Unpopular Opinion

Ahmed’s clock was not a clock

A contraption in a suitcase
Not a clock
It might have started out as a clock
but
by the time the mischievous boy dismantled it and put the carcass in a suitcase
Nope. Not a clock.

We can stand and still say that thing did not look like a clock
A passerby does not see that on a bench and wonder what time it is
The time is the furthest thing from the mind of a person who stumbles upon this invention
Open suitcase with wires strewn everywhere
What else could it be if not a clock?
It did not look like a clock

The only thing that made it a clock is that they said it was
What is that? would have been the question if they hadn’t said it was a clock beforehand
“Ohmygoodness is that a…?”
Wise people to have prepared the ground first
so by the time the clock was unveiled everyone was already standing
The Powers That Be agreed that this was a time telling device invented by the boy
and no one wanted to be the fool who said Not a clock
                                          You know how they get
and so the Emperor walked around the town naked.

Get out…

…leave! right now. It’s the end of you and me….

I just saw Get Out a few hours ago and it is a good film. (I started writing this almost a week ago)

My interest was piqued by the comments I kept seeing about this film. People talked a lot about how the film opened their eyes to the dangers of Black-White interracial dating; oh after watching the film they would never date White girls anymore. People spoke of sightings of interracial couples in the theatre and how awkward that must have been. Even interracial couples wrote about how the film made them feel. There was a girl who joked that black men had stopped hitting on her since the movie came out, and some people took offense to this tweet, accusing the girl of taking racism lightly.

Needless to say, I was very much looking forward to seeing this film. When I found out it had finally come out to a cinema near me, I immediately booked a ticket and went to see it.

I had seen tweets about how the film is best watched in a theatre full of black people. Well the theatre that played it was a small one, we were probably just 20 (or less) people there and most of the people there were white. Still I was so excited to watch it. When an interracial couple walked in-Black man, White woman-I chuckled and thought ooooh it’s lit (or whatever it is young’uns say).

The film was good and I did not feel as if I wasted my money, which is always a good thing. It was however a bit different from what I expected, possibly because I did not watch the trailer. Due to all the discussions about race, I expected it to be more along the lines of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. In short, I expected it to be more awkward. When people said they would not want to go to a White person’s house after seeing the film, I assumed there were lots of awkward, in depth, soul searching conversations about race. When it was said that the film highlights problematic moderate white people, I expected to the white characters to be one of those “I am colour-blind and I don’t see colour it don’t matter if you’re orange or green” kind of people. I expected the white people to be those white allies who truly believe in their hearts that they are good people, who really try to uphold principles of fairness and equality but who still have vestiges of hate and discrimination buried deep within. I expected them to be one of those “I am so sorry you had to go through that ❤️'” people; one of those who ruthlessly attack others for even thinking politically incorrect thoughts; liberals who take offense to everything and seem to be even more outraged than Black people. In short, I expected the characters in the film to be forced to confront their own racism; racism that they may not even have been aware of.I expected them to truly believe they are liberal and then realise that they are not all that better than the alt-right people they condemn.

Or something like that.

But the White people in Get Out aren’t problematic moderate white allies, they know that they are evil and that they are using black bodies for their own advantage. They are not problematic moderate Whites, they are Whites who say cliche things in an attempt to deceive their victims long enough to steal their bodies.

This is not a criticism of the film by the way, just a statement of my expectations prior to seeing the film. Now I know that the film is in the horror-comedy genre, the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner concept does not really work.

Parts of it may hit close to home for some couples. They  may recollect the time they met the family and draw parallels between the two. When the father in the film said he would have voted for Obama three times if he could, the couple may remember when her father said that in real life and cringe.  The film could force them to relive several uncomfortable scenarios and cringe, or laugh. But once the film departs from reality and moves into the hypnosis/transplanting, I feel it becomes less awkward unless that has really happened to you/you fear that it could really happen/or you choose to see a deeper meaning.

Still I just cannot understand how/why this film would make people, who beforehand were okay with it, seriously stop going to white people’s houses or stop dating white women.  Get Out is being hailed as the keel of death for interracial relationships. Never ever would I date a white woman after seeing this film is the general consensus. It was opinions like this that made me expect so much more; if the movie can turn Black men of white women then it must be really deep. Brethren, it was not that deep. It may be uncomfortable to sit there and watch but the film is simply highlighting things we know not telling us anything new. So when you say the film has changed your mind about interracial relationships, are you saying you were unaware of the micro-agressions (first time using this term 💃🏻) beforehand or are you saying that this film has alerted you to the very real possibility of White people hypnotising you and implanting their soul into your body?

I don’t believe the film is serious enough to break a couple up, unless the couple were not really serious in the first place. The worst it could do is further dissuade an already wary person from interracial relationships. But I am a single, non-American woman who went to see the film alone on a Sunday afternoon.so it would be better to hear from those actually in IR relationships. Thankfully someone got the reactions of 11 interracial couples so we don’t have to wonder. Some excerpts:

I was so embarrassed the whole time! I just kept thinking about what other people in the theater were thinking about me and him and our relationship, and I felt uncomfortable…But after the movie, I could just feel eyes on us. You could just feel people looking at us and overhear someone saying, “Man, he has to leave her.”

I was surprised by his reaction. When we walked out of that movie, he probably talked about it for a good two hours and he still has not stopped talking about it.

And as the plot thickened—it was like, Wow, could this really happen to me? As crazy as it sounds, that’s what I thought…If anything starts happening like in these scenes, I will not be sticking around. I will be on the first whatever out of there. Hahaha

The movie just does a really good job of nailing those small indescribable things that make you feel like you’re outside of a group. I agree.

It felt like one of the most honest depictions of that kind of interracial relationship for people in our age group.

It could be that Americans see the film differently, and relate to it more intensely, which is understandable and completely expected. For me it was a nice film which showed snippets of how awkward it is meeting your partner’s family, particularly if they are of a different culture. For me the transplanting is a departure from reality (which it is), however this may affect someone else on a deeper level; a person may look beyond the surface and see that as reality: the exploitation of black people.

 

A teeny part of me suspects that Jordan Peele did not start off with the intention of making a film with a powerful racial message. He probably just wanted a few laughs off of interracial dating and when people said “oh my this is a powerful movie“, he thought oh well let’s play along.

Speculations.

I came home after watching the film and read the articles I had been avoiding for fear of spoilers. I particularly liked this buzzfeed article about the hidden symbolism in the film. The article had me like:

 

The film was not side splitting hilarious, or hair raising terrifying, but it was a good film and I enjoyed every scene. Judging by the smiles and laughter, there was very little awkwardness for the interracial couple, or for any White person in the audience.

Notable mention to actress Betty Gabriel, who plays Georgina; she gave a good performance and I enjoyed watching her.

I don’t know what exactly this post is about. All I know is that I started writing this a week ago and I am tired.

Fun Fact: The writer/director is infact married to a White woman. This fact raised some eyebrows (never mind that his mother is also white) but doesn’t that make it more realistic?

 

 

 

 

 

You don’t hate the oppression, you just hate being the oppressed.

Sometimes I stand on the fringes and watch everyone argue about inequality and oppression.

Racism. Sexism. Homophobia. Xenophobia. Islamophobia. And many other IsmPhobias.

I listen in on these debates and realise that it’s the same arguments being used by everyone; the interesting thing is how people switch their arguments depending on which identity is activated at the time.

People who were just arguing against racism all of a sudden cannot understand the fuss about sexism and think women just like to complain. People who say they cannot understand why anyone would hate another simply because of the colour of their skin manage to effortlessly hate people simply because of their sexual orientation.

Nobody sees the hypocrisy. We only see our own struggle. Once we switch identities from the oppressed to non-oppressed — oppressor even — we take on the arguments we were just shaking our heads in disbelief at and throw them at those who have just assumed the identity of the oppressed.

Say a Black man is arguing about racial discrimination with a White man. The Black man in this context perfectly explains the concept of white privilege and the struggles Black people face. The White man thinks Black people just love to play the victim aka the race card.

Scene ends. White man leaves. Enter (Black) woman.

Now the Black man has gone from being the oppressed to being in a position of power, by virtue of being a man. His male identity becomes more salient. The woman here tries to explain the concept of Male privilege, and the horrors women around the world face. The man claims to understand but still thinks women are just whining and playing the victim. Feminism is hogwash and if women really wanted equal rights then why do they allow men open the doors for them and isn’t it sexist to not hit a woman just because she’s a woman and why did women not complain when women and children were rescued first on the Titanic and are you really a feminist if you cannot change a car tyre and women of today are nothing like our dear docile mothers and don’t women know that submission is power?

Exit Black Man. Enter Homosexual (man).

The subject switches her woman hat for a heterosexual hat. The subject goes from gender to sexual orientation and her heterosexuality is activated. The Homosexual man tries to explain the trials non-straight people face and just wants to be treated like a human. The heterosexual says she does not hate gay people but it is still a sin you know and what’s up with the gay agenda on television and she wishes gay people would stop forcing it down everyone’s throats and why is there a gay pride day but not a straight pride day and how will she explain this to her children?

It goes on and on.

Those who have it the worst are those who have the short end of every stick; those who belong to more than one marginalised group e.g gay Black woman.

People who object to racism but support discrimination against others would probably be racist if they were not a member of the oppressed racial group.

“It is so racist and xenophobic to treat immigrants this way” says the person who is trying to get into another country and does not give a hoot about how immigrants in his home country are treated.

Immigration is a controversial topic in Britain (and everywhere really), brought even more to the fore thanks to Brexit. Those who oppose Brexit accuse the “old White” people of being “xenophobic and racist”. I have often wondered how people would feel about immigration/free movement if an Asian/African country was the well off prosperous one and other Asians/Africans were migrating there in their millions. Nigeria kicked out Ghanians in the 80s. Just last year South Africans were attacking immigrants who “stole their jobs”. I doubt Asian countries are more welcoming.

It is easy to hate xenophobia and scream for open borders when you are the one who needs to go through them. But change the circumstances and we forget how horrible it feels to be discriminated against and treated like dirt.

Those who oppress aren’t necessarily the evil to our good. The fact that someone is a victim does not automatically make them a good person. It is easy to be self righteous when we lack the power or means to be the oppressor. Once we have a bit of privilege we have no problem welding it, inflicting the same injustice we complained about on others.

We are not angry at the oppression, we are angry at being the oppressed.

Do you really want to travel the world?

Travel.

Oh how I love to travel

If I had more money I would travel all over the world

Travelling is one of my passions, I just don’t have the money.

I want a job that takes me all around the world.

I have said these words, or a variation thereof, a multitude of times and I’m sure you have too. If we all had more money and less responsibilities we would all travel.

I am beginning to not be so sure.

Perhaps I am just wallowing in a pool of apathy, or maybe it’s the current state of the world that makes me want to order a giant bubble on amazon and live in it till sanity is restored, but I am not so gung ho about travelling anymore.

I have never been a backpacking kind of gal. Not once have I ever dreamed of staying in a hostel with strangers. When I said I wanted to travel, I always meant comfortably in a plane (Emirates of course, preferably in first class/business but most realistically economy), then check into a beautiful comfortable hotel(twenty thousand thread count Egyptian sheets, room service, extensive breakfast offerings e.tc), do touristy things, shop a bit, enjoy the local culture and then go back home with lots of goodies for family.

I see people backpacking across jupiter and I think “meh” Sure the pictures are nice (the pictures of those luxuriating in 7 star hotels even nicer) but I no longer feel that I am missing out on anything.

Now I am not even crazy about jobs that require me to travel. If I get one, cool, I am young and I need a job. But I am no longer parroting “I need a job that makes me travel” “I love to travel” every five minutes like a demented parrot. Having a job that requires lots of travelling is fun until one gets a job that requires lots of travelling. Then you realise travelling is only fun when you are doing it on your terms and not just for work work work work work.

I was speaking to an older professional recently and he had to go to Dubai for work. I excitedly recommended several activities for him to try. He looked at me as if I was crazy. “Do you think I have time? I am going to work. And after that I have to catch a flight to X. I don’t have time to explore.”

I am quite unadventurous. Any sense of adventure I once had didn’t make it into adulthood with me. I want to explore the world, from a safe distance, without breaking a sweat, maybe after my Swedish deep tissue massage.

Maybe the whole act of travelling and actually planning out places to go will refresh me, so to speak. Maybe visiting a city for a couple of weeks will remove the boredom and make my skin glow. Maybe travel is what I need. Maybe not.

It is easy to think the solution to one’s boredom lies elsewhere, but do I really need to travel to feel rejuvenated?

I know myself. The thing missing from my life is not stowed away in Asia, or on Mount Everest. I need to start my exploration from where I am at the moment, rather than delude myself into thinking my life will start when I get enough money to travel.

Some people have a burning desire in them to visit every country in the world. Some people don’t. Either way, just live your life.

Lessons

In life I have learned that one can be perfectly well behaved, do everything right, follow the right path, and all that will go to shit because of one mistake. All it takes is one misstep to mar it all. One can be a model human for years, living on the straight and narrow, and then will do something that will come to define one for the rest of one’s life. All the good that one has done will not matter. All of the times one has shunned bad in favour of good will become irrelevant. All of the good decisions will be forgotten. All that will matter is that one failed or messed up this one time, and that will become one’s defining mark. One’s person will be tarnished, because of this thing.

The journey never ends. There is always time to make a mistake. One cannot afford to relax, or be caught off guard.

On transience: This too shall pass.

Once in boarding school, we were served spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I popped one meatball into my mouth and it was awful. I knew I would not be able to chew it any further, and as I was on a table filled with people, I became quite perplexed on what to do. I told myself something along the lines of “Don’t worry, soon it will be tomorrow and you will have overcome this somehow.” It was unlikely that I would still be debating over what to do with the meatball the next day, so somehow I would have to get over it. Eventually I covertly spit it out into a tissue and lived happily ever after.

The thought that uncomfortable, awkward situations are not permanent, and that by tomorrow I would have overcome them somehow, became one of my guiding mottos. I would find my self in a weird situation and think “well this situation will have to resolve itself somehow, it is unlikely I will still be here tomorrow.” It was not until a few years later, that I found an already existing saying that captured this perfectly “This too shall pass.”

Difficult situations are inevitable, and some have them more than others. We will find ourselves in situations far worse than a nasty meatball, situations which persist for more than a day. I believe that the reason we are so consumed by bad moments is that we are unable to see past them. In that moment, that is all that matters, and we fail to see that they are temporary. I do believe that if we knew for sure that a certain situation would last for say, three weeks, and then everything will be fine, we would be less affected by said situation.

A good example is people who harm/kill themselves after a breakup. (Here, I am not referring to those who suffer from depression or mental illness.) These people are unable to see past their current grief, to them the world has ended and there is no respite. But that is not true. How many times have we been in situations that seemed so awful at the time, but that we look back on and laugh at how inconsequential they really were? How many times have we thought the world had ended, only to realise it hadn’t even begun?

It is so important to realise that this too shall pass. It may take a while, but eventually it will. Realise that you will in fact get over whatever it is, and you will heal and feel better. Good times will come, bad times will come. C’est la vie. That’s the transience of life. Do not make rash decisions over temporary circumstances. Go through bad times, always remembering that this too shall pass.

A bald-faced lie.

Do not marry a bearded man.

I am of the opinion that a beard is to a man, what makeup is to a woman. Just as makeup can help improve a person’s appearance, sometimes drastically, a beard can do the same for a man.

There has been a surge in the appreciation for bearded men, if you are on twitter, you will definitely have noticed it. A man with a lush, well groomed beard is lusted after, more brownie points if the beard has specks of grey in it. Oooh la la.

But before you go ahead and put a ring on that bearded man who you are sure the gods created specially for you, ask yourself: am I in love with a man or a beard?

It is a very important question you see, even more important than when men question if a woman is still cute under the layers of war paint. You think you have found your soulmate, and you foolishly stay in a relationship with him for years, without ever seeing his bald face. He hasn’t taken the same chances. On your first date, he took you deep sea diving and you thought he was being adventurous. Nope, he just wanted the salt water to wash off your makeup so he could see your bare face.

But you did not do the same. You never surprised him with a trip to the barber’s shop for a shave. You never loving applied Veet to his face as he slept. Rather you let yourself be carried away by the allure of the hair sprouting from his face and the countless #relationship goals your pictures received. He proposed and you ecstatically said yes. Finally you were going to marry the beard man of your dreams. Then the wedding day comes, and you walk down the aisle excited and happy as hell. Your happiness quickly turns to confusion: who is that stranger at the end of the aisle? You see, your beloved decided to shave off his beard for this special day, and now you realise you fell in love with a beard. It is too late to back out now, or is it? The priest asks if there are any objections and your arm shoots up of its own accord. You mutter an apology, hike up your dress and run for the hills.

It is better that you found out this way. Imagine he hadn’t shaved his beard and you had gone ahead with the marriage. Then ten years and three children down the line, he decides he wants a new look. You come back home to a stranger in your bed and your stomach drops. But it is too late to back out now, so you accept your fate and spend the rest of your life trapped in a beardless marriage.

All this could have been avoided if on the first date, as he brought out a pack of face wipes, you brought out a razor.