Monday, 24 November 2014
Left to right:
Naya Rivera, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Ciara, Ke$ha
Katy Perry, Nicole Richie, Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, Jordin Sparks
It was the Iggy Azalea ( and One Direction ) show really
Check out her performance of Fancy & Beg For It:
I thought she had the night's best performance. She also won the Best Rap/Hip Hop Award- pipping Eminem to the gong
Here's the list of all the winners: link
Friday, 21 November 2014
I watched the Aaliyah biopic on Lifetime a few days ago
I thought Alexander Shipp did a decent job as Aaliyah. She could have done much better if she was actually allowed to sing the songs that made Aaliyah an icon
However the flick was universally panned on social media for many reasons particularly that of Miscasting: Izaak Smith & Chattrise Dolabaille look nothing like Timbaland and Missy Elliot -who worked closely with the singer during her lifetime. (Pix 3)
Cle Bennett who played R. Kelly looks more like Akon ( pix 2)
Anthony Grant who played Aaliyah's lover towards the end of her life, Damon Dash, is too tall (pix 4)
Hundreds of funny memes concerning this miscasting are on Twitter
Oddly enough the only person who looked like a music star was Aaliyah's brother, Rashad, played by Jesse Sukunda. He looks very much like Drake
-the attempt to 'romanticise' the pedophilic relationship between Aaliyah and R. Kelly also rubbed people off the wrong way
- Her family probably had a bad feeling about the flick as they didn't give the film makers permission to use any of her songs in the movie
Perhaps the biggest problem is that described in this article by one of my favourite bloggers, Damon Young:
Aaliyah has not been dead long enough!
Damon writes: "You can’t make a biopic loosely based on recent common knowledge fact because those facts are still too present, too alive still for us to grant the filmmakers any leeway"
"It’s someone attempting to explain to you how the bacon you ate yesterday morning tasted"
I co-sign this
I agree with the second part, the first....hmmmm....nah!!
For a full review check out this link:
My favourite moments:
(Olivia had snatched Papa Pope's gun, much to his shock and disbelief. Then , she pulled the trigger, but the gun wasn’t loaded.)
Papa Pope-" arrrrgh! Are you kidding me, you just shot your own father!! ....never, never in a million years did I think that you would be willing to pull the trigger" ( he takes the gun away from her)
..... "You will miss me when I’m gone"
( Cyrus was quitting as his gay affair had been found out and could cause a scandal in the White House ) My best scene!
Olivia Pope to Cyrus:
"When did you decide to let them ruin you?
So life's unfair, so what?
That's how it is!!
So they are 'mean girling' you and the Press are calling you name and hurting the soft spots deep inside,
well, so what?
That's how it is!!
You lost someone you loved, you lost that one person who felt like family,
Well, guess what?
Grow the hell up because that is how it is!
The Cyrus I know doesn't hide in his half empty pocket and wet his pants like a little bitch, baby
The Cyrus I know is a patriot
He bites the bullet and he does what it takes to serve the Republic at all cost!
So I want to know right now, in this moment, who you are!!
Because the pathetic shell of a person I'm looking at right now doesn't deserve to stand on the Presidential Seal at the Oval Office, let alone tell the president what to do!
Who are you, Cy?
Who are you, Cy?"
Cyrus- *getting his mojo back* : "I'm one of the most powerful men in the world"
Olivia- Who are you, Cy?
Cyrus- I'm one of the most powerful men in the world
Olivia- Oh yes you are not a B*tch, baby?
Cyrus- I run this country, I'm nobody's b*tch, baby!!
Olivia- Well, I know that you still sound like a little b*tch, baby!!
Cyrus- I'm noooot a little b*tch, baby!!!
Olivia- then show me, prove it, right now, show me who you are, Cyrus Beene"
(All I can say to that scene is Wooooooh!!! )
Olivia to Mama Pope - You have to know something, you spent years watching him ( Papa Pope) you have a PHD in his crazy ....I need some answers now!
Mama Pope - Girl, you need to move on!
Elizabeth, Republican Party chairman ( Portia De Rossi): " I'm sorry, did I do something to offend you?, I thought we were both on the same page?"
Mellie ( has just recently discovered that, just like her, Elizabeth is also getting the gud gud from the VP, Andrew):
"Because we are both screwing Andrew!?!
That doesn't make us friends!
It just makes both of us at risk of the same STDs!!
I don't blame you, I know as well as the next girl how generous Andrew is in bed that he is dedicated.
But he is weak, certainly not a presidential candidate.
So, when the next presidential election rolls around, I'll make damn sure that you bet the right horse, cos when it comes to screwing someone, I'm not nearly as gentle as Andrew!!
From me, it will HURT!!"
Wooooh, woooooh!! Never ever rub Mellie the wrong way, never!!
Pix 5 & 6 tells their own story
Y'all need to watch this show! For real!!
Thursday, 23 October 2014
Of Ecclesiastes, the futility of it all, Carpe Diem and Hey, don't forget to live!
Ecclesiastes is a Greek word for 'Preacher'.
Why this Preacher may not be most people's favourite person:
-the prominent tone, particularly in the early chapters, is one of alienated cynicism and weary melancholy
-It's theme is: the emptiness of human effort, utter futility. All is vanity- which means it's all for nought. It's like pursuing wind
"I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind" ( Ecc 1:14 NIV )
Ecc 1:2 "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity"
Ecc 8: 10b- 14 He is frustrated with delayed justice and the unfairness of it all. All is vanity
-Each time he tries to make sense of it, his frustration grows.
"And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow". (Ecc 1:17-18 )
9:11 - "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all"
( this popular verse is often quoted out of context ( where is the concept of merit then? ) It is actually a lament of the great injustice of the way things occur in this world. You need to read the preceding verses to understand this )
-So, he concludes that the same fate awaits both the fool and the wise- death Ecc 2:14-17
"Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 2:17)
9:2-6 The good, the evil, the righteous, the unrighteous: Death is the same fate of all
This is where it gets really interesting:
-Despite all this despair and cynicism, there is a positive note: the writer doesn't recommend nihilism or suicide (despite the lack of purpose or meaning in life). He states that every life does have its moments of meaning and happiness, and these moments should be seized when one can .
Carpe Diem (Seize the moment) -remember Jack in Titanic?
Which is why Ecc 9:7-10 makes sense - particularly relating to how one should live life
verse 7: "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works"
Ecc 5:18 - "Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion"
Ecc 3:13 "And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God"
"In the end it's not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years"-Abraham Lincoln
So, Carpe Diem (seize the moment) and...
Hey, don't forget to live!
-Inspiration from Prof Christine Hayes' Lecture on 'The Hebrew Bible'
Sunday, 19 October 2014
The Assyrian Kings responsible for the fall of Israel
( King Solomon was the last King of a unified Israel.
Despite the awesome temple he built on Mount Zion, he loved women from nations that God had forbidden and he would have succumbed to the worship of their gods. He would have been guilty of syncretism ( religious infidelity)
He built temples for Moabite and Ammonite gods- this may reflect a tolerance for other cults or gods in the 10th & 9th centuries.
Of course there was discontent among the people and a huge class divide ( he was taxing them heavily too)
When he died in 931BCE, the kingdom was divided between King Jeroboam in the North & Rehoboam in the south. The northerners ( 10 tribes of Israel would not recognise Rehoboam as King. The King would not lessen the tax burden on the people either. Hence Jeroboam became King in the North and Rehoboam was King of south- the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) This account is in 1 Kings )
Tiglath-Pileser III ( pix 1 )
Reign 745–727 BCE
He introduced advanced civil, military, and political systems into the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Tiglath-Pileser III seized the Assyrian throne during a civil war and killed the royal family.
He introduced sweeping reforms which made the Assyrian army, already the greatest fighting force in the world since the 14th Century ( 600 years previously), the world's first professional standing army.
Tiglath-Pileser III subjugated much of the known world at the time!!
-In the south west, he subjugated Israel, Judah, Philistia, Samarra, Moab and Edom
Biblical records describe how Tiglath-Pileser III exacted 1000 talents of silver as tribute from King Menahem of the Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 15:19) and later defeated his successor Pekah ( 15:29)
King Pekah of Israel had allied with Rezin, king of the Arameans ( Syria) against Ahaz of the Kingdom of Judah, who responded by appealing for the Assyrian monarch's help with the Temple gold and silver.
Tiglath-Pileser answered swiftly. He first marched his army down the eastern Mediterranean coast, taking coastal cities all the way to Egypt. This cut off his enemies' access to the sea.
Once this was achieved, he returned to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, destroyed their army, and deported the Reubenites, Gadites, and the people of Manasseh to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the Gozan river (1 Chron 5:26).
He then installed an Israelite puppet king, Hoshea, (732-723 BCE) in the place of king Pekah.
He concluded this extensive campaign by marching north and west, ravaging Aramaea, seizing Damascus, executing Rezin, and deporting the survivors to Kir (2 Kings 16:9).
Beyond this, the Assyrian alliance was not beneficial to Ahaz (2 Chron 28:20)
Isaiah & Micah were Judean prophets who talked about the Assyrian crisis
Shalmaneser V (pix 2)
was king of Assyria from 727 to 722 BC.
( Hoshea was King of Israel in this period)
According to 2 Kings, chapters 17-18, Shalmaneser accused Hoshea, King of Israel, of conspiring against him by sending messages to Pharaoh Osorkon IV of Egypt, and captured him.
Indeed, the Egyptians attempted to gain a foothold in Palestine, then held largely by Assyria's vassal kings, by stirring them to revolt against Assyria and lending them some military support.
After three year of siege he took the city of Samaria. The populations he deported to various lands of the empire, (together with ones deported about ten year earlier by Tiglath-Pileser III) are known as the "Ten Lost Tribes" of Israel.
The populations he settled in Samaria instead form, according to the commentary in the Bible, the origin of Samaritans. Shalmaneser died in the same year, 722 BC, and it is possible that the population exchanges were done by his successor Sargon II.
Sargon II ( pix 3 )
reigned 722 – 705 BC
Sargon II became the ruler of the Assyrian Empire in 722 BC after the death of Shalmaneser V.
It is not clear whether he was the son of Tiglath-Pileser III or a usurper unrelated to the -however he took the name Sharru-kinu ("true king"), after Sargon of Akkad — who had founded the first Semitic Empire in the region some 16 centuries earlier. ( we've talked about him)
Under his rule, the Assyrians completed the defeat of the Kingdom of Israel and exiled the inhabitants.
Sargon's name actually appears in the Bible only once, at Isaiah 20:1, which records the Assyrian capture of Ashdod in 711 BC.
He took 27,290 people captive from the city of Samaria resettling some with the Israelites in the Khabur region and the rest in the land of the Medes thus establishing Hebrew communities in Ecbatana and Rages ( these are all in modern day Iran)
Amos and Hosea were the prominent prophets in Israel during this crisis
Fall of the Assyrian Empire:
612BCE- A year after the death of the last strong Assyrian ruler, Assurbanipal, in 627 BCE, the Assyrian empire spiralled into a series of brutal civil wars. Babylon saw its opportunity and, with the help of allies, it sacked the capital city of Assyria, Nineveh in 612BCE. The Babylonians then became the big boys in the area.
Prophet Nahum celebrated the fall of Nineveh in his book
The Babylonian King responsible for Judah's fall:
Nebuchadnezzar II ( pix 4) 634 – 562 BCE
was king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire
Jehoiakim was King of Judah in 587BCE. Judah was a vassal state of Babylon. The Judeans had rebelled against Babylonian rule ( Nebuchadnezzar's incursion into Egypt had failed and the Babylonians had been weakened due to the war. Judah saw this as an opportunity)
Nebuchadnezzar soon dealt with these rebellion, capturing Jerusalem in 597 BC and deposing King Jehoiakim, then destroying the city in 587 BC due to rebellion, and deporting many of the prominent citizens along with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judea to Babylon.
These events are described in the Prophets (Nevi'im) and Writings (Ketuvim), sections of the Hebrew Bible (in the books 2 Kings and Jeremiah, and 2 Chronicles, respectively).
While boasting about his achievements, Nebuchadnezzar is humbled by God. The king loses his sanity and lives in the wild like an animal for seven years. After this, his sanity and position are restored and he praises and honours God. There are various explanations for this episode by modern scholars
Reason for the fall of Israel & Judah:
All the kings of Israel and almost all the kings of Judah were "bad", which in terms of Biblical narrative means that they failed to enforce worship of Yahweh alone.
Of the "good" kings, Hezekiah (727–698 BCE) is noted for his efforts at stamping out idolatry (in this case, the worship of Baal and Asherah, among other traditional Near Eastern divinities),
but his successors, Manasseh of Judah (698–642 BCE) and Amon (642–640 BCE), revived idolatry, drawing down on the kingdom the anger of Yahweh.
King Josiah (640–609 BCE ) returned to the worship of Yahweh alone and carried out reforms ( as documented in Deuteronomy) but his efforts were too late and Israel's unfaithfulness caused God to permit the kingdom's destruction by the Babylonians in c.587/586 BCE.
Ezekiel was the prominent prophet during the Babylonian crisis. He was actually sent into exile with his compatriots.
Jeremiah was another prominent prophet who talked about the impending Babylonian crisis and the reason for it. He was actually imprisoned for a while when Judah fell.
Fall of Babylon
539BCE - eventually , Babylon itself would fall. King Cyrus of Persia ( Iran) ensured this.
Jewish exiles were allowed to return to Jerusalem and Judah became a province of Persia.
520-515BCE - the destroyed temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt
Some of the post-exilic prophets were Haggai, Zechariah & Job
Friday, 10 October 2014
The Sunni-Shia Schism in Islam, Iran, Iraq and the origins of ISIL
ISIL- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Sometimes called ISIS - Islamic State of Iraq & Syria-
have been in the news for sometime now. Ever wondered about the origin?
After Muhammed 's death in 632BCE ( at the age of 62) , there were disputes over religious and political leadership .
These would give rise to schism in the Muslim community.
The majority accepted the legitimacy of the three rulers after Muhammed ( Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab and Uthman ibn al-Affan) but won't accept the 4th Caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib
They became known as Sunnis.
A minority disagreed, and believed that Muhammad appointed his son-in-law, Ali ibn Abi Talib, as his successor and only certain descendants of Ali could be Imams.
As a result, they believe that Ali ibn Abi Talib was the first Imam (leader), rejecting the legitimacy of the previous Muslim caliphs Abu Bakr, Uthman ibn al-Affan and Umar ibn al-Khattab.
-they became known as the Shiites
Remember this dude, Sheikh Ismail I (pix 1):
Iran’s population was mostly Sunni of the Shafi`i and Hanafi legal rites until the triumph of the Safavids
The Safavids were one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Persia (modern Iran)
(From 1500–2 Sheikh Ismail I, the founder of the Safavid dynasty, conquered Tabriz in Iran, as well as Azerbaijan.
He would take most of the next decade to consolidate his control over Iran, where most of the Persian population was still Sunni.
His hatred of the Sunnis knew no bounds: he was the most intolerant Shia ruler since the fall of the Fatimids and his persecution of Sunnis was ruthless.
He aimed at no less than the complete destruction of Sunnism.
The Safavid conversion of Iran from Sunnism to Shiism made Iran the spiritual bastion of Shia Islam against the onslaughts of Sunni Islam, and the repository of Persian cultural traditions and self-awareness of Iranianhood, acting as a bridge to modern Iran
Earlier on in history, the Muslims had taken over Persia:
The Persian ( Sassanid) Empire ( Iran) used to be the major player in the region and Iraq used to be it's capital state
This changed at the battle of Al-Qadissiyah fought in 636BCE:
It was the decisive engagement between the Arab Muslim army and the Sassanid Persian army ( supported by the Byzantines )during the first period of Muslim expansion.
It resulted in the Islamic conquest of Persia and was key to the conquest of Iraq.
As documented above, both Iran and Iraq ended up having Shia majorities. Sunni Muslims were in the minority
Then Saddam Hussein- pix 2 ( became President in 1979) and his Ba'ath party ( took power via a coup in 1968) happened to Iraq. He was a Sunni
This led to the persecution of Shiites in Iraq and frequent turf wars with Shia-dominated Iran
-In 1979, the Revolution happened in Iran
-The Ayatollah ( Ruhollah Khomeini, pix 3 ) encouraged repressed Shiites to revolt in Iraq
-this was one of the reasons ( including centuries of animosity and perceived wrongs) for the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq wars. It ended in a stalemate
-Saddam was deposed in 2003, following the Gulf war. He was executed in 2006 having been found guilty of many atrocities-including killing 148 Shiite Iraqis
- the Shia majority now took over Government and started persecuting the Sunni minority
-this is the genesis of the current terrorist group, ISIS or ISIL
-the group has grown significantly under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ( pix 4), gaining support in Iraq as a result of alleged economic and political discrimination against Iraqi Sunnis. They have also incorporated the Sunni insurgents in the Syrian Civil war
The Fertile Crescent
ONE OF THE central facts of human history is the early importance of the part of the Near East known as the Fertile Crescent
If you draw a line from the Nile River through the lower border of the Mediterranean and through the Tigris and Euphrates rivers , you'll get a crescent-shaped region around this line
This crescent-shaped region contains the comparatively moist and fertile land of an otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia
That area appears to have been the earliest site for a whole string of developments, including cities, writing, empires, and what we term (for better or worse) civilization
So civilization started here.
All those developments mentioned above sprang, in turn, from the dense human populations, stored food surpluses, and feeding of nonfarming specialists made possible by the rise of food production in the form of crop cultivation and animal husbandry
The Mediterranean climate was just suitable for crop cultivation and animal rearing, sedentary lifestyle and community development. Crucially, while some were engaged in these activities of daily living, it allowed other people to concentrate on the things associated with development and civilisation such as writing, carvings, arts and the building of empires
Note Canaan in that area in the maps ( thus a land 'flowing with milk and honey' makes more sense )
While my ancestors were still nomadic hunter-gatherers-moving from place to place, these dudes were settled and becoming civilised
Thus, with the coming of the Early Bronze Age (3200–2200 BCE) the first great civilizations emerged in proximity to the great rivers of the region, the Nile in Egypt, and the Tigris and Euphrates that define Mesopotamia (literally, the land between the two rivers) in modern Iraq.
In southern Mesopotamia, around the junction and mouth of the two rivers, the Sumerians are credited with the earliest known writing system, around 3200 B.C.E.
Egyptian civilization is almost as old as that of Sumer. A form of writing known as hieroglyphics first appears around 3100 B.C.E
Note that Canaan lies between these 2 great civilisations
Around 1400 B.c.E, the Kingdom of the Ugarit arose in Canaan
Israel emerged in the highlands of Canaan between 1250-1000 BCE (
Why is this bit of history important?
Israel didn't exist until about 1500 years after the great civilisations of Egypt, and more importantly, Mesopotamia ( as the latter spoke a language similar to the Semitic language of the Israelites )
This earlier civilisations had to have an influence on the history and the culture of the Israelites
This narrative is important for my future posts
In current usage, all definitions of the Fertile Crescent include Mesopotamia, the land in and around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The modern-day countries with significant territory within the Fertile Crescent are Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt, besides the southeastern fringe of Turkey and the western fringes of Iran.
Any body who's met an educated Egyptian or Iraqi or Iranian knows how proud these people can be. Their people were the first ones to be civilised. Even Caucasians ( Europeans) were still hunter gatherers when these people were forming communities
Saturday, 4 October 2014
Of motivation quotes, errors and Coca Cola
Saw this quote on social media today
( one of the interminable ones you see on your Wall -posted by your FB friends who love channelling their inner Zig Ziglar :D )
This quote even has a Facebook fan page!
Great motivational quote, major error in the figures quoted
During the first year ( 1886) , sales averaged a modest nine drinks per day. You do the maths! :-)
It did make me read about the resourcefulness of the inventor, Colonel John Pemberton - who was wounded in the Civil War, became addicted to morphine, and began a quest to find a substitute for the dangerous opiate
The business-savvy of Asa Candler- who got the sole ownership ( in 1891 for $2300 ) by buying the interests of Pemberton & other rivals ( both by legal and crooked means! :-) )
The vision and even greater entrepreneurial spirit of Ernest Woodruff- who, in 1919, bought the Candler interests in The Coca-Cola Company for $25 million. With 1.8 billion servings per day worldwide, you can't argue that his vision of ' a Coke on every table' hasn't been achieved
Motivational quotes are good, error-free or not, but I hope people realise that Will is more important ( passion, vision, focus, absolute commitment)
Hallan Goerger wrote:
" as we look at "Motivation" and the ideas of goal setting, self-talk, being positive, keeping the right attitude and such, hopefully we see how "Will" needs to be the foundation and that motivation is the tool to assist. If we depend only on the motivational factor we have short term gain and we are constantly putting more wood on the fire. With "Will" we find people put their own wood on!"
I co-sign this
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Anton Chigurh: The personification of Death angle
Remember the 2007 flick, No Country For Old Men?
This might interest you.
The 2007 Thriller dealt with themes like fate, conscience and circumstance
It starred Tommy Lee Jones ( Ed) and Javier Bardem (Anton Chigurh) -your Hitman from hell!
Somebody compared Anton Chigurh to the Bubonic plague in the film!
He could decide your continued existence on this earth with a coin toss:... " what's the most you've ever lost in a coin toss?"
An interesting plot point that people might have missed is that the movie is about Death.
The actual theme is Death.
Though the movie seems it's centered around Llewelyn, it's actually about Ed (Tommy Lee Jones) and him being unable to come into terms with the idea of his own, imminent death.
He's not scared of dying, he's terrified of dying. This is why he is so reluctant to retire. To him that's just acknowledging his age and that he is in his final stage of life.
Anton Chigurh is Death himself!
Not just a representation of death, but actually Death itself.
He walks the planet killing people because he is in a way, The Grimm Reaper. He kills those who are able to see him.
Towards the end of the film, when Ed is in the hotel room, investigating Llewelyn's death, Anton is also there hiding. Ed doesn't see him! He wasn't in the room next door, and wasn't hiding in a spot where Ed couldn't easily find him. No. Anton was invisible to Ed because It wasn't time for Ed to die.
Remember when Anton was in that accountants office and he shot and killed the guy at his desk right in front of the other guy? The other guy asks, "Are you going to kill me?" Anton replies, "It depends. Can you see me?" This isn't just a badass line. It's a legit question. Then the scene is done.
In the final scene of the movie, Ed is describing to his wife a series of dreams he had the night before. He goes on to describe how his father was in the dreams, and that his father is much younger than he because he died at a young age. Take a moment to appreciate how erie and poetic that is.
Well, anyway he goes on to explain that he and his father are riding horses. It's dark. And his father rides out ahead of him, representing his death. His father has built a camp fire for him, waiting on Ed's arrival. Waiting on Ed's death. As Ed is describing this vivid dream, he has this look of fear in his eyes, the fear of his own pending death
Titanic: Old Rose's selfishness
Y'all have seen Titanic 1997 ( I hope!! )
In the flick, Old Rose came out to the ocean to die and be with Jack forever!!
"That touches on something that has bothered me as of late. She went on to live this whole other life after Titanic sank. Career, marriage, kids, and a lot of life in general. That last scene, which I assume is her dying image, of Jack at the top of the staircase with everyone standing around welcoming her. What the hell?!?!
So the man you eventually married and built your life around, had kids with, isn't there??
Where the hell is he?
Shoveling coal down in the boiler room? HA! "
Can't agree with him more!!
So insulting to her husband and kids.
It makes you feel bad for her husband and children, you know
She had spent all those years pining away for some poor guy ( Jack) that she slept with for a couple days on a cruise?
Moral of the story: Don't be like Rose
If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Atahuallpa and Pizarro- when Old World collides with New World
The fate of the 2 men in the pixs below helped to shape the world as we know it today
Pix 1- Atahuallpa (20 March 1497–29 August 1533) - he was the last sovereign Emperor of the the Inca Empire before the Spanish conquest.
He became emperor when he defeated and executed his older half-brother Huáscar in a civil war sparked by the death of their father, Inca Huayna Capac, from an infectious disease (possibly smallpox).
Scholars estimate that the population of the Inca Empire probably numbered over 16,000,000
The empire spanned the whole of Peru, large parts of modern Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, north and central Chile, and a small part of southern Colombia. Pix 3
Thus Atahuallpa was leader of the largest and most advanced state in the New World, the Inca Empire.
Pix 2 -Francisco Pizarro (1476 – 26 June 1541) Spanish Conquistador who represented the Holy Roman Emperor,King Charles I of Spain, monarch of the most powerful state in Europe at the time
Atahuallpa had an army of 80000
Francisco Pizarro, had only 168 soldiers
Battleground- Peruvian highland town of Cajamarca on November 16, 1532.
You'd think that this was a mismatch.
You'd be right in your mismatch thinking but you'd be wrong in the prediction of the outcome.
Atahuallpa and his men walked into an ambush.
Pizarro captured him alive.
Casualties- on the Spanish side 0-5 men
Casualties on the Inca side- several thousands
Check out this YouTube clip describing events on the day-
Immediate reasons for Pizarro's success included:
1. military technology based on guns, steel weapons, and horses ( the Incas had never seen any of these things before)
2. infectious diseases endemic in Europe, which the Europeans were already immune to, but which decimated the Incans when introduced by the former to the latter's continent. In 1519, Small pox had been introduced to the continent by another Spanish conquistador, Hernando Cortes, who defeated the Aztecs of Mexico
The disease killed Atahuallpa's father and set off a war of succession among his sons. Atahuallpa won but you'd think there would be some disunity among his people as a result of this. This might have weakened their defences
3. The Incans also had a highly centralised chain of command, which meant that Atahuallpa was viewed as an 'invincible' god. He was revered by his men. So, once he was captured, it effectively paralysed their forces.
Other factors included:
European maritime technology; the centralized political organization of European states ( King Charles I of Spain sanctioned Pizarro's voyage to the New World and probably arranged the finance ) and writing ( the significance of this last point cannot be underestimated. It is crucial to understanding precedence and it's role in development)
Atahuallpa was hanged after a period of captivity ( he also naively gave the Spanish enormous Gold and silver as ransom. He thought this was a temporary occupation. He didn't know that the Europeans had colonisation in mind)
Despite some resistance by the Incans, the Spanish pillaged the land- taking their gold, silver, their women and colonised South America.
The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
It set the precedence for European colonisation of the United States of America, farther North, later on
Tupac Amaru was actually the the last Inca emperor, he was captured and executed in 1572 by Spanish Conquistadors. His Inca stronghold was the last to fall.
The late Rapper, Tupac Shakur got his name from this Emperor
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Of Governments, Priests, Kleptocrats & Religious Fanatics
Why is centralised authority ( Government) necessary?
This is how typical interviews of primitive people by a cultural anthropologist went: "..woman after woman, when asked to name her husband, named several sequential husbands who had died violent deaths. A typical answer went like this: "My first husband was killed by raiders. My second husband was killed by a man who wanted me, and who became my third husband. That husband was killed by the brother of my second husband, seeking to avenge his murder."
So, the primary function of centralised authority ( Governments with Kings or Presidents as the head ) was to ensure law and order
(This institute of orderliness originated from Chiefdoms, first described around 7500 BC -where people who weren't related had to coexist without killing themselves.
The chief was a permanent centralized authority, made all significant decisions, and had a monopoly on critical information (such as what a neighboring chief was privately threatening, or what harvest the gods had supposedly promised).
The commoners brought their goods to him and he redistributes them ( thus the farmer got animal products from the Hunter and the Hunter got farm produce from the farmer in this way )
When a large portion of the goods received from commoners was not redistributed to them but was retained and consumed by the chiefly lineages and craftspeople, the redistribution became tribute, a precursor of taxes that made its first appearance in these chiefdoms. )
Unfortunately, these Governments can also function unabashedly as kleptocracies, transferring net wealth from commoners to upper classes- in the process, there is a jettisoning of all the egalitarian ( all men are equal) principles
(Kleptocracy-is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often with pretense of honest service.)
For any ranked society, whether a chiefdom or a state, one thus has to ask: why do the commoners tolerate the transfer of the fruits of their hard labor to kleptocrats?
Because such Kleptocrats run the risk of being overthrown if they lost public support ( via elections, coups, revolutions), they had to devise means to prevent this. These included:
1. Use of the monopoly of force to promote happiness, by maintaining public order and curbing violence.
2. construction of an ideology or religion justifying kleptocracy.
People have supernatural beliefs which originally did not: justify central authority, justify transfer of wealth, or maintain peace between unrelated individuals.
Kleptocrats made such beliefs to gain this function
When such supernatural beliefs gained those functions and became institutionalized, they were thereby transformed into what we term a religion.
From time immemorial, Chiefs ( Kings, Presidents ) have supported a separate group of kleptocrats (that is, priests) whose function is to provide ideological justification for the Chiefs.( Cue visits of Presidents to religious leaders in recent times )
That is why chiefdoms devote so much collected tribute to constructing temples and other public works, which serve as centres of the official religion and visible signs of the Chief's power.
Pix 1: is the dreaded Christian Crusader. The first Crusade was launched on 27 November 1095 by Pope Urban II with the primary goal of responding to an appeal from Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, who originally wanted to repel invading Turks.
Pix 2 is that of the late Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire - who built a highly centralized state and amassed a large personal fortune ( $4-15 billion) through economic exploitation and corruption
Pix 4: is Bishop David Oyedepo - who is currently barred from entering the UK
and under scrutiny by the UK authority. In 2012, he had a fleet of private jets and a £93 million fortune
Besides justifying the transfer of wealth to kleptocrats, institutionalized religion brings two other important benefits to centralized societies:
1. shared ideology or religion helps solve the problem of how unrelated individuals are to live together without killing each other—by providing them with a bond not based on kinship or family
2. it gives people a motive, other than genetic self-interest, for sacrificing their lives on behalf of others. ( this is the origin of the religious zealot- the Fanatic)
Thus, at the cost of a few society members who die in battle as soldiers, the whole society becomes much more effective at conquering other societies or resisting attacks.
Naturally, what makes patriotic and religious fanatics such dangerous opponents is not the deaths of the fanatics themselves, but their willingness to accept the deaths of a fraction of their number in order to annihilate or crush their infidel enemy.
Pix 3 is Shakir Wahiyib, the fierce enforcer ( read: cold-blooded murderer) of ISIS ( Islamic State of Iraq & Syria) .
It is said that his face is the last thing his victims see before they lose their heads!
(Inspiration from the book: Guns, Germs & Steel)
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Robin Williams, Depression & The Irony of it all
Robin Williams, dead. Apparent suicide caused by depression
My little contribution:
Twitter ( all of Social Media, to be honest) has been in overdrive since the death of this great actor yesterday
One common theme runs through all the comments I've read: "Depression sucks. Robin William helped me with mine and I just wish someone could have helped him with his"
Hear what he had to say in this clip:
"If you're that depressed, reach out to someone. And remember, suicide is a permanent solution, to a temporary problem." -Robin Williams
The man impacted lives, from that of the President to that of your next door neighbour
President Obama's statement on the Passing of Robin Williams:
"Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams."
These are the kind of comments you'll read about the guy:
"..I've always heard people talking about how a certain celebrity death really hurt them, and I couldn't honestly understand it. I had never really looked up to or had been effected by someone I never even met before. Now I know. This death hit me like a ton of bricks. I am at a loss of words truly. All I can say is I truly will miss this man and everything he has done..."
I couldn't agree more!
If you're a film lover, I dare you to watch these films and come out of the experience not feeling happier- irrespective of how down, rotten or 'depressed' you felt before watching them:
Mrs Doubtfire, Jumanji, Hook, Aladdin, Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, Bird Cage
"If an icon of happiness can die of sadness, then what hope do we have? "
"To be happy because of the mark they left on the world. Because even though they've left, the happiness they brought can't be erased."
Spielberg is said to have contacted Robin Williams, on a daily basis, to cheer the cast and crew of Schindler's List up during filming -as the film was too depressing
Christopher Reeves got his first laugh after his life-altering accident ( which left him paralysed) when Robin Williams pretended to be a doctor, badged into his room and offered to perform an enema on him!
This says it all about Robin Williams death:
Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says, "But doctor...I am Pagliacci."
Depression is real, get help before it is too late, y'all
Thankfully, for all the ills of Religion, giving hope and succour to the low in spirit is a big positive. This probably explains why suicide from such conditions are uncommon among Africans.
Check out Robin Williams' famous Speech about the meaning and power of true love in 'Good Will Hunting':
(He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance )
"So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the Pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right?
But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seen that.
If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy.
You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right: "Once more into the breach, dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, and watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help.
I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on Earth just for you.
Who could rescue you from the depths of Hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sittin' up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you.
You don't know about real loss, 'cause that only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much.
I look at you. I don't see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you.
But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine. You ripped my f*ckin' life apart. You're an orphan, right? Do you think I'd know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, 'cause I read Oliver Twist?
Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don't give a sh*t about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you I can't read in some f*ckin' book.
Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't wanna do that, do you, sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, Chief."
Read words don't do enough justice to that speech! Watch the scene here:
Saturday, 26 July 2014
The Magna Carta & the significance of today
800 years ago, 27 July, 1214, on a Sunday like this, England lost a war -the war of the Bouvines
It was the decisive battle in the Anglo-French wars which started in 1202
In the Middle Ages, Empires expand their lands ( and importance) by waging wars
It was between King John of England & King Phillipe II of France
King John was trying to recover lost lands of the English Monarchy in France ( Falklands anyone? )
(His subjects, the Barons, weren't happy with him because of the excessive taxes he imposed on them to prosecute his wars)
King John was supported by : Emperor Otto IV of Germany, the Duke of Brabant ( Flanders, Holland), & Renaud of Boulogne ( Belgium)
King John & his Allies lost
Why is this loss important?
He was forced to sign the Magna Carta
The Magna Carta was the first document imposed upon a King of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their rights
It led to the rule of constitutional law & formed the basis for democracy in England and beyond.
If the English and their allies had won at Bouvines, King John would have had the plunder and the prestige. The baronial opposition would have melted away. This was that rare thing: a battle that was genuinely decisive."
If King Philippe-Auguste had lost, the west of France would have been English, the north would have been Flemish, and the east would have been German. France may have ceased to exist eventually!
Pix 2 shows France before and after the war. The yellow area & part of the green area were annexed due to their victory
This day is remembered in France. Unsurprisingly, it is not in England!
But the English can point to the Magna Carta as a positive outcome of this war
Read more about the fallouts of this war here
Monday, 21 July 2014
Of MBGN, Iheoma Nnadi, Beauty & the Dark Skin
Congrats to Iheoma Nnadi, Miss Akwa Ibom for winning the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria ( MBGN) Pageant a few days ago
Now to the more pertinent stuff:
MamaMia wrote: "..if we wanna take the Miss World/Universe crown at some point, this light skinned trend needs to be minimised. Do we wonder why after Agbani we’ve not been able to make it pass the 1st stage? Well, that’s the answer! ( referring to the winner, Iheoma Nnadi)
While she is gorgeous, the outside world are all about being unique/distinct
The look right there is common; every pretty girl looks like her.
Also, if we notice the Angolan winner ( Miss Universe 2011) kinda had a similar look to Agbani as well. Give 'em what they want!"
Can't agree with MamaMia more!!
Iheoma Nnadi: MBGN 2014 ( pixs 1&2)
Leila Lopes: Miss Angola 2011, Miss Universe 2011( pix 3 & 4)
Agbani Darego: MBGN 2001, Miss World 2001 ( pix 5 &6 )
Pixs 3,4,5 & 6 are what the outside world ( Whites! ) want a Black beauty queen to look like. This is what they accept. This is what flawless beauty means to them; this is why they both won the international Pageants
Lupita N'yongo - Oscar - best supporting actress ( pix 7) - Whites are fascinated with her flawless beauty & intelligence. ( the way they are with Agbani Darego & Leila Lopes)
They want to own her( it's almost like a fetish. It's not a bad thing for them to want to own her. The tragedy is actually allowing it to happen). Check out this article:link
So why do we keep crowning these 'yellow pawpaws' as our beauty queens when we are a black African country?
The answer is: Colorism!
-it is a practice of discrimination by which those with lighter skin are treated more favorably than those with darker skin
The white man who colonised us also colonised our culture.
That cultural colonisation has created a sense of beauty, identity and superiority that is White. People thought the Colonisers were superior. So you aspire to be them.
This leads to a tendency to prefer everything White- including skin colour
( it's not peculiar to blacks; even Latinas & dark Asians are affected)
Cue the popularity of bleaching & all forms of 'toning' creams
I urge you all to watch this documentary on YouTube to understand how bad this issue is: 'Dark Girl' (part 1 is below)
The last 2 candidates in the picture frame are the ones that should be winning MBGN or Miss Nigeria pageant -for the reasons above. ( obviously they've got to be intelligent and articulate too. Nobody wants to put a 'thick' person forward as a country's ambassador-no matter how beautiful they are ):
Miss Katsina- Adesola Adeyemi contestant MBGN 2014 ( pix 8)
Miss Kogi- Erica Nlewedim contestant MBGN 2014 ( pix 9 )
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
World Cup: Germany's Victory Parade
Check out Germany's Victory Parade yesterday (in Berlin) in the YouTube clip below:
This is what it's all about!!
This is why you give it your all on that pitch!
Check out what it means to the fans ( ...and pix 4 )
"..Team Captain Phillip Lahm was first off the plane with the kind of hand luggage ( the World Cup) most footballers can only dream of bringing home!.."
Even Mercedes Benz, the manufacturers of the vehicle that brought the victorious team to the parade ground wasn't let out of the victory buzz. They replaced the 4th star in front of the vehicle for their logo
( the 4 stars were supposed to denote the 4 World Cup wins of Germany 1954, 1974, 1990 & 2014)
Hear the great Liverpool Manager, the late Bill Shankly: "Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that"
Tuesday, 8 July 2014
-finally watched this biblically inspired film
-directed by Darren Aronofsky and based loosely on the story of Noah's Ark
It stars Russell Crowe as Noah, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Anthony Hopkins ( Methuselah)
I didn't really feel the early part of the film but I liked the latter parts, it did make me research a few biblical stuff too
It was critically acclaimed and a commercial success
Aronofsky had to work with only a few Bible chapters so there was a lot of improvisation ( which sparked controversy among some of the religious )
That 'thing' in pix 4 is called a Watcher- They are fallen angels confined on Earth as stone golems (nephilim) for helping humans banished from the Garden of Eden. They also helped Noah & his family built the Ark in pix 2
8 people were mentioned in the Bible as being in that Ark -Noah, his wife, their 3 sons ( Shem, Ham & Japhet) and wives. This isn't so in the flick
Pix 5- is Tubal-Cain ( Ray Winstone) ( go figure who that is in religious texts )
The film was banned in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Indonesia prior to its release because it is seen by the governments of those countries as contradicting the teachings of Islam
Ham saw his Dad's nakedness & was cursed. You'd not believe the volumes of religious writings on what 'saw his nakedness' means
By the way, blacks are supposed to be descendants of Ham
Monday, 30 June 2014
World Cup: Thoughts on the Nigerian Team
Nigeria was eliminated from the World Cup yesterday after losing 0-2 to France in the Second Round
Before the match: Pepisco. D. Pepeiye wrote: "Lord Jesus, remember that France is a country of sin. They started the French kiss. Hold that sin against them, Father"
However, you can't give what you don't have. The Nigerian team is simply a counter-attacking one that lacks creativity in the middle and lacks goal scorers in front.
This problem was evident in the Friendlies just before the World Cup and in the matches at the World Cup
Forget about Musa's brace against Argentina. It was an unlikely act
Nigeria played better in the first half against France 'cos the French got their selection wrong. Benzema should play through the middle and Griezmann should be the supporting act ( instead of Giroud through the middle and Benzema supporting from the wings) Once this was rectified, 'water found its level'
General thoughts about Nigerian players
Enyeama- is the best African goalkeeper to grace any World Cup in my opinion. Likeable guy, Great shot-stopper, excellent reflexes.He needs to work on his only weakness: crosses
Oshaniwa and Efe Ambrose - physically imposing but limited skills on the ball. Nobody rates highly a FB who cannot play like a wing back with important contributions while going forward ( assists) in the modern game
I was impressed by the youthful Kenneth Omeruo at CB. However he needs to work on defending set pieces and crosses better
I hope this was Yobo's last game for the Super Eagles?
Mikel was the biggest disappointment in that problematic midfield. He played too deep ( with Onazi) and thus there was poor link between midfield and attack.
Babatunde appeared to find his own, in that No 10 role, against the Argentines, before his unfortunate injury.
Moses disappointed against Iran and against the French in that role
You're going to lack imagination upfront as a team without a proper No 10
Emenike was frequently isolated upfront and often didn't get quality passes due to the problems highlighted above.
However, the few times he did get the ball at his feet, his hold up play wasn't great. Little wonder he fired blanks in 4 matches. Strength is good but guile is better. Colombia's James Rodriguez anyone? :-)
I loved the way Odemwingie grafted in all the games, however forwards are always judged by goals and assists. He wasn't stellar on both counts. I can't help feeling that he has passed his prime
Ahmed Musa- speedster with poor decision making and final balls. Gets easily bullied by defenders. This is why he doesn't score more goals
I suppose elimination at this stage can't be viewed as disappointing in the grand scheme of things in Nigeria.....Boko Haram, bombs, kidnappings, inept leadership and all. Keshi tried his best in the circumstances :-)
Afterall, does anyone plant Cassava and expect to reap Yam?
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Luis Suarez- Nemesis
World Cup: Uruguay 2- England 1
His name is Luis Suarez. He is a world class finisher!
Classy header for first
Ruthless right foot shot for his second
He was the difference tonight!
Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Spain: Tiki Taka, Tada!
The Spanish national team was eliminated from the World Cup today after losing for the second time in as many games ( 0-2 to a brilliant Chile side)
It's the age-old question: do you pick players in form or do you use the players who've come good for you in the past?
Vicente Del Bosque chose the latter with this Spanish team. The wrong option!!
Casillas played only cup games for Real Madrid last season
He should have been dropped after the Holland game
The Barca contingent, who formed the nucleus of this team, won nothing last season
The best midfielder in La Liga last season, Gabi, wasn't even chosen
Spain's game doesn't suit Diego Costa. He wasn't fully fit anyway
You need goals and your go to man is Fernando Torres??
A half fit Llorente or Negredo is better than a fully fit Torres. I say that as a Chelsea fan!
There is a way not to lose your title. This is it!!
Tiki Taka, Tada!
Fargo finale ""Morton’s Fork"
( Morton's Fork -named for a rhetorical device in which two arguments lead to the same bad conclusion *slow nod* )
This miniseries did a fantastic job with using symbolism and parables to give the show a philosophical undercurrent.
It's enjoyable tv with plenty of material mined from its narrative -if you’re willing to dig a little bit, or pay close attention to the things characters tell each other.
What makes Fargo not just a powerful show but a pleasurable one–is that it sets Malvo and Lester against a larger background of goodness.
Time.com puts it thus: "It is not a simple black-hat vs. white-hat show, because it’s concerned not with heroism or nobility but something both more common and more interesting: decency"
Hear Bemidji Police Chief Bill Ostwalt ( Bob Odenkirk, remember Saul Goodman of 'Breaking Bad' ? ) :
"..Don’t got the stomach for it. Not like some. Wearing the badge, seeing the things people are capable of, the inhumanity...
Whatever happened to: saying good morning to your neighbours, shovelling their walks, bringing in their totters .
I used to have positive opinions about the world, about people, used to think the best. Now, I'm looking over my shoulders. An unquiet mind, that's what the wife calls it."
How poetic that Lorne Malvo fixed his compound fracture, saw a wolf, then Gus appeared with the answer to his riddle
A wolf will bite off its own leg to survive.
How poetic that timid Gus was the reluctant hero at the end..gunning down the big bad wolf, Lorne Malvo ( after solving the riddle: Humans see more shades of green than any other colour 'cos we've evolved to be predators! )
How poetic that Lester sprinted onto thin ice, thought he was getting away with it until he finally fell through.
Great miniseries! 8-|