Daughter. Sister. Friend. Believer. Warrior. Writer. Voracious reader. Shoe Lover. Car Accident Survivor. Quasi philosopher. Prone to circumlocution. Beyonce stan. Retired cynic. On a quest to make a dent in the universe. Impossible to summarise in a few words.
I would love to sit and analyse Obamas speech but I don't want to take away from the magic of such a historic occasion. They say that people are disollusioned with politics. If you want a certificate to prove it, study Political Science.
You learn the sinister implications behind ambiguous buzzwords.
Discover that seemingly innocent phrases are really loaded ideological concepts.
That the history of politics is defined by disappointments.
And realise that speeches are a method to persuade the masses that you've committed to their will when in reality the incumbent (or soon to be) often intend to do the opposite.
But this election needs optimism not cynicism.
At the risk of being caught up in the euphoria of what could be............
So I direct my cousin to my blog and his response is 'Will you ever run out of things to rant about?". My response 'Of course not'! There is so much to talk about. Today for instance, we have Obama making history (YES WE CAN), MJ turning 50 (karma's a bitch he looks about 84) and a multitude of world issues (serious and trivial) that need to be dissected, interpreted and solved.
I'm on my way out, but just letting you all know there is a 'Shout Box' at the top of the page. I'm never one to shy from compliments but its real purpose is for you guys to give suggestions about what you want me to rant about and hopefully I come up with something coherent and meaningful to say.
In the coming weeks I'll be writing about gun crime/knife crime, The feral children Epidemic, exorbitant handbag prices, The Insecure Friend, The Competitor Friend, The Bleaching Debate, The Tanning debate, Light skinned vs Dark skinned (real or imagined), John McCain (give me strength), Lipstick Lesbians, Religious Fanatics (why aren't they extinct?), The Stalker State , The Case of the Ex, starting 'The Love Chronicles" and Who do we invade next? (I jest!). Basically there's a lot coming, but your comments and input makes the content so much better, so throw your ideas at me, please!!
I'm currently finishing 'The Waste Man chronicles' and I'm finding it absolutely hilarious. Funnily enough the response from men has been overwhelmingly positive but from some women, tepid at best. I suspect its because I'm chronicling the stupidity of their significant others via the world wide and as they say the truth hurts. But let me tell you something, it will also set you free!
So.....thanks for your support and spreading the word. The amount of people that read this blog is getting a bit scary, but I love it!!! I've always been told I'm insane and I'm sure you are all convinced that's still true. However by the viewing numbers its patently obvious, that I am not alone!
I'm currently on my way out and trying to find a way to (legally) avoid paying for parking in central London (any suggestions?) ......civil disobedience love it!
This is a movement.
Peace, Love and Custard Creams
P.S I know you may be thinking the 'Naomi' picture is random, however with my love for civil disobedience (for a just cause of course) and tendency to offend anyone and everyone I have accepted the fact that I probably will be doing community service at some point. And I fully intend to do it as fabulously as Naomi did.
As I have already ranted Summer 2008 has been a musical disappointment because there was no summer anthem. However I just realised that this entire decade (so far) has not birthed a single superstar and I do fear ‘The Superstar is dead’.
Today anyone who has genuine superstar status did not make a name for himself or herself in the last decade. In actual fact most of these ‘superstars’ are clinging to the last fibres of their fame with such desperation we tolerate them because of the sheer enormity of their past achievements. Hence why we pretend to enjoy the17th album or the 270th film, because they were once great but now there’s no one else to fill their shoes.
The last Superstar appeared in 1999 (Britney Spears) however since 1995 (the arbitrary date of Superstar extinction) we are yet to witness the rise of a Superstar. If pushed Beyonce could suffice, but then again she’s just really really famous but a Superstar? I’m not too sure.
Superstars. Men and women who are envied and adored. Talented, beautiful, flawed, engaging, yet aloof, hero-worshipped and eventually cut down by the very people that built them up. Their status is solidified by great achievement, great tragedy or both. And what is their greatest honour? Being known by one name whilst the rest of us need two.
So now you know what I mean when I speak of the ‘Superstar’. Indeed some of those I’ve listed are dead, however their stars were in ascendance far before they passed. These are people that became icons and made their idiosyncrasies iconic. So when you see a sparkling glove, you think of Michael. Or a conical bra, Madonna. Or a pair of Jordan’s……..well you think of Jordan. Items that when seen have the ability to cause random waves of nostalgia and act as a pleasant reminder of what was, taking you to a time and place you thought you’d forgotten. Nowadays we aren’t as fortunate. Andy Warhol’s prophecy concerning the ease of attaining fame is coming alive before our eyes. There are tons of people with visibility with no particular cause or purpose but no people that somehow define and complete eras.
A good friend of mine believes the Superstar died with the internet. The combination of globalisation, hyper-technological advances and celebrity obsession meant the mystique and enigma attached to being a star disappeared. People who would have been ‘Superstars’ have become somewhat ‘accessible’. PR agents work on overdrive attempting to over-sell the latest sensations before they fade into oblivion. And we’ve become accustomed to ‘fast-food’ celebrities, they suffice for a few moments but were hungry and want something else soon after.
See there was a time when you went on TV because you had some real skill and you were in a magazine because you did something of significance. There was a time when crack head, alcoholic, self-harming celebrities were hidden and allow to recover as opposed to being rammed down our throats whilst we watched their death descent. There was a time you when you had to imagine what celebrities children looked like instead of being able to see their offsprings nappy rash on the front of a glossy magazine.
See my friend believes the superstar is dead because the mystery is dead.
I may have to disagree. Yes the enigma of fame has disappeared, we all know someone who is semi-famous. However I believe the Superstar is dead because if you try enough, literally anyone can be ‘famous-ish’. The fact that the word ‘celebrity’ is attached to egomaniacs who are filmed, sitting in a house for 100 days, with no apparent purpose and speak complete and utter nonsense to a hole in the wall, suggests we’ve all lost the plot a bit. The bars been set unbelievably low. Paris Hilton, I’m not knocking your hustle, however enlighten me, what on earth do you actually do?
So now we have all these people with visibility but no purpose or substance. Some have pretty faces, some have rich daddies and some need to vanish, but most are so mind-numbingly boring and lack anything that people desire, we patronise them but don’t bother to pretend we adore them.
Were no longer impressed or enthralled. We don’t esteem those in the public eye because frankly most of them don't deserve it. So we may make you ‘stars’ but a ‘Superstar’? You have to be kidding.
Or maybe we don’t make people Superstars anymore because on some level we care about famous people so to save them from a fate of either a tragic death or becoming bleeding psychos once they hit middle age, they can become famous, but not that famous.
So there we have it. The superstar is dead and the celebrity killed them.
But perhaps, just perhaps after this rant, I’ll set something off in the universe and our Superstar is waiting around the corner.
Waste Man (n) ‘An adult male of adequate physical and mental capabilities who chooses not to fulfil their social, personal and/or professional obligations and in turn hinders the progress of others’
And the fact that
The number of Good Men exceeds Waste Men
The reason I don’t release the chronicles in consecutive days is because I do not want to be mistaken as a radical feminist. One of my favourite people in the world is a man (I see you Dad!) and the reality is the Waste Man is a minority but one that is growing at such a frightening rate something has to be done.
The next 3 parts, released over the next few weeks will cover; How to Spot a Waste Man; How to Side Step a Waste Man and finally How to Save a Waste Man (if you care that much). I was contemplating writing ‘How to Survive a Waste Man’ but I decided against it because I’m not Oprah.
How to Spot a Waste Man
Last week I identified ‘celebrity waste men’ just so we were all on the same page. However most of us aren’t celebrities (and no being famous in your ‘ends’ doesn’t count). So I will do my best to help you identify the Waste Men in your milieu.
As complex as the Waste Man appears to be he can be spotted using the following 5 factors (there are more but I have a hairdressers appointment).
1.The Waste Man Pack
Beyond the age of 13, you have no legitimate reason to constantly walk in public with more than 6 other people. Let me clarify this, unless there is some special occasion (birthday, stag do, carol singing) or you are a schoolteacher guiding feral children on a school trip, you have no need for more than 3 people with you on an outing.
If you meet an adult man that is constantly with more than 6 other men, run for your life. Why? By the age of 13 you should realise that everyone that claims to be a friend is not. You may have many associates/acquaintances but anyone with half a brain trying to make some progress will realise they have very few friends. That’s life.
By adult age your inner circle should become that bit tighter. If this hasn’t occurred the chances are the man in question is incredibly insecure, aimless and only finds identity by surrounding himself with people with even fewer prospects. A Waste Man Pack.
Why do I call them packs? Simple. A Waste Man on the loose is akin to a wild animal. Multiple waste men together on the loose, are a pack. They roam in packs because their chief aim is to locate and trap prey. They use various methods to entice but the most common is to drive flashy cars (usually rented) with no real purpose, in places women frequent. The size of the pack is principally determined by the amount of competition each Waste Man can accept and the amount of prey available. The larger the pack, the greater the competition for food and prey, hence the optimum size of a Waste Man Pack is 7 males, no more no less!
Some of you are so unfortunate to date the leader of the pack a.k.a ‘The Chief Waste Man’ who has made your car his principal means of transportation and his mothers home the Packs headquarters.
I have nothing more to add because I can see you all vigorously nodding your heads.
With the impending credit crunch (would it just happen so they can stop going on about it!) I do understand that unemployment is a sensitive issue.
However this particular individual was unemployed during the last 16 years of economic growth, therefore they have no excuse. This man is not genuinely unemployed (actively seeking work but unable to find it at the current wage rate) but an individual who refuses to get their act together and become a positive contribution to their respective economy.
If you are a Waste Man and you claim ‘there are no jobs’ or ‘its racism/reverse racism’………….(HUGE SIGH)
There are jobs. Many jobs. My suspicion is that you feel the jobs available are ‘below’ you. And they may be. However, real pride is not thinking your too good to do the apparently menial jobs that only illegal aliens are willing to take, but realising that you would rather be underemployed and underpaid than live off the government.
And yes unfortunately racism still exists but you moping about it wont make a shred of difference. Pull your socks up and work your best to ensure that any misconceptions fascist employers have of you being less than equal are smashed every time they see you doing something positive.
And to reverse racism (that is a whole other rant).
Let’s establish something, I generally don’t believe what I ‘hear’ about people and prefer to base my opinion on my personal interaction with them. Truth is, everyone deserves a chance.
The thing is, it is really hard to cock up so much that the general consensus (opinions of exes, parents, friends and school teachers included) is that someone is no good. Therefore if you have heard ONLY negative things about a man and you still choose to entertain them you do so at your own peril.
In actual fact this is the biggest indicator of Waste Man status and the only one necessary, but for some of you swimming in a river called denial its not enough so I’ll do two more. 4.Justification Principle
If you find yourself having to constantly ‘justify’ the actions of a male- whether its your father, son, brother, cousin, boyfriend, milkman, chances are they are a Waste Man. Most common justifications ‘You just don’t understand him’, ‘He really means well’, ‘It wasn’t like that’ and the most common……drum roll please ‘You just don’t see his good side’. (SIGHS)
The day a person’s darkness has so overwhelmingly consumed their light and you have to make such a statement on their behalf, they are (whether you admit it or not) a Waste Man.
5.The Heart Effect
This is for women so unfortunate to be in love with a Waste Man. If your heart rate is confused as whether to rise or sink when they call you, you are dealing with a Waste Man.
Why does your heart rate want to rise? Well after 5 days of waiting you’re elated they’ve called you, as its been agony not texting/calling them first. Your heart also wants to sink because you’re fully aware of the impending folly. Lies, excuses, drama and an overdrawn conversation with a predictable outcome (you hang up the phone).
You then run up your phone bill and disturb your best friend by repeating (verbatim) every single bleeding line of the conversation.
To The Waste Men out there, this is not personal, it’s essential.
Till Next Time
Peace, Love and Your neighbours Wireless
Though Christina Ama Mbakwe makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in her rants, this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for formal psychological advice from your therapist/life coach/priest or all the above.
Christiana Ama Mbakwe will not be responsible for any loss, however arising, from the use of, or reliance on this information.
As you are quite aware this summer has been quite slow news wise. No kids have gone missing (thank God), no huge natural disasters and bar the Beijing Olympics, which were magnificent yet soulless there have been very few massive headlines.
So if there are no stories, you either create one or make one bigger than it should be. The news is that Trinny & Susannah’s contract wont be renewed by ITV as the Gok Wan Effect (We Love You Gok!) has meant that their fashion advice hegemony has been blown to smithereens. I can’t say I’m sad about it.
I never was a fan of ‘What Not To Wear’, those revolting 360° mirrors were enough to make a Victoria’s Secret model feel depressed about her form let alone the apparently ‘frumpy’ women that for some unknown reason put themselves at their mercy. Every time I’d watch them grab some poor wallflowers stomach/love handles/breasts in the most inappropriate fashion, I’d literally scream at the TV ‘Leave Her Alone!!!’
The show was agony on the BBC and when it moved to ITV it became the equivalent of listening to a scratched Dido record on loop whilst needing to go the toilet. Hell on Earth. Don’t get me wrong I actually really like Trinny & Susannah; they’re tough, opinionated, strong and unafraid to speak their minds. I do hope despite this rant they will still someday agree to be my mentors. I just thought their advice was pretty rich considering neither really had that much personal style. They might as well have had ‘THE IRONY’ branded on their foreheads.
Let me leave Trinny and Sue alone! My issue is with the whole TV makeover format period. Let’s go through a few of the other shows.
Extreme Makeover A show that turns unattractive people into different looking unattractive people.
Extreme Makeover (Home Edition) A show that builds beautiful homes in hideous areas that the owners will probably never be able to afford to maintain.
The Biggest Looser Fat people are mean to other fat people in the quest of getting $1 million/becoming skinny (and simultaneously loose any dignity they may have had left at half a ton).
10 Years Younger After Big Brother perhaps the most unethical show on British Television. Here middle-aged woman discover that despite going under the knife they are just as miserable before. The difference is, after being literally stitched up by a vet masquerading as a ‘surgeon’ they now can’t express their misery and only look ‘surprised’.
Celebrity Fit Club Celebrities (the term used in the loosest sense possible) realise that their stars are fading not because they’re overweight but because frankly absolutely no one cares. The only reason we watch is because the scale that works out your percentage weight loss has the ability to hypnotise.
Unfortunately there are countless women (and men) with body image issues. Magazines don’t help, other women don’t help and these makeover shows make it even worse. These shows are another method of pushing the same tired and twisted agenda that looking better will somehow make your life better. Now don’t get me wrong I’m fully aware that being pleased about what you see in the mirror can boost your confidence, however looks aren’t everything.
The reality is the women/men that frequent these shows don’t actually have anything physically wrong with their appearance. I’m yet to watch a show where the person in question has a serious life altering deformity. Like a missing limb. A missing eye. A disorder, which means the muscles in their face degenerate. Or a nose so small they struggle to breathe.
Instead we have some self-pitying, over-privileged, fortunate yet unaware simple woman complaining about how her nose is ‘slightly’ out of shape, she has crows feet and its made her ‘so depressed she cant get out of bed in the morning’. Have I missed something? For crying out loud, there are blind people that would love to have the ability to see their crows feet! Yes I know pain is relative, but lets get some freaking persepective!!!!! In essence, the gripes that these people have about their physical appearance are minor but we pander to their nonsense because it is entertaining to watch and is so doing we ensure twisted TV networks get the ratings they so crave.
I’m not acting like I’m the walking image of body security as I have a number of hang-ups that I complain about way more than I should. However over hearing my little sister (age 8) ask ‘How many calories does it have’ when buying a cake with her pocket money, I realised I needed to shut up and not allow my hang-ups to ruin her innocence and create a cycle of insecurity.
Frankly enough is enough. As I’ve touched on in ‘The Weight Issue’ the media seems to take great pleasure in constantly telling us how were not good enough. Indeed were so useless the only way we can attain value is by the things we posses or the way we look. That’s why there are men with spinning rims even though they can’t see them rotate whilst they’re driving and women who rent yet value of their handbag collection is the deposit on a house. We have all bought the line that we are defined by what we own and how we look.
However the line is a lie. The things that really matter in life and truly define us can’t be bought. Love, true friendship, happiness, character, peace…you get my drift!
This is not a rant suggesting you should all take the ‘forget effort route’. Nothing tires me more than seeing people mask their insecurity by pretending they don’t care about their appearance. There’s nothing wrong with making an effort to look good, I would be a hypocrite to suggest otherwise. However the other extreme, only caring about your appearance and nothing else, is just as bad, if not worse. I’m just asking for a bit of balance.
See I would have no problem if makeover shows dealt with the real issue. The fact that these women (and men) cared so much about what others thought, they’d let the twisted perceptions of what they apparently should be, cloud their eyes and crucially affect how they perceive themselves. As such they failed to recognise the fact that the day they embrace who they are (and who they are not) the worlds opinion becomes irrelevant. For as long as one is happy with self, validation from other sources is unnecessary. However they won’t do that as there would be no profit in a society of physically and emotionally content individuals. Therefore they seek to retain the status quo and happiness is reduced to physical appearance.
Frankly, I’m sick of seeing beautiful friends suffer silently with horrible eating disorders.
Men who believe the size of their biceps define them
Women who ruin their skin by exceesive bleaching/tanning (a whole other rant!)
Watching perfectly normal looking women try and shift post-baby weight in a ridiculous amount of time.
And not eating the one thing that makes life worth living (Carbs!)
Today I say,
Fingers up to the ‘Make Over’ format!
Memo to the powers that be. We are all quite aware that we are imperfect and will never match up to the unattainable standards you have set. However we are people on a journey, towards embracing and dare I say ‘loving’ what we see in the mirror. (My God, what a cliché!)
Peace, Love and Gok Wan
P.S Gok Wan is exempt because the premise of his show is that the women were fabulous before, the clothes (or lack thereof in How to Look Good Naked) merely enhance this fact. Gok Wan for Prime Minister!
Its GCSE/A-Level results season and so ensues the same tired headlines about how a C in 2000 and whatever is the equivalent of an F in 1822 and that the latest set of results are evidence that British Society is being ‘dumbed down’. Stupid headlines that annoy me. Why? They’re completely irrelevant. We are not and never will be in 1822. Exam results aren’t supposed to measure how smart you would have been 100 odd years ago. The students will go on to compete against people that lived in the 21st century not kids from a former era so the need to make such arbitrary comparisons is always beyond me. I digress!
Anyway! The last slot on the evening news is generally dedicated to some really weird looking child, aged 7-11 that managed to get an A*s in IT and German, became national chess champion blindfolded and all the while having a perfectly ‘normal’ childhood. Or even better a set of triplets who have 38 A*s between them. The journalists try and convince us these freaks of nature are shockingly brilliant and their parents claim they ‘just let the kids be kids’ didn’t push them at all and it all came ‘naturally’. Bullshit.
Newsflash. Kids that get brilliant results/do pretty well are really not that bright. Most of them are average or just above average. The truth is they work hard and are a reflection of social conditioning. The kids that usually get a mass of A*s come from middle class homes, go to very good schools and are heavily tutored. Bottom line. It’s not their ability it’s their access. You plonk that ‘genius’ in different social conditions and I assure you they would not attain the same results.
Don’t get me wrong some of these kids are genuinely clever, but examinations aren’t necessarily the best reflection of intelligence. In my opinion GCSE’s and A-Levels are socially biased, anyone that excels at either will explain there is a system and a method. If you understand how the system/marks schemes work and have the privilege to go to a school that has the adequate means and human capital to exploit this to its utmost i.e. walking the kids through the course in a meticulous fashion, 90% of the time you will do well. However if you are so unfortunate to go to a school that is understaffed, under-equipped yet over subscribed, the chances are you wont perform as well as you potentially could have. Yes there are anomalies, but this is the general trend.
You see a long time ago, the elite sat down (old European men) decided what was deemed as ‘intelligent’, drew a arbitrary yet biased line and decided to be intelligent you had to be above this line. They then proceeded to instituitionalise this line and ensured that they raised their children so that they crossed the imaginary ‘intelligence’ threshold. In short ‘intelligence’ and measures of intelligence are the most subjective crock of bull ever.
I became convinced of this when at university I discovered that not only were most of the people around me average at best but so were most of the lecturers (I’m so gonna get sued lol). Personally the most genuinely brilliant minds I’ve been exposed to are people that aren’t traditionally deemed as intelligent i.e. the apparently ‘uneducated’.
Now what infuriates me most about the people that are apparently ‘intelligent’, is that due to institutional bias, they will inevitably rise to the top, get to positions of power, believe they are smarter than they actually are ,ensure the retention of the status quo, procreate and cycle continues.
My point. The world is run by a bunch of really average people who believe they are smart when they really aren’t that bright. How many times have you heard your parents say ‘my boss is such an idiot’ or how many times have you said it yourself? That’s because they probably are. But because of a school system that doesn’t teach people how to really think, you know deeply process ideas and question ideals, standards and concepts but instead teaches people to memorise, regurgitate and articulate themselves to a decent standard, idiots run the universe. That combined with rampant nepotism, which means the elite control everything that matters (I see you George W Bush) were pretty screwed.
What annoys me is that there are thousands of kids up and down this country being made to feel inadequate because they didn’t achieve a standard, which is not only biased but flawed. Most end up slipping through the cracks, underachieve and go through life feeling stupid because they didn’t get a C in Maths or English. A travesty.
I’m not belittling the value in learning Maths or English or having the drive to succeed academically. I’m just saying that academics are not the defining line of intelligence. This is not an attempt to undermine the value of education, I am just stating that the realm of education does not begin or end in the classroom/lecture theatre. Education has no boundaries. It is a lifelong, all encompassing, ongoing, living process that occurs all the time and will only cease when we die. Simple.
So to the kids that got a clutch of D’s, E’s and U’s. Ok its not been the best end to your summer. However you are not stupid nor are you a failure. You just haven’t found what you're best at, or been in an environment, which enables you to discover your strengths. You just need to find your ‘thing’. Work hard, look hard and you’ll find it. I suspect its what your most passionate about.
To kids that did well, tutor or no tutor, I congratulate you all.
To the rest of us. Life is a game. The powers-that-be have already defined the rules and we can’t change that. However we decide how smart we play. We play smarter than them and we’ll redefine the game itself.
This is a movement!
Peace, Love and Smash Paradigms
P.S For those of you think this is a bitter rant because I struggle academically, send me an email I’ll forward you my examination transcripts.......lol!
At the beginning of last week I seriously contemplated putting up a rant about how I just couldn’t get into the swing of the Olympics and it was a sign that either I was changing or the games would be defunct in a century. Then there was a shift. The events that mattered started to happen. No disrespect to the incredible athletes who row, dive, somersault, curl (is that the term), weight lift…….we do care but if they announced the Olympics would be reduced to track & field, none of us would be that heartbroken. The other events are great and we will feign interest but it’s the 100m that gets our hearts racing, evokes patriotic emotion we didn’t know we had and always has some element of controversy.
If you had to sum up the 2008 Beijing Olympics in two words, they would be Usain Bolt. When he won the 100m dash in one of the most unorthodox fashions ever, I was at first confused (didn’t really get the carnival at the end) then I was quite happy. He’s young, talented and brings a completely different dynamic to sport. Then Daily Mail happened.
For some unknown reason my mother insists on buying this paper even though I have told her its sole aim is to contribute to the prejudices that still exist in British society. Every time I see her with it I scream ‘Buy the Standard, the Guardian, the Times, the bleeding Star, anything but the Daily Fascist’ she apologises claims she’ll change and goes back to buying it. It’s getting a bit tired. Last week was no different. Unfortunately there were no other newspapers of substance in the vicinity and I wanted to read sports coverage on the historic victory. So I gave into temptation and the Mail proceeded to place seeds of doubts in my mind.
Yesterday watching Bolt break another record this time in the 200m, those doubts resurfaced. I do hope that critics claims that Bolt’s victory is down to illegal assistance are incorrect, however my rational side isn’t so hopeful. In recent years so many athletes have been exposed as cheats, Marion Jones, Linford Christie, Carl Lewis, you really can’t help but wonder. The truth is, history is not on Bolt’s side.
The most damming fact is that Jamaica has no anti-doping federation and this cannot be overlooked. However as mystical as this may sound when you watch Bolt run, there seems to be something special about him. I just hope its not produced in a factory in Latin America.
Then don’t you think if he was on drugs he would win in a much more subtle fashion? Breaking two world records straight out the gate is tantamount to a pickpocket walking down Oxford suit wearing a black and white robbers outfit with a balaclava. A bit too obvious don’t you think?
Then again when you cast your mind back to that swine Ben Johnson and the fact he said “All the winners are on drugs” . Heck even some losers are on drugs (head up Dwain Chambers lol), it just takes one above average athlete to take drugs and it instantly makes the playing field uneven. This means that athletes with average ability simply cant compete and unless you’re extraordinarily gifted, to have a fighting chance of winning you would need some sort of illegal assistance. So then a few more start taking drugs, it ups the ante and before you know it, everyone’s doing it. The Athletics Domino effect. It just takes one.
There are some events where I am absolutely convinced at least 70% of the athletes are on drugs. Watching the ladies shot put heats I realised that if they weren’t on drugs most nations had fielded men on the sly or these women were transgendered at best. It wasn’t because of the dreadful haircuts, it was their physiques. Now I know plenty of women that work out, some constantly, but for them to begin to resemble men and their breasts morph into pecks, beyond being drip fed protein they would need a little help. Someone say steroids? Most of those women were a bunch of glorified junkies. Yeah I said it and I don’t care. Sue me! I’ve got nothing to my name but a whole heap of gorgeous clothes that won’t even fit around your bleeding necks, so go for it!
Athletics is supposed to reflect the fact that it is not only about your gift but about your level of discipline, focus and drive. In essence your talent can only take you so far, your character makes the difference. Legalising banned substances would completely eradicate the little integrity sports have left. So to ensure the athletic equivalents of Amy Winhouse and Pete Doherty don’t get rewarded for their deception I have a solution. If you’re caught taking drugs, you can still compete, just with ‘CHEAT’ branded on your forehead. Simple.
Anyway, life has a funny way. Usain is you’re clean, more power to you. If you’re not, then the universe will ensure you end up a fallen hero. Or maybe Bolt is the next Flo-Jo, an athlete constantly shrouded in suspicion yet the tests come back clean.
This is probably the first rant where I have been genuinely on the fence about an issue. What do you think?
Peace, Love and Frankie Fredricks!
P. S Paula Radcliffe must be the cleanest athlete ever because she always gets close, but she never manages to clinch the deal. However if it emerges she was ever on drugs they need to hunt down her dealer and jail them for attributing to the disappointment of our nation in every major sporting event that actually maters.
There are Waste Men from Harlesden to the Himalayas. If there is life on the moon I can assure you there are Waste Aliens.This is a pandemic and the virus does not discriminate. It sees neither colour, creed nor geographical location. Due to the depth and breath of this issue one rant will never suffice. There needs to be an encyclopedia on avoiding this specific specimen. So I have decided to make this a series of rants called ‘The Waste Man Chronicles’
Let me make something clear. The number of Good Men exceeds Waste Men. I repeat. Good Men outnumber Waste Men. If you believe all men are ‘Waste Men’ the chances are you’re the useless individual and the calibre of men in your milieu are a reflection of this fact. In essence you need to change your situation and elevate yourself instead of pointing the finger of blame at the men around you.
Unfortunately Good Men don’t get the acknowledgement they deserve because Waste Men’s misdeeds are of such magnitude they overshadow their fine endeavours. So before I go on, a quick shout out to all the Good Men, keep doing your thing, there’s no point me ranting as the reality is you’re doing what you should!
The term Waste Man is a highly contested concept. As such it is often misused, abused and used in its loosest sense. To ensure we are all on the same page I have formed my own definition of what a Waste Man is:
Waste Man (n) ‘An adult male of adequate physical and mental capabilities who chooses not to fulfill their social, personal and/or professional obligations and in turn hinders the progress of others’
A Waste Man is not a man who doesn’t call you back. No. That is a man who doesn’t want to hear your voice.
However, if that man happens to be your father or the father of your child and persistently doesn’t return your calls, specifically when he has an obligation, financial or otherwise. He is a Waste Man.
A Waste Man is not a man whose income is below your salary expectations. Any man that works to earn a legitimate wage, regardless of his income level deserves respect as there are millions of other able-bodied adults who choose not to seek employment.
On the other hand, if a man has been in the same position for 5 + years without a stitch of progress, promotion or elevation. He is a Waste Man.
If a man earns a legitimate wage, but is in frivolous debt because he maintains a lifestyle above his income to keep up with the Jones’ / the Oluwatoyins. He is a Waste Man.
If you pay attention to the final clause of my definition you will notice the phrase ‘hinders the progress of others’. If you are so unfortunate to have a Waste Man in your environment you will be fully aware that at some point the spillover effect means they will have a negative impact on how you carry out your social, personal and professional obligations.
Some women are in debt.
Some women have gone up/down 4 dress sizes.
Some women have lost their hair over stress.
Some Waste Men have created jaded children who sadly due to lack of input also grow up to be Waste Men.
This is completely unacceptable.
Unfortunately Waste Men can often be difficult to spot because they are complex specimens with a multitude of manifestations. So to create clarity, here are some well-known waste men.
Eddie Murphy Any man that publicly denies the paternity of a child and when paternity is proven still chooses to have nothing to do that child, multi-millionaire or not, is a Waste Man. If it weren’t for Coming To America (She’s Your Queen To-oo Beeeeeee) I would dedicate an entire rant to him, however that film will be his ‘Get Out of Jail Card’ forever. Callum Best He has achieved nothing and his only claim to fame is having a sporting legend as a father and knowing Lindsay Lohan. As much as I love England, welfare state/entitlement culture means we often reward social failures. Therefore his uselessness has landed him a show on MTV. This has taken his Waste Man level to unprecedented heights and proved that he needs to get a real job before the checks stop coming in.
K-Fed pre-Britney Meltdown Proof that Waste Men can change, though before Britney got ill (Get better Britney, We Love You!) the only work he seemed to do was put on his trucker hat in the morning.
R Kelly This man goes beyond being a Waste Man as he is a pervert who preys on underage girls. He unashamedly calls himself the Pied Piper and to rub it in makes an album called ‘The Chocolate Factory’. Since I’m actively boycotting his music I’ve slipped this sick man in.
Pete Doherty Where do I begin?!
In the Waste Man Chronicles I am going to don my pink Power Ranger Suit and attempt to do my bit to eradicate this social issue as the disease can be cured but as they say, prevention is better than cure.
So to all you hopeless bastards who won’t/can’t keep a job, don’t pay your way, bills due today and every day, haven’t seen your kids in 5 months, haven’t called your mum in a week, car better than your crib, living lies has become your truth, roam in packs akin to the Wu Tang Clan and would rather lend your friend money than your significant other………..
I am currently enrolled on a summer course called perfecting the art of sloth. The bulk of my coursework involves sitting around watching trashy TV and laughing at rubbish music videos (New Kids on the Block, are you for real?). Whilst watching the channel that indulges my foolishness the most (Shout out to Living TV!) I saw an advert for a show called ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’. This is not a rant about the tastelessness of such a show, because reality TV became the holy grail of senselessness a long time ago. This is a rant about Gold Diggers and the men that end up with them.
Anyone that makes a decision to be in a relationship with someone on the basis of a SINGLE factor is an idiot. I repeat, an idiot. Whether this factor is the person’s race, class, income, weight, looks or thug appeal, it is still an act of stupidity. Why? Because the reality is, as appealing as this single factor may seem, it does not work in isolation. The factor works in conjunction with many others, some good and some bad. Hence why a man can be incredibly smart but have the personality of a gold fish. Or a woman can be absolutely beautiful but have a tongue as corrosive as activated hair relaxer. That’s life, people are complex. Therefore reducing a person to a single factor and making it their defining feature means that your relationship is doomed. Moreover if we had to zone in one trait it should be a virtue such as kindness or honesty, not something as fickle as money!
One of the biggest myths sold about Gold Digging women is that the men they pursue are ‘victims’ who really believe that a gorgeous 22 year old, loves them for who they are, despite the fact they are older than Gandalf, can barely fit into their Aston Martin and dribble when they’ve had too much too drink. This is not the case. Men that end up with Gold Diggers are fully aware of why the women want them.
Samson and Delilah. Anna Nicole Smith and J Howard Marshall. Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas (Yeah I said it!). Mick Jagger and whichever model. Hugh Hefner and those 3 girls. They all know the score.
Gold Diggers are generally scheming, unscrupulous, twisted and slightly damaged. However their dominant character traits are stupidity and laziness. Smart women make their own money. It’s women who aren’t bright enough to find a legitimate and creative means of generating income/wealth that leech. Other Gold Diggers are smart women who are lazy with a sense of entitlement. However, stupid and lazy people never consider the long run implications of their actions as they are perpetually wrapped up in the present. Therefore Gold Diggers don’t realise they are the ones who end up paying the most.
No man becomes a millionaire by being stupid. Even if he isn’t that sharp, he has someone smarter protecting his assets. The reason these men pick Gold Diggers is because they know she’ll never understand or take interest in the inner workings of his accounts or have the foresight to ensure that when he eventually divorces her he’s worse off .
The twin qualities of stupidity and laziness mean he can treat her how he pleases and simply pacifies her with frivolous gifts that don’t retain value or appreciate with time. So he buys her cars, clothes, handbags but will never ever give her an asset for Christmas. All the Gold Digger can do is pretend to worship the ground he walks on and wait on him hand on foot to ensure he doesn’t leave her. However she never gets a shred of respect because both parties know why she’s there.
You see, it’s only the truly conniving Gold Diggers who end up richer than the men they marry and this usually occurs if the man dies first and she inherits his hard earned cash. I’ve only seen this happen twice. Anna Nicole Smith and in a Nollywood Movie (enough said).
Fantasy aside, post-divorce a significantly older woman is left with a nice sum (not as much as she ‘deserves’ because his lawyers drew up the pre-nup) trying to maintain a lifestyle she can no longer afford and the man gets a younger , prettier, dumber version of his starter wife.
Do I feel sorry for Gold Diggers? No they get what they deserve. If you take much in life you loose much, you give much you gain much.
Fortunately the Gold Digger is a dying breed. Somewhere between Mary Wollstonecraft, Germaine Greer, Destiny’s Child (post Bills, Bills, Bills), Oprah and Hilary Clinton, something clicked within the female consciousness and most choose to support themselves financially. Please note, I am not a proponent of the ‘I don’t need a man’ trollop that new age magazines/feminists stuff down our throats. That is a load of nonsense. Everybody needs somebody. I’m just pleased that women work for themselves as opposed to reducing themselves to glorified whoring.
However just as you get rid of one issue, another creeps up on you. Gold Diggers are disappearing but their male equivalent (Waste Man) is multiplying at an exponential rate. The Waste Man Pandemic is a matter of great concern as I recently discovered that unlike Gold Diggers, who work alone , they roam in packs. Furthermore the virus is highly contagious. However that is a rant I’m saving for another day, heck it’ll probably end up as a book!
To the Gold Diggers out there. If it took this rant to show you the moral bankruptcy and futility in your chosen trade I’m pretty certain that you have a cocktail of issues that need to be dealt with. This means it is unlikely that I have sparked some sort of profound change. So as your self-designated career advisor, I suggest that you switch to a different department and become a Pirate. Pirates ransack the vessel then move on to new waters, they don’t stick around to get kicked to the curb.
They lied about the small things, like tooth fairies and Santa Claus.
Then they lied about big things, like God. Not about his existence, but his nature. So now many of us choose not to believe. And those of us that do believe do so because we fear him, not because we love him.
They lied when they said to attain success and happiness you would have to work hard, get a degree then get a respectable job that pays well. They got the working hard part right, but the degree part…..I’m not too sure.
So many of us, unsure of ourselves, uncertain if that was the path we really wanted to take enrolled in institutions that instead of encouraging creativity and individuality, stifled us and made us even more confused than before. So in the process of doing our degrees we failed to discover what we truly wanted to do and lost who we truly were.
Since we didn’t find our purpose whilst doing our degrees, we got the jobs expected of us. We disliked our jobs even more than our degrees, but the combination of security and fear, paralysed us from taking the road less travelled.
Most of the time our parents told the truth. But it’s the lies that mattered because they dictated our choices. It was the lies we rebelled against and eventually conformed to. When we figured out our parents lied it meant that when they spoke truth we could no longer believe them. So that’s where we really lost, because we now disregard their words of wisdom.
I have come to understand that the lies our parents told were neither vicious nor malicious. They were instinctive and ironically our parent’s biggest lie, was the truth they chose not to reveal. However if our parents had told us naked truth about life, they would be wrong.
To tell a child that life is the most difficult voyages one can ever take and often almost impossible to navigate. A journey that many finish disillusioned without discovering or fulfilling their full potential. And that often, for no apparent reason, horrible things happen to good people.
To tell us this would have taken away our freedom to discover it for ourselves.
Therefore to give us a fighting chance and the hope that perhaps we could overcome the things they couldn’t, they told lies to shield us.
At some stage in many friendships there is an inevitable conflict between friends over their choice of significant other. I don’t know why, but its one of these bizarre patterns that’s pops up in life.
For some reason I was once asked to be an envoy between two friends over their particular Friends v Lovers dispute. I have no idea why they choose me, I don’t do conflict management. I don’t do conflict, period. But when the sane refuse I guess you pick the insane.
So as I listened to hours of conflicting accounts of the same incident, I made a few observations that I’ve decided to rant about just because I can.
There are four parties in this conflict. The friend who dislikes the lover, the friend in the middle, the lover and the real issue.
As you can see from my previous rants I place ‘friends’ in different categories and often encourage you to cut the useless ones off. However if a real friend (someone that always has your best interests at heart) questions the others choice of partner and deems them unworthy, the chances are they are right. The friend in the middle needs to bite the bullet and accept the fact their significant other is a waste of skin.
There are anomalies, when an otherwise good friend becomes a jealous bitch and makes their friends partners the focus of their wickedness. In this case there are two options. Ride it out and wait for them to meet someone themselves. Or call a friendship conference where your entire crew confront them about their scheming. The latter is for sheer drama.
If the Lover in question has a tendency to cock up, treats you like crap and displays flashes of love/kindness as often we see Halley’s Comet. Your lover is a terrorist.
Stop making excuses on their behalf. If you have no kids, no mortgage and they haven’t given you a kidney or bone marrow, you have full permission to walk out the door and not look back. Life’s too short to allow such a prick in your airspace.
If the Lover is good at heart but misunderstood, get them to work on the their social/interpersonal skills. The friend(s) has picked up on something that could possibly impede their chances for promotion at work and we all know there is no romance without finance.
The Person in the Middle
Touchy area. As humans we generally struggle with self-analysis. Often people that find themselves caught up in the middle of these situations have issues realising their true value. (See You are Special). As a result they settle for less. Sad but true. There’s no shame in insecurity, everyone is insecure. However when it impedes your choices and affects your relationships it’s a problem.
If the person in the middle is healthy, balanced, secure with no issues they should get rid of the Lover and their friend. They’re obviously perfect and we don’t want such a fine specimen to be tainted.
The real issue
I’m not a psychologist but listening to this particular argument I realised that each party had deep-seated pre-existing issues with the other that hadn’t dealt with. Basically each ‘friend’ was really bitching about something else but using the ‘Lover Conflict’ as a front.
The indicating phrase that ‘the real issue’ is the true cause of the problem is (drum roll please) ‘You think you’re so much better than everyone else’. If a ‘friend’ ever says these words in an argument and you’re completely sure the accusation is false, run for your life. They are a Hater-Friend that has been unmasked. If you made the accusation and you’re sure its true, more power to you. If you’ve imagined it, my advice to you is useless because you’re a nutcase.
In most situations the ‘real issue’ is linked to an incident that occurred years/months ago that the accused party can’t fully recollect. It could be trivial like’ You borrowed my groovy chick pencil case in year 8 and never gave it back’ or serious stuff like ‘You called me fat in front of a room full of people’.
Either way if the friendships worth it I say work through it. Life’s better with real friends. If you want to know how to work through it, buy the book (coming to a store near you Fall ’09!).
The old adage is that men will come and go but your friends will always be with you. I disagree. Everyone comes and goes. Even family. There are very few people who are in your life forever. However one must be careful that you don’t loose the ones that should be.
I’m all for expressions of individuality, being who you are and all that new age malarkey that’s got our generation twisted. However the truth is, we all (whether we admit it or not) follow patterns and trends.
Trend followers. This goes out to........YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU (soulja boy voice)
Top 5 Trends I love
1) Lyle & Scott
As ubiquitous as the golden eagle has become, there is nothing I love more than seeing a man in Lyle &Scott. Admittedly many of the most recent customers have never seen a golf club let alone attempted to play and I’m generally not a fan of clothing brands that scream ‘conservatism’. However the jumpers are so gorgeous I must make an exception. A splendid sight and a flash of colour that always make my day.
I loved them in school and I love them more now. Cheap, cheerful and you move quicker than when you’re in your converses. There seems to be no rules when wearing them so you can’t really get it wrong. Practical and fashionable. Two words that don’t sit next too each other often enough.
3) Over-sized totes
I’m a woman of extremes. It’s either a clutch or massive tote. Some days I like to carry my life around with me and I love the fact that is socially acceptable to carry an obscene handbag, even though nothing of real importance is in it. We do it just because we can! I actually need a tote with wheels, but one that near snaps my wrist will suffice. For now.
4) Leather Jackets
PETA please do not hack my site for this one. Leathers back and I love it.
5) Massive Earrings
Once the pleasure of the ‘urban consumer’ (I despise this term, my use is dripping with sarcasm) but now the rest of the world is realising what we knew all along. Door knockers and earrings of the like are the truth. For those of you still wearing studs (what is wrong with you?) come over to the pseudo-gold side. I assure you that just one day of wearing these extravagantly beautiful yet excrutciatingly painful accessories, you won’t look back.
Top 5 Trends I despise
1)Waist Belts for the sake of it
It is called a Waist Belt. Waist being the operative word. Therefore the belt is put in place to accentuate your waist or give the impression you have one. It is not a divider between over-spilling bosom and/or stomach or a method to ensure that blood rises to your head 10 times the normal rate.
Contrary to popular opinion, a waist belt cannot be worn with ‘anything’. Furthermore if the item was horrid before, wearing a waist belt only makes it semi-horrid. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Use with caution.
2) Ballet Pumps
I admit they are practical and fashionable but I still hate them. Let me correct that, I despise their sudden omnipresence.
In the last 2 years we have seen the explosion of ballet pumps sans a correspondent explosion in women doing ballet. They have been created in every single colour known to man and they’ve even invented colours to deal with the female populations insatiable appetite when it comes to this particular shoe. Why? I couldn’t tell you. They make you look shorter than you are, last about 12 weeks and are the most unattractive shape ever. One area that saddens me about this trend is that women often fall in love with their ballet pumps, can’t let them go and wear pumps suffering from shoe erosion.
3) People dressing like ‘Nerds’
What on earth is up with this ? Personally I believe it is proof that you can sell any trend if you market it well enough. Sad but true. We have lost our ability to decipher between fashion sense and fashion nonsense.
I am Nerd. I said it, I am a Nerd. A cool Nerd but a Nerd nonetheless. It has taken me a long time to accept it but I embrace it because we are taking over the universe (I SEE YOU OBAMA). On behalf of the Nerds in the world, to the people attempting to dress like ‘us’, Nerds do dress like that. What you are wearing is a caricature/stereotype sold to you by American televisions shows and teen movies.
You just look very strange.
4) Men in drainpipes
I don’t understand it. Slim-fit jeans I can accept, but drainpipes on Men?! Doesn’t it hurt? Every time I see an emaciated Camden-wannabe who has managed to contort his crown jewels so his front resembles an overstuffed suitcase, I wince and say a quick prayer.
I can guarantee that circa 2035 the government will issue a stark warning about plummeting birth rates due to male infertility linked to excessive pressure on the groin area during youth. Come on guys. If not for me, do it for the kids!
5) Celebrity hair-dos on civilians
Whether its Rihanna’s ever-changing hair cuts, Agnysses Dean’s platinum cropped boyish do or the Kate Moss fringe. Thousands of women, irrespective of their facial dimensions or hair texture decide to cut their hair like celebrities. Very Very Stupid. Truth is these haircuts are often impossible to maintain and very few women have the swagger to pull it off.
I don’t know who to blame. Hairdressers for cashing in and ignoring their professional code of conduct or the presumptuous women.
In saying that, walking around God owns city (London) I am amazed and inspired at the level of style and edge. Londoners look amazing.
The upcoming American election is the first time an election has got me thinking. Like really thinking. Thinking about what is possible for me to achieve. Thinking about the possibility that the perceived limits I place on myself won’t exist when I have children and finally believing that as I grow older, I may morph into an optimist, not a cynical version of my younger self.
I am an Obamarite. If you are reading this blog for balanced, objective analysis of the upcoming election, you are not going to get it here. Come to think of it you won’t get it anywhere! I am unashamedly endorsing the most exciting person to hit the political scene this century. I am gutted that I can’t vote, as the election of George W Bush proves what can happen when the wrong American is in power.
During a discussion with a friend, who is generally a ‘voice of reason’, he expressed concern about the level of adulation towards Obama. The videos, the chants of ‘Yes We Can’, those that wore Che Guevara t-shirts now have Obama emblazoned across their chests, countless supporters who can’t tell you a thing about him beyond the fact that he’s ‘just so inspiring’, in short this election is bordering ‘cult of the personality’. It’s all getting slightly weird.
Objectively, the chants of ‘yes we can’ are a misnomer. The word ‘we’ would suggest that the Obama movement started from below, but the reality is it’s a movement engineered from above. By a group of carefully selected spin-doctors, political scientists, strategists and advisors, analysing and implementing the best methods to ensure we believe in Obama. I think he is worthy of the support he has gained, however maybe we shouldn’t get so caught up.
This is not an attempt to diminish Obama in any way but simply saying that at the moment it’s becoming more personality than policies. For our generation, a generation that has witnessed the utter senselessness and tragedy of the Iraq War, an explosion in violent crime and other social issues that affect us every day, we must accept that policies are paramount in politics. Especially policies that prevent problems than attempt to cure them.
Look at the gun /knife crime issue in my home, England. I often argue with people who say ‘Oh my we have a problem’. No. We had a ‘problem’ 10 years ago. Now we have a catastrophe. Knife/gun crime didn’t start overnight. Seeds were planted a long time ago, but no one cared enough. The UK government has effectively lost a generation by not spotting a pre-existing issue and tackling it. I’m not absolving the parents or perpetrators of their responsibilities, but I’m saying that something could have been done. I rant.
Personality is irrelevant, as character is what guides and dictates action. A politicins personality is what they want us to see, their character is who they really are. We can’t know their true character, but we can gain insight into it by their proposed policies.
We must be aware of the mandate we give our politicians because this is what we hold them accountable against. My point. It might sound boring, but policies matter.
So what does Obama stand for policy wise? We don’t have all day. However if you strip him of stirring and inspiring speeches you will find not only great substance but crucially a degree of balance. If you want a world a step closer to peace, unity, cleanliness and some sort of understanding and reconciliation with our ‘enemies’, he is your best bet.
Personally I’ve had enough of neo-conservatives. Their obsession with ‘security’, their knack for pre-emptive strike on ‘threats’, intervening in foreign territories, cocking them up, isolating us, making us even more vulnerable and all the while making sure their domestic economies are run to the ground. Screw you neo-cons!
My message to my fellow Obamarites and soon to be Obamarites! Lets manage our expectations. Many of us (myself included) are guilty of projecting our own personal hopes of what he’ll turn America and possibly the world into. The reality is no matter how well Obama performs, if he becomes President eventually someone will be disappointed. Let me rephrase that. At least 40% of the American population will be disapointed. Why? Because that’s how politics work. The incumbent are only popular for the first 6 weeks of their term, after that its downhill. I’m not prophesying doom, its just reality. It is the electorates right to complain and moan when there’s not much to gripe about. It’s what over-privileged, ungrateful, bored, disillusioned westerners do.
There are too many side shocks and factors out of Obama’s hands that mean he will take on a job that is impossible to get right. He is just one man after all.
In saying that Obama is a good look. A very good look.
This particular breed of friend is one that I decided to cut off about two years ago. They are far cheekier than a ‘Flake’ and a ‘Dram-Addict’ in waiting.
The ‘Free-Rider friend Profile
Your ‘Free-Rider’ friend is usually very funny therefore their knack for comedy means people overlook their massive shortcomings. They’re nice to have around and generally pleasant but they never ever pay! That’s right, they pay for nothing! Whenever at a restaurant, at the club or in the cab on the way home, they always manage to reap the benefits of every social excursion without contributing a penny.
The ‘Free Rider’ friend isn’t poor they are cheap. Big difference. If your poor, you genuinely can’t afford something and let’s hope for better days. If you’re cheap, your better days have come but remain tight-fisted. If you look carefully you will notice they are miserly towards others and indulgent towards themselves. Basically, selfish swine.
Every single person in your crew is aware of their constant contribution evasion but British people get awkward about money. Therefore no one knows how to tackle the issue. Don’t worry I’ll help you.
The reason I got rid of my ‘Free-Rider’ friends is because I despise financial shirkers. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have been to restaurants, the bill has arrived and myself and a couple of others have had to cover service charge because some Philistine refuses to pay their way.
Now I have a thing about how I appear - in public that is. In private, I’m a nutter but in public I make sure I self-medicate enough to ensure my conduct is acceptable. I have come to realise that people build their perceptions of ethnic minorities/minorities in general based on their experiences of the few they have encountered. Sad, but true. Therefore I have a responsibility to show them that they can vote Obama for President. I digress.
This means I will not entertain foolishness over money in public because I’m aware it could descend into a brawl. I’ll pay the difference and never dine with you again. Now, I surround myself with people of equal substance that are aware that if they have no money, they stay indoors. Simple.
Often things get quite sticky with the ‘Free-Rider’ when in a moment of complete and utter stupidity you lend them money. Friends should help each other out. However I don’t really believe in lending friends money. I think if someone is of real value and you trust him or her you should simply give it to them. However my Machiavellian side and awareness of human impeferfection/wickedness means I believe that if a friend asks you to borrow money, you GIVE it to them but draw up terms and conditions so they believe it’s a loan. The friend, must be a real friend and the money for a reasonable cause not something frivolous like Louboutin’s or BAPE’s.
I’m optimistic about myself but cynical about the rest of the world. Therefore when money exchanges hands I’m often unsure if I’ll get it back. Therefore if you don’t get it back, you won’t be angry (do you know how many meaningful friendships break-up over money), you’ll just know to adjust their status and make them an associate/friend. Why? The fact they didn’t pay you back says a lot more about them than you. I like humans with pride, someone that would rather work themselves near to a stroke, than owe another person money.
A ‘Free-Rider’ friend cannot be trusted with a single shilling. They will not pay you back. They may talk about paying you back an awful lot but they wont. They are the leeches and are not capable of giving
How do you get rid of a ‘Free-Rider’ friend? Well this is the fun part. Your whole crew must role reverse for the next 4 outings.
When the bill comes, everyone raises their hands above their heads and says (best theatre voice) ‘Oh my daze, I forgot my wallet’.
Under no circumstances offer to buy drinks.
The next birthday, pick a lavish gift everyone must say they’ll contribute but this time you’ll need the ‘Free-Rider’ to purchase the gift. Don’t give them back a penny.
Next holiday, book the flights on their card and make sure you only put the cash back in their account the day before you depart, make their blood pressure rise…just a little bit!
Make a huge ignorant fuss about not being on guest list at the club, start a mini-fracas and all drive off.
Ask for petrol money before you’ve started the journey and DON’T fill the tank. Make sure you take a route that involves passing as many petrol stations as possible
After awhile they will either pull their socks up or find other people to sponge off. Either way you’ll all be better off.
To the Free-Riders. I’m a firm believer that giving is a law of the universe. You give much, you gain much. You take much, you loose much. Simple. Stop exploiting the kindness of those around you. You have two options. Continue in your perverse wickedness or finally become a contribution.
I’m not saying everyone should be generous as that would be impractical. We couldn’t sustain ourselves as our society as we need some selfish folk to maintain incentives and ensure there is a social ladder to climb. However lets all make some kind of effort.
I like to pretend I’m ‘cultured’ and semi-intellectual by reading Mill, Machiavelli and other philosophers that have contributed to the ruination of the human moral compass. However the truth is I like nothing more than watching Maury Povich. I know it makes no sense. My guilty pleasure is to literally sit down and hear him say those magic words ‘In the case of 14 month old Maybell, Kevan you are NOT the father’.
For those of you who don’t have satellite TV Maury Povich is the only person who could conceivably beat Barrack Obama for president. He has the wisdom of Solomon and always manages to convince women who have appeared on the show multiple times to return so ‘We can help you figure this thing out’.
I couldn’t care less when Maury brings on strange animals or people that used to be ugly that are now semi-attractive. I only care when the show is about paternity results. And when the runner hands him that magic brown envelope, he raises his great hands and says ‘The results are in’. In that special moment, nothing else matters.
The people that go on Maury are what Americans call ‘trailer trash’ and we in England label ‘Chavs’. In England ‘Chavs’ frequent a talk show called Jeremy Kyle. For my American readers he is so unique I don’t have an adequate cultural reference point, you would have to see it, to believe it.
Anyway in recent in recent years it has become perfectly acceptable to not only constantly degrade ‘Chavs’, but also make them the prime focus of social mockery. The term ‘Chav’ is simply a way elitist sections of the media poke fun at the (white) working class. Last time I checked there was nothing wrong with being working class. Some would say its just comedy, but when terms like ‘Pram Face’ start to creep into everyday vernacular I think it’s a bit more than that.
As much as their choice of dress may not be to our taste and mode of speech isn’t what is ‘expected’ my question is what on earth did they do to anyone? I’ve heard people say, ‘I hate Chavs’. When I meet such ignorant twits I’m often lost for words. You don’t hate ‘Chavs’ you’ve just bought into a stereotype that has been imposed on you from above. Furthermore anything you despise about ‘Chavs’ is not unique to them, you show me a social group that doesn’t have a significant proportion who are plain stupid. Don’t worry I’ll wait.
My thing is this. When the media to start vilify one segment of society, eventually the focus will shift to another. So when its not ‘Chavs’, it’ll be gypsies, and when its not gypsies, it may be Poles, then when its not Poles it suddenly morphs into the Daily Mail’s excuse for every social ill ‘Oh its those foreigners, taking our jobs’. (SIGHS)
Now I’m not saying there’s some sinister agenda, I’m sure its all fun and maybe I need to learn to take a joke. However, the reality is when we believe it is acceptable to degrade a group of people that lack the means and vehicles to speak for themselves, we’ve become a bunch of bullies. Lets leave the ‘Chavs’ alone.
If I could ban a word today, the second word I would ban is Chav. I’ll leave you to figure out the first.
Boredom or lack of real creativity has meant that all of a sudden everyone I know has decided to become an entrepreneur.
I know people that own clothing lines that can't stitch and don’t know a stitch about fashion.
Club promoters that know nothing about promotion.
Groups of young men with ‘media companies’ with no apparent function.
I don’t dispute the fact our economy needs entrepreneurs, but we need entrepreneurs with purpose not ghastly self-propagandists cloaked as business men/women. These pseudo-entrepreneurs popping up like mushrooms with various causes are evidence of what I call "the misdirected entrepreneurial spirit" (if anyone jacks this term, I will sue).
Unfortunately as children we were all lied to and told by our parents ‘You can do anything you put your mind to’. Rubbish. Most of us can do some things to a decent standard and a few of us are blessed to be able to do a particular thing quite well. The concept of being able to do anything is impossible, so wipe that mantra out your head now. You can do anything your CAPABLE of. You may be so fortunate to extend your capabilities but even then human infallibility means we all work within limits.
So we've all grown up believing we should be CEO when the reality is if the masses ran the corporations, the ‘Fortune 500’ would soon become the ‘Unfortunate 50’. For those of you offended by the notion that the whole earth isn’t shockingly brilliant. Look at your hand. You see your five fingers? Notice how they’re unequal? That is life. Some of you will end up being the little finger because the reality is you function better within a team, especially when you aren’t leading it.
Now I'm not knocking anyone’s hustle. I'm just saying we are in the midst of a recession. So if you want to survive this drought, invest yours wisely. Not in some half brained scheme that will loose you a hefty sum and won't help you gain the validation you seek.
Unfortunately those that have been infected by the ‘misdirected entrepreneurial spirit ‘ virus don’t create companies that fill a need in the market. No, they deliberately target areas that are over-saturated, as apparently there’s money to be made. That means there will always be an abundance of dodgy raves to attend but it is highly unlikely you find a contingent of young business men/women who combine their resources to purchase a venue, then use it a multi-media complex (just an idea).
The misdirected entrepreneurial spirit will never be truly exorcised from our society because we are a generation that would rather believe in fantasy than deal with reality. The reason I am doing this post is simply for the preservation of my sanity. Indeed its your money not mine. If you pseudo-entrepreneurs choose to piss it up the wall then so be it. However I'm sick of being harassed into buying t-shirts, mix tapes and tickets for mediocre raves.
My fellow ranters, let's keep it real. If I posted next week that I intend to compete as a sumo wrestler at the 2012 Olympic games, I hope you would notify the authorities so I could be sectioned under the mental health act. You get what I’m saying? Lets keep it real, know our strengths and weakness, attempt to extend our limitations without living in Neverland.
I'm not saying not to live your dreams. Follow them, but know thyself! Some misdirected entrepreneurs have been enabled those around them and told ‘Don’t Give Up’. If your dream is the equivalent of raking water uphill during a Tsunami, I would advise you to do the opposite. My cousin always wanted to be doctor but discovered that she wasn’t any good at Biology. When she asked me how I felt, looked her straight in the face and said ‘The day you kill someone you will have only yourself to blame’. She is now fully employed, wallowing in mediocrity but she's not killing anyone and very happy. We all won.
The real entrepreneurs. I know you will not be offended by a single line of this rant, because you are fully aware your game is tight. Ergo, keep grinding.
To my misdirected entrepreneurs. The impending bust and fact that Cantonese is about to be the worlds sovereign language means that for 90% of you, your ‘companies’ will probably fold in the next 15 minutes. Please don't quit the day job or those that are completely self-delusional, get a day job.
And to their family and friends, please do not encourage their foolishness. Forward them this rant.
For some unknown reason some people purchase packages, which mean they have 1,000 texts but 20 free minutes. Therefore you will be bombarded with texts such as ‘How ru??” ‘Long Time’, ‘How u bin?’ at random times, though both of you are aware the sender doesn’t care that much. There are others who simply enjoy texting back and forth when a 30 second phone call would suffice. I tend not to give this particular breed of cheapskate my number. There is nothing worse than keeping up electronic pretences.
Though texts can make your life easier, I have discovered they can cause much confusion. Anyone that has studied English Literature will be aware that text is open to interpretation. Therein lies the source of the conflict.
With male/female relationships, the female often attempts to gauge the male level of interest by the content of his text messages. (HUGE SIGH). As I type there are women all around the world torturing themselves by attempting to psychoanalyse their men via their text messages (you didn’t know that did you fellas? LOL). A futile activity, as any man that puts real feeling/genuine thought into a text message, probably bats for the other team.
7) T mobile/ your respective mobile provider
I was going to make this just about T-Mobile but speaking to friends I’ve realised each network rolls with Team Satan. They have made it their common aim to do everything in their power to ensure that customers remain as frustrated as possible with their services. Their common mantra is ‘Our aim is to displease’.
My dealings with T Mobile have become the equivalent of an abusive relationship. Each month I give and give and give. And they take and take and take. And every 18 months when I'm just about to walk out the door, they say the right thing. 2 months down the line when the novelty of my upgrades worn off and the cock ups begin; I wonder why I cheapen myself so much.
8) Dependency issues
They say no man is an island………well I am. I revel in my own company as no-one else’s has quite managed to match. However on my island… is my blackberry.
I literally wake up, rollover and check my phone. I can’t go anywhere without it. I check my phone all the time. If I’m not on it, I literally just got off it. If your house doesn’t have reception…you won’t be seeing me.
My fellow ranters, do you ever hear your phone ringing, and it turns out it wasn't? If yes, you are well and truly co-dependent.
9) Excessive innovation
In the beginning there were three options. Nokia, Erricson or Motorola. Simple. No hassle. Then all of a sudden the market exploded and it became a complete and utter mess. Along with multiple brands came innovations that in hindsight have just made your phone more prone to breakage than caused any type of progress.
Now buying a phones is just as complicated as buying a car. Phones now have specifications; talk time, standby time, weight, is it 3G? Does it have predictive text? Does it have video capable of making the next Blair Witch Project? How many mega pixels is the camera? Can it tell me if I'm pregnant?......... GIVE ME STRENGTH.
10) They've become a necessity
Before mobiles were invented we were fine. Absolutely fine. It just meant when we arranged to meet someone we’d get there on time. Not leave late and send a text saying "Rlli soz b there in 15 x". Now we've all got so caught up it’s impossible to function without one.
But that’s what Capitalism does. It makes us desire luxuries and view their acquisition as a necessity. It fiddles with us until were all twisted and necessities seem somewhat inferior, so were never content. And if you choose to live a life driven by actual need, as opposed to one driven by the pursuit of what you want, you are derided as opposed to celebrated.
That's why I wish mobiles were never invented. They are the ultimate proof that we have all become robots in this destructive machine.
So I picked up on this image a few days ago and simply rolled my eyes. Why? Well, honestly I felt it was too obvious to rant about. However the ‘denial’ issued by L’Oreal was the straw that broke the camels back.
"We highly value our relationship with Ms. Knowles. It is categorically untrue that L’Oreal Paris altered Ms. Knowles’ features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair colour,” L'Oreal
L’Oreal, we don’t believe you.
Anyone with an iota of sense is fully aware that the image projected in any advertisement attempting to sell a cosmetic product- is a lie. A big fat lie. If your selling mascara, the lashes are fakes and in most hair ads the models are wearing hair extensions. Every single image is photoshopped to death. Unfortunately this time the ‘airbrush artist’ was clearly coked up to their eyeballs and made an otherwise absolutely flawless Beyonce look like the lovechild of Michael Jackson and Jennifer Aniston.
Let me tell you a story that never really got the publicity it deserved. In 2007 L’Oreal’s Garnier division was fined €30,000 (£20,300) after being found guilty of racial discrimination by deliberately specifying that they would NOT hire non-white women in a special shampoo promotion. (Damn those internal memos getting leaked). To put it bluntly, L’Oreal has a slight issue with embracing the concept of diversity.
Do I feel outraged when I see this image? To be honest no. Why? Because there are bigger things, like Darfur and sadly it doesn’t shock me.
The reality is any ethical/moral outrage is a tad bit late. For decades the mainstream media has subliminally pushed the suggestion that being ‘darker’ as a person of colour is somewhat inferior. Anyone who disagrees with me, you may stop reading now because you are a confirmed ignoramus. This isn’t some new phenomenon, so why am I going to pretend to be outraged?
In saying this, I’m not justifying L’Oreal’s deeds. I’m just saying it is merely a picture of an ugly reality.
Females of the world! Whatever race, shade or size you happen to be, embrace it! Don’t let twisted cosmetics giants dictate to you how you perceive yourself. Beauty flows from the inside out, love your core and don't allow their twisted ideals permeate your mind or soul.
To the powers-that-be at L’Oreal. Go jump off a building.
My message to Beyonce. Perhaps this is the time to speak up and raise awareness around an issue that many ignore and/or pretend doesn’t exist. Break the mould, be a voice.
My message to the feminists. This is precisely why I don’t like your lot and will never ever call myself a feminist. When a gender issue has a racial dimension, all of a sudden you are all strangely silent. Do the same as the twits at L’Oreal.
I'm not disputing their utility but lately certain situations have made me seriously contemplate inventing a time machine and erasing the wretched day mobile phones went into mass production.
1) Perpetuation of foolishness
The foolishness occurs on so many levels it is truly a rant in its own right. However let me focus on a single area. The phenomena of free texts/free calls, means a crucial barrier to entry in making a call (cost) has been eradicated. In essence we entertain people we otherwise wouldn’t.
Let’s do a quick survey. How many people can name at least two exes or former flings that never would have got a look in if either party had not had free texts/calls? Right, that’s 90% of you. It’s not that you didn’t like them but you really didn’t like them that much! Modern technology meant that they were given adequate room to grown on you and before you knew it, you were trapped. I’ve come to believe that for every number of free calls/texts are a corresponding number of hours of drama. 750 minutes = 750 hours of drama. If you want less foolishness in your life, downgrade your price plan.
My personal height of foolishness was calling my mum whilst she was downstairs and texting my little sister who was sitting opposite me.
2) Prank calls
In the days of good old house phones, I don’t ever remember receiving a prank call. Though I do remember making them. In primary school my little clique discovered that Childline was free and they sympathised with occurrences we felt were normal “My mum smacked me because I said shut-up’. I digress.
Maybe the universe is repaying a generation who occupied themselves by playing ‘knock down ginger’ and speculating who the sixth Power Ranger was. I don’t know. All I know is that all of a sudden, the number of prank calls have multiplied beyond belief.
In times past, when stalkers followed a moral code, they simply rifled through your rubbish and followed you at a respectable distance. Alas these days are long gone. Now they will call you at God forsaken times, leave you 14 missed calls in 14 minutes and rarely have the courtesy to leave a voicemail.
Depending on your gender you have two options when dealing with your stalker/pranker. Men, your stalker/pranker is an ex or random female whom you scorned. Being familiar with your gender, I suspect you deserve it, so I’m not going to give you a stitch of advice.
For my ladies, entertain you pranker. Pick up their calls and convince them you are crazier than they are. Calls will cease quicker than you think. If they are the silent/breathing down the phone type, change your number and give it to one person at a time. Using this method if the prankster re-strikes it’ll be easier to trace the bastard.
3) Lack of manners
Mobile phones have been the final catalyst in ensuring the human race has completely evolved into Philistines. Anyone that uses public transportation will be aware that it is common practice to wallow away the time by speaking to people you’d rather not speak to when you get in your house. Unfortunately certain members of the public insist on speaking as loudly as possible.
Memo to the mobile phone companies, just because you can put a feature in a mobile doesn't mean you should. Recent technological advances mean that mobile phones are now the equivalent of mini-sound systems. You can now have a rave anywhere you like.
Many feral children have taken to playing their music on the bus/train/tube. Rising crime means that everyone fears the feral children but they fear no one. So they play their music as loud as they want, with no regard for those around them. I may be only 21,but I’m old school. Therefore if it’s not a song to my taste or I’m just not in the mood, I will tell the demon child to turn it off. With wisdom of course, not about to get taken out by a fifteen year old, it’s really not that serious.
4) Crazy bills
I always go beyond my calling allowance even though the dodgy salesmen assured me that its ‘practically impossible’ to do so. I won’t even tell you about my highest bill, my parents read my blog (I SEE YOU MUM AND DAD!) and I suspect they would conclude I engaged in untoward activity to pay it off.
When you go on holiday the bill is that bit harder to swallow because of a thing they call "roaming". Roaming is basically when phone companies conspire with their international counterparts and jack you in another territory.
5) Mindless Chitter Chatter
Whilst in school I perfected the art of what my teachers described on my report as ‘constant mindless chitter-chatter’. This is no longer unique to me but the entire mobile phone carrying population. This chitter-chatter eventually descends into gossip, which really just shouldn’t be done. If your texting gossip this is the height of stupidity as there will be hard evidence when the victim discovers their friends are snakes. Not a good look.