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IDLEMINDSET | THAT DEMOCRATIC FALLACY (AND A BIT OF ASS!)

Here’s the good news: we’re bringing you an Idlemindset article. The bad news? We’re still assholes—and not the good type either. We’re the evil kind of asshole—the ones who just won’t give a  fuck. Not even after you’ve set it up all oiled and ready to go, eventually driving you to mocking insanity for your inability to get that anal you’ve always fantasied about…. Wait. How did we get here?

Ass. It all started with ass.

Ass. It all started with ass.

Okay, let’s just focus. Especially on the positive aspects of what you’re doing right now—using your employer’s time to read this absolutely work-unrelated post, and getting paid for it at the end of the month. Think about that. Wow, right? A life of free money.

And that's the only thing workers everywhere ask for.

And that’s the only thing workers everywhere ask for.

We’ll that’s why we have unions, democracy and traffic lights: so we can protect the weak elements of society against the caprices of the stronger ones. Especially if by “weak”, you mean “poor, struggling, downtrodden masses” and by “strong” you mean “rich as fuck.” And so today, you can do absolutely nothing at all and still get paid like hell for that nothing. And this works very well, generally, because some people fought for your right to wank during office hours a long time ago. And that recognition of human rights is part of why more countries are shifting towards some form of democratic government.

Now you know where your next visa application goes. You're welcome.

Feel free to update your 2014 visa resolutions. You’re welcome.

Democratic ideals are good for political business: you see, when the people are happy with their lives, families and jobs (or at least, when they think they are happy: which is also generally acceptable) then the government is happy. But, democracy can be just as terrible as a dictatorship when mishandled by the people and their government. And more so when the people forget the whole point of the democratic process: freedom. And that’s why Socrates had to call out the fuck-ups of democracy by distinguishing between democracy for the purpose of dealing with “shallow issues” and democracy for the purpose of  dealing with “urgent human questions”.

Meh. Shallow issues.

Meh. Shallow issues.

Now, we’re not saying Socrates is the smartest of the bunch—afterall, he chose to die by drinking poison rather than lose what was essentially, a twit-fight—but, the dude had a fair point. You see, democracy as a game of numbers is good for making decisions about the allocation of communal goods and resources: these are, ultimately, “shallow issues”. But when it comes to decisions affecting rights, justice, fairness and equity—aka “urgent human questions”—you just can’t leave it to a game of numbers and the will of the people. Especially when those numbers are out to kill you.

“So you said, you want to ask the audience. Right?”

Rights—however defined—transcend numbers. But when some clever politician argues that  the “will of the majority” in a democratic setting makes an action okay, then this fallacy is certain to get  a fair number of people confused. But anyone who has ever seen a violent “majority” mob knows that the argument is absolute nonsense. A mob, whether legalised or not, doesn’t care about “urgent human issues”.

“Dare me. Just mention the constitution again.”

But by definition, a mob is irrational. Democracy is not—and shouldn’t be—a license for the majority to destroy the opinion of the minority. Or vice-versa. No matter how reprehensible the other side of the argument is to you.

And no matter how much you’re tempted to whack those making such arguments on the head.

It’s a simple idea, really, but most people fail to see it—because humans are essentially wired to be assholes. And here’s the moral for today: if the discussion is about roads, airports and election timetables, democracy works fine; but when the debate shifts to the repression of the minority, then the fact that the majority are all for it still doesn’t make it right. And if you’re really convinced that everyone has to compulsorily share your opinion—then get an island.

But first, buy our book on Amazon/Kindle:

Sorry Tales - Kindle-500x500

Or maybe, on Addiba and Konga too!

IDLEMINDSET | HEY! HERE COMES THE BRIDE

Today’s title is a bad pun; used in mocking deference to our current social trauma. You see, folks here love us some noise-making activity: weddings, funerals, protests. And, what with the rainy season and the gloomy dreariness of the political landscape and the entertainment industry, we’re quite ripe for some serious noise-making.

"What do we want?" "Scandals!" "Where do we want it?" "Nollywood!"

“What do we want?” “Scandals!” “Where do we want it?” “Nollywood!”

Luckily, the legislature gave us one that’s as morally provoking as an episode of Big Brother Africa. You know the gist already, but let’s rehash it briefly. Sometime last week, the Senate decided to try their hands at a good deed. Maybe it was the Ramadan season and they were feeling especially pious, or maybe the air-conditioning was bad, but somehow they got off their fat asses and voted to delete a provision from the Constitution with the undeclared intention of saving young girls from being  hustled into early marriages. Except that they did not consider Yerima whom, as a kid, all the little girls used to laugh at and call names.

"Soon. Very soon."

“Soon. Very soon.”

And so the devil was waiting in the details, Yerima, our infamous monster, wasted no time in being dickish about the first vote;  like a petulant child, he harangued the tired legislators into a brain-freeze, and before you could shout  “ChildNotBride!” he had cowed the Senate into a re-vote where he managed to scuttle the original idea. Their attempt at living a righteous life suitably thwarted, the Senators took the matter as a sign from God, and moved on to the more pressing and less-controversial matters of financial allocations and self remunerations.

"It's a simple matter," said David Mark, "The Senate giveth and the Senate taketh away."

“It’s a simple matter,” said David Mark sagaciously. “The Senate giveth and the Senate taketh away.”

However,  some of us idle folks would not be so easily persuaded by this drama, and soon the catapults were unslung, and a barrage of accusatory and reformative missives were directed at Abuja. Loud and clear, the noise began. Across the country. Folks  poured out to sign petitions—both clear and unclear—in a bid to put a lid on the mess being boiled by the Senate. The social media had its day, and frantic energy fizzled in the tweets. World War Three was all set for a launch date and somewhere, a senator  cursed the day they decided to amend the goddamn Constitution in the first place.

The AC contractor has got a lot of explaining to do.

The AC contractor has got a lot of explaining to do.

Now we’re not here to rain on the protesting parade. Not at all. In fact, we dig all of this. It’s all very healthy and inspiring. You see, few things improve the mind like a little protest now and then. But with one condition: if you gotta protest,  then don’t fuck around—figuratively and literally. You see, Nigeria has been a great place for fucking around—and that becomes quite boring after a few decades. The government knows the fucking around cycle too well and it takes advantage of it too often. The cycle is like this: first comes the blunder, next comes the hoopla, and then afterwards, yesterday’s hot topic becomes “stale gist”, and life moves on.

And then we can start cracking bad jokes about it.

And then we can move on to the bad jokes.

Here’s the question: how long can you sustain your current enthusiasm before your attention is captivated by the next trending topic? Sure, there’s a new bride in town, but don’t mistake the wedding for the marriage. Do not confuse novelty with passion, and restlessness with activism. Sometimes, what  gets the noise going is merely the general infatuation for the new bride, but the fight has to go on even after the noise quietens. And here’s the lesson for today: if you must have a bride: marry her—don’t just wed her; if you must protest a government policy: fight it to the end—don’t just make some temporary noise.

Oh, one more thing: #ChildNotBride!

IDLEMINDSET | BOTHA’S TIRADE, THE ARMED FORCES, AND SEVERAL SHENANIGANS

Hello again, folks! This is our first post in 2013—no thanks to our entry into a state of catatonic shock upon seeing the rancour generated in the last week over  Forbes’s ranking of Nigeria as one of the saddest countries in the world. Apparently a lot of people take Forbes seriously, and even lots more take the emotional state of Nigerians seriously.

"Our response is clear." The President said grimly, "We will set up a committee to look into the matter!"

“Our response is clear”, the President said grimly. “We will set up a committee to look into these allegations of sadness!”

Struggling out of that impromptu brain freeze, we’ve wandered with fine female forms in little or no fabrics to wash away the sour taste of social inanities. And now, fully refreshed from those shenanigans, we are apologetically ready to meet our blogging obligations. So, again, here’s our first post of 2013. Word of warning: next week, we will resume our scheduled Monday contraptions; but meanwhile, today is as good as any for a little finger-pointing, blame-shifting, and remembering our dearly beloved armed forces.

Especially our dear, accidental discharge prone, Unknown Soldiers.

Especially our dear, dear civilian bashing, whip wielding, accidental discharge prone, Unknown Soldiers.

To kick off today’s Sermon on the Screen, let’s start with the life and times of Pieter Willem Botha, the pessimistic one-time ruler of South Africa and all-time pain in the neck of the United Nations. But before we begin our biographical perambulations, let’s be clear on the fact that this Botha dude was an asshole, and on this blog, we don’t admire assholes.

With one exception.

With, maybe, one exception.

And so when, sometime in 1985, Botha took a knife to the throat of  the entire black race, in a sour speech you can read here, no one was particularly surprised by the wholesome sentiments he expressed. Like we said, the dude was a freaking asshole. Right up till he died, the guy just didn’t give a fuck about what people think.

You don't get to be called Old Crocodile by pussyfooting around.

You don’t get to be called “Old Crocodile” by pussyfooting around.

However, anyone who speaks the truth, including an asshole  like Botha, deserves to be listened to—occasionally. And as we begin a new year, starting off with resolutions and dissolution, a line from Botha’s tirade should strike a chord of truth. Speaking of blacks, Botha says: “And here is a creature that lacks foresight…. The average Black does not plan his life beyond a year….”

Go back in time and kill Botha?

Number 1. Go back in time and kill Botha?

However, because we are happy people in this part of the world, and because we don’t want our dear readers feeling depressed, let’s just ignore Botha’s annual limitations and the findings of the researchers at Legatum, and get on with our merry Armed Forces Remembrance Day. But, wait, just before we do that, here’s another homely gem from kindly Botha: “By now everyone of us has seen it practically that the Blacks cannot rule themselves.  Give them guns and they will kill each other. They are good in nothing else but making noise, dancing, marrying many wives and indulging in sex.

Indulging in Sex: Strictly for the Blacks since 1985.

Indulging in Sex: Strictly for the Blacks since 1985.

So, now, let’s talk about the guns, and the significance of today’s date.  January 15th is marked in Nigeria as a reminder, to would-be rebels, that on January 15, 1970,  to finalise the fuckery that was called the Nigerian Civil War, the Federal forces of Nigeria whipped the  Biafran troops right and proper—and are ready and prepared to do it again at any time. At any freaking time, whether it is called a civil war or a protest.

"So help us God..."

“Gentlemen, the next uprising will bring out the beast in us.”

Today is another indication of the mental direction of modern Nigeria: a day is celebrated, not to mourn the people who died in the Civil War, but to celebrate the bullets that shot them. Give them guns and they will kill each other, was what Botha said. He might also have added “And they will also celebrate the killing and the guns.  What is today? An anniversary created by a military regime and continued by a supposedly civilian governments. The irony of celebrating the Armed Forces, not for defending Nigerians against external aggression, but for killing Nigerians internally, unfortunately, is lost on Nigerians.

Other lost ironies: Abati advising us to "stop lying" and  "don't be stupid". Both in one day.

Other lost ironies: Abati advising folks to “stop lying”, and  “don’t be stupid”. Both in one day.

And here’s the lesson of today: maybe we just don’t care about the whole bowl of fish. After all, how does that satisfy our hunger? How does it fill our wallets? What has the remembrance or non-remembrance of the victims of the Civil War got to do with our continued ability to “make noise, dance, marry many wives and indulge in sex”?  If you reply “Nothing”, you’re correct.

IDLEMINDSET | OLD GISTS, NEW YEARS AND KAREN IGHO TOO

Good news everyone: this is our last blog post for the year! Difficult as it is for some of you, our admiring readers, to believe, we don’t actually sit crossed-leg on the writing table, smoking profoundly on a kick-ass pipe, while the Good Lord inspires us with all these awesome posts.  Hell, no! We work at these things, bro! These freaking blogs are actually brow-sweating work, just slightly below being forced to watch a Nollywood video for 12 hours without a toilet break.

You will know true fear.

And by the time you watch the 18th pre-movie trailer, you will know true fear.

And that’s why over the months, we’ve been chuffed at your appreciation, admiration and even the rare insults too. In fact, we wake up on mid-nights just to re-read your comments and count the page views one by one.

"Oh yes, keep it coming. Keep it coming...."

“No time for porn, man. Next post is tomorrow.”

That said, today’s post, in the usual end-of-the-year fashion, is a quick introspection and an opportunity to ponder on all those missed calls we had during the year from unknown phone numbers. Who called us? Why did they call us?  Would they ever call back? Was it some new business or a secret admirer? We may never know the answers to these most intricate of life’s questions. But what we know for sure is this: for those of you who have been brave enough to keep checking out our weekly editions—congrats—the size of the FG’s recurrent expenditure got nothing on your balls! And that’s even more true for you, ladies!

Your balls are the cornerstone of this blog.

Your awe inspiring balls are the very cornerstone of this blog.

Unfortunately, though, your continued approval of our blog, dear readers, means our divinely inspired mission to annoy the hell out of every Nigerian, until we get banned in not less than 30 states, is becoming less and less realistic. Accordingly, this increase in page views is very sad news for all of us here. However, while we think up new strategies to get you raving mad until you smash your internet devices against the wall as you scream for our heads, we will continue to bring you our best combination of polite sarcasm and social irreverence. Meanwhile, our lesson has been learned: Nigerians have a high tolerance for boolsheet.

It's like:"Hey Boolsheet, you want to use my toothbrush, and sleep with my wife? Sure, why not?"

It’s like:”Hey you, Boolsheet, you want to use my toothbrush, and sleep with my wife? Sure, why not?”

This tolerance for the most insipid and transparent of political, social and religious lies is more painful than a triple cockscrew wound up the anal cavities. It is even more painful this year, 2012; because, when in January, the country’s masses and not-quite-masses came together to protest the dumbfuckery of Goodluck Jonathan’s fuel subsidy removal, there was, quite almost, the possibility of a welcome change in the affairs of the country.

Also the possibility of electing an awesome fir jumping president

Also, the possibility of electing us an awesome fire-jumping president.

For a brief, but clear moment, the Nigerian people actually held political power—and the machinery of government was clearly submissive. But that moment was lost as soon as it came, because, when you have power without a plan, you will either lose the power or lose your life. So we lost the power, no thanks to the trickery and cowardice of the unions—as well as our own clueless stance—and went back to our freaking everyday lives: solidly grounded on Omotola’s Twitter verification and D’banj’s “Oyato” fiasco.

"Occupy Nigeria is sooo old school, bro. Karen Igho got slapped! That's gist!"

“Occupy Nigeria is sooo old school, bro. Karen Igho got slapped! That’s fresh gist!”

And what were the costs of January? What were the gains? Some people died, the rest of us live on.  In retrospect, the protests could easily have been an imaginative  and adventurous post on Omojuwa or Ekekee for all the difference it has made so far. The union leaders are alive and well, Diezani is yet to die zanily or otherwise, fuel has been scarce for several months, the reform in electric power is on paper only, Jonathan has publicly ascribed the January protests to the work of paid brigands, Abati’s apostasy has become even more sinful and Karen Igho is still getting slapped by security guards.

"Are you going to blame me for that too?"

“What? Are you going to blame me for that too?”

Of course, as we’ve pointed out before, we are also to blame for a lot of our woes. December is almost over, and a new January is around the corner. The oracles have been evasive on where this country is headed or how it should even be headed. And maybe, that’s the problem—maybe there are no fucking oracles and maybe we hold the key to the next year in our own hands.  And like all those missed calls from unknown numbers, maybe you shouldn’t just wait for a call back—sometimes you gotta go out there, stalk and kidnap a phone company employee, torture them till they agree to trace the unknown number for you, and then you find out who the hell was calling you. It’s your call, baby. But it’s also too much work (like these blog posts), so while we sincerely wish you Merry Holidays and a Happy New Year, we are quite sure we’ll be back on this blog together, in the New Year, yarning the same old gist.

IDLEMINDSET | BONFIRES AND SAFE DISTANCES

Occupy Nigeria. A lot of shit went down in those few weeks of January 2012. From the President’s blunders to the people’s no nonsense lock-downs, strikes and protests, there was certainly enough stuff going around to fertilize the roof of the National Assembly complex. But of all the shit that went down, there’s one particular incident captured in photo that has always fascinated me. The one pictured below.

This is as badass as the average Nigerian ever gets.

That’s the picture of a man who was so bored with the protesting itself that he decided to do something so out of the usual,  and generate the maximum number of WTFs possible. Look at the people standing in the picture. From one side of the road to the other side. Their expressions are disbelief, curiosity and “you gotta be kidding me” in nicely served proportions. Apart from a dude who is definitely tweeting up the awesomeness of the moment, everyone’s attention is focused on the fire. But as interested as they are in what is definitely the granddad of all bad decisions, they somehow manage to stay clear of the bonfire. You can almost feel them standing back. Nothing is safe like a safe distance.

Also, nothing annoys like a guy driving a safe distance. In your front.

Now, lets take a look at the guy jumping the fire. I can’t see his face, but the idea generally conveyed by the body language is of someone who has taken a bad bet and realizes it just a bit too late.  Suddenly, while hovering in the air, it really occurs to him that he is jumping over a freaking bonfire!

Oh shiiit….

How did he end up in that position? I suppose they were all walking down the road, aiming to protest the aforesaid bullshit out of Goodluck Jonathan when they spot the bonfire up ahead and one of them goes “I have an idea…”.

“Huh? Let me see how you plan to explain this.”

Forget it. I can’t think of how he ended up jumping over a hungry looking bonfire. I can’t even imagine how the thought translated into the action. I can only say that it took some foolhardy attitude. I mean, who the fuck messes with a bonfire?

Apart from crazy Tibetan monks.

Look at the picture again: the right leg is barely above the flames and the left leg is smoke covered. At this pictured moment, the guy is probably thinking: “Damn, I seriously miscalculated this bet, let me just stretch my arms out and then I’ll fly off.” And so he stretches out his hands, getting ready for a take off. And at this point, I’m just going to assume the guy can really fly, anyway. Mere gravity should not worry anyone who jumps over that kind of bonfire while compos mentis.

Oga, abeg leave story.

And that’s what today’s lesson is really about–let everyone else stand and stare, and wonder what the hell is wrong with you, and tell you about foolishness and laws of gravity, never mind them: you just go right ahead and jump over that fucking bonfire.

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