Friday, December 06, 2013

Farewell To A Great Man: NELSON MANDELA





I wasn’t born when Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964. I got to know a lot about this great man via news reports, photographs of him in the newspapers, songs demanding for his release, documentaries and Social Studies classes at school. It was Dad who answered my earlier questions: “Who is Mandela?” “Why is he in prison?” “What is the meaning of apartheid?”
 I clearly remember that night in February 11, 1990;  when my father excitedly calling Mum from the kitchen and we all saw him on T.V, a suited grey-haired gentleman triumphantly holding his fist in the air as he finally walked out to freedom after 27 years in prison. The whole world not only celebrated his long awaited release but the end of the immoral regime of apartheid; where black South Africans were treated as third class citizens in their own country. A documentary followed by the musical SARAFINA! told me a lot of things about that terrible time (including the massacre of protesting workers and students); years later I learnt even more after reading Alan Paton’s CRY; THE BELOVED COUNTRY and Athol Fugard’s SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD. The latter in particular made me cringe; black Africans having to carry identity books and work-seekers’ permits, the racial inequality and other things they had to put up with at the time e.g. “Whites Only” signs really sickened me, that and the fact that apartheid in South Africa was actually legal.
This is what Nelson “Madiba” Mandela fought against and in the end, his (and his supporters in South Africa and other countries) paid off big time; independence, end of apartheid, freedom and in 1994, he became the first democratically elected black president of South Africa. What I liked best about him was his efforts in bringing about racial reconciliation in South Africa after that; wanting both the blacks and Afrikaans to get along from then on and let go of the past- not an easy thing of course, especially if one looks at how long apartheid reigned in that country; from 1948 to 1990. His commitment to World Peace and willingness to forgive the people who had put him in prison in the first place really moved me. He said, “As I walked out the door toward the gate of freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.
When he was sentenced, Mandela was 45; when he was released, he was 72,  over two decades in incarceration. Yet, his defiant spirit remained unbroken all those long years and he was a symbol of hope to those who abhorred racism and apartheid and motivated them to continue fighting. While in prison, he recited William Ernest Henley’s poem- INVICTUS ("Unconquered" in Latin) - to other prisoners, influenced by the poem’s message: 

  INVICTUS


“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquered soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scrolls,
Iam the master of my fate:
Iam the captain of my soul.”

The world is now in mourning of a great man but we must not be sad, even though naturally we all are right now. Like Gandhi before him, Madiba cared about his people and fought for the end of tyranny and inequality. He did and achieved a lot of things; including influencing thousands. Now he has gone to rest. As we say goodbye to Nelson Mandela; we pray to Almighty God to grant his soul eternal rest, to give his family and South Africa the fortitude to bear this loss. And the rest of the world, particularly world leaders to remember what Madiba fought and stood for and do their best to emulate him. REST IN PEACE MADIBA. 

"I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying"- Nelson Mandela








Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Carbo Fan Fiction- Return Journey Chapter 27





 Chapter 27
The song selected for the newlyweds’ first dance as man and wife was Ella Fitzgerald’s At Last. Darcy Jonas felt it was more than fitting as she watched her parents on the dance floor; her handsome papa’s eyes on his wife, his arm round her waist. She smiled at the matching look of love on her mother’s face. If there was a couple who deserved a life time together, it was those two.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Carbo Fan Fiction- Return Journey Chapter 26




Chapter 26
Vivian had neglected to tell Hope about the botched task so she was unable to hide her shock on seeing Bo waiting for her.
Bo stared at her hard. After the drugging/almost burning him alive episode, not to mention her outburst in court; he wasn’t surprised she’d tried to kill him again. But to actually conspire with Vivian- that was the real bombshell.

Friday, November 08, 2013

BEING STRESS FREE: POSSIBLE?

*First, my sincere and heartfelt apologises to my visitors for the long gap between updates. I am currently unemployed hence unable to afford regular internet, so please bear with me*






"STRESS IS AN IGNORANT STATE. IT BELIEVES THAT EVERYTHING IS AN EMERGENCY. NOTHING IS THAT IMPORTANT" - Natalie Goldberg


No matter how we keep believing that, there is no way we can escape getting stressed out on several occasions. I should know; worry and anxiety over my writing, finding work, battling with my part time studies and lords knows what ends up with me feeling ill- pains on the back of my neck, stomach aches, a few panic attacks and don't get me started on the hideous migraines. I'm too lazy to learn yoga so these days I rely on herbal tea to ease the stress. It's a lot better than two years back- I was so stressed and depressed that, to my horror- I lost half of my hair. I didn't even know until I went to get my hair washed and my hair dresser was like, 'Amina, have you been thinking too much?' 
There is always something to worry about, sorry to say. We humans just can't help it- especially in the workplace. One puts in their best at the job then it comes the time when they are given a lot to do (more than they can handle but too proud to say so), when they are told they are not doing enough hence do too much or the meaner bosses who make them feel after everything, there's still something lacking! The brain gets the biggest hit, one would feel rather disoriented and unable to function properly for a while and it leads to fatigue and early aging.
There are other reasons outside the workplace; personal problems, worry about money, worry about security, pressure from family members- the list is endless as anything or anyone could be a stressor.
Of course there are ways of treating it, proper ways of course like lying down and listening to slow music, yoga (which is pretty much non existent here in Nigeria), exercise, taking up a relaxing hobby.  I do all I can to reduce any form of anxiety but afterwards it's back to square one.
Just how can one be absolutely free from Stress? Is it even possible to be free of it?

Carbo Fan Fiction- Return Journey Chapter 25




Chapter 25
Victor knew he deserved Bo, Roman and Shane’s contempt but all the same he was very angry Bo would think he conspired to kill him. After bonding with Bo after Shawn Brady’s death, Victor believed his son had finally decided to let the elevator incident and other past crimes go and establish a proper relationship with him. 

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Carbo Fan Fiction- Return Journey Chapter 24






Chapter 24
Dr. Marcus Hunter was tired from his journey but he briskly looked through Carly and Darcy’s charts after looking in on them; his heart clenching at how ill his old friend and former colleague looked.

CARBO FAN FICTION: Return Journey Chapter 23

First of all, very sorry for the delay in posting new blog posts. Currently I am unemployed so I cannot afford regular internet service like I used to; I go to internet cafes when I can so please bear with me, thanks.





Chapter 23
Bo didn’t sleep that night at all; the bed was empty without Carly beside him and the house painfully lonely without the children. He wouldn’t be at home at all but Roman, John, Marlena and the others who came to visit Carly and Darcy had urged him to get some rest; he’d been with the two women all day. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

CASTRO's LAST BOW



Before the shocking news of his suicide; the last we heard of this evil man was that the 'House of Hell' where he imprisoned his victims was torn down. At the time, I said 'good riddance', why should his house become a tourist attraction considering what went on in there for a decade? And I cannot believe what he said in court, ' I am not a monster, I am sick.' Man, I know mental illness exists but if he was truly sick he would have been sentenced to an institution of the criminally insane, not life imprisonment in jail. No, that evil man knew what he was doing big time, just as he knew what he was doing when he hanged himself in his cell after just a month in prison. Every one says he took the coward's way out, preferring to take his life after stealing 10 years of those poor girls' lives; after just one month! After many years of terrorising and killing innocent people, Hitler could not face impending arrest and probably the death penalty for his crimes, so he and his wife committed suicide. The biggest monsters are the biggest cowards, it seems.
For those who feel this man got off lightly, do not say that! He has gone to face an even higher judge.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

PORNOGRAPHY



 When I was a child, they were known as 'Blue' Films; later on they were called 'mojos', 'smut', 'porno'. My early sight of a porno film  was at age 7 (I sincerely maintain by accident- the actual viewers had no idea I was in the room; early than that I found a discarded smut magazine (It's amazing what children find no thanks to careless adults). Pornography's in many forms- erotic pics, erotic literature, magazines like Playboy, Hustler, Penthouse etc. and the movies themselves; Soft, Hardcore, Gay  and the more very  disgusting ones like  Child Porn, S&M and 'Snuff'. In Nigeria, there was Bubbles and Lolly ; sex cartoons and  some nude photos.These days, viewers don't even need to buy tapes or Dvds; when the Internet has more than enough porno websites  anyone can easily logged into (the side effect being vicious malaware creeping into the computers' hard disks)
Mind... this post is not to advocate  for Porn but  merely exploring how people see it.

In the view of  Feminists; it's demeaning to women. 'Snuff' porn especially is a serious threat to women as Snuff films include violence. According to Feminist activist and journalist Gloria Steinem (step mother of actor, Christian Bale), Porn is totally different from Erotica( which is merely any artistic work that deals with sexually simulating subject matter), ''just as love is from rape, as dignity is from humiliation, as partnership is from slavery and as pleasure is from pain." She further stated that besides the female demeaning; Porn- be it Heterosexual or Gay- one person is basically the dominant master/ conqueror; the other is the submissive victim/slave. (I wonder if the  porn viewers and addicts take the time in the middle of being sexually aroused to see it that way)
The general  religious view simply is that porn  depicts fornication, complete lack of morals  and  explicit acts of prostitution; therefore they are trash and sinful. It  promotes Lust and carnal desires, corrupts the mind, body and soul into doing things forbidden-  harboring impure thoughts, premarital sex, self stimulation (masturbation), adultery, rape, unhealthy obsession with sex  and is dangerously addictive. To cleanse the mind, body and spirit- the evils of porn must be avoided at all cost. Simply put; Don't watch it!
To some, and I mean those in the Porn Industry- be it magazines and films- it's a form of Free Speech. Okay... free speech, as in the right to express your yourself or opinions  in any form or impacting knowledge and info via different  forms. Does pornography portray the dos  and the don'ts of sexual intercourse or displays the height of  human sexuality- that we are capable of letting out our most hidden fantasies and carnal desires; or that we are simply human when doing what we never thought we were capable of doing in the bedroom? Desire, Intimacy  and Sex between two people is normal but perversion is not; BSM, Snuff  and Child Porn for example- it promotes sexual abuse, violence and human trafficking- so no.
As for the ' necessary evil' view- those who support that notion would say that it is like marijuana- good and useful when used right. In Hospitals , Fertility clinics and Sex Therapy institutes- it is uses as a tool to obtain 'specimens' for fertility testing, artificial insemination and to help people with sexual problems. As it is viewed in a controlled, sterile medical environment and for a good cause; the viewers would feel a lot less guilty watching or reading it- especially if it's not one of the more perverted types. And from what I heard, petitions are being made to add to the Sex Education curriculum ; which is a very bad idea as  while it would show them what sex is about,  it could also give the students the wrong  idea about intimacy and encourage early sexual activity or much worse.
What's your view?

Monday, September 02, 2013

IN MEMORIAM: GANI FAWEHINMI


September 5th, 2009 was when Nigeria lost one of its revered and most active lawyer and human rights activists; Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) yet last  Sunday , a memorial rally known as  GANI FAWEHINMI EVENT was held in his honour by members of the  the Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Organisation; marching from Ikeja to Ojota, stopping at the park named after him. 
Gani Fawehinmi will always be remembered as a man who fiercely  fought for the common man, Democracy  and against corruption, military dictatorship and social injustice. He was very  relentless; even with several arrests, physical assaults, the burning of his library and the confiscation of his books- not once did the late Senior Advocate of Nigeria ever refrain from speaking his mind and making his voice heard. He cared about the country,   the rights of the citizens and was determined to see the country ruled in what he regarded as true Democracy. I can't help but regard him as  Nigeria's equivalent of Nelson Mandela. 
His death from lung cancer at 71 years came as a shock to all  even though the last taped interview of him showed him talking in a painfully raspy voice but his spirit was still strong. As he is remembered this month, Nigerians must think about everything he fought for and against and  do their  best to emulate him and continue what he started. 
Rest in Peace; Chief Fawehinmi- your struggle continues.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

CRIME AND NOT ENOUGH PUNISHMENT


The 17 year old  who  participated in the gang rape of a young woman (who is now dead) last year in Delhi has been sentenced  to just 3 years in a Reform school. Apparently, India's judiciary are putting his age into consideration and it has caused a huge outcry. (Look at the shameless being  now hiding his face under the pink hood)
3 YEARS??? Did he and his vicious band of evil bastards consider anything when they raped that poor young woman and beat her and her boyfriend with an iron rod- like what they were doing- the terrible physical and emotional trauma on her and her family and friends. Why should the justice system of India give him any consideration at all after the wicked thing he and his friends did- don't they care about their female flock at all? I don't usually support the death penalty but in the case of those thugs; they deserve to be stoned to death. It's as bad as that very very sad 1973 case of Aruna Shanbaug; her attacker (a cleaner working at the same hospital she was employed as a nurse)  left her to die after sodomising her with a metal rod and strangling her with a metal rod. Till NOW, she is in a coma and he is roaming around free under another name. (God will judge him wherever he is in the HereAfter)
Even if they refused to give this present criminal the death penalty, 3 years is too small. The conviction time for the others is yet to be known but the world hopes that justice will be served. India has the bad  reputation of not giving justice to violated women; they have to think of the women and not the welfare of their attackers. If they keep on passing  judgement so lightly like this, the women cannot ever feel safe. May God protect us all.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

R NOT W...

The clip below is from the 1979 comedy/parody film  Monty Python's Life of Brian. Brian is part of an anti- Roman movement and has just been caught by the Roman guards and brought before Pontius Pilate. In this movie, Pilate has a speech impediment.Watch and laugh your sides out! 






Friday, August 30, 2013

TOUCHING STORIES


 One  genre of film I've always been a fan of are films based on a true story. Be they happy or sad- they always manage to move me and make me ponder on the subject(s) of the story. I came across this title by chance- about an African American man who served as a butler in the White House for 34 years;  witnessed Presidents come and go and the several changes in America. Loosely based on the real life White House butler Eugene Allen who died at age 90 in 2010; THE BUTLER stars Oscar Winner,  Forrest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) as Cecil Gaines , Queen of Talk Show Oprah Winfrey as his wife Gloria, Robin Williams as President Dwight  Eisenhower, James Mardsen as President Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as President Lyndon Johnson, John Cusack as President Richard Nixon, British actor Alan Rickman as President Ronald Reagan, Jane Fonda as First Lady Nancy Regan and Orlando Eric Street as President Obama.
While I want to see the movie badly, I'm more interested in the man this film is based on, Eugene Allen. I keep picturing this unassuming yet professional  man who first started as a pantry boy in the White House and then  served 8 presidents during his 34 years of service. From what I researched, he was respected by each president he served, he got to meet Dr. Martin Luther King, Sammy Davis Jr. and Elvis Presley;  was invited to a state dinner by the Reagans, given one of President  Kennedy's ties by Mrs. Kennedy.
 But what moved me the most was that Eugene lived to witness the first African American- Barack Obama- sworn in as President. I keep imagining how he must have felt that historical day, most probably tears filling his eyes and wishing his wife Helene had lived to see the day; especially since he received a special invitation to the swearing-in. For a man who endured segregation growing up,  it must have been absolutely wonderful seeing that and I keep thanking God amidst tears of my own  for His Mercy- for letting Eugene see it!God rest his soul.




The second must see is MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM- based on Nelson Mandela's autobiography; from his childhood and coming of age, 27 years in prison and eventual release. The previous film about his early days as President of South Africa was INVICTUS starring Morgan Freeman; this time British actor Idris Elba will play Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. Considering everything Mandela endured and fought against- it is a guaranteed tear jerker.



Thursday, August 29, 2013

THE ACT OF PREFERENCE & NECESSITY

Life in Nigeria is one big hustle. These days it's harsh in the job market; more and more graduates ambling about with their C.Vs looking for work and praying they would be successful. If they manage to get one,  usually it depends on what grade they have- like a first class- or level of education. Students go to universities to study for a degree in a course they are genuinely interested in, what they were advised to study or what they had no choice to  study because they made the cut off mark. But at the end of the day- they take on careers or jobs that have very little to so with the course studied.
One reason  is; the course related job taken on but not fulfilling hence they go ahead and 'follow their bliss'- doing something else that gives them a deeper feeling of achievement, and fetches good money of course. For example, the preschool/creche I worked last year is owned and run by a woman who studied Law and got called to the Bar. I know two women who studied Pharmacy yet one bakes cakes and deserts for large parties/special events and runs a Catering School; the other is a consultant at FITC (Financial Institute Training Center) here in Lagos. A friend studied Chemistry and works at Chevron yet her real calling is making organic cosmetics and aromatherapy oils.
Another reason is the scarcity of jobs in the job market (NO VACANCY) or not meeting the job requirements which drives them into doing something else to put food on the table. These days, graduates who studied Accountancy are in  classrooms teaching Mathematics because they can't get  work in Banks where they belong , Architecture grads teaching Fine Art, English Language & Creative Arts students in the Marketing Department of any company. Those who teach are known to sell stuff like handbags, shoes and clothes to earn more money.

And there's the most common reason; there are those who were unable to go to university or finish secondary school because of poverty and they are the real hustlers because they have to put their natural or learned skills to use or just go into a business based on demand. They are the vulcanizers at the side of most roads waiting to fix flat tires.
 Some are those who get a few desktop computers and a good internet service and run cybercafes; adding to the  business by also selling snacks, drinks and computer accessories to the customers who come to 'browse' the Net.





















 They are the market women who sell anything from tomatoes, pepper and onions to fried akara or run road side canteens. Some have even started selling home made dish washing soap- which is sweet smelling and very foamy and of course cheap (50 to 100 naira depending on the size of the bottle) and other stuff like seasoning, dried fish, fruits and bottles of kerosine.



Those who  mostly prefer to  use skills to make money  go about it in the following ways.

Bead Making: This line of business is quite competitive as beads are in fashion these days and they sell fast usually because of the pattern/design or the particular stones or beads used; the best kind are necklaces made with semi precious stones and they fetch very good prices.
 



Selling Recharge Cards/ Phone Operation: Very competitive since everyday people need to reload their phone credit so demand for recharge cards is very high. If you don't have a cell phone, you can pay to make a call. You can find recharge card vendors and phone operators' kiosks  just about anywhere; it's only a few who offer other wares besides cards and calls; some sell candy, snacks or new cell phones and Sim cards to anyone who can afford them.  A friend of mine (who was unable to follow her dream of studying Nursing) sells recharge cards and bakes meat pies, doughnuts for sale. Not only that,  she also makes popcorn and  Jollof rice, Fried rice topped with fried turkey and turkey gizzard- fetching her more money to live on.

 


Dressmaking:



Also competitive and takes a lot of skill. Tailors usually prefer to attract customers by sewing clothes of original design and sell them first before taking commissioned work by them. Location of their shops is also important.











Hairdressing: Nigerian women always have to look their best hair wise so there are unlimited hair stylists more than ready to do the job- from shops, near car parks and via home services.










Catering: As far as I know, the most competitive line of business in this country as there several companies offering this service and lots of exotic food besides the traditional on the menu- Chinese, Italian and even casual finger food as well.

In short, everyone just tries their hand on anything they can think of (legit of course) to earn an income. Be it in the form of preference or necessity- they always manage to keep head above water. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

50 YEARS AGO... A MAN SPOKE OF HIS DREAM



I was but  a little child when I first saw the video of Dr. King's memorable speech and that was several years after his assassination. I saw how my father was moved by that speech; he wasn't living in America then but in England and he knew all about racial discrimination and segregation. This man was a man who didn't want racial supremacy but racial equality and a time when black people were regarded by their personalities, their strength of character and what they could achieve in life, not by their race or the colour of their skin. He spoke  not only of civil rights,  equality and integration  of his longing for a time when America and the rest of the world would finally embrace universal brotherhood and get along with one another, regardless of race.
That speech and the march for civil rights  was 50 years old today and that match wasn't only participated by blacks but by those who believed in the end of segregation and the fight for civil rights- the soldiers of change.  Even though a lot has changed over the years; no more 'for whites only' establishments and an African American man as the American President  currently serving his second term; there is still some things left to be achieved. Here and there, there are still displays of racial inequality especially in forms  of racial and ethnic profiling and God knows what else. How does America and the world in general expect to actually make the world a place of Universal brotherhood if they keep judging people by the colour of their skin. Thanks be to God for those who still remember Dr. King's speech, those who are still fighting for change and improvement - 'The Soldiers of Change' as I call them- those who are still following Dr. King's stand on non violence and love. I speak as a person who is a firm believer of  universal brotherhood and equality and hope to be an American citizen some day.
Dr. King's speech should sink inside of the minds of those who need enlightening about racial discrimination and its evils. To all  those who marched that day and took this good man's speech to heart; and still remember it today; determined to emulate every word- I salute you.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

BEN AFFLECK AS BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT'S MANY FACES



I don't know why there's some negativity  here and there about Ben Affleck being selected as the next Bat Man even if Christian Bale will be greatly missed. Why shouldn't he be chosen- he's  a good actor besides having the blessing of being very, very yummy (be still my beating heart). And since his alter ego Bruce Wayne is usually decked out in dark suits- I would say that this very handsome actor is definitely the right
choice. Let's not forget he played Marvel's Daredevil/ blind lawyer Jack Murdock in 2003; alongside the lovely  lady who is now his wife,  Jennifer Garner- who played Elektra Natchios in the film and its spinoff  Elektra.
When I told my brother about Affleck's new role, he said, 'No... he's too well known, why can't they pick an unknown?'
 I pointed out that his predecessors, the ones we Nigerian fans know of, weren't exactly unknowns- Keaton, Kilmer and Clooney. He snorted and said 'Clooney was dry as Batman, in BATMAN  & ROBIN he tried to be funny.'  Like Batman ever tried to be funny!
Any how... this upcoming movie is not a new addition to the Dark Knight franchise but a sequel to the still much talked about MAN OF STEEL starring Henry Cavill. Another actor that gives me  flutters in my stomach and  I'm not ashamed to say that my favourite scene in that movie was the sight of him shirtless;
 Oh My God, wow!. This is a very interesting development since the Superman/Batman movies that exist so far are animated ones- SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES( adapted from the story arc World's Finest and where Lex Lutor actually framed Superman for murder of all things), SUPERMAN/BATMAN: APOCALYPSE (where Superman met his cousin Kara Zor-el a.k.a Supergirl) and of course there is the animated series JUSTICE LEAGUE. This new movie is to be directed by the same director who did MAN OF STEEL Zack Snyder; the title is yet to be known. I for one can't wait to see it!

Superman has been more of a favorite of mine than Batman as a child but Batman comes as a close second. Like Clark Kent's, Bruce Wayne's background story is fascinating, although more tragic and the adaptations gave way for actors to portray him on screen.        
                                                                          
 I'm not familiar with the very early actors to play the dark Knight - before I ever saw Michael Keaton in the 1989 adaptation; we saw Adam West in reruns of the  1960s version. My brothers took one look at him and, sorry to say,  burst out laughing. Having read the comics, I guess we expected to see someone more intimidating but we found the guy a bit too genial  to be Bruce Wayne/Batman and each episode rather campy; we weren't exactly impressed.







In an odd twist of fate, we saw BATMAN FOREVER before BATMAN and BATMAN  RETURNS and we loved Val Kilmer in the role. He was suave, aloof as Bruce Wayne and a commanding presence as Batman and his costume was far better than the one Adam West had- that one was just too ridiculous for us to take seriously and Chris O' Donnell was equally very good as Robin/Dick Grayson.














After seeing BATMAN FOREVER, we, well my brothers, said that Kilmer was the best Batman. But that all changed after we finally got to see Keaton as Batman in BATMAN RETURNS, the one we should have viewed first. We saw him in this scene when he gets up at the sight of the bat signal...








video


 and little brother exclaimed, 'No, this IS Batman, proper Batman! He has the chin, the face, everything!' I completely agreed with him; he was aloof too but stern, intimidating and yes... an even more commanding presence as Batman- far more than Kilmer though we remain impressed with his portrayal. But we can't ignore Keaton; he really nailed it hence he's our favorite Batman to date.

Clooney in the role, well... no; we weren't impressed. Maybe we were already used to Kilmer and Keaton or perhaps it was BATMAN & ROBIN'S story plot; it was completely wack and more comic than gothic like the others and to me, he was not intimidating enough as Batman. Sorry George if you happen to read this. 

Christian Bale, no question! He was super great in the role and every inch of Bob Kane's Dark Knight; it's almost a pity that he won't be in the upcoming movie movie. But I say The Dark Knight fans should give Affleck a chance- don't analyze until you've seen him in the role. Best of luck to him.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

DIGITAL ERA VS 'THE OLD DAYS' ERA


A friend came by the other day when I was in my room tidying up and on seeing my scattered tapes (most of them recorded movies)  asked how will I get rid of them. I said, 'I'm not; I have a VCR to watch them with.'  (pic of the model I'm currently using above)
 'Come on Amina, you still watch  video cassettes? You're so old school.' was her  reply. 'Nobody watches tapes these days.'
 Is that really true? 
 
The digital age has not only brought about radical changes in our gadgets and appliances but also the way we do things. I remember the times when I would buy blank audio tapes, record as many tracks as I could from my favorite radio station and listen to them for hours on my battery-run Walkman. Earlier memories of music listening are mostly listening to  my older brother's records on the turntable - New Edition, Michael Jackson, Kool & The Gang, Earth Wind & Fire, Atlantic Star etc. as well the ones my parents prefer-
King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey and others... those were the days.












Along the line came CDs and CD Walkmans where one has the option of buying a CD of any artist or 'burn' a mixed one to listen at leisure and then was the introduction of the ipod and mp3 players which plays music files that are bought/found and  downloaded on the Internet and instead of bulky audio tape walkmans strapped to the belt or held in the hand, these little gadgets can be easily slipped into the pocket. Those who can't afford the luxury of ipods/mp3 players have the option of listening to them in their cell phones or their laptops if they wanted to just listen online.







From audio cassettes to mp3 music files; the same changes came to videos. When films came to the world, there was the projector. After TV, came the VCR where people watched movies via VHS cassettes (which I still do) before the advent of VCDS and now the DVD; plus video files that can be watched online on popular sites like Youtube and other sites where you have to pay for a subscription.
But the question, are there people like me who prefer the old days? I love the digital era, no question but my friend was wrong about people not listening to tapes any more.VCRs still exist and still sold by electronic companies; these days VCRs come with DVD compartments


and movies/T.V series, especially  those  that aren't  on  DVD  sold in VHS cassettes.Most radios these days too have both tape and CD compartments so I guess audio tapes are still used too.
While I love the picture and sound quality of today's DVDs; I still love (and prefer) my tapes. DVDs gets scratched when handled badly and the image ruined. There's the argument about  video tapes developing fungus  after some years  and making the VCR's head dirty but these days, tapes are treated with anti fungus during manufacturing. Like DVDS, you can continue from where you left off and let's face it... they last better. So with that last fact, I'm not old school at all; I know very well what lasts better and what does not. And people have the right to hold on to their preferences in general. My older brother and a cousin still listen
to music on the turnable; I asked why and they simply said the music they love just doesn't sound right on CD. I don't know how many people still use typewriters but I know I prefer my old laptop to Ipads; I tried using a female cousin's when I was visiting and I found it far too awkward. Just like I hold on to my hardback and paperback books in my bookcases instead of thinking about saving money to buy a kindle; I have nothing against ebooks exactly but I would rather read and own something I can physically hold in my hand.
The digital era has been kind to the world in terms of media, communication; even education. But when one tends to go 'old school' once in a while it's not up to people to judge. Preference is a person's right and it does feel good to slip into 'the old days' now and then.