Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Of Grizzly Bears, Sandra Bland, Rape Culture, and the Absurd Politics of Respectability

Conventional wisdom dictates that when you run into a grizzly bear, your best bet is to remain calm and move ever so little. The same applies to most other large bears, and encounters with other potentially dangerous animals (snakes, large cats etc.) come with very similar advice: the reason being that these beasts, incapable of high level reasoning, act purely on the animal instinct that mandates the elimination of anything perceived threatening as a matter of survival. That's the basest natural element across the animal kingdom. The basest.

Monday, July 13, 2015

My Chimamanda Moment

I recently opened up an African clothing and sewing store with some partners next door. A few days after the opening, a good friend and professor from the university came in to check in on me and how everything was going. In barged an awkward looking guy who came in to talk to the professor, ignoring my presence completely.

I noticed they spoke in one of the dialects from my country and got interested. There are extremely few people from my country that live in the same city as myself (I can count them on my fingers), so whenever I meet someone from my country, I get VERY happy. I kept my distance though, didn’t want to intrude on their conversation, even though they were talking about the Pan-African Struggle – something I’m severely passionate about. What amused me the most about the guy was his childlike enthusiasm talking to the professor. He kept stoking the professor’s ego with phrases like “Wow! You’re so smart and brilliant,” or “I really need to learn more from you. You’re blowing my mind,” or “Man, you’re really amazing.” Not to fault him, but after hearing similar phrases following every coupl