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Low Fidelity

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SELEDA Berenda

Sunday Afternoon ...

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Hey! We don’t wanna hear it! Y’all just save the “drom eko”s for somebody else whose y’lunNta sensibilities are not as contemptibly limited as ours.

They say it’s hard to completely kill off ye GorE moyalE and ye Abadr kosso. Well, we are the former and have the latter, so, we’re baaaaaack!

Oh, sure… dying a quiet and distinguished death is ye abat… some would even say reflective and intuitive. And, seriously, we were just about to disappear into the cyber equivalent of WubE Bereha when reality brought our flights of whimsy to a screeching halt: “But if there is no more SELEDA,” we ruminated, “where would we (a) deposit our trademark hostility and (b) release all the hafrete-biss-ingly unsound hatetas that hobble about aimlessly in our overpaid under-worked brains?”

Answer: Nowhere.

You would think that in a big place like the Internet there would be a safe house for recovering compulsive-obsessive-compulsive-obsessive meSihaff aTabiwech like us? Wouldn’tjathink?

Wey-hay-hay-hay helllll!

We tried. We tried to file our whole hazily nauseous SELEDA experience as one of them things that will one day get us on a particularly dreadful episode of Jerry Springer. Unfortunately, who knew even Jerry has …standards. Hence, medresha yaTach intinintin ..mnamn qbrTisiyoindylu, we’re back on this forum. Well, we’re kinda back.

We tried to distract ourselves and satiate our SELEDA nafqot by engaging in pastimes that’d sure get us two-to-five from even the most firde-gemdl kefiteNa chilot judge. Alas, nothing worked until relief finally came in the form of yet another portentous memo from upper management. (Ironic… haaaa?) This time they threatened to mewress our hard-earned, hardly earned SELEDA stock options if we didn’t report back to work pronto.

Ahhhaiiii… bynachin’ma memTat aychalm. Those stocks are just about the only things we can show for the metaphorical whiplashes zig-zagging our backs. We couldn’t let some hodam, psychologically neutered bullies with Freudian complexes de-n’uss kebertE-ize us! Wegidu, we said as we scuttled back to work. Zeraffffff! Zerrrr….

Waaaaaaitaminute! Waitagoddamnedminute! What SELEDA stock options? According to our last comptroller—whose primary job it was to disagreeably roll his eyes the way the disgruntled diiyaqon does every time we ask, “Excuse us, GashE DiyaqoniyE, what is the expiration date on the Tsebel you are serving today?”—SELEDA Stocks have been gone longer than CHisseNoch and the

M’- EE- G’-MA Tsfet bEt they were made to dejj meTnat to learn how they’re no longer CHisseNoch right after they were briefed on what a CHisseNa was and how not to be one. Heeeeeeey! Damn them! (SELEDA upper management not the CHisseNoch…)

Unfortunately for us, the “What SELEDA stock option?” revelation hit us right after settling into our old routine and moments after promising to re-start the Abiy Tsom that had to be, umm, interrupted in order to nurse our ameleNa triple-shot latté suss. “Stock option-iiiii? Yeminere stock abatachew y’Tfa…”

OK. Well. So, the dignified response to such properly vile wretchedness would have been to summon up what righteous indignation is left in us, spout off the few fading meffekiroch we’ve retained from niqat, then swear blood vengeance in the name of all vanquished workers around the world (where “world” = the Tri-State area), and then storm off CHewa lij-idly, leaving upper management slack-jawed and livid.

Awo. But, as they say at Marxism Agotachin Neber tej bEt,Essuuma esu neber…”

Be comforted, oh gentle readers, that wistful thoughts of storming out in a huff did actually cross our minds. Neger gn, we, er, already had our feet up. And, and we were hopelessly hypnotized by the sweet sound of our shiny new cappuccino machine whirring in what we swear is a Tizita melody …

ECH! ECCCCCHHHH. Maybe they were joking about there being stock options to mewress … maybe we were being hyper sensitive about real and/or imagined subjugation… Oh, abol time? What the hell. Wezader schmezzader!

So, here we are. And, incidentally, April is our fifth anniversary. Did we get any ye Harer Senga, ye CHanCHo qibE from any of you? Abess geberku!

And haYOUdoin’, SELEDAmawech?

Before the spirited SELEDA bashing about punctuality commences, let’s just say, “We told you so.” Inna baCHiru, we told you so. This time we cannot be held fully responsible for pulling the plug on SELEDA. And don’t you “ere bakih” us! Hadn’t we asked nicely for articles in order to sustain SELEDA? Hadn’t we sacrificed countless gebsimma doros to y’all’s gagrtam muses? And what do we get? A series of woolly “Wuy!... ye lijE videogame gemed TelefeN” excuses from you about submissions. Tadiya…? Believe us, you couldn’t be more stunned than us at an actual SELEDA Shutdown that was not entirely due to our nzihilalinet! We found the twist in that fact… the… iroooony, if you will, weirdly sweet … in a sickly, noxious, saccharine-y, molten fructose-y kind of way. In the words of a staffer in our marketing department (whose entire demeanor can only be attributed to an unfortunate year spent at St. Mary): “This is sooooo not our fault. Like, totally, so not our fault. Like, ohm’god, I swear on a stack of credit cards it’s not our fault. Like… ok… like… daddy’s new girlfriend t’mooot d’binnn t’bel, it’s not our fault.”

Roughly translated, that means… it ain’t our fault. So, before the Tat Tnqolla commences, oh SELEDAwi, look inside yourself. How have you contributed to the Great SELEDA Dkmet? Hmm? Come hither and let’s gmgema-ize.


Welcome to the Irony and Platitude Issue.

First order of business is to ke lib-anjetachin ke wede kulalitachinm thank Ephrem M. Girma, the liqe mekuwass of Blen Graphix--THE premier graphics design company this side of the tiliq sew world. Ephrem very graciously pinch hit as our cover art designer this month. We are awed and humbled by his talent and wish that we could show him the Ephrem Girma Monument that now graces SELEDA Headquarters. All to say, thank you, Ephrem, for your benevolence, and a round of entuff, entuffs for your exquisite work! We have sacrificed one of the last remaining SELEDA virgins in your honor.

[We’d like to take this opportunity to inform Ethiopian artists out there that we are sans a regular cover artist thanks to pixie Interns who keep scaring away our in-house artists by insisting on…“stroking your canvass, if you know what I mean”… Bicha wusTun le qess… So if there’s someone out there who’s willing to take up a few assignments for upcoming issues, please contact us ASAP.]

Second order of business is to send a public apology to one of our most beloved regular writers, Ato G.T. and his very able agent/handler, the Divine Ms. Tezita, to whom we had promised a pair of SELEDA T-shirts in gratitude of their long service to SELEDA. A promise not followed up on thanks to a … a…

mndin-new-simmu … wardrobe malfunction incident. GT and Tezita, we hope your be quna mysefer magnanimity will allow you to accept our most profound apologies. Rest assured, heads have rolled, Interns have suffered, and the situation been rectified.

OKK. Neck-ist

We have another important tenk-tenqiew to ooze out. Of course, to all our writers, past and present, to you men and women who are tireless in your wordsmithery, to you ladies and gents who make us want to do SELEDA even when we think we can’t—thank you for leaving us breathless.

lEloch mitimesegennu Tnd Tnd teselefuln ezich gar

So, what’s new at SELEDA?

We’d like to welcome back the SELEDA Mail Editor … because if we don’t we’ll have yet another inconsolably yetekofessE editor roaming around the halls looking for an excuse to stab something. Even though we haven’t featured this column in the past… b’cha mn asqoTeren issues, we hope you know how much getting your feedback, erroro and zacha means to us. Keep them emails comin’. Enjoy The Mail, better yet, be one with it.

Ahun esun titachiu, you ask in a bored, Debebe Eshetu-esque voice, when is the next issue coming out?

As the ticket collector at Legehar says when asked what time the lonchina to Debre Zeit departs, “Bota simolla”. So, article simolla. If you are one of those stickler types who insists on more specific time frames, ok, end of May-ish. OK, June 1… abo! We hope to come out on June 1, hope being the operative word. It all depends on you. That makes the deadline for submitting articles May 20. Ingidih the rest is up to you.

Our wheneverthehellitgetshere next issue will examine the complex, stirring, vexing, overwhelming, painful, sober, thrilling, frightening, beautiful, charming and volatile relationships between, “Fathers and Daughters; Fathers and Sons; Mothers and Sons; and Mothers and Daughters”… Quite a mouthful, we know. This is an issue we’ve actually wanted to reaaallly do for a while now, so we’re glad its turn has finally come. We look forward to your brilliant tracts examining, deciphering, lamenting and celebrating these relationships. So, settle down, roll up your sleeves, stick the kiddies in front of the tube, take one-two-three gunCHfulls of that gush Tella fermenting in your laundry room and write… then spell check, then click send, then resentfully ask your kids what the matter with them is, why are they spending so much time in front of the TV…?? “na ante! na ‘ko new m’lew! Na inna esti igrEn e’Teb, qzen y’Tebih inna!”

What else?

Oh, yes. And please help us welcome our new webmaster who, hey, we don’t geddid, insists on getting all resentful and confused whenever we ask pointed computer-nek questions such as: “Can you upload the thingamabob blinky blink neger so that the logo is doo-dah and whachamacallit-- intin?”… What? Whaaat? Why is that so hard to do without copping a ‘tude? (Makes you wonder what they teach them at Webmastery School these days.) Anyway, the “search” feature is courtesy of new webmaster. Yay. Use it wisely, embrace it wholeheartedly. It is a work in progress, so, before you U U tay it give us some time to work out the kinks.

We have been asked by new Web-gEta to tell you a couple of things, and we warn you, geek-speak follows: “Tell ‘em [that’d be you who is being mezerTeTed, gentle readers], tell them that SELEDA no longer uses tables. Only CSS. So they will have to upgrade their browsers to the latest version.” Hmmm… We fleetingly thought about asking what the heck CSS was but got distracted by Webmassa’s flaring nostrils. “Tell them also that SELEDA is now printer friendly.” Friendly? Ma? INya? Nyyyyver!

OK. Consider yourselves told.

Oh, and since we go through webmasters faster than a Merkato kiss awlaqi can cavity search a distracted journeyman, get ready to welcome a new webmaster in the very near future. Eskeza d’ress… if loving our webmaster is wrong, we don’t want to be right.

What else?

What, you ask, is the future of SELEDA? Mnniew itE!

To make a short story excruciatingly long, we hope to at least make SELEDA a quarterly ‘zine, depending on how well we are treated. We promise to hold up our end of the bargain if you hold up yours. It’s been such an exhilarating and extraordinarily overwhelming ride, this SELEDA has, and for that, dear readers, we will always be mind-numbingly indebted to you. Let’s hope we can get it going for a few more issues.

And finally, we end on a sad note. SELEDA lost a dear friend and generous contributor, Robel Mamo. Robel’s camera was our insight into life in Ethiopia. He went beyond the call of duty on assignments, as he did in life. We’ve truly lost one of the most prolific voices of our generation. May he rest in peace.

Here’s to the sheer ibdet that helped us breathe again. We’ll see you in … article simolla.

Selam hunulin.

The Humble Editors



Robel Mamo

Some of Robel’s work on SELEDA: