Ever As Never

Interesting and intriguing ways there are in which the human mind works.  How conveniently easily forgotten or thought suppressed is the unpleasant taboo to suit social stability. The distasteful known is not mentioned in the open because it is not nice and would possibly rock the boat of content and gets suppressed in silence.

For some reason, something happens somewhere in human civilisation. What is already known suddenly pops up as a never known. The ever known becomes the never known; all because this time round, society has moved to a level it can tolerate without disintegrating.

The consequence is today’s hashtag me too (#MeToo) downpour which has drenched many a high and mighty in America’s soft power (culture) industry and politics. Quickly, the movement has spread across the Atlantic to mother Britannia where an embattled woman leader is struggling to contain the sisterhood onslaught.

The assault is not necessarily anti-domineering male unduly exploiting the feeble powerless female. It is male exploiting female and male and the in-between. It is a whole exploitation explosive constructed around LGBTI. You can look the acronym up; google or something if you are not familiar with that today’s in-word.

My case of ‘ever as if never’ is based on a 1980s movie which was shot to depict the exploitation today construed as widespread. I remember this actress Pia Zadora who was vilified, castigated and ostracised for her role in the film ‘The Lonely Lady.’ It was the story of a woman who had to painfully endure what she ought not to have been taken through in order to make it as an actor in Hollywood. I keep thinking why no one seems to have mentioned that film in the contemporary goings on about sexual exploitation by the powerful man (heterosexual or gay or both) over the weak person (most likely woman but also minor who could be male or female). So far, I haven’t heard or read about a woman with enough power to exploit a man, other women or a minor.

Considerably, films are being unfilmed; storylines are being rewritten; told stories are being untold; film scenes are being replaced. Mainly, it is because the all-powerful directors and producers and whoever was positioned to influence a victim’s progress took full advantage to sexually exploit.

It is somehow comforting to have learned from a Wall Street executive that in their domain, a man who considers himself powerful enough to take advantage of a woman could have that cost him his job.

She triumphantly pronounced how she had stopped a man who had made a pass at her from being employed by an organisation she was working in. Her boss, who was insisting employing that particular man quickly yielded to her ‘don’t employ’ when she indicated the prospective employee would be a sexually harassing poison.

Why all this is a beef is simply because of the discussion around gas safety. It’s as yet to make reference to what I knew about the distribution of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for domestic and other uses in the motherland. That is, as it happened in the early 1970s, and most probably before and after.

As a student at the University of Cape Coast, I happened to make trips to Agona Swedru over gala and other issues. I would usually find transportation to Winneba Junction from where I was sure to continue to my destination. On two occasions, I got a paid lift from this man. He was dressed in khaki shirt and trousers and drove a pick-up (what north Americans call truck); or a pick-up truck. It was a single cabin in those days so I would sit beside the driver in the passenger seat. Behind would be loaded cylinders of gas. From Accra to Takoradi, cylinders would be full; while Takoradi to Accra, they would be empty. That is to say, cylinders were filled at a central point from which they were carried to the points of use. One didn’t have to carry the cylinder to the place where it was filled. The cylinder came to you already filled with gas. Thus, no contact of the user with the filling point.

I don’t think I have the knowledge to meaningfully contribute to the debate over degasification and foolproof gas safety.

I only thought people should know what is supposed to be the new way of doing things used to be the way things were done. In the 70s, it was undoubtedly a tiny use base. Today, it is a mass use base. Whether we are going to have huge trailers (articulators) loading the cylinders, as opposed to the small pick-ups, I can neither know nor tell. My point is, it is ever happened although it’s being made to be as never happened.

By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh