By Any Other Name

Somethings are simply right. Thank you to those of you who alerted me to the connotations of live journal; thus I’ve moved now. The delay was caused by the fact that it takes so long to discover your identity or username on these sites. Much longer than it takes to know what to say in the body of the blog. Therefore, this one is devoted to the discovery of an identity:

In Peace Corps, my village, Kolebi, nick named me FM Mali because they say I talk non-stop and with multiple translations. The funny thing was, like all Dogon, they can’t pronounce [p], only [f]. So, FM Mali is said [pɛfɛm] Mali. It’s quite funny really, but does it come across in writing?

Not so much. Anyways, I was reminded of the term the other day when Oumar (a long time friend from Mali who is here working with us in the BF) called me RFI (Radio France Internationale) for the same reasons as Kolebi did. This led me to think about the REM song, Radio Free Europe. A lovely song from REM’s incomprehensible lyrics era. (On a side note, Michael Stipe wasn’t better because we couldn’t make out what he was saying, but it did make the band more interesting than they are now.) Then, would you believe it, I learned for the first time that that verb song was recorded in my very own home town of Winston-Salem, North Carolina?! Too good to be true so the name is born!


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