Today I was considering writing a satirical page from LBN about a local church group’s wanting to “burn all the faggots in town”, and then, it’s really talking about burning local bundles of sticks to keep the church warm, but then I realized that it was too warm this time of year for that kind of thing to be happening, and that it would be insulting to our intelligence.
So instead, today we’re going to talk about Chinua Achebe’s usage of the word “faggot” in the book Things Fall Apart, in which a local African man gets pissed off at how womanlike his local tribemembers become when the village of Unookasomethingorother gets attacked by “Christian missionaries.” I believe that this points to the clear and unmistakable fact that Achebe was gay. Clearly, even though he was in fact referring to “bundles of sticks”, this fact–that he used the word “faggot” in his book–points to the bigger point that he was, in fact, an early gay man, who used the airtight and believable excuse of a book pointing out the atrocities of 19th Century Victorian missionaries when zealousness fogs their judgment to expose to the world his rampant and disgusting homosexuality. This is also why he has women “clutching their breasts” so often in the book–he is clearly trying to point the reader away from his oh-so-obvious homosexuality with imagery that would otherwise denote heterosexuality. This ruse does not work, however, and leaves the reader with a digusting feeling inside, a shuddering of himself at the atrocities of humanity, a feeling as if it was said that they could be so heartless and cruel to one another as to think of the hanging of a man as being a good idea for one’s book; a feeling that does not come from this, however, but at the continued usage of the word “faggot” and at the rampant homosexuality that the word denotes.
It can, of course, be said here that the book leaves the reader with a feeling of emotional and intellectual confusion, as the atrocities committed by Okonkwo’s tribe (such as its heartless and unfounded persecution of twins and ogbanje children) are contrasted with the goodness of the first missionary leader Mr. Brown and the horrific assholedness of his doppelganger Mr. Smith. One could then beg the question of who is right and who is wrong: the primitive tribe which persecutes many outcasts for questionable religious reasons; or the “modern” tribe, which persecutes many untold number of “unclean savages” for equally questionable religious reasons. One could, and I certainly would, if it were not for the fact that this sort of reading is absolutely wrong. What is important, of course, is Okonkwo’s beating of his wives and children, which leaves the reader with the correct impression that he is in fact compensating for lackings somewhere else, perhaps his feelings of insufficiency stemming from his father’s laziness; but he is actually compensating for lackings a bit lower, if you catch my drift.
To conclude, I think we can all assume several things about the book Things Fall Apart; that Chinua Achebe was homosexual; that he abused his wives and children because he was very badly endowed; that the book is absolutely not about the contrasting atrocities committed for seemingly trite and inconsequential reasons because of the contrasting pulls of tradition and religious zealousness; and, finally, that nobody should ever use this review for academic reasons, ever, especially considering the fact that it was written on APRIL FOOL’S DAY.
What? You say you were going to use this in a report? That you already used it in a paper?! Sorry. My bad. See you all later.