Friday, January 28, 2005

Bane of my life

Hola peeps. Moving to Nigeria in less than a month and I must say that I’m still exciting about this new adventure. One thing though, I’m a bit worried at recent phone calls from my ex, who’s based in Spain but is currently visiting Nigeria. She calls at least once a week to enquire about my scheduled return. She’s a cool chick and all, but ain’t no way I’m messing with her again – I don’t go back to ex-girlfriends. It’s kinda like a dog going back to its sick, I feel. Besides, we had ‘the talk’ in 2000 and we decided – I decided – that we weren’t gonna work out. How did she take it? I dunno; I left Nigeria the next morning. Anyways, we still on cool terms and we spoke now and then while she was in Spain. Always planned to visit her there, but didn’t quite get to it. She actually chided me for this once, and angrily asked if I didn’t wanna visit her ‘cos I was scared she’d jump my bones.

Naturally I was shocked to hear this, seeing as we never consummated our relationship – she was, erm, ‘cherry-unplucked’ when we went out and I didn’t attempt to erm, unpluck the cherry as I didn’t feel comfortable doing that. Maybe I saw too many movies as a kid, but I’ve always felt women never forget the ‘first one’ and I didn’t want that responsibility……‘cos I’d feel guilty if stuff didn’t work out with us. Well, while arguing over about my noncommittal travel plans I discovered that all the times (2001 - 2003) she made me feel guilty for ending the relationship she had actually got the cherry popped. Imagine the gall! Why are women so skilled on doing the double-standard thang?

So like I was saying, she’s visiting Nigeria now and has actually offered to meet me up at the airport. I refused; obviously. Don’t want my folks getting ideas. The thing is I don’t mind hanging out with her, it’s the expectations (from both sides) I don’t wanna confront. Forget expectations, it’s the sex aspect I wanna avoid. I cannot count the number of times I’ve determined not to fall but like a junkie I keep seeking out chicks, or they seek me out. That’s one of the pros of my impending trip; I get to delete ‘peripheral’ numbers from my phone and PDA. U know, those numbers that u store just in case u get bored on a cold, Friday nite.

Most of y’all don’t know this, but sex has been the bane of my life for ages. I’ve tried and tried and tried, but I keep going back. I’ve fasted, I’ve prayed, I have even told my sister to pray for me – and I don’t talk to family about my relationships! I’ve tried being in relationships, but then sex always comes into play. I’ve tried not having relationships (my last ended in Feb 2003….or was it March 2003?) but then all that does is make me feel less guilty ‘cos I ain’t cheating on anyone. I feel guilty ‘cos I’ve let God down. I know the Bible says He’ll forgive ur sins if u repent and ask His forgiveness, but it seems I’m forever asking for forgiveness for fornication. I know sin = sin = sin, but I’d rather my sin was less sexual and maybe something else. Catch my drift? I need to get this monkey off my back. Hey, maybe I’d get married! That way I can have guilt-free sex. Hey, if u are my future wife and u’re reading this, don’t be alarmed. I’m sure there’ll be other reasons (apart from sex) why I’ll propose to u………or will there? Ha huh ha huh ha Babes, if u still reading this and haven’t called that busybody friend of urs I can’t stand, I’m sorry. U know me, u know I love u and I’m just joking about the ‘sex’ thing………..or am I?

Tot ziens. I’m having a farewell shindig at the Nigerian joint du jour tomorrow evening so if u’re in London I hope to see y’all……and if u’re female make sure u look ur worst.

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Friday, January 14, 2005

The problem with politicians...and celebrities

Hola peeps. Que tal? Yo? Muy bien. Que? Well, what can I say, I’m a happy sorta guy. I purchased my airline ticket to Nigeria yesterday and I made sure I bought a non-refundable one so I don’t change my mind. Ha huh ha huh Gonna contact y’all in the UK soon so we can have a li’l shindig. Pls feel free to bring gifts or if y’all are broke asses u can compose a poem about how empty ur lives would be without me. Ha huh ha huh

I was reading the paper yesterday when I discovered that a new reality show had premiered on TV. Honestly, I think reality show creators/producers/cast should be shot. The spate of reality shows suggests TV network executives might require electroshock treatment. However, hope is not lost. The concept of this new reality show is that aspiring politicians face a panel of current politicians – and there’s the clichéd Simon Cowell-wannabe who spews contrived disses – and the ‘winner’ (if that’s indeed the right term) gets to run as an independent for a chosen constituency in the forthcoming UK elections. Now, this is a reality show I’d love to be involved in. Not as a contestant, but as an assistant/aide to the panel of judges. I’d love to glean info on how one can have the appearance of walking upright even though one’s spine was surgically removed years after being elected to office. Here’s a joke that’ll elicit laughter anywhere in the world (OBTW I made up a few years ago while high on weed): What do u call an honest politician? An aberration.

Okay, maybe I’m painting everyone with the same brush here, but it’s my blog and …..I can rant if I want to, rant if I want to, rant if I want to. U’d rant too if it happened to u…. I actually believe only a few peeps get into politics to make a positive change. They do it ‘cos of power, and we all know how intoxicating power can be. How else can u explain tyrants remaining in power at the risk of losing their lives? It’s almost as if once u get a taste of power u keep craving for more like some reprobate junkie.

So what exactly triggered this tirade on politicians, u ask. Did my girlfriend dump me? Nah, don’t have a girlfriend yet - kinda waiting til after Feb 14th - but I have seen one or two potential future ex-girlfriends. Did someone ram into my car and the authorities fail to prosecute said individual? Well, it’d help if I’d a car in the first place, but I’m easy if y’all wanna chip in and buy me a replica of the Batmobile. If y’all must know the reason for this anger at politicians was an article I read about monies pledged by governments to alleviate sufferings of those affected by the Dec 26th tsunami. Surely the vast amounts promised to the affected countries shows that politicians can’t be all that bad, u say. Well, not technically: as it turns out if the donors decide not to fulfil their obligations there’s diddly squat Indonesia, Sri Lanka, etc. can do about it. Remember the earthquake in Bam, Iran last year? Well, it turns out $1bn in aid was pledged, but at present only $18m had been received. I know there are logistical difficulties in circumstances such as these, but this lack of commitment when TV cameras are turned away shows why some peeps don’t bother contributing to the electoral process.

In the past 2 days I’ve read articles about politicians:

1. more concerned about mementos than their jobs. Sen. Bill Frist telling a photographer to “Get some devastation in the back” while having his picture taken in one of the regions affected by the tsunami. Verdict: Bad.
2. more concerned about fame/money than what they were elected to do. MPs Dianne Abbott and Mike Portillo have lousy voting records in the House of Parliament, yet are regular TV talking heads…and get paid for this. Verdict: Bad.
3. making a mockery of democracy. The chairman of one of the major political parties in Nigeria recently resigned, amid rumours that he was forced to do so at gun point when invited to the presidential villa for a parley. Verdict (if allegations are proven true): Shame on u.
4. being greedy punks. A charity organisation reported that some vital aid (like water) for regions in India affected by the tsunami was being diverted by corrupt Indian politicians. Verdict: Huge shame on u.
5. doing what they are paid to do. Rep. John Conyers, etc objecting to discrepancies in the Ohio (swing state) vote count. Verdict: Ace. Answer me this: Did anyone see this widely reported in the news media?
6. having the guts to acknowledge they are fallible. Pres. Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia apologising for failing to tackle poverty. Verdict: At least this honesty is a starting point.

Wanna know what the trick to having a successful political career? Having the media on ur side to capture sound bites and conceal ur failings. The general hypocrisy of our elected leaders leaves me weary. They lie, they steal, they play on our insecurities and the sad thing is we let them get away with it. The ruling party provides perks, such as reduced taxes, in an election year and we end up re-electing them even though they did squat in previous years. One can’t really blame folk for voting them in again ‘cos, like in the case of England, there are no better alternatives.

Wanna know the major problem with politics? Political parties! If one’s party affiliation is in government one is instructed to toe the ‘official’ party line even when one doesn’t necessarily agree with it. This is done to create the false air of unity, a la Blair and Brown. If one’s party is in opposition then one’s instructed to toe the ‘official’ party line (by primarily besmirching the ruling party) even when it’s not justified.

So what would I do differently if I found myself contesting for the presidency of Nigeria? I’m glad u asked ‘cos I’ve given it a lot of thought….well, not really ‘cos I’ve been busy getting high, but I’m sure I could do better than half of the world leaders. So here are President Tunde’s tips on being an honest politician…and avoiding assassination squads….and avoiding a rebellion:

1. Honesty: B4 I embark on my campaign I’ll take out a full page ad in the Nigerian dailies and erect a billboard sign declaring all the nasty stuff I’ve ever done. That way my opponents cannot surprise me with squat. And yes, I’ll mention the time I was arrested by cops while trying to buy weed….and yes, I’ll also mention how in exchange for not arresting me they made me re-enact Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy birthday” song to JFK.
2. Trusting ur feelings: Wanna know what I learnt from the US election? I learnt that there’s a time and a place for election campaign advisers and presidential campaigns is not one of them. Peeps believe that Kerry lost potential voters ‘cos of the delay in debunking the Swift Boat Veterans’ lies. If an opponent accuses me of not performing my Boys Scout duties to the best of my abilities I’ll not relent in showing them proof of the rope burns I suffered. No one should be allowed to question my sacrifice for my country.
3. Clarity: Know ur electorate and give them answers or anecdotes they can identify with. Another mistake of Kerry was not getting his message across in as lucid a manner as possible. After Nigeria’s independence in 1960 I heard politicians of the time appealed to the voters by bloviating their way thru even the most simple of questions. This worked ‘cos as they mostly addressed a largely illiterate electorate it was assumed that the more verbose the speech the more fascinated the voters would be.
This cannot work in 21st century Nigeria. In our celebrity-obsessed times I’ll have to surround myself with foreign celebrities, even if I have to pay them. A typical exchange during a campaign stump could go a li’l something like this:

The Press: So Tunde, what do u think are the qualities required to be president and why should the average Nigerian vote for u?
Moi: Who asked that question? Was it u, the pretty lady who looks like Halle Berry? My, my, my. When I see Halle next week I’ll be sure to tell her that she has a doppelganger. Yeah, so in answer to ur question, I’ll say this. It takes a man of integrity to lead this great country of ours; it takes a man who can listen to the grievances of differing parties and achieve an amicable resolution. Who do u think resolved the beef between Jay-Z and Nas? Me, that’s who. Who do u think made Hillary Duff and Lindsay Lohan friends once more? Me, that’s who. In fact, while at Craig David’s 21st birthday party last week (yeah, I know it’s sad he’s still claiming to be 21 after all these years) P. Diddy introduced himself to me and said he wish he’da met me a few years back ‘cos he was sure I’da sorted out the Biggie – Tupac problem.

See how easy that was? Man, I am a genius. Okay before I go let me get serious for a minute, okay maybe 30 seconds. Pls, pls, pls try and give some funds to aid those affected by the tidal wave in SE Asia. However, if u’d rather do something closer to home u can also give to ur local charity for homeless, orphans, etc. It’s the right thing to do. Most satisfying thing about giving is that no one really has to know how much u gave. I mean I’m pleased Sandra Bullock ($1m) and Michael Schumacher ($10m) gave loads to the sufferers of the tsunami, but there wasn’t any need for me to know about it. Maybe they had their reasons for doing it, such as to encourage other celebrities to do the same, but the cynic in me thinks they did it for the exposure. It’s all good though. At least they are better than a British TV personality – for ‘TV personality’ read ‘TV slut’, i.e. someone who will do anything on TV for money such as hosting (and possibly appearing) in crap reality shows, doing commercials for tampons…..even though he’s a man!, etc. – who said, “I felt awful when I read about the devastation caused by the tsunami so I dug in and gave £3,000.” He gives only £3,000 and publicises that?! The guy deserves a thrashing… a public square……with kids throwing tomatoes at him.

I know, I know, I’d stop ranting. Off to the corner store to buy some milk. Maybe if the shopkeeper’s nice I’ll dig deep and ask him to keep the change. Tot ziens. God bless.

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

U heard it here first.

Hola peeps. It’s been ages, I know. Just got back from a Xmas (psss, if u are a politician u can’t say the name of the holiday in these PC times, else u risk angering potential non-Xtian voters) break in the States and really had fun meeting up with mates and family again. Worst thing about the trip? The frequent flights I’d to take. My itinerary: London – Chicago – Atlanta – Phoenix – Oakland – Phoenix – Las Vegas – Atlanta – London. Man, how do air stewards do it? Must be a heckuva job. Those folk deserved to be paid as much as Premiership footballers. Maybe I’m complaining ‘cos I didn’t travel in a premier class. Nah, don’t think that’s it, ‘cos the wait at airports, not to talk about the faux security processes – more on that later -, is another thang that gets on my nerves. The most miserable flight I was on was the one from Chicago to London. Not sure if it was the lady to my right or the li’l boy to my left, but someone kept farting rotten-egg farts. Man, I almost choked!

Man, I hadn’t realised how much I missed the US ‘til I arrived there on Dec. 14th. Can’t explain it, but if I’d to choose a place to live b/w the US and the UK I’d choose the US. Maybe ‘cos I feel I have a better chance of meeting Angelina Jolie there. Thank u, thank u. I’ll be playing here all week. Guess it’s a moot question ‘cos I plan on moving back to Nigeria next month. Oh u hadn’t heard? Ooops, thot I’d told y’all. For some reason when I tell everyone about my intentions they think I’m crazy.

My British mates don’t understand why I wanna return to Nigeria ‘cos they don’t wanna admit they are gonna miss me. If y’all are reading this, it’s okay, don’t cry, I’ll come back and see y’all from time to time. Or maybe I’ll give y’all a shout-out during my presidential inauguration. My British-based Nigerian family don’t get why I wanna return to Nigeria ‘cos they are so used to seeing me here and my British-based Nigerian mates are trying their utmost to make me change my mind, maybe ‘cos they still need a non-married mate to hang out with. The latter are particularly selfish ‘cos most of them plan on getting married next year and hope I’m in the country so I can organise a bachelor’s eve party. Yep, these sad folk really are my mates. On the other hand, my US mates don’t want me to go to Nigeria ‘cos they want a tour guide when they FINALLY get on that plane to the UK; my US-based Nigerian mates and family don’t really seem bothered what I do, so long as they get their UK candy and Premiership football jerseys. Sad, I know.

I’m relishing my trip to Nigeria ‘cos I haven’t spent a considerable amount of time there since October 1996 and I wanna see if I can hack it. Unlike other foreign-based Nigerians I know, I am not too bothered about the security situation. It’s the intermittent electricity supply I’m most worried about. Hopefully, this young padawan can be a force - geddit? – for good in resolving that problem. Wanna know who’s most happy that I’m returning to Nigeria? My dad. Seems he wants me close by so he can hook me up with his mates’ daughters. Ha huh ha huh Yeah, the dating scene in Nigeria should be pretty interesting too. B4 y’all come to nasty conclusions let me say that I ain’t setting out to mess with anyone’s heart…..especially since they can send ‘the boys’ round to gimme a thrashing. Why I think the dating scene’s gonna be interesting is that Nigerian chicks of my generation seem to wanna get hitched asap. I can’t tell u the number of Nigerian chicks who’ve gotten married just ‘cos all their mates are getting hitched or ‘cos of pressure from family. I know of a chick, good-looking chick at that, who moved back to Nigeria ‘cos “Nigerian guys in the US aren’t ready to settle down”. Can u believe that? Okay, maybe I don’t understand the pressures of being a young Nigerian woman today, but u must admit that moving countries ‘cos one wants a partner is pretty insane. There’s also this chick who I last saw in 1995, turns out she works with my brother and my brother tells me she’s been bugging him to find out exactly when I’m returning to Nigeria. See what I mean? Maybe I’d make my fortune setting up a dating agency in Nigeria. Hmmm, that’s not such a bad idea. If u guys know of any Nigerians who are looking for partners let me know so I can sign them up. I’ll be sure to throw some commission ur way.

While travelling I was selected for a random security check. Again. I didn’t feel too offended this time around ‘cos a few Caucasians were also put thru the random security check grill. Felt particularly bad for this 3 yr-old kid who, ‘cos his dad was being searched, was padded down and had to take his shoes off. A friggin’ 3 yr-old kid for goodness sake! Hey, if that’s what required in order to keep suicidal terrorists off airplanes then it’s all good.

Terrible catastrophe caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami and I’m quite amazed by the world’s generosity. Was talking to an African mate about it and he wasn’t impressed. He said: “my country’s been at war for over 18 years and the aid/attention we receive is pittance compared to what those affected by the tsunami have received. I’m sure some surfer kid in Cali wishes he could surf such a tidal wave”. I know it sounds cruel, but the guy may have a point. In responding to the recent flak about the US being stingy in regards to their relief aid contributions a NY Times columnist said in the absence of a major catastrophe the US are quite parsimonious folk. He juxtaposed the number of folk, especially kids, in poor countries who die annually from preventable diseases like malaria and the number of lives that were claimed by the recent tsunami. He provided data that showed that if a tiny percentage of the aid the US directed towards the tsunami relief fund were used to provide drugs or mosquito nets then millions more lives could be saved. It’s plain and simple. Look at Sudan for instance, it’s likely that the janjaweed are still oppressing folk, but when was the last time u heard about the Sudanese refugees. Wanna tell me that all refugees have returned to their homes? I think not. Moral of the story? If u live in a country that’s going through untold hardship (e.g. Sudan; Western Sahara, who’ve been exploited by Morocco for ages; Somalia, whose elected rulers live in exile ‘cos they fear for their lives; etc) get a TV camera crew to record the goings-on 24/7 and hire a PR firm to herald ur suffering until the world takes notice.

Okay, got to go now. Yeah, yeah b4 I leave y’all to ur mundane lives let me dabble in a bit of forecasting. Okay, okay it’s not exactly my proposal, but.....peep this: I shared a train carriage from Oxford to Slough with a US couple in November and as we started discussing the US election the guy said that he’s heard George Bush pere had always wanted Jeb Bush, currently governor of Florida, to be president. He then said he believes that a year into Dubya Bush’s second term Dick Cheney will resign for health reasons and Bush will install Jeb as his vice president. Thought this was an unlikely scenario until I saw a pic of Jeb and Colin Powell in SE Asia yesterday observing the damage from the tsunami. So come 2008, if Jeb Bush decides to run for the presidency of the US u can say u read it here first. If that happens I’m gonna search that guy out and ask him for his opinion on US stocks to buy. Ha huh ha huh Tot ziens and God bless.

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