SIT DOWN AND LEARN FROM AN INTELLIGENT BLACK MAN

As a born and breed African kid, many people are surprised when they meet me. They are surprised by my articulation, and my command of the English language ,bewildered that i know more than the words “give us free” and that i don’t talk like the characters from “The God’s must be crazy”. They are marvelled at my exposure ,knowledge of their history and understanding of culture, when they don’t have an inkling on mine. Luckily for me, i have not had the experience that many of my friends have had.When some ignoramuses come up to them and ask if they had pet lions, or lived in trees and wore clothes when they were in Africa, and how they were able to learn English.

Africans, perhaps more than any other race have suffered stereotypes from Hollywood. For many years, movies about Africa have been one dimensional;portraying Africans as limited thinking, quarter illiterate “yes masstah” characters. Heavy caricature ,often imbeciles, with no thoughts of their own. When that is not the case, they are swinging from trees, or running around half naked in loin cloth,in movies like “King Solomon’s Mines”. Stereotypes and profiling, is one of the reasons that society is still where it is today. The blanketing and general statement in a recent article, that “black people do not read” is one from which i beg to differ.

There was a recent article on how “black people don’t read”, Now THAT is as crazy a statement as “all Chinese men know Kung Fu”.

It’s an ignorant , unfounded and unfair generalization . I am in my twenties and for as long as i can remember ,books have been a huge part of my life. I would have to plea guilty as charged if accused of being a book worm. As a child i read book by Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl,Judy Blume and Alan Ahlberg,in my teenage years i moved on to Jeffery Archer and John Grisham as an adult i read both fiction and non fiction ranging from David Balddachi , to Dr Myles Munroe ,Jack Canfield and currently , The Road Less travelled by M Scott Peck.

I am more than just literate, i can intelligently hold my own in virtually any conversation , i may not be an expert , or be broad on the topic , but at least i can make some form of contribution, and i have MANY friends ,too numerous to mention, with that same capability and more.

-We chew over if Japan would be the economic force it is today if Hiroshima has never happened.

-Postulate on the application on Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” in modern day business.

-Discuss on striking similarities in Greek and Roman mythology .

– Deliberate on the possibilities of time travel based on the “Theory of relativity”.

-Analyze business lessons from Vito and Michael Corleone.

-Debate on if economic growth and prosperity in the USA during the Clinton administration, could really be attributed to him or the dot com revolution that happened during his tenure.

-Deliberate over the pros and cons of Nigeria switching over to a parliamentary system of government.

-The possibility of Nigeria becoming amongst the top ten economies within the next 10 years once we can solve the issue of NEPA and Internal Hostilities.

-Wonder if the USA would have become involved in World War 2 if not for Pearl Harbour, and what would the world be like if Hitler had succeeded in his campaign.

Was the Cold War really about communism, or truly a fight between the USSR and USA, or who was the Alpha male…..(Hey! Who mentioned ROCKY over there.)

to relax, we can switch over to mundane issues

We can equally discuss over Cristiano Ronaldo ,and if he has erased the legendary name from his Brazilian predecessor .

If Muhammad Ali , and Michael Jordan still hold on to the legendary status we hold them up to in their respective sports.

If Bruce Lee would beat Jet Li in a street fight ?

Why Batman though the only human(without powers) in the Justice League is the most feared and respected?

If Robin Hood and King Arthur truly existed ,and if not, how did they become so big and so legendary that we think they actually did exist?

The lessons of tenacity, perseverance and never give up mentality that we learn from Top Cat,Wile E Coyote and Yogi Bear?

Ask our selves based on the evidence if a lazy animal like the Lion is truly the King of the Jungle and not the Tiger.

Why people claim abstinence doesn’t work , because they won’t admit that they like sex too much to give it up.

Between Batman and Blade, who would win in hand to hand combat?

Would Naruto be as cool, if they spoke in English?

Why Tupac is the greatest of all time and why Biggie does not eve n come close to matching him as an Mcee.

When would Samuel L Jackson stop playing the Angry black male card, (think about it, what was the last L Jackson movie you saw that he did not YELL!!!!)

AND

Which movie between “The God Father” and “Citizen Kane” is truly the Greatest movie Of All Time?

We discuss both real issue and mundane things, and i believe that any discussion that comes up, to a very reasonable extent, we can contribute without looking foolish.

It’s unfortunate that in the 21st century, with the wide range of knowledge and exposure to the world available at the stroke of a keyboard(a global village), people still can’t see beyond their little world. Many people still see the continent of Africa as one huge Safari, where the animals run wild right outside your front door.

With National Geographic,The History Channel,Animal Planet, and the many educational channels, many people in the western world, by western world i am referring to Europe and North America, think that Africa is a country. Hence we hear them say “I’m going to Africa”, “we want to help Africa”. Thanks to Oxfarm and Feed the Children, (all good causes on their own), many still walk around thinking that ALL African children are bloated bellied and starving.That perception is like a foreigner thinking he can learn about life in the UK by watching Big Brother .

The generalization that black people don’t read is like thinking Indians randomly burst into song and dance in the middle of the street or that all American’s behave like the guests on Jerry Springer.

We are all individuals and can not classified by the actions of a few. Unlike many people of both races whose idea of classic literature is Katie Price’s or Jade Goody’s biography, i prefer to read something that would actually add some value to my life and future.

A while back,a friend of mine was livid about the launch of MTV Base Africa, which played about 99% Hip Hop/ Rhythm and Blues. What right did they have to restrict our music to only those categories? That is another stereotype that is all around the world. The assumption that black people only like those two genres of music. What about Alternative,Rock ,Pop,Swing, what makes them think we don’t listen to that?

Now i don’t know about anyone else, but i listen to a whole range of music. I croon to Frank Sinatra’s “I got you under my skin”,karaoke to Air Supply’s “All out of love” and Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana”. Back in my University days some of my friends called me a “white boy” just because i loved listening to Nickelback ,Linkin Park ,Limp Bizkit, Blink 182 amongst others. When the truth is i can scream to “Smells of teen spirit” as well as bust the mic on “Ready or Not”. I can serenade to Barry White as well as lay back and appreciate Chopin’s Symphony.

It’s ignorant and unfair to classify people by what we see on television. Yes, there are starving kids in Africa, but there are also homeless, malnourished kids in the UK ,USA and Eastern Europe. Like there are different social classes (lower,middle ,upper, rich , stinking rich) in other parts of the world, the same exists in the nations of Africa.We have sky scrapers , and NO we do not live in mud huts. We have cities and we hail taxi’s , take the bus, drive drop tops, and SUVs’. We hustle by day and play by night, have night-clubs, Pubs and raves. We go on dates, hang out at the mall and catch the latest movie at the cinema.

The Africa that most of the world sees, is either news reports on war , famine and starving kids. The Africans that they portray the dictators and those who even if they had a transplant from Einstein , wouldn’t be able to find their way out of a paper bag.

They fail to mention that it was a Nigerian ,Philip Emeagwali , that wrote the formula which is the back bone on which the Internet runs, he has won numerous awards (computer scientist of the year at least three times)back to back , and has been awarded the science world’s version of a Nobel prize .

Wole Soyinka that won a Nobel Prize in the 80’s is still one of the most respected literary minds in the world and is on the lecture circuit world wide. There are many more achievers too numerous to mention.

American writer W.E Du Bios is known to have said
“Europe has never produced and never will in our day bring forth a single human soul who cannot be matched and over-matched in every line of human endeavor by Asia and Africa”.

Does it matter that i am able to answer 90% of the questions on “The Weakest Link” on auto pilot, or 60% of “Jeopardy” and “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” by reflex. Is it a matter of my race, that i like the music of The Temptations, as much as i like Franki Valli & the Four Seasons ? Or that i have no rhythm whatsoever despite the fact that “ALL black people can dance”. No.

Everything i am ,is because of WHO i am. I have the knowledge i have , because as an individual i take interest in those things. Just like not everyone in the world can roll their tongue, not everyone is interested in the things i am ,or has the eclectic taste that i do. It is my individual choice to listen to Both Marvin Gaye and Dean Martin, George Benson and John Mayer, Tracy Chapman and Alanis Morrisette. The fact that i can answer most questions on quiz shows is because of all the time i spent watching documentaries, reading journals, encyclopaedia’s, news reports and believe it or not sitcoms and Looney Toons cartoons.

My exposure and knowledge does not make me better than anyone else, or smarter ,because most of my life if you wanted to give me a seizure all you had to do was mention MATHS and i would quiver like a leaf and I am quite frankly hopeless at academic writing. And those that, do know maths and came out with a first class degrees, may not be able to engage in some of the discussions that i mentioned earlier.

I still love cartoons as much as i did when i was eight years old. I still get cracked up when i watch Looney Toons,The Mask or The Flintstones .I still think that Top Cat is one of the coolest fictional characters ever created after John McLane, Jason Bourne ,Michael Corleone,Chilli Palmer,Cool Hand Luke, and Captain Jack Sparrow(ok, he falls down quite far,but you get the point)

Does this make me immature or childish, you can think so if you want to ,but the fact is that, most of the classical music i know ,i first heard in Tom&Jerry and Bugs Bunny cartoons. Many of the words in my vocabulary were those i heard in cartoons and checked up in the dictionary, my home boy Daffy Duck taught me the words Stupendous,Obnoxious and Stuffy.

I remember i got into a serious and lively discussion with two other guys, one a medical student and an engineer. This went on for several hours and went into critical analysis mode, the engineers sister came round to listen in, and was flabbergasted when she discovered we had been talking about the evolution of the X-men and why Wolverine is not the leader. She couldn’t believe it, grown ass men! , Graduates! Wasting their time with such irrelevant musing. She then asked us to please be quiet as she plopped down on the couch to catch up with an EASTENDERS omnibus.

We should not allow our perceptions and limited exposure to allow us to classify people or pigeon hole them into a category. We should take every person we meet as an individual and not a summary of the movie characters we have watched.Not all Chinese men are the next Bruce Lee, nor are Indians shop keepers. Not all Africans are starving nor do we run after animals chucking spears and clicking or tongues as we talk. Hollywood is not the place to learn about people’s culture, due to the fact that they are of a country that has no culture of it’s own, and a people whose names don’t mean s***.

When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me, and we all know what assumption is the mother of.

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LIFE + LYRICS

In the year 2004 two unique siblings dropped albums that made the world stand up and recognize their talents. No. I’m not talking about Michael and Janet, I’m talking about the Bedingfield’s big brother Daniel and sister Natasha. These sibling from down under brought a whole new vibe to the industry that was refreshing,away from the usual mediocre same ol same ol, that were present in every other pop and R&B genres.

Daniel’s two albums GOTTA GET THROUGH THIS and SECOND FIRST IMPRESSION, were certainly titled well. Full of original scores telling stories in a masterful way like a Sydney Sheldon novel, the boy certainly made a great first and second impression. As for his sister Natasha, her album UNWRITTEN was so appropriately titled. The album addressed so many relationship issues artistically without male bashing unlike many of her counterparts in the industry. As a guy I can say that I absolutely loved this album.

Starting with the hit “THESE WORDS”, an honest song about various emotions related to social and professional lives, a song that I’m sure a lot of people related to.

The song “SINGLE” is a song that I think every young lady that is old enough to be in a relationship should listen to. Some ladies see it as compulsory to be in a relationship, that they simply can’t do without it. Once they leave one relationship, there is no recovery or reflective introspective alone time, before they jump into another. Some feel that something is wrong with them , or people would talk, if as a woman in her twenties she isn’t hooked up with someone. As Natasha said “I don’t need to be on a man’s arm to look good” further going on to say later “Everything in it’s right time everything in it’s right place”.

A relationship doesn’t define you , if you think you need to be someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend to be important, you need some serious therapy. Wrong relationships are what can actually destroy you. If you listen to the news,read the papers, you can can see exactly that

The examples are numerous. Whitney Houston’s life and career took a plunge when she got involved with Bobby.Pop Princess, Britney Spears, is more in the news for her antics and her declining career, since she got involved with K fed. REHAB sensation Amy Winehouse, is living her lyrics ,because of the type of relationship she got into. Kate Moss with Pete Docherty. The examples could go on and on.

The song “I’M A BOMB” relates to the potential volatility of the female. We men at times get carried away, when we are talking to women. We are having such fun(catching trips) while talking, that we begin to say things, that we don’t necessarily mean ,without realizing the impact it is having .We innocently flirt with ladies that we really have no intention of having a relationship with,we think she knows it’s just fun ,not realizing how seriously she is taking our words.

Natasha here is saying that

“I’m a bomb can you hear me tick, beware if you turn me on, there ain’t safety switch, I’m a bomb, use only steady hands , to mess with me you must be a brave man”.

This is an analogy warning to us men , that we better be careful about the way we toy with a woman’s emotions, the song “I BRUISE EASILY” pretty much voices the same message.

The song “FROGS AND PRINCES” is a message and principle that I have believed in for quite a long time. There is a saying that many women either really believe or have subconsciously been programmed to believe, “You must kiss many frogs to find your prince”. If you go around kissing frogs, all you’ll do is end up with the taste of different types of slime in your mouth. A frog is not genetically engineered to turn into a man, all he does is be the envy of other frogs for the one that got to kiss the pretty girl. Chances are, your Prince would come along while you are kissing the frog and think “too bad, she’s into frogs” and he’ll ride off to find another princess, who doesn’t have slime all over her face.

A lady shouldn’t have to continue ping pong from Tom Dick and Rhett just because she’s looking for the right man. Doing this she is like a beautiful rose that has been nurtured by the Gardner (her father) for many years and one day she uproots her self and starts to go through the hand of every flower collector in town. Pretty soon the beauty of the rose and it’s specialty would be gone because every one has had a touch or feel of it at one time or the other.

Still not catching my drift? Ok , imagine a field of snow, that is smooth and has never been invaded. And you are at the top of a hill with a sledge admiring the beauty of the snow covered landscape. You then mount your sledge and sail down the hill, creating a clear cut pathway through the snow. You then realize that you wanted to make a different path entirely and you repeat the process, by the time you do that the beauty of the snow covered landscape is gone, all that is left is zig zags of different paths, interlocked, and the original path is lost within the mess. When we venture into relationships, we cut a path, that will forever remain on the road map of our lives, sometimes they determines were we continue to go for the rest of our lives.

Picture it this way, how would you like to look out on your wedding day at your guests, to discover that between you and your spouse to be that the only guests that haven’t known either of you intimately,or in the network of traveled circles, are the ones you are related to and the officiating minister .Ok, maybe an exaggeration ,but not very awe inspiring is it?

How far do we want our future spouse to go , with the person they are dating.How many experiments or escapades, do we want them to have engaged in , with the people they see before us? How many frogs do we want them to have done the Tango with?

Finally , the song “WE’RE ALL MAD” is a song that directly relates to the initial approaching or dating stages. When a woman would not even consider responding to a man, that doesn’t dress a certain way, drive a certain kind of car or spend money in a certain way. I remember while in Undergrad days, once hearing a girl say “I can’t date a guy that doesn’t wear Timberland boots”, now if that isn’t crazy I don’t know what is.

Granted , women have their personal choices, tastes and have to be careful that they aren’t hooking up with a layabout. But some take it to the extreme, that they expect the guy she is dating to budget a his income around spending on her and paying her bills (so she doesn’t spend hers. For real, i have actually had someone say this to me.

In a world of “equality and equal rights”, that’s just plain selfish and greedy. It was that kind of attitude that made James Blunt’s girlfriend to leave him a few months before he wrote hit song “You’re beautiful” and became a world wide sensation, I believe the same thing for Ne-Yo and hit song “So sick”.

Then again maybe it’s good thing, if they hadn’t walked out on these lyrical geniuses, we would never have those songs. Definitive pain is sometimes what takes us to the next higher level in our lives.

I’m not trying to make anyone the villain here, or make anyone out to be the victim. Neither am i condemning or casting judgment on anyone that has a past or even a present predicament.

Both men and women need to give each other more of a chance,and try to put ourselves in the others shoes. Whoever we are involved with, as guys or girls , that person in the future ,should be able to look back and say yes, he/she was a great person, he/she had a significant impact on my life, and not feel weird or embarrassed if they run into us in the while with their significant other, or family.

I WANT TO BE LIKE NARUTO

A few years ago i was introduced to the magnificent world of Naruto, the headstrong Konoha ninja. At first i almost waved it off without even watching it as i saw the subtitles. But my cousin did something terrible and gave me a preview of one of the episodes of the ninja exam, this episode happened to be the fight between ROCK LEE and GARRA . That was it, i was completely hooked. Night after night i for three weeks i watched about 7 seasons back to back , and often found myself performing hand seals.

The edge of your seat excitement, thrill by the moment and endless cliff hangers made it a wonder to me how anyone could wait a whole week to find out what would happen next, and lucky for me all i had to do was just click to the next episode.

The writers did an amazing job with this show. With unique characters , an awesome concept and a brand new approach to the Ninja , which for many years, as Hollywood would portray, had been some silent dude dressed in all black and no personality.They something remarkable.

These characters in the show were people we loved and perhaps longed to be. Each with his very own unique personality and characteristics , it felt very real for a cartoon. And with these characters beyond the awesome fight scenes there were some very real lessons from this show, that we can take away aside from unadulterated entertainment.

NARUTO

The title character is the star of the show. An orphan whose mother died giving birth to him ,he began as an outcast when to save the village , the Hokage(head ninja) , sealed the nine tail fox inside of him.

From an early stage in childhood he was ostracized , the villagers would cross to the other side of the street when he was coming,conversations would break and whispers with glances over the shoulder would start. In school the other kids wouldn’t play with him, and he’d often be left alone when he tried to join them in the playground. Most kids would be damaged by now ,but not Naruto.

Deep within him, instead of this breaking him, he built a resilience ,he had a dream to be Hokage, and nothing was going to stop him. To prove to the village and the world that he was someone and noone could tell him otherwise.

Not the fact that none of his teachers thought he could do it.Not the fact that he failed the ninja exam and was generally the “olodo” of the class having repeated the basics year after year.

Not the fact that every single day people laughed at his dream telling him that he was not serious and that he should wake up and face reality. He had a goal and a vision , and there was nothing that was going to take him away from that.

Naruto , is absolutely headstrong , literally and metaphorically. He is the definition of “takes a licking and keeps on ticking”.

Those of you familiar with the show know exactly what i’m talking about. We have seen the battles that he has faced, We’ve seen the beating that he has taken, and we know the number of times he has defeated people that have all the reasons and power to defeat him, the reason, DETERMINATION .

His decision and vision deep within him, is what keeps him going when he’s been beaten to a pulp and knocked out just imagine What Ali did to Sonny Liston MULTIPLIED BY 50. His dream of becoming Hokage is what gets him up from the ground when his knees are quivering , his body is bruised and his mouth is bleeding. Naruto is the ultimate energizer poster boy.

This 1000% will power is what developed him in his growth and achievements over the series, and caused all the nay-sayers to drop their jaws in awe and say “my have you grown Naruto -Kun”.

Rock Lee

This is perhaps one of my more favoured characters. He is even more of an underdog than Naruto. Told from the onset that he had no Ninjitsu(ninja techniques) and the inability to form hand seals, he was told that he could never make it as a ninja as no ninja can survive only on jiujitsu(hand to hand combat). Did he let this discourage him? No, Rock Lee was only more determined to become a ninja,He compensated his weakness for his strengths and capitalised on that. While the other ninjas concentrated only o learning techniques , he focused on building his hand to hand combat skills. Hours after classes were over and everyone had gone home, he’d stay behind to train on his own. Disciplining himself and going the distance , he’d train till we literally could not move an inch of his body.

If he decided to do a 100 squats and failed to do so, he’d punish himself by doing a hundred push ups, and if he failed to do that …..well, you get the picture.

With this discipline and with only his hand to hand skills to survive on, he became one of the strongest Genins. Absolutely no one could match his lightning speed or electrifying movements.

He came back from crippling injuries to go on missions. The doctors said he’d never walk again, let alone live as a ninja, but he never let that stop him from dreaming. He bounced back stronger than ever, and is now a Jounin, not bad for a guy everyone had written off.

SHIKAMARU

Shikamaru is lazy, unmotivated ,he whines all the time, doesn’t want to get involved in anything and in the words of Lauren Coper, he can’t be “boovered”. He’d rather just lay back and do nothing. Everyone wonders what could possibly be done to get this guy off his butt. But that’s where it ends, Shikamaru is powerful beyond measure , he has the most incredible mind in the village. A strategic thinker he was of his classmates to be promoted to Jounin in the ninja exam.

Shikamaru exhibited him self as a first class leader and battle strategist when he lead the team sent by the 5th Hokage to find Sasuke after he went looking for Orochimaru. His ability to think several steps ahead of the competition, and the fact that his opponent under estimate him much to their peril. His Napoleon type thinking enabled the genins to defeat Orochimaru’s hand picked sound 5.

This is an amazing feat for someone that everyone thinks is hopeless. Some people just need some motivation, a chance to prove themselves, and they would

unleash potential that nobody could have dreamed existed.

Each of these amazing characters have people in their lives who told them they would never make it in life.They had been written off for most of their lives, stigmatized and ostracized, but they proved everyone wrong.

* Naruto with his vision and dream to become Hokage
* Rock Lee to prove that he could still become a powerful ninja with ninjutsu
* Shikamaru who rises to the occasion showing exceptional talent

A lot of us may have been written off, told to give it up and have been all the odds against us. But like our hero Naruto , that takes a licking but keeps on ticking .We can keep our eyes on the goal, and no matter how many times we get knocked down, or the shit kicked out of us, we know that if we keep getting up we will knock out that adversary that is in our way of becoming Hokage.

If like Rock Lee , we turn a deaf ear to all those that tell us we don’t have the ability to achieve our dreams , our that we don’t have what it takes. If we discipline our selves and take the extra time ,go the distance. We will surpass those that think they have it all and we would be the strong able to do what nobody else can do.

If like Shikamaru, we rise to the occasion , even when everyone else thinks we are lazy,uninspired and unmotivated we would prove every naysayer wrong.

THE STALLONE STORY

Tony Robbins tells Rocky story

Many people make fun of Stallone, he has been mocked and spoofed countless number of times on Late Night Shows and Comedy Sketch shows and every place possible, but very few people know his story.

The tenacity and perseverance that he went through hanging on to his dream. No doubt, many of us have watched the movie Rocky, but do we know what he went through before this movie was made. We don’t realize the number of dream killers, and naysayers that he had to overcome, all the circumstances,hurdles and negativity he had to shut out when hanging on to his dream.

The experts don’t always have the answers, dream on , dream big, and take the steps necessary to achieve that dream. ACTION not only dreams.

F. W Wolworth was told he was too stupid to work in retail

A bank manager once told an investor that the product of the start up company and he wanted to invest in were just a novelty and it would pass away, he went ahead and invested anyway, that company, was Ford.

In 1962 ,the President of Dekker Records, passed on a band of four friends, because they felt , “groups with guitars are a thing of the past”. That group was ,The Beatles… Read more

The “experts”, are not always right.

This is an amazing story and i hope that we are all inspired by it.

RANDOM THOUGHTS- NOTHIN HIDDEN UNDER THE SUN OF SEED TIME AND HARVEST

The expression , nothing is hidden under the sun , is usually used to
explain the fact, that , whatever is done in secret, or we think we do in secret
would come out to be revealed in public for other eyes to see

It has happened in history, it happens everyday in life
affairs usually come back to haunt the culprits
either through children born out of that affair
or a fatal attraction type of obsession from the jilted party

In the 90’s the biggest betrayal in US intelligence history
since Benedict Arnold, was Aldrich Ames, the Judas of the CIA
for many years he sold secrets to the then Soviet Union
he made a lot of money from it, and was basking in the luxury
of his ill gotten gains ,but eventually he was revealed and convicted

At the beginning of the Noughties , the USA was rocked
by the Enron scandal which happened right under the noses
of one of the most respected professional firms in the world
it happened slowly and meticulously , deceitfully
and it seemed that they were getting away with it all but
eventually it was revealed and the perpetrators where made to bite the dust
literally for the King of them

The Elvis of the White house
Bill “i did not have sexual relations with THAT woman” Clinton
seemed like a genuine clean cut guy
he ,wife Hilary and daughter Chelsea
seemed like the picture perfect couple
until Linda Tripp, made a tape of her conversation
with a certain Ms Lewinsky and it happened as a snowball effect
that went on to reveal the Don Juan past of the Baby Faced president
for many years he had sexcapdes , from his days as governor
he seemed to get away with most of them
and they were swept under the carpet and surprisingly
did not feature much during his campaign for the oval office
quite similar to that of a President he shook hands with as a teenager

Many of us do things that we feel will never be discovered
we engage in activities that are spur of the moment
which may be done with a clear head or intoxicated
they may be done out of giving in to peer pressure
or out of some sense of curiosity which gets the better of us

You may be thinking that this is far from
the reality of everyday people
after all, those are people in unique public eye positions

Anyone that attended any type of formal education setting
can testify that people’s “business” usually becomes public knowledge
those things said or done in private become public
and sometimes , define the reputation of the person
for the entirety of their time in the school and beyond.

A few years ago i was walking down the street
and i ran into someone i went to school with
we engaged in chit chat and it was nice catching up
A few months later , i ran into another alumni
and i mentioned to this person that i had seen a friend
the very first thing that they recalled the person by
was the reputation that they had built from the “secret” things
they had gotten up to , with the person they were seeing at the time
this story had some how also spread through out the various NYSC camps
who ask you to confirm once they know you went to that school

It just crushed me to hear that
this was an event that took place more than 8 years ago
it had taken place in private, behind closed doors
it was just a one time thing , an experiment
like they do in the movies at college parties
Who was going to find out?
But that was the only thing
that the person was identified by , dismissively

That reputation has transcended time
it has crossed geographical barriers and
i am pretty sure similar to the memory of the dismissive party,
remains in the memory
of every other person ,that ever heard the story

I don’t know if the concerned party
still lives that lifestyle
or practices those escapades that defined their reputation
and though , there are no Paris Hilton type viewing
on the internet
an action that was meant to be in secret
has tainted the perception
that several have of an individual
that thought their activity was being
carried out in privacy

The question is
is there anything we are doing currently
that we know we can not proudly defend
or would find extremely embarrassing to us
personally or professionally
or to our families and reputations
if someday, somehow it becomes public knowledge.

When we throw out our lives with no forethought
it’s not like a rock that is hurled and lost
For, it’s only a matter of time before the repercussions
come back like a boomerang to lay the smack down

Enemy of the ordinary

“One machine can do the work of fifty men . No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man”.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)
A Thousand and One Epigrams

The Longman Active Study Dictionary defines the word Ordinary as:
Not special, unusual or different from other things.
It can also be understood to be unremarkable: not remarkable or special in any way, and therefore uninteresting and unimpressive.

I despise the ordinary, the ordinary never gets anything done. The ordinary is bland and is satisfied with just getting things done but not done properly.
Many of us had parents that insisted that if we are going to do the chores they must be done to the best of our ability and not nonchalantly. Nothing in this world that has ever been worthy of recognition was done by an ordinary person. Persistence, tenacity and perseverance channeled by vision have been what has made impact in the world.

The seven wonders of ancient world, North America’s Mount Rushmore , Italy’s Sistine chapel , the great wall of China, The Sears and Petronas towers, the Sydney Opera house are all works of extra-ordinary men.Beethoven,Mozart ,Handel were men whose music still influences performing artists today over 200 years later. Literary works by Alexander Dumas, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming ,Shakespeare and Charles Dickens are still relevant and several have been turned into motion pictures centuries after the fact.
Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Hannibal of Carthage remain some of the greatest military leaders in the history of the world. Their battle strategies are still studied in many military schools all over the world.

Muhammad “The greatest” Ali , didn’t get to be the living legend he is today by being an ordinary boxer, he turned the “brutish” sport of boxing into an art form , displaying his unique talents in and out of the ring, fascinating both his fans and critics. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi were extraordinary leaders that went to astonishing lengths to make an impact on their nations. They saw a need for change and became they vessel for it, one can only wonder what the world would be like if not for such great men

Stand out from the crowd, think out of the box is my motto. So many people are miserable, stuck doing jobs they hate because they did the conventional like they were told, go to school, get a good job, save for retirement. There are so many people out there that could have been the next , Stevie Wonder, Michael Jordan Richard Branson or John Grisham but are stuck in the rat race, grinding away at that wheel, going no where slowly . How many people have within them that book they’ve been wanting to write or the business idea that they have been to afraid to carry out because of all the nay-sayers around them .

Yahoo, Google, Face book and You Tube are some of the biggest companies in the world today, with billion dollar net worth, three of them were started in college dorm rooms . Now their founders could have waited till they graduated college and settled for nice paying jobs and built a 401k, but because they took the road less traveled and now never have to worry about finances for the rest of their life, and guess what! they were all under the age of 30 when they hit their first million.

Many people have greatness within them but yet they are frustrated by their 9 to 5 jobs that give them no satisfaction but choose this life for the “job security” it offers them. As a creative person It is beyond me staying in a job that has me going over the motions day in day out. Such a life is the reason many people either commit suicide or loose their sanity. They hate their monotonous jobs and this starts a chain reaction that affects the rest of their life affecting their relationships, health and general well state of being.

Dare to be different, when the history books are open, only those that were extra-ordinary are remembered, even the exceptionally silly or stupid are remembered, nobody ever remembers the ordinary.

“Without the mediocrity of the ordinary, the excellence of the extraordinary can not be acknowledged”. It is now up to the individual to choose where to belong

IF THERE IS A GOD WHY…………..pt 1

The age old question that atheist, agnostics and some that consider themselves the “i don’t believe in a “bearded guy in the sky” intellectuals .Some others genuinely ask, If there is a God, why is there suffering ?

Now i am not a Pastor,preacher,philosopher or theologian, so i am going to answer the best way i know how. Some of you may disagree with my references to the Bible and GOD himself, but the fact is that i am a Christian. My Christianity is not a religion , and is not about “Thou Shalt” and “Thou Shalt not”, but it is a faith that is about relationship, a one on one relationship with GOD and a lifestyle that i choose to live. You cannot separate me from my lifestyle, like you cannot separate a fish from water. With that said, let’s get to why you are reading this, SO SIT BACK, THIS MAY TAKE A WHILE.

In the beginning God said “Let us create man in our own image after our own likeness .

What this meant was that man was to be in the likeness of God. Just like many of us are in the likeness of our fathers and mothers, we are in the likeness of God. Like twins are the likeness of each other, but are different from each other, So we are in God’s image, but not God himself.

Just like we share genetic codes with our parents, or for some of us our grand parents ,and we look like them and sometimes even act, exactly the same way they did when they were our age. We have many of their features , yet we are very distinct individuals.

When God made us like himself, he gave us many of his features, the power to think and create, as is shown in Adams’ naming of the animals in the garden. The power to have a relationship, as Adam had a many conversations with God. He gave us the admire , as God made Eve and presented her to Adam, Adam was speechless. Above all GOD gave man free will and the power of choice,

GENESIS 2 vs 16- 17 ;You may freely eat ANY fruit in the garden, except from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of it’s fruit you will surely die.

Did you notice the key word ANY. Any by definition, means some of a thing or number of things, no matter how much or many. This implies that there were many trees in the Garden, It is my belief that the garden must have gone on for several millions of acres. We know the wide range of fruit that we see in the supermarket. And what we see is what is limited, to the geographical area or climate we live in. The garden must have had every fruit that is known to man, including those that are if there is such a fruit extinct. That is a choice of well over 1,000 fruits. So why on earth , did they choose to eat the fruit that was forbidden ?

I am sure that the majority of those reading this article would admit to doing something that our parents or some form of authority told us not to do. Whether it , eating snacks before dinner, going over to a friends after school instead of coming home straight. Taking the car out despite the fact that you don’t have a learners permit much more a drivers permit. I think you catch my drift .

They were given the choice of life and death, choose another fruit and live, Eat this one and die. It all boils down to choice, and we all know what choice that they took.

God gave us all free will, the power to make choices, without which, we would not be like him. He could have decided to program us all; downloading into us whatever he wanted us to do, or make us into puppets that did his will, but he decided to give us free will and with that free will, that is why the world is in the state it is in.

Free will, ultimately translates to freedom. Freedom is the power or right to act ,speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Journalists love to claim, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Americans love to plead their various amendments and declarations of independence, oh how much they love it. Many from all around the world run to the United States because of this “freedom” .

But exactly how free is Freedom?
There is no freedom without restrictions, there is no freedom without discipline. We are free to eat what we want , but eat too many sweets and we rot our teeth. Eat too much cholesterol and we risk a lifetime of health complications.

It’s all about choice. We are free to date who we choose, but some ladies can testify what they have suffered at some of the men they have allowed into their lives. Some of the men paying alimony, to women you took their hearts and put it through the grinder can testify to it, but it was their choice to get involved with that person.

KINGDOM AMBASSDORS

Some times in this life, we sit down and wonder why we are in the situations that we find our selves in. Often times we are the architects of our demise and we don’t even realize it .
We pray and pray expecting “manna” to fall from heaven in some miraculous way when the power to change our situations has already been given to us.

All the devil needs, is a crack to get in a chink in the Armour to sink his claws and rip our defenses. One minute opening, for him to enter into our lives, and in one moment of weakness when we let our guard down. He knows he needs only a little pressure on our lives for us to fall.

Living a life of purity, if one has chosen to do so
means that you obey the rules,You set boundaries, restrictions,barriers and no go areas.

Like a castle that has a crocodile filled moat and a drawbridge, and archers on the tower. You need defenses,that are unreachable by those things that tempt us.

Defenses that only you, absolutely control and nobody can breach those defenses.

Boundaries that you do not cross, and situations you foresee and do not get yourself into.
(The prudent see danger and avoid it).

If sexual purity is your decision ,what do you do to keep that?

Well for one thing , dating people who believe, sex is an essential part of a dating relationship, is out of the question, counter productive and frankly FOOLISH. You are only setting yourself up for a fall, and when you fall, you will fall hard. Their belief does not make them bad people ,it just means that you’re tuned into a different frequency of understand and perception.

If you allow yourself  be alone in the bedroom with that person you have a strong attraction to,where you know, you have no chance of being disturbed do not act surprised when you wake up to find yourself to the person naked.

NOTHING JUST HAPPENS, it’s a situation you allowed yourself to handle;

David and Samson, two of the strongest and directly anointed
men in the Bible, put themselves in wrong situations and landed in sexual sin, as a result of bad judgment . They did not exercise restraint.

DO NOT THINK YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO STAY IN IT’S MIDST AND RESIST

If you decide that alcohol is no longer a part of your life, hanging out at a bar,pub or club certainly won’t help you keep a strong stance on that decision.

You got to realize that your flesh is your slave and not the other way around, you tell your flesh what to do ,not it telling you what to do. It should obey you, and not you obeying it. Whether that applies to food, sex,credit card purchases which you know you can’t afford.
By flesh, I mean, those natural human desires are hazardous if not kept in check

In order to live up to God’s desire for our lives you exercise
so much control over your body that it is your slave .
Like an athlete that discards certain food and habits
we have to discipline the desires of our body

This means that when your flesh craves sexual satisfaction
You tell it NO,When it craves revenge you tell it NO .When you have a dodgy heart and it craves a Big Mac, you tell it a resounding NO.

Giving in to temptation does not begin with the act it’s self
but with the conception in our minds when you dwell on the pleasure and possibilities of a certain act your mind like an understudy will carry it out immediately it gets a chance

What images are you feeding your mind?
What thoughts do you constantly dwell on?

Because of lack of self-control many believers have become worthless. They are just as promiscuous as those that have never stepped into a church.

They are just as “liberal” with a moral compass that is ever encompassing to whatever whim society decides to adopt.

They start rationalizing the word of God and make excuses for their unrepentant yielding into the carnal . Demanding a verse in the Bible that proves to them that something they are doing is wrong, when it is simply a wisdom issue. Once we begin to demand scripture for a questionable issue in our lives, we should know we are treading a very dangerous path ,leading to a destination that holds nothing good.

The Kingdom of God is NOT a democracy. We can not choose what laws we want to obey and which ones are not convenient for us. The word of God is not a buffet, we can’t pick from it, ONLY the parts we like, and ignore the rest, that does not leave a sweet taste in our mouth or us feeling good about ourselves.

Without self-control there is no difference between a Christian and those that reject, deny or detest God, who answer only to themselves .If we yield to whatever our flesh desires place before us;then we might as well put down the cross and be on our way.

The devil’s intention is to slap God in the face, by having his Kid’s yield to every want of the flesh, doing the same things that the world does.

These days more than ever ,safe ain’t safe at all today.

Quit your jibber jabber ,Don’t be a statistic, DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.

Stand and be ye separated from amongst them

God Bless


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THE A TEAM MOVIE- HOW IT COULD BE DONE

Growing up in the 1980’s I watched a lot of TV shows many of them reruns of long gone shows , some of my favorite were ;The Knight Rider,Starsky & Hutch, Hawaii Five O ,Charlie’s Angels, Perry Mason, Father Dowling, Murder she wrote, and many more. Of all the shows there was one that was at the top of my list, that show was The A -Team.

This was a show that captured my imagination in all aspects, from the premise of wrongfully accused soldiers on the run who survive as soldiers of fortune, to the characters, to the stories of the episodes. This series took action on television to a different levels.

Like most other fans of the show the characters were even more thrilling than the action and missions that they carried out with each character drawing his own fan base. From the leader Hannibal Smith(George Peppard),to confidence man ,Face(Dirk Benedict),the maniac ace pilot Murdock(Dwight Shultz) and every body’s favorite (at least mine’) B.A Baracus (Mr T). They were the A Team, and every week they thrilled audiences with high octane action.

Finding cast that can live up to the legend of the show is the most vital element. Unlike many of those other shows with maybe the exception of Starsky and Hutch, the show was heavily based on the personalities of the Characters and their interaction with each other. They all had such distinct characters and temperaments that you couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Face always trying to avoid being the front man in one of Hannibal’s plans, every body wondering what crazy thing Murdock was going to do next , and B.A’s “s fear of flying . They were the darling of the TV action genre at the same time managing to be wholesome family entertainment.

Bringing this legendary series to the silver screen would be a big risk which could go either way, it could either be a big hit, winning new fans and inspiring a franchise, or a huge bomb, disappointing fans of the genre who have long awaited a movie.

If I were to be at the helm of such an awesome project here”s how I would do it.

Firstly due to the years that have past, they will no longer be Vietnam veterans, they would have to be soldiers wrongly accused of breaking rules of engagement from the Second Gulf War or another recent American military action. The action would have to be elevated several notches, no more throwing and flying about like back in the day, because it would look to much like a B movie and would turn into a comedy . Unlike the television series, there actually would have to be more realistic consequences, this movie would have to match the intelligence and action sequences of recent hits like The Bourne Ultimatum, Mission Impossible 3 thereby avoid the over the top approach of Clive Owen vehicle Shoot Em Up .It has to be gritty and high octane without insulting the viewers intelligence or loosing the devoted fans.

Mr T’s van will still have to be there , a version to fit it’s 21st century setting, maybe a remote controlled van, with a door that slides open ,Armour plated tires, a hi tech vehicle with GPS tracking ability, a van supped up and pimped out by to the max without turning it into KITT .

Their skills and abilities would also have to move up, as audiences appetite has grown for the spy genre. With the advent of Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, and 24’s Jack Bauer,movie goers are no longer easily taken by heroes with fancy gadgets and one liners. They want intelligent characters who are as powerful wit their minds as they are with their fists. This new team would have to be experts at hand to hand combat, who can take on whatever is thrown their way. Elements of Free running and Parkour would have to be imbibed to display their physical and athletic prowess.

Ace mechanic B.A Baracus would be a technology and demolition expert that can fix anything and transform any basic home made appliance into an explosive similar to MacGuyver . Face, would be a former military intelligence officer who is an expert in communications, cryptology and languages, he can find information on anything and anyone and lay his hands on anything the team needs, he’s also the front man of the team.

Mad man Murdock, the ace pilot will be able to fly anything. Hannibal is a former battle strategist and Navy Seal trainer, he is a highly experienced soldier who still maintains a high sense of humor, whose line “I love it when a plan comes together” will remain immortal like MacGaret’s “Book em Danno” and Sledge Hammers “Trust me, I know what I’m doing”.

Now comes the most difficult aspect , casting. Let’s face it, those characters are immortal, and trying to replace them is a task a daunting as trying to remake Casablanca or The Godfather a task I equate as trying to dry up the Mississippi with a cotton swab. But try I will.
Casting

Being the iconic show that it is , the casting of the characters would have to be very specific.Unlike some of the other shows that have made the small to big screen translation. Fans of the show remember every little detail of their favorite character like the back of their palm

HANNIBAL SMITH
Mainstream cinema would say the role of Hannibal will definitely have to be played by Mel Gibson or George Clooney in the role of the charismatic cigar chomping leader, but with that the movie is already getting expensive before it starts. NCIS Mark Harmon, from his portrayal of the Gibbs character in the investigative show,i have no doubt that he would breathe life to the role. He already has he commanding leader charisma as well as the former Marine role from his TV series.

TEMPLETON PECK(FACE)
He would have to be Edward Burns, after his role in the movie Confidence I am more than convinced he can play the role perfectly. Michael Weatherly (NCIS,Dark Angel) would also breathe life into the role of the confident charming ladies man of the team.

MURDOCK
Most people would say Jim Carrey but I think I’d rather go for Vince Vaughn, he is one man that has been thrilling the comedy scene in the past few years, with roles in Wedding Crasher , Be Cool and bit parts in I see him bringing a fresh yet still loyal element to the role.Just imagine him getting on B.A’s nerves.

MR T
Finally the immortal B.A Baracus formerly played by Mr T, who became an 80’s icon through this role. I would have loved to have Mr T in this role but he would look too old beside the much younger cast, and as for the Mohawk! The new generation will not understand it’s significance. So for the role of B.A Baracus , conventional wisdom would suggest either Ving Rhames or rapper turned actor Ice Cube, for this role, he’d have to pack the pounds and bulk up, like Will Smith did for the role of Ali. I however beg to differ,my ideal would be Terry Crews, former NFL player , who has thrilled many with his brilliant comedic performances in White Chick,The Longest Yard the role of the father in tv show “Everybody Hates Chris”. He would be able to handle the physical demands of the role, and he has the very likable factor that Mr T commands.

The role of COL. DECKER who has made it a personal vendetta to bring down The A- Team.This would be wonderfully played by expert fugitive chaser the talented Tommy Lee Jones.

There would definitely have to cameos from the old cast, unfortunately George Peppard passed on a few years ago, but the remaining cast members would have to appear one way or another for the nostalgia effect.

Re-inventing the A Team without losing the key elements that made it the legendary show that it is , is the only way to make it successfully work in this day and age. If the re-invention of Bond , could work, I have a pretty good feeling that the same could be done for The A- Team.

If Hollywood were to bring this icon of a show back, the script would be written by Bourne scriber ,Tony Gilroy and directing it, would pick none other than Paul Greengrass , the man behind the Bourne successes ,to be at the helm of this project, bringing in creator Stephen J Channel on producing duties along with director, Tony Scott a man that certainly knows a lot about action.

ARSENIC & OLD LACE- MY DREAM REMAKE

One of my favorite all time favorite movies is Arsenic & Old Lace ;made in 1944 and directed by the Legendary Frank Capra, it starred; Cary Grant ,Peter Loree Raymond Massey and a host of others.

PREMISE
It’s a screwball comedy about Mortimer Brewster, a drama critic ,who goes home to tell his aunts, who raised him, that he is getting married. While trying to break the news,he finds out that his aunts’ hobby; is killing lonely old men and burying them in the cellar. It gets worse.

MY REMAKE

In a remake savvy industry, i wonder what i would do, if i had the opportunity to remake this brilliant classic ,and how would i cast it.

Conventional wisdom would be to update the script to fit out “modern minds” but i beg to differ. Some of the jokes and pop culture references would have to be updated, but the original script could still be relevant for the 21st century,an update of the pop culture reference and in jokes and problem solved. The main focus would be casting the roles for this attempt at a brilliant production.

There are three way it could be cast in the event of a remake.

BRIT CAST,written by Richard Curtis

The original role of Mortimer Brewster would be played by
HUGH GRANT. With a string of comedic hits , he is perfect for the comedic gentle man that his namesake played. With his boyish charm he is perfect a a British lead for a Brit Film

The role of towering and intimidating Jonathan Brewster would be played by

VINNIE JONES, the star of Snatch , though some people doubt his thespian skills , he manages to bring a charming performance which people either love or hate, and opposite Hugh Grant it’s screen magic.

Dr Einstein formerly played by the brilliant Peter Loree would now be embodied by

JOHN HANNAH, another character who can play the lovable but annoying friend, he would be perfect to play Lorre’s former creepy scientist role, who accompanied the intimidating Jonathan. Pairing Hannah and Jones as a duo, with Hannah playing the alcoholic Dr Einstein on the run from the law .

The aunts formerly played by Jean Adair and Josephine Hull now played by

MAGGIE SMITH &PATRICIA ROUTLEDGE two British icons to play the aunts Abby and Martha Brewster sweet but deadly. I can see them fussing over Hugh, while turning around to serve spiked Elderberry wine. Routledge honed comedic skills, on the brilliant sitcom ,Keeping up appearances. Maggie Smith is a British icon, and no further exposition needed for her case.

RICKY GERVAIS would play Teddy the cuckoo who ran amok and thought he was Teddy Roosevelt, formerly played by John Alexander. The creator and star of The Office and Extras, a wonderful addition to an already brilliant cast. Naturally he would have to play a British historical character.

RACHAEL VEIZ would play the role of Brewster new bride Elaine, played formerly by Priscilla Lane

HOLLYWOOD CAST written by the Coen Brothers

I would cast
GEORGE CLOONEY in the role of Mortimer Brewster, he is the current only actor that reminds me of that aura and charm that Cary Grant exuded , his roles in “Ocean’s 11″ and “Oh Brother Where art Though” show he can play both straight charmer and goof-ball effortlessly ,much like Grant did.

BRAD GARRET in the role formerly played by Raymond Massey. Garret honed his comedy skills on TV sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” and at a towering 6 ft 8 he perfectly embodies all that Jonathan Brewster needs to be.

JASON LEE, another comedic performer, who voiced Syndrome on the brilliant Brad Bird animation “The Incredibles“ and has honed comedic talents on Emmy Award winning My Name is Earl. He would be great as the wide eyed and dodgy Dr Einstein . He and Brad Garret supporting each other opposite classically handsome George Clooney, that ,would be a priceless trio.

KATY BATES & DORIS ROBERTS, both talented in comedic roles , Katy Bates has also played the psychotic role in the adaptation of Stephen King’s “Misery” and comedic roles in “About Schmidt” and Water Boy. Doris Roberts from hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Both know how to play the fine line between nurturing and psychotic women, and Roberts already has chemistry with former co-star Garret.

PAUL GIAMATTI in the role of Teddy.The star of Oscar winning Sideways; Giamatti is both a brilliant comedic and dramatic actor,and would fit perfectly in this role.

MARISA TOMEI would be in the role of Elaine, a sweet brand new bride, planted in the middle of the madness of the Brewster family.

A complete alternative approach and turning the whole thing around in terms of casting, it could go the “Tyler Perry” way , casting: written by Christopher Scott Cherot(writer of Hav Plenty)

AFRICAN AMERICAN CAST
ORLANDO JONES or CHRIS TUCKER, playing the part of Mortimer Brewster ;going all out comedic, with the role. They both have the ability to play the ;rambunctious fast talking, wide eyed character, the way Cary Grant played it. They are both great comics that can also play it straight.

TOMMY “TINY” LISTER could play the role of menacing Jonathan Brewster. He already has chemistry with Tucker from their roles on the movie Friday .

DAVE CHAPPELLE would make an excellent Dr Einstein, and that is all i am going to say about it, his talent is ENORMOUS.

LORETTA DEVINE & ALOMA WRIGHT as the sweet yet homicidal aunts. Both have comedy backgrounds and have played nurturing roles.

REGINALD VEL JOHNSON, star of tv sitcom Family Matters and co star of the Die Hard series he would be a brilliant Teddy.

PAULA PATTON in the role of the new bride.

There are so many ways this can go, but ultimately there are some movies that should be left ALONE and appreciated in only their original glory. Though Arsenic& Old Lace is not at the top of peoples minds when classics are mentioned;nonetheless Frank Capra’s comedy of errors masterpiece, is a classic and should remain untouched .

God, Cinema, Life and all that jazz