Monthly Archives: November 2012
First let’s take a deep sigh for those who died in Kaduna yesterday. There’s nothing funny about that. What’s funny, however, is that the presidency requires even more money to feed the guests and residents of Aso Rock. That is freaking hilarious. Its the height of a ridiculous lack of a sense of irony—gets my funny bone every time I think of it.
Let’s not kid ourselves, this country is sick. And not sick—crazy, like this awesome blog. Sick—dying, like poor Somalia. And as much as we all hate to talk about the problems of Nigeria on a Monday morning, let’s quickly highlight a few symptoms of this sickness: (i) an economy that no one in government or the CBN seems to understand, (ii) a government that is all motion and no movement, (iii) an electricity situation that got better and then got worse, (iv) a fuel scarcity that is gradually becoming the norm.
But our happy sickness is not the news today. Ekekeee and the other user-friendly blogs will happily give you all the information you need. The next question, however, and the grit of today’s serving is: what the fuck are you planning to do about the situation?
Well, Pastor Adeboye says Nigerians should pray more. And since that venerable man is the closest Nigerians have to placing God’s number on speed dial, I suppose we should listen to him tolerantly. But Pastor Adeboye fails to mention that a lack of prayers is not Nigeria’s problem. C’mon, if there was a world praying tournament, Nigeria would pray the shit out of every other country. We would kick the Vatican’s ass when it comes to prayer, any day, anytime. Bring it on.
And here’s something else Pastor Adeboye fails to mention: God has no specific contract to safeguard Nigeria, only Israel—the Biblical one—was given that reassurance. Nigeria was purely Lugard’s administrative business—there was nothing divine about it’s formation.
Here’s also what Pastor Adeboye fails to mention: his own church mandate is not restricted to Nigeria—or the continued existence of Nigeria. It may have started in Nigeria, but it has long gone international.
When that doomsday we seem headed for finally knocks on the door with a cheery face, the swollen politicians, the big businessmen, a few celebrities and the global religious players will most likely slip out of the hellhole and migrate to continue business safely in sane parts of the world. Of course, we can’t say for certain what any single pastor will do in those days of crisis (we can!), but is a surer bet to assume that the day when pushes come to kick-ass shoving, a Nigerian pastor will take personal comfort over suffering for the masses.
And when safely ensconced in the arms of any of the RCCG parishes in at least 14 other countries, Pastor Adeboye will pick up the microphone and mournfully tell his sympathetic congregation how he warned Nigerians to pray more.
Now the free moral for today: take a cue from Pa Adeboye and co. If your fame and fortune in life is dependent on the continued existence of Nigeria, then its time to maybe rethink your strategy.
Of course, it’s good to be optimistic about Nigeria, and at this blog, we’re fond supporters of Proudly Nigerian shenanigans. But it’s also better to be practical about reality. As Pastor Adeboye will advise you frankly, if you care to ask: “Brothers and sisters, in or out of the Lord, go ye into all the world and step up that long-suffering game of yours”.
Or just stay where you are and watch. Like the rest of us.
Today, as tempting as that discourse is, we will say nothing referencing Goodluck Jonathan’s “media chat” yesterday. No, we will not go down that road. We will say nothing about the “subsidy” removal, or the Boko Haram “dialogue”, or the inter-state expressway contracts. We will, however, briefly mention our agreement with Mr. Jonathan when he said: “It is dangerous for this country if PDP should win all the states.” That aside, I am sure the saner readers of this blog have brutally murdered all the fucks they had for Mr Jonathan and his media chats. In any case, we all have more important things to do this morning.
That’s why, instead, we will take time of to commiserate with our ill-used Christian brothers and sisters who manage to endure crazy Sundays in Lagos—and certainly in other parts of Nigeria too. And by “crazy”, I mean the sight of tired, almost bedraggled, Christians, lining the bus-stops from Epe to Sango to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, slowly baking under the sun, while their so-called shepherds, the “pastors”, drive past in nice air-conditioned cars. And sometimes, in a convoy of nice air-conditioned cars.
You would think by now, over 30 years after Fela sang about religious leaders boolsheeting their way to a life of luxury on earth, Christians, especially the Pentecostal ones, would have cottoned on to the mind-fuck of a religious scam. But noo! They had to go ahead and donate money for a private jet while most families paraded in motorised rickshaws and motorcycles. Fela would gladly stick the pointy end of his sax up their collective butts if that would let them get his point. Almost all Pentecostal churches in the country follow this pattern of neglecting the poor and donating to already wealthy pastors. If that’s not a confusing mind-fuck, then nothing else is.
Well, again, these materialistic pastors are not only to blame, their materialistic, divine intervention prone, miracle seeking, prophecy motivated congregation can be faulted too. Only greedy people are victims of a scam. And when you believe that your faith in God should be measured in Naira and Kobo, then you will only end up making your pastor incredibly wealthy.
Fela may be a moral scumbag, but he understands the Sermon on the Mount more than most Christians. It is the duty of the shepherd to feed the flock—and not just with spiritual boolsheet. Jesus fed the Five Thousand with some hardcore bread and fish. A modern pastor would have carried the original basket home to feed himself instead. On the fair side, though, Jesus was an ass-kicking Son of God, or maybe even the first incarnation of Superman; while these pastor folks are hungry humans also looking for a life of ease and a sizable pension. In fact, pastors and bankers have come a long way from the days when Jesus whipped the money-changers out of the temple.
Let’s cut to the chase here. If you were idle enough to check out the links above, you’d have seen from good ol’ Wikipedia that the word “pastor” is derived from the Latin for “shepherd”. And that’s the lesson for today: there is no moral justification for any pastor to be well fed while any single member of his congregation is hungry. There is no moral position for a pastor to transport in comfort while any single member of the congregation treks. As long as any single member of the congregation is unclothed, no pastor has a right to wear the best clothes—and the same goes for shelter, and other basics. Any single member. Its a high standard, but that’s why pastoring is not meant for just any imaginative Tom, Dick and Harry with a good command of English and a scrappy knowledge of the gospels. Pastoring is for people willing to suffer, and suffer hard, for the sake of others.
Well, as Mr. Jonathan could have told you in his media chat yesterday, if you’d bothered to watch: it is easier for a pastor to purchase a private jet than for a common man to travel on the Benin-Ore Road.
P.S. Sorry, I told you it was tempting.
Now lets be clear about today’s lesson right from the start: this is a famzing article. And for those of you unfamiliar with that nicely rolling slang, this article is essentially an unpaid and unsolicited advertisement. You know, like those ass-licking felicitations you see in newspapers whenever a wealthy man achieves something remarkable in its ordinariness. Same as you lick at work everyday.
And now that we’re all clear on the famzing nature of today’s diatribe, the laws of decency and good breeding forbid you from pointing out that fact in the comments, or mentioning it to me on twitter or in person.
But what’s it about famzing that requires an apology, anyway? It’s not the famzing itself that should be worrisome; instead, like sharing a toothbrush, it’s the person you’re doing it with that matters. Or maybe that’s too far out an example. The point is: why should celebrating El-Rufai require an apology? It’s not as if we’re celebrating Doyin Okupe—and I’ve celebrated Doyin Okupe. (And if, just in case, you’re Doyin Okupe, please remember to reward me handsomely.)
Now for those of you who know little about art and culture, here’s a 5-second lesson that can broaden your knowledge. If you look up Google’s homepage today, you will see a doodle celebrating not just the sculptor, Auguste Rodin, but also his famous iconic work: “The Thinker“.
Today’s Google doodle celebration is significant to your understanding of the moral of today’s lesson. And now, here’s the moral of today’s lesson.
See, there’s no fundamental difference in the mental composition of the “white” man’s society and the African society. As a crude statistical summary, a white society of 10 people will ordinarily have 2 geniuses or above average intelligent folks, 6 averagely intelligent people and 2 people of below average intelligence. Take your African society too, the same crude statistics apply, 2 Smart Alecs, 6 Average Joes and then 2 idiots.
So what creates the glaring differences between the the white society and the black society? The answer is simple: the white guy has learnt that it is best to allow the 2 geniuses shape his society—from political ideology to arts and sciences. The 2 clever folks lay down the blueprint—and the rest of society follows it to the letter. Like I told you, its simple. That willingness to allow the best thinkers draw up the plans is what made America, for e.g. the country it is today—from the declaration of independence to Obama’s election, an ideology is always chosen and followed.
On the other side of the world, your average African society will rather hang the two geniuses by the neck till they are dead and choose its leaders and inspirations on the basis of age, wealth, tribe, inheritance, “divine” appointment, entertainment value or some misguided sense of good luck—and we all know how that last criteria ended.
And that’s why Nigeria has failed to mine Soyinka’s internationally recognised brain to the last drop; that’s why our professionals migrate to foreign countries, and that’s why we have chased away or killed off every thinker, intellectual, writer, artist or anybody else capable of raising our society’s intelligence quotient—-while we adore the Nollywood celebrities, Afro hip-hop musicians, jet buying pastors and inefficient politicians. We gave knowledge a well-aimed kick in the butt and made out with entertainment instead.
And that’s why I wasn’t too surprised when, on El-Rufai’s Twitter TL, I read tweets by a number of people eager to have his head on a platter, because, on a societal level, we’re really really suicidal in our choice of leaders.
Happy dying. 🙂
While you were busy cracking your head during your secondary school leaving certificate figuring out how to boolsheet your way through biology essay questions on the human senses, some more jobless folks figured out that it was a misconception to say that a human has only five senses. In fact, as at last count, humans have between 15 and 20 senses.
Now that you’ve long left the unfortunate world of high school biology, the number of human senses, whether 5 or 500, matters less to you than the number of zeros stacked behind a digit in your credit alert at the end of the month. Except of course, you’re some kind of doctor or a high school biology teacher, in which case, please take this senses thingy seriously—lives may depend on it.
The good thing about misconceptions is this: you’re not alone in your thinking. The chances that you will be chased out of your local bar for declaring with conviction that a human being has 5 senses is just as high as the IQ content of Nollywood movies.The bad thing about misconception is this: after a while, your thinking becomes truly fucked up—like Christians who insist that tithing is a mandatory 10% tribute to be laid before the church pastor every month.
But let’s forget the five-sense die-hards, pastor-worshiping tithing activists and other flat-earth theorists for the moment. On a probably more important level, our generation of Nigerians also grew up on some huge socio-political boners and bloopers. For instance, countless social studies teachers (who, hopefully, are now on their way to Hindu hell) taught lots of innocent school children that there were only 3 principal religions.
Or take the perspective with which you were taught Nigerian history: a perspective which regarded the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 as a glorious event by a sainted Lugard–instead of the self-serving administrative lack of judgment that the amalgation really is, by a man who despised the people he governed and was generally annoyed at having to serve in Africa.
Flowing from the sanctification of the long dead Lugard, we have developed the same lust for generating misconceptions about Nigerian leaders in general. Accordingly, in the latest ring fight to capture beer parlour interest, Achebe yabbed Awolowo in his recent book, There Was A Country, and habits automatically kicked in. Suddenly people chose sides based on misconceptions about the parties involved.
Achebe is a great writer and Awolowo was a great leader, but it is a misconception to assume that the one always wrote logically or that the other always acted righteously. In all of the hullabaloo, here’s probably what’s closest to the truth: Achebe could be a jerk and Awolowo an even greater jerk; and any argument that doesn’t account for that jerkiness is very likely a jerky misconception.