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 know people complain about the state of television but let me assure you there is nothing more pleasurable or entertaining than watching the working class air their dirty laundry, whilst eating cake and lounging in your pyjamas.
So I'm watching a talk show and it's entitled ‘Stop calling me fat or I'm going to leave you". For the talk show disciples out there you know the drill. Overweight woman comes out first. Host asks her a stream of emotive questions, which all require graphic answers that inevitably have her in a flood of tears. Crowd ‘aahs’ and gasps in all the right places. ‘Advice’ from audience members (I haven’t got a clue why anyone would entertain advice from someone who actually goes to talk shows) and the woman seems sufficiently pumped up to give her husband his ‘ultimatum’.
The man comes out and he's immediately booed. I object to this. This is supposed to be a liberal freaking democracy we need some fairness. If Jerry Springer has taught us anything it’s that there are always five sides to a story (all equally unbelievable).
So she gives him an ultimatum. (Awful accent) ‘Billy unless you stop calling me fat an all sorts I’m leaving you……toddddaaaaay’. (Yeah she really did draw out today). The crowd cheers.
So this poor man is being heckled and publicly roasted for technically doing nothing wrong. Let me qualify that statement. He had done something wrong but it wasn’t as bad as the crowd and host made it seem. I’m in no way condoning his decision to constantly berate his wife about her weight. That’s completely out of order. But there was a crucial detail she chose to omit.
When this man met his wife she was a size 8. The woman sitting next to him was a size 24.
I'm not saying his behavior was justified, but I understand.
I’m not fattist (is that the term?), I would be writing this rant if the reverse were true e.g she transformed from a size 24 to a size 8. Why? Because that was not the woman he married and not what he signed up for. Some of you may be saying "but it’s what is on the inside that counts". Yes on judgment day. But for now we live life based on what we see.
Now obviously in trying to’ help’ her Billy had a massive hand in creating a woman who not only had her confidence completely depleted but a compulsive eating disorder. I’m not absolving him of his guilt. But again I understand.
I’m no relationship expert but when I look at marriages/relationships that last there is a common thread. Firstly they are underpinned by the mantra that failure is not an option but crucially both people have pretty much stayed the same and any changes that have occurred are positive.
I agree calling his wife a whale was completely unacceptable, however littered amongst his insults was something deeper. When asked why he harasses his wife, Billy said and I quote "I'm only doing it cos I love her. I could of cheated like all me mates but I only want back the woman I married, know what I mean?".
This comment was met by incredulous gasps and hisses from the audience. One woman stood up and barked ‘if you really love her, you’d accept her whatever she looked like’. (Cue rapturous applause from people that think talk shows are worth a day off work)
On the other hand I was really moved by his answer. Why? It was honest. That is love. Real love. Human love is tainted, at times perverse and imperfect. Let’s not pretend human love is unconditional. Human love is based on conditions. We love people because they fulfill some conditions and fall short of others. But it’s the dynamic interchange between their imperfections and perfections that make us love them. So if a part of them we viewed as perfect mutates we will love them less. It makes sense.
Or am I wrong? Is ‘real’ human love unquantifiable? Can it be unconditional? Must we love people relentlessly even if they morph into people we don’t recognise (in the literal and figurative sense)?
I have a love hate relationship with Capitalism. I love its obvious benefits – luxury, choice, decadence, and innovation. But I despise its values. Especially the fact that profit (not a sense of fulfillment) is the optimum. Fortunately for you guys I’m not going to bore you with my champagne socialism. There is nothing more patronizing than privileged folk harping on about social ills that they perpetuate.
It’s just that today I had an awful supermarket experience. Murphy’s Law was in full effect. Dodgy trolley, narcoleptic till attendant, shattered eggs and an incompetent customer service adviser. To top it all off an ‘ABBA GOLD’ compilation album was playing in the background. Imagine hearing ‘Dancing Queen’, with constant bleeping and crying babies. I wanted to stab myself. And just as I thought I was going to be freed from the mayhem…the woman in front of me at the checkout (who had already bought 16 bars of soap) suddenly decided that 16 bars of soap wasn’t enough. No! She needed to run all the way back up the supermarket to get another two……… I wanted to stab myself.
My belief that most of the British public make an occasion out of washing themselves (i.e. they only shower twice a week) means my shopping trips already take me double the time. This is because I’m constantly reapplying anti-bacterial serum to my hands. So I ended up spending what felt like a lifetime in the supermarket.
It’s taking all the restraint in the world not to ‘name and shame’ this feckless corporation but it's not that kind of blog. I’ve already written a letter of complaint to the managing director (yes I’m clearly insane).
I guess there was a time when human beings had the awareness that building huge sprawling edifices, in the middle of absolutely nowhere was stupidity. But that time is no more because unless the crunch hits Tesco (and it won’t)…….supermarkets are here to stay.
Now I had no problem going to the Supermarket when I was a child because
a) I wasn’t paying b) Aisles of colourful things fascinated me c) Trolleys were fun (I was being pushed)
Now I realize they are a damn pain in the behind. Today was the final straw. I’ve had enough. They’re obscene, pander to human laziness and make us buy crap we really don’t need.
1) The incessant bleeping that serves absolutely no purpose but to drive people (who were perfectly sane before they entered the premises) up the wall.
2) Every single time I ask a member of staff where something is they haven’t got a clue? I thought you were only allowed to be inefficient if you worked in the public sector. I advocating docking a penny every single time they don’t know where something is.
3) Excessive numbers of people. Let me tell you something about life. The greater number of people in a given environment, the greater chance you’ll meet an idiot. The greater chance something utterly senseless will occur.
4) Trolleys aren’t that hard to maneuver. But we are British so we must make things more complicated than they need to be. Therefore the wretched device won’t move unless I give it £1, then you discover the trolleys got arthritis and you spend the duration of your shopping trip playing ‘bumper trolleys’ and apologizing.
5)We are being drowned by choice. There is so much variety it gives me a headache. I want to buy some coffee. Just some freaking coffee. But oh no. My supermarket want to me to make a social choice, over coffee beans. Should I buy organic or fair trade? Or do I buy the ‘sourced locally’ type where Zamunda and her son who happened to grow the beans are on the case? Or do I buy the discount brand? Or purchase the luxury brand? Or what about one of the 15 BRANDS, on display? Furthermore, do I want my coffee strong, medium or mild? …….Give me strength.
, But then again I really mustn’t complain because American Supermarkets are a million times worse. Remember America is a nation built on the principles of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is reflected in their awful supermarkets, which are as obese as segments of the population and sell everything from queen-sized beds to biscuits so mass-produced they’re absolutely tasteless.
But at least over there (and please don’t interpret this as an anti-American rant, Americans are great) all the staffs have the ‘I work for tips so I will kiss your ass’ mentality. Therefore customer service is splendid. Although I must admit the 40th time you hear some attendant whine ‘Can I help you with anything ma’am?’ you want to chuck a mega sized Hershey bar at their heads………. You just can’t win, can you?
Growing up my parents always said ‘work hard because there are no guarantees in life’. As much as I believe that hard work is a must, I will have to disagree with the second clause. Truth is what my parents really meant to say (but were too kind to tell me) was ‘ work hard because there are no guarantees life……except for many things to go absolutely tits up’.
Things that are almost guaranteed to happen
Your friend puts you on ‘guest list’ but there’s a mix up at the door…..you end up paying to get into the club. The party is awful.
You’re torn as to whether to give up your seat to the woman standing in front of you on the train, because you can’t figure out whether she’s pregnant or overweight.
The girl that always used to be skinny will get very fat…….very quickly.
A friend you trusted morphs into Judas.
Your aunty and uncle/close family friends who are clearly miserable will insist on keeping up appearances and refuse to get a divorce.
You give way to car turning into your road and the ingrate doesn’t even flash his lights to say thank-you. You’re so enraged you spend the next 5 minutes trying to get back in front of them.
They have always run out of your size in the sale. But there is an entire rack of the same item a size too big.
The ‘good girl’ hooks up with a ‘bad guy’ (yawns, isn’t this manoeuvre so predictable and tired?)
They end up getting married even though EVERYONE knows he cheats.
The song you hate ends up at number 1.
Your favourite singer gets hooked on crack, cough syrup or some illicit substance.
You’re at the train platform at the right time every single day but your train is always delayed. The day you’re delayed, the train’s on time.
You will run into someone from secondary school on the day you decided to make absolutely no effort with your appearance.
You join the gym but never go and then can’t be bothered to make the journey down to the gym to cancel your membership.
You will go back to that restaurant in spite of the fact that their service is atrocious, the staff incompetent and the food isn’t fit for cats.
You give a guy your number/take a girl’s number then immediately wonder ‘what was I thinking?’
You meet a celebrity and they turn out to be a foot shorter than you envisioned, half as good-looking yet have a massive ego.
The person you genuinely like is indifferent towards you, whilst the person you couldn’t care less about is stalking you and would give you a kidney……
Your parents push their hand luggage entitlement to the limit and will be offended when informed that they cannot take four extra cases on board (sorry to be indulgent but this is only a guarantee if you’re of African descent)
It's taken me a long time to accept this fact but the truth is most men (99%) don't want their girlfriends in the room whilst they're watching sport. If he is watching the game alone or in the company of friends and we happen to be in the room, we are trespassers. I used to find this offensive but then I flipped it and realized my presence during a football match is the equivalent of him accompanying me to the hairdressers. Utterly perverse.
Therefore for the duration of the game we must exercise our Miranda rights and remain silent. We must not ask questions about what the offside rule is or ask him to explain how a triangle of offense works. This is akin to tickling a terrorist with explosives in his rucksack..........when it all blows up you only have yourself to blame.
Furthermore the good book says ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. You wouldn't even acknowledge a request to change the channel during ‘Desperate Housewives’ therefore never suggest watching a ‘Friends’ re-run instead of the game.
Who was that on the phone?
Let’s hack this issue at the root. Unless the person on the other line intended to speak to you, whoever calls your boyfriend, doesn’t concern you. Just as whoever calls you doesn’t concern him. Unfortunately the pervasiveness of feminist values means that it’s perfectly acceptable for women to emasculate their men and constantly overstep the mark as an apparent sign of their ‘independence’. However if a man asked a woman who she was speaking to on the phone, he would be painted as being ‘controlling’ or worse still, a misogynist. I rant!
If you really believe you're with a man that not only has the audacity to speak to his jump off in your presence but brazenly admit it when questioned, you only have yourself to blame. He didn’t become a ‘dog’ overnight, he’s always been one.
But! If he got ‘caught out’ e.g. his jump off called him, you happened to walk in the room and his tone and posture noticeably changed. At that point you must fight your desire to confront him straight away but commit what (in my mind) is one of the biggest personal violations known to man. Go through his mobile phone. If he's really cheating you'll never find his phone in the first place because he'll always keep it with him.
Why didn't you call me back?
Questions should only be asked for one of two reasons 1) You are not aware of the answer 2) You will benefit from the answer
The question ‘Why didn’t you call me back’ fulfills neither prerequisite.
Everyone knows the rule is if you leave someone one missed call and they don’t get back to you, they are probably busy. Anything over two missed calls, they don’t want to hear your voice. Simple.
I'm not suggesting that women don't have the right to be offended that their boyfriend’s would rather not hear them bitch about their ‘enemy’. I'm just stating at missed call number eight and the third voicemail someone should have got a clue. Leave the man alone.
If you have to ask this question more than thrice a week, not only are you wasting valuable free talk time (or credit for the ghetto fabulous amongst you) but you’re trying to salvage a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to be with you.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate me in looks/intelligence/personality/ bed/whatever comes to mind at that moment?
In my last post I observed that women like to talk. We like to talk so much we can magnify trivial decisions such as cutting our hair into such massive proportions it requires a consult from all our friends, siblings and three different hairdressers. That’s approximately 6 hours of talking, over a fringe.
Sometimes we run out of things to talk about. So we ask silly questions. That involves ratings or imaginary scenarios.
I can almost guarantee that if you ask a man questioning concerning ratings at first he’ll say “you’re a 10”. Of course that won’t be good enough so you’ll plead with him to answer honestly. So he will be honest and respond with 6 or 7. Then you will be offended.
Just don’t ask!
Anything regarding the 'ex'
Unless he says 'she's dead' were not really going to like anything our boyfriend says about his ex. If he's complimentary it’s annoying. If he's overly negative we'll want to know precisely why he’s negative. If he’s ambivalent, we’ll convince ourselves he’s hiding something.
As I established a few days ago women are experts at accumulating information. So the fact is you already know everything you need to know about his ex (stop stalking her on Facebook its not healthy!), the only missing detail is her blood type. All you're trying to do is find out if your research and his story match up. Problem is men lie and your research is subject to human error. Save yourself the melodrama. Don’t ask.
Will you marry me?
The height of stupidity. Any woman who proposes to a man should be locked up.
There are laws of the universe. We all get back, what we put into the world. If you’re horrid, horrid things will happen to you. If you’re good, splendid things will happen to you.
In light of the endless struggle I’m having with my dissertation I have become convinced I am being punished for the sins of my childhood. Therefore in the quest to overwhelm the cosmos with my good energy , I have decided to help the very specimens my gender love to hate – Men.
I apologise in advance to my gender for my betrayal. But my logic is there has to some sort of sacrifice involved for my good deeds to have any impact and help me move past chapter one on my wretched thesis.
Men of the world,
There are questions that if posed to you by a sane woman that you must never, under any circumstances, answer. Well unless you’re being tortured of course, it’s not that serious.
1) Have I gained weight?
If your girlfriend asks you this question the probability is she has gained a significant amount of weight since you met her. And she isn’t happy about it. So in fact she already knows the answer to the question but she is a woman on the prowl for an argument.
Do not respond with “don’t be so stupid, what kind of question is that? Not only have you evaded the question woefully but also by calling her ‘stupid’ you have given her adequate cause to accuse you of insulting her intelligence.
Don't answer honestly. “ Yes, but it suits you and I love you just the way you are”. Though she is aware she has gained weight no woman likes to hear verbal confirmation of this, we would rather torture ourselves dealing with raw figures on the bathroom scales. Furthermore saying ‘I love you just the way you are’ doesn’t soften the blow you have inflicted upon her by suggesting she looks better fatter.
Just remain silent. Nothing winds a woman up more than a person not willing to argue when they want to argue. The most she will do is scream insults or if she is the violent type throw kitchen utensils. Either way if you remain silent she’ll simply harp on for so long she’ll forget what she originally asked. She got to argue and you never answered the question. Everyone wins.
2) You don't even know the date of our anniversary do you?
This is an accusation veiled as a question. If a man hears this from his girlfriend/wife he has done something else wrong and she isn’t quite ready to confront him about it (women never say the real issue outright).
Truth is you probably don't know the date of your anniversary but guessing the wrong date will only annoy her. So will getting it right. If you get it right, she'll simply conjure up a question that she knows you definitely wont be able answer and rip you to shreds when you get it wrong.
Again keep silent.
3) How many sexual partners/relationships have you had?
Women are walking databases. We know the intimate details of people that we barely even know. Let me demonstrate. Most women have a best female friend (BFF). This BFF has a distant friend who we have heard about but for some reason never met. Despite this we know what car this woman drives, how she spent her student loan and the fact her boyfriend is cheating on her and no one has got the guts to tell her. Why? Because women love to talk. That’s it. If they had the sense to put a team of women on the case to find Osama he would have been found before the unnecessary and illegal invasion of Iraq. Fact!
Anyway. Unlike the other meaningless pieces of gossip that we carry in our minds, the answer to this question isn’t going to be filed in ‘miscellaneous’ alongside how many pounds Shelly lost on Atkins and the name of Tara's hairstylist. If you answer this question honestly, a woman begins to plot a graph in her head. Depending on her preferences, values and personality these variables will be used to judge your sanity, ability to commit and if she’ll ever be seen with you in the daytime. Furthermore if you are a ‘cause for concern’ your relationship/sexual history will not only be filed in her mind, but fill the gossip archive of her 3 closest girlfriends.
Therefore when a woman asks you this question simply respond with the same question back, she’ll soon shut up because she knows she’ll have to lie about the number of sexual partners she’s had.
4) Did you ever even really love me?
This question is usually asked in one of two situations. During an intense argument or at the end of a three-hour emotionally charged conversation where both parties have decided to part ways. The question is redundant in both instances.
In the first scenario no matter how a man responds the woman will still be near psychotic. If he replies “obviously, then why would I stick around for so long’, she will begin a tirade, riddled with explicit language, detailing how the incident that led to the bust up is evidence to the contrary. If he says 'no', she stabs him.
If this question is posed during the three hour 'break up' conversation most couples inevitably have, whatever the answer is it will only serve to add an extra two hours to a conversation that should have taken two minutes.
By this time, not only will your mobile have near singed your cheek but due to the fact your now ex-girlfriend dropped the phone last, you're the one paying for the conversation. Save yourself some money by answering ‘maybe’. Even I don’t know what I would say to that……and I can speak for England.
I have never understood the world’s fascination with ‘Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars’ franchise and to be quite frank I am appalled at the number of people that have become rather emotionally involved with the show. However the recent outcry about John Sergeant still being in the competition has irked me so much, I have decided to rant about a TV show that is currently on my ‘List of things to ban if the revolution comes and I end up as Home Secretary’.
They’re a funny phenomenon these reality shows. Scripted, rigged and edited by under-paid and over-ambitious producers, the public persists in its belief that what they’re watching is reality and their votes actually count. However when a show comes along that actually reflects real life and not one set in a studio built like a house, where the weeks shopping is magically delivered to a room and a hole in the wall serves as a life coach, people are upset. John Sergeant is (now excuse the urban turn of phrase) ‘keeping it real’. He is being absolutely himself and part of that is the fact he cannot dance. Albeit he is on a dancing competition, but the only real pre-requisite for being on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ is not being able to dance but having an agent who has run out of ideas and a career that is crashing faster than John McCain’s political prospects.
John Sergeant is quite unlike the usual herd of ‘celebrities’ were tormented by on reality shows. He isn’t a mediocre former athlete who we struggle to place their name/face and he isn’t the ‘pretty’ one in whichever senseless pop band that made our ears bleed between 2001-2003. This is a man that actually has a career marked by substance and achievement. It is refreshing to watch a distinguished gentleman, not only trying his hand at something that doesn’t come naturally but having a good time whilst doing so. Frankly I’ve had enough of the citizens of the D-List using ‘Strictly’ to push them up to the C-List. That’s what sex tapes, ‘forgetting’ to wear your underwear in mini dresses and marrying an equally irrelevant celebrity are for, not Saturday evenings on the BBC.
To all the so-called professional dancers on the show, who are annoyed by the presence of John Sergeant, stop taking yourselves so seriously! If you want to see people glide beautifully across the floor with perfect poise and rhythm, go back to the ballroom circuit. But I do suspect that watching John Sergeant plod along is a massive upgrade from dancing in front of 23 people in Blackpool doing some irrelevant contest. Shut up and lighten up, you get paid and were entertained. Everyone is happy.
This annoying recession has increased my budget constraint meaning I will not look back at my final year at university and remember decadent nights out, but evenings spent indoors, watching shows that should be cancelled. I recently boycotted the X Factor (its still far to painful to write about Laura) and to prevent me from self-harming out of boredom I have been forced to switch from ITV to the Beeb.
Usually when the substitution effect kicks in after a reduction in budget constraint you’re usually going to purchase an inferior good. However the opposite has occurred, ‘Strictly’ is a luxury, brilliant entertainment and its all because of John Sergeant. . He gives it a much-needed dose of reality and I find his self-depreciating sense of humour and the grace with which he accepts the judge’s comments admirable.
He kind of reminds me of my favourite great-uncle. Who am I kidding? The only thing they have in common is that they are elderly. My family is originally from Nigeria and I can assure you that if any of the judges criticised my great-uncle then proceeded to give him a ‘3’ he would curse them, their family and their country of birth. Moreover if he ended up in the bottom two he would refuse to dance but launch into a tirade insulting everyone starting with the British general public and ending with whichever African politician that he believes should be hung.
With that in mind, I do hope he wins. I shall end my reality TV apathy and vote for John Sergeant this Saturday, twice.
Is a phrase we hear all to often from family and friends when they are attempting to encourage us before job interviews or other events where our personalities can sway outcomes.
But the truth is if I really was myself………
I would have never been able to hold down any job (albeit I did just get fired…….. long story)
Never got any of my ex-boyfriends mothers to pretend they liked me
Never gained 723 friends on Facebook (don't worry I will start deleting when I hit 1000)
Never gained acceptance into any educational institution of merit (especially my university)
Never ever passed my driving test (Well I technically didn't, I failed, cried, then was passed, again long story)
I have realised that if I ever was "myself" in any situation that mattered. I would be doomed. The stark reality is at those critical moments in life where the way we behave impacts something going in our favour, none of us are really being ‘ourselves’. No! We simply become the version of ourselves that is most advantageous.
The realization that most of us spend 90% of our time in the public realm, being who we want the world to believe we are was inspired by a woman of great wisdom and talent, my mentor-in-spirit, Beyonce Knowles. Now Beyonce is releasing a double album. On one disk ‘Beyonce’ is singing and on the other it’s her alter ego Sasha (scratches head), yes I know Sasha sounds like the name of the till attendant at your local supermarket with dodgy highlights, blame her A&R. Anyway! Apart from revealing that she may suffer from severe schizophrenia we can all sleep comfortably with the awareness that "Beyonce" likes slow songs, accompanied by guitars, hysterically awful lyrics and contrived crescendos whilst "Sasha" likes fast songs with banal hooks. Whatever.
I'm not exactly enthralled by either album but it will never diminish the genuine love I have for Beyonce. By listening to the collection of songs that are apparently a reflection of Beyonce’s true self I have yet again learnt a precious life lesson from her.
We should never ever be ourselves.
Well not to the whole world at least. Can you imagine a world in which we all expressed fully who we really are? The new age charlatans shoving self-help books down our throats claim it would be beautiful, true, organic and righteous. Nonsense.
It would be unsustainable.
If we were really ourselves
A) 80% of us would be sectioned under the Mental Health Act B) We would lose all our friends C) We would get nowhere
For instance, you may have gathered that I am obsessed with clothes. I do pray on the day the good Lord takes me home I’m very old, surrounded by my loved ones and crucially clad in Chanel (I know shallow). But in spite of my love for clothes, I feel most comfortable, free and like ‘myself’ when I’m wearing my headscarf and mismatching clothing.
For those of you that are unaware, a black woman’s headscarf is what Robin was to Batman, an indispensable sidekick and much-needed source of coverage. Akin to a turban it is worn at night to ensure her tresses don’t revert to what is deemed by a society enamored by a European concept of beauty, as unattractive. Therefore we wrap* our hair then keep it in place with a headscarf, so when we wake up in the morning our hair is a good way.
Anyway! Maybe it’s because I’m about to go to bed, and sleeping is one of my favourite things to do or because if I’m wearing a headscarf I must be in the presence of people that I love/care for deeply, but for whatever reason when I’m wearing my headscarf, I am really being myself. However I could not live my life in my headscarf mode, in this cold cruel world it would keep my head warmer but get me absolutely nowhere.
If we were all ‘ourselves’ people like myself, who in their crudest form are absolutely unbearable, would run amuck. And before you get all righteous on me, think of all your awful habits and idiosyncrasies that you submerge in order to keep your job…imagine if you allowed them to creep to the surface. Imagine if everyone did the same thing? Exactly, hell on earth!
Lesson for today. They tell us "be yourself" but that's an awful piece of advice, last time I checked all the saints were dead and were bunch of sinners. Therefore this is not a rant urging you to change, but applauding you all, for your duplicitousness.
Keep pretending you care what your boss thinks. You will soon be promoted.
Keep using the posh voice and extensive vocabulary when you’re at work, then switching back to your ghetto inflected tone and cusswords when around friends and loved ones. That is wisdom.
Keep being someone else on the first date, second date, thirteenth date, and then becoming who you are two years later. That’s the only way you’ll ever get married.
Let’s all keep being the pretend version of self, it makes the world a better place.
Peace, Love and Sham Marriages
P.S. I know I am often sarcastic and many of my blogs are tongue in the cheek. But I would like to make it abundantly clear that the Beyonce adulation is completely serious. She is my musical hero. I would dedicate an entire week of rants to her, but I fear none of you would re-visit my site.
* To wrap- The act of combing hair in a circular motion until it lays flat on ones head.
Sarah Eve and James Adam are no longer in a relationship……
Usually when random couples split up I couldn’t care less. But the cult of Facebook has the ability to make you wonder about things that you otherwise don’t give a damn about. So on the occasion a Facebook break-up intersects with a moment of aimlessness, we check each parties walls to see if anything of interest comes up and usually the females status update will read something along the lines of ‘Sarah Eve is finally emancipated, I will get through this’ and the males is ‘James Adam is happy Arsenal won’. As they say, men Mars, women Venus. Whatever.
Technological innovation has meant that break-ups can move from being painfully private affairs, to highly embarrassing public events. In times gone past to avoid embarrassment you could move abroad alas those days are long gone, the world wide web is truly world wide.
Unfortunately love/lust/like has the ability to cloud judgement to such a magnitude many of you are currently fretting over videotapes, photographs and other material of an explicit nature in the hands of a former lover. I don’t have any advice on retrieving your private freak show that isn’t criminal and unethical. Truth is only celebrities can make sex-tapes seem glamorous, for pedestrians they seem rather sordid, amateur and poorly lit. So I do sincerely hope your ex is an A-D list celebrity, so you can at least make a bit of change from your indecent exposure or blow up Kim Khardashian style.
Anyhoooow! I believe that no relationship lasts forever. Even if you’re married for decades, at some point someone has to die and there it is the final curtain. With this in mind and the fact that 50% of marriages fail and 85% of other relationships implode (I made the last stat up) we must always tread carefully. I don’t mean that we should regard everyone with suspicion and not love someone entirely. That would be a tough existence. However we must have the awareness that most human relationships go tits up, so we should keep some cards close to our chests. .
My flu meds are sending me on really random thought journeys and after some cough syrup that helped me discover the meaning of life, I realised that if we gave our partners a contract before we embarked on a relationship it would make the inevitable break up easier. Call it a poor (not rich yet) woman’s pre-nup.
Here is mine, you should write one up for yourself, it’s really fun lol. It is entitled ‘If we break up’.
Dear……….(insert lovers name)
If we break up……
Please refrain from changing your Facebook status, in any way obvious or cryptic that would give members of the general public clues concerning the demise of our relationship or the state of your mental health.
Please do not delete me from your ‘friends list’ on Facebook. This is highly immature and only gives the general public more to speak about. We will put each other on limited profile, that way we avoid each other and the masses are none the wiser.
Do not stalk me via my friends, family or enemies.
Do not call my friends, family or enemies.
Do not write a song/poem/blog post/novel/album about us. In this case art must not be inspired by life, please find someone else for your artistic purposes.
Do not make it awkward for our mutual friends and make them choose a side. They will remain neutral as possible and remain friends with both of us.
Please do not use our mutual friends as envoys. There is no diplomacy in times of war.
Destroy/delete any texts, emails, Skype conversations, videotapes, photographs that would give my father a stroke if he discovered their existence.
Don’t attempt to call me a week later and act like nothings happened. We are no longer friends.
Do not call me crying in the middle of the night
We will both endeavour to make sure the flight to Splittsville has no stopovers and avoid a situation where we become ‘friends with benefits’.
In the interest of ensuring that we both come out of the relationship looking like mature adults and to avoid being gossiped about more than necessary, we will only discuss the break up with our closest friends/family*
We will both refrain from vilifying each other in public, no matter how much we dislike each other. However we are allowed to think bad thoughts.
Do not introduce me to your new partner and expect me to like them and have a conversation that is thawed at best. It is a constitutional right to dislike your ex’s next.
Let’s not pretend we can still be ‘friends’, its best we maintain a vow of silence and have curt conversations if we run into each other.
We will do our best not to run into each other. It’s a big world, I’m sure we can manage it.
And either of us owe the other money, each should endeavour to return the monies within 30 working days or set up a payment plan by direct debit.
We will gut our residences of each other’s belongings, place them in a cardboard box and meet at 11.30pm in the middle of London Bridge and swap boxes (I got the idea from Sex of the City). If the credit crunch is over we will send the boxes by courier.
I will cease to pretend to care about your teams placing in the Premiership/NBA and you no longer have to endure Ugly Betty
And we happen to work together, attend the same church/gym/university/mosque/AA meeting/have the same therapist, whoever came second should leave. It’s only fair
I promise not to burn your clothing, bust the windows of your car or slash your tyres. Unless you cheated, then I cannot legally be held accountable for my ‘diary of a mad black woman’ moment.
We each get to keep gifts we exchanged during the course of our relationship.
And it happens to run smoothly we will get back together. If we can manage to go through such a traumatic and often vicious experience amicably, it must be destiny. Any couple that can act reasonably during a break-up should be able to reason through anything.
Peace, Love and Cure the Common Cold (Please!)
* In the case of infidelity the offended party is allowed to speak about the break-up as much as they like to whomever they see fit. This will help the healing process and ensure that other potential future victims are made aware.
If you want to legally drive a car You must take lessons then pass a driving test
If you wish to attend university You must have A-Levels/relevant qualifications
If you want to buy a house You must receive mortgage approval
If you want to purchase a mobile phone with a contract You must pass a credit check
If you wish to visit a nation beyond the EU borders, unless the nation has a waiver agreement with the British government You will need a visa
So it follows, to do most things of significance there is some sort of prerequisite or process of approval.
But if you want to have a child Nothing.
Absolutely nothing. No checks, no training, no tests, no restrictions. Nothing. All you need is viable ovaries, sperm and a womb. If you have those three things you may go forth and multiply.
Hence why I remain convinced that at least 85% of our social ills can be traced back to bad parenting. At the same time there is part of me that is an ardent individualist with a firm belief in personal responsibility for actions. However we are all in some way or another, products of our upbringing; what we were exposed to, what we were taught and how we were treated.
We are far too sensitive as a society to call for a policy that requires people to be tested and trained before they have children. Personally that would be the obvious choice. Would you board a plane if you knew the pilot had received no training? No, because there is nothing intuitive about flying a plane. Just like the pitiful state of our society demonstrates there is clearly nothing intuitive about raising children. My criteria for passing the 'parent test'? Only people who have made a commitment to each other that they will fight tooth and nail to give their child a good life should be allowed to become parents.Simple. But that’s the ideal world and the world we live in is far from that.
Unfortunately testing and training would inevitably reflect social biases and the elites would try and eliminate so called ‘chavs’ and other undesirables from having children. Note,contrary to the Daily Mail’s propaganda, bad parents are not people that live in council housing and happen to have low incomes. Bad parents are present across the social spectrum. This is not about class, its about values. For some reason people don’t think its worthwhile to teach their children to respect their elders or that spitting on the pavement is vile activity. I rant.
Why do I care? Well I'm sick to death of dodging feral children who insist on blaring music on their mobiles and witnessing elderly folk being terrorised by prepubescent demons. As you all know I have a simultaneous love and hatred for pointless thought-experiments. So I have decided that if the revolution came tomorrow and they made me home secretary I would implement the following 3 measures to give lazy parents a kick up the arse and stop me fretting as to whether the aggressive 9 year old on my train carriage is concealing a machete in his high school musical rucksack.
Are my ideas draconian? Perhaps, but these are perilous times. Kids are killing kids, for foolishness such as stepping on someones trainers. Something clearly has to be done.
1) Automatic fines for the absentee parent
The days of the Brady Bunch and the Huxtables are over. Often situations evolve and the parents do not live together and the children end up living with one parent (usually the mother). Most parents I know, come to an arrangement and raise beautiful children. (A beautiful child in my book is one that is seen and heard on the odd occasion).
However I have witnessed many fathers who have decided to abscond themselves of their parental responsibility. Nothing riles me up more than an absentee father and to be quite honest I would like to throw such characters in prison, however their children need them.
Therefore if the father of a child chooses to free himself of his duties and refuses to see his child more than 4 times a month, he will be fined. This fine will not be like a parking fine, which gives you 6O days to gather payment. This fine will be akin to a tax. It will come straight out of your pay cheque. Next to NI and tax receipts there will be a column that reads "Not visiting little Benny tax". The fine will be 11% of income and increase by O.5% every 3 offences. For the unemployed or those on substantial social benefits 11% will be deducted from their welfare payments. Heck let's make it 15%, I've never been comfortable with individuals able to work but choose to live off the state.
If they live abroad, they must to commit to seeing their child twice a year. If not they will be fined in the same manner.
Now if the mother happens to be a vindictive character who due to her dislike for her former partner, chooses to use the child as a pawn and deliberately obstructs visitation. She will be fined in the same manner.
All parties will be fined until they come to the understanding that they must be participants in their children lives and a parent that chooses to be absent is being neglectful. Why do I feel so strongly about this? The child did not ask to be born. Therefore every parent must do everything in their power to ensure they have a fighting chance in this wicked universe, this starts by being around in the first place!
Growing up our parents worked really hard. They worked so hard they weren't around as much as they could/should have been. So they felt guilty. To reduce their feelings of guilt they bought us what we wanted. We became a generation of spoilt bastards who made "Christmas lists" and felt with were entitled to everything. Reebok classics, check. Nokia 331O, check. Designer clothing, check.
They decided it was a good idea to give us money simply for being alive and they called it pocket money. Then it got really stupid and they started creating 'incentives' and rewarding us for doing chores and passing exams, things that we should do, considering children don't really have anything else to do. In the process of giving material goods to make us love them more, they stopped disciplining us. Bad move.
In my imaginary state, discipline not Cruggs (A blend of Crocs and Uggs,God help us) is the new fashion statement. Screw the naughty step and time out,that doesn't work. I mean real discipline. Note! I don't believe in hitting children, it's counter-productive, cruel and in the long run potentially damaging.But children should be punished.
If a child swears at you, make them wear the same clothes for a month.
If a child slams the door, take the door off their room.
If the child fights in school, let them sleep on the floor for a night.
You get my drift.
I do understand that children will be children and misbehaving is a natural part of their progression. Therefore punishments must be applied sparingly. However if a child decides to continually push the limits, they must be taught there are consequences for misbehaving. If they want to avoid them, there is a simple solution, behaving.
Discipline in my state would not be optional,it would be compulsory. Children cannot raise themselves and it would be sheer folly to give them a realm of complete freedom to do as they please.It's not rocket science. If we can train dogs to jump through hoops and guide blind people, I'm sure we can train kids not to stab each other when they grow up.
3) Family imprisonment Kids will rebel. Fair enough. However if your child is a serial rebel, or to be precise someone whose rebellion is of criminal nature, you will go to jail with them. This measure will work as an incentive so people will raise their children correctly before they become petty/hardened criminals. No one wants to go to jail for something they didn't do, do they?
I would love to add more but I fear the RSPCC will get my site shut down. Furthermore I have a Soviet Foreign Policy tutorial to get to.
It's a new day! Well every day is a new day, even though it may not feel like it. Hasn't it been a good week! No? Ok lol. Well this may make you feel a bit better. The genius that is Will.i.am has again chanelled his brilliance into an amazing song all for the man of the hour, Barrack Obama. It's all slightly weird, but it does encapsulate the mood felt by everyone from liberal college students to Hamas (they endorsed Obama, I kid you not).
Cult of the personality? Yes at its finest. We all need to manage our expectations, quickly.
Inspiring? Certainly, the worlds a bad place, let's play make believe for a couple weeks and pretend that one man is going to reverse years of incompetent leadership and injustice.
Anyway. I would love to rant further but I am currently slightly drowsy as I showed early signs of the flu this morning and being the drama queen that I am, I chose to self-medicate and imbibe a cocktail of drugs that would give Amy Winehouse a run for her money. So apologies for any errors in syntax or if this note makes absolutely no sense. I'll be back tomorrow. Heck I'll probably have to delete this post.
Anyway! Enjoy the video, it's a new day and tomorow's Monday......yuk
Have you ever obsessed over something? You just had to have it. For the impulsive amongst you, as soon as you laid your eyes on it, you bought it. You ignored the exorbitant price, the recession and overdraft charges. For the more cautious, you went home and the item haunted you in your dreams. So a few weeks later you returned to the store, buying the item all the while feeling crippling pangs of guilt.
It may have been a pair of delectable shoes, retro trainers, a handbag the financial equivalent of feeding little Jumanja ‘for just $3 a week’ for the next decade. Whatever it is, you wear it till the garment becomes practically fused to your body.
Then one day you look at the garment and you think ‘What was I thinking?’ But by this time it’s too late and you know the rule ‘No refunds or exchange’. So you’re stuck. With something you used to like, loved the company of but at this point in time it’s become irrelevant. And its not that it no longer has value, but you simply no longer compliment each other. Unfortunately you can’t bring yourself to throw it away because it cost to much, you had so many good times together and you hope one day it may come back into style.
This, my friends is the journey of most friendships.
No Refund or Exchange
If you’re currently staring at your monitor aghast thinking ‘people are not commodities, friendship cannot be quantified’. You clearly haven’t come to grips with Capitalism so I doubt you will enjoy this rant. The truth is for some reason the human race is enamoured with the pretence of friendship. Now don’t get me wrong true friendships exist but unfortunately true friends are hard to come by. There are some friends who cross over the invisible threshold and become part of our families. This means for better or worse we can’t get rid of them and they can’t get rid of us. If you are very fortunate, you may have 6 such friends in your lifetime. If you have more than 6, just them a bit of time, they’ll show their true colours soon.
But many of our so-called friends have become like our once beloved garments and reached the point where the friendship yields no return and as farcical as TomKat’s marriage.
However as rude as humans persist on being to bus drivers, waiters and traffic wardens we still muster some kind of respect for people we actually have genuinely reason to dislike. So we hang in the balance, our ‘friendships’ wallow in fallow land. Or as I like to call it ‘The Land of No Refunds or Exchange’.
Five indicators that your friendship has reached ‘The Land of No Refund or Exchange’
1) ‘I’ll call you back’
You deliberately miss their calls, divert their calls, ignore their Facebook wall posts and if they so happen to catch you unaware by calling you on private number you give them the classic line ‘I’ll call you back’. But both parties know that’s not going to happen.
On the rare occasion you’re overcome by a sudden wave of nostalgia you may call them. There are 4 lessons to be learnt from this forced conversation -
a) Calling them was an ‘event’, if they’re a friend this should never be the case. b) You know the exact length of the phone call because you kept looking at your phones timer c) You have to think of things to say ahead of time, because you fear you’re about to run out things to say. d) If the phone ‘happens’ to cut you don’t call them back.
2) Can I have it back?
Well aware that you can never recoup on the time, energy of Christmas gifts invested in your dying friendship you start recovering stuff that you’ve left at their place or lent them. CD’s, clothing, books, magazines, whatever it is, you want it back, and you want it back, now.
3) They annoy you
If you think your friend is annoying, then you gone beyond your ‘No refunds, no exchange’ destination and to the ‘I think not-to-nice-things about you in my head’ point.
You see our friends annoying habits and idiosyncrasies are part of the reason we love them, not part of the reason we dislike them. The rest of the world may believe your friend ‘arrogant, pushy, overly- opionated, self-absorbed’ but you couldn’t care less because you wouldn’t have them any other way.
4) Avoid Avoid Avoid
Not only do you avoid talking to them, you avoid being seen with them. You actually have no desire to socialise with them. Its not that you don’t care about them, but you just don’t care to pretend you want to rave with them. In a world where we party with annoying associates to ensure the façade of popularity is maintained on the ultimate lie (Facebook), it’s a sad day when you avoid someone so much, the prospect of have an extra person to split the cab fare with, is no incentive to extend an invitation.
5) Talking shoes
All of a sudden you become convinced they are talking about you behind your back. And they probably are considering the above four points. Or perhaps its paranoia because you’ve been speaking about them? Whatever the reasons, you have reached the point where you believe with all your being that your ‘ride or die’ wants you dead.
So what to do?
Unlike clothing, stashing a human at the bottom of your closest is a criminal offence as it will cause suffocation. However to avoid drama in the long run, something will have to be done about your ‘no refunds, no exchange friend’.
Unfortunately you only have three options none of which are desirable, however the sadists among you may like them.
a) Give them away Yes I know you don’t own them, but it is very possible to ‘give’ friends away. Humans are needy and I’m sure you know many needy people. Ergo introduce them to as many people you know that they will be compatible with and pray to whichever God you choose to worship that they decide to become attached to their hip. Only problem with this option is that it takes a sizeable amount of effort, time, thought and with this stupid recession you’ll have to be creative with your excursions because even Londoners can no longer afford to do group lunches.
b) Lease them If you’re one of the fortunate souls who hasn’t been hit by the credit crunch and has a friend/associate that happens to have been made unemployed, do your bit for the world and give back. Pay your unemployed friend who is currently googling ‘ten painless ways to commit suicide’ to take your ‘no refund no exchange’ friend off your hands. Although completely morally bankrupt, if we all did it, it would give the economy a bigger boost than anything Meryvn or Alistair can put together. Not only is wealth ‘trickling down’, but your no refund friend will feel popular and you are free of two souls that have been doing your head in.
Quick note, the above agreement must be a verbal contract only, and all transactions must be done in cash or food vouchers. So if you happen to get caught…there’s no proof.
c) Forward them this rant
This is my preferred option. Unless your friend is thicker than Vin Diesel’s neck, forwarding them this rant should more than suffice and send them the memo that it’s time to stop playing make believe and everyone can go their separate ways, guilt free. They will definitely respect you because you clearly value them more than simply giving them away or leasing your friendship out.
Furthermore it means more hits for my site, which is always a good thing.
Peace, Love and The Saturdays
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, drama and/or physical altercations arising, from the use of, or reliance on this information.
Today is a great day. America has proven why it is often called a ‘great’ nation and put aside its apparent prejudices, willed for change and placed in office the best man for the job. As cliché as this will read for handing the mandate to Barrack Obama and liberating the world of McPalin, I scream GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Some of you may be wondering why I care so much, is it because I’m black? No. It’s because in spite of my obsession with Louboutin’s and other trivial things, I am ultimately a citizen of the world and I care. However this is a historic event because of the fact that Obama is the first person of colour to occupy the presidential seat, therefore I have a few things to say.
I tend to try to keep away from ‘racial’ issues because:-
a) This has never been and never will be a blog exclusively for black people. b) I hate being pigeonholed c) I’ll get myself in more trouble than it’s worth
However in lieu of today’s historic event I have a message for my fellow Black Britons. And for those of you aren’t Black British I do ask that you indulge me for this will be the first and last time I do such a thing and I’m sure you will glean much from what I will write.
To my fellow Black Britons,
If you are reading this I do suspect that like myself you are a member of the ‘third generation’ of Black Britons. Your grandparents may have arrived on the Windrush or like mine came in the 1960s from Nigeria to give themselves and their children a better life.
They worked against the sound of the doomsday prophecies of Enoch Powell. Surrounded by signs that said ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish’. Many of them were under-unemployed and under-paid. Once white-collar workers they did menial jobs, were discriminated against on a daily basis and labelled humiliating terms such as ‘coon’ and ‘nig-nog'.
Many of us have failed to grasp the magnitude of what our grandparents achieved. We wonder why they ‘said nothing’ failing to understand that they bore unbearable pain and worked tirelessly so our parents could be educated.
And educated our parents were. If you visit our homes you will see evidence that our grandparents produced first generation graduations. Graduation pictures are often the focal points of our living room, mounted on the wall and blown up to massive proportions. Some of our parents did the seemingly impossible. They worked, studied and raised children. And somehow they have managed to retain the core values that they inherited from their parents.
Values such as discipline, fortitude, determination, passion, self-belief, humility, frugality and hope.These values carried them and provoked a massive metamorphosis in the ‘Black British experience. Because of our parents and grandparents we became an integral part of British society.
Our parents were socially mobile, moving from social housing to becoming homeowners, many of whom were the first black family on their street. They became savvy and realised for their children to compete they also had to institutionalise privilege. So they imitated their Asian counterparts and scrapped to send their kids to private schools or moved to better catchment areas . They drove home the message that education and hard work was the key to freedom and we had to be superior to be equal.
So here we are the third generation but instead of mass progress I see polarisation. Some of us go to Oxbridge, LSE, UCL and fill the desks of universities and FTSE 100 companies up and down this nation. We excel academically and creatively. I look at my friends; a training doctor, a brilliant fashion journalism student at one of the best institutions in the world, a girl on her way to Accenture upon graduation, a WPP fellow, successful singer and a gifted songwriter, who a fortnight ago had a song that was number one in the charts. I could go on and reel off the multitude of people who are black and British who contrary to media propaganda, are neither criminals or under-achievers but evidence of the brilliance of Black British talent and a testament to the fact that England is also a land of opportunity.
But then I look beyond my somewhat privileged circle and I see fragmentation and a frightening disconnect with the values of our grandparents.
Perhaps it came with the wave of migrants who came not to work, but solely to make money and build massive edifices in their countries of origin. They were preoccupied with wearing ‘lace’, weekend parties in community centres and forgot to raise their children.
Did they disappear when our grandparents, the backbone of our communities died or decided to go back home to retire ? Is it because some of our parents attempted to assimilate and decided not to discipline us as severely? The again maybe the values dissolved because there were no fathers around to pass them on.For reasons that are varied and contradictory some of us have become walking negative stereotypes, victims of abominable self-fulfilling prophesies and a mass of unfulfilled potential.
Baby father drama is seen as the norm, many are incarcerated, filling mental hospitals and a young black boy dies at the hand of his classmate and no one blinks. Our grandparents sought wealth but we want to be rich. Quick money and fast money is often stolen money. We scoff at the menial tasks that our grandparents did and in the space of three generations the stereotype has shifted from African cleaner with greatness in his eyes to African drug dealer with flamboyance in his veins.
Alarmingly as polarisation has grown between us the most viciously racist remarks and ideologies seem to come from within us. How many of us have heard a rant begin with "that’s the trouble with black people" and an individual rambles on at length about how hopeless we are.
I look at grainy black and white pictures of my grandparents, taken in an unfamiliar land very different from Nigeria and I don’t see the swagger and attitude that many of us possess in our Facebook picture. I spot fear, I sense diffidence, but above all I see in their faces and eyes evidence of sacrifice. Unfortunately they didn’t live to see what Obama has achieved, their son has achieved and what their granddaughter is still yet to achieve. But to my grandparents and parents I will be forever be indebted.
The sacrifices our parents and grandparents have made must not be in vain. As much as America is viewed as a ‘land of opportunity’ I have always held in this horrible world, England is one of the best places on earth to be and a country I genuinely love. We have social housing, universal health care, affordable university fees , history, culture and tradition. Anyone that has travelled extensively in Europe will be aware that England is unique in its acceptance and celebration of diversity. Now I’m not claiming England is perfect but for the opportunities we have, we must be grateful, and not let them pass us by.
No more excuses. No more accusations. No more complaints. Within us and around us is the potential for greatness. Today has demonstrated that anything is possible. Amongst us are many more like Zadie Smith, Baroness Amos, Lord Leary Constantine , Thandie Newton, Damon Buffini , David Lammy, Trevor McDonald, Lenny Henry, June Sarpong , Lewis Hamilton, Leona Lewis and dare I say it Barrack Obama.
This is not to suggest that the election of Obama has marked a cataclysmic shift in the universe and ‘poof’ racism, sexism, poverty and other social ills have disappeared. But we must all strive to be the best that we can be.
Enough of that! I’m on top of the world right now. I’m proud to be a human being and hoping that the world is finally realising that when it comes down to it, we are all the same!
"Rosa Parks sat, so Martin could walk... Martin walked, so Obama could run... Obama is running, so we all could fly" Shawn Carter
This morning it finally dawned on me that I am watching history unravel and meander into a stream of events that a few decades ago, even a few months ago many believed would never be possible. I didn’t really want to ‘rant’ per say about today’s election. It’s far too predictable and as you all know I have a disdain for being like everyone else. But its so huge and at the forefront of so many peoples mind, I would be a fool not to.
This election has reinvigorated democracy worldwide in a way that I had never imagined. It’s made us have conversations that we avoid. Frank dialogue concerning race, class, economics and gender ricochet from villages in Western Africa to upwardly mobile city workers commuting to work. That’s a good thing. It’s also exposed the world’s obsession with race, class and gender, despite the fact we constantly claim we no longer judge people on the basis of such. That’s a sad thing.
I’m a cynic naturally but today I am strangely optimistic about the future. Not because I believe if Barrack Obama becomes president he will change the world, that’s stupidity. But the interest, unity and passion that I have seen in this election and the way it has rippled, dissolved apathy and destroyed her sister indifference is a wonderful thing.
I look at my inner circle and the brilliant minds I am surrounded by, many who have found personal inspiration in Barrack Obama and finally come to accept the great truth that if we strive and believe anything is possible. That’s a brilliant thing.
More personally watching what Obama has achieved thus so far has taught me a life lesson I hope I never forget. To live a life driven by conviction.
For our generation it seems that ‘conviction’ is a foreign concept. Look how we conduct our conversations. When we speak we litter our sentences with parenthetical phrases, speak in an appeasing tone and expect others to validate our opinions so much colloquialism such as ‘you know what I mean’, ‘you get me’ ‘you hear me’ ‘like’ ‘kinda’ have become ingrained in popular culture. All phrases that signify we constantly urge people to believe us as we speak, because many of us don’t have the strength to believe in ourselves.
But by watching one man venture a path where many before couldn’t, not due to their ability but because of their pigment, I feel privileged. I admire the fact he ignored many who believed (and still believe) America could never have a person of colour as President and the determination he has shown despite the fact if a single constanant is switched in his surname it becomes the name of one the most hated men in the world. From this election I have learnt to live with conviction and realise that this world will give you nothing, so you have to take it.
I sincerely hope when I awake tomorrow morning that a septuagenarian neo-con with questionable judgement and a woman who believes she can see Russia from her window (Russia, really Palin) are not leaders of the free world.
But regardless of who becomes President the things I hate most about the world will still be the same and for the foreseeable future there will be absolutely no change for the people that need it most.
There will still be no peacekeepers in Darfur in spite of the apparent lessons learnt in Rwanda and the fact the world swore ‘never again’ after the Holocaust.
I will still pick up my newspaper and be informed that solely on the basis of his race, statistically my unborn son is twice as likely to end up in prison than in university.
We will continue on our tragic voyage towards the worst recession since the ‘great depression’ and the people who will suffer most aren’t the spineless corporate fat cats who hide their wealth and have ensured its protected, but the ‘little people’ who put so much in but get nothing out.
The World Bank and IMF will continue to be proponents of the inherently flawed and economically crippling Washington consensus and issue structural adjustment programs to nations well aware that regardless of conditions these nations will never be able to repay their loans.
There will still be troops in Iraq. There may be another casualty in Iraq. It may be an Iraqi child (I’m sorry Fox News, insurgent) or it may be an American soldier fighting a war he’s not even sure he believes in. Either way someone who shouldn’t have to die will.
There will still be no peace in the Middle East.
Africa will still be maimed by the HIV/AIDS crisis and paralysed by poverty.
The developing world will still be facing a food crisis.
Oh yes and the environment will be well and truly screwed.
In essence the institutions, processes, structures and people that have meant that the world we live in is one full of tension and injustice, will still be in place. Rigid and unchanging.
In spite of this.
The symbol of Barrack Obama becoming President is a glimmer of hope that things can change.
So no matter the outcome, history is unfolding before our eyes and we will have the privilege to say to our children ‘we were there’.
In an earlier rant (see ‘Friends we all have’) I asserted that each and everyone one of us has a friend who is considered a ‘hoe’. I don’t regret the rant but for reasons I will explore I wish to apologise publicly for my use of the term ‘hoe”.
I have decided to banish the term ‘hoe’ from my vocabulary and the sooner we all do the better. This is a life changing decision (I’m being dramatic, but speaking about life changing my American readers I do implore you to vote Obama) that hinges solely on the basis that the combination of two factors has rendered the term (in my books) null and void.
1)Problem with definition – What is a hoe?
I hate relative concepts. I work with absolutes. Dogs, cats, thieves, liars, I know what they are but ‘hoes’ I can’t think of a watertight definition of what a hoe is. So I attempted definition by the nihilistic method and I concluded (and I’m sure many of you will disagree)
A hoe is NOT… ‘A woman who deliberately and with cruel intent steals another woman’s husband/boyfriend’
Contrary to popular opinion such a specimen is not a hoe. Such women are unscrupulous witches who shouldn’t be allowed to procreate until they endure 90 hours of therapy, 40 hours of community service and 10 hours of hard labour. (I despise home wreckers).
‘A woman whose number sexual partners in a year exceed their numbers of fingers + toes’
At this risk of sounding cliché, if such women exist and sleeping with men is not her profession (I refuse to get entangled in a debate about the legalisation of prostitution) then I will conclude that is not a hoe but a woman who is searching. It may be for love, fulfilment, validation, the perfect orgasm I have not got a clue and this rant is not attempting to create Oprah moments and push ‘self-worth’ down anyone’s throat (see ‘Be Audacious’/’You are Special). ‘A woman that dresses unnecessarily provocatively’ That is not a hoe that is an attention seeker. Garments are just that garments and aren't necessarily indicative of lifestyle choices. Furthermore I love attention seekers, they make the world go round.
So I did a quick opinion poll of those I know on ‘what a hoe is’ but my circle of associates range from evangelical Christians convinced mundane events are further evidence of the ongoing battle between the Satan and God to care free escort girls. So as you may have already gathered I didn’t get a step closer to an unequivocal definition of what a ‘hoe’ is.
Then I had my 'eureka' moment. I realised for an individual to relegate another to being a citizen of ‘hoedom’ it’s a numbers game. An individual is viewed as hoe if they have exceeded the number of sexual partners you have had to the power of two. So if a person has had 3 sexual partners they will deem a person who has had 9 sexual partners or more a hoe. My theory and I’m sticking with it, is the ‘imaginary/arbitrary hoe line’ is set at the point that we believe we will never cross or in formulaic terms (Nsp^2). I tried to do a formula which took age into account but I hate maths and don’t care that much.
Anyway! I have been in numerous situations where I have witnessed a woman who is universally (and when I say universe I mean within her social milieu) viewed as a hoe, deliberately spark a discussion about another female (that most view as being equally 'hoeish') and labels this female as a hoe. (HUGH SIGH)
The conversation usually runs along these lines. ‘I can’t stand that girl she’s such a hoe’. The lady in question then proceeds to articulate with unnecessary detail tales about her comrade that she has heard through the grapevine. She then pre-empts the obvious challenge that she does the same herself so she ends her character assasination by stating ‘you see I’m different all the guys I sleep with are (insert arbitrary justification)’. This may range from ‘rich’ ‘employed’ ‘friends’ ‘someone I know quite well’.
Yes I am aware the female in question is projecting her own character flaw on another in the hope it perhaps negates her flaw or makes her acts seem less noticeable. We all project. However with such confusion and relatively surrounding a term I’m convinced I’m better off not using it at all.
All various synonyms in the urban dictionary for a hoe. These terms have one thing in common. And it’s not the fact they all have the ability to spark a fight in a millisecond. No, it’s the fact that these terms are only used to describe women. For some reason society has evolved to the point we believe that being a ‘hoe’ is a lifestyle choice unique to the female gender. However practically speaking ‘hoeish behaviour’ is impossible to do alone so why on earth are derogatory terms for individuals we believe behave in a manner that is sexually abhorrent solely restricted to females?
Now I’m not a feminist but for this rant I may have to side with them and conclude that terms such as hoe, slut, jezzy etc are evidence of rampant patriarchy. Therefore the concept of a hoe is an axiom that as a woman I refuse to accept. If men were referenced to as hoes as much as women, perhaps I could re-consider slotting the term back in my lexicon but that’s not going to happen is it?
Even if I had to keep on calling people ‘hoes’ most of the people I would label hoes would be male (sorry guys!). Let’s take Hugh Hefner. This is a man that has built an entire empire (heck he even built a house) whose main selling point pivots on his sexual exploits. I have never read a single article in the mainstream media referring to him as a hoe. Quite the opposite! Hugh Hefner is not only admired but celebrated for the commoditisation of deeds that a female would be hung, drawn and quartered for*.
For those of you that will jump on my back and claim that hoes are ‘nasty’ and clearly exist I’m just merely pointing out the term ‘hoe’ is not only ridiculously subjective but steeped in gender prejudice. Even if this was not the case and Webster came up with a term that all you lovers of democracy approved of that encompassed males, females and transgendered folk it wouldn’t be enough. Unfortunately it seems my childhood dreams of becoming a black Cruella D’vil (she’s just so fierce) are fading rapidly because I am thawing. I cry watching ‘Scrubs’ and complain about people selling me charity on the street because I can’t help but give them money. Truth is I think the term is really hurtful and one we should not direct at anyone regardless of our opinions of their lifestyle.
Although I’m an authoritarian to the core (anyone that advocates castration for convicted paedophiles and fines for the parents of young offenders clearly is) but as much as I despise Mill there are certain aspects of his harm theory that I agree with. The beauty (and part of the curse) of this world is choice. If someone makes a choice that doesn’t actually effect us we have absolutely no right to label them, treat them badly, or make them feel less than equal on the basis of this choice. That would be wrong. For some reason some human’s relish occupying the high ground morally but the reality is no one is perfect and we have all done things that we would rather not have in the public domain. So for all of you ghastly people currently terrorising some female, saying the cruelest things about her and in particular calling her a ‘hoe’, please leave her alone.
I’m not necessarily advocating ‘hoe acceptance’, the church in me won’t allow me to go that far and I’m no liberal. However I’m advocating ‘hoe tolerance’.........I think. I may have to get back to you guys on this one.
Despite issues with where I actually fall ideologically on the ‘hoe issue’ I am no fool. Even though I will now refrain from calling people hoes there are certain women that as long as I can control it, will not even be allowed to share the same airspace as my boyfriend.
Peace, Love and Boris Kodjoe
* Memo to E! Could you kindly cancel that utterly senseless show that glamorises stupid women living in a tacky edifice and commission more episodes of Kimora’s ‘Life in the Fab Lane’. Thank you please.