one." So again, a political leader known for muscling his way into position is coordinated with the need to get started on the day and do the things that need to be done.

Finally, the visual cues: a soccer ball and an eagle. Yup. I got nothin.

5 Comments:

At 8:36 PM, Anonymous FYS Elise said...

John,

I apologize for contacting you in this way. First of all congratulations. He looks quite contemplative. I am applying for a competitive writer's residency this summer and must provide references of people who know my work. Could you e-mail me your reference information, if it is fine to use you as a reference? My Wooster e-mail is the same as last year.

Thank you!

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

seriously, what's #1? I gotta know man! It's killing me!

Marinel

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous marinel said...

dude! wait, what?

heh heh

 
At 7:19 AM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 

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