In what seemed like a confirmation of all the conspiracy theory surrounding the “ominous” Friday the 13th (which is widely regarded as Black Friday, an unlucky day according to Western superstition), French nationals and the rest of the world witnessed deadly multiple attacks on the Bataclan Music Center, (where incidentally, the band named “Eagles of Death Metal” were performing) as well as the La Belle Equippe restaurant and the Le Carillion bar cafe. It was undoubtedly a weekend that the French would never forget as they were hit with the double tragedy of horrific terror attacks and a high-speed train derailment in Eckwersheim on Saturday too. Friday’s carnage was one attack too many as it was the second time in less than a year that Paris would be rocked by terrorist attacks following the French satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo shooting in January.
Last Tuesday, Arsenal football club won the first leg of their Champions League Group F match against German champions and current league leaders Bayern Munich. It was not written in the script. It was not a shabby victory by the way, it was an emphatic two-nil win over a formidable team that were yet to lose a game this season prior to the Arsenal defeat. Then, it occurred to me – Before the match, Arsenal were clearly the underdogs. Not many gave them a fighting chance, but they pulled a rabbit out of a hat by doing the seemingly impossible.
Ladies and gentlemen, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to write about this subject matter, because somewhere in my subconscious I hoped and prayed that the scourge of rape would have greatly reduced by now. I have also been reluctant to tackle this issue, because there’s no way to write about rape without feeling a good measure of anger and sadness – emotions I was shying away from. The rape epidemic in Nigeria has been increasing at an alarming rate daily. The virtue of the women folk in particular has become endangered in our society. It is virtually impossible to open the crime section of any newspaper nowadays without reading about one reported case of rape or the other. It is baffling, as it is very worrisome because many non-governmental organisations, groups and individuals have been quite active in the fight against this plague. Yet incidents of rape keep rising.
When I did a piece on “How To Be A Nigerian” here I omitted the fact that Nigerians love noise. It is almost unforgivable and I apologise for that. Our undisputable love for noise should perhaps have come first on the list of the factors to look out for in identifying a typical Nigerian. The average Nigerian thrives in a noisy environment, whether on the streets, in our homes, cars, offices, churches and mosques who perpetually hold vigils and early morning services (are arguably the worst culprits when it comes to propagating noise) or at events. It’s almost as though we are not existing when we don’t make noise.
I don’t consume any of the carbonated malt drinks. I discovered very early on that I didn’t like them. Not for any health or prejudiced reasons, I just didn’t (and still don’t) like the bitter aftertaste. I tried to like them. I felt I was weird because everyone (or at least everyone I knew) loved malt drinks. It is the preference at parties and many other functions as many believe it is a better option to other lower priced carbonated soft drinks. I have been at get-togethers where it was the only drink served and I had to pass on it, but not without escaping the curious stares of fellow attendees some of whom would ask why I wasn’t having it, wondering if it had to do with some weight loss program. My reply has always been the same – ‘No, it has nothing to do with a diet plan. I just don’t like the taste.’ I have come to accept it and have long since stopped trying to force myself to drink it.
The often unnecessary and sometimes exasperating use of abbreviations and acronyms have become a staple of our communication diets. They have slipped into everyday use in modern day communication. Even though abbreviations or shortened form of words or phrases are sometimes required in writing or typing, especially when taking lengthy notes or in using the short message service, many of us take its usage too far. Nowadays, a good percentage of young adults and even older people have caught the bug of excessively using abbreviations in written communication. It has assumed a worrying dimension as it is succeeding in polluting the English language, as well as encouraging growing laziness in young adults in particular.
Wednesday, the 17th of June saw yet another attack on blacks in the USA. In perhaps the most sordid and confounding killing in recent times, a white male sauntered into a predominantly black church where a group of Christians had come together for bible study, “worshipped” with them for about an hour before unleashing terror on the unsuspecting gathering. It was one attack too many.
It’s 2015, we are well into the 21st century, and one important factor that comes with these times is that there are virtually no rules anymore. The phrase “Anything goes” is the unofficial slogan of the modern world. Gone are the days when there were generally acceptable standards of conduct and behavior. Today, any action or inaction, misconduct or impropriety can be explained away or defended. To question these things is to risk to being seen as overtly conservative or intolerant. The concept of having rules or laws is predicated upon identifying and separating good from bad, as well as put a check on people’s tendency towards excesses. In our current world, all appurtenances of caution have been thrown to the wind! The question is how far are we going to keep pushing moral boundaries in the name of being true to self or beliefs? Well, your guess is as good as mine.
No doubt, children are a blessing to anyone who is lucky enough to have them. Oftentimes, parents talk about giving their children the best they can afford. Where matters concern the fruit of our loins, nothing is too much or beyond reach. Some even go the extent of borrowing or committing crimes just to satisfy the needs of their child, but many times parents and guardians forget that when it comes to raising children, money is not necessarily the most important factor. Inculcating the values of discipline, integrity, honesty, respect, self-confidence and an appreciation of their mother tongue (the focus of this piece) in our offspring doesn’t cost money.
In 2013, a teenager in the USA was murdered while home alone. She had tweeted “Have the house to myself everybody gone” a few hours before she was found dead. This unfortunate incident might not be a common occurrence in this part of the world, but it certainly calls for some reflection on the amount of information we choose to share online. The truth is that quite a number of people share far too much information, especially on social networking sites. Once in a while, we are guilty of over-sharing information about our personal lives. You only need to visit the various social media platforms to be convinced of this.