Random things

In Nigeria presently is in crisis. It is a good time to say black lives matter or should we say African lives matter. The irony of it all was to hear Raila urge the Nigerian government to stop police brutality. Kenyan police seems to have learnt only how to brutalise citizens.

In his book, for us the living, Heinlein makes a point that has been made here and elsewhere that to reduce war, there has to be a vote. He argues that those who vote yes must be in the first draft. This must include those billionaires who fund wars. And we can’t allow them to buy poor people to fight on their behalf. He then says those who are undecided should be in the second draft and finally those who vote no in the last draft, if the war lasts that long. I am almost sure fewer wars will be fought.

Is this narrative of perpetual progress that’s been sold to us sustainable? I like a new phone. A new computer. A new car and all but in some way this all has a cost to the environment and available resources. Question is how long will keep this on? I am no enemy of progress but I wonder if all progress is good or even desirable.

I used to wonder if automation will take away jobs or make our lives easier. But it does look like we continue to toil away- seemingly after the biblical dictum that they who don’t work shall not eat- at sometimes boring jobs that we don’t like just to make a living. Does the future hold better prospects for our working people?

Have a thoughtful weekend everyone.

You must set forth at dawn

Is an autobiography by Wole Soyinka, I think his second. If you have not read any work by W.S, then I recommend you read this. When I finished reading this book, I felt a desire one to meet Wole and the next was to ask myself what I have done with my life. This fellow, Wole, has done so much with his life from a young age and he is still going strong.

In this book he tells of the theft of artifacts from West Africa (Benin, Nigeria) by the British government or is it British Museum (are they different?) and an attempt to recover one particular burst of a god and the scandal that ensued. Of how the issue was mishandled by the police or was it a case of betrayal by the government?

He tells us of his meetings at Aso Rock with the different occupants of that seat except Abacha with whom he said he would not share a table with.

And of his home in Abeokuta. Of his hunts in his backyard. Of his collections of art pieces and the cousin who sold them while he was jailed.

It is the story of a Road Safety Corps started by Wole after he got tired of seeing the brains of his students and colleagues plastered on the tarmac near his university.

It is the story of Ogun, his protector god or is it as Socrates would say, his daemon? There is the story of his drive into Lagos when Abacha deposed the despicable Shonekan.

It his about his tempting of fate and maybe protection by the gods? Who can say? Or about his being sought by the killing squads of Abacha and how people within the dreaded SSS who were sympathetic to the democratic forces always passed on information to him and others.

It’s about the detained passports, restrictions on travel and freedom of movement. Or his daring escape in the early dawn through Benin to Paris then USA when Abacha through his killer squad wanted him dead.

It’s about the complicity or duplicity in world leaders to fail to sanction Abacha. Of the death of Saro Wiwa. It’s about Femi, a man with a generous appetite for good food and a great friend.

He talks about his enduring friendships with Femi and other writers and dissidents.

Of all the dictators Nigeria have had, I think, reading Wole, Abacha was the worst of them. Paranoid, a killer with no qualms. Calculating and cruel with the mind of a lizard (his words, not mine).

This book is also about death or should I say, murder most foul. Abiola the democratically elected president at the fall of Ibrahim Babangida is put in jail then Ernest Shonekan is appointed interim president before being deposed by Abacha.

I would like to know from Nigerians if any reads this blog how they could vote for Obasanjo and Buhari, the two having been military dictators? How would they believe Buhari would address corruption when he as head of the petroleum industry condoned it. A man who as dictator banned democracy and so on. It is something I really would like to understand. But I digress.

He talks of the Nobel Prize for Literature, his reactions and those of the Nigerian state. Of his involvement in the struggle for return to civilian rule during the different military dictatorships. Of his involvement in trying to get Mandela and Buthelezi to meet and end the violence before the first elections at the end of the apartheid regime.

He writes of their efforts to reach Ngugi Wa Thiong’o when he detained by the Moi regime.

Of the diplomatic mix-up with the Egyptian government at the beginning of Africa Cup of Nations.

He writes of the moment in the streets of New York where he tried to intervene in what seemed a case of domestic violence only for the victim to plead with him not to injure the aggressor. And the realisation that he was a black a man intervening in an all white affair.

It is also about his views on violence and of when he thinks it is appropriate to use violence, for example, to oust a regime that is ruling through violence. A regime that has in its activities dehumanized the population and there is need for the ruled to rise and challenge their oppressors. He finds gratuitous violence despicable and war inhumane.

You must read this book.

If we don’t tame religion, it will be the end of us

Soyinka was talking of Nigeria but I think his comments apply equally to anywhere else in the world where there are religious people.

“I do not say kill religion, though, I wouldn’t mind a bit if that mission could be undertaken surgically, painlessly perhaps, under anaesthesia, effectively sprayed all over the nation or perhaps during an induced pouch of religious ecstasy.

“We may never prosecute anybody for killing in the name of religion precisely because we have been unable to separate criminality from religion.

I suggest they close this faculty

My friend JZ brought this study, if we can call it that, by a Nigerian post graduate student at the University of Lagos purporting to have definitively proved homosexuality is wrong. Those of you on the micro-blogging site, twitter, do know there is usually a love-hate relationship between Kenya and Nigeria which yours truly isn’t interested in today, but I would suggest they close this university for a while.

Please tell me that after reading this,

Mr Amalaha claimed that as the poles of magnets repel those of the same type, this “means that man cannot attract another man because they are the same, and a woman should not attract a woman because they are the same. That is how I used physics to prove gay marriage wrong”

you will not demand that the faculty or department head be asked a few questions and while that is being done, that the faculty be closed to re-asses what their students have been learning. For please tell, how is this science? and by a post graduate student to boot? We have our own problems here, for example 500ml of milk[ a commodity we produce locally] retails at almost the price of a litre of petrol[ a commodity we import] but I think Nigerians have bigger problems. They queue for fuel, which they are the third largest exporter in Africa if my regional knowledge is correct and now they have University of Lagos!

If you thought religion was far away from this research, think again

In recent time I found that gay marriage, which is homosexuality and lesbianism, is eating deep into the fabric of our human nature all over the world and this was why nations of Sodom and Gomora were destroyed by God because they were into gay practice

Read that again and tell me, you don’t want to shoot yourself in the head! His god has a way of attending to his mistakes. Wipe them all out, so that when the inspectors come there is no evidence and you can’t tell who was doing what. Me wonders if the young babies, children and pregnant women were all gays so they had to be killed off? I mean just asking 😛

Now for the real punchline, we are told

Recently my lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Profesor D S Aribuike, pointedly told me that I will win Nobel prize one day, because he found that my works are real and nobody has done it in any part of the world

Me needs a Nobel right away! I mean seriously, seriously, this is cutting edge research that the departmental head is so pleased about. Shoot me, but if this was my university, I would for the time being say I went to a different school.

Chemical Engineers out there, please weigh in and tell us what field of research this is. Yours truly is not a science guy 😛

University of Lagos: Magnets prove homosexuality is unnatural