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Happy New Year 2014!

Hard to believe 2013's over and 2014's here. The year surely went fast. Raising my glass to a better year. See you at the other side. Ciao! 

Five most important traits that distinguish Nigerians

1. Pride -- even with our country all fae-ed like a burnt tomato burger, we all feel a slight hint of pride to come from her. Even when we disown her, we still feel "blessed" with the skills we've got because of her faekryness. It's this pride that rubs most foreigners, especially African Americans, the wrong way. They don't know that we don't know how to turn it off as it flows in our blood. And most time, 99.5 percent of the time, we're unaware of it.

2. Entrepreneurship -- it's in us. I wonder why. But, I suspect the truth can only be dished in a PhD dissertation. The entrepreneurial spirit can be seen in our illegal conducts. I mean, I look at the 419ners (internet scammers) and I'm amazed at the business sense. Only wished it were put to good use. And Nigerians that put such spirit into good use, well, unstoppable.

The Awesomeness of Agent Melinda May

While I may not be an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fan, I am a huge fan of  Agent Melinda May, played by Ming-Na We. There's so many things that rush to mind about Agent May, but bad-ass keeps repeating itself. I mean, the pictures say it all.



Red in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

One is introduced to the color red at the very beginning of the story: “my face is red: the color of blood, which defines us,” “I never looked good in red, it is not my color,” “some fairy-tale figure in a red cloak,” sister, dipped in blood”, “the one assigned to me, which is red”, “red umbrella” (8, 9). Red is repeated over and over again. One gets the sense that the color plays a very important role in the story and one needs to take note of it.


One later finds out that the color indeed is significant as it's the color the handmaids are assigned to wear. To get a deep grasp of the red color implication, you need to understand who exactly the handmaids are: they actually are baby incubators assigned to commanders whose wives cannot bear children. They perform wordless sex, referred to as the “ceremony,” with the commanders while the wives watch. After which, they give the children born out of the ceremonial union to the wives to call their own.

Review of The Piano by Jane Campion

The Piano by Jane Campion is a movie about a mute Ada McGrath who, alongside her young daughter and her prized piano, travels to the 1850s New Zealand, where her arranged wealthy landowner husband lives. There, a local worker on the plantation lusts after her. The worker painstakingly takes advantage of her love/obsession for her piano. She is defenseless against the situation, and falls in love with him.
The movie has a disturbing and violent feel to it, even though there are no violent scenes. Perhaps this effect can be viewed as a reflection of Campion's talent. Unfortunately, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes me negatively disposed to the movie. I honestly do not understand the message Campion tries to convey with the movie. Maybe it is just me, but I had hoped that the ending would be different. I had hoped that Ada McGrath, the protagonist, would stand up to George Baines, her sexual tormentor. I know that there is a great chance of a woman falling in love with th…

@JenniferNettles' That Girl Video

Two hours ago, the link to the video popped on Sugarland's Facebook page, with a picture so catchy, you couldn't wait to click on the link.
In the video, we see Jennifer as two women, a blonde and a brunette. To help explain this video, I shall be using the words "blonde" and "brunette" to differentiate the two women.

i said hello. you

I said hello. You ran. the swift cutting breeze, the intensity of how you
feel. lack. i stand under the sycamore tree, pushing my dark rim frame closer. shield
me, protect me. the lens fail. eyes pool. i think.
i usually dash. for you, i stood. cathartic, hurting,

vulnerable. i stretched hello and you fled. leaving
me with. 'was it meant to be?' Oh, I Ling-

Child Abuse (My Words, My Story) -- @EvaAlordiah

Stories like this need to be told in this way: with emotion and context. Stories like this should be about reaching the child who might be going through the same situation or who might have. Stories like this need to be told because we have a lot to do. I have a lot to do. You have a lot to do. One negative tendency of Nigerians is to smolder in the "pretense" of helping. We need to learn how to help with abusing the survivor in turn.

It is some months before August, the dates running all the way back into the calendars of the early 90s. In a few months from this day, she will turn 7 years old, maybe even have a big school party like her friend Aisha had weeks back. But today, while she’s still 6 years old and counting.

@JenniferNettles' #ThatGirl, Full Lyrics and Review

It's no secret that I am a die-hard country music fan. If you want to get the chronology of my love for it, tweet at me at @olubela.
      Like many, I was glad to hear that Jennifer Nettles was working on her solo album. I love Sugarland, but I lurve me some Jennifer Nettles. I often have felt she needed to get one Female of the Year CMA award. Haba! Also, most people don't know this, but JN comes from a rock background, which is why she always would cover at least one rock song during her tour performances. I believe it will be obvious in her new album too. By the way, I have never seen someone who loves to perform like JN. Beyonce comes close. When you add JN's electic background to her unique-twang voice, you can't help but get excited for her new work. I predict it would stun the country music world and it will be a great year for her. I mostly am excited about That Girl, her first single which you can listen to below.

An ode to Alex and Her Glasses (#OITNB)

I usually don't do this. But, Alex Vause's pair of glasses deserves a post of its own. My earlier review of the series can be found here.

Orange Is The New Black (#OITNB): You Need to be Watching

On Thursday, with all my irritation and darkness, I surfed through Netflix to sight Orange is the New Black(OITNB) at my topmost feed. So, I thought to myself. Why not give it a try? If the first episode is bad, you get out. I haven't watched Hemlock Grove and gave up on Arrested Development after a couple episodes. As I clicked on it, I hoped it was like House of Cards. It was and much better.

First twenty seconds, the series punches you in the gut. You can either leave at this point or journey further. If you decide to proceed, you have to drop all preconceived notions. Boys and girls around the globe probably pulled up a bit more. In my case, I raised my right eyebrow in interest. The moment hits me. While others see a steamy shower, I see a stance, a promise, the first line of the book. The director, writer, producer and actors promise me no bullshit story.

Grey's Anatomy's Finale, Calzona, The Cheating, The Fallout, My Interpretation

After nine years of staying clear of Grey's Anatomy, because I didn't get the bed hopping part, still don't and because the show has a low range of emotional depth, I watched my first voluntary episode three weeks ago. I had heard somewhere on the grapevine that Peyton from One Three Hill showed her face on GA and was hitting hard on Arizona. Dr. Peyton One Three Hill hitting on Arizona or any other person, I had to see that. So, I watched Readiness is All. Hawtness shall not be overemphasized. Now, even though I actively never had watched an episode of GA, I knew all about it. Knew that Calzona -- Callie and Arizona -- is the sexiest lesbian couple on TV.

    I watched the on-call room escapade and the uproar that followed. Even worse, had to stand through Callie's emotional face when she sees Arizona's engagement ring pinned on Dr. Peyton OTH's scrubs and decipher how it got there, to Arizona screaming "you weren't there," to Callie saying…

My Love-Fest with TV II

Defiance
Synopsis: an American science fiction television series, with a massively multiplayer online game video game tied into the series, Defiance is set in the near future, where aliens known collectively as Votans have come to Earth seeking a new home after their star system was destroyed in a stellar collision. Defiance stars Jaime Murray and Tony Curran as Stahma Tarr and Datak Tarr: the Castithan power couple, Julie Benz as Amanda Rosewater: the newly appointed mayor of Defiance, Grant Bowler as Joshua Nolan: the local lawman, Stephanie Leonidas as Irisa Nyira: Nolan’s alien adopted daughter, Graham Greene as Rafe McCawley: the owner of the largest mine in the territory, and Mia Kirshner as Kenya: Amanda's sister and the proprietress of Need and Want brothel. Defiance premiered April 15, 2013 on US’ Syfy and Canada’s Showcase, April 16 on Brazil’s, France’s, United Kingdom’s, Ireland’s, Germany’s, Spain’s Syfy, April 18 on Australia’s SF, May 5 on Portugal’s TVSeries, and …

A Visit to Apollo: through my brother's lens

Last month, my brother, Atilola Olubela, underwent his first excursion to Apollo, Makoko, Lagos and has this to share:
March 3, 2013 was a remarkable day that called for deeper reflection, I had no wedding and event to cover and decided to be a part of "The Silent Majority Project" exhibition by one of Nigeria's finest documentary photographer, Mr Adolphus Opara, organised by Goethe-Institut Lagos. This became my first visit to the acclaimed and highly Makoko, sort by both local and international artists. I have always seen Makoko in paintings, photographs and the regular panoramic view from the third-main land bridge, I had always wondered what world would be out there. The closest experience I ever had to this visit was the BBC documentary "Welcome To Lagos", which was a heart-wrenching one ... hmmm! The Ojota episode was also touching. Seriously, my heart has always skipped since this experience. Makoko, a world contrast of Venice, a crude cosmopolitan and a…

Holden Caulfield, an anti-educational teenager in J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

Holden Caulfield, the 17-year-old protagonist of J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, is anti-education. He has been expelled from different schools. He is seen to have no drive and no goal to pursue; just a wanderer trying to find himself. He does not make any effort to pass his courses. In Pencey Prep, he had carried over five subjects which of course, he fails except English in which he passes because he “didn’t have to do any work in English at all hardly, except write compositions once in a while” and it is pretty obvious that it takes him little effort and time to write as seen in Stradlater’s composition episode (10).

Continuation of the Experimental Writing

Nine months after my last tweet, I can finally put this up and continue my unnamed tweetstory. If you remember, I was tweeting the tweetstory while taking night classes. Things happened one after the other and I stopped tweeting for a couple weeks. By the time I was ready to, it seemed quite an effort to scroll down to find where I stopped, blog it and continue tweeting. So, I decided to wait for the promised archive which I didn't get until a few days ago. If you're just starting, you need to start here first before reading this installment.
Ona walks to the precinct. She walks towards her desk. She sits down, pulls a drawer open, she pulls out a yellow manila file.
— oluwa-is-involved (@olubela) May 26, 2012
"The Captain wants to see you" Casey walks from the coffee stand, her hands in her pocket.
— oluwa-is-involved (@olubela) May 26, 2012
"Thanks," Ona stands up and walks towards the Captain's office.
— oluwa-is-involved (@olubela) May 26, 2012

Naturalism in “Eveline”

Naturalism emphasizes the effects of environmental and social circumstances on people’s actions and behaviors. “Eveline,” a short story by James Joyce about a young lady who is torn between her duty to her family and her desire for escape, is filled with naturalist elements such as third-person point of view narration, lack of choice due to social or environmental constraint, and reacts against sentimental romantic literature.
    “Eveline” is initially narrated from a detached third person point of view which transitions into Eveline’s point of view. In the second paragraph, the narrator presents readers with the events occurring outside the window Eveline is leaning on: “few people passed. The man out of the last house passed on his way home, she heard his footstep clacking along the concrete pavement and afterwards crunching on the cider path before the new red houses.”

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

Although Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier is a story about infidelity and betrayal, it is also about the mind frame of Dowell, the narrator. This is evident in the narrative style Ford uses. Dowell’s disorganized tale shows that he has lost his sense of reason and order, and is quite confused. His confusion can be attributed to the realization of his wife adultery and the circumstances of his discovery. Therefore, the story is about two set of crisis: the characters’ lives and Dowell’s psychological state. And to understand the crisis in the characters’ life, you have to understand the confusion in Dowell’s mentality.

We Are Nigerians - Journey to Amalgamation Documentary

Obi Asika tweeted this video a while ago. The documentary is too powerful to not have its history lesson written out. So, I spent three hours transcribing its message. I hope you read and share this post or the video itself. It is important that we learn our past in order to craft out the future we dream, seek, and criticize our leaders about.  Next year, it will be a hundred years since the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Nigeria into one country. Was it worth it or was it a mistake?



My New and Concurrent Love-Fest with TV

Lost Girl
Synopsis: This Canadian science fiction beauty and my current obsession tells the tale of supernatural seductress succubus Bo, who feeds off both people’s sexual energy and life force (chi), and her various friends in the fae community. The series basically runs around Bo’s search for her identity – for she had been abandoned at birth by her biological parents and her foster parents/experiences were not  exactly poster board material –, ability control, and her hero ego – she has this constant ache to help both humans and fae. Fae are supernatural beings with extraordinary powers predating the rise of humans who usually keep themselves hidden, and have worked hard to make humanity believe that they are just myths.

Feminism in Angela Carter’s “The Magic Toyshop”

In The Magic Toyshop, Angela Carter tells of scenarios of how and why women tend to be dependent on men. In doing so, she explores the subjectivity, victimization and sexuality of women. Melanie’s reliance on her father, Uncle Philip, and possibly Finn, is reminiscent of the women in her life and suggestive of the societal values of her time.

In the beginning, the reader experiences Melanie's discovery of herself – as a creation made of flesh and blood, and as a sexual being (1). She imagines herself as a nude model for Lautrec and sees her self-worth in the appreciating gaze of a man and not in her mental prowess.

Who is the Right One?

Note: I wrote this post over two years and five months ago but never published it until now.
    I must tell you that this post is in response to Glory Edozien's article, Addicted to Love. Now as I read the article, my emotions ran amuck, from wanting to shout 'yes!' to 'preach it' to 'steady there, not totally so.' Gloria professes that love between a man and a woman is totally non-existent and that love between a mother and her child is basically the purest of love in itself. I agree, to a point. Love is real and tangible, and it is feasible between a man and a woman. Couples can make their love work and long lasting. However, I believe our problem most times is our fundamental definition of love.

Magical Realism in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The constant use of magical realism in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao caught my fancy. Now, I have read some magical realism stories and they were either the classic vampire/witch/werewolf story or just one event that had trace of magic in it like "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But, it is not so in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. If it was just the “fuku” that is just portrayed in the novel, it would have been different. Rather, other magical encounters were recounted in the book to make it more authentic and provide the feeling of a rich culture. Now, I come from a culture that has its share of magic too. This made me see the book, as not just a story but also a biography of a young boy in an exotic culture.

Should Virgina Woolf's Flush be Considered as a Literary Canon

To be or not to be is always the basis of contention in all humans. In the case of Flush, the debate seems to be whether it, meaning Flush, fits into the literary canon- the modernist canon to be exact. The literary canon, according to Kershner, is “the accepted academic list of writers to be studied” (39). Therefore, if what is accepted in the literary canon is determined by a group of people, acclaimed critics of that era, then what is actually the criteria for such distinguished badge of canonical status? Is it the relationship between the work and the historical, or the artistic and social context of the era the work was published? Or is it being relevant to the changes, experiences and context of the writer, public and the supposed law on canonical issues?

The Role of a Woman, According to the Bible

It is not surprising that the difference in the versions of the creation account has been used for many centuries to relegate women to a lesser role and substantiate a male dominated culture. In the tablet of the Ten Commandments, it is written “thou shalt not covet their neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet their neighbor wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is they neighbor’s,” thereby lowering woman as a possession of man, one whose importance is gleaned from her man, as in the case of Adam and Eve (Deut 5:21).

Playing in the heavenlys

Staring steadfast at the parti- tions. Minutes of twists and emotions burst forth: Letters, alphabets, cubes circles, square, yellow, blue, red splash and lines twirling on a wild-goose chase. But why?

"Playing Classics" by Tatiana Selvinskaya

Tatiana Selvinskaya is a Russian who was born to the house of Ilya Selvinsky, the renowned Russian poet and leader of the constructivist. Invariably, Tatiana was exposed to different types of arts as a young girl. Which is why it's no surprise that she became a very virtuoso person: wrote a lot of poems, painted quite a lot of series and many others.
     This particular painting is contextually that of a lady lying down naked and looking at the face of a man.

Analysis of Trenton Doyle Hancock's Descension and Dissention

Trenton Doyle Hancock, an American fine artist, was born in 1974 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and grew up in Paris, Texas. Hancock received his Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, and his Master’s from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia. Hancock creates prints, drawings, and collaged felt paintings that tell stories of a fantastical nature through use of abstract expressionism and surrealism. He also mixes drawing with abstract expressionist painting or collage.
     The Descension and Dissention is a piece of collage in the “We Done All We Could and None of It’s Good” collection that was exhibited in the USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, from January 14 to March 10, 2011. The depiction is that of a white skeleton being prevented from falling into a