Monday, 17 October 2011

This Is What Happens When You Have Glamorous Friends

I was out with Lunch-meet at a party at UB City that was organised by brewers UB (What a surprise!) in order to celebrate a win by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the local cricket team. 

I got tanked up on red wine and chatted with one of the cheerleaders (yes, here in India, cricket warrants cheerleading), went to the kitchen and gorged on chicken shish, lamb shabbab, and intermittently cried out “sheep meat!” in between mouthfuls. 

There was a fashion show. Then they put on the cheerleaders. The place was lousy with Bangalore glitterati. Decent music, but a terrible DJ. Great food though! The caterers, Fava, made a spinach and ricotta ravioli that tasted so good it might have had a body in it. 

I found it funny how few guys made an effort to dress up; I was easily one of the best-dressed fellows there and considering the state of my wardrobe that’s really saying something! In contrast, all the women were dressed to the nines, goodness me! There was one lady with the most gorgeous little peepers, high heel, with a platform sole. All black with silver petals. I had to give her the compliment through Lunch-meet. The lady’s boyfriend was looking at me like I’d club him and carry her away if he took his eyes off of me for a mere fraction of a second.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Another Splurge

Because I've felt like eating Italian food. I discovered a decent foreign foods section at a place called Thom's Bakery, where I've seen the largest concentration of non-Indians outside of one of Viren's ex-pat club parties.

I pivked up a few things, but wasn't brave enough to drop the rupees they were asking for a tin of anchovies, I haven't developed enough of a craving for a good penne putanesca... Maybe one day. 

Today I feel like a good aglio olio, with a nice salad and braised chicken breast. Of course, just as I'm getting ready to start cooking there's a bloody power cut!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

My Weekend Break

Ah, yes. So it seems in Hampi one can find Indians who stare. Even though I was travelling with a tall, pretty, blonde, Russian lady - my friend, Miss Piggy - damn near all stares were directed at yours truly. 

Now, I already anticipated the possibility that the stares were because people couldn't understand why a tall, pretty, blonde would possibly keep company with the likes of me. So I compared the frequency and kinds of stares I got exploring the Hampi ruins alone with those I got exploring the ruins with Miss Piggy. About the same. Absolutely fascinating.

Less maddening than the daggers directed my way by the well-to-do black women in the People's Republic of Cambridge (Mass.) when I'm with a non-black female acquaintance; but also less amusing than being regarded with envious eyes by ex-pats when I go out with Lunch-Meet.

I was also surprised by the ways I observed some Indian tourists treating the ruins. I saw people pulling at statues, and/or climbing on them, littering, and even relieving themselves. As if the attitude was that personal enjoyment is of paramount importance; that it mattered not what was left for other people to enjoy as long as they got theirs.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Just Because

Not usually a Country and Western man, but me likey this one.The music video doesn't do justice to the song. I suspect that's because at the time young miss Rimes lacked the experience necessary to look lonesome enough. Oh well. No matter.

Friday, 26 August 2011


Our two interns have left so the office is super small and super quiet; consulting dept. is down to little old me and my supervisor again. Hope to get a new victim intern soon.

Still lonely, still missing She on occasion. Not just someone-to-hold-lonely though. I think I actually feel existentially lonely too at times. Missing old friends.

Finally managed to get a well-earned break and traveled to a place called Hampi in northern Karnataka. Absolutely beautiful. Pretty much spent two days in the sun and have a case of sunburn, HA! I burn so rarely that the pain and itching always, always comes as a total surprise.The sunburn hypothesis never even enters my mind until my skin starts peeling en masse like I got hit with a few gamma rays.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sociological Images

Peeped one of Lunch-meet's magazines the other day. The Indian edition of Elle. In it was an article about transracial adoptions with the following lede:
Throughout her childhood, her white foster mother's assurances that she was "not really black", made author Precious Williams believe that her skin colour was something unpleasant. That's why reading about transracial adoptions by celebrities fills her with dread.

Yes, folks. This was the illustration they chose to put above the title. Ho ho!

And the piece de resistance, a bloody advert for skin-lightening sunscreen on the page right after the article, because, folks, dark skin really is unpleasant. All one need do is feign horror at those who express such a view openly (and, possibly, keep your fairness cream out of plain sight).

In Which I Vent My Spleen

I am at the end of my tether with these fucks at Vodafone. They've been promising me 3G for the past 4 months, and every time I call ir’s been: next month sir, for sure. It’s only had no reception a few times. Most of the time it works fine but the speed is really bloody slow, which means that I can barely use Skype.

I was quite pissed off last weekend, because my sister and several friends finally had the time to get on Skype. And I couldn't even chat to them because the data transfer ground to a halt over Saturday and Sunday. Apparently 3G is coming out tomorrow, but right now I don’t trust anything that comes from Vodafone, and I’m all Sunk-costs biased up, and averse to the fumduckery of other service providers to jump ship. 

It amazes me that they’re allowing their name to be put to the fiasco that is the Indian operation. How is it that in a country that exports thousands of engineers, this company can’t sort reliable connections for people in its so-called Silicon Valley?

Update: 3G has apparently been rolled out and - surprise surprise - I still have no access to it. I fear what might happen if I pay a visit to the local Vodafone office.

Food Therapy

A few days ago I hit a low point in my cultural adjustment. I'd occasional feelings of resent towards the walk to and from work through a miasma of toxic fumes; on filthy streets, playing dodgems with dumped rubbish, cars, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles, dead things (I've seen more bodies than Quincy M.D), and excrement. 

I also hated not being able to cook what I like. So today I went on a splurge and bought some of my ingredients: oyster sauce, soy sauce, chilli bean sauce, and yellow bean sauce. I made some rice, chicken braised in oyster sauce, green beans tossed in chilli bean sauce, and a red and gold omelette. I saved the stock from the chicken, and used it to make a good old red stew - a Nigerian dish - which I've been having with rice.

They Were Surely Mad

It’s dark. I was heading to my friend's apartment, and walking up the stairs behind an Indian lady...

Monday, 25 July 2011

Thrice Valiant Prince

It was my birthday the other day, which I ended up celebrating in several parts: 

Part I 
boss treats me and the office to lunch. 

Part II 
A dinner at my place, I was coerced into playing host by my good friend Lunch-meet, got absolutely fakakta, woke up to a vibrating mobile phone on a bed stripped of all bedclothes, pillows had been similarly defrocked and lay strewn on my bedroom floor. I had mysterious pains in the lobe of my nose and both latissimus dorsi. It was my supervisor calling. "Why is she calling so early in the morning?" I thought. Turned out that it was actually 9am, and I’d missed the morning meeting. Luckily the entire office, including my bosses, found it absolutely hilarious. 

Part III 
My boy Rahu came over the following day and we shared a few cups of sake. In the evening I met up with Lunch-meet and went to a party organised by the local party boy, Viren. 


Lunch wore her freak ‘em outfit - and kilamanjaro if she didn’t! She had these boys slobbering all damn night. It was a massacre. I had a whole bottle of champagne, two if you count the amount of champagne that was sprayed over me. Afterwards we headed back to her place and were joined by some mutual friends… had some amazing chicken kebab, and got fakata again. Good times, my lovelies. Good times.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Their Tears Are Sweet to Behold

Somebody call the fucking Waaahmbulance for the editors at the Wall Street Journal. Those dirty little commie bastards at The Guardian are taking baseball bats to kneecaps and they don't like it one bit:
We also trust that readers can see through the commercial and ideological motives of our competitor-critics. The Schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw. Especially redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur. They want their readers to believe, based on no evidence, that the tabloid excesses of one publication somehow tarnish thousands of other News Corp. journalists across the world.
"Competitor-critics"? Spare me. 

Of course, those meanies at The Guardian couldn't help but clap back. If those clowns in Congress get their act together on the whole debt ceiling thing, I might actually be able to enjoy the schadenfreude.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Apropos of Nothing

My colleagues in the office have been admonishing me to get a maid, and I can understand why. By the time I get round to cleaning on the weekend, my place has picked up more dust than the Event Horizon; and there are a number of mini-beasts relieving themselves in my apartment.

My policy is to leave creatures alone if they aren’t evil/Filthy McNasty/bothering me. Animalia non grata are few: mice, rats, houseflies, drosophila, mosquitoes, Japanese hornets, and giant centipedes (the latter two were shooed out of the house or thrown out with long chopsticks respectively).

The other day, a wasp was ambulating on my living room curtain when lifted its abdomen, and fired a rod of excreta onto the floor. Later a gecko, regarding me with a wary eye, lifted up its tail and released a sticky black globule, which landed with a nasty little soft thud on the cistern of my toilet. It was in the right area I suppose; cheeky son of a bachelor.

Red in Tooth and Claw

I was having a conversation with one of the interns in which I mentioned that I couldn't live in New York. “Not enough green”, I said, to which he immediately retorted, “and you’re living in Bangalore?” 

He had a point for sure, the rapid development of this city is literally brutalising the landscape. Urban planning is non-existent: Well there are plans but they aren't implemented; there are regulations, but they are worked around. Just the other day the one patch of green I had next to my apartment was removed to reveal a nasty eyesore of red-brown earth littered with the plastic detritus of untold multitudes. Some cinder blocks have been foisted upon the ground along grooves barely deep enough to fill up in the rain. 

I was standing on the balcony at the office and shortly after my exchange with the intern, I observed a group of crows taking turns eating the carcass of a rat. Suddenly, one of the local raptors – a hawk, methinks – swoops in, and without landing, or even so much as a by-your-leave, snatches up the rat. I burst out laughing, turned to him and said, “This is why I can live in Bangalore!”

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Now He's Cooking With Gas

So I finally sorted out my apartment with a gas connection and have begun the process of furnishing my apartment. (Issues in the office meant that I could never feel completely settled and was in a state of just waiting for the other shoe to drop.) I think I’ve got off to a good start with the furnishing. I’m thinking of getting some more pillows and a low table so I’m no longer eating breakfast off of my bed. Baby steps. 

I used my gas appliance for the first time a little while ago, and boy was that an adventure. I thought I’d make a sambhar with aubergines – a light sauce – and eat that with rice. On the way back home however I felt too tired to go to the store and pick up some rice, since I planned to cook the lentils I would use in my rice cooker. I opted instead to pick up a few chappathi from the nearby kitchen. Mistake number one, as it turned out. Shasti called as I began cooking. I asked her for some tips with making the sambhar, and things went downhill from there: 

What kind of Indian are you? You don’t eat sambhar with chappathi! It’s rice or idly! 

?! I’m not Indian at all! 

I’m not Indian either.

You’re cheating. Your parents are Indian, and you cook this shit all the time!

OK. Fine. Do you have tamarind?


Mistake number two. In the end I had the chappathi with lentil sauce, and fried aubergines.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Sociological Images

Get thee away from me, thou foul and dark creature!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Market Unleashed

I’ve been here a few months and I’ve gotta tell you folks. I am schizophrenic on the issue of auto drivers and their dad-burned idiosyncracies. I have rants – I say, rants in me about these fellows!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

On A Lighter Note

I get a kick out of nonsense like this. Only in Japan.

Believe It Or Not...

I'm still not opposed to nuclear power, even after the flustered cluck that went down with Fukushima Dai-ichi. That being said, I caught this interview with physicist Michio Kaku, and the professor plainly states that we came real close to losing all of Northern Japan as a habitable area; and would have done if TEPCO had not been forced to pump seawater into the reactors. All jokes about Tohoku aside, that's just gobsmackingly nuts. 

100% meltdown and clowns at TEPCO were apparently more concerned with their investment than the Japanese people. Good to know.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Suitor #12

Her exasperated tone was quite a contrast to the smile she had on her face as she said: “I’m with a friend. Is that OK with you?” 

The thing about Shasti is that she attracts rather a lot of male attention. I swear, some dudes are straight falling on their knees with rings if she so much as flings a kind word in their general direction. 

So we’re chilling one weekend and she gets a phone call, seems some model from Kashmir is blowing up her phone on a regular basis. Shortly after finishing her call with him, and peeps I kid you not, dude’s brother calls to try and get a date. Shasti switches off her phone, turns to me with a sigh and á me dit: I don’t understand, all these men, I turn them down but they keep calling me! 

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Just Because

I haven't done this in a while:

Omoide ni Dakarete by Tsubokura Yuiko. Plays during the closing titles of Bubblegum Crisis ep5, "Moonlight Rambler". Has the kind of old-school sound I like. Sway to it with empty arms, or with whomever you let slip through your fingers.

A Few Novelties

  1. Being happy when the power cuts are shorter than an hour. 
  2. The realisation that not catching the fragrance of raw sewage between waking up and going to bed means the day has been an extraordinary one. I've also realised I feel the same way about days spent in Shibuya. 
  3. Carrying over 20kg of drinking water about 150 meters from the market to my apartment every two weeks or so. 
  4. Handwashing again after a more than a decade. It's like riding a bike, you never forget.
  5. Trying to come to terms with the fact that cocktails in Bangalore are roughly the same cost as cocktails in Boston. 
  6. Cravings for the flesh of animals – Right now I want a beef steak with chimichurri, Wagyu, char siu pork, the fragrant beef belly ramen from the Chinese restaurant I frequented when I worked in Shiba, the pork belly ramen from the restaurant I frequented when I worked in Saitama, the amazing kara-age from a great bar in Hannou city, pig knuckles from a restaurant I visited in Hong Kong, my red-cooked pork belly with cabbage, mum’s pepe (pepper) soup...
  7. Getting into Indian politics: Tea Partiers, if you want to see what an actual Socialist looks like, get thee to West Bengal. Or, y’know, there’s always that guy Bernie Sanders.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A Bleeding Heart May Result in Exsanguination

It's funny, some of the poverty I've see here has been gut wrenching - I thought I'd seen it all in Lagos, but narhp! However unlike my previous experiences giving what little I can spare to people I've seen in other cities, here in Bangalore I feel like a mark Every. Single. Time I even consider reaching into my wallet.

Perhaps it's the indifference with which I observe my local counterparts treat the poor. Beggars here get ignored worse than the people who hand out flyers and tissues in Tokyo. Slum dwellers it seems are like an annoying distraction; we love their cheap labour, but do they have to bring down the area with their presence?

Perhaps it's because the behaviour of most of the beggars I have encountered here has set off my bullshit detector in some way. People have motioned their hands to their mouths, but given me the side-eye if I actually buy them food. In another instance, a lady attempted to browbeat me into buying her two kilos of rice when I asked the shopkeeper for one.

Still I feel guilty every time I say "sorry, no", feel some kind of way every time a friend or colleague ignores someone, and cringe every time a beggar is shooed away. I think it's because I'm more concerned about the possibility that someone in real need is not being ministered to than the possibility that someone might receive aid they don't deserve. 

(Yet another reason why I'm a Dirty Fucking Hippy).

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Alien Hominid

Have you ever watched a movie called The Thing? Where a group of researchers at an Arctic station find themselves under attack by an organism that invades the body and copies each of the victim’s cells. Philosophical debate on Identity aside, the Thing makes a superb but ultimately flawed approximation of any other creature it comes into contact with. It’s quite fascinating to observe someone beginning to suspect that there’s something a little off – that you or another person might be an alien organism. 

I’m out with Shasti, and we’re at a stand buying some sweets. Shasti is communicating in Tamil, and the vendor is looking at her as though he were working on Chinese algebra. His eureka moment came when he tried to put Shasti’s purchase into a plastic bag and she starts giving him the 3rd degree in Tamil about the ills of plastic (She’s from the Bay Area, California – yeah I said it). He just couldn’t wrap his head around why on earth she gave a shit about what he or anyone else does with their plastic bags. 

Then suddenly, Sokath! His eyes uncovered! It was like magic. The vendor’s eyebrows raised and a grin spread across his face like: Holy moly! The reason for her crazy talk is clear now. This lady isn't an Indian!

I love it.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Eatin'

Real talk. I've tended to find Western vegan and vegetarian cuisine a little too easy on the palette (i.e bland). But I gotta tell thee, India's been good to me so far on the vegetarian front, and I'm finding it really easy to not require meat flavours in my meals. This isn't to say that I've gone vegetarian, just that things as they are have facilitated a significant reduction in my consumption of flesh.

I Am Nothing

Goodness me. I had particularly bad episode last night. As I tried to sleep this almost overwhelming sense of hurt and anger engulfed me, in response to what I perceive as the injustices and ill luck that are in large part the cause of hole in my heart.

I'm continuing to lose sleep over someone whose actions impact me in such a way as to make me wonder at times whether they even consider me a human being, and make me feel as though I'm being punished for having the temerity to be born into a certain socio-economic class.

I have to laugh at the absurdity of my emotional state.

Seitei Souther for the win!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Nickles and Dimes

One thing I think I’m noticing is how protective people in Bangalore seem to be of their small notes, especially 10s and 20s. Basically, most items will only require you to pay in the tens of rupees. This means that unless you find a way to break up your bigger notes, you’ll always run out and have the inglorious task of looking round for a kindly soul willing to provide the change you need, or attempting to force some shopkeeper to come to your aid by providing change when you pay for the 20 rupee packet of crisps with a 500 rupee note. It’s a wonderful little dance.

Class Warfare

The office was out of toilet roll today, so I ended up using newspaper. Had the pleasure of cleaning up with Lloyd Blankfein’s face.

Don't give me that look.

A Taste of Home

I found a Japanese restaurant! I wouldn't be surprised if it's the only Japanese place in the entire city. I was like a kid in a candy store as I perused the menu (how about, "like a fushinsha at a school sports day practice"? - since we're doing the whole Japan thing - ed.)  All the good shit was there. It was like these dastardly fucks knew just what a fellow would miss the most. 

Yes lawd, I dined well. Edamame so nice I had to order it twice, kara-age like my nights out in Dasai-tama, excellent pickled cucumber served with a superb pureed umeboshi, and agedashi tofu, one of my favourites. It was clear that sacrifices had to be made due to Indian infrastructure, and the distance between Bangalore and the sea, which meant the okonomiyaki wasn’t quite my okonomi.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Bite Prevention

Summer is coming. I have already begun my defense against a variety of annoying little bastitches:

Day Biter

Night Biter

Hunger or death, ladies!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Swing of Things

Things are super hectic these days as I’ve had a lot on my plate: draft development plans for the two programmes I’m to design and run, analysis of the monitoring and evaluation strategy for a programme of facilitated dialogues and design of new surveys, design of an exercise for use in the facilitation, drafting a letter to peeps at the UN. I love the pace and the energy of my office. My only concern is that I suffer from bouts of extreme loneliness. 

The people I love are all so far away from me.

Job Creation

“The wheels turn slower in India, you’ll have to take the time to get used to this.” – Rahu 

When you have a population of over a billy, how do you keep as much of it as you can in employment? Some will point to India’s vast informal economy. Fools! After nearly two weeks in the country I am supremely qualified to ask that we consider the Indian civil service – To the peeps at the shiyakusho: all is forgiven! 

Every foreigner who will be residing in India for 180 days or longer has to register at their local Foreign Residents Registry Office within 14 days of their arrival. Without a foreigner registry card you can’t do much of anything that requires some kind of contract: bank accounts, phone lines, home internet, and the like. Needless to say that without these it would be very difficult to do my thing. 

My experience of Indian bureaucracy to date has convinced me – for the moment – that the whole thing is one giant middle-class growing perpetunator™. Lawd knows what use there was, apart from the salaries, for the layers that stood between me and my foreigner card.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Wife


I’ve been spending a lot of time with my colleague, another newbie; let’s call her Shasti. We're sharing a service apartment until we find more permanent accommodation. We went for a walkabout the other day, which was fucking hilarious. She wanted to open a bank account and I think we damn near scandalised the whole bank looking like the oddest couple. Me in my shorts and yellow t-shirt, contrasting with my dark brown skin. She in her turquoise salwar kameez. A glowing, youthful face juxtaposed with a significant number of snow-white locks. The looks on people’s faces suggested they were trying to figure out precisely what our relationship was: Sugar mama, wife, illicit lover?

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Streets

The perfume of incense, fragrant oils, herbs and spices. The air thick with half-burnt hydrocarbons, smouldering wood, cooking oil and hot tyres. Sometimes mixed with the sweet stench of rotting fruit and vegetables, and the musky putrefaction of cooked rice. Occasionally the dark odour of sewage. Evokes memories of Lagos.

The pavements, in the less nice places, a monjayaki of refuse from building sites, dumped rubbish, the shit of stray dogs, goats, sheep and cows. In other places, suddenly people/the powers that be know how to collect refuse and clean – memories of London, New York, Atlanta and Philadelphia. “Oh, this is high-life area, madam.”

Indians Don't Stare

Indians don’t stare. I’ve noticed a few older people and young kids give long glances of curiosity, but for the most part – in my experience of a mere 7 days. Yes, I’m a dadburned expert in Indian culture now! – Indians, more precisely Bangaloreans, don’t stare. 

They might be thinking all sorts of shit about darkest Africa when they see me on the street, but so far no one has given me a look like they know all about “my kind”, no woman has given me furtive glances, or cowered in fear at my proximity, no one has crossed the street upon seeing me come towards them, and no one has damn near caused a traffic accident rubbernecking. 

So far it’s been a nice contrast to some parts of Londinium and Japan. I love my Japanese brothers and sisters, but sometimes… 

I give it one month before I’m venting about Indians in the same way. Or perhaps not. Maybe here the fumduckery starts at two black men walking down the street.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Japan On My Mind

I was cleaning my room today in preparation for my departure to India and came across some old essays I'd written when I had passable Japanese, as well as postcards and photos from Japanese friends. The Sun newspaper used the headline "APOCALYPSE" to describe the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on the 11th. I resented the use of the word. It felt like someone was denigrating family. Yes, there is destruction on a massive scale, whole communities have disappeared, and the authorities are battling a meltdown at a nuclear power plant, but haven't the Japanese faced worse and pulled through? Why hint at the end of the world?

I think one of my crewmates was based in Sendai, one of the areas worst affected by the tsunami. I was looking at a picture of us together today. I haven't been able to get in contact with him. Last Friday I logged into Mixi, Japan's biggest social networking site, for the first time in about 9 months. I only have 4 connections, a fellow Brit who was working in Kansai through the JET programme, and three members of my old breaking crew. "Sure, I'll join Mixi. I want to keep connected." The words seem bereft of substance now after being out of contact for such a long time. I could write about how I dislike using Mixi, how in my depression since moving back to Londinium I've been loath to contact people, but it would do little to mitigate my feelings of guilt.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Eamon Fingleton discusses "The myth of Japan's 'lost decades'" over at The Atlantic. Interesting piece - think the South Park episode where the Japanese claim they have small penises to deflect attention from their plans of world domination. I was talking about it with a friend and we didn't think it quite passed the smell test. Our conversation is after the jump.

Monday, 7 March 2011

"The Filth"

About two weeks ago, my cat Kenzo died. I'm not as crazy about pets as some of my fellow Brits, but I feel no shame in saying that I loved him, and he will be missed.

I can say with all honesty that from the moment Kenzo was born I knew he'd be my favourite. I called him by many names, including: Vincenzo, Kenneth Chen, Chen Jialuo, Kenzo-Ocean, Zocean, The Dogma, The O, and The Filth.

He and his brother ruled our old neighbourhood with an iron paw. The squirrels no longer stole bird-food, and feline intruders were shook like when the Dwarrowdelf of Moria started beef with the Flame of Udûn. That is how I shall remember him.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Just Because

My man, Loco, put me onto these lovely ladies. They have a really pleasant sound that I just had to share!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Discussions in Black History Month: Some Cool Links

Via Postbourgie, interesting articles I thought were apropos of my chronic month-long pretensions:

A LGBT Black history quiz - I did terribly.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Just Because

A great anime series that kept me sane in those lonely days before grad school.

Discussions in Black History Month: On Black Conservatives

During the six months or so of my fruitless job hunting in the US, my friends and I used to joke about getting a job as a Black Conservative. It seems to be a growing industry in the age of Obama. I would ride the monster of American history to financial stability. All I'd need do is stand looking at myself in the mirror after an evening of slagging off black people for fun and profit.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Discussions in Black History Month: Those Who Don't Want To Know

While living in the United States I came to think that much of the energies of the national psyche are directed towards pretending the existence of African Americans and related structural inequalities does not signify evidence of some of the greatest crimes in their country's history.

It is, in my opinion, precisely this failure to wrestle the monster of history that leads to things like the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans' efforts to have the state issue specialty license plates honoring an early leader of the Klu Klux Klan - Mississippi is the state with the highest proportion of African American residents.

I'm having a hard time understanding why anyone would want to honour a man who ran a "Negro Mart", and conspired to enslave millions of human beings. Those are his accomplisments. If, as his defenders argue, his last minute expression of regret is supposed to wipe the slate clean, what is there left to celebrate?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Clearly A Mossad Plot

... I found the clip below about two separate recordings of a UFO above the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem mildly interesting. 

Probably not Elohim, folks. If it were, I'd definitely be left wondering why it doesn't have better things to do than faff around over a temple. 

I give it three days before my brother-in-law comes in with a grin that says: explain this one away, insipiens!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Discussions in Black History Month: The Browning of America

I've started my Black History Month posts much earlier than last year, though I fear that the quality will be much diminished. After catching this NYT article I've been thinking about the growing number of young USians describing themselves as multiracial, and the optimism about the future of US race relations - much the same as that attached to the Obama presidential campaign.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

退かぬ 媚びぬ 省みぬ

I found this article rather endearing, as I'm the sort of person who rolls their eyes at the ridiculous melodrama in scenes like the ones below, but still enjoys watching them. It reminded me of my man Loco's little series on what Japanese teens are thinking about.

So Let Me Get This Straight...

You fell off a ladder and broke your leg while looking at a house -you didn't have permission to be in that house, but the owners did you a big favour and decided not to press charges. You waited until the statute of limitations on a trespassing charge ran out, then sued the homeowners for negligence?

H/T: Mistermix.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Human Ingenuity

I was impressed with this effort by Colombian drug smugglers.

I can only imagine what ingenious methods have been cooked up by Nigerians. "Pigeons? We off that. But if you insist, here's a formula for assigning appropriately weighted loads to each bird.... That'll be $1000 for the consultation."

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

It was only a matter of time... (cont.)

You may remember my post last year about Chatroulette, a site that lets you have video chats with random strangers. It seems the site owners have finally figured out a way to make money out of all the guys who like to... perform... over the webcam. Surprised it took them so long:
The onslaught of disgusting naked men that seemingly destroyed interest in Chatroulette is now earning the site $100,000 a month. After being flagged by other users a certain number of times, the masturbators — there are about 50,000 on the site every day — are automatically redirected to adult pay sites with which Chatroulette has made agreements. The site's founder, Andrey Ternovskiy, claims that you'll run into a penis only once an hour now — still more surprise penises than you typically experience in an hour outside of Chatroulette, but a vast improvement nonetheless.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Trouble With Lagos

I haven't been to Nigeria in a very long time, but one thing that sticks in my memories of Lagos is the sheer awfulness of traffic. Which I suspect got worse in the decade or so since I was last there...

Assorted community members: Eh heeeh, so you can go to this Jah Pan and America, but you cannot take time to go to your country! What do you mean you are a British? You do not belong there!

Putain d'enculer chikusho! Ok, got that out of my system. Moving on.

Caught this story in the Guardian about a plans for new railway service, which could potentially save untold amounts of time, hassle, and money. A city with the population of Lagos current 10 million or so -and rapidly growing- needs a good, efficient mass transit system. A positive development, though I think it's too early to say whether it will have the desired impact.

The King's Speech

I wasn't really interested in seeing this film as I really could not get excited about the prospect of watching a royal get over his stammer. Don't get me wrong. I'm of the opinion that great films can be made about such subjects as women who like to crush cockroaches with the point of a stiletto. The issue for me was the probability that this particular story would be told well enough to make me leave the cinema with a smile. It's not like The Man is paying me to review it - or to do much else these days.

Well, I'm happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. A very good, well-put together film. Intensely character driven. Much like the director's previous film, The Damned United, which I recommend. I don't know if it was worth my while to see The King's Speech on the big screen however; because to paraphrase a friend: it had the whiff of a BBC special about it. Which is good, but perhaps not so good at the cinema.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Just Because

This tune combines two styles that I can't hear without wanting to move.

Monday, 10 January 2011

The Night Terrors

I've been holding off writing this for a while, for the strange reason that I didn't want to look like an idiot. Which I realised was a completely idiotic position given some of the fumduckery I've splashed around on this very blog. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Tron: The Re-Up

What can I say? Not as bad as I'd been steeling myself to experience. Very very pretty film. Though the dialogue was so excruciatingly bad at points that it was hard to just sit back and enjoy the audio-visual extravaganza.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

For My First Post of The New Year...

Some breakbeats by DJ RX78. I'm really feeling the Mechagodzilla breakbeat, and lawd ha' mercy! the G-Gundam mix is hot! (ETA: the stabbing horns the DJ puts together are hot, the tune as a whole got a little repetitive) Got me going through Youtube for the original tune. The horn that comes in at around 00:49 reminds me of The Fist of the North Star soundtrack, with all its bromance and melodrama.

I don't even really remember how I stumbled onto DJ RX78's music. I was probably doing something inappropriate...