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Showing posts from January, 2018

Bank Tellers Obsolete

Banks are easing out bank tellers.It seems to be pointing in that direction because they are not happy to see me these days.Bank tellers from different banks have the same question every time I pay them a visit to check if dollars and cents I keep for safe keeping are still in the safe. 

I have to.They don’t make movies about bank heists anymore because bank robberies happen with ten fingers, digital robbers with laptops holed up in hotels for months, experimenting with passwords and sending ‘You have won $30,000.’ messages.
Do you do online banking? After that question, bank tellers continue to advise me how the banking needs that brought me to their counters could be done online.Yes, online banking is something we have accepted rather reluctantly, but we use it.

However, there are certain things that sends us to the branch, such as a third party wanting the bank’s stamp on a document, or transaction records with the stamp on every page. Pushing customers to online banking comes from top …

Credit Card Jeans

Leave the credit card at home.Sounds great for a new year resolution, but I don’t make them anymore since I don’t implement them.

Credit cards are for buying lifestyle items.Let me break it down for you.Those are items you don’t need but like, such as the pair of jeans I uncovered in the closet this snowy day.When and where did I buy them?I tried them on and the zip encountered a construction barrier, which means I bought them before the ‘happy holidays.’I suppose they should change Christmas to happy eating holidays. The weight gain does not upset me.I’m angry for having bought something I don't need because of that tenant in my wallet.Why do I carry that credit card around?For temptation?But that’s a cop out.It’s easy to blame a piece of plastic that cannot defend itself.

I should take the blame, 100%.I can’t budget.If I did, I would leave the plastic at home and take it along when I need to buy some big-ticket item, not a pair of unwanted jeans.Better still, I should pinch myself …

Devdas Father and Son

The last three books I read in 2017 were about bad vibes between father and son.I found it surprising because I was under the impression that most cultures prefer sons, since it is believed that they perpetuate the family name.

Devdas, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film is one of the Hindi films where actor Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai made an indelible mark.It also demonstrates the negative side of ‘like father like son.’ Granted, Devdas (Shah Rukh Khan) becomes a lawyer like this father, but he is very abusive.He used to hit his childhood sweetheart Paro (Aishwarya Rai), something we discover later in the film.

His father used to beat him all the time because he disapproved of his relationship with her.There is also some dialogue where Paro says something to the effect, what are you going to do, beat me?
When he comes back from the United Kingdom Devdas gives Paro his grandmother’s bracelet, but later writes her a letter saying there is nothing between them. Paro’s mother (Kirron Kher) acc…

Lamb Chops and Surprise Guests

Student's visa.  So, you finally got your visa to study in England?You need English for the lectures and grocery shopping at stores that sell African and Asian food.You must also understand British culture and poverty.You cannot visit people without an invitation because of lamb chops.

“I was in the neighbourhood and decided to drop in and see you.” Don’t do that.It’s just a line in a movie script.You cannot drop in because people in apartment buildings use electronic cards to go home on the 12th floor.Some buildings have security guards at the main door.

Buildings also have the intercom system where you press the apartment number and announce yourself, then the person you are visiting opens the building door from her apartment.She can also ignore the buzzer.

Let’s say your mother in Brazil gave you her friend’s address in Manchester with a little garden and street parking.Don’t Google it and show up at the door.
She might let you in because you are the spitting image of your mother bu…

thank the team

Vogue magazine has film credits.Well!They look like end credits we see after the movie, telling us who produced it, directed it, the camera crew, location, make-up, who fed the cast and crew, who did costumes, etcetera, etcetera.

Normally, I don’t do Vogue.I only buy the magazine when Lupita Nyong'o, the Kenyan actress is on the cover.She is promoting Black Panther, her latest film in the January 2018 issue.I read the interview first then decided to back-track to the first few pages. It is a Vogue who is who of men and women who put all the pieces together to make the magazine attractive at newsstands.I don’t have a subscription so that is where I pick it up.

Teams that handle Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister, corporate Canada or America should learn from this.The current practice is that somebody reads CEOs’ credentials before they speak.They went to Brock University or Harvard, wrote books about the environment or sweat shops, did volunteer work in unknown countries, the list goe…

Birth Names and Adulthood

The Arrangers of Marriage, a short story written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a reminder that sometimes survival is more important than your name.

It’s about a young man going through the process of being a medical doctor in the United States.His name is Ofodile Emeka Udenwa, but he calls himself Dave in New York.He fetches from the airport his wife he got in Nigeria through an arranged marriage. Her name is Chinaza Agatha Okafor.Dave changes her name to Agatha Bell.She is so mad she calls him ‘my new husband’ throughout the story.Chinaza meets one of their neighbours Nia, an African American.She tells Chinaza that she changed her name to Nia, which is Swahili when she turned 18.

Chinaza finds it ironic that her husband changed his identity and hers to melt in the American melting pot.Dave’s dilemma is the history of many immigrants. They change their names because they are ridiculed, because they irritate people or because they are hacked to a medical coma e.g. Nonqaba ends up being No…

Winter Driving And Wired Pedestrians

Our sympathy goes to drivers in Canada this vicious 2018 winter.

It is also extended to France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Romania or just massive Europe in general, something drivers in Manaus Brazil or Dubai UAE will not understand because temperatures there do not have the prefix, minus. There are icy roads that look like an Olympic skating rink to contend with, in Europe and North America.Blowing snow makes it difficult to see the road, despite wiper blades with their YES or NO choreography.Winter tyres help but no guarantee that the car will stop before the white line, because the road is like glass.

The big problem for winter drivers however, are moving images called pedestrians.They shuffle along at pedestrian crossings or pop up from nowhere from jay walking. These images are neither man nor woman because they have the same winter uniform: black jeans, black fur-lined winter jackets, bulging backpacks, scarves around faces and heavy boots.
Canadian drivers are used to that but there…

Debt Injurious To Health

“Fifty per cent of Canadians struggle with debt and 48 per cent of working Canadians couldn’t pay their bills if their pay was delayed one week.”The Credit Counselling Society. What the quote calls ‘pay’ is even academic because there are five or six creditors waiting at the door to be electronically paid.The bank account bounces back to zero, after that. There are very few people with real money in the bank (savings) like the country called Germany.They would like to save like that but it is impractical.Some financial commentators don’t like it though.They accuse Germany of saving too much and spending less. There are millions of print and online articles about managing debt but they are water off a duck’s back because capitalism has a surname: credit.Governments function on credit, so do companies and individuals. Individuals are even more susceptible, because credit allows them to fulfill the Canadian dream of being alright financially: pay the mortgage, the car, internal and overseas…

The Silent Ones

Women who are silent about sexual harassment in the film industry globally, are silent for personal reasons.Maybe they believe it is all water under the bridge, despite mental wounds.Maybe there are parents, kids and in-laws to consider as it might bring shame to the family.Shame because it is common for victims to be ashamed for something that is not their doing.

They were silent back then because they wanted to be in the business.They wanted the work.They were told it’s the only way in Bollywood, Hollywood, Nollywood or any other wooded village.The ‘casting couch’ was the reality then, not a Miss World or Miss Universe title. They heard stories of what happened to women who refused to give in.They made one small film and that was the end because lead actors, producers and directors were as tight as Boodles, the Gentleman’s Club in London that does not allow women.

Rajkumar Santoshi, directed Halla Bol, a film that demonstrated Bollywood brotherhood.However, the untold story is that of …

Trump Commander-in-Chief

Donald Trump will have his own war, like every U.S. president before him despite lack of reasons, for a conventional or nuclear war.
Soldiers used to go to war because they believed there was something tangible to die for, something historians called nationhood.The nation state or your country provided you with jobs, which made it possible for you to provide for the family’s education and a comfortable home. Countries do not provide that carpet anymore, the carpet that makes people proud that they are Americans, British or Canadians.Instead, they passed laws that make it possible to send jobs off shore, where workers earn $50 a week. There are even tax incentives for making their citizens jobless.

If governments are enemies of their own citizens, how can citizens fly to far off lands to die for them? Is the enemy within, or outside the nation state?If citizens are asked to die for an ideology, do service men and women in uniform even know what ideology is? President Trump will have his ow…

Gunpoint Advertising

Fast and Furious action films are like the tortoise, compared to screeching online advertising on mobile phones and all electronic gadgets.

Traditional advertising places things on display, in magazines, newspapers, television, radio, billboards, t-shirts, street lights, buses, park benches and bus stop shelters with the hope that consumers will remember the product when it is time to buy detergent or paint.
Online advertising threw out the gentleman act.They are in-house, in your phone, 24/7.Buy this or else.Commands.Demands.Deadlines. Get rewards.Get more points.Get cashback.Everyday instructions, in fact, condescending instructions. For example, people who don’t like going to the movies should not be accused of not using their debit or credit card points.It’s like being taken to the principal’s office for wearing a blue, instead of the school uniform’s white shirt.

Online advertising dances to its own music, outside standards set by advertising bureaus found all over the world.Consumer…

Mothers' Handbook

Online information which is as abundant as a room’s natural noise, robs kids of their inheritance: parental wisdom.Young people know more than their parents because they are the largest consumers of print and video online content, facts, figures and fake news.

The joy of fiction is the discovery that mothers, the world over, tend to have the same wisdom, based on experience.  Parental handbooks might vary here and there because ofculture and religion, but overall, they are the same. Mama had such a handbook she used to raise us. The first wisdom on the list is based on how ama-Zulu lived on their vast land, before the British invasion.There were no hotels, let alone trains or busses.Travellers used to knock on the next available homestead and ask for a place to sleep.

They were given food and shelter.Their hosts could be the ones knocking on someone’s door, somewhere else in the future.That was the universal custom and there are idioms that stress the importance of travellers.This is all…