Like millions -- literally -- of investors, analysts, pundits and other bystanders, Walt has been trying to figure out the meaning of Brexit, the decision of the British people to opt out of the European Union. Many on the rightish end of the political spectrum see the result as a victory of nationalism over globalism, of conservative common sense over the kumbaya policies of the liberal one-worlders. So it may be, but will the revolt of the ordinary people cross the Channel into France, the Netherlands and the rest of Europe? Will it cross the Atlantic into... dare we wish... the Excited States of America? And what price will we ordinary people have to pay to undo half a century of wrong-headed rule by the elites?
All this is too much for me, for now... I can focus only on a short, simple story from Darkest Africa -- specifically, the world's newest "nation", South Sudan. You may remember [or maybe not! Ed.] that, almost five years ago, the southern part of Sudan succeeded in seceding, after a bloody and brutal civil war which lasted for decades. Shortly after liberating the south from the Arab Muslim north, the black non-Muslim South Sudanese, started fighting amongst themselves about which tribe should dominate, and who should get control of the new country's substantial oil revenue. Plus ça change. Mother Africa Wins Again.
What got me thinking about South Sudan was a report on Aljazeera that the country's Independence Day celebrations have been cancelled. The Minister of Information, Michael Makuei, told reporters today, "We decided not to celebrate the July 9 Independence Day, because we don't want to spend that much. We need to spend the little that we have on other issues."
In past years, even at the height of the civil war, the government organized the customary military parades and other celebrations. But Mr Makuei said this year the party would not happen. President Salva Kiir Mayardit is still expected to address the nation on July 9th, but that's it for this year.
Salva Kiir Mayardit? Who he? Glad you asked. He is the chief of the "devils" and "madmen" who rule South Sudan, as described by Monsignor Roko Taban Mousa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Malakel. In a homily on Sunday, the prelate denounced the nation's rulers amid surging violence in Wau, one of its largest cities. "More than 100,000 people are in the bush being displaced by their own government," said the furious Catholic leader.
"This is the country we have chosen," Msgr Mousa continued. "This is the country we have voted for its independence so that our country displaces us. Our own country. We are ruled really by monkeys. We are ruled by monkeys. We have to be very clear: we are ruled by monkeys."
Thanks to Ed. for finding this picture of President Mayardit -- him with the big hat -- and some of the other "monkeys". And don't call me a racist. It was Msgr Mousa who said it!