Saturday, October 24, 2020

Gone till November

We are taking a one week break from publishing regular posts and updates on this site.

We shall be back in November.
See you then!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

No Second Chance

If your interest in the HBO TV Series Succession goes beyond Shiv Roy's turtlenecks, then you'll be pleased to know that Succession Season 3 is coming out soon. 


In the second episode of Season 2, Shiv is having a conversation with her father Logan Roy on who will take over his media conglomerate 'Waystar Royco.' He tells Shiv that for her to take over as CEO, she needs to undergo months of training. Following is part of their conversation:

LOGAN: So... here's how I see it. Come in. Six months with Gerri, six months with Karl. Hong Kong for, say, another 12. Uh, Berlin, or London. Management training program for six. Come back, spend 12 months alongside me. And when you're ready, I'll step aside.

SHIV: Wow, Dad, that's a lot of months.

LOGAN: It's an appropriate amount of months.

SHIV: Also, management training program? Roman's COO. You have a toddler with a hard-on for chief operating officer, and I'm going through a management training program?

LOGAN: You're a young woman with no experience.

SHIV: A woman. That's a minus. Well, of course it's a fucking minus!

LOGAN: I didn't make the world!

The world is unfair, and Logan Roy didn't make the world.

* * * 

We like to talk a lot about second chances. Late last month, we had a post about Expiation and Revival and it was predicated for the most part, on the idea of righting wrongs and having a second chance.

But there's something we also come to learn about life: it's full of you-have-to-get-it-right-the-first-time-or-not-at-all situations. This may sound profoundly unfair, and it is indeed. There are certain things that are so exacting that you can't possibly get them wrong at all.

For instance, you get only one chance to make a good first impression. Should you screw up, then it becomes near impossible to change that initial perception given that first impressions are most lasting.

And this is something a renowned philosopher had thought of and written about centuries ago:

He who has not first laid his foundations may be able with great ability to lay them afterwards, but they will be laid with trouble to the architect and danger to the building.
- Niccolo Machiavelli.

In my native tongue, there is a saying that goes like this: "ngari ndiri sorry." Loosely translated, that means someone cannot hit you with a car then tell you "I'm sorry" since most likely the damage is both permanent and often irreversible. 

And this goes further to cement our argument that life sometimes just one chance. Not more, not less. Just one opportunity and that's it.

* * * 

Sometimes in this life, you have to simply say it right. Get it all right, or nothing at all. Much as it is true there is a time and place to try again.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

We did not ask for this

Today's post is short and sweet. Straight from the heart, and straight to the point. And yes, we are going waaaaaaay back!

It is from the final episode of the Hulu miniseries 11.22.63, based on the 2011 novel by Stephen King.


* * *

Ms Sadie Dunhill, who was school librarian back in 1963 delivers a speech, most of which is a poem by then School Principal, Dick Simmons.

This is what she says:

We never know which lives we influence or when or why, but I am so very grateful to be part of yours.
You older Jodie grads who are here tonight... you might remember Dick Simmons. And some of you may recall that little poem that he loved, that he kept copies on his desk that he can handle them out to troublesome students. Or, to students that were troubled.

Well, this was the poem:

"We did not ask, for this room, or this music.
We were invited in.
Therefore, because the dark surrounds us,
Let us turn our faces to the light.
Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty
We have been given pain, to be astounded by joy.
We have been given life, to deny death.
We did not ask for this room, or this music.
But because we are here, let us dance."

* * *

I remember watching The New Guy more than a decade ago. Those were the same years we couldn't get enough of 'Play' by Jennifer Lopez, 'I Dance' by Lenny LeBlanc or 'Let it Whip' by the Dazz Band. All said and done, play the funky music!








Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Danger in the Familiar



On July 31, 2020, Netflix announced that Money Heist has been renewed for a fifth and final part/season. Money Heist is a massively popular TV show that recently won Best Drama award at the Emmy Awards.


* * *  

I was recently reading some interesting articles about why we are so fascinated by true crime. part of this obsession is that deep down, we are voyeurs and hedonists.

But surprisingly, true crime also offers a space for empathy and understanding.And whilst everyone individually draws his or her line as to what is acceptable interest in these crime stories, few if any entirely opt out of engaging with this fascination.

Read more on the BBC and NPR web sites.

* * * 


The most obvious thing you'll note about any premeditated crime is the detailed knowledge that the perpetrators have of their victims or crime scenes. This is very well depicted in Money Heist.

Without getting into so much detail, this can be equally applied in human relations. Very few people are actually harmed by strangers. As unfortunate as it is, we note that a majority of kids are molested by people who are very well known to them. At times, relatives and close family members.

Malicious damage to property or to one's self or well-being will usually be done by someone a person has closely interacted with. A person that is familiar.

The reason is that in familiar places, situations or with familiar people, we let down our guard. We feel at ease, get comfortable and throw caution to the wind. We relax. We trust. We assume and overlook. We believe sans scrutiny.

Whilst it should be noted that this observation isn't based on any solid research, methinks there is a danger that often lurks in the familiar.

* * *

I'm yet to read 'Talking to Strangers' by Malcolm Gladwell. But this recent post about strangers on The Walkabout still holds water. In any case, we say in Swahili: "Kikulacho ki nguoni mwako." 

So what to do, when you come across a beautiful stranger?

Saturday, October 3, 2020

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss


I'll keep this Walkabout Weekend post short and sweet.

The modern world has placed many of us in a uniquely difficult position. We want things, and there is a never-ending pressure to have things. Even worse, this same societal pressure fashions "you want" as "you should have" and "you deserve." Entitlement is deeply rooted.

* * * 

This has made a majority of us very transactional. We now approach life on QPQ (quid pro quo) terms where the thought of giving something for nothing is openly frowned up. A generation of quitters who at first opportunity, would rather walk out than try to fix anything that needs to be set right.

So what happens when we embark on something but for some reason, things don't go our way? We immediately want out. After all, the grass is "definitely" greener on the other side, and we do have endless choice and innumerable opportunities elsewhere. Or do we?


Let's explore a few examples:

1. A well educated young man who aspires for greatness and wants the fine things in life gets a job soon after graduating summa cum laude. But the pay is not good enough for him. He quickly resigns, sans a backup plan of either going into business or the promising prospects of getting a better job soon.


2. Two people get into a relationship. They truly want it to work and to have something that lasts more than a fad, something that isn't as transient as the clouds. Soon enough, while still in the process of figuring out their common direction and learning more about each other, they have a major fallout. The now all-too-common reaction happens: they call each other names, go silent on each other and ultimately cut off communication by blocking one another across all social media platforms. There is not even an attempt at trying to find out what the problem is, working on it and amicably coming up with a solution that both can be comfortable with.

3. A young, creative and brilliant radio presenter has been working in an upcoming radio station. In under a year, his popularity has grown by leaps and bounds. A larger radio station owned by a mainstream media conglomerate takes note of his massive popularity and poaches him, in the process doubling his salary and giving him "a much larger platform." But our guy doesn't last long on the job. Another station poaches him, and this begins a series of months where he has a stint in almost every radio station in the country. What he fails to realize is that as he hops from station to station, his star gradually fades. In under 5 years, very few can even recall his name.

* * * 

We like to assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. In relationships, we are thrilled at the prospect of the "happily ever after," yet we don't want to put effort in the "here and now." We are taught that it's okay to have lofty expectations and that it is our right to demand things without even thinking about how those same things come into being. As long as we can see or point at it, we want it.


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