Blurred Lines

Did you read the story about the 23-year-old British student that was arrested for having sweet non-consensual sex with a sheep? He reportedly told the police he only planned to beat up the sheep to let off some exam pressure (but the sheep turned out to be a deviously sexy flirt, we assume). Did you also read about 37-year-old Balak Ram who hurriedly got married to a 29-year-old lady only to discover s/he was a disguised 15-year-old boy one week later on nuptial night?

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Somebody lied. Hips do lie.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say the media is a news machine designed to force open our jaws and stomp on them on greasy floors as we joylessly come to grips with the realisation that our world might be slipping into total uncontrollable chaos (which is how the world’s always been when you really think about it). The media reports what the world is up to; and because crazy bad news sells more than ones that’ll leave us in the right kind of stitches, we’re mired deep in stories that gradually make us lose faith in the continued existence of humanity.

So I was scanning through my Facebook page on a stormy November night (it was really a stormy November night, you guys) when I saw a CNN news story on my news feed; a 36-year-old Indian man had invited his 45-year-old medical supplier neighbour to a nice dinner, and afterwards proceeded to burn “his genitals with hot tongs”, before strangling him to death. The neighbour had allegedly raped his 14-year-old daughter two months prior.

If your thoughts transitioned from, “OMG! Humans are so vile; I can’t believe anyone can be so evil to another human being!” when I first highlighted the story, to, “Oh? Then that piece of garbage deserved that treatment. I would have totally done the same thing. Give that man a medal, probably!” when you discovered the victim was a pedophile rapist, then you’re just like the 99% of the people in the comments section of that story. And it (probably) won’t make you a bad person to harbor that thought; we love it when bad people get their just due. But is this line of justice to be encouraged in any capacity?

Before you answer that question (which you probably already have, because it was one entire sentence ago), you have to realise that this one incident is a window into a bigger culture of a self-styled jungle justice system. It is the representation of a system of instant judgement carried out by self-appointed jury and executioners who punish their victims as they deem fit.

To paint a more vivid picture, consider the tragedy that was the ALUU 4 killings when a mob infamously stripped four students of the University of Port Harcourt, battered and burned them to death for alleged theft. It was an incident that drew the ire of the Nigerian public for as long as its attention span allowed it for its barbaric and vile nature. It was an act that had no place in a civilised society, to quote a Yoruba adage, “in a town with a king and chiefs”.

One might suspect that the reason we cannot definitively condemn the act of jungle justice is that for every erroneously meted justice, there’s another we can unashamedly rally behind; like that Indian mob that castrated a rapist in October. However, this is still not an escape sound enough to overshadow the banality of this process even when it “gets things right”, especially for the numerous other times it gets them dismally wrong.

Reasons for why this sore thumb still sticks out in our very modern society abound from our primitive urge for self-gratification to our burning immediate want for justice. We want to believe ourselves to be the moral pivot of our environment who’ll punish contaminants of that environment to serve as deterrent to others, you know, like that Kenyan mob that stripped a lady in public for indecent dressing; or that American that shot up a car full of teenagers for playing loud “thug” music; both subjective ‘crimes’. In the heat of those moments, people tend to let themselves go and ignore the fact that there is a system in place to deal with whatever grievances you have with your neighbours having loud sex when you’re trying to stay away from internet porn; but that seems to be another major reason for the problem: lack of faith in the system.

In a poll conducted by NOI Polls Ltd., 51% of respondents attributed the prevalence of jungle justice to a lack of trust in law enforcement agencies. This mistrust isn’t entirely unfounded as criminals have been known to play the system and walk scot free; sometimes, it just feels like the system is ill-equipped to appropriately and satisfyingly deal with flouters of the law. So, for the same reasons why we think we could write a better Green Lantern movie than Michael Goldenberg, we think we can do a better job of bringing criminals to their well-deserved punishments; give karma a little nudge in the right direction, without all the inconvenient red tapes holding the law back.

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Like a reliable transportation system.

Or maybe this is the right path to tread. Maybe we have got this whole organisation thing screwed wrong; maybe self-styled jungle justice is the way to go; maybe the law is too soft in its handling of criminals and it needs regular Joes to rid the world of vermin; maybe we should scrape that part of order in our society and dole out punishments on our own as we make up rules and punishments for ourselves (I’ve got a couple of people I might have a problem with, if they don’t get to me first).

(Un)fortunately, as flawed as the judicial system is/may be, the jungle justice system is just as diabolical. The recent post-humus ‘acquittal’ of 14-year-old George Stinney seventy odd years after he was electrocuted in an electric chair for killing two girls, a crime he did not commit, is an indictment of the whole judicial system from top to bottom. However, if the system, with all of its red tapes can make fatal mistakes like that, does it not make you cringe to think about how fatally wrong jungle justice can potentially be, especially since rules are made up on the fly? And then, there’s this other thing where the law punishes you for doing its job for it no matter how honourable your intentions/reasons are. That Indian man might win Father of the Year, but he is also facing murder charges that might mean he’ll be in jail for a long time, depriving his family of an important figure to help them pull through what must be truly difficult times. The truth is we’d all like to be Liam Neeson, cutting down a neighbourhood of thugs because they broke a social contract, whether they knew they were doing so or not; but the Taken universe is not a fair reflection of how our society works as there are blowbacks for our actions no matter how great our intentions; like how Kevin Bacon put his entire family into even more grave danger after avenging the ritual murder of his son in Death Sentence.

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A consequence of which was him dying looking like a crack addicted pimp.

My sincere sympathies are with that unnamed Indian man and I (or possibly anyone, for that matter) cannot pretend to know or understand how he felt (and hope to never be in a position to find out), but jungle justice is a very dangerous path to tread. Our society is set up against it because it would most likely collapse otherwise. My sympathies cannot do anything to help his situation, but his lawyers have a chance to get him off the hook in court; a chance his victim (or any other victims of jungle justice, criminal or not) never got. If there was no system, the victim’s family would probably come after him too, baying for blood regardless of the victim’s (probably) deserved comeuppance; imagine how that would end: an unending circle of vengeful bloodbaths (which is the general idea of the first Taken sequel). That doesn’t sound like a world that’ll last.

A Fool’s Guide to Failure

This was originally posted on Elsieisy’s blog last year, but since I haven’t been able to reblog it, I decided to make a few changes and put it up here.

When Winston Churchill said success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm, he rolled up an obvious observation into a quote that’ll be written on top of random backgrounds decades later. And since we’re fascinated with success so much, we place every little new tip up on a grand pedestal, no matter how painfully obvious it had been all along. This is how self-help books continue to sell very well even when the blueprint authors basically follow is to make blatantly obvious life truths appear like secret insightful doses of unrefined wisdom they discovered while binge-drinking with underaged teenagers.

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"The secret to getting drunk is drinking. A lot."

On the other side of this success coin is its smelly neighbor that many people bunk with but are ashamed to admit to knowing in public; failure. I’ve bunked with failure for quite a number of times in my life, and I believe that it’s not a stretch to conclude from my life experiences that everyone at certain points in their colourful lives have failed at something (like while trying to lick their elbows, which is unquantifiably gross, you hypothetical internet person I’m rolling my eyes at). In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that we fail more than we succeed; our successes built on a foundation of foul mangled bodies of failures.

If anything, we’ve come to agree that if we ever want to ditch the smelly bunkmate that is failure and get in bed with sweet sexy success, the secret is learning from why we fail, and making improvements on them. And again, that’s how self-help books sell; people are so eager to learn from other people’s pitfalls because everyone wants to taste the sweet sensation that is success.

But if, say, you’re a special breed that does not subscribe to society’s high expectations of success; say, you think it’s cute to wallow in the shallow lake of life’s underachievement; say, you absolutely want to fail at anything, I’ve made out quality time to clear a path and create this simple guide just for you.

I’ve drawn my guide from a recent failure to learn swimming, which all started a couple of weeks ago when one of my very best friends (let’s call him Dude) told me he was planning a day out at a public swimming pool with a bunch of our ex-classmates and he wanted me to tag along. I turned him down. This was not because I was trying to play hard-to-get like an insanely attractive college girl in a chick flick, but because I couldn’t (and…**spoiler alert** still can’t) swim because I am absolutely terrified of a body of water. However, Dude kept bugging me for the rest of the week and he was able to eventually convince me that I was going to have a terrible Saturday anyway I could as well get out of the house. It truly was a Saturday with no EPL, so I agreed…to hang out, not to finally learn how to swim; but it was all the same to him; and from the events of that day, I’ve compiled a fool’s guide to failure (yes, this is a self-help article). So, if you want to fail and you don’t know how to go about it, or you just need some reinforcement, here’s how:

1. Make Excuses

Despite my commitment to the cause, I still hoped to find a way to luck out of going to the pool. I wanted an excuse to not even try at all, and that morning, it rained. I called my friend and said, “Hey Dude, it’s raining, it’s a bad idea to go hang out at the pool today, dude.” He brushed it off and even made compelling argument as to how it would make it even more fun. If you ever want to perfect the art of failure, you have to be good at making excuses to not even try to do anything; it is very important that you seize on the tiniest opportunities to make excuses. I had to see Dude for something else that day anyway, so I left home regardless of my reservations.

When we finally met, Dude told me three other guys pulled out last minute, so, instead of six guys, we were now down to three.

While we waited for the last guy with punctuality issues (we’ll call him Nameless), I relentlessly tried to derail the whole plan without really appearing to do so and come off as a water sissy. Dude stuck out and said we could still salvage the rest of the day. We left for the pool when Nameless finally showed up (surprisingly without evident results of the make-up he must have been applying that kept him for almost an hour).

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Which was a bummer.

If it ever crosses your mind to want to fail at anything; you have to make up excuses as to why you don’t even want to try to do it at all and hope you don’t have an optimistic companion like Dude to derail your plans. You have to convince yourself that these reasons are genuine and not because you’re an unhinged masochist with an aversion for self love. But if unfortunately, you have someone like Dude to recycle your excuses and make lemonade out of them, then you can…

2. Be Fazed by Other People’s Success.

When we got to the pool, we met four guys already inside it, swimming like electrified starfish and peeing in it, I assumed. After trying to make up more excuses to back out last minute (ALWAYS make excuses if you’re really serious about this failure thing), I continued to watch those guys and marveled at how well they swam which convinced me I would need some of Harry Potter’s gillyweed supply to ever be able to even venture into the water. I let the performance of those guys convince me that I couldn’t possibly measure up.

To successfully fail, you should take a look at other people’s (perceived) success and convince yourself you can’t ever be that good enough which makes trying pointless. It doesn’t matter that up close, those successful people are trying to be better themselves, like I later found out that those guys couldn’t even really swim for shit; but you don’t have to bother yourself with inconvenient little details like that. If you absolutely want to fail, focus on the reasons why you can, nothing else should matter.

3. Refuse Help.

We paid to spend a couple of hours in the pool and after a few minutes of back and forth awkwardness where we talked about awkward nudity in the changing room, we got out into the pool. Of course I was the last person to get into the pool, and I only did so because it would be weird to be that half-naked guy sitting by the pool for a couple of hours without getting inside of it. So, instead, I became that guy that stood inside a swimming pool for a couple of hours. I literally stood in the pool and held on to the edges for dear life for a couple for hours, never at any time attempting to swim (betraying the ‘swimming’ in swimming pool). I just stood there and watched other people as they cautiously glanced at me trying to understand what my deal was.

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“Is that guy here to collect our pool pee pee?”, I could hear them think.

In the entire time that I oddly stood out in the pool, Dude and Nameless relentlessly offered to teach me the basics of swimming; I turned them down every single time. Even though I had a real shot at finally learning how to swim (because, well, because I was in the pool already), I refused to accept help. Dude kept asking, “What if a tsunami happens and you have to swim to safety?”, I told him he’ll probably not really get a chance to swim in a tsunami. Nameless also reassured me that I couldn’t possibly drown because I was too tall which is how I now know he’s never watched any of the Final Destination movies.

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No, thank you, sir.

Anytime anyone wants to give you a little nudge towards success, tell them to go buy a cat to pet, because you’re no one’s pet, and you know what you want; you want to fail. Why should they get in the way of that with their distressing positive messages? If they shoot you with arrows of optimism, make the cross sign and hope they go away; my friends did.

4. Feed Your Fears.

In the unlikely event that I’ve had you fooled up to this point, in which case you haven’t been paying enough attention (in which case, you’re basically Me in maths class), the actual reason why I never wanted to be at the pool or try to learn to swim when I was inside one with a bunch of strange dudes and a couple of lasses, was simply because I’m terrified of water. I didn’t try to swim because I wasn’t too eager to drown, or risk it. I fed my fears well enough to be absolutely convinced that I would drown if I even tried at all. I focused on that fatal consequence, and it grew in size in my head so much that at the end of the day, I failed.

If you ever want to fail, it’s real simple: focus on your fears and feed them chicken wings; you’ll surely look like you’re flying, it just won’t be high enough; and then you’ll crash, because you’re a fool. Thank me later.

Day 12: Live and Let Live

Jeremiah's Scribbles

Hi guys, happy sunday.

Hope it’s going good?

Today, @sammoyd preaches the truth.

Enjoy.

_________

When I was fourteen, someone changed my life; he taught me how to live. I had been copying a note in the classroom when he came from behind me and said, “Hey beanbag, you shouldn’t be writing the letter ‘o’ from the right to the left, it has to be from the left to the right, moron.” This person decided that I was writing the letter ‘o’ the wrong way and deserved to be dropped in a stream of boiling lava, never mind the fact that our different methods of writing said letter both produced the same ugly donut- shaped o’s (because, hungry 14-year-olds). He couldn’t deal with the fact that I was doing something differently from the “normal” way (I really did find out that many people write the letter from left to right)…

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Horrible Parents

Parenting is hard. I know this because for years, I’ve seen my parents fight off the temptation to exchange me for a pack of cigarettes at the local store. Maybe it’s because they don’t smoke, but so far so good. And incredibly, my siblings haven’t met that fate either, because if anything, most of them are worse than I’ve ever been. As far I as know, I’ve been a fairly responsible kid, but my siblings, I’d exchange those guys for free Wifi if they were my kids. Case in point: one of my stepmoms had to drag my younger brother to church this past Sunday because he was adamant he wanted to wear his newest shoe as the one he was being forced to wear was already two months old. I know right? Foolish kid. Wifi doesn’t need to wear no damn shoes to church.

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Free sexy shoeless Wifi.

I believe the general idea of parenting is to raise the next generation of humans smart enough to know the difference between “your” and “you’re” and ensure the continued existence of the race. And of course, people have to live with the consequences of their sexual engagements. The major problem they face in fulfilling that task is the kids themselves; know-it-all youngsters who think they can do a job better than their parents who are clearly clueless at this parenting thing. My kid brother probably thought at some point, “Oh screw this witch, doesn’t she know 12-year-old chicks in Sunday school dig new shoes?” Yes, we’ve all thought the worst about our parents at some point.

Remember that annoyingly shitty, “It could be worse” mantra people recite when you feel down about something, say, your dog running away from home? Well, as annoying as it sounds to hear, it is true (your dog could be doing your girlfriend). In those moments when we wish our parents would be cooler, other people have it worse.

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This kid, for example, has serious therapy sessions lined up when/if he grows up.

So, to appraise the stellar job my (your) parents have done so far, I’ve plundered the internet for the worst parents in the world. I must preface this by saying that if your parents are/were worse than the ones I’m about to list, I’m sorry you ended up with them. On the bright side, at least you know how not to raise your own child(ren). Chin up.

Without further ado, the worst parents in the world:

6. Mr. and Mrs. Unnamed South
Korean Couple

In 2010, a jobless South Korean couple that remain unnamed by authorities made daily trips for long stretches of time to an internet café in Suwon, a suburb south of Seoul to play a fantasy role-playing game, Prius Online. This game allowed users to nurture a virtual (read: fake) young girl, Anima who has
mysterious powers.

This would easily have just been a story about an out-of-jobs game-addicted couple, except that the 45-year-old man and the 25-year-old woman both had a prematurely delivered 3-month-old baby abandoned at home as they went to the café to change some virtual diapers on the internet. The baby died of starvation after being fed only once a day (presumably when they got bathroom breaks.

The father told reporters, “I wish that she hadn’t got sick, and that she will live well in heaven forever. And as a father, I’m sorry.” Yeah, that should make everything alright.

5. Obiefules & Aisha Abubakar

In May this year, 12-year-old Onyedikachi Mbanozo reportedly complained of hunger to his parents, and was allegedly beaten for it. It was the last time anyone ever saw the boy. When concerned neighbours asked Mr. Paul Obiefule about his whereabouts, he said the boy was being treated in an undisclosed hospital. He lied. Said neighbours confronted his wife the next morning and the police were alerted after they were unsatisfied by her response. When the police searched the couple’s apartment, the young boy’s corpse was found under the bed. They were both arrested.

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And presumably locked up with these guys who complain about prison food all the time.

Bilki Abubakar, a 13-year-old girl in primary six was beaten to death by her mother, Aisha Abubakar, for losing N40.00 on an errand in Jos, Plateau State. On December 20, 2013, Bilki was sent on an errand to buy magi seasoning, but she lost the money which enraged the mother as she locked her in a room and allegedly beat her to death. She remains at large with her three other children, hopefully not beaten to death for leaving bread crumbs for the police to trace.

4. Ikechukwu Okoro

Like I described in the first quarter of Ends and Means, there’s a particular sort of helplessness that sick people
feel; lack of control over their bodies. This must have been what 3-year-old Chinedu Okoro felt when he defecated on a bed he shared with his single father, Ikechukwu Okoro in Ebonyi. As confirmed by Ikechukwu himself, Chinedu had been sick for a few days, but when Ikechukwu woke up to the stench of poop at 4:30am on September 13, 2013, the 26-year-old in his own words, “I went outside to look for a stick to flog him, just like any other normal father would have done to his recalcitrant child.” This recalcitrant child being a 3-year-old child guilty of being sick. “My son had been sick, his stomach was swollen before I flogged him.” He flogged the boy to death with a bitterleaf stick.

Ogbonnaya Orie, Ikechukwu’s
neighbor claimed that he made futile efforts to stop Ikechukwu from beating the boy to death and turned him down when he wanted his help in secretly burying the child. In a move that surprised no one, “It was Satan that used me” was Ikechukwu’s defence. No one questioned the stick about how it felt being used by Ikechukwu.

3. Idi Dahiru

50-year-old Idi Dahiru was a father who had a recalcitrant 8-year-old son that refused to go to school. Sadly, you know how this story ends. In a news report on September 22, 2014, Dahiru was sentenced to 25 years in prison with hard labour for beating his son, Ahmadu Idi to death after the boy refused to attend an Islamic school.

Dahiru, who lived in Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno, is said to have beaten the boy on several occasions for not going to the school after he had been registered. On the fateful incident that led to the boy’s demise, he confessed to filling his son’s mouth with sand which led to his death and subsequently dumped his corpse into a river to cover it up. Neighbours called the police after Ahmadu’s body washed up on the river bank.

Nosy Neighbours 3 – 0 Horrible Parents.

2. China Arnold & Darnell Alvarez and Daviena Blake

I found these two stories last month when I Googled “Weird murder weapons” (No, I’m not about to explain why I was even searching for that).

On September 8, 2008, China Arnold was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to life without possibility of parole, for putting her 28-day-old infant, Paris, in a microwave, switching it on, and cooking her for over two minutes. China was reported to have been drunk and arguing with her boyfriend about the paternity of the toddler when she baked her baby. Ladies, when your man questions your fidelity, cooking the evidence is not the solution.

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Dumping through the window doesn't work either, if you were wondering.

In the second story that happened on May 3, 2013, 24-year-old Darnell Alvarez whipped his 2-year-old son to death with a leather belt for wetting the bed, something uncommon in 2-year-olds. The boy died from bruises, lacerated liver and internal bleeding. Darnell has been charged with first degree murder and child abuse (but surprisingly, not for being a total flipping idiot).

Davienna Blake, the child’s mother witnessed the incident and later went to work as Darnell reportedly whipped the boy again for defecating in his underwear. When she returned home, they had an argument about taking the child to an hospital, Darnell refused because he was afraid Child Protective Services would take the child away from them. Davienna said she didn’t intervene in the beating because, “I didn’t want to upset Darnell further.” Whenever someone’s about to burn down your house, don’t try to stop them because it might give them the idea to use explosives instead. She has also been charged with first degree murder. They both await trial.

1. Chris Elvis

Remember that one time your father blamed you for something you didn’t do and made you watch Batman and Robin as punishment, and you thought he was the evilest father in the world? I’m sorry, but Chris Elvis owns that title.

Chris Elvis, a 30- year-old security guard blamed his early mid-life crisis on Godrich, his 4-year-old son, calling him an ogbanje. On February 10, 2014, in Meiran, Lagos, Chris padlocked Godrich’s mouth (I’d hate to think about how) to stop him from screaming, battered his body with a hot iron, and locked him in a plastic drum.

Like most fragile 4-year-olds, Godrich died. His mother alerted the police after she returned from the market to meet her dead son and Chris was arrested. He reportedly feigned insanity during his arrest and afterwards in custody, but authorities have confirmed his only ailment is a flea-infested brain. He awaits trial.

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Hopefully while locked up in this, with a group of possessed 4-year-olds banging on it every couple of minutes.

The next time you think you’ve got the worst parents in the world because they made you wash the dishes when all you wanted to do was watch a rerun of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, really, think again. Things could be worse.

@sammoyd

In My Shoes: The Narcissist

For The Ravenous

Really shoulda known what to expect when these guys said they were working on a piece together. Well, voila:

You think you’ve had a horrible day nobody could possibly understand why you’re kicking at your shadow? Wait till I shove my story up your many holes.

The most incredible thing I’ve copped from my many years of standing on a queue is I’ve never quite decided on the most suitable murder weapon to use on whoever was in front of the line. My preference seems to change from person to person, situation to situation, line to line. I think right now I could probably do enough damage to the guy currently in front of me at the cash register with a sharp pickax. I know I’m supposed to be happy for him and shit because he’s buying baby stuffs with his pregnant wife beside him, but I’ve got to get…

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Ends and Means

Hello, enigmatic mortals of the internet jungle! Did you miss
me? Of course not; you didn’t notice I was gone. But gone I was. I know I should write something really cool and something even more ridiculously funny in the first paragraph to explain my long absence here, and of course blow your minds enough to make you want to read past it into the second paragraph, but my return is as a result of an unfortunate epiphany I had a few days ago when I fell ill, which means I’m totally unprepared for this reunion. Now, read the second paragraph, please.

It all started with a cold, then a jealous nagging headache before it spiralled into, well, things. To cut the long story shorter than lines in midget porn, I was sick. I’ve got to say that the only thing that freaks me out more than hormonal praying mantises is pills, so unless I absolutely have to, I keep as far away from them as possible. On this occasion however, I puked so much it was almost like the result of a hangover from doing tequila shots with Tara Reid the previous night. If I were a girl, my family would have been asking me who the father of my baby was because if Nollywood has taught you anything important, it’s that a single girl puking is a pregnant single girl.

In the end, I conceded to my family’s public opinion and took a whole lot of pills because I love my family and didn’t want them to worry (or care) so much about me. It could have also been because I felt so dizzy I almost fell face first into my own pool of vomit, but let’s try and focus here. The things we do for the people we pretend to love, eh?
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Now, let’s pretend I’m not a crazy person and this story took place in an alternate universe; let’s pretend I’m not a wimp that curls up into a defensive ball at the sight of pills. For the sake of a functional theory, let’s pretend I’m the perfectly, nay, clinically sane anti-hero of this story and pills are outlawed bandits living on the fringes of the law. In the end, I broke the law, embraced the dark side and did business with the enemy so I could become a fully functional human being again (for my family, of course). I took the wrong means (hey, we’re still pretending) to achieve a noble result; regain the strength to resume trying to lick my elbow. But does the end justify the means?

I remember a Social Studies class back in high school a few years ago when our teacher gave us a pop interrogation. You know, one that goes like, “Okay class, before we start today’s lesson, let’s revise what we did in last week’s class.” It’s right up there with, “Tear a sheet of paper!” and “When’s my next period?” in a list of things that should never be uttered in a classroom ever again. Of course she issued a stern warning to us to not peek into our notes (because that’s not how interrogations work) before she started pointing at sacrificial lambs that were too stumped to provide sensible answers. Because desperate people are sneaky people, I managed to open my book (because she was sitting right on my desk and oblivious to my ninja-like stealth) and read all I needed. When she finally called on me after seeing her hopes dashed with disappointing answers, well, let’s just say I swept her off my desk. She was impressed enough to call the school’s Vice Principal to tonguelash the class of retards and extol me as a model of academic commitment.

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...and questionable fashion choices.

Now, the only reason I cheated my way through that interrogation was to avoid the mass whipping that was going to eventually ensue if no one stepped up to the desk plate. And in a way, that’s what ultimately happened, only in a way that meant I couldn’t experience my classmates’ sweet scorn and admiration because some of them knew what I did. However, I did all my classmates a solid that day because I kept all of their bums from whip’s way fresh for another class, and that is a noble feat, but does the end justify the means?

I’ve never been a big fan of torture for anything. Maybe it’s because I once had to own up to the theft of a #20 Bic pen I didn’t steal just because I wanted to stop a teacher from beating his midlife crisis out of me in primary school, or maybe it’s just because it’s an extremely unreliable dehumanising exercise. On a certain New Year’s day party at my house years ago, a guy stole my uncle’s mobile phone. For some background, you should know that this was a time when the price of a mobile phone would pay your college tuition and still get you a pet pygmy goat complete with a discounted wallaby on the black market. Anyway, I was the primary witness that fingered the guy that stole the phone. Now, I didn’t exactly see him steal it, I merely stated that he was the last person in the room when everyone trooped out to watch my brother get harassed by traffic cops for messing around with firecrackers. No one saw him at the party afterwards. My testimony and his sudden disappearance was enough to earn him an invitation to the police station, and his interrogation commenced right after. And when I say interrogation, you know I mean a no-holds-barred physical molestation.

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Use your imagination people!

This interrogation dragged on for hours into the night and at some point, I almost peed myself (yes, I was 11) at the thought that he might be innocent afterall. He wasn’t (thankfully?), and I didn’t pee myself (in case you were wondering). Torture worked for good that night, but it didn’t work when my pee-brained teacher thought I couldn’t afford a new pen; but he believed his method worked that day, and that’s the problem. I don’t know if this is how interrogations work with law enforcement across the country, but if Nollywood is to be believed (and you’re on your own on this one), it’s the go-to technique to make a suspect confess to clogging up the public toilet. Does the end justify the means?

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This image is meant to distract you from real world problems.

Last week, my dad grew sick of fruit flies illegally squatting in our storeroom, and he got a flit gun to wreck havoc on their population. Minutes later, a few cockroaches staggered out with a drugged swagger that made it obvious the pesticide got to them too. Now, no one loves cockroaches, and this was an awesome unintentional case of killing two pests with one flit bullet, but this battle of the storeroom was never about the roaches, it was about the fruit flies that danced in our faces with arrogant recklessness. And in the end, we had to get another type of pesticide to get rid of the original terrorists because the one that killed the roaches seemed only to turn the flies into flesh-eating pest zombies. So, in a noble bid to exterminate a few arrogant fruit flies, is it morally acceptable if a few resident cockroaches die in the process?

Because no one takes pest analogy seriously, an adaptation of that scenario to the human world would be the widely-debated disadvantage of war drones. My dad accidentally committing roach genocide equates to using a war drone to kill one supposed terrorist and twenty innocent bystanders; people whose only real concern was finding free Wifi to download food recipes, funny YouTube videos and probably some hot, steamy fetish porn. It’s like Israel stomping all over Gaza’s population to combat Hamas. It’s like every scenario that’s ever had to employ the term “collateral damage” as a cover for its morally questionable execution. It’s almost like mother nature afflicting me with three tortuous days of ill health to give me an epiphany.
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Whether in personal everyday experiences or global situations, we have had to achieve well-intentioned results through morally questionable means. Sometimes, we are too fixated on the goal we hardly care about the route that leads to it. Other times, we just don’t care enough about that route, or we just don’t know where to draw the line because we’re too caught up. But really, should the price outweigh the reward? Does the end justify the means?

@sammoyd

The Hit List.

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I wake up 6am every morning…okay, most mornings I actually wake up 10am, but whatever. The point is, I wake up every morning hoping that the sun stops being predictable and rises from the south, or that I’ll peacefully go through the entire day without feeling the raw impulse to claw at anybody’s face and straight out murder them with poisoned chopsticks. This hormonal sadistic ire is reserved most usually for annoying people who do annoying things. Unfortunately, the sun is a boring son of a stretch of sand at sea, and annoying people don’t take a day off, so I’m always planning a murder everytime the cloud shifts. But since murder is a punishable offence in most Nigerian states, and because I fear I’ll look horrible in a prison jumpsuit, I’ve instead decided to make a list of people I’d like to make their deaths look like freak Final Destination-like accidents.

#1. Unsolicited mobile doctors.

I once told a friend to try shoving ice cubes up his rectum when he told me he was burning up with fever. Gross, innit? I made that up ten seconds ago, but I’d like to think that someone, somewhere, in the irrelevant annals of human history once told their poor sick friend to shove ice cubes up their poop chute because they were burning up. This is because everywhere around you, there are people that believe they know exactly what your problem is, and can provide the perfect fix to such unfortunate problems. Let us uncreatively call them unsolicited mobile doctors, because they’re everywhere.

Quite unfortunately, I’m not a genetically-engineered alligator, so I fall sick sometimes, and because of my dislike for doctor’s handwritings and pills, my grand plan against fighting illnesses (other than low whimperings of “This is Sparta”) is staying in bed and riding it out for a couple of days. This is where UMDs get screen time. They prescribe all sorts of things that’ll make you better instantly based on their amateur diagnosis or something they saw on the tv once. They don’t have a medical degree, but they’re a pharmacy on their own. And sometimes, they’re right, but if you’re not careful with UMDs, you could take a pill supposedly meant to cure your meningitis and then end up with epilepsy, or hepatitis C (and of course you’re still meningitisised). It’s like your dealer supplying bath salts when you’re having cocaine withdrawal. Oh, they are quite persuasive too.

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"I swear on the Old gods and new dolls Jim, yamocaine is the new paracetamol."

Now it’s important to acknowledge that most times, UMDs do what they do with the best intentions, because being unhealthy (even slightly) is one of the worst things that could possibly happen to anybody. We all respect that they care, but at other times, it’s borne out of some fake armchair expertise they’ve developed from watching too many seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.

Fun fact: Do you know how many deaths occur from actual trained medical practitioners prescribing the wrong drug resulting from wrong diagnosis or pharmacists wrongly selling you the wrong drugs because the doctor’s handwriting looked like chicken scratchings and it made them remember their wife just left them and took the children? 225,000 people every year. And that’s in the US alone. Now go sit in a corner Tim, and think about all your friends you afflicted with erectile dysfunction because you prescribed septrin for their genital herpes.

#2. People who blindly stick up for others.

Let me preface this entry by pointing out that the only obligation you have to family is that they’re excluded from your list of people to bone. Other than that, they’re just walking pieces meat presumably with a functional soul. You’ve got to wrap your head around the fact that they can be bleeping morons, or occasionally have the wrong ideas, therefore, you can’t let blood ties get in the way of common sense when it comes to sticking up for them. Remember that scene in The Godfather where Michael Corleone coldly warns his brother, Fredo never to stick up for anybody against his family when the family tried to screw Moe Greene? Well, Michael is full of shit, and Fredo is the one with common sense. And that’s saying a lot because Fredo was a pea-brained muppet.

In fact, scratch the family part. The moment you stick up for something/someone not because of your genuine unbiased belief on what/who you’re sticking up for, but for some stupid sentimental reason that doesn’t even make sense to you, it paves the way for some really shitty defense and opens you up to ridiculously well-aimed hits, because you can’t even convince yourself of the nonsense you’re backing.

Sometime around last year, I almost got into an argument with someone on twitter about whose school was better. I only mentioned I was bored of school and wanted to start getting paid for going to classes, when this guy asked which school, and I said Obafemi Awolowo University. The next thing he said was “FUTA is better than OAU.” His only claim to that knee-jerk nonsense is solely because he’s a student of FUTA. Of course I didn’t reply him, but if I did, and said something like, “But we have strip clubs in OAU!”, he’d probably say something like, “But Kim Kardashian visited our library once! How about that Shitball!” It’d become a never-ending circle of who could come up with the fanciest bupkus because his claim is devoid of common sense. Frankly, I wouldn’t know which is better because I’ve never been to FUTA, or know enough about it, or even have any reason to compare schools when I had better things to do.

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Like work on my chair-stacking skills.

When you stick up for the bimbo on the bus because you need a date to your best friend’s co-worker’s grandpa’s wedding, you’re annoying the hell out of normal people like us who just want to get home after a shitful day of chopstick-throwing training. It also doesn’t help that you don’t know jack shit about stegosaurus kidneys , and why they shouldn’t be fed to pregnant cthulhus like your potential date had been arguing. Seriously, it only makes your slide into this list the most ridiculous.

#3. People who don’t admit their errors

Hypothetically, let’s say when you were 9, your kindergarten teacher taught you, among other things, that cockroaches are direct descendants of mosquitoes (relax, it’s an hypothesis). Then you’re lucky enough to not get hit by a bus and make it into adulthood, and then in one of your heated pub debates about animal evolution, your buddy states as a matter of fact, with corroborating internet evidence, that cockroaches are actually direct descendants of rats, what do you do?

If your reply is, “Of course Sam, I’ll call up that knobhead kindergarten teacher immediately and demand a refund of my IQ points damnit”, congratulations, you’re well on your path to not ending up on this list. However, if your reaction is to challenge your buddy to an arm-wrestling contest to determine whose bullshit is righter than the other, congratulations, you just cart-wheeled into this list, stay right on top of that plastic bag in the corner so I won’t have a hard time disposing your body.

Look, when we get into arguments, we don’t want to know that the White House is really painted white, or that Aso Rock is built on rocks, or whether vampires really get infected with AIDS if they drink infected blood. What we really want is to verbally molest the other party into admitting that airplane black boxes are indeed black in colour, because, who is stupid enough to name an orange-coloured box black? And if the other party is being unreasonably difficult enough, and they provide evidence of an actual orange-coloured black box, we attack the source of evidence because their name sounds like they probably have daddy issues and cry themselves to sleep over it every night. Scientists have said that when it comes to arguments, our evolutionary default wiring is to triumph, even if it comes at the price of being totally wrong and irrational. This is probably because we’ve got this stupid competitive drive that clouds our senses to seeking/accepting the truth. This drive makes people not swallow their bullshit knowledge and just let it lie like a male prostitute with premature ejaculation.

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"What do you say we take a break and try this again after 5 minutes, ma'am? Free of charge this time, of course."

Finding out that your long-held knowledge is bullshit is always a bitter pill to swallow, especially if it happens in an argument with your office messenger about how many stacks of pins you can fit into a stappler, but not admitting it, or denying plain facts, just reeks shittitude.

#4. People that fake politeness/humility.

Quick question: How many times have you been on the receiving end of a statement that started with, “I don’t mean to sound like a self-conceited prude but…”, or “I don’t mean to come off as a tribalistic prick but…”, or whatever it is people say they don’t intend to sound like? Now, how many times did those people not sound like they’re full of shit like they just promised they wouldn’t? Once? Twice? Never! That’s how many times.

Unlike a select few asswipes that wear clusterfuckery like a badge of honour, normal people don’t like to be perceived in a negative light, even if that’s what they truly are, or what they turn out as at that point in time. The smartest way to pull this off is by smearing it with the bogus “I don’t want to…but…” bullshit to pull a wool over your eyes. Everything that comes before “but” is as pointless as the jeans a topless Irina Shayk is advertising in this 2011 ad.

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Pictured: Jeans.

So the next time someone looks you in the eye and says, “I don’t mean to sound like a racist asswipe, but I think black people smell like shit after mucking the toilet.”, what they really mean is, “I don’t mean to sound like a racist asswipe, but I think black people smell like shit after mucking the toilet. Also, you’re a dumbass to believe I’m not a racist asswipe.”

It’s safe to say you’re justified if you eventually decide to kill them. Although you might need a good lawyer afterwards.

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And a sound insanity plea of course.

@sammoyd