Only a fool would insult the president


My old man, Grandpa Richard, finds it rather comical that a cantankerous comrade of mine had the temerity to insult the President on social media.

“Surely, your comrades know no bounds,” observed Grandpa. They would stir up a hornet’s nest even with the highest powers in the land and practically set themselves up for a tonne of bricks to come crushing on their skulls.”

Grandpa says that what ails my generation is an outrageous shortage of fear. During his time, fear kept them in check and ensured that they toed the line.

They quaked in their boots whenever an old man coughed, shook with trepidation each time a teacher passed by, and the fear of burning forever in satan’s kiln kept them away from pre-marital sex.

Though they all loved Kenya to bits, they dreaded the government. They were expected to be polite, respectful and terrified of the regime and its honchos.

They never poked fun at the government despite its obvious limitations. Run a stream of invective against the President? They might have been pigheaded but they sure weren’t stupid!

“And when we did indulge in some mindless mchongoano? We knew our boundaries and only sought out our peers,” recounts the old man. Truth be told, my old man would never have been accused of calling Governor MacDonald shenzi, unlike today’s uppity youngsters.

CLOBBERED SENSELESS

In quondam governments, people who dared pick up the gauntlet against the authorities were clobbered senseless faster than they could mumble, “freedom of expression”.

Back then, freedom of speech was just a figure of speech, not an open invitation to engage in unruly Twitter hashtags and Facebook calumny.

Hiding behind the skirts of social media’s perceived anonymity, Grandpa Richard opines, is plain asinine: “It seems like every flinty reprobate with internet bundles, a kabambe and an impish mind is telling sexual jokes on Twitter, forwarding smut on Whatsapp and generally acting like an opinionated dissident on a day pass from Shimo la Tewa prison.

It is disgraceful and should come to a stop!”

The problem with social media, according to Grandpa Richard, is that it’s crawling with virulent haters, feckless political commentators, and comrades who keep posting updates about their battle with constipation.

They’re seditious, blunt, and undoing our national unity one Facebook status at a time.

Jostling with the powers that be used to be the purview of educated lawyers and extremely wealthy individuals.

These days, every Tom, Dick and Harry with an over-inflated sense of self-worth feels he is qualified to have an opinion on everything under the sun.

Grandpa says that, if takes one to be at least 35 to be President, people should be 35 years before they are allowed to poke fun at the Presidency.

Though my old man makes sense, I don’t really agree with most of his assertions today. But who I’m I to contradict a person in authority?

jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.