Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Boy Builds Coffins

My boy builds coffins with hammers and nails
He doesn't build ships, he has no use for sails
He doesn't make tables, dressers or chairs
He can't carve a whistle 'cause he just doesn't care

My boy builds coffins for the rich and the poor
Kings and queens them all knocked on his door
Beggars and liars, gypsies and thieves
They all come to him 'cause he's so eager to please

My boy builds coffins, he makes them all day
But it's not just for work and it isn't for play
He's made one for himself, one for me too
One of these days he'll make one for you
For you, for you, for you

My boy builds coffins for better or worse
Some say it's a blessing, some say it's a curse
He fits them together in sunshine or rain
Each one is unique, no two are the same

My boy builds coffins and I think it's a shame
That when each ones been made, he can't see it again
He crafts every one with love and with care
Then it's thrown in the ground, it just isn't fair

My boy builds coffins, he makes them all day
But it's not just for work and it isn't for play
He's made one for himself, one for me too
And one of these days he'll make one for you
For you, for you, for you

....................... Florence and the Machine

Friday, December 10, 2010


Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, yonkontê
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, kiye
Ni kêra môgô
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, yonkontê
Sabali, Sabali, Sabali, kagni
Ni kêra môgô

Huh, we born not knowing, are we born knowing all?
We growing wiser, are we just growing tall?
Can you read thoughts? can you read palms?
Huh, can you predict the future? can you see storms, coming?
The Earth was flat if you went too far you would fall off
Now the Earth is round if the shape change again everybody woulda start laugh
The average man can't prove of most of the things that he chooses to speak of
And still won't research and find out the root of the truth that you seek of
Scholars teach in Universities and claim that they're smart and cunning
Tell them find a cure when we sneeze and that's when their nose start running
And the rich get stitched up, when we get cut
Man a heal dem broken bones in the bush with the wed mud
Can you read signs? can you read stars?
Can you make peace? can you fight war?
Can you milk cows, even though you drive cars? huh
Can you survive, Against All Odds, Now?

......................Damian Marley

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Idealogoue 5.5.5 and Make the Children Smile

Be Better
This past weekend was ballistic among many other things. It all begun with the PiFF meet at Kyoto which as always is a great way to start any weekend. The meet was well attended and there was a new face, Brad 'Strobe Light' Strobel of Kampala International Church. After the various activities that take place at 'PiFF meetings', I hooked up with other members of the 'Monday Think Tank: Side B' and we proceeded to the 'High Priestess' home for a reasoning and grounation and other such stuff.

If I was to relay the goings on of the think tank, I would run the risk of becoming persona non grata in the tank, so let it be known that I made my way home at 7:30 am, after breaking my no drinking rule again, no, wait, its December already so am back on the booze. Speaking of which, nothing beats beer, no siree, nothing. I have been informed that it makes for a good power breakfast, but I am yet to experiment.

Anyway, I got home and decided I would get an hour's sleep before I run off to the 'Yellow House' to prepare for the xmas party. No such luck. After flirting with sleep for 30 min, drifting in and out of Morpheus' realm, I got a call from Beqy and decided to abandon the nap.

The xmas party. Last year when the PiFF was starting out, the first activity we did was to help chaperone a kids xmas party.

smile for the camera sweetie
'Make the Children Smile' is a group of young, passionate, mostly cute, vibrant gals and boys who, much like PiFFers, provide support to the Oasis of Life orphanage and each year they organise a christmas party for the children at the orphanage, oh, they do Easter as well and I'm sure Abid can get them to organise an Idd party.They have been kind enough to let the PiFF in on their parties and allow us to add our meagre contributions and it was in this spirit that Saturday found us heading to Kiwatule Recreation Center for the annual, 'Make the Children Smile' (are u tired of reading that phrase yet? bse I'm not done with it :-) ) xmas party.

Before I could head there, I had to send out an email to Strobe Light concerning PiFF activities and the like so that the PiFF can receive support from his church. Over the past year, I have written various documents about the PiFF that sometimes I feel like exploding when someone walks up to me and asks, "So, what's this piffy, piffing, ePiFFany stuff about anyway?" But, as always, I compose myself and launch into how the PiFF is simply an idea and that's what we're in the business of, nothing tangible I say, its all about the stuff in your head.

There's this nice coffee shop in Kigowa, 'The Haven' its called, its not bad at all, nice muffins and there's an internet cafe next door with a hot spot, so you can enjoy a cup of chai while surfing the internets. I decided to stop by and send the email. The internets is big, everytime I log on, I get carried away. Ooh, there's this site,, I found the link on uginsomniac's blog, it's malarious, hilarious stuff. Have you been to Baz, Streets, Sleek and Erique doing their thing, its brilliant. Hey, what do you guys think about WikiLeaks? I think its an amazing achievement that would never have been possible but for willing people and the internets. Interestingly, the man behind the idea is now facing sexual offence charges which of course have nothing to do with WikiLeaks. Hmmph! I think an idea is hard to kill, if not impossible, and it won't be too long before something better than WikiLeaks comes along, also, once information is out on the internets, it's a wrap! You might as well shut down a gazillion websites but it's always out there somewhere, being peddled by those who excel at it, those who push the boundaries of human knowledge.

While I was sending the email, I received two calls, the first from Beqy informing me that I was late and that they would have to leave without me, I told her I would find her at the party later and proceeded to order some food. You know, fat frog and all. Then I got a call from one of my clients, the big guy could not access his email and the world had come to a stop, someone had to come and fix it, eh eh. Knowing how important email is to business, coupled with a bit of cajoling from my business partner, I decided to go and sort out said problem. But I was in Ntinda, the party was in Kiwatule and the client in Bugolobi.

I had previously agreed to hook up with Becca of 'The House on Friendship Road' on my way to the party so I headed to her place. Becca, Carlo and Darlyne are roomies and I have been spending a lot of time at their hewis[house]. They made me watch Glee! Its this series where everyone keeps breaking out in song. I found Carlo who was in the midst of sending a message via facebook, she was totally engrossed, facebook yaja! I called Becca and she was in Muyenga, doing Yoga, she would be back in 30min. Darlyne was out there somewhere, no doubt up to some interesting stuff, she does many interesting things that one. Anyway, I put one foot in a hammock and the other in Zion and decided to take a nap. No such luck, so I just lay in the hammock and looked at the sky, trees, listened to the birds, I thought I could hear the damn grass grow. Grating of metal, the gate was opening, Becca was back, 45min, not too bad. I should pick a leaf.

After she'd taken a shower, dressed up and what not (which amazingly didn't take too long), we headed to Bugolobi so that I could hook up the client. IT tech support is interesting, among many things, it requires a calm reflective mind, a willingness to learn and the ability to handle the unexpected. Thankfully, this job took 10 minutes to accomplish and another 20 to answer the client's questions, there are always questions, mob of them.

Paul, you bastard! I can see you :-)
We left Bugos and headed to Kiwatule and the xmas party. It was great, there was face painting, nice bus[food], happy kids, cute girls, fleeting butterflies, friends, PiFFers and interesting strangers. The snaps are on facebook. The bus was so nice, there were seconds and thirds, for the kids I mean. Compliments to the chef. Some kb, a kickabout, a doughnut and much more and then I had to prepare for a 5min presentation I was scheduled to make at the inaugural Idealogue 5.5.5 event.

So, there's these guys, they call themselves 'Speakers Without Borders', mbu they're in the business of banging unrestricted kb, Ssewa would say "syuuu! you're sloping, splash! splash!" but that was a long time ago. Speakers Without Borders, Xter Inc, Kitenge Spaces, The WorkZine and Emaline Graphics got together and arranged a kimeza and called it Idealogue 5.5.5. The idea was to have 6 presenters each make 5min presentations of ideas, concepts, things that they wanted to put out there, 5min for feedback and then I guess the conversation would carry on in other forms and on other forums. The PiFF was invited to take part and yours truly was oba chosen to make the presentation. Yours truly did not have the presentation ready by 4pm and the event was starting at 5pm.

The Scouts have a motto, 'Be Prepared' and if its the only claim you ever lay to being a scout, do it and always 'Be Prepared'.

4:30pm or thereabouts and I sat down with Eunice, Becca and Davinah to finalise the presentation. We had previously flirted with a few concepts, the best of which was to have 5 PiFFers each talk for one minute and tell a simple story about paying it forward, however this was deemed impractical due to the time available for preparations and other such things, so we decided to go with a classic powerpoint slide thingy. One hour later and we bundled ourselves into Becca's auto and headed to Workers' House for my first public presentation.

It went well, I was nervous at the beginning, sweated a little bit but I think and I'm told it was great! Yay! I banged all my kb and even had time to play for guys a Marley kids song, 'The Mission' which I thought summed up the PiFf idea.

"Haile Selassie say a one respect for every man
No care the race, no care the color nor di religion
So make a decision fi bun di division
Cause each and every human being fi trod pon di mission

The Idealogue 5.5.5. was a success, though some of us broke the rules, we had more than 5 slides, we didn't have any pictures and in fact Davis, one of the organizers and he of the unbordered kb, had me panicking to fit some pics into the PiFF presentation. I did, and one of them prompted a question from the audience.

Dinner was served by Becca after the event, i.e., I had a nice dinner with Becca and then it was off to home to see my housemate and me landlord, i.e. pay my rent. My landlord was supposed to have locked up his hewis that night at 11pm if we hadn't come up with his gees, thankfully my housemate kept him at bay and I managed to come up with gees from my end of the world. I need a break from my landlord though, he once had the audacity to tell me that he was 'sponsoring my stay in Kampala', I wanted to throttle him but I had to smile nicely and tell him I was sorry his rent was late. Sheesh!

Having had that burden off my shoulders, I finally made it to the 'Yellow House' and found everyone else blasting. I duly joined in the celebrations and capped the night at about 1am.

Sunday morning and I was up at 6am for the MTN marathon. Becca, Carlo and Darlyne picked me up and we headed to Kololo. Huff puff muff and 1:13:21 seconds after some arbitrary start time, Franis Amuriat ambled over the finish line, begging for a pail of water.

So, I didn't register for the marathon and the Barefoot Power Firefly team had an extra number and chip which I put on and became Francis Amuriat from Amuriat.

It was pretty much winddown from there. Spliff, hammock, music, snatches of despicable me, sleep, drooling, long walk home with Richard and the weekend was over.

Today is Thursday and I still feel like I need a week of sleep.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

You're Gonna Leave

Uhh! Which way from here
I’m caught up in the pages of my mind
And it’s not so clear
But it seems the hurt is way too much this time
Cause I see a vain look in your eyes
Tell me, do you see the same, same look in mine
Sandpaper kisses, papercut bliss
Don’t know what this is, but it all leads to this
You’re gonna leave, her
You have deceived, her
Ooh just a girl

Now here I go again
She said I’ll break her heart again
She plays the fool again
She said I’ll break the rules again
Though I disagree
She thinks she knows me more than me
It’s so hard to see
What this voice keeps telling me
Ooh just a girl with featherweight curls
To expose all she knows you play like tease
Just a girl with featherweight curls
To expose all she knows you play like tease
You’re gonna leave, her
You have deceived, her
Ooh just a girl

Written by Stephen Marley, Martina Topley-Bird, Nick Bird, Steve Crittall and Alex McGowan

Banana Muffin

Is this the best muffin in the world or what? Yuuummmm!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 29, 2010

Missing Time

The first time it happened, I was in S.4. It was the beginning of the school term and my friends and I had gone to engage in the opening term ritual.

On the first day of the school term, it was a custom for the more daring students to catch the next taxi back to Kampala after being deposited by their unsuspecting parents at the school. The point of this was to, well, boys will always be boys, so we would go and explore the city and have fun because, hell, there was nothing better to do at school. So, after saying bye to mommy and daddy and promising to do very well in class this term, and a suitable timeframe to give the parents a head start, I jumped on a taxi and headed back to Kla, thrilled at breaking the rules.

Lots of alcohol, pool games, meanderings and whatnot, I found myself in a bar near the old taxi park. It was much like any bar near the park, tall wooden stools, plastic chairs, pool table in the centre of the room, watched from above by a television that seemed to pick up a very clear STV signal.

"That TV is very clear" I remarked after losing a game of pool and it's the last thing I remember from that night. I hazily remember too, scurrying under the barbwire fence back into school but it might have been a dream. I woke the next day and on attempting to open my eyes found that I had zero vision in my right eye. I raised my hand and gently felt the contours of my face, the topology was changed, a few bumps here and there obscured all vision from the eye. I tried to recall the events of the previous night and drew a blank after the remark about the TV. I was still drunk and knew it would take at least a few days before I was right again. I tried to piece the missing hours and gave up after a tale of dogs and mad men in Nakivubo was relayed by my companions. It was the first time I had a blackout, it would not be the last.

Alcohol is nice, period, but like all things, if taken to the extremes, then disaster most likely follows. I believe that all human beings use something; you know, to dull the pain of reality, remove the inhibitions, that little voice that keeps saying you'll regret this in the morning. Some use people, substances, activities, and the list goes on and on. Alcohol is the only substance I have so far come across that gives me 'missing time'. Every time it happens, I wonder what the hell I do and say bse I can't remember anything. I allegedly once proposed to a girl.

As much as I want to escape the madness in my head, I don't like the idea that I be running around without any mental checks. I mean, it might spell disaster for the planet. I figured out early on what my threshold was and how many beers it would take to get me there. I also discovered that after the first few good pints, it becomes a job, sipping shit because you want to stay in that ka heightened state but knowing that you've probably just sped past that point when you're actually having a blast and the next stop is shitface town. So drinking became an art, figuring out how to prolong the euphoria and what to do when you've bypassed it by 10pm on a Friday night.

 I used to have a simple rule about alcohol. No drinking was to be done if I was sad. I've broken this rule a million times in the past 18 months with devastating results. The last time I had a severe case of missing time was the Idd before last, I cozied up to a bottle of 'Absolut Death' and true to form I died. I woke up in the Bubbles' loo and I couldn't remember entering the place. I walked out, grabbed a baji home and swore off the sauce until further notice. I have since broken that rule twice more. Next year, I will not touch a drop, I think.

That being said. This christmas will see me do a couple of beers, for old time's sake.

Hey Baby

I’ll be gone a while away from you and I hope you overstand,
that I’ve got to do what I must do to be a better man.
Coz if I was just to act a fool, do nothing with myself,
then all my blessings would be cursed, my world would crumble in.
It’s a joy when I sit down and think, of the good times that we have,
and what we do to make it through, when the good turns to the bad.
Well I hope you’ll find it in your heart and know these words are true,
and please don’t fuss because I must go do what I must do.

Hey baby don’t you worry, even though the road is rocky, I’ll be coming home to you again.
Coz if you thought that I was lost, I had to bear my cross, now I’m free from all these chains.

Well a time, a space, a different place, how perfect we might be
Coz I would be the wind that blows, you’d be that willow tree
And I could never bear the thought of you not by my side
So I would be the warmth of day you’d be the cool of night
And every day I pray to Jah that one day you will see
And overstand the fact I must fulfil my destiny
And I hope you find it in your heart and know my words are true
And please don’t cry you know that I must do what I must do

Hey baby don’t you worry, even though the road is rocky, I’ll be coming home to you again.
Coz if you thought that I was lost, I had to bear my cross, now I’m free from all these chains.

Well and it’s not easy
Jah knows how I try, I try
So don’t you get weary
Jah knows how I try, I try

Life is one big road
With lots of signs and turns and twists and curves
Even though the road is rocky,
My main thing’s to rock and keep it rockin’
From city to city, backyard to yard
And we be seeing the sights
Standing under the lights
and the spot is hot, it’s cold and lonely at night
And I’m ‘feenin’ and I’m dreaming and I’m holding you tight
But hold on, every single road I roll on
Comes to an end and I’m back home again
So baby please don’t cry
There’s no valley low, and there’s no mountain high
And our love don’t die with the passage of time
It just grows more and just keep strong
And even though I’m gone, I am never too far
You’re the light through the dark shining right through my heart
So my journey must start

Hey baby don’t you worry, even though the road is rocky, I’ll be coming home to you again.
Coz if you thought that I was lost, I had to bear my cross, now I’m free from all these chains.

............................................................................................................  Stephen Marley

Friday, November 26, 2010

Call of the Rastafari

Mommy! mommy! mommy! I want to be a rastafari when I grow up!

I have a friend who keeps a blog subtitled "On the Road to Zion" which I hadn't visited in a while until a few minutes ago. She finally made her move into the style and fashion world, way to go Xiona, I'm rooting for you all the way.

I've been listening to Damian Marley these past few months and I can't believe I had never explored his music. First off, I'm a reggae fan, its always been uplifting music for me, I mean, who doesn't listen to Bob Marley's Three Little Birds and feel, you know irie?

Isaac, my philosopher and rastafari friend, had mentioned that most people have never explored the Marley kids' music and that he thought they were that much better than daddy, so I made a mental note to explore. I came across the Bruno Mars song with Damian Marley and the intro was enough to make me want to hear more and also finally try to learn this patois stuff.

Patois, according to Wikipedia, is any language that is considered nonstandard, although the term is not formally defined in linguistics, which is basically saying "it's some shit we don't quite understand". It sounds funky though, I mean, have you heard a guy speaking this stuff? It has a harmony to it that makes you want to sway, raise your hands to the sky and say hell yeah!

Anyway, I went and got Damien's albums by way of bittorrent, sorry Damian, and proceeded to sample dem tracks.

Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley was born July 21 1978. He was two years old when his father Bob Marley died and he is the only child born to Marley and Cindy Breakspeare, Miss World 1976. Damian's nickname Junior Gong is derived from his father's nickname of Tuff Gong. Marley has been performing since the age of 13. He shares, along with most of his family, a full-time career in music.

His first album was 'Mr Marley' which is rightly titled as it features many tracks from his dad's recordings and was released in 1996. I was then religiously losing mi religion. It leans more towards the traditional reggae style his father and others after popularised and was not a critical or commercial success. I particularly like 'Kingston 12', 'Me Name Jr Gong' and 'One cup of coffee' which has the following lines

'I brought the money like your lawyer said to do
Ain't nothing funny, babe I am still in love with you
Said I am leaving you tomorrow
I'll cause you no more sorrow
One cup of coffee then I'll go

Lord I say Susie Susie Susie mind you loose mi
Know mi love you bad yet you want to abuse mi
Try to treat you right but this affair confuse mi
Girl don't complain cause a you come fi choose mi
Mi sey Susie do, mind you loose mi
Though me love you bad and you want to abuse mi
Try treat you right but this a pure confuse mi
Gal no complain cause a you come fi loose mi

Damian's next album was Halfway Tree which combines dancehall and hiphop styles to produce an amazing modern sound. The production (not that I know much about such stuff), done by his bro Stephen Marley,  is amazing. The drums and hooks on this thing are off the shizzy, seriously! but the oustanding aspect is the lyrics and Damian's delivery. Its like listening to a prophet in biblical times.

'Di youths dem saying justice ah weh dem really need overall
Di way dem deal wid mankind.... All mi gyal start ball
Justice ah weh di youths dem need overall
Di way dem deal wid mankind

She nah go cry fi no guy inna nah 3 piece suit
Nor no pretty bwoy inna nuh crisp Nike boot
She nuh ball fi nah dapper
She nuh cry fi nah doop
She shed those lonely tears
For di little ghetto youths weh balling

Stary stary X-News and Gleaner
Foot might be dirty but his heart is much cleaner
And those politicians fightin down sensimillia
Get up every day dem want fi run this arena

Extra, extra.... read all about it
Ghetto youths in need and there is no doubt about it
If baby want feed and can't do without it
Big 45 goin to scout it

My best song on this album is 'Catch a Fire'. It's got an amazing array of drums, vocals are superb and the lyrics, wooo hooo! Its an angry oppressed youth anthem, albeit with some misplaced ideas but breathtaking nonetheless. It makes me jump up and shout and shout and shout!

'We nuh want no Babylon government
Weh ah burn down ganja man tent
And den ah come wid dem one bag ah tax argument
When we can't pay light bill and rent
Mi sight dem ah lead ghetto youths
Every which part dem went
And ah pure wrong corner dem bent
So next time, dem pass thru you and your crew
Don't give dem no encouragement

Now, there's this song titled 'Give Dem Some Way' that has the longest nonstop spit and fire verse of lyrics I've ever heard. Its downright genius! Its damn amazing, long and delivered in one burst of rhyme and flow that makes you wonder how good the guy's lungs are! It's got a ballistic beat and a nice flute to spice up the melody, you just have to sample it to know what I'm talking  about. Here's the bit that kills me, after spitting all those words of revolution and power to the people, he goes "...Weh nuh rise till the revolution unfold" He he he..bide your time niggas, bide your time.

'You say that you love me, oh what happened to the love?' goes the hook up with Eve. Eve is the shit, the real deal when it comes to the female rap genre and I'm a lifelong fan. Except for catch a fire, this is the best collabo on the album. It brings out the blend of hip hop and dancehall in a most engaging manner.I mean, you feel powerless but to answer the girl's question and tell her, 'what happened to the love'. But wait, here's a sampling of Damian's lyrics

'What about di youths dem
Weh love fi breed off the girls
And still nah care for da youth dem
Wahapn to the boots dem
And hear wah mek go worse
Nuff a dem did have and nah use dem
Fire fi di bait who love using the girls
So friend can congratulate dem
Rasta nah rate dem
When dem abusing di girls
Gun shot for bwoy weh ah rape dem

The album is overall a portrait of Damian's different worlds, his mother's more affluent uptown world and his father's roots in the ghettos of Kingston. Damian like all the Marley kids grew up as much in Rita Marley's household as in his mothers, infact Rita's household is considered the family HQ for all the Marleys. Bob had 8 kids outside his marriage to Rita (stray stray guy).

Welcome to Jamrock is Damian's most popular and successful album to date. Again, co-produced with his brother Stephen, it is his true coming of age as a musician. The combination of dancehall and hip hop started on Halfway Tree, like a good wine,  truly matures to produce such gems as 'Beautiful' ft Bobby Brown.

 This album is a masterpiece! Period. Hands down, pack your bags and go home.

'Cause them lost inna darkness beyond
And none shall escape except the ones, who
Exodus with no question,
Better put on your khaki uniform
If you-a' driver, leave unnu engine on
If you-a' rider jump pon a unicorn
Lace your shoes if you a pedestrian
Run for the border like a Mexican
Underarm smell green like a Leprechaun
Survival of Jah people

'For the babies' is a song about, well, babies. Born and unborn. I have a personal experience with abortion and I have to say this song makes me feel very guilty.

'And always do your very best to keep a promise to your babies
And if you can't be good, at least be honest to your babies

 When I started taking the herb a couple of years ago, we called it 'going to Zion'. See, Zion is the last place where all of humanity's children will gather to celebrate life, like Tank says in the Matrix, 'If this war ended tomorrow, Zion is where the party would be.' Again, according to Wikipedia (thank you Jimmy Wales!),

'In the Rastafari movement, "Zion" stands for a Utopian place of unity, peace and freedom, as opposed to "Babylon", the oppressing and exploiting system of the western world and a place of evil.'

Personally, Zion is akin to Valhalla, the corner office, that place that people refer to when they say we've made IT, the forests of my homeland, etc. So, you can imagine my joy at finding this song (On the road to Zion) and finally, partly, understanding why Xiona's blog is subtitled thus. It has been my anthem for a while, hopefully Xiona doesn't mind me borrowing it, and it showcases  the best of two worlds in Damian and Nas. It is probably the collabo that set the stage for this year's amazing, fantastic, beautiful, breathtaking, "Distant Relatives", Damian's work with the legendary Nas. I must confess that I had never really listened to Nas but after sampling this album. I have to bow down and chant RESPECT!

Sometimes you can lose sight of the things that matter in your world, lose focus and wander around aimless, sad, salty and bitter. This song has been a siren of hope, a call to which I was irresistbly drawn until I saw the light and heard the man say, 'We sparkin' the ions, marching to Zion / You know how Nas be NYC state of mind I'm in.' But again, listen to Damian go on this run

'In this world of calamity
Dirty looks and grudges and jealousy
And police weh abuse dem authority
Media clowns weh nuh know 'bout variety

The youngest veteran a go murder dem slow
Ragga muffin sent to call me from the bush bungalow
Unnu watch mek I clear out my voice now Figaro!
Emerge from the darkness with mi big blunt a glow
Mi hammer dem a slam and spectator get low
Some bwoy coulda big like Bam Bam Biggalow
Bust of trigger finger, trigger hand and trigger toe
A two gun mi have mi bust dem inna stereo

I got to keep on walking on the road to Zion, man
We gots to keeps it burning on the road to Zion, man

So, I'll see you in Zion and then I'll tell you about Distant Relatives.

Oh, and the best song on this album is 'We're gonna make it'.

"Yeah! Yes mi lion!
Always look on the brighter side of life, you know
Nuh must!

Don't you ever give up
Don't you ever give in
Don't you ever give up
Don't you ever give in
Don't you ever give up
Don't you ever give in
We will have our way some day
Don't you ever 'dutty'
Cause a better you clean
Hail up King Selassie plus
Omega the queen
Don't you ever give up
Don't you ever give in
Cause I...

I know we're gonna make it
It's not too late, No!
We're gonna make it
Yes I know
We're gonna make it
It's not too late
We're gonna make it,Yeah

Monday, November 22, 2010

Below the line: Of the things you would know and measure

Most things you think you know are imaginary, and sometimes friends can be too, like when you’re young and there’s a 60ft alien robot by your side and together, you kick ass.

We are taken with the measurement of things, as a species, without a counting and weighing, we would be adrift and dysfunctional in the world of man.

What does a number mean to you?

One. There is me, I am here.

Two. It takes this much to make the first, most journeys are coloured thus.

Three. The Trinity; there is no spoon, nothing and no one but you.

Four. A full quota for each window in Johari’s house and if a glass be your measure then a full cup of life unto you.

There are many ways to measure and count the things that matter in our lives today. Man, in his incomprehensible urge to weigh his world has coined a magnitude of terms for data that you can pore through to your heart’s content. Today, all it would take to get you the price of a Yak on the Tibetan plateau is a six letter word, Google. Wherever there is a need in nature or human life, there will arise someone or thing to fill it, if the price is right. Google however, cannot tell you the measure of life on the plains, to know this you must journey to the land where the Yak is king, where the air is thin, dry and cold but the grass grows still, where with axe and hammer, we raise our dead to the skies and when the earth moves, we move with the wind and water to heal, the heart of life that yet beats within.

I have been, for one part, trained and educated an economist. One of the pitfalls of this is that one is bound to take a ruler to the world and measure; to what intents and purposes, asks the farmer, why weigh my animals, crops and fields and tell me I needs must more yield? Is this not enough for your soul and spirit? Would you have me build the granaries of the world in my backyard, to feed your fancy whenever it takes you?

Aye, I say, for I too, are in want of a soothing balm, a tonic from the madness of the world, whence I can sit apart and attempt to balance the scales, and seek a measure of equality.

The economist says that you are poor; she would have you be more in the material and that it seems the years will pass you by and you will not be when there is need of you. Why will you not listen, why will you not work, why not till the land and bring forth nature’s gifts that you so richly deserve? In the stead of wealth, you chase after big deals and fleeting dreams and consumed by the need and want that cannot be satisfied, you would rend all in your path.

I, you say, seek to give that which cannot be measured and to take that which is freely given by the earth. The fig feeds millions in the forest, each taking turn when the time is right, but you will reserve your charity for those you deem to deserve, yet the fig takes its due too, blessing or curse.

Here is the line, if you are below, then your life is worth less than enough, says the economist. You are in need of ambition my brother; don’t stop reaching for a higher branch.

The economist in me knows where the line is, and despite being taught to avoid it with the fear of the reaper, I have wandered perilously close these many months past. See, the reaper is my friend, she was with me at the beginning of this tale and I will see her again, when it is wound up. You have nothing to fear, son of man, even if you should wander across many a line, forget not that the world is yours and you are king, and accord the farmer his due and he will let you drink of the life giving streams that run through his fields, says the reaper.

There is no fear in me, I cross the line of my own volition and tell myself that I am changed forever, I will not return I say, not the me that was. The me that would have waited for you, by the well, is gone. I have a pot of water and it must go back to the mother, for she would make life with it. I will look for you, on my next turn and throw of the die; I would have you in my picture, below or above the line.

Everything has a price. No; you will never truly understand this until you learn the wisdom of it in your own time. See, there are things human beings believe are beyond measure, like the love of God. The preacher by the wayside screams with fervent gestures, praying for your soul, certain of its damnation he has taken the mill upon his neck, he will save you, he says, so he screams and shouts at all that you do and yet he is only sound and fury to you, paying the price of an old tale whose light and love would ask that you burn out your heart. I stepped across the line and found many a prophet on the other side. If you would seek to be set up as judge, you must risk the hangman’s noose and be judged first and to be thus, is to open the door of your temple to the world, unafraid of its foundations. It is not an easy price to pay, some do it for money, some for love and others claim there is no measure of man for the things they do, but you are man, only man can measure and judge you.

What does it mean to be poor? I have often thought that it is to lack the will to build a life as you would wish it to be but there are measurements that most people hold as a standard; a roof over your head, food to eat, and a passion to while away the years but most important of all, people to share and love. Every human life should be dignified and respected and where does it start but in your own solitary husk and shell? When you live below the line, you fight for an identity that does not burn like paper; it is a struggle with inner demons that is only necessary for a lack and want of knowledge. You would seek to define yourself by the rolling hills and trees of the lands you come from; you say that to ask you to descend from the trees and share with the world your wit and intellect and view of the universe is to lay a heavy burden upon you, so you would do with speaking fees. Perhaps, the name of father and mother can be worn with pride or you will build from the ground and rise higher than yonder tower in Babel, whatever your concourse, you must find unity in your body, soul and spirit. The longer you wander the paths, the wilder your spirit grows, and you should be wary of it overcoming the soul and body.

I have always looked at the 'gentleman' on the street and known that but for a fortunate turn of events, there is me. Poverty is borne of fear, it is the desperation that tomorrow, there will not be enough, so you would gather all of yourself but never have enough for a day.

So, I shall look upon you on the street without pity or fear, for I am you too, I can be you if life should seek it of me again, but if I should have the power, I will rise and hope that one day, you will rise too and walk back to your home.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reality Check

Today, I didn't feel like getting out of bed. My alarm went off at seven am as usual, which is set 30min ahead so it was actually six thirty in the morning, I had woken up thirty minutes earlier to go to the loos, feeling the discomforts of an empty stomach, a fortnight of antibiotics and the dull heavy weight of the crumbling walls of that little house that is your world. It's always noiseless, even when you expect to hear a heavy thud and the splintering of wood, when that house that is your world falls. Why? I don't know, life is just that way, it moves, without expectation or heed to be held back for anything. Not even for you and me.

I lie awake and wonder what the hell I should do today. I have to make sure I put up the rugby website by the end of the day, then I have a to do list, carried forward from the last several weeks and months, with each item achieving a different rank and status, starting bottom of the list, making its way up and getting ticked off.

Don't you make lists? Of the many things you want, will, must or should do in life. I do. I find that it helps me to make sense of things. I do it in my head first, after looking at the picture as much as I can, I make a mental note that I will, for my part, add this to it. Sometimes its about starting a relationship afresh, with a new perspective on life as it should be. I once got it into my head that I should write a ten thousand word article, poem, story on something of great import, but that was a list I made sometime ago. I will tick it soon enough and send it off to the funny man, who sometimes just wants to be taken seriously.

So, I lay there, looking at my ceiling, wondering how to go out into the world today and make some money, because that is what my life has come down to. A simple game of numbers. I know it is so much more but I think I have somehow willed myself into this poverty and now it is all I can think about and how to truly escape it. Then I remember that I am just broke, not poor, for poverty is in the mind. It is, for those of you who are happy to be called 'poor in spirit' that cup of poison that renders your vessel inane and even if you should hide inside countless worlds, an empty heart is an empty house.

I read 'A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian' up to the chapter titled 'the triumph of the human spirit'. Valentina has just announced that her baby is Nikolai's, Nadezdha and Vera's eighty-four year old father, whom they have recently rescued from her clutches. The title amuses me, because I am always fascinated by that inner struggle of the human being. Do you think it lasts a lifetime? I have felt some deep and dark places within myself, felt anger against nothing and no one in particular but life itself. Funny thing is, you can't fight it; your own nature, maybe you can master and rule it but life is like a raging river, sometimes the rains make the torrents much more treacherous but you must always look inside yourself and remain true to what you think is just and fair in your world, if you would live by such currency.

My housemate gets up, at about eight-thirty. I hear the sounds of his morning rituals from the depths of Miss Lewycka's fascinating history of farm machines in a foreign land. I tell myself I am so far away, lost in the world of words to feel moved to start my day. He brushes, washes, irons and polishes. He dresses up, most often its a cotton trouser and shirt neatly tucked in over belly. Keys turn, doors open and close, cup, plate knife and fork knock and settle on hard surfaces. The television turns on, matchstick on tinder, puffs of smoke or maybe not today. He wants to quit smoking, he knows he should but he just can't bring himself to. He doesn't let it bother him. It will stop someday, insha Allah. His girlfriend comes by to pick him up at quarter past nine, she stays in Bukoto. They drive off. I have just about finished the chapter.

I think that I should go into town and do and be productive things, make some money, he he he. I have 2,700/=, I need to swallow some medicine, I need to put food in my stomach, I need to bring my business up to scratch, I need to push the PiFF further, I need to plan the next WorkZine issue. I need money. So much to do, so much life to live. Frack it, I say. I am staying in and writing some shit this morning. I will make my way into town later, via Davie's office.

What to do now. What to do. Hmmh? I boil some water for a shower, take a dump. Contemplate grand designs and simple acts. Kandole opens the back door and comes into the house, he no doubt wants his gees. I owe him a fifty for his cleaning and cooking services. I don't have it. I tell him he will have it soon enough. He washes the dishes; a cup, saucer and some cutlery. We excgange pleasantries, small talk, deaths, burials, rains, people back home. He attempts to boil some water, the extension blows. The power's been messed up lately, load-shedding and whatnot.

I decide to have some form of breakfast. I will buy a chapu and that nice fried cassava; if I keep this up, I will grab Kwashakor and what kind of story will that be? Huh? I put on a pair of jeans and pink PiFF tee shirt. I walk to the shops, purchase my breakfast and walk back home brewing a long tale. Ten thousand words, surely I must have that much garbage somewhere upstairs.

As I walk up the driveway, I find a little girl standing outide the neighbour's house. She's dressed in pink sweatpants, white t-shirt and a pink sweater. White sneakers cover her feet. She's smiling and jumping around like only little children know how. I smile, wave and greet her and then walk to my door. She stares after me, waves and then walks towards me.

"What is your name?" I ask
"Kouka" she replies
"Where is your mother? I mean mummy"
"Mummy has gone to work on her computer."
We chat a little, I tell her I'm called "Kuku" and then I say bye but she won't leave. So I sit on the steps and hear some more about Kaka and a best friend called Nicole Mugisha. Kouka or Koka is three years old and already has a best friend. I need me a best friend, I think.

I manage to coax Kouka back to her Kaka's house and tell her that I'm off to work on my computer as well.

Sometimes I feel like a failure, like I've wasted my chances in life. I have no doubt had the opportunity to be better off than I am today. I have been taught better. Yet, I have not done it. Despite knowing the folly of it, I have lived a carefree life since I discovered the world could be how I chose to see it. Well, there is no such thing as a carefree life, we all have shit we care about. Every man must weigh and measure his world and accord that which he esteems above all else, his undying loyalty.

Life has simple rules. You play with fire, it burns you. Bite the hand that feeds you and you'll go hungry. Amaizi tigakalegama aha gatakalegamaga. Be water.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Helicobacter pylori (HEL-uh-koh-BAK-tur) (py-LOR-eye)

Aaah! This is the nigga up in my biz. Some goddamn bacteria that causes peptic ulcers; that is all a man has to show for almost two years in a self destructive fit, all of course of his own making because we are nothing more than the constructs of our feeble minds. {fcuk society;-) fcuk society} I would like to think that I have been dark places but often I don’t think am that much different from anyone else, sometimes I think I’m just like most people, a little bit lazy some of the time, a little bit nice another time.

I have weighed and measured the things that matter in my world, played God and like most men, have wondered what to do with those that don’t quite measure up. Life is a journey, and I guess within it, a series of journeys to different places with different people. Sometimes you will meet people you would walk forever forward with, oftentimes paths diverge but life for its greater portion is a complex and beautiful tapestry of journeys, perhaps crisscrossing the face of the earth with those you would hold dear to your heart. I have weighed and I have measured; with time, there will be an equal count, for I am sworn to teach, even if there is but one student, myself.

I know there is a kind of love that transcends the self, the kind with which a loyal dog gives its life for its master’s, one man for the fate of a people. I also know the love of another, the kind of love that wraps you up and takes you that much higher with it, til you would fly high above the world and see your true form, naked and untethered. I would feel that love again; when it wills it will visit me perhaps once more. I would that it will not rend me to bits if it should find a want in me, for I am in need of water, this desert burns me so, I would drink of your fountain and soothe my spirit.

I have been taken, by things. Things I think are bigger than me; wants, wills and desires. I will that I would be bigger, so that I would carry that much more. Yet I have seen this before, I would lose myself in a love of the world and forsake my own heart, for I would believe that it cannot be made whole, that it cannot suffice. Who would you say is less? The fool that rounds the world chasing Liberty or he that gives his heart to the lass. I would gladly follow either man any other day than lay there and waste away, but today, today I would lie here and push these buttons and leave be for a little while, for I am weary and in need of respite from the sharp edges of the world.

I have been bound and kept together, even when I felt like letting go, by a motley band of friends; family that I will for my part be forever bound to. I will that I would be worthy of mentioning names but I am afraid that it would only seem vain worship to put them next to such worthless words. I would do more, I shall be more. There is a grand mystery about life, in that it’s more often that you find that which you seek in places you were never looking. I am lucky to know all you damn human beings, even though you suck sometimes.

I will know love in whatever form; be it the kind that would run rivers down your cheeks, be glad that you would know and hold such depths for I like you have waded such icy waters and I am that much better for it. I will break your heart, if you give it to me, for mine is an intellectual love; it would not be bound by this earth and realm. It would seek to know the heart of that which you call God and move unto the beyond. I shall surely break your heart, and I will be sorry for it.

There is nothing. I have felt it; it is a place of levity where the future forks in countless directions. If you will hold such depths in your mind, you would see how much gentler and fairer life is unto you. For you are still here, so you can do right and move on, even today. We should all seek to rise above our selfish base natures; we make countless proclamations of our desires to do so and yet lay claim to these hunting grounds with excuses of being only human. Would you that will you see our true human forms; that you would seek for a man to lay his base nature before you, naked as the day he came forth? I would say you ask too much of any man, yet this man would prostrate his mortal form before you and beg that you show compassion and kindness to the next soul and spirit.

Most often than not, the people who hold the world together are those you least expect. I have walked by a four year old street child who while falling asleep on the curb, holds out his hands high above his head, palms outstretched.
“Alms for the poor. Alms for the poor.”
You cannot honestly tell me that there is dignity there and yet behind those shaking hands are mouths waiting to be fed. Is it right? Is it fair? On yours and my watch while we are still able to, will we? I know that life in its grand mystery provides, and despite our shortcomings as individuals and human beings, the whole silently plods on, forever seeking, to be better, the next time round.

Your world is as it is because those who came before, and you, bound it that way, the future is yours, do as you will but remember the earth and life itself is that much grander than you can ever hope to know, yet you shall surely know something before she comes for you, for everyone gets a lifetime, nothing more, nothing less.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Dimples; and all you october babies.

Becky is the sweetest girl I know.

There are times when I despair so much that I want to find a lonely corner of the world and spend my days planting veggies and rearing past leaders, then I remember you and that way you smile. The way you look at the world, always with childlike wonder, the faith and hope that you hold within and all the love that you share.

It is a delight, to see you grow into the ever beautiful person that you become, and an eternal blessing to call you friend.

May you always know the love that endures.

Um, apparently there aretons of you born in October (allegedly my big bro as well), a happy birthday to y'all.

OCTOBER by =DennisChunga on deviantART

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The PiFF Mentorship Program

So, the PiFF is coming up with a mentorship program and we would like to know if any of you is interested?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Song of the Weaver

I am love
"I am love"
I am compassion
"I am compassion"
I am the infinite mystery
I was never born
I will never die
I was at the beginning
I will be at the end
I was sown to the winds
I will move in the moment
I was raised to the stars above
I will dance in the sunshine

There is peace
"There is peace"
Out in the infinite Universe
The child clings to the Father's hand
And the world moves beneath his feet
You will be shadow
"You will be shadow"
You will be light
"You will be light"
You will be all that there was
All that there will be
You will be you
"I will be me"

I am war
"I am war"
I am the emptiness of the child
I am the well of rage in Mephisto's realm
I am sadness
I am the unkind word before a meal
That makes fire and ice
I am the Horseman
I am not yet come

"I am love"
I am love
"I am compassion"
I am compassion
I was born to the Old Woman
I was born to the fair maiden
She was a warrior woman
Fierce love as in old Aeden
I am you
"You are me"
I am the monk atop the lonely mountain
You are me
"I am you"
I am the father of the man
I am love
"I am love"
I am compassion
"I am compassion"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Om Mani Padme Hum

There is a girl called Sharon, she knows the reason why there are five fingers on a hand. If you chance across her, ask her why.

See, I went to see my Uncle on Saturday; I wanted to practice the teachings of compassion. I told myself I could only ask one thing, to be me. To meet the man I felt had said an unkind word after breakfast as an equal. I am still humbled in his presence.

And I gave him a hug.

I have Karma, people, I have Karma.


I drift in the aether. A man once laughed it away but you and I know, that things move and the heart budges. There are tales you see, those that only the water can tell, and they move, in and out of the aether, in a flash and a lifetime. Pray tell, fellow drifter, where is she? That took my heart that fateful night, And showed me wonder and delight...

 The Harvest by Carmessi

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Midnight in the garden of good and evil

"My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky:

So was it when my life began;

So is it now I am a man;

So be it when I shall grow old,

Or let me die!

The Child is father of the Man;

I could wish my days to be

Bound each to each by natural piety."


William Wordsworth 1802.


He awoke with a start, drew a deep breath and grimaced as the piercing cold air entered his lungs. A wave of pain engulfed him; he felt it spread from the base of his skull across the right side of his head. A sharp pain poked and prodded like an imp with the devil's own pitchfork was trying to escape its prison. He held it tightly in his hands, spreading his fingers to hold as much of it as he could. He felt the poking move to his right eye, screaming in agony, he pressed his palms down on the eye and then he felt consciousness leaving him. He passed out, tumbling to the forest floor his head coming to rest a few inches from the trunk of a dead Baka tree.

The forest was dark. Scattered showers of light escaped the dense canopy of the Baka trees, painting an endless twilight for the creatures that lived on its floor. There was only night and distant light, it was the land of the eternal forest night. Vines covered the floor, twisting and twining around the tree trunks and branches of the fallen trees. Hued with the lightest shade of blue, the elongated tendrils and leaves glowed with the most delightful display of nightlights; it was as if the stars themselves had come down from the heavens. A soft wind blew, whipping the lights in all directions, there were patches of water that formed pools around the stumps and dying roots of the fallen trees, reeds grew in them.

The water is still where the reeds lie and sway, though it be by that river of old, and there is a tale told by the weavers that only those born of the clan are told. It is not that bedtime story, nor is it the tattletales' song of who did what with whom and where, no, it is a story that only the weavers know, and only the weaver knows its ending.

The Weaver spoke to her son, on that flight to the Kingdom of Old, where the dragons reign. He said, you have a soul mate, and then there's something about having three more and then life is just weird, but nice at the same time. The Weaver's son speaks.

Out there, when all on this good earth has long since gone, for we are nothing but mirrors of the past, except, that we can move on! A ship will sail to the lands of the weavers, a mother will feel her son taken as the weaver turns, bowing as the old prophecy has foretold, "The Child is father of the Man; I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety."

HDTV 1st True Experience!

Howl's Moving Castle

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Going Kinetic?

In the wake of Sunday's bombings, a lot of anger threatens to blind most well meaning Ugandans. I would advise caution as to the way forward. First off, until the police produce evidence as to who the perpetrators might be, we are in the dark and every assumption is just that. The media has propagated the theory that the Somali militants, Al Shabaab, are responsible but no proof has been put forward and only their threats issued last year are being used to fan the flames of suspicion.

We also need to know who is in charge of what. The problem with most of our institutions is that they almost always fail to stand when they are expected to do so. We saw the army, police, fbi, I'm sure the cia, cmi and all those super secret agencies were there long before any others arrived (I doubt it though) but we still don't quite know who is in charge of what.

Apparently, suspects were arrested but we don't know from where and who they are because of the sensitive nature of the incident. I say that's a load of crap, and I don't use the word lightly. The idea of national security superseding basic human rights has been practiced by western governments and condoned sheepishly by many due to unwarranted fear. It is in such moments that evil men will take away the very last freedoms you possess on this earth, that men actually willingly give up their freedoms because of some faceless enemy. I'm almost certain someone is going to suggest we rush the phone tapping bill through parliament because of things like this, that we declare war on a people on one side of a conflict that we hardly understand. Why is it so hard to see that a calm, considered and measured response is what is called for here.

No, we will not slink away in the face of such reckless hatred but neither should we become that which we abhor.

Personally, I think there's a lot more sinister stuff to this attack and I for one would want an independent media that will not feed me everything the government gives it as fact. Here are the facts as far as I can tell

  1. Explosive devices went off in Kampala
  2. People of different nationalities were killed (76 in total)
  3. The police hinted that they suspected Al Shabab militants but did not provide any proof whatsoever
  4. Al Shabab spent Monday morning congratulating the mujahedin who had carried out the attack but did not claim any direct involvement
  5. Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks on Monday afternoon
  6. I don't quite know why the hell people are fighting in Somalia. I know it has a lot to do with Ethiopia and Eretria, religion and of course I'm sure there's a mercantile interest somewhere
  7. There are thousands if not millions of Somali refugees in Uganda
  8. They are people like you and me and do not deserve to be discriminated against unjustly
  9. Any such discrimination and the hatred it grows from will only serve to undermine our strength as a nation, our ability to bind together when we need to.
  10. We are one nation, different peoples but one nation, if we lose that then we're doomed.
  11. Respect Life, bind yourselves together for you will not survive the future otherwise.
  12. The Enemy is War!

"Hmmm…I sense great fear in you Skywalker. You have anger. You have hate. But you do not use them."

"fear is the path to the dark side, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering....If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will"

Monday, July 12, 2010

All Life is Sacred

And the monk said, "If you should fear to lose your life, to the bright rays of the sun, and in that cave on the mountain your fear should fester and breed. Look upon the earth, see the millions of creatures, with whose lives you would play God, look up to the sky and know this; the sacred breath will endure, one day, the Universe will die and then live again, but you, you will endure."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Do Something

Macy Gray inspires me endlessly, when I'm listening to her, it's like hearing my random thoughts put in words and I'm like YES! That's what I'm talking about! This time round, she's managed to tell me that "There is beauty in the world", so, I'm gonna be "The Sellout" and go get me some of that beauty. A long time ago however, she told me that if I wanted my life to amount to anything, then I had to "get up, go out and do something".

The music is for the people, enjoy, and those of you who can should go and buy her latest album coz she bankrolled the whole thing herself and she's got family to feed.


One way or another, be inspired!



Do Something by Macy Gray

Like Cleopatra

Got the masses at my feet

Got a living dwell

Down on easy street

I'm the latest craze (oh yeah)

And if you stay a while


You gone be bitin' my style

In your later days (well, well, well)

Let me tell you what is fact

And what is true

I get high and that aint that much to do

I'm always in a daze (uh huh)

That was just a dream I had

Last night in my bubble bath

Next to my wishing well

Oh yeah, you betta


Get up, get out

And do somethin'

Don't let the days of your life pass you by

You got to

Get up, get out

And do somethin'

How will you make it if you never even try

Get up, get out

And do somethin'

Can't spend your whole life tryin' to get high

You got to get up, get out

And do somethin'

'Cause you and I have to do

For you and I


What's been happenin'

How you doin'

Where you been

I'm further behind now

Than I was back then

Lost in some old maze (uh huh)

Some years have passed me by

All I want is to go get high

I'll get it together

Some other day


In my dreams I dwell (uh huh huh)

'Cause all my dreams are swell (woo, woo, woo)

You would too

If you could see them

That's what I know

I gotta go

Get up

Get out and (yeah)


Heaven's at my feet

Got a living dwell

Down on easy street

I'm the latest craze (uh huh)

It's just a dream I had

Last night in my bubble bath

Next to my wish--yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah


Why don't you do somethin'?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Truth and Justice

I cannot fly, away from this rock, into the sun. I cannot run, faster, than that bullet of love. I cannot see, what lies are in your heart. But I can stand, on these two feet of mine, in light and dark . I can stand for you and me, I can stand in LOVE!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Trouble With Being Myself

So sorry to keep you waiting, never meant to be unkind, I think I've found my purpose, in the process I lost my mind. It's been a crazy life, (it's been a crazy life) but we still have the night, (but we still have the night) and if you say you love me, (and if you say you love me) I think I'll be alright (I think I'll be alright) yeeeeah! (wooooooo!)

......................................Macy Gray

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Being You: Love

 “K’naan man, Love or fear, choose one.”

Huh! Well, let me ask you something, let me ask everyone actually, sweetie, I didn’t say it, the love...

Yo! What’s the proportion of the Universe’s harmony equal to? “LOVE!”

What’s the voice in us, forcing us to favour truth? “LOVE!”

What’s pain and anguish, strangled, vanish in the face of? “LOVE!”

What’s the missing link, what language do the silent voices sing? “LOVE!”

I wouldn’t ask you if I didn’t admire you so what’s between I and you? “LOVE!”

What’s the ocean breeze, why do men get on their knees? “LOVE”

What’s life without love like fights without cause and rights we strike off?
What’s the deal between the ‘eyes off’ what is it that I can’t hide other than when I cough? “LOVE!”

It’s Love that’s the opposite of greed and hateful things, it’s not symbolized by diamonds but it does revolve like rings, and time marches into the canvases of uncertainty, damaging our predictions and conditions we set like amnesty, I’m hard to hate. And whether I’m gifted with the poetry I spit is a far debate, I’m living a rhyming state and stealing drops of my soooul and the energy I put forth can sink an army wave. Coz that’s love you see, it’s not soft, it’s the hardest thing to attain, its freedom when you’re detained, leave it to me and I’ll explain. Coz it’s dead to me, like ma, mommy and daddy and sister and wifey and pens and pads of random thoughts that borders the same struggle of human truth!

Who’s to say what my words are?


That’s what’s up.
....................................................Spoken Love by K'naan

Monday, June 14, 2010

Being You: Good and Evil

 Human beings tend to think that evil is external, that it will come from without and corrupt your soul if you let it but what, if I may ask, is evil? Is not evil the selfish act that denies another human being a fair chance at life? Is it not that unyielding hatred that sets one nation against another generation after generation? Is it not the inaction of a man who will not come to the aid of his brother because it is not his duty? Is it not that tempest stirring in your heart, driving you to the extreme in your quest to avoid pain and experience pleasure? Is it not the ignorance with which you unquestioningly receive another man’s wisdoms and truths without any questing for the truth on your part?

Every evil that has been and will be wrought upon the world is the consequence of man’s actions. There is a law of unintended consequences that states that; for every action you take (consciously or subconsciously), there will be at least three results that you could never in your wildest dreams have predicted. Your obligation as the instigator of these acts is to mitigate whatever results from them, it is your sacred duty to ensure that no one is knowingly harmed or placed in danger of possible harm against their will as a result of your actions, for the evil man is one who cares not whom he hurts in his pursuit of what he thinks is rightfully his.

You have the power to affect and change your world and the reverse is true. You will do good and evil in the world for that is what it means to be human. Take no man’s wisdom as truth unless you know it as “the self” but always heed its warning; do not take advantage of those less knowledgeable that yourself for unbeknownst to you, your life is meaningless without them. Be ever mindful of your emotions, they have the power to carry you to great heights but they can plunge you to unknown depths just as well. Beware of extremes, there is knowledge there but it comes at a price and sometimes it is not easily paid.

Life is about finding a balance, your own center, wherein you are at peace with the world as it is; all you can hope for is that the world finds a way of being at peace with you as you think you should be.

The root of all evil is the selfish act that is not tempered by the awareness of others and as such is the selfless act the root of all that is good between us in this world.

Being You: Soul, Spirit and Body

“Life has loveliness to sell...” so goes the poem Barter by Sara Teasdale.

Sometimes we forget what is around us; when life gets a little tight as it is bound to do, we have the ability to see only the negative things affecting us. Everything that happens in the realm of human experience can be put in a context that can be understood by even the most simple minded; shit happens, deal with it!

Everyone has a choice in what they do, and what anyone does is simply follow a path in life. On this path, you will encounter things and people; you will witness events, and from all this you must find knowledge that is both useful for everyday life and most importantly for nourishment of the self. Each and every one of us feels that there is a part of them that is different from every other person on this good earth, that I imagine is what many of you call the soul, and knowledge of that is only truly personal.

You will all do and feel things in your life but what matters most is the spirit in which you do them. I have been taught that a “spirit of brotherhood” should guide my actions towards my fellow man and methinks that’s not a bad thing to do. I am a million faces and voices, I am legion but I come in peace and brotherhood and there is no trickery in me. J

Your body is the temple of your soul and the spirits that live within you; it is the only physical thing over which you have any degree of control. It has been called the greatest instrument at your disposal and it is up to you to choose how you treat it. It is the only medium through which you can interact with the world and it speaks a language like no other, for one smile can lift many a cloud and one frown break a heart.

We all desire love and respect for the thing that we call “the self” and if we truly believe that charity begins at home then self respect is the first step towards earning respect from any other human being.

Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you! So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy and you yourselves are his temple.”

There is more meaning in that verse than in the countless empty words you will come across in life. If you profess a belief in God, then take one day and live as if his spirit has come alive in you, let all your actions be judged by your glimpse of him and discover what lessons can be learned from that.
Have dignity and self respect; that is where it starts.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Being You: Facade

Human beings like being lied to, yes; we seem to have an affinity for it. If it wasn’t for that fact, we who put words together probably wouldn’t have a job. In reality, when stripped of all emotion, life is simply boring and repetitive, human interaction is what keeps people going. Even the mightiest of us all has to concede that without the rest of us, there would be no way to define his or her might. Most of us walk around with the belief that we are somehow engaged in a worthwhile venture, that what we do on some level matters even if we don’t understand it. We are for the most part content to believe that we are somehow part of a greater purpose but when it comes down to what we feel and believe independent of “other people”, we, for the most part, don’t have a clue as to what we are doing.

People come together for all sorts of reasons but the primary urge we have behind all our actions is survival. Hardcoded within our DNA is a will to survive like no other for men will endure seemingly eternal torment and fight against unimaginable odds just for a breath of free air. Yet when we are satisfied and our thirst quenched, there are still desires within us, things that we don’t quite understand.

As a child, I came to understand that sometimes other people just don’t want to know anything about your feelings, that in fact, they would rather chew tin foil than listen to you prattle about how life is unfair to you. I also understood that sometimes it’s not that they don’t care but that, well, “everyone goes through shit” and no one has the right to transfer their shit onto someone else unless they are responsible for causing it or they willingly take it up, kind of like the Christian doctrine of bearing each other’s burdens. I understood that there are certain people in life that you expect to be there for you, people you can count on and in my mind the very least you can expect from them is honesty.

The world is the self; your world is what you know and no more, know more.

Monday, May 31, 2010

On Liberty: “There is no fate but what we make”

"The grand, leading principle, towards which every argument unfolded in these pages directly converges, is the absolute and essential importance of human development in its richest diversity."
Wilhelm Von Humboldt, Spheres and Duties of Government

These are the first words on my copy of J.S. Mill's "On Liberty", after a lengthy but interesting introduction. It is a book that has the potential to change the way you look at the world, and if, perhaps, you are receptive enough, you might chance across a companion on your relentless march towards "freedom".

What does it mean to be free?

There is a conscious thought I remember attaining when I was much younger. It was very clear to me, given that which I knew, that every human being was pretty much the same and that everyone had the right to act in a manner that one independently felt was in one's best interests, a manner that maximised one's experiences of life but a manner that above all did not directly or indirectly cause harm to any other individual, to the best of one's knowledge; but we all know, ignorance doesn't count.

It was the thinking of a child and I couldn't quite frame the argument to satisfy the situations I encountered everyday but I still felt that there was some truth in it. As a young boy, I struggled with various questions of meaning and existence. I wondered why one person had the right to expect anything from another, whether there was anything that was freely given in this world and whether in the grand scheme of things it mattered. Whether there was truly justice, whether somehow everything evened out. I know now, that there are as many answers to these questions as there are human beings on this earth because when it comes to the beliefs we hold dear, "one man's paradise is another man's prison".

I have always been in search of an identity; an answer to the question that I believe plagues every human being at one point in their lives if they are so unfortunate as to be of average cognition or better.

Who and what am I?

The inquiry itself is an affirmation of the individual's existence and independence of thought, for to ask who one is, is to accept the premise that one exists (is) apart from something else and to ask what one is, is to likewise accept the premise that one exists (is) as a part of something else. I have found that the answer to that question is perhaps partly an answer to the question of freedom.

Everything begins and ends with the "self", for the most part. The question of who and what you are can only be answered by you but you must understand that in making up your mind as to how you wish to define the "self" and express it, you are bound by the laws and rules of humanity.

One of the most important things imparted to a child is the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Every society has a mechanism (education) by which it does this and we (human beings) seem to be agreed on the fact that in a child's formative years, before they come of age, that duty lies with the parents, immediate and extended family (humanity).

I am my mother's son, I am a human being, and I was born to love. That for me is all the identity I will ever need.

Are there innate ideas?

John Locke propounded the theory that there are no innate ideas, that the human mind is from birth a "tabula rasa" and that any human being is the product of their environment and education. Where you are born, what you see, do and learn as a child, the people you come into contact with, all these are things that will shape and determine what kind of person you become.

Given that that is true (has been observed to be true for the most part), what then remains of a person if you remove all the conditioning and traits that are learned from birth? Do you remain with something that is pure? If so, then pure what?

It was impressed upon me from an early age, than one of the most important things I could ever do in life was understand what was inside of me. This was introduced to me from a religious point of view; I was taught that God's spirit resided in me and that I must at all times be conscious of this fact and endeavour to let it flow through my works. I was taught that I was merely an instrument doing "God's work" and of course that God was good, all knowing, all powerful and all those attributes that he or she is given.

I was introduced to the idea of good and evil from that perspective, taught that evil was external and would take advantage of any weakness in me to use and despoil "God's instrument" to its own ends. I was taught to jealously guard my mind and body against "evil" thoughts and influences, to believe that he who thought "evil" was as damned as one who practised it.

I believed all this with the mind of a child but I guess what stood out for me was the idea that there was "something" inside of me that was pure, that was good, that needed to be guarded and protected from outside influence.

I have since been fortunate or unfortunate enough to rid myself of religion but some of the teachings still remain with me. The idea that we are all born in an equal state, endowed by who or whatever created us with certain traits and abilities that make each one of us unique yet are sufficient for the purposes of our human lives.

Does the self exist before and after the body? What is its constitution before and does anything physical have any effect on what it is after it leaves the body? Where does it go after leaving the body? Is this state/place similar to what it is before birth? Do we have any concrete and practical knowledge of this state?

These are some of the questions that will plague me till the day I die, however, I realise that there can be no definite answers to them. At best, I will arrive at a theory or an idea that hopefully explains the observable patterns that I believe reflect them, at worst; I will plod on, none the wiser.

I believe that there is such a thing as "the human spirit", a code (if you like) against which everything we encounter is measured and that this human spirit helps us to choose our actions. I believe that life is a constant struggle to find a balance between our knowledge of "the human spirit" and of "the self". Everything we do in our lives is based on what knowledge we have of these two "entities", for lack of a better word, and the physical world, but I think it would be wise for us to understand that one supersedes the other, that no matter who you think you are, the earth and humanity were here long before you came along and will be long after you are gone and that there is knowledge contained within the collective conscience of humanity that any individual disregards at their own peril. This is essentially human society as we know it, yet even when it seems so big, powerful and almost impersonal, we must never forget that its rules and laws were created by human beings like you and me and that just as you and I are prone to error, so were they too and any knowledge, values, customs and beliefs that society wishes us to adopt must be measured against our knowledge of "the self" and the world and adopted or discarded as and when we see fit for ourselves.

We are, after all is said and done, in the business of survival as a species (pamoja), and "mother nature" in her infinite wisdom seems to have equipped us with the ability to evolve, to change, to adapt, to become better. It is in this spirit that we commend those of us who are brave enough to venture forth against the unknown; that we esteem those of us who in their daily lives stand tall against forces that would bring us to our knees and most importantly it is in this spirit that we create bonds between each other, bonds we hope will stand the test of time.

Is the individual supreme?

It is the sole duty of any individual to acquire knowledge and training that develops their physical and mental faculties to the best of their abilities. The process of learning, for any individual, lasts a lifetime and will never cease until he or she has drawn their last breath. It is this knowledge that helps a human being eke out whatever meaning or joy they can from this life. The nature of this knowledge may be internal or external but what is most important is that our understanding of it must be internal; any creed to which we lend allegiance must be reconciled with our internal culture and beliefs or else we are nothing but empty vessels echoing dead and empty beliefs.

Every person is aware of themselves, of their ability to feel pain and pleasure and of the distinction between the two. The idea that we (human beings) are inherently selfish comes from the recognition that we do our best to avoid pain and maximise pleasure. If a human being existed in a state wherein they did not have to account for their actions, then there would be no limit to how one person can express themselves in their pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain, however we live in a society with other human beings who feel pretty much the same things we feel (with varying degrees of intensity) and as far as we can tell, the only way by which we can hope to have any meaningful existence, is by association and interaction with our fellow human beings (nature counts too J). This fact calls for you to investigate and determine what may be meant by the idea that you are in possession of an "inherently selfish nature" and that anything you do, is first and foremost about yourself.

There is an aphorism that goes thus; "Charity begins at home." This could be applied to a myriad of situations in human life but for our purposes here we will look at the beliefs and ideas we espouse and give intellectual weight. If you profess to believe something, then it is right and fair that society expect you to act and behave according to said belief because only then can any other human being have any just expectation of you. Any belief must stand on the actions of those who profess to hold it, any act contrary to the belief only serves to undermine or diminish its intellectual weight (as far as practical application) though it does not necessarily render the belief false.

Let's take the example of "the right to life." In this day and age, it is universally agreed that all human beings have a right to life, and that no other human being has the power or authority to unjustly take that away from any other. However, in a world with more than six billion people and a myriad cultures and customs, this right is trampled on day in and day out but despite whatever justifications have been put forth by any man or group of men for the act of "murder", it remains, in the universal consciousness an undesirable act that goes against our very nature.

Then there is the case for suicide, assisted or otherwise; if every human being has the right to their life, is it therefore wrong for another human being to take their own life on their own terms?

So what power does society have?

Society sets the rules and makes the laws of the day. In this pursuit, it is guided by the sum of all human knowledge prior to and including its time. Now here's the trick, those who make and set the rules are human beings just like you and me; they share the same ignorance any other human being has, they don't know everything. To put it better, there is nothing known that you cannot know. If you have the means and the will you can learn all that can be learned but even all that knowledge is useless if you do not engage in what you yourself would term as a meaningful life.

Those who would seek for society to tell them how to live their lives, as long as they are of age and at no great disadvantage, both mentally and physically (even among these are some of the most amazing examples of "the human spirit"), are nothing short of lazy.

Life itself has equipped you with all you need to survive but sometimes it's hardJ; how you live your life is your business as long as you reserve this right for every other human being, society should leave you alone, unless of course, you like the attention.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The sum of all knowledge is love

There is nothing known, there is nothing written in stone, except love.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm OK, you're OK.

This has been hard but I am me again, with all the hidden emotions, for better or worse. The truth thing is over people, I will lie through my teeth like the rest of you. Ciao

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

“The Dreaming”

This little guiding plant of mine, I'm gonna let it burn,
This little guiding plant of mine, I'm gonna let it burn,
This little guiding plant of mine, I'm gonna let it burn,
Let it burn, all the time, let it burn.

There is a story they tell, of a man called Moses who saw a burning bush, and that God spoke to him through this burning bush.

"Son, I am the shit this side of the Sahara, I made you and I can break you. I am the most magnificent, most...most everything really. So you gotta do what I say, okay?

"Nigga, what the ****?"

"Watch your language, the last time your lot went this way I had to flood the whole thing to put out the fires. Now please don't make me go through too elaborate an illustration to prove to you that, as aforementioned, I am the what?"

"The m*** shit this side of the Sahara?"

"Nigga, language please!"

"But you said.."

"Hush. Go tell that man to let my people go, tell him to let them be free. Tell him, the Almighty, the most...most everything really, says it must be so.... Hmmm, I need a dictionary."

"A what? Nigga, you talking crazy; you know Pharaoh? I aint stickin my neck out for niggas that can't do shit for themselves; you should see them, by the thousands hauling block after block, whining that God has forsaken us. Fighting and even killing each other; Nigga, do something for yourself....Um, I'm talking about them, not you.

Tell me anyway, who the hell are you and why the, um, hell should I do anything you say?"

"Now we're getting somewhere, I am the most awesome, most...amazing, hah! Most...most everything really. Damn! Okay, listen up; go tell that man, that this guy you pray to every night; that he's the shit and he can kick his guys' shit to Miletus. Tell him that I have finally heard their cries of agony, I was roaming you know, sometimes the network can be shitty. Anyway, I am back in this biz like a bad case of halitosis and I say enough is enough."

"Nigga you dumb? You want me to go in front of Pharaoh and say what; that my god sent me, blah blah blah, and expect him to hand over the keys to the kingdom? In case you aint noticed, I don't speak too good, and those people of yours, they don't take too kindly to other people telling them what to do. No, that's just wrong, a nigga needs some backup, you know."

"Aaaah, you're into magic tricks? Yeah? You seen the one with the stick and the snake? No? Good. How bout this one? Put your hand in your cloak; now pull it out, impressive eh?"

"Aaaah! Nigga, what you done to my hand? Oh man!"

"Quit whining and put it in your cloak again; that's two, now for the finale! Drum rolls please.

Ladies and gentlemen, sons and daughters of Msiri and Israel, I give you the amazing Moses and his pitcher. Watch as he takes some water from the Nile and pours it on the ground. What do we have here? Some red stuff; is it wine? No! It is blood! My, what an amazing trick, this guy is surely the shit!

Okay, I guess that covers it, any questions?"

"Well, there's still that issue of my public speaking and I would rather ride into town in a flaming chariot...oh and also that hand thing, how bout we do something funky when I pull it out of my cloak, like a flaming sword or some shit? Diseased hand is a bit uncomfortable for me, you know how niggas roll, image is everything in this game."

"Oh man, how come I always land on the wimps? This didn't happen to Zeus. Alright, here's what we'll do, your brother Aaron knows how to spin that shit, you tell him what I tell you and you'll look like the dangerous nigga behind the scene. How's that? Kul? Alright, grab your goddamn stick and let's get this show on the road."

"Um, one last thing."

"Oh man, what now?"

"If you're the shit this side of the Sahara, who's the shit on the other side?"

"Okay, you're beginning to annoy me; nobody cares about the other side of the Sahara and if it ever comes up, we'll see how fix that. Now go, I need to go and find someone who can read this manual."