This is starting to seem like a regular, but it seems that whenever I go to the bar I get ideas of things to blog about. Some of us are relatively new at this so don’t REALLY know what we are doing. I figured this would be my place to talk about B movies, regale shocking stories of weekend past and the like. Instead I have found that rather than have verbal spew coming from my mouth, I am actually having to think and pick a side.
So last night I was with the colourful characters of the Muppet’s corner. Those who were present on this auspicious day happened to be Munya “Diamond Boy”, Chris and a late comer in Thembaz. I am not sure how the conversation started but we started talking about if there was a difference between power and control, were they mutually exclusive, and if having one automatically meant having the other.
I found this very interesting because we ended up not coming to a conclusion but there were a lot of things that we ended up touching on. They say that Obama is the most powerful person in the world. However what power are they referring to? The power to nuke another nation? The power to convince other leaders to follow him into war? Having just thought about these few rhetorical questions, it makes me then ask: if he has the above power, does that mean he has control? Or does he use the power in order to control other people? This is where the conversation got interesting. I think that depending on the circumstances, power and control are separate. It brings in the issue of the gun lobby in ‘murica. My understanding (rightly or wrongly, and also from reading too many books) is that the gun lobby has a LOT of power in ‘murica. They are essentially the ones who steer policy and laws on guns in most states, and they also have a big hand in who becomes president. This is mainly due to the vast sums of money at their disposal. They can fund a candidate’s campaign, get him/her into office (not necessarily Presidential Office, but office) and thus make sure that that candidate carries out their political suggestions with regards to guns and gun control. Now as I said I am not going to say that I am a currently expert on this, but this has been from reading that I did a few years ago.
The CEO of a company (let’s say, for this argument, he is not a major shareholder as well) has a lot of power but in some instances no control. He is answerable to the shareholders who are the ones in control. There are also things that are in place to control HIM i.e. there could be a length to his tenure as CEO, e.g. every year the board has to vote him in or out.
I think that if you have power you have some sort of control. Take a musician for example. They have the power of their words, and therefore control of their groupies. There are those people who have control and a lot of power. The “random” guys who you see out with the super celebrities. They MUST have some sort of control to be seen with people who some consider to have power, but at the same time to remain anonymous.
I have never been able to figure out the difference between the two of them myself. They seem the same but different (If there is a word for that please post it as a comment!!). To be honest I think that both power and control frighten me somewhat. You can never know when you have had enough of either. Or both…
There is a phrase that we use in Zimbabwe. We say “It’s late for you, him, her, the gwan, the team, the bar”. Basically it can be late for anything. Even an ant. When it’s used, it has various definitions. It depends on the context of use. So for example if a guy is say courting a girl, and some spectators say “ah its late for the dude”, it most likely means that from observing there is no way the guy is going to successfully court the girl. However if the reverse is said, “its late for her”, it means that he has hit her with a line that NO ONE has heard of. Or he has (I am positive this is the most appropriate place for this word) swag (shoot me later. I’m trying to stay relevant). Another example is if there is a bar fight and you say that its late for one of the participants engaging in this show of pure animalistic behaviour, he’s the one probably getting the beating of his life.
This now brings me to Saturday night. I was sitting at home with a few friends and family (there were no more than 6 people there at any given time), when my good friend Lloyd and I realised that we were behind the curve. Not ahead of it, quite beyond. Its late for us. We are not being beaten to death by a drunken baboon jacked up on testosterone and rum and coke (See post on Tin Roof yet to be released), we are not part of the losing side, we have successfully courted our madams, so its not that either. What Lloyd was referring to was relevance.
We, in the slow process of ageing do not have much relevance. It all started when a song came on. I think it was Bugatti (Ace Hood, Two Chains, plus a whole bunch of other guys I have never heard of including this Two Chains and Ace Hood guy who are apparently part of this group of rappers called YMCMB which stands for Young Money Cash Money Billionaires (Thank you Bibi telling me without me having to ask Google).) where some guy sings about waking up in a new Bugatti. Heavy tune. Not sure what they are rapping about for most of the song. But anyway, as me and Lloyd sat there listening to “TWO CHAINS! FOUR BRACELETS!!!!!!!!!!” (You have to hear him shouting it out to understand. If you listen to this you will hear him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI0gk2KJeho) we came to a simple, honest conclusion. We are no longer relevant. Sure we may be part of a small generation that saw technology move from dial up internets, to fibre optic cables being laid in our neighbourhoods, from polyphonic right tones and phones with buttons, to mp3s for ring tones and phones with 4 buttons and 5 inch screens.
But you know what we DEFINITELY, TOTALLY missed out on? Pop culture. I spit whenever I have to utter those two words together. Popular culture. Urgh. So this Ace Hood guy, Two Chains… like where did they come from? Where exactly did ‘murica find these guys? So now there are all these “relevant” people in their mid-20s, listening to Ace Hood, Two Chains and Lil’ Wayne (isn’t he supposed to have graduated to just Wayne by now? I thought all the rappers who have Lil’ are supposed to graduate. Bow Wow did it… I know Lil’ John plans on being Lil’ for ever though.), they know all of their songs, the dances, the lines that are cool.
If I am to go have a beer with Lloyd at O’Hagans (HIGHLY UNLIKELY AS I WOULD RATHER LISTEN TO DROWNING CATS THAN GO TO O’HAGANS OUT OF MY OWN CHOICE), and bump into some of these more trendy mid-20s guys and so happen to have a conversation about, say sport, we would be fine. Unfortunately due to our extreme irrelevance there is nothing more we can speak to them about. We can’t speak about music coz we have not kept up, we can’t speak to them about politics because most of them haven’t formed a political position. Life is still too much about having fun for them so we can’t talk to them about work. We can’t brag about what we did on the weekend, coz we were probably at home watching TV, or at the sports club lying to each other. However if we talk about PS3 for example, we become relevant… and old at the same time.
My message to all you people out there searching hard for relevance: Look to youtube, type in the names of these artists, learn their songs, learn their dances. I am afraid that there may be a dark future where irrelevant individuals are rounded up and disposed of, bodies to be used to keep the popular culture machine running. So I urge all those feeling irrelevant, let us assimilate, join this rather strange march forward into the world of words like swag and yolo. Only use them when you feel threatened. We WILL SURVIVE!!!
He to whom the present is the only thing that is present, knows nothing of the age in which he lives. – Oscar Wild
Majority of these musings are from a previous conversation with my dear Bibi. I have had some time to think about them further to try and take up as much space on the internets. I will start with the basic question of what freedom is. When ever there has been a war of some sort, the aggressor usually spouts some nonsense about trying to give a people freedom. Freedom from what?
If you live in the UK you can say that you have freedom. Freedom to drink in public, freedom to protest, freedom of speech. That’s what the assumption is. Of course there are certain parts of the UK where you are not allowed to drink in public. The freedom of speech topic is interesting, because with in that “freedom” you have other things that you are not permitted to talk about. Hate speech is an example. I recall hearing a radio discussion regarding hate speech. It made sense and I agreed with some of the things the panel were talking about. Hate speech is unacceptable. Of course hate speech is a point of view. Both the person making it or the person who feels aggrieved. Other people might say thats just what someone thinks, others will say its offensive.
Me and B came to the conclusion that freedom is actually a state of mind. We get told that we have freedom to express ourselves, but its within boundaries. Its like being told that you are free to roam your house, but you can’t go into certain rooms or wings. Maybe its a good thing. Ultimately its a form of control to give you the sense that you can do what you like, but not all of what you like. Of course the you have ‘murica who make those things rights. That makes it even more confusing. The right to bear arms (and arm bears hehehe). If you want to buy a gun NO ONE can stop you essentially.
I think that being given freedom actually blinds you from the fact that there are so many other things that you are not free to do. I’m not talking about things that are legally or morally wrong. Those are things that everyone should on some level be able to decide as a human being are unacceptable.
Freedom is something I think is man imposed. Yeah sure law is man imposed, but freedom is literally some one or a group of people running an experiment and saying “lets see what happens if we allow them to do this”. Kinda makes me sometimes feel like a rat in a maze (not sure that made sense but it kinda did).
Maybe its an age thing that as I have continued to barrel down towards my third decade on this planet, that I realise there is a big difference between perception and reality. I perceive life a certain way because of what I see on TV (and as a result the way I see people behaving/living in real life), but the reality of it is very very different. The older generation of people (parents, grandparents if they are alive) always tell a different story. The famous “when I was your age”. Its one of the most annoying things to hear from the oldies. But on second thought, they are probably trying to tell us something as simple as “in reality the way you think and behave doesn’t make sense”. Sure. So my argument is “it was a different time so as such we behave different”. But there is a lot of truth that needs to be considered.
Freedom is a reward that should be worked towards, not given like a prize. If I want to go out every night of the week (which I sometimes do) it should be because I have the freedom to, not the money. It should mean that either I am not busy at work, or all my things are in check. The freedom to travel isn’t necessarily because of where you are born in the world. It should be because you can afford it (time and money). The perception is that if you have a passport you can go to any country in the world. Anyone will to share how difficult it is to get a visa to go to the UK? Think about that.
I got this from another website, but before I tear into them I would like you to just read this below:
This is a list of the top 10 richest Pastors
1.Bishop T. D Jakes
Bishop Jakes lives in a $1,700,000 mansion, he has been called America’s best preacher and has been featured on the cover of TIME magazine. He is a writer, preacher and movie producer. Thomas Dexter “T. D.” Jakes, Sr. is the bishop/chief pastor of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational American mega church, with 30,000 members, located in Dallas, Texas. T.D Jakes wears custom made suits and sports a diamond ring the size of a coin. This man of God has been endowed with a $150 million net worth.
2.Bishop David Oyedepo
Bishop David Oyedepo is a Nigerian Preacher, Christian Author, Founder and Presiding Bishop of Winners Chapel known as Living Faith Church World Wide. Has been hailed as the wealthiest preacher in Nigeria with a total net worth of $150 million and properties like 4 private jets and homes in the United States and England. After the foundation of the Living Faith Outreach Ministry in 1981, it has evolved to be one of the largest congregations in Africa and has a flourishing mission in Nairobi.
3.E A Adeboye
This messenger of God was listed in an African magazine, NEWSWEEK, as the most powerful man in Africa and one of the top 50 global power elites in 2008/2009, among others such as President Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy. Pastor Adeboye heads the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), something he has done for the last 28years. Amongst his posessions are private jets.
Israeli televangelist,Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn has an estimated net worth of $42 million. He is best known for his regular “Miracle Crusades” – revival meeting/faith healing summits that are usually held in large stadiums in major cities, which are later broadcast worldwide on his television program, “This Is Your Day”. Hinn was born on December 3, 1952
This is the man behind Believers’ Loveworld Ministries, a.k.a Christ Embassy.His church has an estimated net worth of $30 million – $50 million last year, the charismatic preacher was at the center of a $35 million money laundering case in which he was accused of siphoning funds from his church to foreign banks.
American Bible teacher, pastor, and the founder of World Changers Church International, Creflo Dollar, has an estimated net worth of $27 million. As his name suggests, this preacher’s “manna” comes in form of the green buck.
He runs Kenneth Copeland Ministries, was one of several televangelists whose finances were investigated from 2007 to 2011 by Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa.
According to an article by the Associated Press that ran in 2008, “His ministry’s 1,500-acre campus, behind an iron gate a half-hour drive from Fort Worth includes a church, a private airstrip, a hangar for the ministry’s $17.5 million jet and other aircraft, and a $6 million church owned lakefront mansion.
The article later added that while Copeland has not released up-to-date salary statements, “the church disclosed in a property-tax exemption application that his wages were $364,577 in 1995; Copeland’s wife, Gloria, earned $292,593. It’s not clear whether those figures include other earnings, such as special offerings for guest preaching or book royalties.”
American evangelical Christian evangelist, William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr., has a net worth of $25 million. The Southern Baptist evangelist rose to celebrity status as his sermons started getting broadcast on radio and television. Graham was born on a dairy farm near Charlotte, North Carolina in 1918, he has conducted many evangelistic crusades since 1948 . He is now a world renowned televangelist raking in millions of dollars.
Ashimolowo, the owner of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) gets an annual income of $200,000. Having his humble beginnings as a priest in Foursquare Gospel Church, a Nigerian church that sent Ashimolowo to open a satellite branch in London. Pastor Matthew had other ideas and decided to set up his own church instead. Today, his Kingsway International Christian Center is reportedly the largest Pentecostal church in the whole of the United Kingdom
Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) has an estimated net worth: $10 million – $15 million Nigeria’s most controversial clergyman is also one of its richest and most philanthropic. T.B Joshua heads the Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN), a congregation he founded in 1987, which accommodates over 15,000 worshippers on Sundays.
So having had a look at that wonderful list of these guys with private jets and the like, I wanna pose a question. Is church a business or is it church? I am going to try and NOT be careful and NOT mince my words. For those of you who don’t know I am Roman Catholic. So in a sense very “traditional” in the way that I worship. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the Roman Catholic church is perfect. It’s got its good and bad. I believe all religions have some good and some bad. The hope is the good outweighs the bad. Unlike Scientology which is like a video game. The story is just…. epic. Xenu, space, dianetics, space ships. Its like a movie. Maybe THAT’S why so many celebrities subscribe to it! Its their real life movie!
But THIS WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY (I will do the next one on Scientology after I do some extensive (replace with wikipedia) research.)
The advent of the whole Pentecostal Church thingy is very confusing. All these guys heal people, and make them walk. Truly wondrous things they APPARENTLY do. I am a HUGE sceptic about that stuff. The Pentecostal thing in general makes me nervous. It (Bear in mind that this is my own opinion. I am not saying this is the way it is. I am simply saying this is the way I feel.) scares me to be honest. All these guys are self proclaimed prophets. Of course depending on your personal view of the Bible doesn’t it make it a bit confusing when you see some the above named characters net worth (I’m not talking about Xenu and his spaceship. The pastors. Keep up!!)? What’s funny is that very few of them are described as philanthropists (phi·lan·thro·py (f -l n thr -p ). n. pl. phi·lan·thro·pies. 1. The effort or inclination to increase the well-being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations). I would think that they would be at the fore front of giving back.
I will bring it closer to home with two particular “Prophets”. Angel and Makandiwa. They command a HUGE following. One of my work colleagues is a Makandiwa-ian. She LOVES him. Its quite scary. I’ve never heard someone defend someone she doesn’t ACTUALLY know as if he is her twin brother. And I’m Like…
This guy stands and speaks. And people believe. Word for word. Down to their bone marrow. There is no question. When these people are being healed, where are they coming from? Were they actually sick? Sure its easy to argue that faith doesn’t ask these sort of questions. Maybe I’m a Roman Catholic Scientist (If you know what I mean). It’s just too convenient and suspect IMO.
But the thing that gets me about Ubert and Makandiwa, is that a lot of their followers aren’t the most well off. But the cars these two gents drive? It would make you think they are the head of a multi-million dollar organisation. Come to think of it, their churches are probably worth in the millions. Where does the money come from? The followers. Where does it go? Probably a complicated process INTO the church. Who is the Church? The leaders themselves (In this case Ubert and Makandiwa ARE their churches). For a man of the cloth do they need all the materiality they have around them? Some argue that the work they do preaching the Word gives them the right to buy these things.
It’s something I will never understand. I have listen to some of the international dudes talking while watching TV with my mum. They don’t say anything amazing really. Some of the stuff made sense to me and I kind of agreed with their thought process. I did notice one thing. These guys are VERY good orators. If you listened to them for long enough I think they could convince you of Xenu and his/her/it’s (As Xenu is an alien I can’t comment on what sex it is) spaceship. In fact THANK GOD that these Scientologists haven’t tapped into some of these Pentecostal guys. Imagine that….
Religion does not help me. The faith that others give to what is unseen, I give to what one can touch, and look at – Oscar Wilde
“You can do what you like when you finish school” they used to say. Just to make us keep our concentration for the whole day. You know, when you were younger you used to dream. Dream of that day of finishing school and then not doing anything. Just sleeping late, staying up late. Never aware of the honest frightening fact that you could possibly end up behind a desk for the next 20 years doing something you never imagined you would do. I suppose that’s the joke about life. Does that mean that as school kids we should have been taught early about what actually makes the world go around. I never understood why my dad used to go to work when I was a kid. I just assumed he went to work coz he liked it.
The biggest shock was getting to LANDAN! That was real. Now I had to go to school AND work. That was mind blowing. But university was different. Going to lectures hanging and on little sleep, skipping lectures, drinking at lunch time, leaving at the break in lecture et al. I am sure there is more that I can go on about how everyone essentially survived through the monotone lecturers who could put an insomniac to sleep in about 3.5 seconds. My university was cool coz they used to put up the lecture material online sometimes before the lecture. Kind of made going to the lecture pointless (or so some people thought).
But the real thing that I’ve been thinking since I got to work, is that the reality that you build up while you are at school and the reality of actuality are two very very different things. I consider myself to be one of a few people (apart from skydivers, concept car testers, computer game testers, food/restaurant critics, generally any critic) who actually enjoys his job. Yes its get VIOLENTLY boring when I spend all day harassing people and sometimes sleeping at my desk (Inemuri (居眠り) is the Japanese practice of sleeping on the job. It literally. It is a way for an employee to show how committed they are to working. In other words, the employee spends so much time working that they sleep too little at home and have to do inemuri), watching whole seasons of TV shows in a week and having enough time to continually prepare for the zombie apocalypse.
This isn’t the reason I like my job. I am not going to bore you with the reasons, but I will mention one thing. In my industry it is IMPOSSIBLE for there to be two identical projects. Can’t happen, won’t happen. Buildings will look the same, but because they are at two different locations they are not the same. This brings in a lot of other interesting possible differences to the two projects.
Today I have decided to do something that I have put off for too long. I am actually going to try and teach myself (the hard way) something I DESPISE with quite a fervent passion and was very happy to see the back off in first year university. I am also going to do it the hard way because I think that’s the only way I will learn.
Wish me luck as I am about to plunge myself into the world of taking off and quantity surveying.
If I had known that life would have been this hard when I was older I would have played harder when I was a kid. – Herbert Ram