Friday, March 5, 2010 in PP

I have been dubbed a boring person.
Well not in those exact terms...but I could see it coming.
When someone is shocked when you use the word "sensual" then you have an immediate response as to what the people think of you- Boring.
Recently, I discovered that people have put me in a box with two letters-PP. Actually its unfair to even call them two letters, as it is a repetition of one letter.
PP- Politics, Polite...... That is not a complaint, but I wish that people would see me as more than that. I imagine my parents would be happy that I am not being cast in a negative light.
However, being considered an intellectual conversationista as a friend puts it is not flattering, when you know that you can have fun and do have fun outside the bounds of politics, books and bourgeois expectations.
Do I like to have fun? YES! and I have too much of it sometimes. However, I think that everything has to be balanced out. For example, I will frown upon anyone who seems to think its okay to objectify me as a sexual object. That does not mean that I am not in touch with my sensuality, it just means that I would rather people see a complete picture before they pick and choose what they would want from me. There are some societal stigmas that I very much try to distance myself with. And to that, I try to not accept being called pet names that I feel belittle me eg. shawty, mama, or for the Swahili speakers Supu. I want respect, because I give respect. Respect is what I think is important, and my inner being demands it. Therefore, if I seem too serious, or angry at times, it is because I feel like there is some lack of respect.
I am strong, and I have been raised to be strong. It is something that I am proud of. However, in this day and age, this is become a bad trait to possess. There is a whole set of social norms that are very disrespectful to women...but we are forced by acceptance to see it as a good thing...or a compliment
So if I am polite, its not because I don't want to yell or scream, its because thats who I am. Politics are my passion, so I can't give that up...
but all that does not make me boring, if anything, it makes me interesting ( Just ask my classmates in my political Science classes- )

Friday, February 26, 2010


I thought it was time for this to be discussed. I will probably post it some other my political blog.

Food Inc. has become the most popular film as far as food is concerned. There have been others, but I have not seen any documentary that has caused some upheaval. The film industry has always benefited from a dependency on the effectiveness of media. and I am seeing that happening as I listen to friends freak out about their food. There are undoubtedly other films that have been made telling the public that if you eat this and that, you will die. The good news, we are all destined to face that particular fate-death.
The way I view this whole situation, is the same way I view the big vs small government. The two are going to kick each other, until one of them wins. Everyone has an opinion. If there is anything controversial, there will be vast opinions.
Now if I wanted to have my voice heard, and get more people to buy my "organic" food, I would start by getting a socially conscious director. Aka Robert Kenner. I have nothing against the man, he makes good films, its just that, I doubt that the world needs another Michael Moore.

I have recently discovered my own amazement at people who are willing to change their lifestyles based on films and books. Before I get myself into too much hot water, let me state that I do admire these people...if for nothing else they put a lot of effort to make those changes. Additionally, I am a supporter of health, and anyone who seeks to be healthy is golden in my book. I think that total well being ie spiritually, mentally, physically, environmentally etc is important and for people to be truly happy, they have to achieve health in all those areas. Not everyone would agree with this, but to each his own.
My puzzlement has come from getting to a place where people have a choice of whether they can eat meat or not. Organic or not. I LOVE meat. Friends and family know of this fact, and maybe tease me a bit too much. But I have balanced that with a good dose of vegetables.
Anyways, what gets to me mostly is the the judgment that come along with the pursuit of vegetarianism. To be fair, these judgments are passed on without one being aware of it.
My first irk moment, is when I am being told the reasons why I should become a vegetarian. I am sure you've heard the classic one: Our bodies were not meant to consume meat. Now, I am a history junkie, so naturally, I want to know how it is that our bodies were not meant to consume come history shows man from the earliest times eating meat. I mean, these people were hunters and gatherers. and they ate ALOT of meat, and surprisingly they did not kee over and die. So forget all that old rubbish, people are sophisticated and need to improve themselves, and since they are better off...No Meat.
My other favorite argument, "We are the only animals that eat the product of the other animals".
First of all, it is offensive for those of us who enjoy chicken, cheese, milk, the goodness of desserts and the occasional steak. You might wander why it might be offensive....Well think about for a minute, think about it for a minute. You are indirectly telling those that are eating chemically induced muscled chicken that they are defiling their bodies. Second, that scientific notion that we are animals has ruined people really. Unless I am off this one, not very many people will enjoy being compared to a chimpanzee, or a squirrel. Thirdly, we (if we are animals) are not the only ones eating other animals or their by-product....Lions, tigers, bears oh my! I am sure if you walked over to any of these animals, they will gladly use you as an experiment to see if they liked eating other animals' by-products. But don't take my word for it.
It is good to aspire to be healthy, but we are looking for a BALANCE. Eliminating food groups from your diet, not so smart. Although again, that is purely a matter of opinion.
But lets go back to the original topic...FOOD INC.
I would like to have this film shown anywhere else but America. The difference between the West and the rest of the world is that the media has ALOT of influence on people's lifestyle. But again, I am skeptical of a lot of things. I keep imagining the faces of Europeans who are being told that they should give up their cheese because it is a by-product of another animal, or give up their steak and poulet. Oh and the Africans who can barely afford food, being told that they can't have the food they barely get because it is not organic. They would look at it exactly the same way I look at it...BONKERS!
Now referencing to a blog I wrote a while back on organic food trending, organic food is not a new thing. Africans have been doing it for a long time. But the politics and economic demands of the west dictated that subsidies become the norm of agricultural production. Therefore, this film is not a new revelation, but it reveals a deep seated struggle between government and small scale farmers.
To take such a film seriously and life changing, is like watching a Michael Moore film and taking it as the political gospel and basing one's lifestyle and beliefs on the writings of Ann Coulter or the ramblings of Rush Limbaugh. Being open minded is good, wanting to always improve one-self is an admirable goal. But changing a lifestyle all because food Inc. says so, or some "brilliant" writer says so is just not rational or smart. Like most everything else in life- take it with a grain of salt.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tourism in South Africa

These questions about South Africa were posted on a South African Tourism Website and were answered by the website owner.
Q: Does it ever get rainy in South Africa ? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? ( UK )

A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? ( USA )
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Durban to Cape Town - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )

A: Sure, it's only two thousand kilometres. Take lots of water...

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa ? ( Sweden )

A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa ? Can you send me a List of them in JHB, Cape Town , Knysna and Jeffrey's Bay? ( UK )

A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa ? ( USA )

A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the pacific. A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not.... Oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in South Africa ? ( USA )

A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa ? ( UK )

A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa ? ( France )

A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population Is smaller than the male population? ( Italy )

A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa ? ( France )

A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Are there killer bees in South Africa ? ( Germany )

A: Not yet, but for you, we'll import them.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )

A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegetarian hunter- gatherers. Milk Is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )

A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? ( USA )

A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hadithi, Hadithi,- The power of the Narrative

As a child, my friends and I loved to play a lot of games, that somehow have become potent as I look back.
One of the games involved become a story teller. We would seat in a circle, and the "leader" would say "Hadithi, Hadithi" and the rest of us would respond with "Hadithi Njoo". Loosely translated...."Story, story" "Story come!"
We would collaboratively tell a story, that began with "Once upon a time...." or "there was this man..."
I had forgotten about this game until my professor who had spent sometime in Kenya reminded me of this. That was the interesting part. This particular game, had a point to make with how we were raised. You see, narratives are very important. What is your narrative? who gave you that narrative, or rather how did that narrative develop?
we look at politics, or societies, and we interpret them from that perspective.
So for the last couple of days, I am trying to jot down on how my narrative has affected my view of the world....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Women's Rights

I was out dancing the other day. It was an exciting time especially after spending a miserable week working on some issues. So, when I dance, I try not to think of politics, or the miserable world out of that dance room.
Anyways, as it is a courtesy of the dance scene, women get to ask men to dance...Yay, great liberation for women. Now women can have the guts to approach a man...great significance for women movements everywhere. However, there has been the unspoken code that generally, if women get over their comforts of being pursued and ask a guy to dance, the least that a guy can do is politely say "no" as in, I don't want to dance with you, or they can suck it up and dance with the girl (no matter how terrible they might be). Remember that these are the ladies that endured the times you were "getting out" on the dance scene and stepping your way into the world of being a good dancer. There is the other response, that entails looking at the girl and making a face, and giving excuses of "I don't want to dance today", "eh I don't feel like for this song", or the classic "I am just watching for a while". Okay, so you don't want to dance with the girl...and that is fine. but do not give some miserable bullock of excuses. Oh and my favorite, you aks a guy to dance, and he looks at you and says, "This is Bachata" which point I look at them and think " No kidding Sherlock, and here I thought I was listening to Reggae. Thank you for correcting my hearing and telling me that I am actually asking you to dance Bachata." In truth, what the guy is actually saying is, "I don't want to dance with you, so here is my perfect excuse...I don't want to dance to this song" Unless off course they mean it, in which case its okay. But if after you leave they start dancing with someone else, then the guy is actually insulting your intelligence.
Anyways, as titled, this is about women's rights....but I had to preface by that to say that, I went to ask a particular acquaintance of mine and knowing that he had been dancing before, I thought I would ask him to dance. (I am becoming much more comfortable asking guys to dance, although there as some guys I will never ask again). Anyways, he gave me one of those bullocks answers and I looked at him thinking, "does he really think that I am stupid?"I off course called out his bluff. In which case he proceeds to tell me that he can refuse to dance with me just because he can and that women are equal to men and are treated as equals in all aspects. Women, according to him, should bare all the blunts that come with wanting to be equal with men. Now, since I know the guy, I know he does not treat his "women" as equal to men....hmmmm okay.
I don't blame him for what he said, but I did not hear the beginning of whatever he said, as I started arguing on "women's rights".
Now, it is disputes that women in the West, especially in America have more rights than women in other parts of the world. But even then, not all women find this freedom. In fact if we want to be technical, the US is the only developed country that has not ratified the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women).
oh, and while the ERA has been passed, it does not give women the rights that feminists strive for. Women are still underpaid. They are still expected to come at the end of the day and cook. They are the caretakers in most cases. The are in some cases expected to be domesticated.
I am sorry, but men and women are not equally treated, and they shouldn't. As they say, women are from Venus men are from Mars. As much we want to delude ourselves into thinking so...there are no equal rights whether it is gender or racial.
After all, women can dress as men without much of a thought on society's mockery while men dressing as women is a whole different can of worms.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Victory from Ashes

I have been listening, I have been well, paying attention. I have also been crying, and at times really really angry. Since I could not be angry at anyone else, sometimes, the anger would turn to God....Yes, I am not even from Haiti, but I was brokenhearted by the events. I kept wondering what the heck happened.
Anyways, on Monday, I am reading the papers and see these images of Haitians singing, praying, praising God. Take that Pat Robertson. How they could be praising God at a time like that, I can only imagine. I have only been in one instance that could be termed as that, and even then, prayer was the only way through...but I don't remember praising God for my circumstances like the Haitians in Port Au Prince.
There is something to learn from this.
I have friends who have worked hard to dispute the existence of God, or the need for faith. I mean, I think they are childish, and mostly throwing a tantrum. Then I realized that they are spoiled to. They have all the luxuries afforded to them, and they have all the time to debate the existence of God.
They claim they are searching for truth, but I wonder whose truth they are searching for. They distort religion, they distort faith. And their hearts have turned to bitterness, and then they claim to be looking for truth.
However, when all you can do it look up, then there is only one answer....the one who created us. Thats the one you look up to.