I remember when I was much younger you would get social acceptance from what you had. Be it the latest shoes, watch or enough money to go and eat and drink at certain places. Sometimes I would find myself subconsciously thinking “I wish I had that…”. To be honest, there was an element of jealousy to it when I was a teenager (I miss those days. Being old sucks [said the 29 year old]). At that time I didn’t realise the fact that everyone is at different stages. There really is no fascination about what someone has. So what to be honest.
There are some traits that I hate in the human race. The one I hate the most is blatant arrogance. I am not going to talk about why I hate it as this is not the subject matter. The other trait that I hate is one that I was reminded about a few days by someone who I used to consider to be my friend. That is the show off. At my humble young age of 29, telling people in a bar very loudly about what I have and what I have achieved is something that is not done. Who am I trying to impress? Gone are the days that rattling on about what countries you had been to or what you did gives you any greater social standing (as far as I am concerned). In fact as far as I am concerned it shows a very one dimensional aspect to a person.
Why do people brag? Why do they embellish stories? Ultimately we are a silly species. Sometimes we do things because it makes us feel better that we are above other people. It a bit late in life for that now. We all have various things that we have done or are doing that have gotten us to where we are. My bank balance doesn’t make me who I am. I would like to hope that all the experiences I have had in life with my family and friends make me who I am.
The thing is about the show off, he or she is generally not that bright. They may be smart, but they are not bright. The problem is they spend so much time trying to make people say “Wow!!! he’s amazing/hard worker/big spender/achiever”, that they end up tripping over their own feet in the hope of trying to make themselves sound to be amazing/hard worker/big spender/achiever. They will probably never be able to stop themselves because as they go on with these exaggerated and sometimes untrue stories, they probably start to believe their own delusions of grandeur.
Now before you shout at me for being so hard on “the show off”, there are two kinds. There is the one who generally has access to buying and doing amazing things, and talks about those things. That show off is a little more bearable. Ultimately all I can say is “keep doing what you are doing.”. The other kind of show off is the one who says things that don’t make logical and mathematical sense. Now this is the show off that I can’t stand. This particular person who I am referring to is the second kind.
In my expert medical opinion (I have been practicing and qualified for all of 0 years), this is a trait that is as a result of the inability to actually fit in to social situations. Now I think it is something that is very acceptable as a teenager. I see teenager walking around in groups and I always sit there and scratch my head wondering what they talk to each about. Hell, I can’t remember what we used to talk about when I was a teenager.
As an adult, it is a little more than “I just bought a car worth more than $30,000. It’s outside. I did it all by myself with my hard work. Can you imagine? It was paid for one time, from my produce. My produce. That’s how successful I am at the moment.”. My response in my head is “So what? What is the point of sharing? Why are you sharing? Because I haven’t bought a car like that now, does that mean that I am a failure?”. I stopped and realized that it wasn’t me with the problem. I was fine actually. I am healthy, I am happy. Why would he be making it a point to obnoxiously share his success?
Ultimately you can’t spend your life trying to impress other people by telling stories that don’t have 100% truth. You are better off shutting up and sitting down. Life is not a sprint, neither is it a race. It is, a very long journey. Some will get to the end of their race sooner than other. However we will all know when you get to the end of your race.
It’s absurd to divide people into good and bad. They are either charming or tedious – Oscar Wilde
I decided that I needed WordPress to remind me once a week that I was due a blog. Not because I actually needed the reminder. It was just nice every now and again to have something telling me that I should come online during work and put something up that is semi meaningful, hopefully kinda funny and most of all a little bit thought provoking. I was convinced that I would have something to talk about by now. All the conversations that I have had clearly have not been interesting enough for me to remember them and to reproduce them here.
So I figure that this must be a little what writers block feels like. The complete and utter lack of inspiration to build a world that you imagined. If this was my case of writers block, I just wanna say I am happy that I at LEAST started. I would have now run out of ideas close to Chapter 4 of 8 (I doubt I would write long books if I did). Of course the genre of my book would beyond me. I am sure it would be some silly futuristic zombie-pocalyptic action comedy with superheroes. I mean can you imagine being chased by a zombie wolverine…
Damn he’s frightening enough, now you wanna make him wanna eat you? I don’t know how I got on to this, but I think it’s a good start for my blog.
I am going to give you a list of superheroes and which ones you would best avoid when they are the zombies that we are running away from.
Zombie Wolverine – As I said earlier, he is already feral and slightly unhinged. I mean, would you be friends with a guy who couldn’t get drunk, aged really slowly and also have metal laced to his bones with claws that come out of his hands that can cut through just about anything? Then you wanna make him into a blood thirsty mindless zombie? I think even other zombies would be afraid of him. AVOID
Zombie Xavier – Now he would be fun. He already can’t walk. If you could strap him to his chair so he cant turn round and chomp you, chances are he would confuse all the other zombies and go into their heads and give them mixed signals. TURN IN TO PET
Zombie Jean Grey – Well this is interesting. Technically as Jean she could become a zombie. If she was Dark Phoenix as a zombie, the world would come to an end so quick that no one would even realise that we once existed. I am sure she would eat the planet, or make in implode or something. That would be a here today gone 3 milliseconds later. NOT MUCH YOU CAN DO
All in all its clear that if the X-Men come to town as Zombies… Not even ‘Murica will be able to save us!!!
Due to work related issues, and also a heat that has been almost beyond believable, I have been awfully inactive with regards to this blog-o-mine. Strangely enough, I also haven’t had any random conversations that were good enough for me to remember and then to follow up with a ramble about. Maybe its a good thing. Maybe it means that I have run out of relevant things and all that’s left for me to do is to share with you the intimate things that grind my gears.
1. Econet Wireless
Ok. So for those of you who don’t know Econet are a mobile provider and claim to have the largest subscriber base here at home. The reason why I say claim is because most people have had more than one line at any time. I think I have about three lying around. Anyway they recently decided to continue raping their customers when they recently decided that 30c wasn’t enough to make a phone call. Also if you have more than 30c and you make a phone call you get cut off once it gets below 30c. I mean, who the hell does that? Also does that mean whenever we buy airtime we should be buying them in multiples of 0.70c and not multiples of 1?
And (I know its poor grammar to start a sentence with the word “and”) how can you charge people 9c for a text message? That’s pure insanity. Like how did they come to the conclusion that that’s a fair price. I read an interesting article. Econet were boasting about how they had spent around $1.2 BILLION US DOLLARS on investments in Zimbabwe.
I was like WOW….. that’s a shitload…. how come I have NO idea what ANY of these investments have been? Coz that’s a lot of money to invest without telling one or 200 000 people, “Hey that was us Econet investing in that.”. In fact the article goes on to say that “more than 50 000 direct and indirect jobs had been created, more than 20 000 small businesses had been sustained by the company and in excess of 25 000 young people are now employed selling airtime and other services.” Oh ya by the way, the margins that these guys make for every dollar of airtime they sell is less than 10c per dollar they sell… its minimal. They are being shafted.
Evil Corporation 1 – Ensign 0
2. Harare Drivers
It’s like there is an unwritten law in the Highway Code of Zimbabwe that says “Should there be a loss of power at a set of traffic light and/or rain, all drivers are to forget how to drive on the roads and the rules of the road are no longer relevant.”. I mean most drivers in Harare are bad, but just kill the power to a traffic light, throw in some rain and you have instant gridlock. It’s as if some drivers decide the world is coming to an end coz these traffic lights aren’t working and it’s raining. So now… it’s a fight for survival! The funny thing is that when you go to smaller towns, the drivers are so chilled, the pedestrians aren’t dodging cars, cars stop at zebra crossings, they don’t jump red lights. Hell in Harare (you would think the capitol would lead by example) its lawless on the roads. For a pedestrian trying to cross a zebra crossing, it’s their responsibility to only cross when it’s clear or they think they can make it.
Harare Drivers 1 – Ensign 1 (I have adapted and I know the ways of the crazed Harare driver)
3. Overpriced Electronics
It has been proven that in Zim, after something electronic is imported, after duties and all the relevant taxes are placed on that item. There is one more tax that is added which I have come to name the Zimbo tax. I find it hard to fathom how a second hand PS3 game at the FLEA MARKET is 50 bucks. Come on! I mean most of these games the won’t even have the inside cover of the games. This really irks me coz I have no inkling to buy electronic goods here at home. More over with the way I like THINGS, they are over priced for me at home! No man… not cool
Overpriced Electronics 1 – Ensign 0
It’s not a race if you are the only one participating – Me
So the question I have is about excess. At what point do you realise that the manner by which we live our lives is to excess. I always make the excuse that everyone is different and that everybody has different… excesses. For some people drinking from Wednesday through till Sunday is not excess. At the same time having eight beers for some is standard, and for other people it’s excessive. I suppose one of the big things is bench marks. I am in the throes of not smoking. I don’t smoke during the day while I am at work, and after work I will have anything from three to a box. Depending on if I end up going for drinks. Of course the weekend is a totally different issue as that’s my time to let my hair down.
The particular reason I mention this is because a friend of mine said that a group of us (himself and myself included) were functioning alcoholics. The definition of a functioning alcoholic that he proceeded to retrieve from the all trusting and all correct wikipedia (the reason I say that is because wikipedia pages are made by sometimes learned and sometimes unlearned individuals. However ANYONE can edit a wikipedia page) left a lot of questions in my head. The excerpt from the wikipedia definition of a High Functioning Alcoholic is “a form of alcoholism where the alcoholic is able to maintain their outside life such as jobs, academics, relationships, etc.”.
The definition of an alcoholic according to wikipedia is “compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker’s health, personal relationships, and social standing.” So by me looking at the two definitions, I become somewhat confused. I don’t think that my drinking or most of my friend’s drinking is compulsive. We sometimes binge, we are not dependent. I think the drinking back home is way different that it was when I was in London. Here I don’t think there is as much of a binge. I think its WAY cheaper here than when I was in the UK, we also have fewer things to do.
It’s not to say that excuses are being made, but I don’t think I would be greatly upset if alcohol was taxed more here. The biggest problem I see with my friends (myself included) is the almost complete lack of any form of exercise. I have too many friends my age (late 20s for those of you who don’t know) who have high blood pressure. Of course there are other complications that come with high BP. I’m not a medical professional, but it’s not great. If I had one wish, it would be that my friends and I would actually exercise regularly. Even just once a week. I try and run twice a week, but there are sometimes when I will go for a long time without running. My girlfriend always says to me “why run? It’s so boring.”. I kinda agree with her it is boring. It is however the one exercise which helps me to deal with my own things in my head. It also feels like I am jump starting my system. I enjoy running not because it’s competitive (I’ve promised myself to take part in some of the fun runs that are organised but I am still trying to get the confidence up), but because I can challenge myself to better my times and to try do further distances.
I feel that when I run, if I don’t give up and walk the rest of the distance, I will do the same for any other activities in life. I know this ended up going slightly to the left of topic, but I guess that’s what happens sometimes…
Alcohol taken in sufficient quantities may produce all the effects of drunkenness – Oscar Wilde
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
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