Its another cheery Monday, and therefore, a very fine time to throw punches at our cherished social norms. So, let’s start off with this insignificant news item from last Friday that still has many Nigerians mystified: the President paid a surprise visit to the Nigerian Police College in Ikeja, Lagos.
But, as the constant readers of this blog will tell you, we try not to take things at face value on this blog. Accordingly, we are intrigued that the President’s sudden visit to a long forgotten institution has to be—for want of a more appropriate term–-coded. There shouldn’t be anything to hide, really. But the nature of the visit, the suddenness of its occurrence, and the general distrust we have for our leaders suggest that the President’s visit has more to it that meets the eye. In fact, it must have involved a very very pressing matter.
Of course, the President must be worried sick about the consistent welfare of our beloved police force. We all are.. Worried sick, that is. But, however innocuous his visit was, the fact is that the simplest governmental gesture cannot be trusted. So, we cynically listen to Abati’s praise of the event and draw our own conclusions: maybe the President went for a private meeting, at best; or at worst, someone is angling to for a major police college contract.
This reasoning itself is a consequence of our government’s attitude towards information feedback and appraisal. To translate that into blog English: the government doesn’t give two fucks about letting the people know what it’s up to. Policies, activities, decisions: there’s always something, somewhere, left unaccounted and unsaid. Instead, we have plenty hidden agendas and public denials. Therefore it becomes hard to trust the government. Turn on the TV and listen to a public officer speak, and you just can’t be sure he is saying the honest truth.
But we have little time to waste on government talk today. It is generally agreed that our government is fucked-up. The real problem is this: a fucked-up government is merely a composition of fucked-up individuals who have emerged from a fucked-up society. The people whom we elect into government publicly feed us with the same kind of crap we like served to us, hot and steaming, in our own private lives.
We are quite comfortable with deception—either in the name of government policy or spiritual authority. We lie to others and other people lie to us. Hereabouts, we are all public saints. Oh yeah. Especially when it comes to morals. We are all fine religious folks: we abhor masturbation, reject foul language, condemn abortions, ban porn, criminalise homosexuality, censor Big Brother Africa shower scenes, strongly oppose nudity in the media, crucify pre-marital or extra-marital sex and lie through our teeth with a straight face.
We have all managed to consistently project the hypocrisy of being so good and nice and saintly and Christian, without vice or sin or blemish. We are so spiritual, the situation would be outright hilarious, if not for the social implications. Especially when the evidence around suggests we are not. And yet, we all know the truth: we love the nasties. So, here’s some unsolicited advice: instead of clinging stubbornly to a false spirituality, why not just embrace the reality of the sin?
That ability to say: “Yes, I did it” takes some magnificent balls, but it can go a long way to making your life more peaceful. Cut out the crap and let the world know what you are, a character quite separate from what you hope to be. Tell the world boldly that you’re not above natural human desires and instincts, including drinking inappropriate amounts at the local nightclub and spilling it out all over the toilet seat.
And this is the moral for today: honesty is refreshing for the mind. You have no one to fear when you are an honest sinner, you have everyone to fear when you are a dishonest saint. And when we are done removing our individual self-deceptions, then we can then take a broom to our shitty government and clean it out properly.
Quickly, here’s the scenario. A bunch of aliens intend to visit Earth–let’s say they want to admire sunsets from Earth perspective or they want to sample some burgers or get laid or for some other wacky alien notion too advanced for us to grasp.
Of course, as they are aliens with an average IQ of one zillion, they are far too smart to understand why there is no single world leader whom they can introduce themselves to when they arrive on earth. Aliens almost always have a supreme leader; and they would naturally expect the same cratology (new word!) from humans. Accordingly, the first task of our Michael Jackson abducting aliens would be to determine who on earth is the Main Guy, The Grand Kahuna, The Great Panjandrum, The Big Swinging Dick.
Well, seeing as Earth has no clear-cut system of deciding whose balls fit into those pants, the aliens have a short conference to discuss which of the available 7billion humans should wield the title of World Leader. Political leaders, elected or otherwise, are out of the question, because (i) they rarely influence anybody, (ii) they all have serious opposition, and (iii) even where the opposition is minimal, they are only tolerated (cue: at this point, the conference presentation zooms in on Nigeria).
To save billable hours, one of the aliens suggests Twitter as a criteria for deciding world leaders. You have followers, the followers come voluntarily, can leave anytime and are actually influenced by the thoughts of the followed person. That’s Twitter 101, and if the concept of Twitter still doesn’t make sense to you, then maybe you should just close this page and go back to your good old prints.
Back to Twitter. So who is the World Leader according to the blue bird? Ladies and Gentlemen, the Undisputed President of the World is still Lady Gaga–who is followed by approximately 26,602,690 people worldwide. Think of that number for a moment–that’s more individuals than most people will ever share a city with. A formidable standing army that can trample you for dissenting with their views.
Coming closely after Lady I-Pretend-I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck is Justin Bieber, the Twitter proclaimed Vice President of the World with a sobering 24,407,091 followers. Its hard to imagine that there are about 24million teenage girls out there who adore Bieber.
And where’s Barack Obama? Ranking 6th position behind Katy Perry, Rihanna and Britney Spears. And, as if to make up for this lapse of judgment, Obama’s ranking is quickly followed by Shakira, Taylor Swift, and Kim Kardashian (groan).
Our hypothetical aliens now have their world leaders and we can leave them alone for now. Democracy wins again. Lady Gaga rules the world and Justin Bieber is the heir apparent. If Twitter is any reflection of the trends in the real world, then there are a lot of dumb-as-shit people out there–and that’s not just because of their choice of music, but because they take that choice forward by indirectly electing these two musicians as the representatives of Earth’s mental direction. Entertainment is one thing, motivation is another. On the bright side, its hilarious that for inspiration, the world looks up to a girl-woman who craves attention and a boy who is yet to learn how to deal with women. Meanwhile, the palace is rife with coup plots as Bieber followers try to unseat Lady Gaga. Its a crazy world.
As for me, in the Twitter scheme of things, I’m a lowly field labourer working without pay.