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.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New Fela Kuti T-shirts & Hoodies Available Now

It took us long enough but they are here! Just in time for... whatever they're in time for. Get these now, because they are selling way too fast for us to keep up with! More stuff coming soon.

Monday, February 18, 2013

OMG There's a mf Blog on this mf Plane!!

Remember in the old old days of yore when flying was actually a pleasant experience? You would get all dressed for travel and with your luggage set head to the check-out counter and say something like “May I please buy a ticket to ….....?”

Remember when after you did pack your luggage you could just had it over to be checked in and tagged and they wouldn't cuff your wrist and rob you of another $35 dollars for one suitcase? $50 for the second?

And seeing that you were in fact all dressed you wouldn't have to get all undressed again in public and be herded through the cattle gate, and then have to empty out all your luggage because had a bottle of the really expensive perfume you got as a gift for your mother-in-law which you won't be able to give her anymore because the cattle herders just informed you they suspect you have plans to bomb the plane?

Remember when travel was a GOOD experience? Complete with this seemingly archaic notion called 'customer service'?

Don't get me wrong (as I stand on my soapbox here). I am the ultimate technology-for-everything is better and people NEED TO LEARN HOW TO NAVIGATE THE AIRPORT and yes keep the line moving that window is open omg can't you learn how to just go and check and not stand there like a moron KEEP IT MOVING. GAH! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Down girl! Right...right okay I'm conflicted of course because I am one of those people who appreciate the use of technology in getting things done. Blame it on the 'awkward' black girl in me, and my intense fear of dealing with various customer service personnel. But that's for another post another day. Just take my word for it now. Please, let's focus on what we came here for. Back to the story

As a kid and into my teens I traveled a fair amount. With my family and also by myself. I remember how exhilarating it was walking around the airport, seeing and meeting all different types of people, and when you got on the plane that was an adventure in itself, making friends (gasp) with people, learning about where they were from and going, playing games, watching movies, looking out the window and wondering where in the world we were.

{Insert self reflection and guilt trip}
To be frank these days I do my fair share (okay large greedy portion) of “don't talk to me, I'm: reading a book/listening to music/actively trying not to talk to you”. But these days the feelings of airport and airplanes (still somewhat exhilarating because it usually means that I'm going somewhere) makes me sad and disappointed in the world, people, corporations (news flash), all of the above.

It may be due to the fact that I'm getting older or that I'm simply getting more aware and invested in what I've decided is the simple cure for a lot of societal trauma: 'talking' to each other and being kind when we do. Over simplified? Okay! Idealistic? Why Yes! Utopian? Of course! But on a serious note, I'm starting to feel this way. Obviously not enough to actually practice it but (don't judge me yet) I'm working my way there.

Okay back to Story.

Oh look! you finally made it to the plane that you're not going to bomb. For entertainment maybe everyone will have their own individual TV screen, or else have various personal zombie gadgets. Remember when we actually just watched a movie on the few big screens? I can't help but feel that at least as a group we shared something. There was always going to be that weird guy laughing too much too loud, but a lot of time we would all be laughing, or ooohing or sideways sniffling together.
These days all we share are disenchanted looks from flight attendants, impatience and the feeling that finally as cattle we had arrived on the trailer and were waiting to be deposited to the butcher.

Gosh this woman. Keeps straying!! Will you just stick to the story?

Okay story: When I was 11 (I think) I was on a flight from Nigeria to Spain and developed an intense case of food poisoning. Asides from the fact that it was probably one of the most awful experiences of my life at the time, all I really remember today was how nice, caring patient and helpful the flight attendants were to my mother and I. They kept checking up on me, cleaning up again and again, and finally making me a make-shift bed in the flight attendant area, where after puking my guts out I finally was able to sleep my way back to health and a resolution never to eat chicken again.

These days I think about this and wonder: were they nice because they were non-Americans? No that can't be. So because the answer is not that simple I have to explore it more, on a pseudo-philosophical level that is.

But before I do, one more gripe. Remember when we would have warm meals on long flights where you'd had to dig your fork in and wonder if that in fact was 'chicken' or 'beef'? Now you're left to pay $10 dollars for a dry too-cold 'chicken' sandwich or $15 for 4 cubes of cheese and 6 even smaller cubes of fruit that look nothing like it was pictured on the inflight 'menu'.

Back to waxing philosophical.
So are they (the flight attendants) and us (because we're not nice to them or ourselves either) just overworked? By our jobs? By the System? By each other?

Because through all of this I can't help but have this childish tantrum feeling that “Everything sucks!” Humanity is diminishing as capitalism is idolized
Kaiser Permanente is more interested in getting my $25 co-payment and pushing me out in 15 mins or less than they are about actually helping me to get better.

p.s. This post was written on a plane. I promise next time I fly I'll say a few words to the person(s) sitting next to me and maybe even make a pen pal.

p.p.s This post was also originally written a week before #occupy Wall Street began

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Reason to Live: The Future is Greater

Have you ever been asked the question: "What keeps you going?" ? What is your typical answer to that?
 For me depending on where I am or the context of the question, the answer varies but is usually the same.

What keeps me going?
  1. My immediate family, whom I adore and admire
  2. The future/Youth
Working with youth for me has increasingly grown over the years to be akin to eating and breathing. What is the point of life if I'm not investing in the future? Why even bother? They are hope, that in a fucked up world that we've created we can still make something better.

My mom almost always says to me in those 'what are you doing with your life?' phone conversations "I want my kids to be better than me." At first I would sigh and want her to stop blabbing but now I'm repeating the same thing to my youth. She also named me 'Nkeiruka' which means: 'What is coming (the future) is greater'. Little did she (or I) know at the time that I would manifest this almost to a fault (at least if you ask her sometimes).

I know it's a cliche saying that 'Children are our future' and a lot of times it's said without the meaning or weight that it carries. But for me it's pretty much one of the few phrases that matter to me in life, and almost everything I do has to be branched with that as the root.

Sometimes I lose sight or I get frustrated with the process, but watching videos (below) like these makes me inspired to see that other people are working with the same value.

So I can keep it in my head that the only thing that matters in this world is the young people coming after me. 

Happy Mardi Gras!

your neighborhood bleeding heart radical,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Romanticizing My Heritage: Igbo

Nairaland is the place to be to talk about all aspects of Nigerian culture. Sometimes I get too sucked in, it ends up being a time warp. A lovely one nonetheless. I've found myself here from random google searches, to my husband and I doing research for our Igba Nkwu wedding ceremony, and to creating atmosphere for my book (*cough*).  Was just looking at some really cool photos folks posted of Colonial Igboland. Make me both smile & tear up. (More about this in another post)

 Check out that hair!