Monday, March 20, 2017

Mouse versus Mouse






by





Obododimma Oha



Imagine a mouse, a real mouse, a real miserable mouse, launching an attack on my computer mouse, chewing off the cord from the central processing unit, biting off the keyboard cord too! What could this mouse be after? Was it angry that the computer mouse aided and abetted the movement of troops of information to the battle-fields of texts uploaded to my blog? Or was it envious of the identity of “mouse” which computer technology has chosen for the hardware? Wondering and angry that, of all the identities in the world, its own had to be “stolen” and given to that component? And what the hell made those captains of computer language think that that “mouse” looked like a mouse?

It is difficult to get into the head of a mouse to find out what it thinks, whether it thinks at all, and how it thinks! The much I can imagine is that a mouse launched an offensive against my computer mouse, chewing off the cord! The whole idea of a mouse against a mouse makes the experience worth thinking about. A friend suggested (whether to tease me or to set me on the course of a wild, traditional human superstition): “Probably, your enemies are after you!” We laughed and laughed. Probably my enemies are mousing after me. Probably my enemies think that my type of warfare is textual and crippling the means of my textual battery is more strategic. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Are you surprised at the military fatigue that my language wears in this blog post? Don’t be. In the first place, I live in a country at war; or, rather, a country starting many wars, fighting many wars. Even a war of the stomach. In that war of the stomach, a mouse stranded in a lecturer’s office has experienced a double tragedy. Is it not when the lecturer gets his full monthly wage that he could buy ordinary biscuit, and, if God answers the prayers of a wandering mouse, the lecturer might “forget” the biscuit in a drawer for the miserable mouse to sniff out and devour, and after go for thanksgiving in a congregation of mice? Too bad for the miserable, wandering mouse that enters the lecturer’s office (through whatever tunnel) at a time when the dollar is gaining against the local wallpaper in the stock market. The economic war has left a miserable drawer for a miserable mouse in a miserable office in a miserable country.

Discourses we encounter have ways of exercising some influence in the mental geography of our minds. It is like an infection. My mind is already prepared in thinking of the problems around in terms of warfare. Everyday in the life of the citizen in this postcolonial country is a war or rather a day spent at the battlefield. Actually, we should be talking about the everyday battles of the postcolonial vassal. Battles in the streets. Battles with other embattled folks on the potholed roads. Battles at the bus stations. Battle at the marketplaces. Even battles while you sleep. Battles in church or mosque as one prays, for Satan may be close by to sponsor the prayer or oppose it. Battles as you breathe in, for you must breathe out to breathe another day. Battles in everyday life. Battles.

And the language of battles in discourses of war might just be there to ignite the primed semiosis of wars processed and recorded by the mind. This morning, after trekking past a battlefront mounted by my fellow angry workers who have not been treated fairly by the government, I bent down at one of the many “bend down” bookstands around and I beheld a copy of a rare book, Antitank Warfare by G. Biryukov and G. Melnikov. A 1972 publication of Progress Publishers, Moscow, the book opened a direction in my rethinking of the attack on my computer by the miserable mouse (I was actually on my way to a computer shop to buy a cordless mouse, as a preventive measure, after which I would consider a biological weapon in my counter-offensive – rat poison!). It was a surprise find at a give-away price! Ideas on a page that I opened reinforced my thinking of my experience with the mouse that ate the cord of my computer mouse as a warfare or part of the wars I have to wage in the fictiveness of my reality in a postcolonial economy: “The enemy’s tank losses must be such as to deprive him of striking power and force him to abandon the offensive” (p.103). I see! So, the mouse was probably on a counter-offensive that would possibly disable my computer in this information war? My friend was probably right in teasing me with the assertion that my enemies were after me! Who is my “enemy” but he that tries to cripple my efforts in producing a blog post, like this one?

Now, I know I must go for a chemical weapon in fighting back, no matter what the UN Security Council says about such weapons. Imagine the likeness, as our village folks would say, to register a sense of being utterly amazed, no, being flabbergasted! Imagine a miserable, stranded mouse in a stranded economy trying to disable my computer tanks! Imagine the likeness!