Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Strong will survive

I've always love Etana.  Music very uplifting, positive lyrics. Music to live by.  Earthy.

If you're feeling down, overwhelmed, tings na good100%, then this one is for you.

bless up

Monday, 13 November 2017

Sweet Cameroon

[ghostface killah's One plays in the background] "A-yo, the Devil planted fear inside the black babies"

Cameroon, beautiful Cameroon.  The ongoing fractious Anglophone/Francophone divide would be very laughable if it wasn't for the pure chaos and destruction it has wrought.  Cameroon, Rio dos Camarões, Africa in miniature. What have the English and French European Colonists and their mother tongues done to you Dear Mother? Why are you so divided by foreign cultures and religions?

Do you remember how beautiful you are?

This is Africa

Thursday, 9 November 2017

The 08:12 Train to London Charing Cross


Ride till the wheels fall off. Yeah, me old bicycle's kinda brock at the moment so I find myself on the train. Man I love that bicycle, it has served me well.  I've not been on a morning rush hour train in a super long time. People squashed up against each other, people have potted arguments about opening the window ("it's cold mate! shut it!"). Still kinda eerie how a packed train can be so quiet. Did get a super bright smile from a lady stood by the door. There's hope.

I'm at odds at home. My wife wants to do this Christian marriage blessing thing, I don't want anything to do with the Roman Catholic Church.  Thank Allah my mother hasn't got wind of this (being a deacon in the local parish and all). Maybe its a female thing, seeking God as age advances.  My wife wasn't even raised in a Catholic family.  I have no issue with religious beliefs and such but I'm convinced in my heart that God is not without but within.  I don't subscribe to any religion and their many ceremonies. I would do it if I just had to attend. Nope. There all these vows and ish and I'll be eff'd if I have to make any of them. It would be hypocritical anyway. Convictions of the heart and for once I'm going to listen to myself

***

To Tithe or not to Tithe.


When you see these Mega Churches and their celebrity Pastors, jetting the globe in private jets, top of the range cars, luxuries etc, you know whose pockets it all comes from.  Poor mothers, working men, beggars,  politicians, desperate people, all begging God for one mercy or the other, living purely on hope (and proceeds of corruption in the case of the Politicians).  Monthly tithes paid to these self appointed men of the cloth.  But fair enough, maybe there is a Biblical basis for it.  Or is there?  Watch the video below,  Daddy Freeze, popular Nigerian radio personality doesn't think so, calls these thieves out.  There's a mug born every day





Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Chilled With The Still

Does anyone remember that advert from the 90s? Had that tag line Chilled With The Still. Can't remember if it was a drink or mobile phone ad. Oasis drink?

DJ Complexion dropped The Future Beats Show #160.  fiyah! super chilled Trap soul and Ambient beats.  Just love the way he weaves in rnb and hip hop refixes into the mix.  So gotta attend one of his London raves before I exit terra firma.

If I was still into make ze babies ...

Five Guys Named Moe @The Funky Butt Club



Nothing beats Theatre on a rainy Tuesday London night, especially the musical kind.  Five Guys Named Moe @The Marble Arch Theatre was fantastic! Took my very reluctant sons to see it and by the interval they were up dancing as part of the Conga Line.


Nice way to break up a dull week.  The music, from the Louis Jordan collection, was all soul, very upbeat rhythm and blues and swing.  And a very dope touch of Calypso!


The dancing was top notch, the audience implored to participate at every turn.  I'm gonna cop me some CDs and get back into the classics.   


Set in New Orleans and loosely fashioned around the redemption of a wayward drunken guy, it is a feelgood morality story.  Mess around on the drink and you'll lose your woman. 

A must see for the family, very educational and bloody good fun!

  

Savage Podcasts (18+ Audio)

Oh dear! I get on one and I can't stop lol.  

fug it.  let's talk about sex.  Or rather listen to others talk about it.  I've been listening to season 6 of The Savage Life podcasts by Raquel Savage and her guests from across the Adult Entertainment industry for a minute.  Raquel Savage is a popular Sex Therapist / Entertainer and has been active on social media for a minute.  As raw as it gets.  Part curiosity, insight, and bloody good information.

Heard of a Pay Pig? Neither have I :~)

Never used to be big on podcasts but have found them great company.  With these ladies there is never a dull moment



Hosted by 2KLIFE Network these girls unapologetically kill it.  I don't judge and will listen to any and every.  For what is essentially a sex podcast you get some very good social and political insights (women's rights etc).  You're also reminded at the end of the day these women are everyday people, trying to earn a living

Enjoy

Oh yeah forgot, a Pay Pig ...

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pay_pig

What a ting! Findom Fetish.  Now I've heard it all



Monday, 6 November 2017

First Dog on the Moon... One day the Poor will eat the Rich

The Paradise Papers.. According to First Dog on the Moon


Cue weeks of outrage, revelations and promises to change things and then everything will continue as before.  Amen

Sunday, 5 November 2017

To sex or not to sex

Sex is not always about intimacy. Sometimes all you want is a nut (no, my right hand is not my best friend).  Don't know the difference between the sexes but (me thinks) men can do the do and keep it moving. As always, I generalize. Had a friend call, ranting how his wife is not giving up the tings. Join the club. Didn't feel like getting into the discussion, his wife a good friend too, conflicted (plus two sides to the story and all). ok, so what, like how long this been going on? 6 months. What?! Come again? she's tired, the kids, work, don't feel like it, blah. I could hear the deep resentment in his voice. I'd sat up at this point. 1 or 2 weeks without sex, yeah I can live with that, 3 weeks at a push. but 6 months? Struggled to comprehend the time period.  Still, it's not unusual, I know of/read about women in their 40s 50s who have gone off sex, lack of interest, maybe fallen out of love with their mate, hormones, circumstances.  I've experienced it too. Asked my boy which one he thought it was, he couldn't say.


Discussions of sex (especially lack of) between couples can be very difficult. We play a role in relationships, the caterer, the nurturer, the kids, homework, bills, the many responsibilities. It's very easy for the spice of the union to be supplanted by the functional.  You play your part for the greater good of the family.  A discussion of what toy or lifestyle change can spice up the sex life inappropriate when the kids are piled in the middle of the bed. The longer it goes unsaid the harder it becomes to revisit simpler times. Sex on 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. Nothing is spontaneous anymore. The lack of and affordability of babysitting means time alone together is a luxury. Nights out few and very between. So sex becomes the furtive something you take when you can get it.  Which is not a bad thing in my opinion. But this might work for the dude, not the woman.  perhaps she needs a more intimate setting to seek her nut. She might not be feeling the odd quick shag but son is tired of spanking the monkey.

:-) oh! the joys of modern living

We brain on it some more, throw in some radical ideas (no, best you don't know what), I try to ease dude's mind (you'll never walk alone). No easy advice other than the kids will grow and you two will get you own time again. He asks what if it's too late by then.
Its never too late. If you remember why you two came together in the first place then you can salvage the relationship. Reignite the spark.

I'm the eternal optimist

Sunday football and expectations

Sunday morning 9.15, football with the boys. Too early. Luckily I wasn't out too late with my sister (happy b'day sis!). #StillMashup. As we drove to the grounds we listened to an interview on the radio, Premier league football chairman, some stuff about the dearth of black management. I've blogged about this a few times. My boys were full of questions and it broke my heart they had to listen to it, but a dose of reality and all that. Growing up in Nigeria I never had to deal with discussions about the colour. You were Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, from Ghana, Jamaican (yes we had an association of Caribbean women married to Nigerians, kid you not), etc. No one was black, can't remember anyone referred to in terms of the colour of their skin, at least not in a discriminatory fashion. I still feel ill equipped when I talk about race.  It wasn't my every day

When I first came to the UK I refused to accept the discrimination, battling any and every, my mindset completely hard and determined. Going back to Nigeria wasn't an option (couldn't afford the return ticket). I came through where others folded. No fucks given. But its different if this society is all one knows. The kids grow up together, black, brown, white and yellow, play footie together, school together, naive-ish to the realities of society, shielded some what (rightly so, some shit kids don't have to deal with). They believe merit is gained from hard work, the playing field equal, you get what you deserve. Then the criminal profiling starts.  Cognitive dissonance in the face of reality. "I am British! This is my country! This can't be happening!". But the stats are damning, in black and white, triplicate paper, hard copy.  If you haven't read the Lammy report do so.

This is all heavy mental but when you have boys 14+, radio programs discussing race, the excuses as nonsensical as ever, you have to switch up the conversation. I reminded my son he is of very hardy stock, that we don't fold easily and don't make excuses. No mamby pamby excuses. You don't like something you fight against it, change it, don't be afraid. My people say "the fear of death is never a reason not to fight".  We work very hard and contribute, we more than deserve our place at society's table.

I hope this was insightful and inspiring. Tell me what you think

ps: his team won 7 - 1. Next Sunday we coming!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Suicide Notes / Netflix and Rage!


What to do when faced with information that a close relative attempted suicide?  It's the kind of thing you say can't happen in the family, how we are built much stronger than that.  But then again I said the same thing about depression and was for a long time in denial that it affects anyone close to me.  I watched family and friends drop by the wayside, slow car crash, electing to believe they'll "get over it".  I'm in denial again and perhaps observations I made in the past I chose to ignore, pay no mind to.

"Teenage hormones"
"The acting out will pass with age"
"It's a middle class thing, rich white kids problems"

Anything but confront the obvious tell tale signs.  There's no right way per se to bring up kids, but that liberal "let them get on with it" laissez faire approach is definitely not the right one.  You can't let a young man or lady deal with adult things and must step in at the first sign.  I'm old school minded with these things.  My youths must not deal with anything above their pay grade till they are adults.  So I'm not critical with people who are easy with their kids but there is a line.  But sometimes you project your values on others, believe they are this way minded too, refuse to see they are going about it the wrong way (turn a blind eye?).  So when their youth get rushed to hospital from a botched suicide attempt you pause and think about it.  Maybe, just maybe I should have said something when I observed the youth going off the rails, dealing with shit kids are not supposed to, perhaps tell the Dad and Mum off for being too liberal with their youth.

This time I'll say what needs to be said, don't care what they think.  Sometimes you have to talk to people like children for them to get it.  If you don't protect your youth they will die from stupid drug overdoses.  And no, giving them whatever they want is not the answer

***

On a lighter note.  Been bingeing on Netflix for two nights straight, going bed at 4am, waking up completely mash up.

Luke Cage season 1. Braaaap! Braaaap! Boooom!


The script, acting, the characters, the soundtrack, the fucking swag, off the hook!  Not watched anything so compelling in a very long while.  OK, I lie, Mr. Robot on Amazon prime was crazy, crazy.  But man, backdropped against Harlem, African American cultural symbolism, hope and a fucking badass super hero.. Takes some beating.  Oh and the villains are on some other next level.  Not your James Bond Bluefeld types, but real people with real stories, bad guys you sympathise with.

Did I already say the soundtrack is off the hook too?



I used to read Power Man (Luke Cage) and Iron Fist during my youth.  Between him, Black Panther and Blade, I used to be very fascinated with Black Superhero figures, larger than life, counter narrative to the popular media's take on Black Masculinity.  These dudes kicked ass

This is must see TV.  On to Dare Devil, Iron Fist and Marvel Defenders.  Yes all linked to Luke Cage.  Great Job Netflix!



https://m-a-d-luvs-comics.tumblr.com/post/157144422435


***

Take care of your loved ones

1

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Biafra and news by way of damages

"The Sun rises in the East"

been paying a lot more attention to Nigerian news since the IPOB (Indigenous People Of Biafra) agitations and the heavy handed approach by the Nigerian military.  Like Catalonia and Kurdistan I firmly believe a people have the right to self determination, I condemn heavy handed police/military political intervention.  I'm Igbo myself and have never felt any kinship with Nigeria as a country, a country dreamt up by the British for colonial gains.  I personally believe we should start afresh

***

Become a very big fan of Sahara TV's Dr. Damages.  Funny guy and adds a comedic touch/commentary to International and Nigerian news and current affairs.  With his beautiful assistant, Tomato Jos, they make the news interesting.  check it out and see what you think

Monday, 9 October 2017

Weekend tings b/w Conundrums and missing kids

One of those weekends. Raving on a Friday night crawling in Saturday morning at 6 am, all day Saturday visiting a friend over from the US, to waking up 6 am Sunday morning to restart a data center server.  The old trooper could just about handle the lack of good sleep.

Thought I'd catch up last night but spent most of it having the most bizarre dream ever featuring Pythons swallowing seals, ghosts, all types of madness. Woke up at 2am to the barking of a fox barking.  I kid you not, don't think I even knew what sounds foxes make.  I cracked the blinds to watch the fox do this chihuahua-ish type bark at some unknown something.  Bet it was the duppy that was troubling my dreams, chased the damn thing away.  Good fox.

Oh, forgot to mention the rave.  Commander B @Foster Bar, Gillingham Kent, wikid set!  Drive and a half though I tell you, 1 hour and a bit.  Didn't know what to make of the place to start with, full up of white people, lots of women, not the usual crowd I see at a Reggae rave.  But they were hip to the conscious vibes, singing along and all.  Around 12.30/1am the brethrens started to pile in, African and Caribbean dudes, suited and booted.  Didn't take long for the whine it up business to gwan. Smile crept over my mug. hmm, where black guys come fi look 'pon white women or vice versa?  Still it was a lovely vibe and everyone was on the dance floor bustin' move.  Worth the visit still.

Conundrum time.  Dude used to be Roman Catholic Christian, stopped believing Jesus is his saviour and all that religious dogma.  His wife's still into it all but was raised Protestant, now wants to convert to RC and start receiving Holy Communion.  Priest says before that can happen (or as an alternative to Wife doing 6 months of catechism classes) the couple can come for a Blessing.  The Blessing is a RC alternative-ish thingy to a Church wedding, open to couples who were Registry married.  So Wife wants to do this, Dude says it compromises his new atheist-ish integrity and resolve to give organised religion a miss.  But she's insisting he chill out for this one time event.  But what if it involves saying Christian vows affirming Christ and all that?  Would it be an issue if Dude refuses to respond to such requests?  Does he pretend to get through the occassion?

Conundrum

***

It is said to hear about a young teenager missing, especially one you know personally, a good kid.  Please pray for the safe return of Rhys Campbell, from Catford/Lewisham area, who has been missing since Friday the 29th September




Truth be told we really need to look after the youth much much better, too many dago mentality characters out there, from drug "shotters" that use this kids to do drops to paedophiles and other evil people.  can't be slacking, their future depends on this protection



1

Friday, 6 October 2017

Since you've been gone

been a minute I've visited/contributed to blogosphere. mixture of tiredness, writtens block, social media distraction, etc. the usual excuses.  oh, and the crazy state of the world. is it me or is the world going to pots? or undergoing some sort of astrological transformation? Are we in the Age of Aquarius?

Hurricanes and extreme weather events, citizens clamouring for self-determination and independence, citizens killing citizens on Facebook Live, Boko Haram, Brexit, the Chinese Silk Road ™, AI.  And Donald Trump


No, not about to get into it, I honestly don't know enough.  Been watching YouTube a lot these days, from my favs ArsenalFanTV and my staples blackmagik363.  Still watch the odd TV programme but can't be asked browsing and all.  Watch what I want when I want.  And Red Pill never fails to impress with his take on stuff 


***

Yay! Friday.  

Going to a Reggae Rave later on, Reggae by the River, hosted by Commander B.  Been a while I done some of that, dress up nice, whine it up and all.  Not checked out the mix tapes of late so will be good to see what's popping on the scene these days.  So what's man listening to these days? Still on the chill trap/ambient tip, seems to be what I listen to a lot these days.  This track is really nice


Have a great weekend and be good. And if you gonna be naughty, at least be safe (I talk so much shit)

1

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Biology Is Technology

Oshiorenoya Agabi, Neurotechnology Entrepreneur.  Nigerian born, silicon valley engineer.

Listened with interest when I heard him on BBC World service breakfast news report.  His startup powers research in the area of fusing bio cells onto computational hardware. I can't say I've heard of his field. but ...



Think Cyborg.  yup, you right

***

Saw the movie 1984 again last night.  Cognitive Dissonance at its finest. Talking about Cognitive Dissonance ...



Monday, 21 August 2017

You Loooooook So Good Fantastic Man!

My son called me while I was out last night.  "Dad! Dad! Your song's on the new iPhone 7 advert!". Huh? My song? "Which song?"


William Onyeabor! R.I.P, still going.  Big up to Luaka Bop for making this 70s Legend famous again.  "Fantastic Man" is such a great song, crazy synths, super funky, was always playing on the radio back in my childhood days.  

http://ukpuru.tumblr.com/post/158683108607/enigma-and-mystery-are-phrases-that-tend-to

If you buy one record this year ...

***

Legends man.  BBC World Service announced Mr. Dick Gregory passed away a few days ago, very sad news.  Dick Gregory was a great Civil Rights activist and a very funny comedian.  And a rago conspiracy theorist to boot.  Claim to fame is he ran for US President in 1968, inspired John Lennon to write "Imagine".  Didn't know of him till recently, lots of videos on YouTube, outrageous/outlandish comments, lots of wit and all round cool guy who cared very much for his African American community.


Friday, 18 August 2017

TGIF! Future Beats from Andromeda

tgif beautiful people! hope you have a relaxing weekend coming up, full of fun or straight up chillaxin' and feet up.  Whatever you doing have a nice one


***

DJ Complexion on soundcloud.com has become my go-to guy for chilled out futuristic beats.  From trapped out soul to Lo-Fi hip hop to electronic Ambient goodness, it's complete chill.  Playing out of London, dude has been dropping podcasts shows on soundcloud.com for four years, 154 2-hours long shows deep.



What I love about Complexion is his vocal interludes and engagement with subscribers, his super positive outlook to life.  When I feel down his podcasts are my fix

DJ Complexion

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Reunion b/w Jacket b/w Wyclef Jean

Goosebumps! A secondary school days friend of mine started a WhatsApp reunion group.  25 heads deep, and it's been pure joy for the last few days.  Lots of those guys I haven't spoken too in over 30 years!  Someone reminded me they sent me a BBM request some years back? ey? BBM? Whats that?


But jest aside, it's been a trip down memory lane.  We attended a particularly tough Catholic boarding school back in Nigeria, infamous for it's super strict discipline, corporal punishment and all.  Why my Dad sent me there I will never know.  I was troublesome a child, probably thought they'd straighten me out or something.  It was no joke a school but we breezed the five years, came out the other side alive.  Old school pictures posted up, some guys posting current pictures of themselves, family etc.  Was amazing seeing all these guys, how some had changed in appearance, some still the same.  People really don't change much. The argumentative guys still the same, the cheekiness, the jokers still cracking everyone up.  Sadly a few of our old heads had passed (R.I.P).  We reminisced about the good times and the bad.  Hopefully next year we'll all meet up back in Nigeria and break bread.  It's been a very long time

***

Had a really good chuckle with a girlfriend of mine last night

"whats up?"
"bare jokes! can you imagine! just been told some guy is claiming to be my father"
"what?!@*"
"I know!"
"And?"
"I don't know, too much to take in"
"Have you asked your mother?"
"No!"
"Jacket tings boy! drama"

We could help but burst out laughing though it's not a laughing matter.  Nuff people walking around, calling dudes their father when they could be anything but.  Only the mother knows.  We await further information

A few years back a friend of mine found out his 10 year old son wasn't his.  Left him really bitter as he had been separated from the mother who had been giving him pure hell.  Denied visits, child support court cases, the lot.  As usual these things come to light in the strangest ways.  One a rare sleep over young son was sick and my boy rushed him to hospital. Well, you know the rest.  After a few major blow ups with the mother they've been reunited again.  My dude sees the boy as his son regardless, did the right thing.  You can't magic away 10 years.  Bless

***

Wyclef Jean! Talented, dare I say underrated? Debatable when you've sold millions of albums.  Really loved his first solo album "The Carnival".  This is apparently off Carnival 3


Below is an interesting interview he had with the Drink Champs crew.  An unreconstructed rowdy lot, un-PC, smoke and drink, but if you persist with the video there are lots of gems


Monday, 14 August 2017

Great Britain's 4x100m women's relay team

Gat-diggidy-damn!!! 

Great Britain's 4x100m women's relay team Daryll Neita, Dina Asher-Smith, Desiree Henry and Asha Philip





The BBC studio couch was popping with crazy crazy chocolate as these gals were interviewed. I was dumb mesmerized just watching the ladies talk.  

*fans himself, calls up the local Imam for conversion classes*


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Selective vs. Universal Basic Income (UBI)


Or Unconditional Basic Income.  In my last post I mentioned the Y Combinator mooting the idea of benefits for all, a living wage of sorts.  I thought that's all it was, a mooted idea.  But appears these guys ain't playing.  YouTube is awash with debates on the issue.  The weird bit is the proponents say this is something that should be paid to everybody - rich and poor. huh? something about removal of class structures. yeah?

Switzerland in 2016 put the idea to vote in a referendum.



Not to be confused with means tested social security (like we have in the UK):
selective versus universal benefits. selective versus universal benefits A major dispute concerning the organization of welfare regimes, addressing the issue of whether welfare should be delivered selectively to those in need, or universally as claims that individuals make of each other as members of a community - http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/selective-versus-universal-benefits
I must admit my alarm at the CEO's statement was the elitist tone of it.  I also have no clue what's in place these day in the world of Social Benefits payments.  You don't have to work, we'll automate and AI everything and you can just sit and home and do whatever it is you poor-ish people do.  So it appears the idea has been around (with the differing agendas), though I can't decide in my little head if it's fundamentally a Left-leaning or some sort of Neo-Liberal construct/idea. You know these things better, please enlighten me.



"it should come as a warning sign when the richest men in the room are advocating UBI"

I'm with BadMouse's video above, all good but ultimately not in our interest.  One of the few videos that really critiques this "great idea".

I know one thing.  I'd rather work for my living, whether it be low end sweeping the streets of Catford or high end programming Artificial Intelligent machine (which will of course take my job, make me redundant - quick, someone, publish the kill switch codes!).  I want some control on my life.  Yeah, more leisure time to learn how to play a fucking piano or hand glide.  Yes utopia.  But I'm not ready to give up the one bargaining chip I have left in my interactions with the machine.


***

I've been on Darker Than Wax crew for a minute.  Top quality mixes from Soul, Funk, R&B to experimental Trap music and Afrobeats. Those boys don't sleep

Monday, 7 August 2017

Since You Been Gone

May since my last (non-)post? Has it really been that long?  I guess the old cliche "Time flies when you grinding hard" ain't so cliched.  So what's gwan? Many tings though I'd say life as usual.  Anything but (I'll leave out the sordid details)

Still slaving for the machine, reading the Guardian, tumblr (not so much these days), soundclouding (ain't that supposed to shut down soon?), watching Red Pill and Blue Pill on Brother Rich's Youtube channel ("Red and Blue Purple like Prince! Red and Blue Purple like Prince!").  The song annoys the wife, the kids love it.  Hip Hop heads unite!



My middle son's become the nightmare to the other two, straight up causing mayhem around the house. Cracks me up that one, I remember being as naughty (yes, I'm the middle one of the siblings), so bad I had to go to school in a separate car, my dad that exasperated with my antics (and tired of beating my ass).  Like his daddy little dude can be a delight to chit chat with.  Whip smart (yup, we do intelligence), watches the news, very attentive.  Till he decides he's had enough and puts lego pieces down his elder brother's back or snatches baby brother's pac-man toy.  I do the faux-telling-off parenty bit ("You little shit! Go to your room! Now!"), but inside I'm laughing my head off.

Did a UK holiday (Margate) for the first time.  Brock pockit, Brexit, alladat, means no more expensive holidays to foreign lands.  Buy British! Must say, I quite enjoyed it, beach on sunny days (if 19 - 21° C counts :-), visits to Dover, Canterbury on the rainy-ish days.  White Cliffs of Dover was popping! visited the famous light-house.  Place has a wikid tea room, full up of all types of cakes and Chinese kids on some cultural exchange ting.  Yeah, could have really done with a visit to Ghana/Gambia/Egypt/Nigeria but affording holidays for a family of five is beyond my pay grade.  Can't wait for those sprogs to grow and leave the yard so I can get back to my type of holidays.

God Bless the children

***

What really goes on in Silicon Valley? The billionaire venture capitalists and Tech startups pride themselves on innovation, disruptors as they call themselves.  But at what price? This cloaking in warm and fuzzy terms like "Social Media" means we sometimes fail to see what they really represent, ask the right questions.  Cold hard cash by another name



Watched this really great documentary, Secrets Of Silicon Valley, on BBC iPlayer.  The presenter explores what disruption really means beyond the confines of the bubble that is the valley.  Uber in India, Airbnb in Barcelona, driver-less trucks in the US that will put thousands of truck drivers out of work, AI advances in medical diagnosis.  The social implications (negative and positive) and the hard questions that tends to get overlooked in this march to Technology Utopia. Really fascinating documentary.

Puts things in perspective.  The Tech giants are starting to outgrow political control (in the US at least), doing stuff that leaves little room for debate on the pros and cons.  In most cases these technological advances are not properly understood by those empowered to legislate.

The arrogance of these young startups is astounding and worrying. The presenter interviewed this dude who heads up Y Combinator, a startup that nurtures and greenlights other tech startups.  The founder and head is this young 32 year old guy, regulation jeans and tshirt.  He barely entertained the presenter's questions on disruption, visibly irritated by questions that touched on the social implications, completely dismissive.  The questions turned around to his "innovative" idea that in the future the 1% might consider paying a "living wage" to the Great Unwashed who will lose their menial jobs to AIs and advances in Automation. Some kind of Benefits 2.0.  The presenter was aghast at his lack of irony.  Like you see nothing odd in this outcome?  What? people just sit at home on the "dole", ambition discouraged?  The Master of the Universe got even more irritated.

For someone whose company is valued at $80 billion dollars he expressed zero empathy.  Not the sort of guy you want determining your future.  Is what happens when Tech positions itself as a force for Social Change.  These dudes are as cold as the servers that run their software platforms.  

Watched another video that might explain the super focussed, deadpan, disconnected attitude.  Microdosing LSD Productivity Hack ey?  Interesting ...


I have no words

Friday, 5 May 2017

Chris Brown Friday!

^^ :)) the title makes sense later

The Italians, a confusing bunch, can be very warm and welcoming.

When I worked in Rome I had no shortage of work colleagues taking me back to their homes for dinner, meet the family, etc. To date I still don't think I've ever visited any of my London work colleagues at home (who are not Nigerian or Caribbean).  Did go to Andrej's daughter's birthday, but he's from Ukraine.  I'll lump him with the Nigerian/Caribbean camp.  Back to the Italians. Yes, warm, but can be racist/fascist at the flip of a switch.  As a foreigner you are never quite sure how to relate.

This all comes to mind with the recent racist incident involving Ghanaian football star, Sulley Muntari. Sulley plays for Italian side Pescara.  During a game he was persistently racially abused by a section of the opponent's fans.  He complained to the referee but got a yellow card for his troubles. Now he's received a one match ban, an accumulation of yellow cards from previous games. Why did he gIn 2017? Ridiculous is putting it lightly! Leaves a bad taste.


I remember starting work at a Mobile firm, Wind, located in the swanky district of Torre Spaccata, a couple of days before the big local derby between rivals Roma and Lazio.  Was mad excited because I followed Roma at the time, my colleagues in massive arguments about who was better, everyone gearing up to go to the game.  I asked one of them if I could get a ticket to the match.  All round silence, people staring at the floor.  One of the guys, Marco, then broke down the science, explaining the massive problem with racism in the stands towards Black fans and players, how I'd get abused, kicked and spat on if I dared to attend.  Being an Arsenal fan and used to the Highbury cheery banter, yes abusive at times, and general camaraderie I was weirded out being told all this.  The colour of my skin a big problem to these guys?

This set the tone to my six month stint in Rome.  You just started to experience shit here and there. I suffered a couple of blatant incidents during my time.  Was very amused when some random guy spat at my feet outside St Peter's Basilica, mumbling how "Your kind" is not wanted here, spoiling for a fight.  I admit, felt vulnerable at the time, being alone and all.  Another time some fascist type bumped me at a bus stop, my guy Marco almost getting into a fight with him.  Marco advised me to start taking another route to work, that these fascist guys were very active in that area.  I even ended up in an argument with one manager, Sicilian guy, Olindo, when he remarked "You work like the Blacks", apparently some old Sicilian reference to hard working people.  Told him you couldn't say shit like that in this day and age.  Our friendship cooled after that.  I loved my time in Rome but these incidents told me it's not a place to live in.  Fuck that shit

Sulley, hold your head up

***

Chris Brown Friday!  Lol, I made that up.  But bwai! The man can dance! fucking talented



He makes it all look so damn easy



A post shared by Tagged Models | Hills 😍 ... (@hillshavethighs) on

Milo Berosa's waistline, featuring Chris Brown's "Privacy".  pow!


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Ode to Curtis (Death becomes us)

My next door neighbour and very good friend, a father figure Mr. Curtis passed away yesterday afternoon.  At the young age of 64 years he left us too soon.  Curtis had been in hospital for the last five/six weeks, having been admitted for multiple strokes.  The prognosis wasn't terribly good but I'd expected a recovery of sorts, at least good enough for him to return home.  Feel a way now as I blog, guilt that I didn't go visit him in hospital.  My wife did go last week, something in her spirit compelling her to go and I'm very glad she did.  Apparently he lit up when he saw her, was always very fond of her and the kids.  His daughter showed me a picture just after he passed and he looked peaceful, like he was sleeping.  Death becomes us

"When Death Becomes Us. ... It, meaning Death, is a transitional period from one life to the next. It's meaning can be very “stubborn” to most, in that we often think of Death as something final or stagnant in some way. But Death is a necessary form of life"
http://shamalah.com/when-death-becomes-us/

Wise words, still can be hard to accept.  Curtis was a great very generous and hardworking guy.  He'd been dealing with strokes for the last five years, just after I moved in.  You never heard a peep from him about it, such a strong character he was.  Other than the odd occasional hospitalisation he bore it stoically, keeping busy with a few charities he presided over, trips to the Gambia, Ghana and across the Caribbeans, radio programmes he made guest appearance on (Galaxy FM).  A very prolific guy given his ailment.  He always gave me very valuable advice on everyday stuff, life in general, and for that I will miss he a lot.

Curtis. Tottenham FC won against Crystal Palace today, your guys still have a chance at the Premier League title. Curtis man! ..

Curtis, from the bottom of my heart and a weary soul I wish you bon voyage to the other side, the journey to Ancestorhood.  I know somehow, someway, somewhere you are reading this.  I will try hold my head up and do as you always advised.  I'm a very flawed character, but I hope to be like you one day, wise and have made something of this short life.

Rest in peace

Bless

Friday, 21 April 2017

TGIF .. Rewind .. On A Lighter Note

ok .. last post was middle age ranty (dang son! you gonna be 47 in September. blood claat!).  so, on a lighter note, my man Kelechi from ArsenalFanTV on Arsene Wenger listening to him lol. Love dude :)))


"you see, when I speak the Arsenal they respond! if count the number of grey hairs on my head, I'm a man of wisdom!"

COYG! we need top four! (don't start on how top 4 is not a thing)

***

Pleaseeee! I need these African print threads in my fucking life! Summer baby!

https://sirpipes.tumblr.com/post/159816369345/dapperlou-cape-to-cuba-wow-need-that-african


***

As always, have a good weekend, be good. but if you can't loool. yeah, play safe

x

TGIF .. Black Football Managers

I've been here before right?  First off, big up to Chris Hughton for taking Brighton FC into the Premier League.  Real talk, big up the Brethren, especially for the bullshit he's had to put up with over the years, from Tottenham FC, Newcastle FC to Norwich City.


Sacked, especially when he's put in stellar work, football drills and practices that are still used in these clubs to this day!  It's almost like the moment he takes whatever club to the top flight they immediately dispense of his services.  I'm already counting how long Chris Hughton will last at Brighton come the start of next Premier League season.  Don't tell me it's not the colour of his fucking skin. Has to be, else what reasons for it?

Why am I bringing this up again? Was listening to BBC World Service this morning and caught an interview with Dwight Yorke (ex Man United superstar) about the travesty of lack of Black Managers across the 92 professional football clubs in the UK despite so many ex-players qualified with their Coaching badges, UEFA training requirements etc.  Christ! their plain experience of being involved in the game at the highest level alone ...


Yorke's gripe is that the Black potential Managers are not getting a look-in for even bloody interviews let alone management trials at clubs.  Meanwhile the same core of White Managers are getting hired, sacked, hired, sacked, on some sort of old school boys network ish.  He's being trying to break in for eight fucking years and is at loss at how to crack the glass ceiling.

Breaks my heart this stuff.  Took my Son to an FA event last week, a celebration of football, hosted by Crystal Palace FC (My Son is part of their development centre).  One of the speakers, Black official, spoke on how they should put in the hard work, potential rewards of club football, management, etc.  I scanned the crowd of boys, easily 60/70% Black kids, a cynical shudder running through me.  Do they even know about this shit I'm blogging about? Who's gonna tell them the hard truths?  My boy's damn sure getting his University education, get a career outside of football for when it's all over.  Am I right to be this cynical?

It's not a problem found only in the football realm.  Lord knows we Black Professionals deep inside feel we can't compete even though we are super qualified.  It's stark in football because you see these guys operating in the full glare of 24 hour Sports TV, you witness the progression from players to pundit to manager/coach ... for the White ones.  Travesty

What is the solution? Quotas? I hate quotas, merit always the better outcome. But if we are not going to get shit on merit then a change has to be forced.  It worked in American Basketball, Baseball and Football

***

Man that was a long rant. Had to get it off my chest.  So yeah TGIF.  What you up to? anything fun?  I'm home slice, chilling, play with the kids, watch the Pirate DVDs Mr. Ming dropped off the other day.  I know, I know, but I'm a cheapo bastard.  But one thing I will do is purchase the new Kendrick Lamar album.  God damn! That boy is super prolific, still marveling at how he's able to drop super conscious ish in this world of Trap Drugged out music and superficial bling.


Don Cheadle slays in this, one of my fav actors!


Bitch! be humble!

Oh yeah, copping the new J Cole too.  I love music that makes you think, crisp beats, stellar production, life stories and just plain dopeness

Been on my instrumental, trapped out soul of recent.  I call it music to study to.  Favourite DJ at the moment is Complexion.  Dude has been dropping show after show on Soundcloud for a minute.

Man Listen ..




Saturday, 15 April 2017

A day in the life of a bookie

I've done some shitty jobs in my time but boy working at Ladbrokes topped them all.  I'd kinda forgotten all about it till I came across a Guardian Long Read article, A day in the life of a bookie, by writer Harry Vale (great writtens).  I was smiling as I read, having never articulated what it was like.  I guess I had put the ordeal behind me.


Working in a bookies is a unique and very challenging experience all onto itself, nothing like it.  I knew something was up when they readily gave me the part-time job, dispensing with formalities of an interview ("You seem like a bright lad").  Didn't take long for me to meet the unhinged flotsam and jetsam of inner city society.  Whether it's 25p or a £25 bet the desperation of the punters was palpable. The screams in your face was constant, accusations of taking a bet late, rigging the one-armed-bandit slot machines, general aggression.  Stressful.  Don't get me wrong, there were nice punters but the 360 turns were unnerving.  The guy who's very politely asking you for a cup of tea would be screaming in your face an hour later.  Some try to con you, swearing they gave you £20 though you have their £5 right there in your hand.  Too getting used too.

The craziest part was right before a horse race.  You'll get anything from 10 to 15 guys crowed in front of the TV monitor, watching the horses line up, listening intently to the inane commentary.  You know the race will kick off in less than two minutes, puzzled not one of them has placed a bet.  One minute to go and they all suddenly crowd the counter, placing the bets.  A mess of pennies, pound coins, brown notes, literally chucking the money at you, hands outstretched to snatch the betting slips from you. A complete scramble.  I was constantly left confused working it all out.  Luckily I had a good manager, she'd help me sort it out, seeming to know who dropped what on the table just by looking at them.  In a matter of minutes the race would be over, the bets cashed in and it starts all over again.   These guys were mostly silent, didn't really talk to each other, living completely for the thrill of the bet (and dreams of a fortune).  I cashed up hundreds of pounds (the odd thousand) in lost bets.  The house truly doesn't lose.

All sorts came in.  I once had this quaint old lady, come in with her heavy load of shopping, looked about my Mums age.  Pen at the ready she starts going over the racing post, scribbling down notes, etc. She ended up placing bets on over 30 different races, 25p here, a pound there, roughly about £20.  I was amazed at her knowledge of the races, horses, jockeys, the whole shit. The staff told me she was a legend, had won some serious quids on her spread betting.

One day I had enough.  Had a big incident were some guy threatened to stab me up.  He had been blacklisted and I didn't know it. I had taken his bet when the manager signaled he's not allowed in the shop. He wasn't having it, saying I'd wasted his time blah blah.  I smiled at him, a big mistake, and the dude went through the roof.  Tried to grab my shirt, called me all sorts of names, stormed off, threatening he'll "see you later after work".  My manager made me take an early lunch, one of the punters helpfully informing me "he's a complete nutter, you wanna be careful mate".  I resigned later that day, eff that ish, didn't come over from Nigeria to be killed by some schitzo.  I just couldn't be arsed dealing with the nonsense anymore.  I did look over my shoulder for a few weeks after the incident.  A bookies shop never looked the same again

Friday, 14 April 2017

Ah Ah! Arsenal Why Now? Wenger Get Out!

Happy Good Friday! (is that a thing?)

Used to be a joy being a Gooner.  Rub up those Spurs and Chelsea fans the wrong way, sensitive lot (bless em). Still is in a lot of ways ("Sanchez comes down on the left! Sanchez cuts in! Sanchez scores! Gooooooaaaaal!").  Unfortunately those moments are now few and far between.  Not to say I too bothered, more important thing to worry about ("haba! how are we going to pay this months mortgage! this overdraft charges eh? if this boy answers me back again I will slap him to death!").

But you know say escapism is supposed to be perfect, not a reflection of the rat race.  We need our heroes, infallible, but always comes out on top.  I want to be invincible and day dream not hang my head every Monday morning when these Spurs bottlers spot me walking into the office.

So Mr. Wenger these guys have a few words for you ...



"Because of you I get Goose bumps, all over, all over, all over"

3 - 0?  3 fucking 0? To Palace? No disrespect but Palace?  Breddrin?  Love ArsenalFanTV and this episode cracked me up.  Kelechi was on a super rant, his Igbo accent in full flow, more dense the angrier he got.

Still .. My guy, nah only football. I beg, no get heart attack o! Arsenal no be ya Papa property. Chill

***

I hate it when I haven't seen a movie yet but catch a review.  The hype around the movie Get Out (still haven't seen it) was so much I had to head over to Conscious community (read conspiracy theorist) to see what they were saying.  As ever Young Pharaoh and the Twin Pillars didn't fail to provide edutainment.



Pharaoh's channel is definitely worth subscribing to, if you can handle the language (wish he didn't swear as a way of talking, very cockney like).  I love his combative style, though it puts him at logger heads with his fellow conscious brethren.

I never miss an episode of Red Pill and Blue Pill dropping the knowledge, whether it be Black History, Egypt, Hip Hop, whatever, these guys are very entertaining.  Big up to Brother Rich (blackmagic363 TV) for hosting them, makes the channel all the more worth subscribing too.  Their Get Out review, though serious, has a lot of laugh out loud moments




Saturday, 8 April 2017

Summer in Brockwell

Hello blog, long time no see. I've almost forgotten how to write. I say that but I write software for a living. Does that count? There is an element of creativity, constructing complex algorithms becomes prose like, the satisfaction as good as sex (really dude?). Ahh, the joy of coding. Some days it's a slug, same old-ish, but it keeps the lights on.

One of my work colleagues, a good friend, is leaving, pushed out really. My company's opened a South African branch and we've been interviewing like crazy. At first junior staff, no biggie. But now our jobs are under threat. If I'm getting forwarded candidates at a mid to high level I'm wondering, hmm, why do you need guys at this level? We already handle these tasks here in London. At half the pay I get the economics but the mortgage ain't gonna pay itself. Santa was at the receiving end of this bullshit when he was informed he will start reporting to one of these SA new hire. Santanu hired this guy?! If you are paid twice/thrice your manager.. the writing is on the wall. Time to dust down the C.V.

Hello Spring Sunshine, been a while. Lovely very sunny late morning in brockwell park, watching my son in a very fiesty U-13 football match. Bit unfair on them, 9 v 10, some team mates away on holiday. My son's growing into a really tall teen, almost my height, deepening voice and all. Final whistle, they lost. 

Better luck next time

ok, was trying to be a bit artistic (sticking to day job)

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

RIP William Onyeabor a.k.a Mr. Fantastic

Heard the news of today's passing away of the music legend William Onyeabor with sadness.  

I remember talking to my dad after watching the 2014 documentary about him, the excellent "Fantastic Man". My Dad looked at me, smile on his face.  Apparently we knew the guy, went to visit him a few times after he bought fiber glass furniture from my Dad's business, said we played football with his kids.  



life huh?

Mr. Fantastic, God Is Black salutes you, RIP!

***

old post from 2014



Wow! This documentary was a trip in pure nostalgia.  William Onyeabor's electronic funk music was the backdrop to my childhood in the late 70s/early 80s of Enugu, Nigeria. Constantly played on the radio, my dad playing Onyeabor's songs on the 8-track car stereo, my young Uncle Bart (rip) doing the moves from the video. I can already see the flare trousers and platform shoes lol!  My brother and I used to run around singing "Atomic Bomb". Ridiculous but such was the richness of life and childhood. William was one of the many musicians who popped out of Enugu back in day, but dude was way way ahead of his time.  Enugu was, and still very much is, a very creative city with an abundance of musical talent.

Big up you guys for releasing this great documentary!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Tribute to KASHIF b/w Funky DL

Over the Christmas break I stumbled upon an incredibly funky Soundcloud 80s mixTribute to Kashif - Selected & Mixed by Walla P.  According to the tribute summary:

"2016 just saw another Legend pass away. Kashif Saleem, previously known as Michael Jones, was one of the most prolific producers in the 1980's, producing for acts such as Melba Moore, Evelyn Champagne King, Withney Houston, Howard Johnson and George Benson, just to name a few."



Man! the mix kicks ass! I'd never heard of Kashif but dude was a prolific producer and his track record is peerless.  Like seriously, I've been dancing to his shit for all these years and had no idea who had produced it all.

Kashif Saleem! GodIsBlack salutes you! Rest In Peace

1

***

In my 2016 music round up I forgot to an album that gave me hours of pleasure last year.  Funky DL man! Dude's been busy in the kitchen cooking up some dope beats laced with crisp rhymes.  After a four year hiatus the album Autonomy: The 4th Quarter dropped out of no where, zero fanfare.  Man, worth the wait.




DL I got some much love for, ever since I heard him on the theme tune to DJ 279's Friday night Choice Radio Hip Hop show.  Man! whatever happened to Choice.  I used to get ready for a night out listening to that show.  279 was on his game, always had studio guests, rappers from across the Hip Hop spectrum. Used to be him and Westwood that ruled the airwaves in the day.  These days 279 hosts the fantastic 80s London club night Throwbaak.




Enjoy

HyperNormalisation: Welcome To Post-Truth

Normalisation (Sociology):

"Normalization refers to social processes through which ideas and actions come to be seen as 'normal' and become taken-for-granted or 'natural' in everyday life"

Caught the fantastic Adam Curtis's "HyperNormalisation" on BBC iPlayer last night.  An eye opener of a documentary.  As it played out it made one think about this world we live in, the events unfolding around us, what any of it meant.

We've become so much a part of the System that we see it's fake nature as normal. Hyper Normal. Truth becomes Collateral Damage



(15 minute Edit)

A few days ago I had blogged about Donald Trump, Syria and Vladimir Putin, trying to work out what was going on, make sense of the confusion.  One thing that struck me was that this geopolitical game of chess had been playing out for a very long time, so long you lose track of the chain of events.  Was gold dust watching Adam Curtis string it all together, events I'd forgotten, shit I never knew about (Origins of Suicide Bombers anyone?), things I knew but didn't figure as relevant.

The great thing about the documentary is it becomes a living document, like a very good book.  You can come back years later and know it will hold, curious to see what has changed.

Hyper Normalisation is a weird one.  Take the Chicago gang murders I blogged about months ago, brilliantly touched on by Reggie Yates in his BBC documentary.  I know it is crazy abnormal that this is taking place, especially in Chicago that has the strictest gun laws in USA.  I know it troubles me that my people are dying in record numbers.  But it's gone on for so long I started to see it as normal.  But see, it is anything but:


And this is the effect of hyper normalisation.  As social media desensitizes us to it, everything reduced to a Hash Tag, the killings become the normal, ceases to be a problem that must be solved.  This leads to absence of real research into why it is occurring, meaningful action.  

You just have to listen to the many talking heads on YouTube live streams, traditional television, newspapers, etc, to know none of them have a clue what is going on.  Nobody knows why Black Chicago is killing itself.  One thing in common is they talk about it as if it's some fact of life.  We were starting to see a version of this reality with the endemic knife crimes in London.

See, there are definitely outside agencies at work in this.  But why?  what is the end game? I don't know enough about sociology to understand the ins and outs of this normality, but I do know it is designed to do one thing - make us "forget about it"


Saturday, 7 January 2017

2016 Music (well sorta..) Roundup

2016 was very much different from 2015. In '15 I rediscovered my love for street level conscious hip hop, was introduced to Chill Trap (or Trap Soul as it's called these days), general found out about more music. Last year was more of the same with some very good gems.

My biggest was being introduced to Somi, Afro/Jazz/Soul Diva who's been out for a while.  I haven't stopped listening to her 2014 album "The Lagos Music Salon". "Last Song", Track #17 has been my lick for a minute and I can't stop listening to it.  Haunting, melancholy tinged love song



2014 must have been a great year.  J. Cole boy! straight picked up from where he left of with the incredible "2014 Forest Hills Drive".  "4 Your Eyez Only" is banging! Can't wait for an official collabo with Kendrick Lamar to drop, can only be pure heat.  The two put me back into that introspective music mode, where you think while bopping your head.  I really missed all that from Hip Hop.



Kabaka Pyramid was another artist I got into last year via the Crossroads Riddim, my riddim of 2016, though the riddim was from '15 (Thanks Dawna for dropping Venessa Lee Bongo's vid).  I was captivated by his take "Too Long" and completely sold by his incredible mixtape 2014 "The Lyricist" Mixtape.  Again 2014!!! There must be something in that very year :))



I don't do radio saturation. But with Rihanna's "Work" I make a complete exception, can't get enough of that joint. So good I bought the album "Anti" which is fiyah! That and the fact she's real bonafide Erotic and very comfortable with it.



But "Kiss It Better" was my fav song off the album.  Man fuck your pride!