Saturday, December 26, 2009

A New Archetype: Nigerian Terrorist

In no way are terrorist activities justifiable. They are heinous, futile acts motivated by abstract concepts. But the fact that the 23 year old man who attempted to detonate some kind of bomb on a flight to Detroit is Nigerian does nothing to quell the international fears the world seems to retain in their minds when it comes to this nation. People find further reason to entrench negative ideas about Nigerians through incidents such as these. No matter how isolated and rare, there is now reason, proper reason at that to condemn them negatively.

That's a problem. In general, people are barely capable of individualising behaviours of certain types of people. They'll take what one person from that group has done and use it as a representation of the group as a whole. And it's only certain types of people. Usually the groups of which most are ignorant about.

Feministing explained this fact better than I have here. Props. Kudos.

I am certainly not trained or practiced in the business of psychology but I think that some counselling would have prevented Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab's actions. It sounds to me that he was just a young man struggling to find an identity and make peace with himself. We all go through it at some point. Who am I? Where do I go from here? etc etc General confusion that occurs when self-doubt and insecurity creep in. It helps to talk to someone about the internal crisis but he seemed to have alienated himself so much that he was far beyond any form of counsel. Being so closed up and faraway, who can help?

 "I have no one to speak too [sic],
 No one to consult, no one to support me and I feel depressed and lonely. I do not know what to do. And then I think this loneliness leads me to other problems."

With all that privilege and wealth, he still could not find some morsel of serenity within himself. Money sure can't buy you everything. Here's more proof of that. Why is it that despite his father's expressed suspicion's of the young man, why did he not take any serious measures to prevent his son from engaging in an act that would destroy his future. Why instead choose to contact authorities, report your own blood and leave him to his own vices. As if setting up a mouse-trap and standing close by to observe the subsequent and expected result. I smell a rat. This just doesn't sound like wholesome and loving parental behaviour to me. Sounds more along the lines of..."I have a problem child, he embarrasses me. I must find a way to get him out of sight and out of mind." Of course, this is just a speculation but inquiry, as we all know, is important. Never taking anything at face value. "People are not what they seem" in many cases.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009: Final Year of the Decade

Now we come to 2009. Amazing how quickly time flies. I finally earned my key to "life" as my brother informed me. Well, that's something scary right there. I've crossed over the threshold between childhood and adulthood just as the turn of the decade approaches. This is the beginning of the rest of my life and I know it's going to be a fantastic ride. I look forward!

10. Rye Rye feat. MIA - Bang
9. Lady Gaga - Poker Face
8. 50 Cent - Baby By Me
7. Adam Lambert - Mad World
6. K'Naan - T.I.A.
5. The Gossip - Heavy Cross
4. Santigold - L.E.S. Artistes
3. Blame It feat. T-Pain - Jamie Foxx
2. Many Moons - Janelle Monae

Why still no video Santigold? This song is dope to the nth power! Oh well.

2008: Pulled in Two Directions

So I enrolled at a local college after trying to think things through for a while. Constant access to a large library database is a dangerous thing to someone such as moi. Wits was a blast but I don't think I want to go back!

10. Linkin Park - Leave Out All the Rest
9. Amy Winehouse - Rehab
8. Kanye West - Love Lockdown
7. Pink - So What
6. Chris Brown - With You
5. Violet Hill - Coldplay
4. Lupe Fiasco - Dumb It Down
3. Lil' Wayne - Lollipop
2. Estelle - American Boy
1. MIA - Paper Planes

2007: What Does Life Mean?

Finishing high school left me in a state of doldrums. Questioning what it is that I want to make out of my life. Plenty of introspection was required. Although I managed to develop some morsel of good self-perception, I'm still slightly unsure. I have paths pointing in all sorts of directions. It's confusing. Guess if I rely on instinct, I'll be able to make it through and choose a path that brings me joy, serenity and some contentment. Not too much of it however.

10. MIMS - This is Why I'm Hot
9. Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson - The Way I Are
8. 50 Cent feat. Justin - Ayo Technology
7. John Legend - PDA
6. Swizz Beatz - Money in the Bank
5. Nickelback - If Everyone Cared
4. Rihanna - Umbrella
3. Lupe Fiasco - Kick Push
2. Kanye West - Stronger
1. Boyz - MIA

2006: Final Year of High School

During breaks between studying when I relieved my behind from the numbness of sitting down. Nerdy me would bump up the volume and get jamming. Here were some of the songs that got me up again, calmed me down and made me reminisce like I'm doing now.

10. MJB - Be Without You
9. P. Diddy feat. Nicole - Come 2 Me
8. Cassie - Long Way to Go
7. Rafael Saadiq - I Want You Back
6. Sean Paul - Temperature
5. Kelis - Bossy
4. Floetry - My Apology
3. Brand New Heavies - Don't Know Why
2. T.I. - Why You Wanna?
1. Busta Rhymes feat. MJB, Rah Diggah, Missy, Papoose, DMX etc - Touch It (Remix)...CLASSIC!

2005: The One Thing That Danced Me Into a Trance

I started taking a firm interest in Souther Rap so T.I. was on heavy rotation on my playlists. Don't care much for him these days. Commercialized. It happens to the best of them.

10. Girl - Destiny's Child
9. NERD - Maybe
8. Snoop feat. Pharrell - Drop It LIke It's Hot
7. Black Eyed Peas - Don't Phunk With My Heart
6. Missy Elliot - Lose Control
5. Chingy - One Call Away
4. Zap Mama - Bandy Bandy
3. Beenie Man - King of Dancehall
2. T.I. - ASAP
1. Amerie - One Thing

2004: Year of Dancehall

In came beloved family from Leeds with a pile of dancehall CD's for my mind. I learnt how all the best moves from Beenie Man and Sean da Paul videos. I was hooked on the Kingston energy. What can I say? It was a great year for dance tracks.

10. Akon - Belly Dancer
9. Chingy - Right Thurr
8. JKwon - Tipsy
7. Black Eyed Peas - Hey Mama
6. Kanye West - Jesus Walks
5. Brandy Afrodisiac
4. Beenie Man - Dude
3. Yeah! - Usher
2. Ciara - Goodies
1. Kelis - Milkshake

2003: Go, Go, Go, Shorty It's Your Birthday

Back to South Africa this year. First year at Crawford and at the mention of that all I seem to hear is 50 Cent rapping the hook to In Da Club. This song was a smash. Anyone in the world would tell you that. But there was someone else who had my young adolescent lustful gaze - Pharrell. Boy oh boy did I love me some of him. The things we think as teenagers!

10. Coldplay - Clocks
9. Hey Ya! - Outkast
8. Nas -Made You Look
7. Eminem - Lose Yourself
6. 50 Cent - In Da Club
5. Sean Paul - Get Busy
4. Jay Z - Excuse Me Miss - La La La (Remix)
3. Joe Budden - Pump it Up
2. Busta Rhymes feat. Pharrell - Light Your Ass On Fire
1. Pharrell feat. Jay Z - Frontin'

2002: Leeds

Spent the year in Leeds, England so almost every song released during that year takes me back to that. I never mind a good chill.

10. Christina Milian - AM 2 PM
9. Misteek - B With Me (Remix)
8. Pink - Get the Party Started
7. Ms Dynamite - DY-NA-MI-TEE
6. Shakira - Whenever, Wherever
5. Usher - U Don't Have 2 Call
4. Nickelback - How You Remind Me
3. More Fire Crew - Oi
2. Clipse - Grindin'
1. Sean Paul - Gimme the Light

2001: I Became I Teenager

I turned 13, what a milestone. Some of the songs that peak up in my memory for the year I finished primary school and became an adolescent. Angst ahead of me!

10. Blue Cantrell - Hit Em Up Style
9. Mandoza - Nkalakhata
8. Kelis - Young, Fresh 'N New (hey, hey, hey...get rich to dis!)
7. Mystikal - Shake Your Ass (yoou know)
6. Nelly - E.I. (underlay, underlay mami...)
5. Destiny's Child - Bootylicious
4. Busta Rhymes feat. Kelis - What It Is Right Now
3. Tank - Maybe I Deserve (aaaaaw!!)
2. Missy Elliot - Get Ur Freak On
1. Aaliyah - Resolution

2000: Kelis Screamed Her Way Into My World

Since the decade will be coming to a close very soon. In less than two weeks - can you believe how time flies? I've decided to take a trip down memory lane and recall the good times.

I was in 6th grade in 2000. Whenever I could, I would watch a free-broadcast of Channel O on SABC 1. Good 'ole days. I was really into R'n'B back then, The lyrics meant nothing to me of course. What does an eleven year old know about love and relationships but the beats got me vibing. And dance I did.

10. Mya - Case of the Ex
9. Nas feat. Ginuwine - You Owe Me
8. DMX - Ruff Ryders Anthem
7. Jay Z feat. Pharrell - I Just Wanna Luv Ya
6. Destiny's Child - Say My Name
5. Jill Scott - Gettin' in the Way
4. Redman and Methodman - Da Rockweilder
3. Missy Eliot - She's a B****
2. Kelis - Caught Out There
1. 702 - Where My Girls At?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Penile Complicity

Tiger Woods is not someone I know personally. But there's something about him that's always made me nonchalant toward him. Yes, yes good for him for making history with his green blazer PGA victories and all of that. Who am I to judge but the guy always came across as somewhat arrogant. And it's shown. Sex, lies and no videotape...yet. Why this is such a massive story is beyond me. But it's been interesting to note the amount of support he's been receiving from other MEN namely sportsmen. It's kind of sickening and smacks of what we all know as male privilege. Here we have a high profile, very wealthy male athlete who has cheated on his wife with several women. You have people like Dennis Rodman, Donald Trump and Charles Barkley sending him messages like "hang in there". It's as if he is some kind of victim in the midst of a media firestorm that has been brought upon him without any of his doing. I don't get it. Instead of pointing out his obvious disrespect and audacity to commit such trifles, they're showing him love. These types of men have normalized infidelity so much in their minds that when they are caught in the act and punished for it (as Gillete has done with Tiger), their self-perception is that of unwarranted persecution instead of worthy justice.

So, in the minds of privileged men, cheating is right. These people feel entitled to use their money to lure women into relationships in order to feed their empty, insatiable shells. When obstacles come in the way of achieving this end, they transform into the hapless victim.

I don't think I need to point out the apparent double standard. If this was a woman, not only would she be immediately labelled negatively. She would also not experience the same kind of support that Tiger's contemporaries are offering him.

Growing Up Girl, Being Black

When I read essays such as this one, I am reminded of how important it is to view the world through an objective and critical lens. Critique is necessary to avoid internalising fallacies and driving myself into a ditch. Objectivity is required to avoid getting angry.

Yet it makes tons of sense when spoken in light of perplexing encounters that leave you wondering whether or not some people are capable of seeing a fellow human being when looking toward you. Archetypes just annoy the hell out of me. Literally. When the machinations of this collectively racist and sexist consciousness reaches my understanding. My fires cool. Guess I just stop taking it to heart.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Take On Twilight: New Moon

Simply for the sake of finding out what all the mayhem was about, went to see "New Moon" two weeks ago and them again today. Simply to accompany some friends still in the dark about it and to...yes, I wanted to see Taylor Lautner's buff and beautiful physique. No shame. Not at all. I have not read any of the books. After what I've seen so far, I don't think it'll be worth the time.
Plenty of discouraging remarks from Ms Peterson and the league of extraordinary commenters

It's enough to keep me away from the third one. But I'm so adamant to see how Chris Weitz or whoever is directing "Eclipse" transposes Meyer's third book in the series.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Wait Your Turn, Chris!"

Laughing at some of the tweets I read with reference to Rihanna's new video. Not Russian Roulette which is so flat, the Namib Desert is jealous (drum strikes for the bad joke). It's this song called Wait Your Turn. How baffling this young lady's behaviour is becoming. I have expressed my concern for her. Has she found emotional healing from the abuse. Think about the transition she's made from her "Music of the Sun" sugary to the point of wackness sweetness to this dark, dreary, gloom and doom character that's "Rated R". Pointing guns at the camera and grabbing her crotch. Even Grace Jones didn't instigate this much violence. She was eccentric yes, hypersexual yes but I can't remember her making threats to harm with her body language. I'm mobile so can't post the video. You know what to do YouTube addicts.

Why I Don't Believe in Vengeance

Lately, I've been delving into some literature about the subject of verbal abuse. I've learned so much. Ironically enough, Womanist Musings happened to have a post closely related to this topic:

In the past I've made the same mistake of attempting to transfer the pain of things said to me and of me, prejudiced, cruel treatment from others. I was young and naive. Instead of putting the insults into context, I often allowed myself to hurt over them. It took a toll in the long run and I eventually started lashing out - impersonating those that caused me pain.

That's what Eminem is doing. I often felt compassion for him especially after hearing "Cleaning Out My Closet" in 2002. I can see the source of his pain but he, as a 35 year old man, must be mature and realise that the past no longer has an influence unless one chooses to give it one. But instead of using his adversity as a way of knowing others' struggles and becoming empathetic and kind, he does the opposite by turning into the father that left him, the mother that neglected him and all those that hurt him very deeply.

It's difficult especially if one's wounds are deep to march forward and heal. I've learned that for the sake of one's wellbeing, if anything else, love and forgiveness are the key.

Full Blown and It Could Have Been Avoided

After watching a documentary entitled "The Age of AIDS", I'm left quite depressed but also flabbergasted at the failure of South African goverment since 1994 to tackle the issue of the epidemic.
Nelson Mandela did very little to address it during his presidency owed to the fact that little was still known of the virus at the time. It was still much of a myth that many believed only affected those overseas. Namely white male homosexuals in the USA. Not the migrant mine workers, prostitutes in "mine brothels" and wives and girlfriends of these men. It is believed that this is where the virus boomed.
So while goverment paid more attention to uniting the nation after the end of the apartheid era, this was mainly ignored. With the new administration still under ANC rule, Thabo Mbeki only sought to worsten an already deepening problem by denying that HIV causes AIDS and by stating that the "toxic" aspect of anti retro viral drugs should limit them from being given to patients. The result of this was a boom in mother to child infections. Imagine. All the kids born in that period whose mothers were unfortunate enough to have contracted HIV could have been spared the chance of living with the virus themselves. But the president chose to ignore the crisis at hand. Sad.
Well now for the results...South Africa has the highest infection rate in the world. And the president we have now seems to think that all you have to do to make the virus go away is take a shower! And that it is absolutely fine to have more than one marriage partner (ONLY if you're a MAN) I've heard him sing "Mshini Wami" (translation: bring my machine gun) more times than I've heard him talk about the importance of safe sex. On top of that, there is a violence and crime epidemic. I (very sarcastically) wonder why??

Well it's plain to see now isn't it. The tragedy of this nation lies for the most part in the inability of a post-apartheid government. Only concerned with power.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

No "Proper" Actor in South Africa?

Black Snob I'm going to bite you: O RLY?? Luvvie darling I'm also going to bite you: iRefuse to accept that the reason big budget motion pictures don't use African-born actors is because there aren't any. No, there are plenty. But the fact that they're a bunch of nobody's reduces their suitability for playing lead protagonists for such high-scale movie projects.

This was just one of the illogical comments published at the on the message board for the movie Invictus. Where there were complaints about Morgan Freeman's lousy accent. Which from what I've seen in the trailer really is off to say the least. And yes, we all know he is the crème de la crème of the veteran Hollywood fold but even Denzel (no surname needed, that's how larger than life he is) faltered with his role as Steve Biko in Cry Freedom. With that high-pitched fantastical "imitation" of a South African accent. What was meant to be a stern biopic of an extremely important figure in the South African freedom struggle turned into somewhat of a comedic interpretation of this man's life (something I'd imagine Dave Chapelle performing in one of his 15 minute skits). It leaves many thinking, "Why not just use African actors?"

Alot of it probably has to do with African American actors being recognisable and therefore better able to draw the public's attention. That's an obvious one. But why can't they just follow Don Cheadle and Forrest Whitaker's examples and take the time to really study the accents and dialects, master them and carry them out properly in their portrayals. It's more than just vying for an Oscar, just the mere fact of acknowledging the intricacy and uniqueness of each manner of speech on the continent that differ from location to location will be a huge leap for Hollywood. If using unknowns is too risky at least whip those American tongues into shape with proper language training from the locals themselves. Don't forget to pay them properly for their tutoring services.

As for Jennifer Hudson playing Winnie Mandela in director, Darrel Roodt's upcoming project. I'm not too sure what to expect but I believe in her acting abilities. Let's be honest, the movie's earnings may not be that great if they chose to cast a locally-known South African actress in place of J.Hudson. She did win an Oscar and people always stand up and listen when Oscar winners happen to appear.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"We Make Sure The Black Don't Make You Look Hard"

In a L'oréal commercial for their new range of dark toned hair colour, I well, heard something that made me raise a brow. Several times in fact. In between Penelope Cruz's constant reiteration of the word "Glossy", yes I feel the script could have been better on her part but this is L'oréal and they do like exoticizing WOC when they feel compelled to use them, at the same time avoiding too much blackness in their advertising. Remember what they did to Beyonce anyone?
Now in this one, they imply that dark hair somehow takes away from a woman's facial softness. "L'oréal Dark Glossy takes care not to harden the features." Huh? I didn't know that having dark hair makes you look "hard". Now imagine having dark skin to top it. I think I can really understand now this dark and bright skin dichotomy links up with assumptions on how a person supposedly is.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Big Brother Africa: Yardstick for Africa's Progression Away from Tradition

As Big Brother draws to a long-awaited close tonight, I seek to take a moment of reflection. Of the incorrect grammar and spelling on the 24/7 channel's strap (text message board) and the interactive part of the website, I am hardly surprised. Just take a sample of YouTube comments, most of which it takes some time to decipher into standard English and you will understand. It was interesting to see comments made about each individual housemate. The public's opinions about specific behaviours and events. How most of these were similar throughout the continent and what they say of Africa's general approach to certain aspects. I shall discuss gender and class here since all housemates except one were Black.

It was clear from the beginning that all the women were, as is always done, judged according to looks. The darkskinned, skinny haute couture model types were taken out first after week 1 when the show was still streamlined according to gender. They were not labelled as one of the "hot girls" in the house and were eliminated despite Maggie's spunky personality. Well. The game continued with viewers using the same standard of comparison for the remaining women. Fast forward to the latter weeks where fewer housemates are present in the house. Scrutiny is placed on the unladylike behaviour of Mzamo from Malawi and Nkenna from Nigeria. The former is chronic drinker, chain smoker, punk-inspired and unabashed about her libidinous boy-chasing ways. While I would say "Mo power to you" in response. The majority of Africa criticised her for not representing a "true African woman". Especiall after her window punching stint which took place after Itai from Zim found it necessary to exclaim that Mzamo does not take pride in her appearance or act like a woman should. This is a clear representation of what I've come to know of traditional African beliefs. They are centred in chauvinism. Because Mzamo displayed behaviour unbecoming of a "woman", she was insulted constantly. Well what then is an African woman? A docile, submissive little dove that cooks, cleans, does not seek to have a career of her own outside the demands of housewivery, never speaks above a whisper and takes abuse from men withouts question.

So it's the virgin-whore dichotomy defining standards of female behaviour. Not suprising. But the amount of contempt shown for Nkenna introduces another form of disdain. For those that occupy of lower status of class in society. For the entire duration of the show, she was referred to as the "village girl". So that left only one female housemate to appreciate, Emma. The closest thing, the public had for an ideal African woman. Pretty (in their opinion), always taking care to look good, "sweet" and involved in a nonsexual relationship with one guy. See how predictable. We dislike the women who don't care and just do themselves. We choose to like the one who takes pride in her looks, is vain and perhaps cares too much what others think to the point of fakeness - which she did display later on. It's a common practice in the assessment of women. Be vain or get out.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ayeye: Bafana's In Trouble

It's not like they were never in trouble to begin with. Just the way they are - WEAK - is enough to tell you how vulnerable they are. So is the fact that since the Fifa group standings draw for 2010's cup tournament, South Africa has been matched up against giants. Bigg, uggly giants like Mehico who will, will thrash your unpracticing-properly-despite having-a-Brazillian coach behinds. First match by the way. On top of that, group a comprises the French and a powerful south american force known as Uruguay. Ha! Serving you correct host nation. Beat your wildest reveries!

Charlize Theron, your red evening get up with the tiny black belt was underwhelming. David Beckham, you sexy, sexy...just take me now honey, we don't have time to standing there with an edgy haircut, grey suit and piercing stare looking like you might want to uh do a little something uh later, nah mean? You can never in wrong in my books. The rest of you, you're're alright with me. Especially you Mr Living Long Distance Running Legend Haile Sellasie. Keep on inspiring us to be better people. David, you inspire me to do other things. Boy, stop!

I Love Gabby Sidibe!

Last night I was privileged to catch the beautiful Ms Sidibe on David Letterman. She looked lovely and it's true, her personality is bubbly, lively and most importantly genuine. Mind you, the person I was sitting with at the time said something very insulting the moment Gabby showed up on the screen.


I just filtered out that piece of rubbish comment and continued to enjoy my favourite actress at the moment talk about herself. Look, I heart her. She's beautiful to me and I couldn't care less what all you with your minds brainwashed by stupid Hollywood beauty standards have to say about that.

She's dark skinned and plus size. To use these factors to rule out a person's attractiveness is being insular and at the core, quite pathetic. You haven't decided things for yourself, you've been dictated to. Try some intellectal autonomy oh ye faithful groupthinkers.

As for the individual who made the above comment. Dissing is her forte even at inopportune moments. But it still reflects a very loathsome attitude that society adopts with regards to larger people. I've always believed that if one is happy, truly happy and secure with themselves then there is no justification under the sun to villify.

I want to see more of Gabby and women like her occupy major roles on the big screen. I know its wishful thinking. But hey. If Gabby is doing it, surely there is hope. Isn't there?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS day...oh my!

How easily you forget commemorative days during the holiday season. Thank you all bloggers that made sure to remind those of us forgetful about this essential day.
In my land, this problem is rampant. It doesn't seem to be alleviating either. It's an issue that clearly strikes far deeper than we imagine. Perhaps more should be done to address the aspect of moral values than anything else.

Monday, November 30, 2009

"For Your Entertainment"

Surrounded by controversy. Adam Lambert's long awaited album has been released and it sounds like a gigantic ball of glammed up fun. He's an artiste. A true one. I recognised it from day one.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How it Feels Like to Be 21

Alright. I'm kicking it. Just kicking it. 21 feels like liberation. It feels like finally having the license to perpetrate the way I always wanted to. It feels great, man. That's all I can say.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gaga Disqualification

So, apparently Lady Gaga has been disqualified from the Best New Artist Category owed to the fact of her previous nomination. Oh, the grand bureaucracy. A call for dispute based on the prominence of her excessive bizarreness in video music, gigs, award shows and the like which have drawn so much attention worldwide, The Fame sold like hotcakes and became the most paid-attention-to piece of artistry this year.

But, rules are rules and it seems Ms Gaga will not be elligible.

This one made me laugh at some point. You know what, she's just so entertaining in her raw eccentric form. It's unpretentious madness and I love it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

To Die for Freedom of Speech

You know that a nation is corrupt when those whose job it is to deliver news reports to the public are slaughtered. For the sake of protecting one's own power. In this case. The mayor of Manguinadano in the Phillipines ordered 57 journalists killed. The same mayor who assisted their current president to garner votes. Politics in developing countries is rarely a system that works for the good of the people. But as always, for the good of leadership and those empowered by elitism and privilege. These individuals will stop at nothing to protect this.

We Receive Strange Objects from Outer Space Too

This is interesting.

A meteorite lit up the close to midnight sky for Witbank residents two or so days ago

I have not seen nearly as much coverage as I'd appreciate with respect to this story. Besides, it's a lot more effectual to our intellects to hear about the unusual interactions between stubborne objects from space dying to taste a little bit of our atmosphere than Malema and them doing uuuuh...nothing of any significance. I mean that.

A friend of mine reported to have been a witness to the events. Stating that he saw the sky light up bright white and some object which seemed to appear as a "shooting star too close" settled after speeding through the atmosphere very quickly. This was at around 23h00 on Saturday the 21st November.

Interesting, indeed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lambert's Debut at the AMA's

Well now. I must say, the performance was edgy. Covered my open mouth with the palms of my hands for a while after he rubbed that male dancer's face into his crotch. Hmmm. Adam. In fact, I think I heard a mixture of cheers and murmuring protests from the audience. I still think he's incredible though. I'm not about to launch into a homophobic rant because God knows, there is no logical reason to hate or condemn another person for the way they're living their life aside from the fact that you are a self-righteous bigot who needs to seriously consider keeping to your own lane because your lane-switching is annoying everybody. Well, those of us less prejudiced that is.

Monday, November 23, 2009

We've Got Pigs Too

Yesterday, I was taken aback by the lack of concern taken to the traumatic experience that racialicious' Fiqah endured at the hands of an officer. I was not able to watch Carte Blanche last night due to my family's deep obsession with Big Brother Africa 4, but I just read through the transcript and am horrified to say the least. Two unreported rape offenses by police officers here in South Africa . In the same month that a little boy was brutally murdered for no reason at all among others. Police brutality seems only to be escalating and not a single one of these officers despite the brutal and heinous nature of these offenses. Sad state of affairs. One does not know whether the police can be trusted to be called upon for safety. When they commit the same crimes as the men they arrest but are protected by their so called "badge of honour".

I can't help but try and find some relation between these events and the fact that South Africa has such a broken history. Living through apartheid South Africa left many blacks with a strong sense of futility and meaninglessness similar to what Du Bois posited about the problem of the black American underclass. I've seen this most potently displayed by black men of the lower class. I'm afraid to say that they are the demographic most expected to these commit offense both within their communities and beyond. Apartheid has left behind a frightening legacy of cold-spirited black men with a nihilistic killer mentality. Now that these same individuals occupy the police force and are given free roam with the illusion of safety and protection, they've simply taken to abusing their power for their own infantile gains. They feed their egos through the induction of unease. What these imbeciles don't see is that their actions benefit little in the long run. If South Africa gains a reputation for being a crime-rampant nation where police themselves exert the same kind of brutality that offenders do, not only will a massive brain drain begin to occur. Revenue from tourism will most easily be affected. Resulting in declining GDP. These utterly stupid, animalistic idiots are too dumb to see how their impulsive and foolish actions are causing or may lead to the overall decline of this nation's standard. What a useless goverment we have! What significant measures have they put in place?? What are they even doing aside from singing lame tribal songs and complaining about trivial matters.

So, it's true we've got pigs too. Only that ours are not a white male majority.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Homie

I don't want to hear about the law of attraction and ideas about "you teach people how to treat you" when it comes to this problem described through a terrible experience of harassment from a male po-po by Fiqah at racialicious

That he got away with this loathsome behaviour is reflective of power privilege afforded in this case to a law enforcer. Just last week we had incidents of police brutality here. So far, I've heard of no serious measures taken against the officers. There is a good chance they'll get of scott-free. How ironic it is that their main victims were a woman and a little child.

As a person I like to believe I radiate self-respect and hold my self in high esteem. In fact, I live by statements such as the one Alanis Morisette made, "I see my body as an instrument rather than an ornament." I carry this notion in the way I walk, dress and behave. This vessel is for doing, it is for action. Not for showing and for passivity. There will always be individuals that disrespect my presence and try to interfere with my existence by trying to get much too personal with me despite my being a complete stranger and showing on interest at that. Or worse still, invading my personal space or staring at me incessantly. These things happen. Even sporting baggy sweats and a T-shirt, it happens. (I always thought this would deflect unwarranted attention)

Must I excuse these imbeciles as just that and go on with my day. No, as always I see these as a reflection of ideas that the men in South African society hold of women. It's clear I live in a highly misogynistic society, a society that favours the idea of women as objects not women as people. It's a fact I've known since primary school when rape statistics were constantly aimed at us from all platforms of media. I remember Charlize Theron even ran an ad campaign about it. "People often ask me what the men are like in South Africa." she states. The answer obviously wasn't good which the commercials sought to expose. There is a definite sickness in this nation when it comes to the way people interact. Racially and most specifically in terms of gender. All South Africans seem to know of each other are the stereotypical notions they learned via talk and TV that ignorance is banal. Whites live in fear of blacks. Local blacks hate foreign blacks. Blacks think whites are racist haters. Coloureds strive to be white and refuse the "black" label that similarly mixed race people in America are never to afraid to adopt. Near-Eastern Asians well...they seem alright but whites and blacks seem to despise their small business sensibility. Don't know much about the Far-Eastern Asians though there's a good chance they may be exposed to the same amount of xenophobia that Nigerians are. It's one enormous racial gash that's been left over for post-apartheid South Africa to endure. With a president singing songs like "Umshini Wami", how is it going to heal.

The same goes for gender. A survey was conducted in June that revealed that 25% of males in S.A. are rapists. That's a remarkable figure. Since the world cup is coming around, these figures are under intense scrutiny. They scare people. Coupled with the AIDS statistics. It's just too much.

It seems that no measures are being taken to educate young men about the dangers of conforming to these false notions of "masculinity". Something needs to be done but nothing is.

It seems the more insecure a man in his knowledge of how "masculine" he is, the more strongly he tries to exert machismo. Studying the majority of individuals that take part in hollering practices. They appear similar in that they are low-income, of African descent and male of course. Social conditioning in most cases teaches men that money and status (as well as the ability to be a "provider") are symbols of manhood. When these are not attained, one is therefore not fully a man. So, masculinity, they perhaps feel must be redeemed in other ways. These are often in relation to women. In making sexual advances, they engage in the act of being masculine; which turns a rejection on the woman's part into an assault on this assumption of manhood.

In my experience, the non-black males that tried to assert themselves to me in this way were defected in ways that were not money or status related but rather in relation to appearance. The popularly accepted notion of masculinity is one of being tall, muscular, strong, broad shoulders, a pronounced jawline etc. Often, when men are aware of their inability to meet these standards is a cause to try and over compensate similar to the description above. I do not believe that a man comfortable in his own skin will need to objectify, attempt to humiliate, harass, grope or disregard physical boundaries. I don't think that anyone with enough intelligence'll treat a fellow human so.

An old but pertinent post in relation to redefining our presently accepted notion of "manhood" at Shakesville puts it all into perspective - how important it is to give young men an alternative form of expression that does not involve misogyny and homophobia.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Some Kind of Nepotism Going On

Wow, wow, wow. After seeing Henry give that ball a little tap, tap, I thought Fifa would order a rematch immediately. But according to Law 5 of the Fifa Rule Book. In every instance, the referee's decision is final after the match has terminated. So...
Sorry Ireland, it seems no matter what sensibility of injustice takes place, the French run tings when it comes to Fifa. Sept and his boys outruled over any morsel of conscience by ensuring that their side get a chance to reclaim their fallen glory.
It's what it has been all about since they won. Conquer and conquer once more. Yet will it be possible to reaffirm why they are the '98 World Champions. Are the French going to bring fire to South Africa next year? Time will tell. But really, Henry should be ASHAMED! What a remorseless creature.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scapegoating Faith for the Economic Crash

Watching Larry King interview TD Jakes this morning. Whoah now. Why do I get the sense that King is bitter about something. Religion. Aside from saying that Jakes is "selling God" and "preaching prosperity." Religious cynics are usually inclined to point fingers at churches and faith-based organisations as poised to do good in the lives of others but surrepticiously out to enhance their own selves financially. In fact, a writer in Atlantic magazine posited that Christianity in America could possibly have caused the economic downturn here:

This is such an ambitious thesis. One has to ask, if you are to say that this is the sold reason then that means that the majority population in the US is devout and Christian which I beg to differ. I don't want to allude to stats either because there are plenty even here in South Africa that claim to be Christian or faith-following but barely practice what is expected of that label.

From what I've seen and understood of the crash, is that a sense of greed and want. Constant desire for things driven by the brutal yet subtle coercion of the capitalist regime played a significant role in raising up individual debt on Main Street whilst banks fooled themselves into thinking they could get away with handing out mortgages without proper thought and that this in turn would have no effect on the nation's balance sheet. They wanted their commission because they wanted that vacation to Venezuela in the summer, they wanted that yacht, they wanted that bigger home, that Chrysler, that diamond wristwatch, those designer purses. Greed. Want. Working on the impulse to show others how well they are doing even if it meant they would have to sacrifice their morals, sleep and peace. Look where it's gotten everyone. This should be a lesson not an opportunity to scapegoat.

To that, these so called prosperity messages do not appear to me a way of assuring people of financial wealth as provided by a divine power. It only encourages a less negative approach to take in looking upon a crisis. It avoids fatalism and that doomsday mood that many seen to attain at times such as these to keep people's heads up. One can even say that they are forms of motivational talk rather than a proselytizing of magical provision. It seems to reinforce this notion that religion disconnects one from reality to the point that they forget basic concepts of living such as that which implies hard world and focus, persistence and dedication are likely to bring forth prosperity rather than simply praying and hoping for a better day.

On the "Torture" of Invisibility

This is an excerpt from Toni Morrison's latest offering, A Mercy, which had me standing up and saying "AMEN". I get like that when I come across a moment of commonality between my and the author's expression of a certain issue. It happens often and this is perhaps why reading is one of the most pleasurable things in life. It makes me know that beside the barriers that place us up against one another, there are aspects very very similar about each one of our experiences and this is not revealed more lucidly than through literature. I believe.

"But then Job was a man. Invisibility was intolerable to men. What complaint would a female Job dare to put forth? And if, having done so, and He deigned to remind her of how weak and ignorant she was, where was the news in that? What shocked Job into humility and renewed fidelity was the message a female Job would have known and heard everu minute of her life."

My immediate response to this was:

What those of us observant enough to witness and acknowledge will see is how much alike men and children are. Yet it seems that in an attempt to forge an antithesis to this truth, the myth of the emotionally discordant "babygirl" was forged. That somehow, it is the other way around and therefore it is necessary to monitor and infantilize the ones who held the original power. The keepers of life, the passers-down of the gene. And in spite of all this, complaints are few and far between - the humiliation is this cliche. Yet if the men who want dominion so hungrily were to experience firsthand the treatment women themselves have been accustomed to, what frustration. Each and every time. They throw their toys out of the cot like the infants they truly are and complain about the pain and suffering that we women know too well already.

In all my days of being made invisible by those who for on reason other that to express megalomania and insecurity, I have taught myself steadily to adapt to the weather. Same too of being viewed as a thing of ornamental rather than human worth. Of by default appreciated as ignorant, foolish and uncultured. Of depending wholeheartedly on external validation for my self-worth and them having to deal with some juvenile wrath owed to my dismissiveness (an obvious repurcussion). Of being spoken of in my very own presence as if I were a mere pedigree perched in some corner of the room flapping my tongue. All this to have to endure yet if I choose to make you invisible in my mind's eye, petition against you attempting to "privilege" me by granting me attention or worse yet begin to elevate my status in the heirarchy and strengthen my powers against yours then, then your "entitlement" must act. For it is unacceptable, you believe, that nobody is not to bear witness to you and yours and that a woman achieves higher playing rank. All because you are a man and the world around you has groomed you with the notion that you deserve, you deserve, you deserve. Therefore to be seen not as I have been on more occasions than I can even recall and you could not possibly fathom is quite simply and justly on intolerable hell to you. It is true what Soyinke once said, "Men are just like children. They really cannot bear much pain."

 Note: I may be making harsh generalizations, this is not a sign of hatred - I am just playing observer. That's all. 

Video Phone featuring Lady Gaga

Okay, I am neither excited nor roused into hysterics after seeing this. It's quintessential Beyonce with a brand new weapon - Lady Gaga. It's really nothing new here. In fact, right away it is clear that Hype Williams is the director. We've seen similar products from him namely the "Check on It" video and the "Gold Digger" and "Digital Girl" videos both similar in nature. Now the same oversexed, video vixen image is used this time with leading artist and guest star instead.

I am left disappointed. It's not all that creative. A mere repetition of old styles of choreography and filming. It's getting a tad bit boring. When things become redundant, some of the more observant ones lose interest. After this, highly unimaginative effort, I am starting to lose interest in Lady Gaga, the same way I lost it long ago with repetitive Beyonce and her crew of formulaic design and image team members.

All I'm saying is that for a song so nuanced with such a brilliant instrumental from Shondra "Mr Bangladesh" Crawford, they could have and should have taken this video to the extreme. Blow people's minds. Instead they chose to re-work vintage Beyonce and take on a tired-of-thinking-up-fresh-ideas-like-I-did-in-the-late-nineties Hype Williams to do the same old same old and bore us once more.

Well, on the bright side of things - at least the video is not in black and white!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pre-viewing Review Of "Precious"

A certain journalist working for the New York Press has come to plenty of people's attention by offering an utterly scathing and critical review about "Precious". Courtesy of the blogs I follow (to the right) that made mention of this review, I got a chance to read what he had to say here:

I have not seen the movie. It's not been released in my region but I am interested of course as I have been for several months now. So there is no stance assumable on my part but I will say that it's box office performance so far is severely impressive. This fact alone may be used by sceptics as a way to evince the Western fascination with black suffering. That a movie about African Americans is only capable of doing this well when it involves the harsh realities of life for those slugging through poverty, physical and sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy and illiteracy as the lead character Precious does. I've pointed this out before. It is banal for whites to play leads in most of the movies that get this much attention. But very rarely do we see a woman of colour get the opportunity and if she does then it is in the most negative light possible. I can see how some may take this strand and use it as a way to denomize the movie. That it only seeks to galvanise the popular view of the black woman as the abused, misused person who needs saving (usually from those with lighter skin as it portrayed in "Precious") from a life destined for doom because of these pathological wounds.

I don't want to dwell to hard on this notion. We know movies perform a tremendous deal of damage in the archetypal images they create. So I will say this instead. As an antithesis to White's criticism of Oprah and Perry. Knowing what I know of the horrendous abuse that there two incredible individuals have encountered, I believe their support for this film emanated from a sincere place within themselves that believes stories such as these need to be told. We need to be reminded through film that the world is rife with stories of this nature and to carry on ignoring them is insensitive and somewhat inhumane. That wehave a movie that explores so deeply the psyche of a woman of colour and affords her a voice so raw, truthful and in-your-face means despite the negative aspects of her life that we can see a level of humanity to a people whose dignity and humanness are often ignored by mainstream society. This is not a representation of African American life. Whoever resorts to that thinking simply lacks rationale. But perhaps there are people who are that ignorant. I can't rule that out.

In all honesty, I am always pleased to hear the suppressed voices in society find a platform. No matter how painful there stories may be and how difficult they are to digest, they need to be told and we need to hear them.

50's Imminent Self-Demise Quite Intriguing

Okay, I'm often cynical when it comes to this man. But after hearing the first release off of his brand new album, I'll say I'm starting to recapture the interest I had in him the moment I first heard "In the Club" six years ago. This song is ill - "Baby By Me" featuring Ne-Yo with Kelly Rowland making an acting appearance in the video. I'm liking this jam alot. Catchy lines and a tight beat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Did A Relaxer on My Own!

The result was far better than any relax that I've had done at a professional salon. Why? BECAUSE I FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS! Reading through the dos and don'ts section on the Organic Root Stimulator Pack made me realise why I'd always come home with some burn or other on my scalp after a relax.

1. Not mixing in the activator thoroughly enough makes a faulty mixture likely to scald you

2. Combing the hair while cream is intact

3. Not timing the relax with a timer and just thumbsucking a relax time

4. Placing relaxer on the hairline first - the most sensitive part of everyone's scalp

5. Placing cream directly onto scalp and relaxing previously processed hair instead of new growth only

These are common mistakes yet the major causes of hair loss and breakage. Doing it myself, adhering to all the instructions. I came out without a single burn and relaxed hair.

Easy. So much cheaper. I will not get into the political debate on black hair straightening. I'll leave that to Chris Rock. I do it because it makes life simpler. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Shoot to Kill Someone's Little Baby

A day after the Chief Commissioner Cele of the South African police department, a three year old boy Atlehang Aphane is shot dead. Being mistakenly identified as an offender. All because he stuck a pipe, which was perceived as a gun, through the car window in which he was seated.

Read the full story here:

Trigger happy cops not using discretion and logic. Is that really the solution to the crime epidemic in South Africa? Government must seriously reevaluate its approach toward this issue. I hope that this incident among others will spark debate about this so called "shoot to kill" issue. I get the feeling some unthinking officers will use this an a means to vent their suppressed urges to use a gun on assignment and this might very well occur again if intervention does not take place.

The majority of this country's problem lies in government. There is a trickle down of notions encouraging megalomania and using extreme force in the quest for power. If the police do not have the public's best interests at heart and a bevy of sociopathic killers on the loose, what kind of a country can we have that promotes healthy and safe tourism especially as the Fifa World Cup is scheduled for mid 2010. Is South Africa with all its hatred ready to host such a far reaching and important event for the world?

As for idiot Malema who seems to believe his life is under threat and needs the country's taxpayers' money to fund his bodyguards. Who does he think he is, Obama? This is what I mean when I talk about power-hunger. These apparent leaders do not have the people's interests at heart. All they are really bothered about is creating the illusion of power for themselves. After hearing the above accounts, it's clear that the we need more money pumped into our safety than politicians. It's unpleasant to think that simply standing outside of your home tying your laces, taking a drive while off from work or being a little innocent child playing witha pipe in the backseat of a car will get you the police. History repeats itself doesn't it. Only that the brutality is not white Afrikaaner but Nguni and very much black.

I was reminded of the killing of immigrant, Amadou Dialo who was shot 42 times after attempting to remove the wallet from his pocket whilst the officers believed he was armed and dangerous. More senseless killings.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All For The Love for the L.O.V.E.

 Just checked out the 'This is It' flick and it was amazing. Or would have been amazing. Not much of a sentimentalist but jerked out some tears watching the 'Human Nature' section. The movie just highlighted even more strongly why his death was such a tragedy - this show would've been simply amazing but...
Thoroughly enjoyable. Especially hearing all the quirky rehearsal dialogue. I saw so much more of his conversational personality than I've seen in any of his interviews. He was just a plain old eccentric with plenty of humour. What more would you expect from an artist, I mean a genuine artist such as MJ himself.
A master performer at his peak, his music lives on. Doing it all for the L.O.V.E.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Look At Me Dammit

If there is anything profound about what I have observed within the realms of human psychology is that being ignored hurts a person's sense of self enormously. Rejection. We've all had to face it. From the smallest scale to the most painful - when a loved one disregards you. Today I witnessed a very interesting display of rage from a person hurt about a perceived rejection and belittling. It's not the first time and it's wonderful to see that in people of both genders, all ages across the colour spectrum cannot stand not being noticed. It's as if we all have this instinct which drives this desire to be seen and heard and know that your voice is acknowledged by the group. Could this be evolutionary? This desire? Maybe so. If you weren't part of a group back in the day, you'd be left alone to salvage for yourself in presence of wild animals, harsh weather and solitude. Nobody wanted to be a loner of a caveman or woman. I'm just assuming of course. But this could be a plausible explanation. I'll do some reading into this.

This is a modern age and more than ever, there's been a significant emergence of hermits. I'm one myself. Not that I'm misanthropic. I down with humans but solitude is a conducive environment for certain activities that just require silence and not the presence of other people. Yet I've had people take this personally. Rejection? Seriously, how sensitive can you get. You have those phrases that so many like to toss around such as "No man is an island" - well I'm not ruling out the possibilities of human contact when I decide to go off and work on a novel or revise course material. Yes people are necessary but sometimes you have to go it alone. One can't be 100% dependent on company all the time. Einstein made a lovely comment about this. I'll paraphrase. When one is immature solitude is unbearable but "delightful" when one is mature. I feel that but not everyone does. So while these peeps are standing outside of my fortress walls trying to launch canonballs and yelling and screaming about my eremetic lifestyle choices, I'l be chilling in my castle enjoying the peace of mind and splendid silence through which ideas are birthed.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama Wins the Nobel Prize

All I can say is that I am so very proud to be alive to see this is is motion. The very first president of colour is awarded the Nobel Prize. The fourth time such an award has been given to a US president. As if he needs any more reason to go down in the history books.

Rightly given. Aside from all the brainless remarks about him being racist, critique about his approach with the Health Care Reformation program. His election united a whole nation and inspired the world to look toward embracing "change" and growth. This is so reminiscent of Nelson Mandela's election aided by FW de Klerk's step down in 1994.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bitter and Big-Bodied: who are you listening to?

Women really put each other through hell. When a woman has a problem with the way she looks, she may have a tendency to attack another woman through gossip, vindictive words and insults. I'm tired of having to withstand lame and unwarranted remarks, hostility and rudeness from other women when all I've ever done is address them with respect. Of course when a person's nasty side is revealed it becomes hard to be amiable. So the mode of conduct changes. That doesn't mean the person you insulted is the 'skinny bitch' you always suspected she was, it means that you need to stop projecting your body insecurity onto other people and focus on improving your life. It's always the same superficial nonsense about looks. I think of my own life and how some notice the tiniest fluctuations in my weight and make open remarks about it. With glee they'll say "Ha, you've gained some weight I see." I'll just smile dismissively and walk on. Who gives a damn? I swear they perceive me as a mannequin sometimes. I've heard people comment about my body size in my presence while I'm right there just rambling on with incredible stupidity. It's bizarre this obsession women especially have when it comes to comparing their bodies with those of other women. Thin women often bear the brunt of big girl's bitter emotions at struggling with weight issues. I'm not even that thin. I couldn't care less whether I am the "right" size. My emphasis is on health not how good I look to men. I mean what? Why live for male approval? I have different aims. Yet I'm villified often as a way of trying to put me down by telling me I'm not a proper anyway because I don't seek attention from men or act in a way that is gender conforming. It's as if I have insecurities that don't belong to me projected and in putting a thinner woman down, one who is not happy with their size can feel better about herself.

Don't get me wrong. I have a thick skin but being human, I guess I have enough of it sometimes. Enough of awful words from people who don't know me but assume life is rosy because I an a thin young woman. Why does this myth exist? That life is sufficiently easier for a woman when she is thin. This is not true. It's not easier or worse. It's all relative to circumstance not body size. Even in the dating arena. It's not any easier trying to find someone if you're skinny. I've been living the life of a hermit for so long. You can't tell me being thin helps you find someone. In thinking that you can insult a person and expect that it is okay because they are thin is a fallacy. It's just ridiculous. In trying to level themselves against other women thinking that they big size makes them less superior, these women only end up creating animosity and what does that help. This is exactly why I don't conform to western society's ideas about female behaviour and appearance. It's the strife and complication trying to fulfill these standards brings. Here I am getting regularly dissed by big girls that have a hard time accepting themselves for who they are because fashion mags keep talking diet fads and praising the skinny look. The annoying thing about it. I have fucking noting to do with it. I just happen to be thin myself. It's all just a great big circus I tell you.

Entitlement, Ownership and Boundaries

I just finished reading the blog entry at swpd by writer Los Angelista about her encounter with a white woman who got angry and revealed her racism after a request to touch her hair was turned down. Like many of the commenters I've had such an experience. With me however as is usually the case, the person didn't ask. They just went ahead and touched it. Funny enough it was the same hair I had on at the time. In both cases I pulled away before the gesture was perceived as welcome. The people were involved also like the white woman in the above account expressed disdain at my withdrawal. What's wrong with touching someone's hair when this is prohibited. Everything. How dare someone come out of nowhere and feel entitled to try to touch another's hair without even asking? I see it was racism because hey presto, the dummies were both white. If you recognised a common humanity with someone else you would treat them in a manner you yourself would like to be treated. Respectfully and with the correct decency and dignity.

I try to put myself in their position. If I were a person who has been told all my life that I am superior. That I am entitled to do as I please as those who share my ethnicity often do and consequently get away with. Wouldn't I feel it alright to approach a complete stranger, a person of colour who I know nothing of aside from the fact that they happen to be in my immediate vicinity and touch their hair without any permission given on their part. What stupidity! There is nothing harmless about this. Yes touching a person period is an intimate act. To try to reach a level of non-consensual emotional intimacy with a stranger who does not welcome your advances is harassing.

I rarely personalise these events. There people's perceptions are quite obviously jaded by their cloak of white privilege. I maintain my dignity and use these as noted results from experiments in social study. It's the stance I take in order to survive. They like to treat me as their objects why not use them as my own guinea pigs upon which observations can be made. Haha. If I had to dwell on all the things that racists articulate and gesture toward me daily. Here on the African continent even. Probably worse because they picture themselves as beacons of civilisation against the backdrop of a black "savage" population. Yet it is the racism itself that is savage and heinous. I witness acts of sheer hilarity. The ignorant white person's condition of believing that he can do all he or she wants is something I'll never truly fathom in my mind. I just can't. I'm not being self-righteous but what does it really take to get to the point where you on longer see another human as human. What they are. Simply what they are. Equal and human as you are.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy

All I could muster in my mind after hearing former US President Jimmy Carter's opinion about the Health Care Plan fallout is "thank you, someone has finally said it". That it is not a person of colour so he will not be called out on racial anxiety as white people often say we do. Jokes have always been made of this. I remember a string of "it's because i'm black" commercials (can't remember which product was being endorsed) where the black person was taken the mickey out of for "seeing" racism even where it may not exist. There are a pile of anonymous commenters at Macon D's stuff white people do blog who make there similar remarks. It's a quintessential case of denial and it just doesn't help. Dr Robin Smith often makes the analogy of "putting a plaster over a tumor" and them hoping it will in away with respect to psychological wounds. Unless the cancer is treated accordingly, it's not going to heal. That's what nations such as the Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia, USA, South Africa need. Healing. Healing which may only emerge from open discussion about issues of race and not juvenile insults and rants toward the nation's leaders and their plans to make the nation better for all.

I'm of the notion that one who tries to deny racism or avert speaking of it is just as worse as the racist himself. When a person is not critically aware of the world around them, they are easily prone to absorbing ideas about race and gender that the majority upholds. In the US, it is the white capitalist male-dominant ideology that reigns supreme and if you couldn't be bothered to apply proper critique. You might end ur riding along the wave and standing firm for belief systems that have reinforced social division and not facilitated fair treatment of all human beings as equals.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Tempers Flaring

What a month it's been. Americans losing their minds left right and centre. People, what's up? Is the recession having this effect on you? Lunacy. Let's being with the twat I've always known to be narcissistic. To those in the know, Kanye's disrupted many an award show and spilled many an obtuse statement publicly. So now, a big deal because it the victim of his unthinking conduct is a innocuous teenage country songstress. He seems always on a mission to grab attention and he'll get it any way he can. That's the sadness of it. He fails to look beyond his intentions to examine the likely repurcussions of his actions. I agree with the Diary of an Anxious Black Woman blog writer, this act contained traces of sexism and misogyny. Better you steal a woman's limelight and attempt to speak on behalf of another woman as if she has on voice of her own. Defamatory.

In relation to the US president's comment which no one would have otherwise heard of had it not been for in insolent journalist who knows not his boundaries. He's right, and it's good to know the president is not alienated from the pop culture of the nation he's leading. Hopeless minded individuals may think that they are privy to every detail of the President's private conversations. How so? Are they telepathic? What part of "leaked audio" do they fail to understand. Part of a President's job is to remain diplomatic and cool in the face of heat. Who knows what he could have been thinking standing on that podium glancing at ignoramus Wilson after that lame comment. Easily have been cursing him out in his mind but dare he say it knowing his position.

As for Kanye's Mtv stunt. The bully explanation is worth considering. Would he have stepped up to Slim Shady in the hip hop category? If so we would have witnessed an onstage brawl and not a passive acquiescence the likes of Taylor. She is resilient. Give her credit for that. The twitter republic is more offended than she is. What does that say of how much of a role the public makes in blowing an event to an disproportionate size?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Faithful Proteges of La Grace: or not?

From the beginning it was clear that Lady Gaga was somewhat of a modern-day blonde version of the iconic Grace Jones. The pantless outfits, the outrageous designs courtesy of 'Haus of Gaga' and the sexually uninhibited nature of the Konvict music artist known as Lady Gaga. She caught my attention from the start and although her songs may be repetitive, weak and lacking in real substance she is exciting and fresh - a

I am a huge Grace Jones fan but I have an objection to those that just outright emulate her without adding a touch of their own individuality. Yes, Rihanna I'm talking to you. Showing up at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this year dressed the exact same way Grace Jones was last year at the same event may I add. What copycat-ism.
Black Snob posted some images from the Couture Supplement of Vogue Italia a while back. It was then we came full circle to realising who she really and truly is inspired by.
However, the comparisons are ill-placed. Ri-ri may be able to dress and make herself up as La Jones but will she ever acquire that Hurricane-like ferocity that she commanded in her music and videos. She's not convincing me. No, Madame. You need to tighten up on the eccentric maneuvers and try acting a little less cute.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Final Straw

Her actions are "indefensible" says John Macenroe about Serena's outburst at this year's US Open semifinal. It was suprising to see her acting that way. I'd never imagined Serena to have such a violent nature but knowing what it's like to be on the receiving end of racism, I can somewhat empathise. The Williams have had to put up with racism from tennis crowds to umpires favouring white opponents over Venus and Serena. Maybe that lineswoman who made the foot fault call was in Serena's eyes lobbying for Clijsters to take it and not making warranted calls. So Serena became irate. In doing so, she provoked the cowardly woman to run to the umpire with her tail between her legs to file a complaint of disorderly conduct - racket smash. This is what caused the point penalty that made her lose. Well, well, well.

As an afterthought, I wonder if the person having that outburst were white, the Asian lineswoman would have reacted in a similar fashion. Black people are often perceived in a negative light even with accordance to the mildest forms of fervour and irritation. Bigots often associate black people with negatively abstract ideas. For instance, an assertive black person is either angry or bitter. But a white who displays assertiveness is viewed as a symbol of strength and power - a dominating force who is most likely to succeed in life for owning these very qualities. A double standard brought about by white privilege.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More to Love

Mika sang it well - "Big girls, you are beautiful". It's wonderful to see such a strong emergence of non-skinny women on the entertainment scene. The standards must erode away until they're gone. Not every woman out there is super-thin. Big girls usually have the most powerful voices anyway.

Gabourey Sidibe who acts in the movie Precious. The movie has not come out yet so can't say much but I'm anxious to see it.

Beth Ditto, lead singer of the group gossip who's impressed everyone with her unique vocals. What a diva.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Joe Wilson the Ignoramus

Wow, Nancy Pelosi's face said it all. She took a double look and creased her eyebrows in bemusement. What was Joe Wilson thinking shouting "You lie" to the President after making a statement about illegals not being included in the new Health Care program. What kind of sense of entitlement causes a person to yell out something that profane during a President's address. White Republicans and Conservatives are really having a hard time eating their humble pie and just accepting the President of the US for who he is. Not just another black man who they're so used to looking down upon and infantilizing but the most important and powerful man in the land.

Shame on them!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Caster's Verdict-Intersex

So the truth is out. While most were on the "She's a man" bandwagon. There were some less exaggerative ones speculating that she has a biologically androgynous nature. So what are they going to do about her career now? This case may raise some questions about how to classify hermaphroditic individuals in sports. Those who fall outside of the gender binary have always been shunned and pushed to the margins of society. Perhaps stories such as that of Caster Semenya will force the world to rethink the way it approaches gender issues within sporting tournaments.
As for the 'YOU' magazine spread. It appears to me as a desperate last ditch effort to prove to everyone that she is just a regular 18 year old woman.

The Black Snob referred to YOU as a "tabloid" magazine. Haha. Props to Danielle's sense of humour. Never thought of it that way. Just one of those long standing locally produced cheap mag with creepy articles sometimes. Come to think of it, it's a kind of paper mix of gossip, local stories, fashion articles for teens, cartoons, a short story, a TV guide, a centrefold porter, more articles. It's loaded with things . That anyone would find it necessary to buy regularly is beyond me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

District 9: Finally Seen It

Two days ago, I satisfied my curiosity and went ahead to check it out. Funny incident. A man resembling JM Coetzee became impatient whilst waiting in the ticket queue about 30 minutes before the movie was scheduled to begin because there was only one till operating. He angrily tried to nudge me forward, it was ridiculous. I was the only one in front of him and the line was short. Patience is something so many must make a habit. Since I love watching people get mad in public, it was really hilarious.

So let's get to the movie. It's really on surprise to me that it turned out the way it did. Hollywood can't help but revert to stereotypes in relation to people of colour. Once again, the main protagonist is white. We are forced to view people of colour, in this case Nigerians, as somewhat subhuman or a deviation from normality. We perceive the story through an intrinsically white lens and thus empathise with the protagonist and his life. So I can certainly agree now that I've seen it with the critiques made at racialicious. It may not be an allegorical reference to apartheid entirely but it did deal wad of offensive racial stereotypes. My question is was the Nigerian aspect really needed. What part did it play within the main plot other than that of attempting to provide comical relief in somewhat of a heavy movie. In that case, it seems Neil Blomkamp and his people found it quite appropriate to 'bamboozle' these caricatured characters. Typical Hollywood style.

As far as the movie being an apartheid allegory, I beg to differ. If the prawns are somewhat of a representation of blacks during the time of National Party rule, why is it that they come from a different planet. Remember who the original inhabitants were. This movie does not come across as allegorical. It was a worthy attempt at science fiction within an incongruous context. But some aspects of it were just plain egregious. Either way, I'm glad to see more blockbuster-scale movies being shot on the continent. Let's just hope the writers and directors will attempt to do a wiser job at portraying characters in a less prejudiced and more progressive light.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

When the World Debates Your Gender

What a firestorm Miss Semenya has caused. Ever since, she siezed the gold medal for the 800m women's at the IAAF Champs, she's been at the centre of this totally ridiculous controversy concerning her gender.

It's funny to me. When I saw her running, it did not even occur to me that her gender is somewhat unclear. I saw a young woman running exceptionally well and clobbering her competitors. As it turned out, the French and Russian runners that she beat were upset about the astounding way she won the race and went on a mission to create some speculation.

She's been treated to a hero's welcome here - OR Tambo Airport was populated with hundreds of newfound fans congratulating her first-time performance at the tournament.
But it's the questions that baffle me. She's muscular yes, she's strong and athletic in physique like most other athletes yet there still remains a big question mark as to what side of the population she should be classified under and it's kind of tragic.

I know she's a woman. You can see it on her face. She may not conform to the popular standard of beauty that society seems to dictate. Her hair is not long, her body is not soft, her breasts are not full and she does not wear her hair long. That's exactly why she's been given so much scrutiny. I really don't think they would have bothered had she been more feminine in the way she appears.

I've even heard some say that she must change her ways and learn female etiquette. Once again, it comes down to the gender-binary and the pressure it puts on androgynes to fit the norm. I wrote a post about gender-role transcendence before and this is certainly something to consider here. We're a long way away from a world where gender is hardly an issue in the way people are judged.

On the other hand, I would agree with those that accuse those that alleged against her of racism. Would they have bothered to bring this up if she had not placed first and simply won silver or bronze or nothing at all? No, they would not have given a damn and that goes to show that whites still have a problem with people of colour dominating sport. Venus and Serena have had to face up to the same challenges and evne worse for them playing in a sport which is white-dominated.

Claims of racism were made against "white media" and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) by politicians and Athletics South Africa (ASA) president Leonard Chuene these past two days, but Sam said Semenya formed part of their strategy for London and would remain so unless an investigation into Semenya's gender by the IAAF proved otherwise.

The bloggers at racialicious made some pertinent comments about the whole charade and I could certainly agree with most of what is being said by the media defending Semenya's privacy. This case should have been handled in a confidential manner but it's leaked. Can you imagine having the whole world debate on whether or not you really are what you claim to be? I certainly can't.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Long Silence

J Randy Taraborrelli's 620 page biography on the late Michael has kept me busy for a while. Was a fanatic of course, it was necessary to undertake this venture and glad I did. A bevy of new information earned and my oh my how entertaining. He was a character. Don't need to say that but this book is privy to knowledge even some hardcore fans may not have known. So, officially over it but the full musical collection must still be owned so not entirely achieved closure.

Between dodging annoying people without assuming the battlefield stance and laughing at simpletons parading the TV screen on "reality" shows. I've managed to gain momentum in fueling ideas for a literary project. This is all very personal and never write full posts this way but funny as it may seem. I don't have much else to say. How apathetic of me. Well. That's a wrap for now. Keep it locked.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Compassion for the Plight of the "other"

Is perhaps one of the most incredible triumphs of human character to note. We don't realise it but recognising the humanity in those that are not like us is a challenge. Especially in a world that is so bent on forming divisions instead of breaking them through empathy and understanding.

These thoughts emanate from an article in the Saturday Star Canvas by Janet Smith. This month we celebrate women's lib or what we have of it. Though much needs to be done to obtain full equality, great strides have already been made. In comparison to women that lived half a century ago, we have many more opportunities to grow and progress as humans and not simply women. Ideas surrounding gender roles are much less rigid. Women can more or less do anything they want to. For that, it is a privilege to be a woman in the 21st century.

But it is a woman's location that makes all the difference. Muslim states in Africa and Asia still practice brutal genital mutilations. A clear act of pure unadultered misogyny which is accompanied by a myriad of other heinous acts.
I began this post with some talk about empathy. A recent movie which has struck plenty of controversy mainly owed to a scene in which a woman mutilates herself 'Antichrist' has left me wondering. The European public is so up in arms about this scene which is part of a movie and thus not real but less troubled by the reality of the many thousands of mutilations that take place. It serves to speak of how empathy breaks down almost immediately at the ethnic barrier. The West is somewhat indifferent to the suffering of those is less developed regions of the world because of this business of seeing only the "other" and not a fellow human being similar in a number of ways.
Otherization is something we have probably all been guilty of. Recognising that common humanity that binds us is one way forward toward a post-racial and post-sexist society and world.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

History Making: Empowerment and Inspiration to Women and Hispanics

I'm wary of those that always try to suppress matter of race as if they mean little. Keeping silent about racial prejudice and other forms of segregation will not help these injustices disappear nor will it heal the wounds and break the divisions caused by systemic bigotry. One who avoids discussions of this nature is quite possibly fearful somewhat of confronting their own prejudiced ideas pertaining to the "other" and therefore chooses to ignore the issue altogether. It is somewhat an attempt to mask the dirt lying beneath the carpet surface instead of sweeping it away and disposing it off. This is what a person who avoids conversation about race is to me.

That being said. It is highly essential that Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation into the US Supreme Court be regarded as a historical moment based on her race and gender. Though she reached her position not based on these factors alone. It is still a triumph in this respect because as much as some out there like to pretend to not give a damn about race. It is impossible to ignore it and its implications on many acts of inequity and oppression throughout the world. So why try to?

Disturbing Doesn't Even Begin to Describe

The short story I just recently discovered. Written by the author of the book from which the motion picture 'Fight Club' was adapted, Chuck Palahnuik. It is a gruesome three-act account of household accidents which take place under similar motivations. I'm being euphemistic of course. You'll have to read it yourself. It's not for the faint-hearted, no pun intended considering that approximately 70 people to date have fainted during public readings of the story. I grimaced without moving while going through it. It was that horrendous.

This is why literature is such an exhilirating force. The power that can be evoked through an ordered compilation of words coupled with the images strewn together by one's imagination. This is where the power is. I may not have fainted reading 'Guts' but I was intrigued, stunned and repulsed all at once. Want to know what I'm on about. Google it but be warned. It'll make you react in a strong way.