Thoughts: The Domino Effect

One of the worst things is working all your life and not having a plan for when you retire. Recently someone told me of someone who worked in a power station where there was constant electricity supply and security. After he retired, he had to move out and it took him about 2 or 3 years to adapt to life outside his comfort zone. Today I see a lot of changes going on in society and I wonder, where is all this leading to? Are we making changes just because we can or is there something specific we are working towards?

Recently in America the gay marriage law was passed. Finally ‘sense’ prevailed that all forms of love should be treated equally and given the same rights. It started with talking about it, broadcasting it, gradually desensitising the general public till people started to be indifferent, and then sympathetic and finally supportive. Well what is done is done, it was only a matter of time after all persistence pays. But then I’ve got to ask, what next?

What other ‘forms’ of love are we discriminating against? What other groups of people are being suppressed? What other things that would be classified as a sickness centuries ago is to be normalised today? Well maybe not today per say, say in a couple of years’ time?

domino effect

The basic thought behind the homosexual philosophy is that love cannot be limited and that people have no control over whom they love and should not be forced to love the opposite sex if they lack the ability to. This is what society has tried to force down their throats with things like lesbians being raped as a ‘corrective’ measure. Why would a man pursue a relationship with a woman when he is clearly not attracted to her and vice versa? Why should a person who is clearly not attracted to a person above the legal age be forced to pursue a relationship when they’re clearly not attracted to them and vice versa?

It used to be unheard of that a woman would date or marry a man many years her junior, but that’s obtainable today because change is the only constant thing. So why would a young boy who desires a relationship with his teacher  be denied it or a man who desires a 13 year old girl around his neighbourhood be denied his one ‘true’ love?

An elder once said they weren’t exposed to sex till they were well in their 20s, but they were heavily disadvantaged. If only they knew sex sells! Let’s face it, the ‘kids’ of today get a serious head start on this issue of sex most knowing intimate details before they are teenagers. I recall a story of a girl who delivered at 13 having been impregnated by a boy who wasn’t anymore older than herself!

So wait! Kids are having sex in their teenage years, drinking, living unsupervised lives because their parents have to work and someway somehow they aren’t allowed to be attracted to people who are above a certain age limit? Ok that might be too much, let me take a detour…

I read an article where a woman happen to take her children to what was meant to be a children’s. You really should read the full story here. The summary goes that the children were dressed in bum shorts, alter necks, cut-off jeans and the likes. She noted as well that the 4 to 6 year olds at the said party danced provocatively to songs way above their censorship level. The children who were ‘behind the times’ were voted out as the others ‘twerked’ and did ‘gangsta’ moves. I myself recall over ten years ago where I was at the mall with my family and my father happened to drop his mouth open. We looked along his line of vision only to see a little girl dressed in a short skirt with her a top that had her back open. She looked no more than 3 years of age.

The article further gives instances of when little children were made up as if they were adults, she concluded by asking why, with the rising rate in child molestation, would parents decide to sexualise their kids by exposing them to things they shouldn’t be exposed to at their age.

My point? There are people out there who cannot fathom a functional relationship with a fully developed adult, they rather just have kids! Sick right? Well who are we to say? A man desiring a man was sick, now it’s cute! Children are getting sexually active a lot earlier simply because of their exposure and parents aren’t helping at all with what we expose our children to. I have seen guys my age look at teenage girls with lustful eyes, and it seems ‘alright’ because most assume those teenage girls are sexually active already. We’ve heard of teachers having sexual relationships with their students, sometimes voluntarily other times not. So what’s left? All it takes is a coalition of paedophiles to request their type of love isn’t a sickness. All it takes is the help of the trusty media to help desensitize the public. All it takes is yearly walks by the paedophile bodies yearly to let the public know they exist and do not want to have to keep hiding their love! All it takes is a decade or 2 till our kids have a right to love whomever they love regardless of their age. After all age is nothing but a number.

karma...stop

My question is simple, where do we draw the line?

We Christians failed to be the light of the world by being faithful and upholding the virtues of the marriage institution. We departed from God’s plan for the community based on His instructions for the family. And so based on the fact we are living in sin, those who would ordinarily have the cause to live in shame, now feel the need and want to be open about it.

So a black man wants equal rights, the albinos deserve the same too and so do the disabled members of society. But must it end there? Nope, if a man and a woman can get married, then two men or two women should be able to do the same if they ‘truly’ love each other. So why should a grown man live in shame because of the ‘true’ love he has for a willing young lad or lass? I mean there was a case of a teacher who had a sexual relationship with her student and after her prison time, the lad had aged above the legal age and he continued his relationship with her! Isn’t that a sign love endures?

The world never learns from history, our drive for development is partially fuelled by our desire to do what we want as individuals and not necessarily what is for the public good, we live for the day and disregard the domino effect of what today’s decision could bring.

Are you ok with your child having a relationship with a fully developed adult? No? Well give it time, all it takes is time. Either take a stand today or go along with whatever comes along tomorrow. Your choice! My view on the gay marriage was addressed here and I’m unrepentantly of the opinion our kids should be allowed to live each stage of their lives as is appropriate and not allowed to grow before they should. Protect the children! Let their innocence last as long as it can before the world takes it from them!

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God: The Love of the Father

This week’s post is by Sophie who proofreads my blog. Shout out to her!!! Do enjoy and share:

The Lord is mighty and wonderful in His ways 

In The way in which He orchestrates a series of events.

He is perfect in His timing

Never too late and always on time

I have learnt that it is when we find rest in Him that life begins to make sense in the chaos 

It’s such a privilege to know that We have a loving Father who is ever so gracious and merciful

He looks out for His own 

Allows us to experience the pain of life 

But yet causes something beautiful to come out, life anew

For when He has tried us, we will come forth as gold!

So in the pain, in the happiness 

I have joy because the joy of The Lord is my strength 

I take comfort in knowing that He will never leave me nor forsake me

I take my pride in Him 

Allowing His love to pierce through my soul

I honour Him 

Allowing Him to captivate me with His wondrous works

In all things, I surrender all 

With my arms wide open 

No fear, No doubt 

Nothing but trust!

Music: Sampling as a means to time travel and rewrite stories

There are folks who only listen to music that make the top of the charts. Some only download hit songs from artistes and don’t bother about the albums. I for one don’t rely solely on the radio as there are songs out there that don’t make the radio or don’t stay long on the charts if they are lucky to get on. There are also those who couldn’t care less about who produced a song or the creative process that led to it, they just consume till there’s something new, or a times, something old.

And so I found Bobby Caldwell’s 1980 song “Open your Eyes”, which is a song where he tries to convince a woman that she doesn’t have to be alone and that she should let go of the past. Might you have wondered how I found that song which wasn’t even an album single? Well it was easy after J Dilla did.

Who’s J Dilla?

Real names: James Yancey

The late, great revered hip-hop producer. Maybe he wasn’t as popular as the Dres, Diddys and Timbalands, he still was in a class of his own. He was the producer of Common’s 2000 Grammy nominated single, The Light. He was the one that reinvented (sampled) Bobby Caldwell’s record.

Now sampling was, according to Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian in the documentary The Art of Rap (Something from Nothing) by Ice T, necessitated at a time when musical instruments were removed from schools and they had no other option but to turn their only source of music, the record player, into a musical instrument.

Sampling started out from borrowing drums, horns, keys and other musical elements to actually recreating them and even referencing lyrics as is common of recent in rap music. Ever heard a ‘new’ song that sounded too similar you get confused as to if the song was being played for the first time or if you had heard it previously without paying attention. Or maybe it contained a subtle sound or speech that seemed too familiar? Well that’s because the song is likely a remake of something old you’d heard before. Same way I heard an old song a times and realise that’s were a young artist got his words from. There’s nothing new under the sun yeah?

Well common’s song was eccentric at the time as it dealt with very personal feeling with his then girlfriend Erykah Badu who happen to be in the video as well. He was speaking about his hopes, his convictions amongst other things. A lot different in concept from what Bobby Caldwell did. Why eccentric? Because it was a period when gangster rap was in vogue. It was an emotional song without sounding effeminate (did someone say Drake? Lol), which reminds me in some way of LL Cool J’s 1987 song “I Need Love”.

The Light is a song that always make it back to my playlist, I remember first hearing it around 2007 for the first time and a friend wondered why I liked it. He didn’t appreciate the lyrics or the beat and couldn’t understand why a 7-year-old song would excite me.

It’s the same reaction when I play old songs for people and they wonder why it appeals to me at all. The simple fact is most people compare those old songs to what we have now which is an evolved and mostly watered down version of those old records. People never realise they are comparing vinyls and tape to CDs. They don’t consider how hard live music is and how many hours a band has to rehearse before they can make that one perfect take that gets recorded in history. They don’t consider how hard one has to work to come up with meaningful lyrics, unique wordplay, metaphors, and the likes. They don’t consider how microphones and music production techniques have evolved. They forget some of those songs are mono analogue records.

But once you sit and listen to an old song and have those in mind, you would truly appreciate what it was that enabled what we have today before it was all commercialise and repackaged to our taste. If it weren’t so then we wouldn’t have people still sampling today.

An example is the last verse on Drake’s 6 Man from his “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”. It was taken from Erykah Badu’s hook in The Roots’ 1998 song “You Got Me”.

If you like you could always check www.whosampled.com to find out what songs were sampled in your favourite song and maybe even listen to the originals to how the different bits came together to form them.

Thoughts: Unconscious Induction

I remember as a child, looking up to certain people, from MJ, to uncles and family friends. I learnt a wide variety from them, envied them, and couldn’t wait to do the things they did. I remember excitedly watching people drive cars as it was something I realised I’d have to wait for over a decade before I was legally allowed to. I watched both sexes wear trendy clothes that seemed outrageous and yet I couldn’t wait for the chance to make a choice of what I’d wear.

Sometime last year I was in a bus and beside me was a little boy, I felt him looking at me and looking over I saw a look of admiration and a little anxiety. I smiled back hoping he would lighten up. I realised this was how it must have been as a young child looking at older ones, admiring and learning their attitudes and differences.

child-looking-up

Now the tables have turned and I find myself in the position where whatever I do or appear to do would have an effect on the younger ones around me. I realise my words and actions would either bring something new to them for good or bad, or reaffirm whatever they have learnt so far.

I remember advising the kids I taught to take each stage of life as it came and to never act younger or older than they were as they would certainly pass through each phase when it was due. Why live 18 at 15? 23 at 18? 30 at 20? 50 at 30? What happens when you’re 80? You’d live 112?

It was a challenge, I found myself as a teacher whose duty it was to guide and guard these kids in specific subjects as well as about life generally. It was difficult as I had my fair share of stiff teachers and had had my streaks of rebellion. I was caught in between. I wanted to be the young one who’d understand them and what they’re all about and indulge their excesses. At the same time, I wanted to be the older one who had experiences to share so that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes I had and to lay as good a foundation of discipline as I could.

How well did I do in the end?

Very well I dare say!

Only because however tough I was on them, they still were comfortable enough to open up to me and nearly 2 years after, I’m still in touch with a few of them.

My point?

The more we grow, the more liberty we gain, religiously, economically and socially, tend to use as we please, which is just great. But however much we’d like to tell the younger ones what to and what to not do, they still see what we do, and will re-enact what they fancy immediately or at some time in the future.

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I find I’m still learning so much from the older generation ahead and that it’s my duty to filter through what I learn so that whatever I imbibe is of a positive benefit to not just myself but the younger ones whom I unconsciously inspire. The future depends on how we inspire those who will take over from us, just as much as it is inspired by what we chose to keep from what we learnt every day. So choose wisely cos the younger ones would question our choices just as much as we question the older one.

Poem: Man in the mirror

I woke up today like any other day

While rolling around in my head

It distinctly occurred to me that I was a hypocrite

A hypocrite

For everything I was meant to do that I didn’t

A hypocrite

For every time I chose the wrong option just for its ease or pleasure

A hypocrite

For every time I was Idle when I had so much work to do

A hypocrite

For everything I was blessed with that I wasted or invested in sin

A hypocrite

For every favour I did selfishly

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A hypocrite

Like all those who asked me for honest advice and yet chose the other option

Who was I to be mad at them for wasting my time?

Why would they do the right thing when the person offering advice is a victim too?

Even if they were better for it, would it help me? Encourage me?

There is always an easy way out, why is it usually the wrong one?

How easy is it to take the right way when the wrong way is easier?

In this day and age where kids are brought up in a world that gets easier by the day,

Why would anyone be behind the times and try to do otherwise?

Easier not to care

Easier not to love

Easier cos there are always options

Move with the times, moves with the times, move with the times I say!

But it’s getting harder as well.

Am I the only one who sees this?

Is not it getting harder?

To breathe with all that pollution?

To see in person when they’re just a ping away?

To relish the warmth of touch when a bed is just a walk away?

To sit and talk when work’s piled up for days?

To tell the truth when the lie seems the democratic way?

To find what we need under all this information overlay?

hypocrite

But change is the only constant thing

Think again! Truth is constant!

There used to be a time when all knew the truth

We didn’t have to speak it cos we lived it

Now we find it near impossible to speak about it

Simply cos we killed it! WE ALL killed it!

Who will convict us? Our conscience?

Our conscience is its only witness to its own murder!

Without a guide, how do we know where we are heading?

Like sailors at sea slowly sailing towards sirens

What is virtue?

Patience is for fools!

Be fast and furious!

Be raw and rugged!

Be giddy and greedy!

Be wily and witty!

Now its truth against tolerance

Respect against liberty

Patience against ambition

Integrity against impression

Semantics against redefinition

Can’t beat them?

Join them?

Can’t always win?

Pick your own strengths and your own weaknesses

Pick what you win at and what you will sacrifice?

Pick your sins?

Pick your scenes?

Is there equilibrium between reward and consequence?

Do we always lose some when we win some?

Opportunity cost you say?

But it can’t be that way!

We always get away with it!

Burned liver, overwhelming spleen

Deteriorating economy, withering skin

Ghost like soul, narcissistic whim

the-three-faces-of-physiotherapy

Me, myself and I, the counterfeit’s triangle

The lies me hides from I,

The hate I hide(s) from myself,

The lack of faith myself has in me

The synthesis of our hypocrisy

God: All that glitters is not Gold

I was reading Malachi 2 some weeks back and was amazed at what I found:

1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.

2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. KJV

Curse or Blessing

This amazed me simply because these are times when a lot people claim to be blessed, in spite of their ignorance as to what blessings are. A lot of people claim material possessions as blessings. They view illegal favours and recognition as blessings. To sum it up, most times what they claim to be blessings have no connection to God. This doesn’t mean God doesn’t bless them. After all, He provides for every living thing on the earth as in Matt 4:45:

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. KJV

But as said in verse 2, if we don’t give glory to His name, then He can and has cursed our blessings. It is natural to desire the things of life, it is how ever bad to envy those who have such and a lot worse to envy blessings that are cursed. Imagine going out of your way to do what whomever you admire did to get to where he/she is and lost your soul in the way? (Matt 16:26) It’s easy to look at people and envy them but do you ever really know the source of their material possessions or what they had to do to obtain them? The current story of Diezani Allison-Madueke is a startling example as to how far someone would go to achieve their aim.

All that glitters is not gold

Now I assume you’d want to argue that this was said concerning the priests and not to us all, but as was said in 1 Peter 2:9-10:

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. KJV”

My point? The fact that you are being blessed doesn’t mean you should be conceited, you have to remain humble, be self-aware and make sure you check always that you give glory unto the name of God. As the probably clichéd saying goes “all that glitters is not gold”.

Music: Neo-soul theme of cheating and its consequences

D’angelo – Shit, Damn, Motherfucker (1995)

Why are you sleepin’ with my woman?

Why are you sleepin’ with my woman?

This comes as a total surprise

I just can’t believe my eyes

My best friend and my wife

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

Why the both of u’s buck-balled naked?

Why the both of u’s buck-balled naked?

I’m tellin’ you what’s on my mind

I’m ’bout to go get my nine

And kill both of y’all behind

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

Why the both of u’s bleeding so much?

Why the both of u’s bleeding so much?

Why the both of u’s bleeding so much?

Why am I wearin’ handcuffs?

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

These lyrics look too short don’t they? Especially when you get to know it’s a little over 5 minutes in length. D’angelo’s neo-soul style has never been one to be filled with words. As a multi-instrumentalist and his own producer, he lets more than his words tell his story. This song never had a video but the lyrics and how it was sung did justice to it.

As always I love to listen to albums just so I can pick out my favourites whether they be the radio-friendly ones or not. On my first listen to his 1995 Brown Sugar, I took a look at his track list and saw a song called Shit, Damn, Motherfucker and wondered why a song title would consist only of profanity. Giving it the benefit of the doubt I listened and its intro is so cool that I got relaxed. After a minute, the story starts and he asks why? His best friend and his wife. His first reaction is Shit as he is bewildered, next is damn! As the scenario hits home. Lastly is Motherfucker as he realises it’s his best friend and his wife committing the act. He says “I’m telling you what’s on my mind, I’m going to go get my nine, and kill y’alls behind” and shortly after he seems to start coming around to his senses as he ask “Why are both of you’s bleeding so much? Why the both of you’s bleeding so much?” Finally he asks “Why am I wearing handcuffs?” and then the chorus again as he realises the implication of what he has done.

Confession-Ft.-Bovi

The Roots – Break you off ft Musiq Soulchild (2002)

The hook of this song got me first along with the beat, The Roots and Musiq Soulchild delivered a song from the other perspective. Here the artist, Black Thought of The Roots, is the culprit of this same phenomenon. Its video is self-explanatory. Black Thought and Musiq exchange glances as Black Thought arrives. The lady meets him at the door while Musiq’s date arrives. Musiq and the lady exchange glances after his date goes in which could mean a lot, especially that Black Thought wasn’t the first guy she’s cheated with. The action starts in the laundry room and then proceeds to the bedroom. On the way he sees pictures of her and her boyfriend and has a confused look on his face, but she’s at the door to the room and she turns around and it doesn’t matter anymore. Meanwhile Musiq is doing his own thing with ice, honey and strawberries. The boyfriend arrives and opens the door with his own keys and catches them still in the foreplay phase and then makes his presence known. Black Thought pushes her off himself and stands with his hands raised probably trying to say he didn’t know she was taken and he hadn’t done anything yet while the boyfriend reaches for a drawer. The scene changes to Musiq and his girl’s date being interrupted by a loud sound. The scene then moves to the boyfriend in a motel coming out to cops with his hands raised.

Both songs have the same basic theme of being cheated on and taking a repercussive action. Sometimes this involves either or both of the cheaters being injured or killed. Heard of people bathing their lovers with acid? Stabbing another guy or girl with a knife? Makes you wonder why they’d get so mad over ‘just sex’ right? There’s the ideal and the realistic views to why they would do this.

From an ideal, Christian point of view, sex was made by God to consummate marriage which is meant to last as long as one lives. Of course with this kind of lifelong commitment in mind, one can easy bare their all, physically, emotionally and spiritually without feeling fear or insecure knowing fully well they are committed to one another ONLY. This is not a selfish act as the love God preaches is not a selfish one.

Realistically, people just see sex as a thing and want it for different reasons, mostly aside the initial purpose it was invented for. Sex now can be done for different reasons. Fact is that aspect of exclusivity in a relationship is always there because we were made that way. However far we venture, every once in a while we realise we want someone to call our own who will always be there and we won’t have to share with anyone physically, emotionally or spiritually. You wonder at the spiritual aspect? Ever heard a man accuse a pastor of adultery because the pastor and his wife are more spiritually in tune than they are?

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Let’s even consider one of the extremes: The term ‘swinger couple’ sounds ironic doesn’t it? It means we don’t have to be sexually exclusive but then no matter whom we experiment with, we still have to come back to each other because we still are emotionally attached and exclusive. We are a ‘couple’, the element of togetherness; but we are allowed to explore whatever fantasies with whomever we choose, the element of liberty. Some even allow their partner to stray only when they choose whom it’s with.

I bet you are thinking this doesn’t apply to you right? You are not that extreme. But still even those who cheat unrepentantly with multiple partners still get livid at the thought of being cheated on. Still some don’t care as they never commit to anyone so they aren’t allowed to catch feelings but still they live with the mind-set that all boys or girls are cheats and as such they don’t trust anyone enough to settle down, something they secretly naturally desire. But then there is progress as there is now the trend of baby mamas. But even someone like Future who has 3 to 4 baby mamas still wanted to marry Ciara. Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Why would a man get illogical enough to assault or kill people because he was cheated on? It’s simple, we have a possessive nature and in a moment of madness we just want to share our pain, and if an acid is what one feel it would take to communicate their anguish then they use it because one one’s drowning in pain, it only feel logical. Worst of all your best friend and your wife, they two closest people in your life asides your family who are obligated by blood. The two people whom are closest to you only ‘cos you chose them as they chose you, only ‘cos they were there at your ugliest times and stayed, only ‘cos they see the best in you, only ‘cos you could die for them as you believe they would do the same, only ‘cos the love those 2 people professed that gave you life is actually hate and you wish them death in an instant of rage! Shit, Damn, Motherfucker!