Frankly, we don’t care much about the political skulduggery that parades up on down the pages of Nigerian newspapers because, fuck politics, that’s why. Most of what you see is the same old news: ass licking, back stabbing and fifty shades of public masturbation. Even more importantly, there are world-shaking current events that requires our immediate attention, if not even outright demonstrations.
But, now and then, some gem of an ironic cock-up comes along, grabs you by the throat and tickles you hard in the ribs till you want to seize your office-issued laptop and throw it across the room in annoyance.(Which would be totally cool if you tried it right now.)
Now, this particular issue isn’t a shiny new story, it’s the same old crap, with a touched up tissue paper. And no, it isn’t the particular scandal you’re thinking: you know, that pile of wank about the Sanusi-Boko Haram conspiracy theory; that story circulated (allegedly, allegedly—this is for the damn lawyers) by a presidential aide who has to be the most interesting man in the Nigerian social media circle right now.
We’ll get back to Sanusi. But, for now, let’s focus on the ringleader of the president’s batshit crazy media circus, our erstwhile tutor and rebel leader, Mr Reuben Abati. See, back in 2009, before the mischievous gods took a hand in his affairs, Abati wrote this thoughtful article where he advised Nigerians to reflect before celebrating independence anniversaries. Not one to be intimidated by a few lines of hyperbole, Abati proclaimed that: “The world is passing us by. At 49, we are a nation of malcontents. When last did anyone tell a happy national story made on Nigerian soil?”
A fair enough observation, especially from a bright and hardworking intellectual who had had to face the hard knocks of working class reality in a country consistently administered by rouges since 1914. Life as an everyday Nigerian isn’t sexy–and damned if Reuben Abati didn’t know that shit. There was nothing to celebrate in 2009, and he looked ahead to proclaim that there was nothing to celebrate in 2010–and by extension, 2014. But Abati, hot and brilliant writer that he was, sucked hard in the prophecy department, for, as we all know, his personal life became a happy national story. The deadbeat jalopy gave way to presidential jets, and our previously angry discontent turned into a contented philosopher.
So, great, Abati discovered financial orgasm and renounced his activism. But the hunger-inspired words he wrote some four years ago still require some serious consideration. Especially after the Sanusi debacle. Especially after the Boko Haram debacle. Especially now that our government has gone bonkers with a centenary celebration which good old Soyinka frankly refers to as a “canonisation of terror“.
Of course, hard as his PR team may try to deny it, we all know that President Jonathan is quite the connoisseur of wine, women and the good life. Which are all fine things for the modern gentleman. But with a terrorist takeover of the North East, allegations of financial misconduct, and several other shenanigans, the dude needs to connect with the current atmosphere of the country—and then, you know, maybe take a break from one or two delicious female members of the cabinet.
We don’t begrudge celebrations. But the current socio-political mood is just as important as a sense of history, and neither of the these two point to the need for a jamboree today. Think of this: Abati wrote years ago that there was nothing worth celebrating; Sanusi, former member of that same government, says things are even worse than they were years ago. But Sanusi is what happens when you have an activist in the government, and Abati is what happens when you have the government in an activist. Somewhere in between these two is some common sense, but common sense doesn’t receive centenary awards. And if you still don’t get the point, then get the fuck outta this blog.
Here’s the good news, folks: our blog rolled a year over the weekend! And as irrelevant as it may seem,we’ve spent a full year tormenting you with unsolicited tips on life, religion, citizenship, sex and visions of a fourth term by President Goodluck Jonathan. And speaking of that, for those of you who have been with us all the way, you know that our favourite villain has been, second only to the Arsenal football team, Goodluck Jonathan himself. And we expect to continue to toss out more cheap shots as we anticipate 2015.
Now, if you’re anything like us, you probably enjoy our little lessons and morals—and forget these as soon as you close the web page. But if you’re one of those few people who actually manage to learn some stuff from this blog, possibly making insightful comments on our posts, and even referencing us in conversations with the uncool folks who’ve never read this blog—then, wow! We absolutely love you! But also, get a life—and remember to send us a tithe of your livestock when you become rich and famous.
And that’s why today, we won’t dabble into any homegrown aphorisms, but instead, we’ll tell you our own version of the classic stories of the good little boy and the bad little boy—by Mark Twain. And while you can read the original stories here and here, we assure you that own version is more suitable for today’s fast paced money chasing environment as well as for your understandably, literary-challenged state of mind.
Now, let’s start with the story of the good little blog. See, there was this little blog that was eager to grow up into something kickass. It was out to educate the world, enlighten the minds of folks and make the earth a better place for drinking coffee. This noble blog had plenty visions and then some more: all of which were of the highest, faultless quality. It had no plans to make profit or benefit itself , it just wanted to improve the world. And so it started out with a stream of nice articles: incisive, well written, excellent lexis, and no bad words like “fuck” or “shit” and all the other words that make people drop their public jaws in terror. It was a very nice blog, giving credit whenever it borrowed material, never stole an article and never insulted any of the other blogs.
When our good little blog got kicking, it attracted a few readers—like everything new. But because it had no scandal or gossip to offer, the few readers who came over were not impressed, and eventually they stopped visiting the blog and soon forgot about it totally. The only comments on the posts were from trolls and spambots and the good little blog had to close the comments page just to avoid the headache of deleting these undesirables. But a hacker got into the blog and put up a nasty picture on the blog’s homepage—just for the “lulz”. The blog was shut down by the hosting site, and (just for the “lulz”) the hosts sued the good little blog for a million dollars and won—because the good little blog tried to be all logical and stuff when it appeared in court. Unable to use logic to pay the hard cash, the good little blog was sold off and it died in ignominy, forever unremarkable.
Meanwhile in another part of the country, there was the bad little blog–and when we say “bad”, we mean—fucking horrible—its only goal was to make money, and there was no story that was too low for it to publish. It stole articles from other blogs with dismissive elan. It never educated anybody and never wrote about ideas. Instead it was the ultimate jerk: willing to take bribes to suppress true stories, while setting up untrue stories (about celebrities) and nasty stories (about ordinary folks). In fact, this bad little blog was quite adept at stirring up controversies and shit. Naturally, everyone complained about the bad little blog, but this bad blog was a splendid hypocrite, carefully using “s*x” for “sex” whenever the need arose—and somehow its page-views kept rising along with its readership, commentary and advertisers. Especially, the advertisers.
The bad little blog eventually became a giant website and ranked first in the whole country. Because of its popularity, it easily won respectable awards, consistently receiving the title of Most Distinguished Blog of the Year, Best Political Blog of the Year, Awesomely Distracting Blog of the Year and such other fancy titles. It even got into the inspirational racket—making money off folks while pretending to give revelations about stuff that was freely available on the internet—if only the audience would get off their collective asses and do a Google search. Well, you know the rest of the story—our bad little blog earned big, entered politics as the official government spokesblog and when it retired, it was widely praised as an innovator in the blogging industry, although no one could quite say for certain what this bad little blog innovated that was useful to the society.
And of course, you know the moral for today. You already know the point we’re trying to make all along: that is, Idlemindset is a good little blog which is gradually dying because folks are more interested in entertainment than in enlightenment; and that you need to change your ways so that this blog can help you become a better person. Right?
You see, we are a bad little blog, and we’ve been quite good at being naughty. What’s more, we’re quite chuffed that you’ve stayed with us all the rascally way. And here’s our lesson for today: You, our Idlemindset folks, are the coolest. You rock, dudes, you rock!
Remember to follow @idlemindset on Twitter as we plan to send the first Nigerian politician to the moon—without space gear.
We apologise to our long-suffering readers. We’ve been away for too long that we have no idea how to craft an appropriate apologies without sounding like clingy, readership needing, page-view counting blog. Which we totally are. But you see, the Nigeria’s madhouse effect is gradually beginning to reflect on our carefully maintained schedules and we’re also going topsy-turvy. Really, there’s been lots of fun activities going around in the past few weeks. It’s a combination of : million dollar rewards, romance in the banks, wars and rumours of wars, killing of the gays, and the most important of all—Big Brother Africa.
But of course, it’s no real concern to you what assholes are waging wars, and which farmer’s ox is gored as long as you continue to have your three square meals and DSTV subscriptions. After all, life is short and fleeting, and the essence of getting up at unholy hours and going to bed at unholier hours, commuting to work with the suffering of a martyr, is to be able to be as happy as as practicable in this up and down world. that agreed, why then do folks get all riled up over issues that, when all the cards are down, neither takes a morsel of food nor cancels their right to watch that sweet African Magic?
And this brings us to the story of Lilliput (and Blefuscu–which is unimportant) and the issue of the Lilliputian Big-Enders and Small-Enders. These names would sound familiar to those of you who actually sat up to listen to the boring drone of that damned literature teacher (we will pray for your wasted childhood) instead of fantasizing over the potential response to the love letter hastily scrawled on a sheet of 2A Onward Big Exercise Book.
But back to literature class, the aforesaid Lilliput and Blefuscu were two neighboring island “kingdoms” in Jonathan Swifts book, Gulliver’s Travels. (Insert appropriate expression of recognition here.) Now, Lilliput had been at war with Blefuscu for a while, principally because the trouble seeking Blefuscu encouraged and supported some errant Lilliputians who had refused to toe the generally accepted beliefs of Lilliput. You see, it is a religious belief of Lilliput that a boiled egg (yep, religion does talk about food) should be broken “at the convenient end” before it is eaten, so the scripture said. Traditionally, “convenient end” had been interpreted as the “big” end of the egg—until some folks decided it actually meant the “small” end of the egg. The Small-Enders eventually converted most people to this religious thinking and gained the rulership of the kingdom. But some die-hard Big-Enders, now the minority, would have none of that shit. They got reinforcement from Blefuscu and a series of religious civil war began in which “…one Emperor lost his life, and another his crown.” Yeah, it was that bloody, they took that egg-breaking business very seriously.
But you see, it’s easy to make light of this story when you are unable to apply it to current realities. There are lots of Big-End and Small-End issues that cause unnecessary friction in real, everyday life. Of course, it is proper to hold a belief and stick to it, but it is improper to force that belief on others. Even more improper: taking violence or the threat of violence in order to force that belief on others. Because, as someone said, beliefs are like big swinging dicks—it’s good to have one, but bad to wave it in someone’s face. Only a club, tribe, cult and other exclusive societies requires that everybody must maintain the same beliefs. But in a complicated, admittedly fucked-up world, such as we have today, beliefs have gotten to complicated and numerous that everyone had better share the damned space together or simply blow up the world in the process of determining which belief will survive and which one must die.
And that’s the lesson for today, folks: the world doesn’t belong to anybody. You meet stuff here, you’ll leave stuff here. And all the stuff you think you’ve built up forever can be blown off in the puff of a madman’s nuclear bomb in a part of the world you didn’t even know exists. But as long as you’ve got to share this tiny portion of Space with other people, history has proven that any attempt by any majority to dominate a minority for the purpose of forcing everyone to behave in a particular direction always results in disastrous consequences. So you see, it boils down to everyone having a peace out or everyone having a piss out.
Please follow our brilliant handle @idlemindset on Twitter so we can keep Boko Haram away from Nigeria! 🙂