The funny news is this: this Sunday morning in Lagos, President Jonathan genuinely baffled us with the statement that, without the backup activity of prayer warriors, Nigeria’s security status would have been even more screwed up than it currently is. Now, we know that you, our readers, are prayer-addicts and good luck—no pun—with that! But when a democratically elected President makes such a statement on public safety, you have to—as they say in England—shine your eyes well-well. Although, on the bright side: at least you know the President has a security plan in place.
Now, reliance on prayer is not so shabby a security blueprint, (although we consider it totally ass-fucked), considering that it seems to work well enough for the Vatican. The problem is, while the Vatican has Angel Michael on speed dial, someone in the Ministry of Defense forgot to obtain VIP pass for final approval from God—or whatever witchery you have to perform to get your prayers working—for, no sooner had the President finished his statement than Boko Haram flipped him a finger and pulled another dick move—in what has to be the most astonishing case of conflicting reliance on divine instructions.
Now, of course, Boko Haram isn’t a new issue in the country. In fact, every well bred Nigerian—unlike us—knows that a situation stops being a “pressing issue” after three days of non-resolution by the government. And, after two weeks it stops being an issue altogether. And accordingly, the most successful public policy of Nigerian governments has been: “Hang on guys, let’s allow this one to blow off by itself.” And if the particular public official ranks high on the asshole scale—they may even pass it off as an unsolvable spiritual problem.
Common sense says Boko Haram isn’t going to blow off by itself, and an offering-load of prayers will not resurrect one dead victim. But this is Nigeria, and we love to screw around with vital situations, and that’s why the government is committed to investing prayer into public issues—and that’s why religious leaders have tried to re-brand the president as some Old Testament king.
And as long as the Nigerian government continue to muddle personal spiritual issues with public policy issues they will continue to screw the job they are given. But, naturally, the government has always responded to social criticism by mistaking unhappiness with discontent: but Nigerians are not merely discontent with the half-assed attitude a government that relies on magic—miracles, if you wish—they are truly unhappy about it.
But GEJ is a sly dog. Instead of facing his critics on the continued Boko Haram insurgency, it is plain easier for him to file the problem away as a “God vs Satan” affair, and leave Oritsejafor and his book club members to sort it out. Afterall, no “sane” Nigerian really expects Goodluck Jonathan, Mortal, to do all the work when it comes to waging war against the damn Devil.
And when the majority of Nigerians are wired to think this way, then the government wins the lottery. And here’s the lesson for today: the Nigerian government counts on your approval to a spiritual argument. Even more, it counts on your inability to detect when your brain is being messed with. You see, GEJ isn’t just appreciative of your prayers, he’s also appreciative of your tendency to forget the underlying issues by the time you are done reading this line.
Today, we’ll talk about women —because we like women a lot on Idlemindset and also because, recently, it has been a trend on the social media and blogging circuits to decry rape, violence against women and other forms of abuse against the feminine sex, and we are eager to lend a voice to this crusade. You can read some enlightening and heart-aching articles here, here, also here and here. And unless your heart was formed from the offspring of a one night stand between a chunk of diamond and a piece of granite, you would whip out your anti-rape cutlass and go after the heads of rapists with the vengeance of a traumatized father.
Of course, there is nothing funny about rape, and so we will address this issue with the level of sobriety it deserves—with plenty cussing and wanton spitting. So if you can’t cuss and spit where you are, just fix an expression of metaphysical seriousness on your face while reading this post, and it will be quite appropriate for the occasion.
Now, most religious and social philosophies firmly place the blame for rape on the feminine of the species—because, you see, intelligence is neither spiritual nor cultural. But that fucked-up mindset has found less ground today: women, having wisened-up in this current civilization, have, also, not been hesitant in throwing back the blame at the male of the species for being incontinent assholes. And so the blame game between male offenders and provocative females goes back and forth—because, you see, intelligence is also neither masculine nor feminine.
This argument can be taken back and forth—and there’s plenty talk on that—on who is more to blame between the provocatively dressed female and the perverted mentally disturbed male. But today we want to shift blame to a third category of people who inspire the fucked up mentalities that allow violence against women: women themselves. And by “women”, we do not refer to that hot girl in a tight bikini that you have in mind already; but to the general category of females who are the first to cast stones against their fellow women on issues of gender relations and violence against women. You know those kind of women: the ones with the “serves you right” mentality.
These are the kind of women who promote laws that limit women’s freedom of dressing and appearance, or promote ideas like this insane website geared towards returning women to the era when a man can marry a woman by simply carrying her off the streets and into his house. But not all women are as straight-up treacherous as to sponsor a law against “indecent” dressing or promoting an association to suppress female progress. Most times, encouraging violence against women is effected in the most subtle of ways—through the wacky gender philosophies that women teach their children and also through the promotion, by women, of what Wikipedia calls: ideologies of male sexual entitlement.
Children are born without any impressions of male and female norms; but society, through the parents, impresses them with relevant social discrimination. This discrimination includes ethnic, national, race and gender types. And from a sociological observatory point of view, we can safely say that while fathers mostly indoctrinate the children in political discriminations, mothers are generally responsible for the ultimate mindset of the child in gender relations.
Therefore, a male child who grows up with the impression that men are superior to women or that girls who dress expressively are sluts, available for his taking, will eventually mature into the kind of man who takes provocative dressing as an excuse to rape a woman—or even children. And a girl who is taught by her mother that she will be raped if she dresses sexily will have no sympathy for women who get raped—instead she will advise the female victim to dress more decently and to accept the female role of subservience. But, that is the fucked-up thing about rape—no excuse can, or should be allow to, justify its existence. Instead, maybe the most appropriate way to rehabilitate a rapist is to chain him up in a room with photographs of naked women until he learns that the mere existence of something does not make it available for the taking.
But men in general, and rapists in particular, are never going to understand that fundamental logic that a woman’s body is her body and nobody else’s, until women themselves begin to drum this fact into men’s heads—in both ways. A woman’s body is not for her father, not for her brothers, uncles, nephews, boyfriend, husband, society nor God. Yes, God is included in this list because—the last time we checked, the Big One is not interested in the maleness or femaleness of a human body. On the plus side, at least someone got arrested for stating that Islam permits rape.
And that’s the lesson today for you women, and you dads. The more you encourage the idea that women who do not cover themselves from head to toe are definitely inviting sexual abuse, the more you give an excuse to rapists to commit atrocities. Even more importantly, women are duty bound to their own sex to unite and fight against laws and religious and social norms that repress women and give men the excuse to be physically abusive.
You know we are asking for trouble on Idlemindset when we reference God in what is clearly an irreligious blog. Now that its virtually becoming Nigerian law not to take God’s name in vain, we really can’t predict the response of you, our dear, religiously sentimental, readers. Nigeria is a religious country and no one screws around with their God or Gods or gods. No one, that is, except us. Of course, when we use the word “God” on this blog, we expect you to fill in the relevant, itty-bitty details by yourself: e.g. gender, looks, musical preference, number of angels and tolerance level for bullshit. In fact, for our own purpose, and because we love women, we will consider God as a kindly ageless woman with plenty angels (three of whom will die shortly), listens to Afro hip-hop and has an unlimited tolerance for the bullshit we do everyday.
But today’s post is not geared towards a psychoanalysis of the nature of God, nor is it about defending the independence of God—She is perfectly capable of doing that Herself, otherwise She would have resigned the title “God” long ago. Instead, we’ll focus our precious time on examining that alarming, and almost specifically Nigerian, culture of invoking God in every half-assed achievement scenario, however irrelevant. And the latest of these infatuation with spiritual controllers is the relegation of God to the role of a favoritism prone, country partisan, asshole of a football official who lets one team win and double-crosses the other team.
Here’s an example of how prevalent that mentality is: at a barbershop yesterday, during the match against Ivory Coast, a Nigerian watching the play had a near heart attack when someone playfully suggested that some juju must have been involved in the seemingly improved performance of the Super Eagles. This cardiac-prone gentleman, like a desperate defense attorney, seriously began to rebuke his fellow fan for ascribing to Ifa what was clearly the handiwork of the Christian God. “This match belongs to Jehovah” he said with profound insight, and three angels collapsed and died on the spot (we warned you).
You see, playfully ascribing a football match to juju is one thing, seriously ascribing it to God, instead of hard work, practice and random factors, is another. The uncomfortable truth is this: God is freaking indifferent to the African Cup of Nations. And the Barclay’s Premier League, and the World Cup. But apparently, Mr. Keshi clearly thinks God is a Nigerian, because during the press conference after the victorious match, he confidently proclaimed that “God is wonderful, the boys showed character.” In fact, he started the conference with the verbal equivalent of tossing the ancestors a libation before commencing a social drink: “First of all, I want to thank God….”
Now here’s the crux of today’s post. Its okay to thank God in everything. But superstitious belief should not be confused with a personal thanksgiving. In a country where religion precedes common sense and folks are convinced that supernatural forces, and not human factors, decide what happens, we should not hesitate to fight against that mentality wherever it pops up. We will achieve a great deal more if we thank God less and work harder, than if we thank God more and work less—and it doesn’t matter what your religious leaders tell you. In any case they will be the first to abscond if this country crashes from the weight of their superstitious influences.
And God doesn’t mind your focusing less on superstitions, really. That’s why She gave you that pound of meat contained inside your skull—so get the fuck out and use it. And just like a fish doesn’t wait for God before using its fins, or a bird before using its wings, you shouldn’t sit on your sorry ass, praying, waiting for meat. Unless, of course, you live a zoo. Otherwise, you just have to work for your own goals. God is awesomely indifferent to your football matches, your fixtures, your players or your coach. And the same applies to a lot of everyday life and activity. The supernatural realm is very, very indifferent to a lot of things you consider very, very important.
And so what’s the use of religion and spirituality? Religion is an internal influence, not an external one. Your religion is a personal spiritual business, its not a physical force that will change things for you. Your religious beliefs will not change the laws of nature, logic and human psychology. Whatever your religion, either primitive ancestral worship or the more advanced Christianity, Islam and their several counterparts, if you jump from a skyscraper and fall on a rock below, you will break something. If you work studiously towards a goal, you will get it. Religion could give you knowledge, but it won’t give you resources. Religion could give you enlightenment, but it won’t give you progress. Religion could give you inspiration but it won’t give you success. You just have to do that freaking work yourself. And with that said, get off this blog and go do something useful.
P.S. Remember to order my short play “Death in the Dawn” here. It will not change your life, but it will entertain you some. 😀 😀 😀
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.