It’s not that bad

No matter how broke you are, no matter how bad the weather, no matter how awful the caferteria food, no matter how insufferable the kids are being, no matter how naggy the wife, or how neglectful the husband, no matter how much of a financial black hole the car is turning out to be, no matter how hopeless the effort to revise your notes, no matter how permanent-and-not-looking-like-they-are-going-to-budge-an-inch those overloud radio speakers they installed in your office are and no matter how many times you find you have to retreat to the toilets with your notebook because that is the only place in the entire building where you can find the silence to think, no matter what your woes are, at least you don’t have this….

maimartha

                                                                                     …living in your mirror

Why you should learn to haarnk.

Laughter. Such a beautiful thing. I came in to the gulag today miserable and wretched—every effort to think positive was thwarted by the cold, harsh light of the reality that I was descending into a hell of excessive air-conditioning, where I was going to be tormented by of piped music for the next twelve hours. Damnation without relief.

Yes, there is piped music. They put loudspeakers in our office. And we cannot switch them off. While we are trying to make Ofwono Opondo and Wafula Oguttu’s articles look elegant on the page, Sean Paul and Enya are busy shrieking over our shoulders. And did I mention that the air conditioning is always too high? Hell, I tell you.

Anyway, laughter. I didn’t think I would ever see joy again. But I did, in the form of my Evil Twin  dropping by. I was so happy. I laughed to myself. I’ve been worried about you, kid.

Oh, I was speaking about, laughter. I lost my thought. It is hard to concentrate in this room. All this piped music. I mean, what is that comma doing there?

Some people laugh, I have observed in my career as a social critic, as a reaction to something funny. For example, they hear a joke, they read something my witty friend Minty  said, or something my hilarious cousin Ivan wrote, or they see a cartoon animal slip on a banana peel. This is acceptable.

But there are other people who laugh when nothing amusing has occurred at all. In the course of a conversation they just think to themselves, “This would be a good point to insert laughter.” However, they cannot think of anything amusing at that particular time. The only thing they can come up with is probably dull and trite. What do they do, therefore?

They cannot sms “joke” and send it to MTN smcard services, because that costs too much and there is no guarantee that you will get value for money. Better off smsing “porn”. I have heard that there is no such thing as disappointing porn. I wouldn’t know, of course, because I am an upright and moral angel.

I don’t even know what porn is. Leave me alone.

Sorry. Wandered off again. Damn speakers.

What these people do is say the dull thing anyway, then, to indicate that they want you to laugh at it, begin to chuckle themselves, prompting you to follow suit.  Here is an example.

(In the midst of a discussion about the fucking loudspeakers going on all day long)

Fellow: …And then the computers are wretchedly slow. The internet is useless. I wish the speakers could be afflicted with whatever is causing the computers to freeze. I wish the speakers could freeze.
Harold: The computers are also too slow!
Fellow: Crawling like sludge, slow to the point of immobile.
Harold: It seems they are not Y2k compliant. Hah hah hah!

Harold does not realise that it too late to crack that joke. Eight years too late. However, it could have been worse. He could have tried to be current and said the computers are not “ready for CHOGM.”

It is very hard to laugh at that. Even to be polite. Especially when you are stuck in a freezing office with the air-conditioning giving you prickly heat and the speakers have started to play %^&$% YANNI!!

But you don’t want to offend Harold. The poor guy is just trying to be friendly. And it isn’t right to meet somebody’s well-intended and good natured, if stale, attempt at humour with sneers and spit. Reserve the sneers and the saliva for Red Pepper and Ekanya, and as for Harold, make an effort. Be nice.

This is what I recommend: Tilt your head back, push your tongue to the roof of your mouth and go, “Haarnk, haarnk haarnk!” Repeat this three times. He will think you are laughing and probably be satisfied.

If not, he will be too shocked to ever try to tell you a joke again.

Good reading, good music. No need to thank me.

And now a round of introductions. Deejay, track number nine, Ragga Dee’s Osana Onyanjule. Wikid! Nalumansi!

First of all, we have walkonby, a delightful young lady with a lovely personality. I nominate her for daughter of the year.

Next we have teti at seam-less. It is an honour to be the one to bring her to your attention. Please send gifts of money to my inbox. That is the best way to thank me.

For Cavalier, has moved from blogspot to wineandthunder.blog.com. Which is experimental.

And in other news:

Tusker Project Fame is another one of those tv singing competitions where people vote in the winner. Like American Idol. (I have to explain it for DSTv subscribers. They are behind the times.)

The last one brought Uganda great embarrassment, you may recall with horror, in the forms of one “Tony Rodman” and one “Melton Cephas”, a couple of Rocko Artis who gibbered in fake accents all the way from their auditions to their evictions.

Since Idi Amin, we have been trying to rebuild the reputation of our great nation, and have made great strides through the avenue of Reality TV. We are the ones who gave the word Gaetano, are we not?

But in a couple of short months these two shot us right back to square one. The level of laughing stocks, pity cases, and not even Maureen Namatovu could redeem our image. Probably why she didn’t even try.

Project Fame wasn’t all rubbish, though. We had Paul Nyanzi, the only Ugandan contestant who wasn’t afraid to use his actual Ugandan name. He was a good singer, too. Is a good singer. I happen to know that he has been working as back-up singer for people such as the Iryn the Siryn, whose music I love with a deep and abiding love.

Another contestant from the old Project Fame was a Tanzanian woman named Nakaaya. Nakaaya was bald-headed. In the sense of lacking in hair, suffering a follicular dearth, bereft of braids, lacking in locks, and if I may get very desperate for a pun, I would say there was “nothing much about a ‘do”.

Which is the most desperate pun you will hear this quarter.

But she looked good with her chrome dome; quite sexy, actually. And she had the legs. Nice.

It is with a touch of shame that I admit this—I remembered her for her legs and had completely forgotten that she could sing. It wasn’t until juzi-juzi when I was trancing out in front of my EATV that I caught her new video.

I should get this bit out of the way first: Nakaaya features none other than “Emmey” or M1, from dead prez.

You know, dead prez. Dead prez, only one of the most important rap duos of the decade! What about. If you don’t know them, you need to stop listening to Hurricane Chris or whatever and start listening to some grown up music.

Now that we have established that, I can begin to gush.

I freaking love this song! . And I don’t use the word “freaking” lightly. The subject is brave, even though its treatment is somewhat basic, but the singing, oh, the singing. The way she twists and turns and curls over the melody, the way she flows down my ears and into my soul, my very soul, makes me raise my hands to the sky and say thank you, Nakaaya!

Right now I am loving this song  almost as much as Nkuwechi.

(Update. I realised too late that the link to the song was wrong. My bad. I have corrected it now. Just in case if fucked up again, it is http://www.myspace.com/nakaaya

Looking back on an illustrious career as a lying hack II

WordPress has taken to acting like  blogspot of late. I couldn’t even put up my weekend post, which was very insightful, penetrating, informative, inspirational, stimulating, thought-provoking, revealing and intellectual even.

I am in a webcafe right now. That wonderful post is in the office.

This is what I have got for you here. Another article I found in that box when I was looking for my NSSF card.

Let me give it a decent intro:

Our reporter attended the the Munyonyo goat races and filed this report:

There was supposed to be a race going on around here, but none of the goats seemed aware of this. Speke Resort Munyonyo was hosting the Royal Ascot Goat Races 2000, Uganda’s little version of the horse races which take place in Britain. Only down here a lack of thoroughbred steeds forces fans make do with these silly beasts.

The goats were draped in little jerseys with numbers on them and given fanciful names. In what I surmise is the tradition of the real horse races, these names were listed alongside those of the goat’s parents. The name of the father (or “sire”) is prefixed with the preposition “by” and the mother’s (or “dam’s”) by “out of”. As in “Kay” out of “Manchester” by “Birdlike”. Some of them were very frivolous and witty: such as “We Have Run” out of “Beer”, by “Mistake”. And “Chronic Bronchitis” out of “Breath” by “Smoking”. The goats had no idea what was expected of them.

Befuddled, and clueless, they trotted dizzily round the course, absolutely ignorant of the fact that one of them was supposed to move faster than the others. In one race only one goat seemed to have a clear agenda in mind. Throughout the fifth race, he kept trying to mount his competitors.

But as names such as “Flatulence” (out of “David’s Bottom” by “Caroline’s Cooking”) would indicate, it’s not a deathly serious affair and while the goats run around in circles, both literally and metaphorically, thick crowds of people milled around the various hospitality tents put up by different corporations gulping down beer, chomping salads, and yes, crunching on the grilled joints of the racers’s brethren.

The Revenge Of Gandalf

Stewie Griffin  here has taken to referring to me as Gandalf the Grey. Could this be because of the single white strand in my goatee? The one which looks very distinguished?

Or is it because of my posture, my gait, the general demeanour of grace and gravitas with which I move, the one that makes everyone think to themselves: “If I were a hobbit, I would definitely be asking that dude to help me find rings.”?

Or is it because of the expert way I just handled the tricky punctuation problem that last sentence/question combination posed, with such cunning skill that the bewildered layman would look on (as you are even know looking on) and say (as you are even now doubtless saying), “This is wizardry!”

No, it is none of the above. It turns out that this nickname is used, not as a compliment, but as a jibe. He taunts me. It is, as the young people say, a “shell”.

Mbu shelling me for being a venerable and distinguished gentleman. That is like shelling Jordan for over-throwing the ball into the hoop.

For the benefit of the youngins: Jordan is this guy who was like the Kobe Bryant of the old days. Only better.

Meanwhile, greetings from Kyaliwajala

funnily advertised rolex stand

The Weekend of Three Posts. I: Should Sin Be Illegal?

You know what is embarrassing about our religious leaders? Their lack of conviction.
Religiong leaders are so shy, so timid, so coy about their beliefs. They have no conviction.

This is bad enough in itself, without it being compounded with such deceit. Such flagrant, unabashed, desperate deceit. And because they are lying so courageously, we not only fail to notice that they are lying, we forget that they are actually lying out of cowardice.

First it was the whole gay thing. That was a doozie. Lacking the balls to just come up and say “We oppose this thing because God forbids it” they had to fumble around fabricating shameless fictions about so-called gay recruitment drives infiltrating schools to convert heterosexual children, so that they could claim there was someone they wanted to protect.

Now they are lying again. Over the issue of dirty pictures.

Vision says that my friend Nsaba Buturo is working on ammending the law on pornography to make it tighter.

The most popular sites that Internet users prefer (says Vision) are sports websites most especially those of European football clubs, dating sites, penpals, lotteries, visas, employment opportunities and those that are pornographic.

Of all these uses, surfing the Internet for pornography is considered the most dangerous in Uganda. First, consuming pornography is illegal. Second, pornography has been linked to many violent sexual crimes.

Laba ono. Because he lacked the guts to just come out and say: “I believe that no one should watch porn because porn is sinful,” he trots out this turd.

Note that the writer didn’t say, “According to a study by Dr John Smith in 1998, men who consumed pornography were 70 % more likely to commit rape than men who didn’t.”

No. The writer didn’t say that because he has never seen any such study.

Research seeking to find a link between porn and violent sexual behaviour consistently fail to do so. I remember this from media school. Yeah. I paid attention. I remember that they are still trying but they still haven’t found any.

Now, I am not ranting in defense of my porn. I am not worried about naughty pictures being illegal. The law has never managed to stop them – if you want them, you will find them no matter what the law says. But my own tastes in the matter regardless, it remains true that porn is bad manners. Porn is tasteless and crass and vulgar. And, yes, it is true that porn is immoral. Porn is sinful.

Let them not lie to us. Tell us the truth so we can carry this argument on the way we should. The real issue here is: Should sin be illegal?

Should sin be illegal?