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Showing posts from March, 2018

Dangerous Headlines

In their determination to sell as many newspapers and magazines as possible, editors seldom think about the repercussion of headlines that misrepresent the story.

The misleading headline might lead to the people the reporter interviewed, to lose their jobs.Buildings might go up in flames as religious protesters vent their anger at the headline.Diplomats might be recalled.  People might die. Except for blogs where the blogger is the orchestra and the conductor, traditional newspapers, magazines and television are governed by division of labour. Reporters gather and write the story.They do not craft headlines.Somebody else does, and somebody higher up, usually the editor, approves them.

Headlines can be dangerous because some readers don’t even bother reading the first paragraph.TRUMP IMPEACHED. That is enough.It is intentional misrepresentation if the first paragraph does not confirm the headline’s voltage.It turns out that the intensity is not confirmed, something might or might not h…

Black Panther Director's Cut

Ryan Coogler, Black Panther’s director has gone underground to work on what is known in the business as the director’s cut.Just kidding. Ha! Ha!

It is called a cut because movies used to be shot on film which was edited by literally cutting out film frames and joining them with splicing tape. Remember the hair on the floor as the barber cut your hair? Old school film editors had discarded film pieces under their chairs. It’s all digital now.Shoot on digital. Edit on digital.Director’s cut on digital.Final cut that you watch as you munch the popcorn, is digital. The director’s cut is personal.That is how directors would like to see the finished product, based on the script and scenes they shot, but they don’t have the final say, if they are hired by Disney or any other major studio.

People who invested money in the movie want it edited in a way they believe with rake in money and more money.Black Panther is doing just that and I’ve stopped counting.It broke my digital calculator. But seriou…

Chickens and The Sun

A classless society is a mirage.It is as impossible as a meeting between the sun and chickens. Let me clarify.

People called amaZulu have a saying:ilanga lingawa licoshwe izinkukhu.The nearest translation is: the sun can fall on the ground and be picked up by chickens. It means something will never happen. The way we walk is one example of why a classless society is highly unlikely.Two legs are involved but they walk for different reasons.We have two walkers, which we will call tenants (the poor) and landlords (the rich).

Tenants walk to work.Landlords take a walk.It is two different things.Tenants walk because it is the only way to put food on the table, by walking to the farm, bus stop or train station.For landlords, talking a walk is an option.Maybe they don’t feel like driving one of the cars in the garage. They take walks to take a break from their computers, where they monitor the stock exchange and buy shares in oil, diamond, platinum, copper and other substances that involve digg…

Grandparents and Online Thieves

Grandchildren are the best people to bullet proof grandparents from online fraud because they know more about digital devices than mom and dad.

Parents are too busy building roads, attending to patients, pushing strollers, pulling huge bags full of hockey gear, doing laundry, answering office phones, driving trucks and school buses, to really understand phones and computers. Online thugs capitalize on that.Some senior citizens have cell phones because kids insisted.They showed them the basics: making and taking calls, sending text messages and charging the device.But they did not show them the dangers of pressing I ACCEPT or YES.

Grandchildren and grandparents have one thing in common: time.Grandchildren might not want to spend time with grandparents because they are married to their digital devices 24/7.However, they can kill two birds with one stone, play with their phones and teach grandma and grandpa how to identify scams and fraud at the same time. Don’t talk to strangers, granddad.

Black Panther Africa Here and There

Black Panther is about Wakanda a fictionalized country in Africa, but it has delightful snippets of the real Africa.

The movie has tall people, like Kenya’s and Sudan’s sons and daughters. Dora Milaje, the royal guard supervised by Okoye (Danai Gurira) is composed of tall women.Okoye is a common surname or family name in Nigeria, as in Oge Okoye, the actress. There are also scenes where men on horseback are wearing colourful blankets, a common sight in Lesotho, the country surrounded by South Africa.Locals, the Basotho, call these blankets seana marena.The country’s beauty sinks in as one drives from Maseru the capital, up to Leribe and further up the mountains.Great roads too.

Costume design.That’s another snippet about Africa. There is Angela Bassett’s character looking regal, in what is called isicholo in Zulu.Well! it looks like isicholo, a married woman’s headdress. You probably saw the re-mixed version of isicholo in what Beyonce is wearing in the Sorry video. They also speak isiXh…

Voicemail Full

Canada Post or Deutsche Post can probably relate to the voicemail message that the inbox is full.It must be frustrating pushing letters into a full mailbox.The owners never check it because they receive bills electronically.Maybe, they are on vacation and never arranged for a mailbox sitter as in baby sitter. A full mailbox is bad news for the caller because it means the owner of the phone is anti-technology.She doesn’t delete past doctors’ appointments, car service messages, dinner reminders, kids’ ‘I love youmum’ messages or husband’s messages WHERE ARE YOU? 

Phone messages should be deleted because we take the garbage out. We rake autumn leaves and drop them in the compost heap.We take old things to the recycling depot or second hand stores.They must be deleted to make room for fresh messages.
The mailbox is full.How do we leave a message? We have a problem.The cell phone owner is anti-technology.How do we know that?She has a factory-generated welcome message because she doesn’t know …

Britain The Stiff Upper Lip

Britain used to be a brand, like products in your bathroom and kitchen cupboards.Made in Britain was regarded as quality.Nowadays, practically all British fashion designers make clothes in China and other Asian countries.Britain as a brand had certain defining traits.One of them is the stiff upper lip.

I looked for it when I found myself in that country.I went to the market and people selling fruits and vegetables called me ‘luv’. I dived into butcheries for some meat and men in long white aprons called me ‘luv.’

I got hooked on the Friday fish and chips ritual and people behind the counter called me ‘luv’.Cleaning ladies on campus called me ‘luv’.During the summer, I joined the throngs for the Notting Hill carnival and revellers called me ‘luv.’ It took some time to get used to all the loving because I could barely understand the way they speak English.Apparently, the accent in the land of the queen is a verbal business card, that tells people you grew up in Birmingham, your parents we…

Japan and Volcanoes Road Safety

Kids’ safety.Look left and right before you cross the street.The script hasn’t changed. That is their first lesson about whizzing cars, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, stop and other signs that control road safety.
Japan. What are the safety lessons about living near a volcano?There is no looking right or left when it erupts.Some people lose their lives.Survivors start all over again buying new cars, tables and chairs, sleeping things, rebuilding houses and cleaning up, because everything is covered with ash.
Life goes on until the volcano coughs again.Japan is one of the countries with many active volcanoes and had three in March 2018 if my research is correct.
Communities around volcanoes are hostages of nature.The volcano might spit the hot liquid and smoke again.They are powerless.They cannot stop its destructive agenda.

People in other parts of the world have a selfie thing going on, the freedom to trigger their own destruction through child and wife abuse, drugs, alcohol, text…

Our Names on Bottled Water

Plastic bottles that end up along the seashore, public flowerbeds and in garbage dumps should have names on it, just like in Starbucks.They used to write your name on the cup when you ordered a designer coffee like frappuccino, cappuccino, and other brews with all the accoutrements.

Names on the bottles will be admission of guilt that we bought the 12-pack, drank half the water, threw the bottle away and contributed to the defacing of the planet.We need a felt pen because this can only be done at home, after removing each bottle from the 12-pack plastic wrapping. Names on the bottles will also give individuals a platform to explain the poison in tap water, a poison only detected by the extra-incomes (rich people) in North America and Europe.Ordinary people around the world drink tap water or fetch it from streams.

Names on the bottles will also expose fake Greenpeace and Save The Arctic volunteers, who fight oil companies on the high seas and demonstrate downtown, but have bottled water…

The Recycling Bible

It doesn’t exist.Where there’s a will there’s a way, said my English teachers.

The will is there but there doesn’t seem to be an effective way of sticking to a recycling regime,   probably because it is not done at source, where we do the shopping. 

Practically everything we buy is packaged or carried in plastic bags, making it difficult to decide what should be recycled what should be regarded as total waste. I saw toilet roll holders in a plastic bag the last time I dropped items in the blue bin, which means the concerned citizen keeps them when the bathroom tissue is finished, to recycle later. We never do what can be called ‘green shopping.’If we did, we would come home with only bunches of carrots and organic tomatoes, because supermarkets or grocery stores provide plastic bags for tomatoes, chillies, sweet potatoes, broccoli or whatever vegetables we need to prepare dinner.

I should refuse them because the code for the cauliflower price is in the orange sticker but I never do.The pl…

online free for all

The internet is a market place. 

Pushing products is the core business, but it is camouflaged by the noble idea of humans from different countries, faiths and races sharing audio-visual and written information.That is why it is misleadingly called social media, instead of economic media or hawkers’ and thieves’ paradise.

Thieves, because hackers are holed up in hotels across the globe as we speak, trying to figure out how to steal money from your bank account.Also, don’t post blogs or photos if you don’t want them to be plagiarized or photo-shopped.That’s the way it is.Having said that, the internet has some good points. It levels the playing field because anybody who has a phone, can write a few paragraphs or tweet a nuclear war.You don’t have to be Oprah or Trevor Noah to have your own show.YouTube doors are open 24/7 and you don’t need a set of lights, makeup artists and a studio camera because your phone is a stand-alone recording studio.

That would be too ambitious for me, but I’v…

Black Panther and Identity

Images on big screens in movie theatres and small home screens, should not determine how kids are brought up and how they value or de-value themselves, but they do.

Kids that grow up seeing images that look like their parents, brothers and sisters, uncles who are mayors, senators and supreme court judges put a high premium on themselves. They identify with movies about two kids, boy and girl, in a happy home with two cars in the driveway in a leafy suburb in Connecticut or North York in Toronto.If they see someone who looks like them robbing a bank, they call him one of the bad guys.

They recognise that life is about opposites.There are good and bad guys period.Unfortunately, black and brown kids routinely see themselves in movies and novels as the bad guys, as if God gave them black eyes, skin and stay-in-one-place hair to be criminals, baby mamas, security guards, drug addicts, drug pushers and welfare recipients. That is the movies.High profile individuals like former U.S. First Lady …