Monday, March 31, 2014

Match Report

Sunday. 5pm.

The half time whistle came as a relief to our team. We trudged to the sidelines, sweaty and lugubrious-looking , two-nil down the pathetic score. So far our play had been a tear-jerking series of screwballs lofted from our defense, sailing straight into the opposing keeper's grateful gloves. Meanwhile we absorbed two goals, including a contentious penalty kick and a gift to the opposition, courtesy of our atrocious defending and goaltending. (I myself was guilty of squandering two open scoring chances.) Half-time was a chance to get tactics in order. Surprisingly, no such tactics were discussed. Instead, accusations flew like aerial balls that preceded them. 

Second half. We got a consolation goal from slightly improved play but the overall concept was the same - flying curveballs hasty with urgency, yet lacking direction. I was one of two strikers at the receiving end of this highly erratic supposed service, and I dashed up and down for the resulting loose balls for all my lungs' worth. But with four opposing defenders, and our three immobile central midfielders (who spent the majority of the match looking up at balls looping far overhead), the odds were stacked against a victory. We were playing like villagers. 

The straw that broke the camel's back, for me, was two simultaneous injuries in my right groin and left ankle after one particularly stout defender dashed me to the ground, rather than allow my blistering pace to leave him in a cloud of dust. (Un)fortunately, there being no substitutes whatsoever on our bench, I had to see the match to its end. Thus was I the ceremonial figurehead - a striker whose main threat is his affected menacing looks as he limps grimacing about the attacking third.
Two - one the final score. At the end of the match our coach strictly barred us from commenting on it until the next day. A few discontent comments escaped some angry lips, but by and by the censorship prevailed.
As I sat on the grass mentally reviewing my own performance, the adrenalin in my body slowly declined to depletion, which proportionally amplified the pain from my injuries. And just when I thought I would spring to my feet and walk home, I, who had left the pitch at full time with a deceptive spring in my limp, was now stiff and arthritic. The team first aider saw this and immediately took to rubbing liniment into my injuries.

As I lay there groaning and wincing, who should I see on the sidelines but Anita, her eyes fixed on me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tales from Congress

I posted elsewhere about a Youth Congress in December 2013.  Here are some experiences from that.

The afternoon programs dragged on too slowly for most of the youthful participants present. Added to the stifling heat, and a heavy lunch lately settled in the stomach, the presenter's monotonous drone would have proved an effective inducement towards sleep, the last nail in the coffin of consciousness. Fortunately we were discussing "courtship and marriage," an eternal topical fixture for youth gatherings in our church at least, for which the expulsion of under eighteens helped to supply enough conspiratory air to keep the youthful group awake.

Next on stage came a young man who ordered everyone to talk to five strangers and get to know them. I got to it, despite being impatient for the program to progress rapidly to "recreation". (My football cravings endure eternal.) As it turned out there were no footballs nor any balls whatsoever, and these commands to socialize were tricks to fill the empty time with SOMETHING, lest young blood took up free time with mischief. T'was then that I set out, with a mind half set on anticipated future football, to converse with five girls. I forgot most of their names on the spot.
But I remember Winnie, mostly because after she confessed her name I asked, "Winnie, like the runner or the Pooh?" Neither, she said, she didn't even know who or what those were. I confessed that I too knew little about them but for the fact that apparently they were a celebrity athlete and a celebrity cartoon of some sort. She took an instant liking to me, which was the last of my intentions. (Remember, the MC guy said 'talk to five people'. Just following orders.) Thereafter Winnie and I had sporadic talks during the week, usually when she cornered me anchored to one spot by a plate of food, but she was reading too much into my everyday banter. I caught her staring dreamily at me from a distance far too often. It was kind of cute, but my friend "Agrippa" had no qualms giving Winnie his number and claiming that it was mine. The deception fell apart in spectacular fashion less than a week later, after they had already exchanged texts professing mutual love. Overenthusiastic gun-jumpers, the pair of them.
There was football at last, on Wednesday. Of importance is that my brother scored the equalizer for our team in the dying minutes of a crucial semifinal game. I insist on taking some credit for that goal because I came up with the idea of making him lone striker while the rest of us huffed and puffed in midfield and defense. The goal itself was a thing of beauty, too bad there was nobody recording it for posterity (read Youtube.) But we celebrated that draw like World Cup winners. Eventually it was getting dark, so the final was rescheduled to the next day, on which arriving, there was once again... no ball. Maddening! Thus ended our (I insist, our) glorious adventure.

Come next day, Thursday, I met Joy, an innocent (naive) high school student buffeted by the tempests of adolescence (a Justin Beiber fan), on her way to who knows where within the Congress site, hugging a photograph to her bosom on her merry way. Ordinarily I would have chatted her up, to continue my disinterested analysis of her adolescent thought processes, but this time I asked what picture that was she was hugging. "It's my brother," she said with proprietary pride.

I took the picture to look at the alleged brother. It was my brother, the great goalscorer, standing tall and self assured.

"No," I said, laughing, "This is my brother."
She insisted that it was her brother.
"Where are you taking this picture?" I asked.
She said she was going to keep it for her brother. Where? In her bag.

I realized what I was facing here: a proper, real-life "love-at-first-time" crush. It was beautiful, except perhaps the part where she called him her brother as a pretext for buying the picture at a hefty twenty shillings from an opportunistic cameraman - the type who invade events and take pictures indiscriminately, in the hope that someone will pay good money to have their ugly mug removed from public display. Usually, it works on me. But my brother's not ugly, therefore stricken girls (so far, one) redeem his photo from the gallery of ugly.

Presently I spied the disputed brother strolling languidly into view, oblivious to the fact that his familial identity was being heatedly contested. 
"Hey look, there he is," I told the infatuated Joy, "Let's ask him whose brother he is, mine or yours."

She spun wildly to spot him, froze, stared, hardly breathing. Gathering her wits at last, Joy sighed. She hid, pleaded with me not to tell him she had his picture, and sneaked away, fleeing with the photograph tightly held to her chest. It was phenomenal. I'd never seen anything like it.

Of course I told him. What, me, fail to tell my own brother about his sister? Never.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The World is Almost a Feminist Wasteland

I used to espouse feminism. Nowadays I attribute that phase of my life to ignorance, indoctrination and overexposure to mass media. I cringe and shudder to think that I was once so sold on the feminist cause that I affixed the label "feminist" on myself, and wore it about like a badge of honor. If I could go back in time and undo the damage I wrought by my imprudent hook-line-and-sinker swallowing of subversive ideologies inimical to society's best interests, I would, post haste.

(If this was some tertiary-education-level essay I was submitting for grades, I would
define feminism hereabouts. But it's not.)

According to Hollywood and every other "relationship expert" perpetrating the hoax, love equals feminism. You would be surprised how many allegedly Christian marriage consultants peddle patently feminist maxims in the guise of (while in fact contrary to) sound Biblical marital advice. Even gender legislation bows to feminist scripts. The fruits of it are split up families and consequent social rot, whose grand climax is civilization collapse. Any good student of history will affirm that with increasing "liberalization" of a culture's moral standards, usually accompanied by prosperity and luxury, comes a corresponding decline in discipline and social cohesion.

As liberals go the feminists take the cake for utter lawlessness; all their "rules" work to the disadvantage of every other social demographic INCLUDING THEMSELVES. They let it all hang loose, everything. When the true moral, social and economic toll of feminism is taken, including rampant pro-choice abortion, no-fault divorce, and the rebellion that is a necessary part of any revolution against "patriarchy", there will be no winners. Broken families don't strike me as the formula for a successful society of the future.

But I can see how people would blindly subscribe to feminism, ignorantly, even to their own detriment. It happened to me. True story! "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." How else could it be, with entire civilizations enacting an ideology that emasculates their men, claiming "gender equality"? The rhetoric is good, but the devil is in the details. Yet its doctrines are everywhere you find the woman elevated to a prize to be won, a savior of society, a minor deity to be appeased. Feminism spreads just beneath consciousness, yet working as dangerously as a virus in the breeze. 

The World is Almost a Feminist Wasteland? Yes, that's me trying to excite images in your head of zombies swarming a post-apocalyptic planet, because such is just what feminism will achieve if allowed to run unchecked.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Song Review - Size 8 - Mateke

This is my first song review on this blog.

However, I am not here to comment on the musical aspects of the song! Neither the instrumentation nor the vocal delivery are the targets of my opinion here. Rather, let us dwell upon the message of this highly acclaimed gospel track, "Mateke," by Size 8.

Admittedly the song is not the latest Kenyan gospel music release. Even so, certain things about its message stir up certain concerns in me, which I presently expound on. Isolating and dissecting the chorus will do it for now.

"Yesu amempa Shetani mateke, Sababu ya mateke mimi niko huru."
Translation: "Jesus has kicked Satan, consequently, I am free."

I have only one question: who "kicked" the other?

The use of violence is not Christlike, hence His title Prince of Peace. Jesus Christ defeated Satan, but it was not in a cage match. The victory over sin and death (and Satan) that Jesus won did not rely on strong-arm tactics, His weapons were love and righteousness. In fact, Satan is the one who hoped he would win the war by mocking, spitting on, whipping, striking, and eventually crucifying Jesus via his human agents (Roman soldiers, who represented all the rest of mankind). I presume some kicking was involved, but specific mention of kicking does not appear in Scripture. From the gospel of John, chapter 19: 

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. 
And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe, And said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and they smote Him with their hands....
(v16) Then [Pilate] delivered Him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led Him away.
Jesus was capable of  kicking and/or otherwise assaulting Satan (and his agents) to end the contest if it had come to violence, that is beyond doubt. However, He chose not to. One certain choir's song comes to mind.
"He could have called ten thousand angels
to destroy the world and set Him free,
He could have called ten thousand angels
but He died alone, for you and me."
Now some might argue,  claiming the kicks Size 8 alludes to were metaphoric. But one now-famous action-packed performance of hers pretty much precluded that possibility.
image from (with apologies to readers)
The humility of Jesus - the sinless Son of GOD - in willingly giving His own life as a sacrifice for mankind, runs in contrast to the typecast renegade good guy who "breaks the law to preserve the law." Jesus Christ and Jack Bauer are two very different principles. One gets a power guitar ad-lib, the Other gets crowned King of Kings. Why?
Isaiah 53:5
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
Revelation 5:11-12
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.