A community-oriented art & graphic design collective. We make graphic apparel, hand-crafted accessories and produce events. And most importantly, spew randomness about important and non-important topics.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Now I'm a Terrorist

One of my favorite authors Chimamanda Adichie has a feature on TED discussing 'The Danger of a Single Story' Basically highlighting the point that its messed up that Africa to the rest of the world is pretty much a jungle of savages waiting to be saved by the blue-eyed white man.

If you're Nigerian you probably had Christmas day kinda ruined by hearing about the Nigerian man trying to blow up the Northwest Flight. If you're like me you probably also put your hand over your face, bent your head and sighed heavily. You could probably hear the sound of your heart beating faster thinking. "FUUUCCCKKK what does this mean for me now? What opportunities will silently get swiped from underneath me because of the simple fact that I'm Nigerian. Should I change my name? But I will always look Nigerian...(I get the "where are you from question ALL the time). Should I say I'm really Cameroonian not actually Nigerian?"

Maybe I'm exaggerating. Maybe I'm just tripping. Maybe my non-Nigerian friends won't judge me or look at me weird. But it sucks. It sucks because people do shit things all the time, but when it's a blackNigerianlatino person that will be the first word that comes with the headline.
Nigerian man starts fire....
Nigerian Scam...
Nigerian man kills wife...

Why is it SOOOO important that he's Nigerian, why is it so important to use that descriptor over and over and over and over again. I almost shot my self in the head from CNN being on for an hour. Ugh!

I never heard similar headlines beginning with "Whitecaucasian man blah blah blah..."

and so the stereotypes stack up

First I was selling my brothers to the white man
then I was chasing tigers naked and clucking my tongue in the back of my throat
then I was  writing letters to thousands of innocents citizens of scamming them out of their hard earned money
then I was chasing tigers naked and clucking my tongue in the back of my throat
Now i'm bombing damn planes!!

And the list goes on and on...

Maybe now people can change the insults 'jokes' they make about me upon being introduced to me as a Nigerian  "Oh you're Nigerian, are you gonna 419 me? Should I give you my bank account number?"

I wonder how they would feel if I went ahead and said
 "Hey you're white so you gonna put me on a ship and sell me to your grandpa who will then proceed to rape me and make me his slave whore?"



Monday, December 21, 2009

TGFFB (Thank God for Facebook)

So the other day I was talking to one of my besties Original Mgbeke

And since these days 50% of normal human conversation must include references to happenings on Facebook or Youtube, it was only natural that I was relaying stories based on Facebook... we talked and talked and finally I was like "OM come o, thank God for Facebook if not how we go know all these things wey dey happen in the lives of those 'important' to us.You know before I used to say how Facebook will get someone in trouble but now I think I need a moment to Thank Facebook!" And we both responded in unison "Facebook thank you oooooo!"

And then I was moved to continue my exploration into this phenomenon of giving thanks to Facebook:

I have a confession testimony. Before I used to be a dedicated member of the Evangelical Ministry of  FGRM "Facebook ga raputa mmadu" (Facebook can/will destroy a person) but now I have to tell you that I've been firmly converted to the West Division Religious Science Church of  'TGFFB' (Thank God For Facebook).

Now you may ask me Sister Danslayv, to what do you owe this life changing decision? And I will answer "Brothers and Sisters please be patient, I will tell you!"

Facebook has been the culprit of many drastic life altering situations. Situations which may have not occurred or at least been discovered if not for the existence of this famous infamous social networking tool. When I was in the FGRM church I would always utter the phrase "Facebook ga raputa mmadu" while clucking the back of my throat and shaking my head slowly. Other members of the congregation would too. I finally started seeing the light by discovering that things are all about perception. Sometimes in life though things may seem horrible they really are only blessings in disguise.

The following scenarios illustrate how things could be seen in different ways:

Scenario  1.  From Facebook you can find out that your 12 year old niece Ada is doing drugs:

Ada "Hussein" VamVam says : "tk A trIp thrU da wOrld of plAnts!! whOA!!"

You: *thinking in your head* "that's awesome my niece is so smart, looks like we have a Botanist in the making." and then you read the comments to her post

Amyo Pushamyn:  4 a certifiable pothead you sho can do a lot of 'shrooms girl!
37 minutes ago

There are two ways this can be viewed:

In the FGRM doctrine you would be like "OMG I can't believe my 12 year old niece is doing drugs" In the new church of TGFFB ...Well at least now you know a bong would be a perfect gift to get her for the holiday.

Scenario 2. From Facebook you can find out that the dude you're messing with is boinking other chics.
Dude You'reDating:  "Had a mindblowing love session last night...still recovering..."

You: *trying to be relevant and coyly acknowledge that you were part of that experience but you don't wanna put your business out there hard and seem like some kinda ho. So you figure something like a smiley face and ellipses... will do the job; It will be mysterious yet engaging.You can flirt with him and also make onlookers wonder. You wait a few minutes 'cos you don't want to seem like you're hella stalking his post...Finally it's time, you go to his page to reply and see:

Odachic Hebanged:  :)...
9 minutes ago

In the FGRM doctrine you would be like "OMG I can't believe this dude is messing with some other chic!"  In the new church of TGFFB ...Well at least now you know that it wasn't his sick mom he went to visit after he left your bed last night.

Scenario 3. Your brother gets tagged in a picture. It's one of him hospitalized with an IV and bandages on his head.

Afro Man was tagged in an album Mobile Uploads
6 hours ago

You *Almost have a heart attack, but catch yourself* Maybe this is from a play or movie my aspiring actor brother is involved in. *you click comments to research and you see*

Ashley Ripa: 'm gonna 2  to church on sunday.... thank god u still alive....
06 January at 10:50 · Report

06 January at 10:52 · Report

Big Bully Ed Eddie: Yo Nigga them bitches (not niggas cos only a bitch would try to take some nigga for his money we got yo back you gon be good thank god you still with us. you gotta watch the fools around you at all time ya feel me ma nigga. fuc dem niggas who tried to bring you down i mean bitches cos dey sum bitches.
06 January at 10:59 · Report

In the FGRM doctrine you would be like "OMG I can't believe my brother is hospitalized!"  In the new church of TGFFB ...Well at least now you know that your brother almost died and you didn't know.

4. From Facebook you can find out that your Best friend is moving to a foreign country

Best Friend:  Virgin Airlines has some really nice seats yo! Can't wait to get this journey started
You: huh?

Comments on her status updates:

Ashley Ripa: 'have a safe trip girlie. I need to plan a trip out there. miss ya
2 minutes ago

3 minutes ago

Big Bully Ed Eddie: chi ching chung. damn you wuz fo real going to asia. u cool.
5 minutes ago

In the FGRM doctrine you would be like "OMG I can't believe my best friend is going to fucking China and I don't know about this!"  In the new church of TGFFB ...Well at least now you know that your best friend doesn't consider you important enough to tell you a life altering decision such as moving to a foreign country.

So you see my dear friends there are two sides to every Facebook story. It can get you in trouble but it can also make you realize how other people function. To support my claim I have testimonies from some members of the TGFFB eastern chapter about how Facebook changed their lives.

Lovina Adebobi said:
"I am a 30 year old woman and have been dating this man for 3 years in an LDR. I knew we would be getting married and had already started making plans to move to the state that he lived in. I had talked to my job about leaving and given my apartment notice. One day I logged in to facebook and someone had tagged him in a picture. It was a picture of him a woman, 2 children and a baby. In the comments everyone was congratulating them on their new baby and saying how they had such a beautiful marriage that had lasted for 2 years. My family members kept saying FGRM...and I felt like my life was over, Facebook had destroyed my life. But now that I think about it TGFFB because now at least I know."

Clifford Rumptin said:
"If not for everyone's status updates. How else would I have known that Micheal Jackson was dead? I was able to quickly turn it around and promote my MJ parties and make T-shirts. I don't even like MJ... now I'm rich biatch!"

Do you have a life changing story about how Facebook changed your life? If you do please share with us.

Sister N

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Reader's Digest

I've been reading a lot of op-eds lately that have got me thinking...
This NYT article about how race factors into employment more so in the recession saddened me but made more determined to do what I can to make a meaningful difference. We individually do a lot of volunteer work on and off our day jobs, for instance, N works for an after-school youth program. That right there is affecting the lives of young people. Though the day-to-day activities could be tasking, I know that some of the things she says to some of the kids will stick with them for years to come. Among other things, she's involved with Loco Bloco who by the way, are putting on a fund raising event, so if you're in the Bay Area you should look into it. Over the years for me, I have basically looked for opportunities where I can work with kids and technology. I currently volunteer through a women-techies program to introduce middle school girls to engineering, I've coached for FLL, tutored high school kids for a math competition and I've been toying with the idea of teaching a financial literacy class though Girls Inc.

Back to the point I was trying to make, after reading that article and some of the comments, I am thankful I volunteered to be on my company's recruiting team we need more empathetic people to be involved in the recruiting process. I truly believe that it is so important to find ways to pay it forward when you have landed that job unfortunately not enough people do that and how easy it is to forget that you were once on the outside looking in.

I'm a part-time lurker at Racialicious and it was from there I got put on to Model Minority, she has written so many thought-provoking pieces that resonate with me, none more than this piece on Beyonce. I am not the biggest Beyonce fan, I'll listen to a song or two of hers when it's on the radio but you will be hard pressed to find any of her music in my mp3 player or doing her dances enthusiastically in the club. Most days I can half-intelligently explain to folks why I do not like her. All I have been able to say to people in my conversations about her is there is something disturbing about knowing that some dude can mute his tv and jerk off to your music video and you don't care because the numbers in your bank account increase exponentially every year. Some points that I have noted for future use which M.Dot points out are:

Why is a light skinned middle class Black woman from the suburbs of Houston perpetually singing about needing a baller when she made $87M in 07-08 and what role does this play in normalizing transactional relationships (money for sex) between young Black people?
...that's all folks, and now, back to the grind...