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Mzanzania | Archie

by Tom Eaton, illustration Alastair Laird / 08.04.2011

The story so far…half-way through a degree in New Film and Media Novelty Discursive Discourse, Archie is struggling to find his niche. Worse, he hasn’t started his essay for his NFMNDD 202 seminar, ‘Taranti(no!): The Archetypes of Post-Colonial Resistance Embedded in Jules Winnfield’s Afro’. And he needs to break up with his girl/friend, Zygote (whose real name is Mandy De Wet).


Hmm. Marlborough Light. Will buy her one tomorrow or whenever I have money on me. Why do I never have money on me? Is it resistance to some childhood trauma? Yes!
“I have a real fear that my parents might have been too nurturing, thereby cruelling destroying any chance I might have had of being miserably and angry. It’s so ironic.” It really is. I’m so tired of being so fucking brilliant.
“Is it ironic, Arch?”
Oh lord, again with the interrogation. Why does she have to question everything? It’s so…interrogatory. Is that a word? I prefer ‘questiony’.
“Of course it’s ironic.” Duh. Don’t say ‘duh’ aloud, might prejudice final pre-break-up fuck.
“No, I just ask because I think sometimes we say something is ironic and it’s not.”
“That’s pretty ironic.”
“Well, no, not really. I just think we need to have a clearer understanding of irony before we use it as the trigger-word of our generation.”
“Flip, that’s hectically ironic.” Don’t compliment her. But perhaps my tone and my fringe hanging in my eye will make it clear that my enthusiasm is ironic. Oh shit, she’s talking again…
“Do you think we might be being, I don’t know, ridiculous? Working so hard at being idle and being so earnest about being unconcerned?”
Jesus Christ, she is the embodiment of the military-industrial complex. She might even have a military-industrial complex. Is that cool? Is that cooler than having a superiority complex? If it is I will destroy her. Wait, she’s about to talk again.
“Oh well, lol.”
And bingo. This is why we need to break up like yesterday. I am dating a meme. I need a post-meme queen. Someone impossible to pigeon-hole. Someone with no personality whatsoever. Tabitha in my Afri(can) Trans/Gender Studies tut comes pretty close. Maybe someone in a fugue state? But in a post-meat-dress world the exterior is the interior and vice versa so really she needs to have no physical form. Can I date a concept? And what happens if some clever artist steals her and makes an installation in which he fucks my conceptual girlfriend with his meme-cock? How would it feel to be made a conceptual meme-cuckold? And I do like Zygote’s very small breasts. But she says ‘lol’ so ironically that’s it’s become unironic. I need to do this now…
“I think we should see other people.”
“Or whatever.”
“Are we breaking up ironically?”
“Maybe. I mean, even if we’re breaking up unironically, breakups are quite ironic, you know?”
“Archie, if we’re doing this, I need to tell you something.” Here it comes. She can’t live without me. “You don’t know what irony is. You never have, because you’re really really ignorant.”
Wow. She is so injured by patriarchal hegemony. Be calm, be rational: she’s just being hysterical…
“Babe, irony means whatever you want it to mean.”
“No it doesn’t. It has an extremely specific meaning and use.”
“Well then, it’s pretty ironic that it’s evolved to mean whatever.”
“No it’s not.”
“Whatever, I still think we should see other people in an ironic way.”
“You mean break up and not see each other again.”
“If that’s the prescriptive military-industrial spin you want to put on it, then sure, whatever.”
And… she’s off. There she goes.
What am I feeling? Kind of… not the way I feel when I buy jeans. Is that an emotion? Not-Levis?Fuck. If only my parents had bought me less stuff I could be really angry and like… feely… now. Fucking Mom and Dad, fucking me up with al that love and support. Still, this is pretty sick: a breakup meme, except it’s not a meme because I’m unique and very very ironic. Jesus, I’m bored with being so fucking cutting-edge…


*Explore more Mzanzania… Meet Sedgwick, Debbie and Father Gary now!

**Illustration by Alastair Laird.

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