Computer games, movies, music, etc. I'm entertained to the last shred of my wits. So why am I still bored? I have a theory. I find that entertainment is not like a debt you pay and settle. It's like a hole you keep digging deeper and deeper. Like a drug you get more and more hooked to with each puff. Law of diminishing utility; you need a bigger high the next time, or it's just not the same.And marijuana is psychologically addictive, according to research.
This morning the people at Kiss FM morning show whateveritsname were busy hyping the wholesale badness of marijuana for human consumption. Have Jalas and Caroline NEVER heard of medical marijuana?
Okay some guys get so high on weed that their brains feel like raw vegetables (cabbage to be precise) sitting squarely in their skull. Others embark on laughter adventures. Others pull off their clothes. Others become very hungry. Others become downright unbearable. One of my friends, when he got high, he began to tell lurid tales that were nothing short of diabolical. As in live-horror-spoken word. Anyway. Others go so far as to actually become mad.
I'm all for Caroline warning people about the dangers and setbacks associated with marijuana BUT. There's got to be a but. As with every other thing, there's at least two sides to any story. Hyping one side too much ranks among propaganda. Especially if your trigger to activism is a government official. The establishment's agenda is to establish its agenda.
True, marijuana IS psychologically addictive, and the people who have been messed up by it are many. The questions WHY and HOW are the next logical step, unless you're only interest is to declare final edicts that are not to be questioned. Which falls right in with the profile of a tyrant. The type who'll rubber-stamp "hippie" on your forehead and that'll be end of the matter; off to rehab with you. See how Caroline wrote off the pro-mary-jay callers as high and mentally-unsettled.
A free choice is best made when all supporting and contradicting information is available for analysis. Otherwise, deception is in progress. I know many sites which allege benefitsofmarijuana.com among many others. And they have scientific data, anecdotal data and the whole works. To say nothing of the marijuana legalization movement in the US, which is managing to hold civilized debate amongst proponents and opponents, and state governments that have been legalizing (medical) marijuana one by one.
Lastly, as things now stand, marijuana is illegal in Kenya. That part is not the subject of argument.
Today’s software music synthesizers work well enough. However, the user’s music-making talent is a different matter, the same way simply having a grand piano is no guarantee of a classical performance. Years ago I taught myself the basics of getting virtual instruments to harmonize on a laptop - and got hooked to making music- till right now. It’s a hobby. Of late a decidedly Caribbean influence has taken root.
So I’ve been listening to the music I’ve managed to create – sometimes with help from friends. At first in my late adolescence the tunes were like an adventure. Of late they are less overexcited. Very introspective either way – that has never changed. Ideally, the tone of a piece of music matches the mood of its composer at the time of composition. My experience? My sad slow songs correspond with tragic eras of my life while upbeat celebration songs coincide with happy times. Not exactly rocket science. The few times I attempted to break this rule, the end result sounded forced. Like a choir of kids whining out the strains of Hosanna chorus.
Forced. This is what comes to mind when I hear all these modern day party anthems. They sing boisterously of fun and good times but they sound hollow, relying mostly on beats to animate excitability. I can’t remember a hit song that actually said anything impactful except to emphasize that sex seels and 'love,' however defined, never gets old. Usually, thematic aspects are lackluster indeed. Such empty lyrics get at me big time, mostly because they are forced; pumped out en masse by a mammon-worshipping music industry and its attention-fixated lackeys. Just like alcohol, whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
We live in interesting times. Without going into the details, allow me to claim that we live in a world where the masses (commoners, hoi polloi) are intentionally kept ignorant and distracted. Ignorance ensures that we know not that we are exploited. Distraction ensures that we never find out that we are ignorant. That is why the mass misinformation media and the distraction industry thrives. Think of it as an investment by the oppressors behind the scenes, to keep the oppressed chasing after the wind rather than realizing their misery and oppression in the rat race. So we have, for example, music that is designed to induce a false semblance of a happiness-like sensation. To say nothing of the endless supply of entertainment available today. Some of it even presumes to prescribe how to be happy and increasingly more of it dictates that you are not happy unless you envy or are like THEM. You would be excused if you didn’t see all the problems which money and time are NOT being poured at; the real problems of the oppressed common man.
What am I saying? None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe themselves to be free.
2012 is here at last! Astrologers and other career stargazers have long been hyping the alignment of constellations or horoscope formations (donno!), supposedly meant to occur in 2012, as the dawn of a new Age of Reason/Horus/whatever. Isn't that just contradictory, reading the future in the stars and declaring the whole circus an Age of Reason?
I'm not holding my breath. If you ask me, astrologers, wizards, witchdoctors, soothsayers, fortune tellers, palm readers, waganga kutoka Zanzibar, etc all serve up the same wine of deceptions on which the whole contemporary world is drunken. Those who mutter and peep and presume to tell the future are just one breed in the highly variable death-promoting Babylon system.
And they are many.
There are many breeds of untruth in that stated system, a great variety too, designed to capture the imagination of every type of personality alive. Think of it is a large array of traps, each set in such a way as to lure particular target-types. Actually:
No small-time conjurer the great tempter Who lies in wait and studies his prey Laying just the snare where the case may fit. Traps for rodents and nets for birds.
For those obsessed with outward form cyclical fashions; For those keen on excitement thrilling distractions; For the more cerebral types deep devils’ doctrines; For the simple minded ones thrilling sensual lures; For the cold-hearted Drunkenness and bigotry; For the upright ones Trials and persecutions...
To each his own trap And the tempter stays out of sight Except to gloat at his victims As they fall therein
Call me a conspiracy theorist. I was scheduled to meet all my friends, but because the meeting was entitled "Feelings Catchment Control Commission," all my nerves were on edge. When my friends congregate under that banner they become coarse in their handling of none of their business. I knew they were up to putting me in the hot seat all because of The Ex failure to make up with me.
"If you love something, set it free; if it doesn't come back to you, it was never meant to be." Simple fact. FCCC can play matchmaker to no avail.
So I approached Carol's, the scene of the meeting, with crossed fingers and inhibitions and reservations. I was ready and willing to snap at anyone who asked me anything about The Ex.
But my militancy was not required. They were playing Scrabble in the dining room. Tellingly, the only ones excluded from the game were The Ex and I. We were supposed to 'talk aside' on our own and resolve the issue between us, failing which the FCCC would be invited to mediate.
Alone with me, The Ex acted too superior for my liking, channel-surfing on TV during time set aside for earnest discussion. She finally settled on a Nigerian movie.
Then she turned lazily to me and went, "What?"
"Best wishes in all your endeavors." What I meant was "To hell with your diva airs your highness!"
She replied "You too" in a comparable tone.
"Great," I said, openly relieved, "I guess we're done here."
"Okay" she hissed with pleasure.
We rose to leave. But the FCCC weren't done with us; they demanded a full briefing of our final resolution. So off we trooped to Carol's family's dining table. Five faces waited with expectation.
Me: "We have forgiven each other - in fact just this morning - put the past behind us, moved on with our lives."
The Ex: "Independently."
At this, Carol, the moderator of this particular session of the Commission, then called a battery of witnesses.
First was Sister of The Ex, who testified, swearing all the while, that The Ex had been talking about me "all day until about a week ago" and was still keeping my keepsakes.
Second 'witness' was David, who said The Ex and I had been together for "more than six years." When I added "On-off" to clarify, Carol yelled "ORDER!" at me.
Third 'witness' was Best Friend of The Ex, who said The Ex still had a "soft spot" for me, and she suspected vice-versa too. Also, she said she "caught [me] in the process of harming myself at the pool" on account of The Ex. Luckily she ceased her narration there, not going into the details of subsequent happenings between herself and I.
The "evidence" tabled before the Commission led them to prevail upon us to reunite or show cause why we could not.
"Too bad I already moved on," I insisted, mentally cooking up a girl's name. Ailis came to mind.
I always thought that, in an argument, conceding to anything merely for the sake of personal peace was a bad bargain, that the sacrifice of one's God-given rights was too high a price for some boring transient tranquil. That was back in the dire days when I preferred to let people harass me to (their) death before the old ego could climb down from its lofty throne. Traces of that stubborn nature remain to this day. The case of my buddy reinforces the moral of the story.
Now my buddy was dating my friend and I was their customary relationship counselor, me of all people, which tells you how that one was going. Along comes the guy one day, long-faced, looking lugubrious. When I ask him what it would take to fix his face, he raps to me the lyrics of his relationship details. The artistic awesomeness of said lyrics however surrender supremacy to the pathetic romantic state of same lyrics.
He said he was depressed. Reason? He had time and again been compromising his plans and budgets with his girl's demands and threats and sulks and whines, all in the hope of a better relationship. It hadn't worked, she wasn't happy, now he was glum.
Being a mutual friend of the couple, I understood his situation too well. So I told him it was his fault for putting himself in a situation where his primary trigger to action was the whines, lamentations and pouts of his girl. I explained to him how, according to punishment and reward theories, he himself had trained up his girl to be a constant crybaby; firstly by instantly rewarding her crybaby ways with instant rich rewards, and secondly by consistently failing to punish same crybaby tactics in any way. All because he became panicky and knock-kneed in the presence of an unhappy beauty. But there was hope yet for him, I said, prescribing a harsh regime involving heavy doses of hardheaded strong-willed deeds at first, later to be phased out slowly in favor of civilian-friendly conduct, aka plain old assertiveness. Just enough independent decision-making to demonstrate to her that he had a working brain in his own head. If she dumped him before the revolution was complete, I said by way of encouragement, "Well, good riddance."
My buddy has not talked to me for the entire while since. He's still with her, long-faced as ever.
So I was in the village in December and much has been said about the Probox.
I have seen many Proboxes over the last few months, but I never saw one that needed panel beating. They are always spick and span with hardly a dent on them. That could be a sign of superior engineering. Or it could mean that there are only two extremes for the Probox in an accident: either the scrapyard, or no accident at all. There is no alternative.
You wouldn't think from analyzing the award-losing shape of the Probox that it was designed with any heavy duty purpose in mind. It is known to have all the toughness of an egg shell. Still, Kenya's entrepreneurial class has done away with these scruples and now, on rural routes in Western Kenya, the Probox is a fourteen-seater public service vehicle. Yes, having five seatbelts and five seats TOTAL. A passenger who squeezes in the boot of a Probox can negotiate ten bob off his or her fare. Twenty bob if they add a few live goats in the midst of all seven of you back there. Then at long last the driver, who happens to be sharing his seat, takes off, his entire right arm outside the window up to his shoulder. He happens to work a gear stick which emerges from between someone's legs. Not exactly the glamour shot for maneuverability. Looking at such a Probox from outside, though, one sees only its perfect square lines and box shape, and you'd never think from the sight of one that there would be thirty corpses from the highway conjugation of two such Proboxes.
Meanwhile, a profusion of motorbikes on roads is such that fatal accidents happen every which way. It doesn't help that the motorbike riders react to the deaths of their compatriots by tearing down the roads in rowdy bands, shrill whistles clamped in their jaws, every one of them in the wrong lane trying to be Renegade on a KES30,000.00 budget contraption called "PENG". Not "Harley-Davidson". And then there's frequently the burning and lynching of crooks associated with the trade, coz PENGs seem to have high demand enough to kill for, or strand and rob passengers with. So apparently perpetrating a bodaboda business and earning income therein does not do much to dispel alcoholism, violent conduct and rough language.
As for the legally-fourteen-seater vans, those never lack that legion of young men which hangs at the door, heads bent inward. The ones who make a van lean to one side as their shirts wave like flags in the wind. The tout is usually the one who bribes the cops at so-called "traffic checks". His nightmares mainly involve Michuki Rules and presidential crackdowns.
Traffic cops are another matter altogether. Always potbellied and standing in the sun all day, you would think potbellies would shrivel under such harsh working conditions, but no. Anyway, one of them has taken to enlivening his dreary day as he waits for overcrowded Nissan vans to come his way. And not only by accepting bribes does his attitude towards life improve. Using his truncheon, he whips the butts of these hanging young men as they move past him, at a time when their hands are holding on for dear life. Admittedly, many cops look unfit and ponderous and overweight with their potbellies and all, but one need only experience their forearms to confess that COPS ARE STRONG. Such intense pleasure does he derive from seeing his victims struggle to maintain their grip after THAT ONE. Usually they just cry out and wincingly exclaim through gritted teeth to other occupants of the van that the fat cop has walloped them. His victims must rely on the breeze to palliate the hurt, seeing as they can't just release their grip on the matatu to rub their posteriors. And if anyone falls off the van because he let go his grip for the urgent necessity of rubbing his rear, the cop outright laughs in triumph, truncheon raised. Wicked man.
Seriously if only Kenya's traffic policymakers recognized the reality in the grassroots, that people will travel, no matter the challenges presented by low supply and high demand.