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Ok… so we are not the deftest of scientists.

For the past several months we’ve been tip toeing past the Mail Editors’ office wondering if the "Be Anthrax L’mot new. Do not enter. Place my daily sinq outside this door every morning and leave!" note meant that Mail Editor was in some pain. What we definitely knew was that Anthrax meant that Mail Editor was, above all, contagious… So we diligently "M’Ts"ed the situation and went about life, occasionally comforted whenever we heard Mail Editor’s faint, slurred singing, "InnE inna AnthraxiyEEE"…

It was not until a new intern (and boy, they make them smart these days) pointed out that this must be a ruse to not do the Mail ‘coz, apparently, you can’t get Anthrax via email!

Wei neddo! They can send a man to the moon but they can’t send some molaCHa Mail Editor a little… Ere metew new!

We finally broke in the door and, true to form, there was the Mail Editor, all newly qei and wefram, perched on top of a makeshift bed, seemingly verrrryyyy satisfied at having pulled this grandest of all shokakanets.

ENass eNa nen but… putting you, our precious readers in the middle of this uninspired drama? Too-too-too.

But at least there is finally, the return of The Mail.


We have a new filing system here at SELEDA to help us categorize the mail we receive. Our "Stuff everything under M for Miscellaneous" system suddenly felt very… Jesse Helmsish … old and crazy. And so, in the spirit of modernity we hired consultants who charged us too much money to tell us our filing system was "so five minutes ago". Ya? You think? Lenegeru, we tried a homemade remedy… filing everything in the new "I for Intin" file. But, funnily enough, it, too, soon became too borCHam. (Yes, we put the Zor in Alsheshum zor alu.)

Several thousands of dollars and many glmiCHas later, ineho our new filing system.

M, writing about PMDD Cyclical Hell, had this volley to volley. "It's a story of an ultimately endearing girl caught in the throes of a stubborn but an all-human condition; so misunderstood . . .even by the "owner" herself. The reader is made to feel her pain.
Trapped as she was by a force against which she had little power, she "disengaged" from life; and her self-isolation betrays a feeling of loneliness that makes the reader just wanna HUG her.

Funny how this thing depression has a way of feeding off of itself. One gets depressed and withdraws. The withdrawal then exacerbates the very condition that the person has sought to remedy, because it serves to provide proof to the "depressive" that he/she is not liked which, in turn, tends to affect the self-esteem . .ultimately leading to "valuing oneself less!" Boy! A sure way for the "depressive" to sink even deeper into the quicksand.

The "anger" (grumpy) expressed is a constant theme among people who suffer from some form of this condition. That it is a cry for help often goes unrecognized. In fact, it almost always works against the depressive, because people (loved-ones included) refuse to allow this person's sufferings to radiate through their lives making *them* unhappy.

And so, . . .hey, that's enough!
I ain't no Dr. Tedla!"

Ok… you see, in the "CHelema" days of filing we would have filed M’s letter under "W" for "WeinEEE" because that’s where we usually sent all things intimidatingly insightful and thoughtful, because we have not been insightful or analytical since that time we discovered how to open a milk carton without tearing it to pieces and cursing MengE for life in exile. But these days … this baby is going straight to the "H" file, to be tucked under "Hugs"… as in, "People we need to remember to...HUG."

You’re getting how this works? Huh? Huh?

Oki doc.

Our cover art for the "Depression and Ecstasy Issue" did not go over well with E.G. "Thank you for giving a voice to a much-needed topic, ‘Depression’. Although, I was excited to read this month’s issue, unfortunately, the opening artwork was one that expressed nothing less than the myth associated with depression. Personally, depression as in any other malady, is the voice of the soul. A voice that needs to be heard attained to and addressed from inside out. It is a process by which the mind gives the physical entity an opportunity to slow down and make cogitative changes."

And the snakes on the woman’s head doesn’t say all that and more, how? We kid. We kid. We must admit we never thought about it with the same intellect E.G. did. Not only that, but this is how dumb we are… the only thing we requested/ordered after seeing the cover art was that the artist make the hairstyle "a little less John-Tra". That… it… that was not terribly perceptive, was it?

Point well taken, E.G., and we file his/her letter under P for "People who we will never be as intelligent as".

Observes someone we will refer to as Nega Selam: "Well, browsed through my monthly issue of Seleda, and must say was thrown for a loop! It started with the odd Medusa-like figure on the home page ... somewhat uneasy, but as  [they] say, "Whatever, dude" - moved on. I read through several articles and was sufficiently emotionally wrecked, so started to look for the uplifting - misleadingly named - ecstasy to draw me out of the doldrums. To my shock, each succeeding article proved to be even more of a downer than the previous. I am of mind to initiate litigation based on false advertisement! Seriously, with the exception of a couple of articles, very well written and put together."

Even though, deep inside of us, we all know that ‘false advertisement’ is a victimless crime, we went ahead and filed Nega’s letter under L for "Someone who strikes us as knowing more ruthless Lawyers than us." Just in case…

Last month’s Top Ten disappointed Yami from Pennsylvania. "… I must say I was very disappointed to read this month's Top ten," she writes. "I lost a good friend of mine to suicide last year, and it was very painful. The "Top ten" article was very insensitive and distasteful to people like me, who've lost loved ones to suicide. Next time, please be considerate of your reader's feelings before making fun of such sensitive matters. Suicide is no joking matter."

Nope. No joking matter at all. But we’ve given up on trying to make the Top Ten considerate, sensitive or funny. But still, filed under M for "Mea culpa".

Speaking of inconsiderate, we’re not sure which article mekejelled Yilak Mesfin to share with us this vent. "Bless you sista. I thought I would never meet someone who felt the same way. You speak only the truth and sometimes the truth hurts. I was only six months old when I left Ethiopia. I still like to call it home. Life is hard in the States but my father and mother escaped the danger in Ethiopia. Since then I have been trying to meet Ethiopians my age but none exist in OHIO. I even went to D.C. to visit and I couldn’t believe young Ethiopians are becoming more and more like black America, lost. I have found that many Ethiopians are arrogant, self-centered people when it comes to meeting an Ethiopian who was raised in America like me but doesn’t speak the language. Instead of treating Ethiopian-Americans like me as if we were nothing like the dirt, they should be willing to share and teach us because many of us are lost and want to find our way back home."

Hold it righhhhhhtttttt esu gar. Yike! Ethiopians treating someone who doesn’t speak the language only like dirt? Tell us, where do they live and how can we reform them? And they certainly don’t deserve the "arrogant and self-centered" title you so kindly bestowed on them, those manquratam, b’Tasham asedabi good fer nothings…ok, ok… Our High Horse is not saddled yet so we’ll stop here, and just flip to the S file… "Stuff we should consider doing in the event we ever become sensitive, caring people."

We were starting to get that familiar queasy feeling until, bam!, Mettasebia Tadesse’s email calibrated our sensibilities. About SELEDA regular, Eyasu’s, Amharic poem, "qE" she gushes,

Oh, that Eyasu! He is soooooo out there to confuse people like Yilak. It’s awful how insensitive…Filed: 0200 Hrs. Under: C for "Chicks like this "qE" thing. Try to wow Metti with our poetry, "If you like his qE, you’ll love our "sE".

Which brings us to the Sex Issue…

The poem Maritu garnered a lot of menCHaCHat among the SELEDA community, but none so beautifully as reader Tewbel’s gudeNa rejoinder:

Hello and good night! Filed under U for "U! U! U!"

Solomon, on Yewbdar’s "FiqrE’s Ode": "Gud! Gud!...Yewbdar failed to mention Muluken Melesse! Those were his lyrics she used in her paper! Kesu beterefe this edition is the Koolest I've read so far....I like it...Sexual introspection of our culture. I love it…"

Like we keep saying, plagiarism is a victimless crime. Or so our defense lawyer keeps telling the Supreme Court every time we’ve been dragged there. We’re not in the habit of defending our contributors, so we wrote to Yewbdar to ask if she was trying to pull the wool over on Solomon’s eyes because he was onto her little scheme like lega QibE on kinky hair.

She was quick to respond. Curse word... curse word… big curse word…Yadda… Yadda… what kind of nincompoops are we exactly…? Yadda yadda… who doesn’t know those lyrics…? Yadda yadda… she hates talking to us because it makes her feel like she is wading in… in intellectual filth… Curse word.. curse word.

Annnnniiiiway, SelE. Just for that helping of wurjibiN, we are filing your letter under Q for "Qoi Bicha".

A couple of comments on Menelik Times and the definition of CHn Gereds. First one from Hirut Michael…"What are you talking about saying YeCHn'Gered is from Minelik's time? I'm not 40 yet and I know someone who was one, though not the way you described it. This dude was a Bale'Suq up the street from where I lived and a widower with a son. Till he got a wife this woman was his Yechn'Gered. When he got a wife he sent her packing without any fuss. I bet you think I am from Enchequorer. Not so. I was born and raised in Addis, though Gulelie. Don't think we’ve come so far."

We have, too! We don’t know about you GulelEans, but the rest of us now call them ye CHn Wez Aders, Hirut… which is so much easier on the tongue, not to mention on the Bale’Suq’s son when he has to ‘splain who the lady holding his father’s… hands was. "Wez Aderu nat," we… we mean HE can say with pride.

Filed. 0230 hrs. Under D for "Daddy’s ‘friend’".

Also on this contentious issue, Megaladire, who we are so sure has no Wez Aders of the CHn or Taffiya kind, had this to say. "Dear Seledas: Thank you for developing such fabulous page. I am amazed with the literary values of the articles posted on your site. I love the Esperanto ‘GuramilE style. The transparency of your editorial message is very paramount.

On the …February 2002, I read the article on ‘Menelik Times’ on the chronicle of the Cn gered in Ethiopia. I believe the Cn gered was not cohabiting with ImetE. Usually, widow men get into Cn gered marital commitment. This was done to bar the wife [who is] the Cn gered from claiming an equal share to the wealth in [the event of separation] or on the [death] of the husband, gEtoch. The Cn gered is entitled to claim only what was stated on the marriage contract. The practice was more like the modern days of prenuptial marriage. Similarly, there was another marriage arrangement called Inde gered bedmoz inde mist besemanya. I hope this may help rectify the record."

We’re glad Megaladire thinks this will set the record straight because it sure caused nothing but pandemonium here at SELEDA. Now the darn interns want to have "contractual" agreements. "Even CHn Gereds in Menilik Times had contracts. Are we less than them?"

Ya-ha! If you want a contract, we told them, do what them CHn Wez Aders do! Ask our friend Hirut for a detailed list of what those are!

We had to file Megaladire’s email in two parts. The first paragraph under F for "Find out what our "editorial message" is, and why it ain’t that transparent to us." And the second part under D for "Damn Interns". Send carbon copy to the "Daddy’s Friend: what exactly are the terms of her contract and is my inheritance in jeopardy " file.

Jemberu’s "School, Sex and my Brush with Fame" resonated with a Yonas… apparently. "Jemberu has captured that one defining moment in every boy's life..."indih arigE sinekaw indih yiqomal?" alE?? MotkuN...m-o-t-k-u-u-u-N. … Jemberu negaliN."

Wehhhell! How come in our days that one defining moment in every boy’s life was when he’d beat a girl to a pulp because he liked her? In our days… mn yaregal tadiya! As they used to say about CHiseNoch who became Lab Aders who became cadres… "Sewu indehon indasqemeTut ayqoy… "

Filed under G for "Gudikonew!"

We always love emails that start with a vigorous, "Uuuuggghhh", which is how Mike Solomon started his. " I read several articles on Seleda that make an art of snobbery at the very people that constitute 99% of the Ethiopian population. You know what I'm talking about. A little 'complex' here, a little 'Qutr Amest Melestegna ...' there...

It would be a colossal waste of what the previous generation (unwittingly) sacrificed by trading the last remnants of deep-seated Ethiopian culture for Nat King Cole and Macchiato (the latter from the Italians, none less.) It will be a waste if 'we' (more specifically folks with that publish newsletters decrying anyone who could not pronounce 'asked' like 'as't' at the age of 9) use our opportunity only to make (or continue the long tradition of making) silly comments about the rest (did I mention 99%) of the folks that are not properly 'educated' or are not of this or that 'class'.Pretty harsh, you would say. I think that there is really no such thing as comedy, only truths inoculated to the hapless who can't take a dose of reality any other way. As such (an expression of reality, or someone's version thereof), that is written down or said as a joke does have the same effect (on the target, of course) as a proclamation that is published in the local newspaper to the same effect as the punch line."

Ok. We have no idea what Mikey here just said, but we get this deep-seated inkling that he won’t like our CHn Wez Ader joke, which is 99% upsetting. Which means we have to get a machiatto and listen to Nat King Cole as we wallow in guilt. (Did the previous generation do that, we wonder? Did they ever have anxiety attacks over existentialist guilt?) Still, we were sufficiently intrigued by Mike’s email that we emailed him back and gave him an open forum in the Communication Issue to write about how we’ve made art out of snobbery, which, we assume, is no longer considered an accomplishment? Go ahead, we said to him… no holds barred. Mike has yet to take us up on this or even reply even though we "as’t" very nicely. Bummer!

Filed 0740 Hrs under Y for "Yemin blowing hot air on us and zor malet new itE!" Copies also sent to the "Erediya" and "Snobbery-A New Art?" files.

Who knows if he who calls himself "BeTam Yberdal" went to QuTr Amist MelesteNa.. but he had to say this about SELEDA.. "Is this still the "young Ethiopian professional" readership you have? Because it seems to me that the articles in here come from a really old Ethiopian crowd. Frankly, its not as interesting as when Seleda first started out, now its a lot of boring, long winded stuff. The only thing I can stand to read is the Top Ten."

Good point, BeTam, and truth be told, we, too, are with you on the whole "why can’t we not evolve and stay where we were three years ago?" argument. But these sly, wily editors here!… These curmudgeons! .. They bring in articles that are more than 3 paragraphs to nala mazor. They preach "intellectual maturity" and "evolving". AeeeCH! Mozazoch! Do you see Britney Spears trying to sing like Billie Holiday? Noooooooo. Ayderegm’ma! Aynonim’ma! But, we’ve lost this war, you and us, BeTam. But in solidarity with your erroro we are filing your letter under B for "Bring back the good old days when men were men and hager was hager".

Strangely enough we were comforted by Yohanes’ iTr mTn yalech foray into scholarship. The kind of social commentary that makes you wonder why you didn’t think of it. The kind of subterranean scrutiny that makes you nod slowly and suck in your breath. "You," he said to us, "stink".

Ahhh. While others use highhanded lexis to deride/define us, Yoni just… lEla mn yasfeligal? You inna stink. Amen. Filed under T for: TaTa inna wushimma alemabzat new.

But, just as negeroch mesken sijemiruln, (we call it being "Yoninized"aliam to be in "a State of Yoniness") here comes Getachew R. to confuse us. "There always are times when, by some Cyber-tech accident, you stumble over something incredible; like Amharic Guramayle yaswabew sweet stuff. That is what exactly happened when, by that aforementioned accident, I got to know about Seleda.com. If Addisu Abebe actually referred to you as YEBOLE MOLQAQOCH, then that remark brings home some new truth home to me; Yebole molqaqoch can really be entertaining, if not more. For the Hill Billie debtera that I am, Memolaqeq simply used to mean to be less than funny. Edme yesetew endilu... With a million cheers."

Uh oh. We think we love this Getachew person. Quickly… file under F for FORBIDDEN.

And finally, Paulos… "I was so much into a lot of staid drivel before, that I marvel at my discovery of the free-wheeling world of Seleda. Actually it was not a discovery. I was introduced to Seleda by a friend in a casual e-mail communication. It was not the first time that I saw the word on the Internet; but I always assumed that the term referred to one of those Ethiopic Script programmes. Could I be more mistaken! I read the whole content in one evening and enjoyed every bit of it. I can’t wait for more! I am not of a generation that exults in Sandford, St. Joseph or Nazareth: I am of the Wingate variety; I mean old Wingate with a headboy surrounded by eight minions who had the arbitrary power of invoking detention on "Qoshts" [unordained students] they hated and were as a result dreaded as "Qurs" punishing prefects! In hindsight though, I am glad that I was not a "Qusht!" I remember that at Wingate, we were too much into Shakespeare and [as I realize now] missed a lot on the light hearted and contagious humour lacing your prose. I was amazed at how much of contemporary English syntax is employed in Seleda side by side with archaic Amharic euphemisms and every day Abyssinian vernacular. I am sure you also break dance and do "Eskesta" as the occasion demands. We can’t, for when it comes to the latter, our generation is, to say the least, pathetic. We can only twist! You have won one Abyssinian scholar who has no choice from now on but be a reading rut of your artistic expressions. As I say to my students who happen to be smart cookies, "Keep up the Good Work!" And thanks H for introducing me to Seleda."

Gawsh…. Oh… Gawsh. File under all the alphabets. (Le QomaTa andwa Tat…) Send two copies to the "L" file for "learn break dancing tolo".

Ahhhh. SELEDA Mail is back! Write to us.


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