Wednesday, April 13, 2016

GHANAIAN VS. AMERICAN INFIDELITY

I'm in my early 40s yet an anomaly in that I don’t have any children; I’m not married, nor have I ever been formally married (although I’ve been in a couple of deep ones).  Meanwhile every homey I have over the age of 30, with the exception of only two I can think of off the top of my head, have at least one child.  In fact of my three maternal siblings two of them, including the one that's younger, have adult children, and the other has a son who, being in his late teens, is on the cusp of adulthood.  The reason I bring this up is because being single, as well as being (relatively) old as f*k, puts me in a unique position whereas I have a lot of single homeys as well as married ones, so I get good observations from both sides of the coin.

In Ghana, of all the married niggas I know, I can only think of two of them who like don’t cheat.  The first is someone I mentioned earlier in this blog and referred to as “General” who, despite being so rich that sometimes women try to seduce him, I’ve never seen him cheat or even have an inclination to cheat - on his two wives.  When I think of my idol in terms of a faithful married man I think of General, and this nigga is so serious on that sh*t that he even dissed me once for being single.

The other is another homey who may be just as rich as General and did once suggest to me that he was looking for another shorty - to make his second wife.  But to my knowledge he never goes out - despite like his four cars or whatever - and screws around.  Now I know you may have concluded that these rich dudes don’t need to screw around since they can actually afford more than one wife, but keep in mind that most niggas out here who have that kind of dough generally tend to have one wife but are some doggish MFers (?).  In fact I would venture to say the primary reason most men want to be rich in the first place and just so they can score more pieces of *ss.

For instance I have another homey who can like screw 10+ woman in a month, if he so chose to.  But here’s the thing - this nigga goes home to his wife, each and every night, which you know surprised the hell out of me, because I know if this was the States and a nigga made rich and had that type of lifestyle he’d likely find a reason to bounce on his family.  Now of course I’m not trying to insinuate that there aren’t loyal husbands in America, and I would venture to say that fathers everywhere, when they fantasize about being rich, part of that dream is being able to provide for their children to their hearts' content, but to give you an example of the kind of sh*t I bore witness to in my life, while as a youth living in a housing complex in Brooklyn that had 22 buildings, 8 storeys each with like 12 apartments on each floor, I only knew like 3 niggas who lived with their biological pops.  Everyone else was either living with a stepdad, or I would say more likely a single mom.  Now granted obviously, with so many people living there, I didn’t know every nigga living in the projects, but you get my drift.

I have another Ghanaian homey who on the day I met him his wife was out of town and he was taking another, younger chick to a hotel to bone her, and while he was talking on the phone with his wife (with the other girl around, unknowingly but probably suspected by the wife) he even had me speak to her, you know, just to like let her know that he’s with his new American friend, and everything is all ‘boys boys’.  This of course made me feel like crap even though I did nothing wrong, and I remember later, in reflecting on the matter, angrily telling another mutual friend that I’d rather just stay single than like get married and have to lie like a coward or suppress the lifestyle I truly want to live, which is one of the primary reasons for my current singlehood.  It always bugs me out how a nigga can go to a church or whatever - in front of a bunch of people - and like deadass swear to only bone one chick for the rest of his life even though he may not have no intention to keeping his word.

As for my own dad, he died circa 2005 in Babylon.  The last time I spoke to him was around 2000, and the last time I’d actually seen him was in 1991, and in fact I only remember seeing him on four occasions (one time in my youth spending an entire summer with him) in my entire life.  My father sired 14+ children, and as these stories tend to go he was more faithful to the latter than the earlier ones (I once read a old proverb that said a polygamous man's last wife is his favorite one), but by and large from my angle, as well I think it would be safe to say those of my paternal siblings who are in my age group, he was by all definitions a deadbeat dad.

So here we have two different societies - America that says a man, if he so chooses, can more or less bounce on his wife at any time (serial monogamy) and Ghana that says a man can have more than one wife if he so chooses (and can afford it) but either way has to be faithful to her or them (polygamy which often degenerates into whoremongering, since some niggas really don’t give afuk).  Which system would you choose?

I had a homegirl back in the day who told me she read a study that said men get more hurt by their partners cheating than women do which, from an evoluntiaonry standpoint, is understandable.  But this of course does not mean that women don’t get angry when niggas cheat, even though the level of upsettedness would vary from woman to woman.  For instance I had one homey back in the day whose pops was deadass murdered by a woman he cheated on, so you know, they do get pissed.  In a way saying that men get more hurt by cheating than women is like saying you’d rather get burned by a 150-degree fire than a 100-degree one, but I think in general most women tend to understand that men are more promiscuous - or something like that.

CONCLUSION

Based on this article I think it’s safe to say, if nothing else, that men prefer to have more than one partner (spouse), as even the ones who don’t cheat on their wives would rather have two.  But at the end of the day I think it would also be safe to say, even though practically no woman or child wants a husband or father, respectively, who’s a whoremonger, that those who sleep with another woman but go home to their families at the end of the day are better than those who like run away and go to marry another woman.  Although the dynamic is changing, I think most women understand that men tend to fool around more (or perhaps just longer) and kind of accept it - so long as it’s done tactfully, and I know from experience that although it’s easy to talk tough it’s difficult, if not impossible for most men, to look a woman in face and be like, ‘I slept with another woman.’  Even Jay-Z, who's like one of the biggest lyrical whoremongers in the history of music before getting married, can like get japped by Beyonce if he fuksup.

UPDATE 14 APRIL 2016

I forgot to add yesterday that, despite the general tone of this post, it's not like women out here just allow their men to cheat, and in fact there is a strong ideology of monogamy, especially amongst the Christians.  At the same time though they definitely aren't killing their husbands like their American counterparts, and in fact I don't even remember ever hearing of a Ghanaian woman filing for divorce on the grounds of infidelity (or really at all).

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

4 THINGS ABOUT THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE NO ONE SHOULD STILL BELIEVE


This is an excerpt and revision of a post I did back in 2013 that I reworked and submitted to Cracked in hopes of getting it published and getting paid for it, but it doesn't seem like they're going to put it up, and it's times like this that makes having my own blog ideal, or to put it in layman's terms fuk Cracked; I can publish my own sh*t. 

Unlike most people who have issues with the system, I actually left the United States and moved to Ghana, West Africa about 13 years ago.  During my time here I have come to realize that popular African-American academia is intrinsically flawed in that it does not consider Africa to the extent that it should be considered.  In other words they may be studying African-Americans, but the African, which actually precedes the American, is virtually ignored.  As such you can have African-American scholars who only spend a week or two in Africa but are considered experts on the Motherland, and indeed in the land of the blind the man with one eye rules.

The beginning of African-American history is the Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST), in which tens of millions of Africans were exported, as merchandise, from (primarily West) Africa to the Americas to work as slaves, basically meaning they toiled long, hard, inhumane hours for their entire lives and weren’t paid jacksh*t.  Being that this was by far the most massive and brutal incidence of slavery in human history, when the topic comes up, especially amongst the descendants of those (both Black and White) directly involved in the “peculiar institution”, a lot of emotions are conjured up, and as in any discourse where sentiment overpowers reason there tends to be a lot of misinformation involved and in this case reasonably so because once again you have to possess more than just a surface knowledge of West Africa and the TST to began to fully grasp what really went down.  As such here are four common notions that many people hold about the TST that I’ve since learned are more or less BS:

1.  The White people were all bad guys, and the Africans were all innocent victims. 

POPULAR NOTION:

Whitey came to Africa with big guns, beat the living sh*t out of everybody and took whom they pleased.

THE REALITY:

This is by far the most stereotypical and thus misleading notion about the TST.  Not only were many Whites just as instrumental in getting slavery abolished as some Blacks, but indeed the Slave Trade would have been impossible without Whitey’s Negro lackeys / business partners.  I actually learned this fact while visiting Ghana for the first time some 20 years ago, and it totally blew my mind since up until that point I was one of those aforementioned people who believed that all of the Blacks involved were the captives.  Indeed to this day there are parts of Africa that the Whiteman can’t penetrate, and when you consider how back in those days there wasn’t even cars or malaria drugs (malaria actually being the biggest enemy to the Whiteman in Africa) and slaves were transported by foot from the interior all the way to the coasts, you can clearly deduce how the African slave traders in business with the Whites were imperative to the overall success of this enterprise.  

To give you a clear example of just economically dependent some Africans were on the Slave Trade, the British had an actual war with the Ashanti Kingdom when the Brits decided to abolish merchandising human beings in the early 19th Century.  In other words the Ashantis actually fought the British in order to keep the trade alive, not vice versa as you would expect, but luckily they failed.  Unfortunately most African-Americans are not aware of these intriguing points in history and as such harbor an anger against Whites that to some extent is unjustifiable, in addition to some Whites also not knowing and possessing an uncalled-for amount of "White guilt" about the past.

2.  Africans were all one love. 

POPULAR NOTION:

Traditional Africans saw themselves as each others' brothers and loved their fellow Blackman like their own right hand.

THE REALITY:

Every once in awhile I’ll come across some video or article where the presenter either unknowingly or more likely assholishly refers to the entirety of Africa, the second largest continent on Earth, as one country.  Indeed if this were true than by far it would be the largest country in the world.

However the reality is that currently Africa is split into 57 nations, and that number was even higher before the arrival of the Whiteman, who forced otherwise autonomous, oftentimes rival groups to come together and make love, not war, in the name of nation-state building during colonialism.  In other words the African countries you see today aren’t because Africans decided to unite or even that a particular group dominated a large area of land, unless that group you’re referring to is the English, French, etc.  That’s why a country like Ghana, which is only the size of a small US State, has over 80 languages spoken therein.

Studies that I have come across on this subject have concluded that the concept of African people being one homogenous group (at least in the mind of Africans) didn’t exist at that time of the Slave Trade.  This is like believing say a Chinaman, who has never left China in his life, sees all Chinese people as his family.  As such one African selling another into White-dominated slavery would not have been seen as someone selling out his “Black brother” as it may be perceived today, especially considering that slavery was totally legal in the Motherland back then.   

What more likely birthed the Pan-African consciousness we know today was when the Africans actually arrived in the New World and, despite the fact that some of them couldn’t even speak directly to each other due to language barriers, were faced with a common oppressor and saw a need to unite.  In fact many of the African anti-colonialists of 20th Century Africa, like Kwame Nkrumah and the soldiers who fought in World War II, were largely influenced philosophically through direct exposure to the West, where either they came into direct contact with African-Americans (or others from the African diaspora) who held such a belief or found themselves in a situation where, for the first time in their lives, they were no longer surrounded by solely Black people.

3.  Africans didn’t know what was on the other side of the ocean. 

POPULAR NOTION:

Africans were loaded onto slave ships by the White devil, a creature of the likes they never saw before, and the whole time thought they were being transported directly to hell, because you know, they were f*cking stupid.

THE REALITY:

Of course back in those days there was nothing like the internet or telephones, and it took a ship an entire three months (as opposed to three weeks in modern times) to cross from one side of the Atlantic to the other.  But still these ships did cross, which meant information flowed also, carried by the most historically effective means of communication at man’s disposal - the tongue.  In fact it’s practical to believe that a few Africans themselves were members of slave ship crews. 

I was once brought to an area of Accra called Salaga Market which not only used to be slave market but also, according to the person who took me there, featured some people selling their own children into the TST.   I was also told by another Ghanaian friend that I was “lucky” my ancestors were sold into slavery, since it means I’m now an American citizen.  When you understand the historical perspective of Africans towards the West (like Africans to this day doing crazy shit to get to Europe) you can see how that although the overwhelming majority were captives, some Africans obviously thought a better life awaited them in the New World, which clearly means that whereas perhaps they didn’t have comprehensive knowledge of the Americas they did have some understanding of where they were going.  In other words the idea of Africa being inferior to the West has existed for centuries.

4.  African-Americans are the descendants of kings and queens. 

POPULAR NOTION:

The 15 million or so African-Americans have royal ancestors, and we were robbed of our imperial heritage by Whitey.

THE REALITY:

It may be true that most of us have royal ancestors in the sense that all human beings, if they trace their lineage back long enough, may have a royal or two in their family tree.  This line of thinking developed as a direct counteraction to an inferiority complex many African-Americans developed from being systematically oppressed for so long in America.  However by and large this theory makes absolutely no sense, and this is something I never would have figured out if not for living in Africa for so long and coming to understand the grassroots system and history here.

In other words there are three realities of the TST that make this theory implausible.  First is that most Africans sold into the trade were victims of abductions.  Second is royal lineage is a highly-monitored and recognized system in West (and I would presume the entirety of) Africa, primarily because the royals (chiefs) tend to be wealthier than everybody else and accordingly have very strict inheritance laws.  Finally most slave raiding parties were actually organized or at least approved by the chiefs themselves, and unless they were demonically greedy (even past of the point of being able to abduct and sell a human being in general) or hated their own family it's illogical to think they weren't snatching up their own relatives en masse.  Thus we can conclude that practically none of the Africans sold into slavery were of direct royal lineage unless perhaps, due to some kind of twisted logic, they wanted to be there - or were captured by an opposing royal family.

CONCLUSION

It amazes me sometimes how you can have people rambling for hours about the plagues of the African-American community without ever once bringing up the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  I know it's a touchy issue, and as such I can totally understand how some people may not even want to address it.  But that being said thank goodness for the likes of Na'im Akbar and others who at least had the common sense to know that having millions of people ripped from their homeland, sailed across the ocean and cast into multi-generational slavery is going to continue to have a ripple affect on the present, at least until the day that this issue is properly addressed.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

SHOUTOUT TO WISDOM UNIQUE ARTWORKS

Shoutout to the brethren Wisdom Nyarku from Arts Centre, Accra.  We had something of a business relationship in the past, but right now it's not even about that.  Wisdom has a shop operating out of the Arts Centre called "Wisdom Unique Artworks Enterprise", where he sells paintings by Ghanaian artists, and the purpose of this post is to highlight some of these works not really commercial purposes but to do something different and add color to the blog.

Of all the pieces that I have pics of, Market Scene (2015) by Sonny is arguably my favorite, because I love urban scenes.  But honestly...

...I feel African Village Scene (2003) by Osa jsut as much, if not more.  What I really appreciate about this piece is the color scheme, like it's very cool and relaxing, almost wintery but like in the tropics.

The above painting is entitled African Sexy Lady (2014) by Ashiro.  When Wisdom showed me this piece he said I should market it to African-Americans since he "knows" we like "big booties", lol.

Here's another painting entitled African Village Scene 2 (2014) by Sonny.  As you can see not a whole lot of thought has gone into naming these pieces.  This one I would say is a more accurate depiction of villages I've come across than the prior one.

This piece is called Population (2014 - Ashiro).  I don't know how detailed it is under a microscope but seems as if something you can stare at and find new things for hours, and I think children woudl really enjoy it, kind of like a "Where's Waldo".

These two pieces are called Drummers (2015 - Rabi) and Drummer (bet you could have figured that out on your own by now).  The first one, in its own way, is probably the most colorful out of all the paintings.  I really like the second one though because of the darker tone and how it looks like the most modern out of all the pieces.

Here's another colorful one called Fishermen (2015) by Sonny.  I really like it because it reminds me of waking up early morning at Akuma Village in Accra and seeing the fishermen from nearby Jamestown setting off into the Atlantic to make their daily bread.

Arguably the most-popular subject of African artwork is women, and paintings are no exception.  This is Pot Carriers 1 (2015) and 2 (2014), both by Ashiro.  I think the second one is cool, but I know that some people also have a thing for black & white art.

Finally we have Pot Carriers 3 (2014 - Amoah), one that combines the importance of women to the economy with the detail of a busy market scene.  This one is truly an interpretive work of art, with the pot carriers being in the foreground and the market being in the background.

CONCLUSION

Wisdom literally has hundreds of pieces, and he posts new paintings (and other forms of art, such as carvings) on his Facebook page (linked above) almost daily, so if you're interested please check him out, and don't forget to tell him who referred you!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

SHOUTOUT TO YEHOVAH PLASS & PAPA JESUS


Actually Ras Plass (the brethren chanting in the video) is my longest active friend in Ghana, since I met him way back in 2003.  I only communicate with him semi-regularly and only see him when I go to Arts Centre (Accra) like once every year or so, but every time I do so it's sure to be an experience.

As for Papa Jesus, I was actually introduced to him some years ago through Plass.  He's one of those Rastas that's a master at dealing with foreigners, which is primarily how he makes his living, from touring them.  In fact when I receive a guest to Ghana and take them to the Arts Centre vicinity, he's like the first person I try to get in contact with.

In addition to being a drum maker and teacher Plass is also an up-and-coming musician (and a pretty good one at that), and back on the subject of drumming, I've never heard anyone drum like Plass.  Once I was with him when he played at a massive funeral near Central Accra, and it was during that time I came to understand how some traditional peoples saw a correlation between drumming and spirituality.  The performance was so powerful that some onlookers at the funeral were shook lol.

A pic I took at the Arts Centre when Natural Langdon visited Ghana a couple of years ago.
CONCLUSION

The above video was shot this past Monday (15 February 2016), when I had to go all the way to the Arts Centre from Somanya just to buy the type of Rasta cap I wanted.  This past visit has left me once again with admiration of how these Rastas have developed a counter-cultural lifestyle which makes them lose out on a lot of opportunities and sometimes put them in economic straits that would break other men; however they continue to stick to that lifestyle, even though it isn't by force and in fact would be easier for them to shun.  It also reminded me how back in the days the goal was to kind of to live like a Rasta in terms of being free and entrepreneurial, not to always be sent in opposing directions by the harsh winds life sometimes blow at you, but you know what they say about dreams deferred.

Friday, January 01, 2016

ANAYLSIS OF THE 2015 BET AWARDS

This article is kind of late, in that the 2015 BET Awards premiered back in June.  I kind of saw the program about two months ago and realized that, eventually, I needed to do an article about it.  That being said it took awhile to muster up the energy to watch it again, and thankfully I've finished it on the first day of the new year, thus being able to fully put 2015 behind me.  After going through the video a little more thoroughly I realized that all-in-all things weren't as bad as they initially seemed.

AMERICAN FLAG


The first image we're treated to during the videotaped presentation is of an American flag, which I thought was kind of interesting not only because BET acknowledged America first (with such imagery presumably taking the place of the national anthem) but also due to the fact that the artist performing in front of it, Kendrick Lamar, is considered the most "revolutionary" popular rapper of his generation.  However I know that in reality the BET Awards have always been pro-government and patriotic.  Moreso upon closer inspection we see that the flag is actually shredded.  The initial reaction may be to take this as an anti-American stance, but rather I interpreted it as instead still being patriotic but acknowledging the ideology of a 'new' America.  For instance one of the lines of Kendrick's rap was, if I remember correctly, "And we hate po-po", with po-po of course referring to the police, and it would be odd to have someone performing in front of a American flag while simultaneously damning the most-visible symbol of law enforcement in the United States, but when you look at it in the grand scheme of things you'll realize it doesn't symobolize the destruction of America but rather the destruction of the police.

HOMOSEXUALITY


When I first saw the show I was watching it with a Ghanaian homey who, when I told him the nigga on the right is indeed a nigga, he kind of freaked out and couldn't believe it.  The above-shown pair were actually the first presenters on the night, so displaying a transgender in such a predicament is definitely trying to make a statement.  To be honest, since I don't keep up with the Babylonian media like I used to, I had to google myself just to make sure that yes, Laverne Cox.

I'm afraid to even ask.
STRIPPERS


These days when niggas get rich and famous, instead of going out and finding what appears to be the most family-oriented woman (virgin) they're attracted to, you know that apparently would make a good wife and all, instead they marry strippers, porn stars, prostitutes and divorcees, and I'm not judging anybody but just saying that things have changed.  So you have to wonder is someone famous because of their musical talent or because of the way they look?  After reading about her for over a year, the 2015 BET Awards was actually the first time I ever saw or even heard K. Michelle, and you could see from the onset that her performance was meant to be more (sexually) impactual on the eyes than the ears, even though she's a musician and not like a dancer.


Most of the night's dancers were scantily-clad, which is to be expected from the BET Awards.  However dancers these days like using stripper moves, to the point where I have to wonder if some of them are/were actual strippers.  You can see that in the preceding pics homegirl's ass is given more precedence than Chris Brown's face, so it's obvious where the producers want our attention to lie.  In fact now looking at the images again I noticed something that I didn't see before; in the first pic she's obviously forming a pyramid with her legs and dress.

PYRAMIDS & CROSSES


And speaking of pyramids, if I had to sum up the theme of the entire 2015 BET Awards into two words, they would "pyramids" and "crosses."


In fact I was rather surprised at the strong Christian influence this year, not in the sense of being caught totally off-guard since any major African-American event like this, especially and traditionally the BET Awards, has to have a religious undertone, but moreso due to the fact with all the Illuminati symbolism and 666 hand signs going on it's like two conflicting ideologies existing under BET.


In all of my years of reading conspiracy theories I never came across what I would say was a concise definition of what the pyramid represents in occultic circles.  Some say it symbolizes the Illuminati themselves, while others postulate it represents the all-seeing eye (which was also prominently featured during the Awards and basically means the same thing - Illuminati), and sociologists would say it represents social hierarchy, with the elite being at the top and the masses at the bottom (still fundamentally the same thing).  Either way the pyramid is something that is being shoved down our throats, and if you don't believe me take a look at the following recent music video featuring Ace Hood and the top Ghanaian hip-hop artist, Sarkodie.

It's like before you get into the game these days you already know what time it is and the symbols, like the pyramid, that you have to pay homage to.  Wow, and it looks like homegirl on the right (who seems to be White, for a Black African performer) is actually holding up the Baphomet hand signSarkodie actually got nominated for the "Best International Act: Africa" award at the 2015 BET Awards, but of course they didn't air that part since you know like fuk Africa.
...AND STARS


The five-pointed star was not only prominently displayed at the center of and at times sides of the stage, but it was the only symbol that was actually present throughout the entirety of the presentation...


...as part of the watermarked BET logo.

WHITE DANCERS


Let me say right off the bat that I'm not a racist and know that God created and loves all of us the same, so theoretically there's nothing wrong with having every male performer have at least two White female dancers.  However since Hollywood has been strongly pushing the idea of Black male / White female relations as of late, I know what time it is seeing so many White girls, even at center stage with the Black girls on the periphery when vice versa used to be the case, with the latter-mentioned arrangement being more logical since despite the fact that the BET Awards always show love to White people I don't think anyone on Earth would argue that Whites can dance better than Blacks, and you know, this is Black Entertainment Television.

THE 666 HAND SIGN


When I saw the above sequence the first time I watched the 2015 BET Awards, that's when I knew that the show was something I had to write about.  Although you probably can't tell by looking at the stills, the two preceding pics actually come from two different scenes.  In other words homegirl threw up the 666 hand sign; the camera went back to the stage, and then when it came back on her, she did it again, you know just to make sure that it wasn't missed.


Here we have a couple of young artists holding up the sign and also displaying the one-eye symbolism.  Actually in the pic on the right, Diggy Simmons was blinking so much it seemed like something was wrong with his eyes.  However it was pretty obvious that he held up the sign, ironically at the same time as blinking his left eye, since the left eye is also highlighted by the performer in the pic on the right, and I believe is the eye most commonly used in relation to this symbolism.


Here's a stage set that, with the deep-red background and live fire and all the satanic references flying around in general, you have to think is meant to symbolize hell.  In fact if I remember correctly another artist used a similar stage theme.

CONCLUSION


At the end of the day I'm sure I've only scratched the surface of the symbolism present at the 2015 BET Awards.  Despite the fact there was definitely a strong Satanic/Luciferian/Illuminati influence, it's arguable that the promotion of Christianity was just as strong.

Last Updated 20 February 2016

Friday, December 25, 2015

DISSECTING THE 2ND COMMANDMENT



I remember once watching a lecture/sermon by Brother Buie of the (Black Nationalist) Israel of God church, upon which he said something to the affect of, despite the Bible being in people’s families for generations, most of such individuals don’t even know what’s inside the book.  Buie was referring more to certain details in the Bible, but even some general things that we all know, as will be discussed in this post, have never truly been analyzed.

While in college one of my favorite courses was English.  I loved learning about the parts of sentences and how to properly put them together.  In fact constructing sentences is a lot like being an auto mechanic; once you know how to put a sentence together, you also know how to take it apart.  Since learning of how sentences are constructed (with clauses and what have you), the following one, from the beginning of the Second Commandment, always struck me as interesting:


“You shall not make for yourself a carved image - any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.”


Anyone familiar with English sentence structure will see that this one actually consists of two independent clauses separated by a semicolon, though this sentence is usually constructed with the two independent clauses being separated by a comma and coordinating conjunction, which is also proper grammar.  For those not in the know, an independent clause is a phrase that can stand on its own as a complete sentence, meaning it consists of a subject and a verb.  So in other words “you shall not make yourself a carved image” is one complete sentence, and “you shall not bow to them nor serve them” is another, meaning that this is actually two commandments in one, and thus it can even be argued that there are actually 11, not 10, Commandments.

When you break it down like this you can see why people prefer to interpret it as just one independent clause stating that we shouldn’t make idols to worship, because the first part of this sentence is telling the Israelites specifically that they shouldn’t make any image of any thing.

I recently got to thinking about this while using Whatsapp.  A girl that I like posted a pic of some dude, and I instantly got bent out of shape, even though she told me he was just a friend.  I’ve recently been researching the whole concept of jealousy and came to the conclusion that I never would have felt this way if not for seeing that pic, and in fact since then I decided to just dead Whatsapp altogether, but that scenario also reminded me of other issues I’ve noticed with pictures.

For instance when I left the States I carried portraits of my (then) very young niece and nephew.  One day, after not seeing them for almost a year, I happened to come across these photos while rummaging through my bag and almost instantly burst out in tears, even though they’re A-okay.  Of course this means in my heart I always missed them, but it took those pictures to activate that unintentional and unwanted wave of emotions, and the feeling was so strong that I had to discard the photos to prevent any further outbursts.

I also think of people who have lost loved ones (i.e. family members) yet have pictures of them, that they have to pass every day, hanging up in their homes.  I’m not a psychologist or anything, but I would venture to say seeing the picture(s) of a loved one who has (recently) passed away will only make recovering from the heartbreak take longer, if full recovery under those circumstances is even possible at all.

The Bible has a way of saying things that people don’t understand and/or agree with, and thus they snub the idea entirely until some scientific research comes along affirming why God or the Prophets gave such dictates in the first place, and as such I think one of the primary reasons the Israelites were prohibited from making images, etcetera was due to idolatry and pornography, both of which are inevitable results of image making.  In other words where you have images and likenesses, you have idols.  For instance a child (or even adult) may have a poster of Michael Jordan hanging up in their room, not for the sake of worshiping MJ, but seeing his image every day, even if subconsciously, will make the beholding person want to, in some way, shape or form, be like Mike.  Where there are images (of other people) there is envy, and where there is envy there is idolatry.

Something that I’m sure I mentioned numerous other times in this blog (though I can't seem to find a reference to) is a historical fact that I came across many years ago, that the first commercial motion picture in the United States (where I believe motion pictures were invented) was in fact of a woman stripping.  Whereas those images pale in comparison to the type of pornography we are exposed to these days, it’s interesting to note that’s where it all started, as in as soon as niggas realized they could combine a bunch of pictures into a movie the first thing they said was ‘let’s make one of a naked woman!’  This reality of human nature was of course foreseen by the 2nd Commandment.

CONCLUSION

It’s hard to picture Moses storming into the room of some Ancient Israelite and stoning the sh*t out of him for having a picture of Michael Jordan hanging up on his wall, but that’s probably exactly what he would have done.  In the modern world, with many of us you know walking around with cameras in our pockets and social media and all, it’s virtually impossible or at least very challenging to live by a rule of not creating any images, and indeed it can be argued, like many statutes the Hebrews lived under that are hard to keep in the modern world, that there isn’t much pressure to live under them since we aren’t Ancient Israelites and so forth.  However, as aforementioned, these rules were instituted for a reason, and when you look at the negative affects even common images and likenesses (i.e. having toys of animals, while their real-life counterparts are being decimated into extinction, instead of interacting with them personally) can have on an individual, something that is like never studied by science, you can perhaps start to understand why we were warned against such things via this statute.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

R.I.P. JENNIFER ATTIEKU

I often describe Madina - Rawlings Cirlce, to friends of mine that aren't familiar with the place, as the one area I know in Accra with the most nice shorties.  There are a number of higher-educational institutions around, and many of the young women who attend these establishments either commute through Rawlings Circle or reside in the surrounding hostels and dormitories, with such housings being the fastest-growing business in the area.  Indeed even last month when I was passing throug the hood I saw this one shorty who almost prompted me, gray beard and all, to prematurely hop out of the taxi and try my luck.

It was also during that day that I heard the tale of Jennifer Attieku, though I didn't know her name at the time.  I overheard my homey Anderino, while at his house which is within walking distance to Rawlings Circle, talking about the incident to someone else in a language I didn't understand, and when I inquired what was going on he informed me that some dude, a taxi driver, couldn't accept his girlfriend, a university (or institute, however you want to say it) student, having another boyfriend and not wanting to be with him anymore, so he killed her and then unsuccessfully (surprise, surprise) tried to commit suicide.  He also told me that the boyfriend did this right after being released from the (I believe) Madina Police Station for stalking the selfsame girl.  He also told me, something the mainstream media hasn't mentioned, that there seemed to have been a pregnancy involved, but there were a lot of changing stories circulating about the incident, and in the grand scheme of things pregnancy or not doesn't really matter.

Throughout the course of the day more homeys started popping up, and of course this was the hot topic since it was local, these kind of stories really aren't common in Ghana, and these are the type of topics that everyone has an opinion on.  One particular homey, sad to say, even seemed happy (for lack of a better word) that it happened, like he too had recently been played by some shorty he loved and wished he could have done the same or at least gotten some justice.  I can only imagine how many arguments couples may have gotten into based on the innuendos behind this incident.  Anderino even tried to use the occasion to warn me since I too have a young lady that I sometimes financially assist (since Jennifer's boyfriend is said to have been paying her school fees for the last three years, which some see as more or less proper justification for his actions), but at the end of the day I concluded that I have to do me regardless and can't be sitting around like afraid of little girls.

Later in the day I was polying with another homey in Madina about the same issue, upon which he told me that the 'small girls these days are wild' and that if their males peers know they're in a committed relationship they will even target them more to try to get in their pants (wickedness) and that he would never sponsor a girl through school unless he meets the parents like on some marriage type ish and blazi-blah, and at the end of the conversation I was thinking back to an obscure, not-even-sure-if-it's-real "Prophecy of the Three Wise Men" I came across in a tabloid magazine like two decades ago, with one of them being 'in the last days men shall be as women and women as men.'  I had another homey from my hood tell me how he's 'afraid of small girls' even though they're attractive because of their ever-increasing levels of promiscuity and rather prefers older women who have 'experience', which I agree with his rationale to an extent though again am not feeling the 'afraid' part.

I remember back when I was growing up, my concept of "dating" was that you meet a girl, take her out to dinner, take her home and like give her a kiss on the cheek.  Whether or not this concept was actually real that's the way I envisioned it, and I wonder how children these days interpret "dating" since now the word has become more or less a euphemism for all of the people you're screwing.  Everytime homegirl uses the word "dating" to me a chill runs up my spine, as indeed "dating" implies that there is no all-exclusive relationship, as in tomorrow she can be "dating" someone else, and I really can't do jackish about it because we're only "dating".  But you know what?  At the end of day she's absolutely right.  I haven't proposed marriage to her, nor has she accepted a marriage proposal from me, so the implication is that I can propose to someone else, or someone else can propose to her, which means logically, unless maybe we're superduper in love, we shouldn't cutoff all other options.  In other words, like most social systems, "dating" isn't a problem in and of itself, but the way we practice it, using it to screw around to our heart's content, is definitely a problem.

Sometimes you can turn on the news and, like me, become appalled at the story of some Islamic radicals stoning a woman for being promiscuous.  At the same time we live in a society where there really aren't any systems in place to check female promiscuity, and look at all of the fuckery that's going on.  Indeed it's hard to convince a young woman who may have the curviest ass on the roadside today (Jennifer was wearing hot pants, to school, when she was murdered) that in a few years, especially if she keeps putting herself out there, that no nigga is even going to look at her twice or that her promiscuous ways may ultimately lead to her being unmarried (which I'm sure was like common knowledge just a few short years ago), and sometimes when men criticize the women of today for being thots (hoes) I tell them that if they were women they'd likely be twice as bad.  After all these are our sisters, daughters and mothers, so how much worst than us can they possibly be?  In fact anytime you're dealing with a system of mass sexual immorality, as we have today, in my opinion you always have to look at the men first.

That being said this is another example of our ancestors, though many people see them as being less intelligent than us today since you know they didn't have like the internet and satellite TV, having systems in place to promote the good in human nature while warding off the bad, while we today leave everything to chance or as some religious people like to call it 'faith.'  I've said it before, and I'll say it again - parents leaving their daughters to (often unsuccessfully) find their own husbands is stupid, like how many niggas are going to f*ck your daughter before one decides to marry her?  But this falls back on weakened partiarchy - since it's traditionally the father who finds a spouse for his daughter - and a whole bunch of other things that I'm sure I touched upon at other points in this blog.  So yes, the Islamic extremists don't have it right, but neither do we.

CONCLUSION

Despite all of the sad, horrifying stories I read on a daily basis, it's rare (as in never) that any of them bring me to tears.  However the story of the funeral and untimely death of Jennifer Attieku almost did so and prompted me to scribe this entry.  At the end of the day, if you find a woman you love, it may be better to just marry her than letting her play the field (duh) and hoping that morality alone will win the day without adequate effort being made on your part.  That being said, like my big brother once told me, if a woman is convinced she doesn't want you anymore you just have to leave her alone, and I guess all you could do is just hope and pray for her return, though my experience has been when she does return you won't want her anymore.