Maybe there is some character building to it…

As i have admitted in prior musings, a lot of the things I tend to talk about are things that we mention in the pub with a few of my fellow patrons. A topic that became an interesting discussion was regarding bullying. Here in most Zimbabwean schools, bullying is something that happens. It’s almost like a dark secret, but most people know that some sort of bullying is happening. This is all the way from the teachers to the ground staff. In fact, depending on the school that you go to in this country determines the extent of bullying that happens.

The interesting thing is that it was also a time aspect. What I mean by that is it depended very much on the age of the seniors and your peers. Post independence a great deal of the bullying was more racial motivated than anything else. Majority of the seniors in a lot of the private schools were white. It was a new concept for them to have spent most of their school life around other white people, so when eventually non white kids started coming through the ranks they were picked on first.

It was not unheard of to hear that there were some kids who were put into trucks and tossed down stairs, or the worst that i heard was someone was put in a trunk and the trunk was tossed in a swimming pool. These are much more extreme cases. These are much more terrifying that some of the acts that me and my peers were subjected to. Of course these were incidents that occurred in a very different time.

All in all as you become an adult and start working, you become attuned to bullying. The bullying that we may get subjected to is mainly in the work place. However as an adult you are well in your right to say no. Not only in your right, but you have a voice to speak up. When you are at school, sometimes it’s not as easy to say no. You know that if you do say no, what could happen will be worse than what is about to happen.

I did realise one thing from being bullied at school. It made me and most of my peers’ band together simply from a shared suffering. It did instil some militaristic sense of order as we knew what lines we couldn’t cross. For some people it made us hate the school we were at more, some people hated the seniors because they got constantly picked on. We also developed a mafia-esq silence when approached by figures of authority higher than the seniors. Of course this all depended on the extent of bullying.

There were different degrees of bullying that i experienced at my boarding school. There was the occasional physical bullying. Most of that was more of a punishment for breaking the rules, or for a poor performance by people in my block. We used to have blanket punishments that the whole age group of a house would get. Sometimes it would be because of one person being stupid, but we would all get punished. Funny thing is, there would be some people who would hate that individual for making everyone suffer, but there would also be other individuals who would take it on themselves to help that person to “save” everyone else.

There was also the mental bullying which was at times worse, but it helped some people to problem solve. I remember this one senior gave me some money, and asked me to go and buy something from the tuck shop (it’s like a little shop on the school campus that sells soft drinks, chocolates etc). The list he gave me exceeded the amount of money he gave me. He then added that he wanted MORE change than the money I gave him. This was one of the weirdest responses and I remember looking at the money in my hand and back to him and asking him “How?” He was not interested in the how. All he wanted was results. I eventually paid out of my own pocket for his things, so essentially he stole from me. That was mentally taxing on my then young mind. I hated it and felt that it was annoying. Of course thinking about it now, if someone wanted to do business with me and told me to invest and they would walk away with their investment and me nothing i would say no immediately. Maybe that’s what that experience somehow in a twisted way taught me.

The fact is that if you are in a schooling system that encourages you as a student to look forward to being in your last year of high school, and also encourages respect for seniority, there will be some sort of bullying that occurs. Be it to the junior first years, all the way through to your peers who had “quirks”. I don’t condone it, but it does do some character building. There have been other sad stories that I have heard where someone who has been bullied eventually takes their own life to escape, and those are cases where i cannot agree or condone. Unfortunately, bullying will and always will happen in some shape or form. The hope is that it is kept within the boundaries of fun and does not turn into abuse.


The End of Term

This is a day I have been waiting for with giddy anticipation. For those of you who don’t know me, I work in the construction industry. Specifically in the estimating department of a construction company. We are responsible for compiling and submitting tenders that are advertised/we are invited to tender to, and also responsible for estimating the cost of proposed works.

We use our fair share of dark arts in the work we do. Our dark arts aren’t as dark as Professional Quantity Surveyors (PQS’s are different from QS’s who work for contractors). The job can be monotonous, the hours are painful and sometimes the weekends are non-existent.

It’s an interesting department of the company. I get to go to (un)exotic places for site visits, get to speed from HQ with tender documents to the other side of town when submissions are late, and worst of all I have to remain on call WAY more than I like.

Out of all of this, there is one thing I like about working in this industry.

Month Long Holiday

This gives me great joy every year to know that for a month I get to wind down, switch off my daily 545am alarm, sleep in, spend days without combing my hair, bath only when I have to leave the house, reduce my daily drive of 50km to hopefully MUCH less.

This holiday is also fraught with danger. I could be broke in the first week just because of boredom. I have devised a few schemes to keep me hopefully occupied enough to not go on a spending spree.

Hopefully these graphic novels will keep me occupied
My games should keep me occupied. Some have been lent out but will be back soon

If all else fails, I will resort to the one other thing that will keep me distracted, and at home especially at night…

Golden Nectar and Mindless Violence

I will keep you informed of my mental state over the holiday period. I will also take lots and lots of random pictures just because I can.

To those still at work, the end is near!!!!!!

Till the next blog-isode!!

Musical Ambitions

So this is the first of many music reviews/butchering that I am going to attempt. I have to start by warning all pet lovers and tree huggers that in the making of this blog, animals were tested upon in order to give me empirical test results. A few of the small cute fluffy animals used in order to compile this blog died….

So today I am going to give a very personal opinion of Kanye West’s more recent album Yeezus.

As you can see from the album cover… I am not sure what you are supposed to see

So before I start I have to warn you that I loathe Kanye. I think that he has gone beyond all sanity and now sits in a rarefied atmosphere of so much BS that not even an alien invasion on proportions larger than those seen in Independence Day can bring him down. In fact he would probably think the aliens have come to kidnap him so that he could make their (cleverer and more advance species who have travelled MILLIONS of light years) lives more inspired.

Before picture of test subject Alpha before listening to Yeezus

So I have no idea what the album name refers to. I didn’t even want to do a google search about it (If you do know what the name is about, comment so I can be more knowledgeable about such things). Google tells me the album has ten songs. The reason why I say google tells me, is when I first got the album (through illicit means obviously…. a few drug deals, some bone marrow transplanting etc), I listen to it. I didn’t add it to my itunes like I do with most other music. But I listened to it. I then waited for a week, and tried again. I waited for three weeks more and tried to listen to it again. The reason why the operative word in all of this is TRIED is because I only managed to listen to the whole album once. That was the first time.

Beta before the test. He was such a happy puppy

I felt like my ears were bleeding by the time I listened to it the second time. The beats didn’t make sense and sounded like noise. Kanye can be forgiven for his raps because it’s not like (as far as I am concerned) he is know for having lyrical content. He spends most of the album talking about things I didn’t and maybe never will understand.

I am no music guru but it felt like he either tried to hard on the beats for most of the songs. As a result some songs sound sound similar to what you would imagine the death star would make before blowing up a planet, and then putting it on a loop and then “rapping” to it. Then there were other songs that sound like he didn’t try at all, and that the song would be cool because there is random screaming in the background.

It felt like he made the album just because he had the money, and that the album was going to sell because suckers would buy the album hoping it would be great. Instead it was a pile of poo… similar to the rarefied atmosphere that he lives in.

If I was to give it a score out of 100, I would give it a mighty 10. The reason I would give it a 10 is because he managed to annoy me. I actually remember TRYING to listen to this album. More than once…. and getting more and more annoyed.

Anyway what do you think? Am I talking nonsense? Let me know. See below what his album did to the fluffy animals I tested the album on….

Test Subject Beta ultimately lost his mind and killed his family the Test Subject Alpha
He mutated into a drug fiend dog, and after a long time of using, Subject Beta came to his end/help/demise

Next on the menu will be Jay-Z