Ahem: I’ll Get A Title Later


What I am about to tell you may shake your confidence to the very core. It may leave your faith in shatters. It may destroy your belief in everything you thought you knew. But the truth must be told.

This media, this press that you trust so much? It isn’t as well-informed as you imagine. For example, most of the people in my office have never watched the Matrix.



The Matrix, as everyone in the enlightened world knows, is the trilogy of movies that started in 1999 and, by blending elements of eastern philosophy with religious allegory and flying men who know Kung Fu, became one of the most-quoted films ever since.


Now, we all know that there is scant social capital to be gained from quoting Shakespeare these days. All of us who have tried know the look of utter bewilderment bordering on suspicion and mixed in with a dash of pity that meets you when you try anything more ambitious than “What’s in a name, a rose by any other  name would smell as sweet.”

 The last time I tried to introduce a line from Macbeth they looked at me as if I was insulting them.


So, should one try to be more contemporary? You think that will work? If so, here’s an exercise. Try to utter the phrase (as my friend recently did) “That is what Hanna Arendt refers to as ‘the banality of evil.’ ” And see if it doesn’t stop the conversation more effectively than a traffic accident.

 The fact is that in this day and age, movies are all we have left. Books are old hat, and if you can get away with refering to Hanna Arendt, so are you, and all your friends. These days the cool kids quote movies. Or at the very least episodes of Family Guy, House, and How I Met Your Mother.

And the Bible. The Bible is timeless.



You need to be able to quote great works of art in everyday conversation. By alluding to a greater exploration of a large idea—which is what any work of art is—you are able to, in one phrase, condense a world of meaning into a capsule of sense that you can use to strengthen an argument, illustrate a point, colour a statement, or even just, and this is the best part, impress others.

I mean, where would we be if every time we had to refer to the damage wrought upon African cultures by the rampaging colonialists we would need to actually refer to the damage wrought upon African cultures by the rampaging colonialists? Aren’t we better of smiling wanly and sighing, “We are No Longer at Ease,” and then shaking our heads?


But it only works if the person you are talking to also consumed said work of art. Otherwise you might as well be like Cicero.

 At this point  you will be asking me, “But Mr Bazanye…”

 What for it…

 “What is the Matrix?”

 You see my point? My workmates won’t get that that is a punchline.





Of course I am going to tell you where the awesome pictures are from.   www.deviantart.com. Go and join. It’s excellent!


  1. i am …
    wait for it…
    wait for it…
    wait for it…
    wait for it…
    it only sounds funny tho when Barney from HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER SAYS IT.
    Ernie Bazzy… did you know that one?

  2. @petesmama – haha.

    My favorite Hannah Arendt quote:
    “In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.”

  3. @Tumwi-I’m making that my favourite line too. For the next many days, I’ll tell it to all and sundry.
    Baz,a good morrow to you, me can’t quote movies but I can quote Shakespeare so woe unto me.

  4. Pray thou doth fain obligest me; whither the intrepid being to impart upon thine truly knowledge of the identity of this fair maiden, Sarah Whatshernameagain?

  5. sadly this is all true. those who quoteth phrases and passages from those things made from trees and printed in extracts of coal [and the Matrix] shall be looked at most suspiciously, not for the content or weight of the phrase or whatever, but from a point of misunderstandation. *some of the above words may or may not have been “manufactured” on the spur of the moment*

  6. Baz, love the post but here is where i think you would been truly Ugandan: “Aren’t we better of smiling wanly and sighing, “We are No Longer at Ease,” and then shaking our heads?”

    If you’d said :”Aren’t we better off smiling wanly and sighing, “Things Fell Apart,” and then shaking our heads as we look off into the distance, Ugandan style?

    But still a brilliant post.

  7. but House is so much more fun to quote!
    “You are a wuss. Part wimp, part puss” (House to Wislon)

    It is not Arendt, but it is “funny as hell!!” (Mabel Simmons to no one in particular).


  8. True true…
    It all depends on exposure.
    LOL @ all of y’all tryin to prove how hip and cool u all are by quoting series and shakesphere!
    we all have some ‘mallow’ in us all…(is that how u spell it?)

    “what for it…” LoL, Yoda??

  9. Not everything from books or Lit is old fashioned. Poets, esp neo-Whitman would come off as chic and classy; Dickinson, Moore, Eliot. Even before, like Shelley, or Rossetti. Zib is that no one would know where its coming from, so one would have to revert to a movie you’ll find on every campuser’s P.C; How I met your mother.
    Or that favourite of twelve year olds; The Matrix.
    ‘No longer at ease’ is too common, and I don’t take what you said about Shakespeare. Pull out a phrase from ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ and tell me who won’t swoon. Simply put, The Bard is timeless.
    Flicks are common, and shallow. Poetry is class. Russell, Vannevar Bush, Aldous Huxley–heaven.
    Nice post, though I disagree with most of it.

  10. You had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in their grace, Raymond? Does it better suit your blood to be disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob love of any? In this, though it cannot be said that you are a flattering honest man, let it not be denied that you are a plain dealing villain. You may be trusted with a muzzle, enfranchised with a clog, but we should let you be what you are and seek not to alter you.
    Incidentally, I learnt that speech from the movie.

  11. “This affair is giving my ulcer a panic attack.”Kevin Walker. Brothers and Sisters

    …yes!all cool kids are quoting movies and televison series!…and i am so pulling that Hannah arendt move!

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