Celebrating 100 Days of ASUU

Hello guys,

People involved in the chronological business of keeping time– whether they are the Mayans or the…err(I can’t remember the other ones)– have always considered 100 days an iconic benchmark to be acknowledged with ceremonious reverence in tune with the event in question. Different government administrations mark their century of days in office with celebrations and scorecards to review how well they have performed. There obviously, would be no such celebrations as the strike action embarked on by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) reaches the 100 day mark.

Strike actions are not exactly a rare occurrence in Nigeria– they seem to happen faster than a hat would drop from the head to the floor. Committees to end such strikes also spring up with similar alacrity. This particular strike, however has enjoyed a baffling longevity that has seen countless meetings end in deadlocks, various protests by different parties directed at different parties amount to nothing. It has also seen the formation and dissolution of different committees and sub committees.

These past 100 days of strike have seen events unfold with the pace of a big budget Hollywood movie; so many actors with interchanging roles of hero and villain, well rehearsed speeches with iconic quotes, the loss of some cast members and introduction of new ones and intriguing plot twists that have held everyone spellbound on the unending saga.

Mehn- forget grammar, the matter tire me. I just had to call on my oga, Amb. Tobi Johannes Wojuola, to talk about the issue from his own viewpoint–

“Crazies, this is my boss, to whom I give tuale, listen to him”

I looked at the calendar today; it was the 8th of October 2013, and like any other day, at least since the 2nd of July. Something inside me however kept telling me that today was a special day, a day to dance, to merry, to eat more than the three squared meal, to be excited and celebrate something. That something, I knew not. Not until I had finished saying the morning prayers and eaten breakfast did I get a call from my Uncle, Richard, which was rather weird, as he seldom called me; he began the conversation saying; “Tobi, today is your hundredth day in office, tell me what you have been able to achieve since you got into power”, I replied him in my state of confusion and asked if I was the original intent of his call, he laughed at me and said, “Eku ASUU oo”. At that point I had all the puzzle pieces in their right places; from the early morning excitement to Uncle Richard’s weird introductory lines when he called. Today was a day to celebrate ASUU’s hundredth striking day, a day students had laughed about after the second week of the strikes’ commencement, it never looked like it was coming and so everyone had always been eager to hear that by next week the strike would be called off. Several times I would be at the school library during the strike and I would chat with my friends who had left school urging them to return to school soon that there were heads up that the strike would be called off in good time

In truth, a hundred days in the education of the lives of millions of young people has just been wasted into history and would never be retrievable. Amidst anticipation of a resolve of the stalemate between the Federal Government and the ASUU leadership, students have patiently received the hard blows from the effects of the strike; having a stunted education program, brains left idle and so many adverse –EHEN! I have remembered; Mayans or Gregorians… Oga sorry, oya continue–effects. Nonetheless, there is the a common saying that we each all have our twenty-four hours and our successes depend on what we do with this time. It has been approximately two thousand four hundred hours of striking time and if you are the student who sleeps ten hours a day, then well-done, you have slept one thousand hours of striking time.

The question then is how have you used your two thousand four hundred hours of ASUU Strike to make better your life and society? Did you spend this period watching all the movies and series America could offer? Or did you decide to spend the striking time at an internship, trying to better yourself in your chosen career? Or did you open up a shop or learn a skill or an art? – How productive has the hundred striking days been to you as a student?

One may ask why I chose the word Celebrating a hundred days of ASUU strike instead of Mourning a hundred days, anyway, here is why; being conscious of the unpredictable nature of ASUU and the Federal Government, I chose not to suspend any hitherto project or work I was doing till the end of strike, I said to myself, that I was going to continue till I was done with them, whether or not the strike was called off sooner or later. That I did, and remained within the University environs; studying at the library, helping out at the University Law Clinic and working on my final year project. I also continued the hustle to get the fourth edition of LOL! Magazine (where I am the Editor in Chief) out, and also to establish consistency with LOL! TV which had just kicked off a month before the strike commenced. In no time I had gone considerably far in my project and in the first week of September the fourth edition of LOL! Magazine was out and at the beginning of October the sixth production from LOL! TV had dropped with the seventh to be released at the end of the month. I guess, for me, this is worth celebrating a 100 days of ASUU Strike.

Like Adele, who turned a heartbreak into Grammies, this is just a bit of what thousands of students have been able to achieve during these striking days; they have been able to take advantage of the situation; call them opportunists, but they are paving a way for themselves in and beyond the school environment. Now you may want to ask yourself, what creative and productive activity have you embarked on during this strike? If the gauge does not show a result worth bragging about, just remember, the stalemate is still on, and from the obvious, Daddy and Mummy are still fighting over soup money, the food would not be ready any time soon, cook yours!

This food for thought as we dey wait make food done na from Tobi Wojuola, Editor-in-chief, LOL! Magazine, Producer, LOL!TV(I go knack you my rates for all the advert wey you do) and controller of all the fine girls wey dey FCT.

I have missed you guys… Tuts

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Schadenfreude- their damage, our joy

“What a fearful thing it is that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing. And yet in more than one, such a word is found….. In the Greek, Epikhairekakia,in the German, ‘Schadenfreude.’ “
This assertion, made by Richard C. Trench in 1852 is iconic, both in the beauty of its delivery and the relevance of its implications. Surely, you are already shaking your head in conviction, completely certain you are not guilty of this fleeting bout of sadism. However, before you are completely entrapped in your bog of self righteousness, take a moment to consider… that deep sense of satisfaction you feel watching dictators get over thrown and dragged through the streets, that smile you try to hide when the daughter of the ‘holiest’ sister in church is impregnated, the euphoria you experience when that ‘big girl’ snaps her heel and is publicly humiliated or the hearty laughter you have when the best player from your rival team breaks his leg… this brief spurt of delight you are undoubtedly now ashamed to have felt in these scenarios is officially known as Schadenfreude.
Schadenfreude, a German word literally translated to mean “Damage Joy”, is defined as a guilty, undisclosed feeling of satisfaction or pleasure at someone else’s misfortune. In most cases, this feeling is not a voluntary reaction, it is just a program written into the very core of our nature. Philosopher and sociologist, Theodor Adorno, described Schadenfreude as unexpected, pertinent but meaningless bliss at the suffering of others. The feeling is ingrained, forget about eradicating it- trust me your resolution would be shattered by the very next ‘oga at the top’ video.
Sadly, these sadistic bouts are not reserved only for people we don’t know. Family, friends, the dude with the highest C.G.P.A. are all potential objects of this unkind form of amusement. This should explain why your daughter’s answer to the question: “why did you come 4th this term?” is “daddy, Junior was 14th in his own class”. Now that I consider it, it also explains why my first words as a child were “ntoo” and “obii” and my first sentence was “that is good for you.”
So, why do we feel Schadenfreude?
According to Wilco W. van Dijk, a researcher on the subject, you feel Schadenfreude when you have something to gain from the misfortune of someone else (a slip-up by a rival in the office), when you are envious of such a person (the divorce of that popular actress you abhor) or when you feel he is deserving of whatever calamity has befallen him (think Gaddafi and the legion of ousted and disgraced dictators). Wilco linked Schadenfreude with low self esteem and based on findings from an experiment, he deduced that people with low self esteem would do almost anything to feel better. This gives them a high propensity to feel ‘damage joy’ when confronted with the misfortunes of other people.
It is too bad that this phenomenon shares a close relationship with self-esteem because the sad truth is that a large majority of people hide a deep rooted sense of insecurity and inadequacy. We feel we should be one rung higher up on the ladder– more beautiful, taller, smarter, richer or funnier. This feeling dumps us in a murky quagmire of misery—a dark place that only looks brighter whenever we see someone who is worse off. This is why the lynching of the unlucky cat-burglar attracts such large crowds. Nothing offers a better escape from the depressing implications of losing that contract or her ‘missed period’ than the sight of a stranger getting the nine lives beaten out of him.
Over the years, several issues regarding the nature of this phenomenon have been debated by the elite; is it purely reflex? Does it make a person evil? Is it caused by a hormone? If it is, how can such hormone be re-engineered to develop an antidote? The medieval church viewed it as pure sin but the scientific truth is we have all been guilty of this sin at some point in our lives, even as recently as the last time we watched ‘horrible celebrity meltdowns’ on E! Network. Personally, I will not crucify any one for feeling Schadenfreude. I believe we can all be forgiven for our private laughs at the expense of Mrs. Goody-two shoes or Mr. Know it all as long as the enjoyment isn’t completely devoid of empathy.
“We know it’s very good to feel empathy and sympathy for people, so if you feel Schadenfreude without any sympathy or compassion, that will not be good” Wilco said. I would add my opinion by saying if you feel ‘Freudefreude’—that is, a genuine and sincere joy at the good fortune of others then you are allowed to enjoy the occasional ‘mwa-hahaha’ moment. If, however, you share the sentiments of David Merrick who said: “it is simply not enough to succeed-others have to fail,” then by God you should grow a pointy beard, sprout curved horns, develop a forked tail, acquire a long fork and relocate to Hell! Like everything else in the world, Schadenfreude is quite harmless in small doses but when taken to the extreme, disaster might result.
Apart from the virtue of moderation, another important lesson to be learnt from this long winding write-up is this; we are all athletes in this ‘rat-race’ called life. In as much as we are doing everything to win the race, we should also show a little care for the very unfortunate sprinters that are lagging so far behind. The idea of people who are worse off should not only encourage us but also inspire us to do something to make the world better.
As a bonus lesson, also consider this; the human mind is simply a complex room, something akin to Alice’s wonderland. So, many contradicting elements, all of them existing side by side as neighbours. It can be a source of joy or it can be a recipe for disaster. In you lies a lion and a lamb, you can choose to pounce or prance. You can be Churchill or Hitler, Harry or Voldermort, Esther or Jezebel. Hero or a villain- the choice is yours.

blowing the rules

“This is so wrong” the tiny voice said. “you have been warned before…”
“Abeg shut up jare… do what you want to do quickly, there’s nothing bad in it” the second voice that spoke sounded harsh and more resolute than the timid first.

Quincy stood with trepidation as she allowed her inner voices to argue within her. Her voice of reason, the one she imagined as a miniature version of herself with a halo and wings wasn’t doing a good job. She hardly ever won any arguments against her voice of treason; the rebellious horned and tailed opposite.
Quincy knew the argument was just a formality to fulfil all righteousness. Fact was, as disgusted as other people might be, she enjoyed it and have enjoyed it ever since it had first happened about two years ago. She remembered she had just returned from school with a male friend of hers. Her mom, having just returned from the market had rushed out to get something else. It was during this brief period of her mom’s absence that her friend convinced her to try it. Being a curious fourteen year old,she agreed… It wasn’t the act itself that got her hooked, it was the exciting rush of doing something the society generally frowned at- the rush of being a rebel.

It was the same rush she was feeling now and this told her all she needed to know about ‘voice of reason’s’ chances of winning the argument. As if on cue, voice of reason finally gave in;
“Oya do it quick quick” it said.

As she drew closer to the bulging package, she remembered the only time mother had ever caught her; oh! the horror that had filled her face. She had received the scolding of her life, then lectures about how it was unbecoming of a lady to engage in such and how ingesting it could cause serious stomach problems…her mom was ever sparing the rod!!!

This happened six months ago. She had been extra careful to never get caught again. She tried to be as quiet as possible as she liberated it from what was its temporal jail cell-moments earlier, her mom had dumped her shopping hamper and rushed to her room, acknowledging the greetings of her friend with only a hasty nod.

It was a good specimen, long; about 7 inches and hard… Very hard; the way she liked it best. The vegetation that sprouted all around the root looked healthy and gave it a particularly earthy aroma. She could see tiny veins all around and the sight of them caused her to swallow. The room was eerily dark and silent. Her heart beat with a steady rhythym and her mind moved to the beat like Jagger.

She wet her tongue in anticipation- this was one of those rare moments when the mountain gladly went to mohamed. She drew it closer, bent her head and enveloped the tip with her mouth… The light in the kitchen came on, her mom’s voice rang out calling her friend to witness:

“Chai! Fine girl, please come and see what your disgusting friend is doing”

Quincy just stood there… Momentarily blinded by the bright lights. Guilt written on her face and shame dripping from her eyes.
“Ah-ahn Quincy, at your age” her friend said laughing…

Quincy just stood there…her head hung… the unwashed, half eaten carrot in her hands.

soul plane? tow plane!!!

Was scared out of my wits when I heard word of a plane crash landing in Lagos. I’m sure many of you felt the same way too. Don’t worry crazies, y’all have no reason to fret. This was just one of those situations when the truth seems more far fetched than the rumours.

According to a NEMA spokesperson, the plane spotted on the streets of Lagos last nighht/early this morning is the scrap of an aircraft that was evacuated from the airport last night after the Federal government issued a directive that all scrap aircraft be evacuated from all airports. The plane was spotted being towed along Mangoro and later seen at a gas station.

But really, is this the best way to move planes? Imagine you being stuck in a hold up, you look in your mirror and the car behind you isn’t a car at all…

More pics below.

GAY marriage? not in this country

Same sex marriage is one issue that has caused countless debates around the world. Nigeria was not left out in this drama. The government through the reps was trying to take a firm stand on gay marriage but our big brothers kept shaking our knees with threats of aid withdrawal and what not.

All that changed when the House of Representatives, on Thursday May 29th approved 14 years imprisonment for persons who contracted same sex marriage in the country.

This was sequel to a clause-by-clause consideration of a Bill for an Act to prohibit marriage or union entered between persons of same sex, at the Committee of the Whole.

“Marriage or civil union entered between persons of same gender shall not be solemnised in any place of worship, either church or mosque or any place in Nigeria,” it said.

Introducing the bill, Rep. Albert Sam-Tsokwa ( PDP-Taraba) said that it sought to achieve a far reaching objective by outlawing same sex marriage and provide punishment for offenders.

It also set out a 10-year sentence for “any person who directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationships’’.

“Any persons or group of persons that administers, witnesses, screen and shields the solemnisation of same sex marriage in Nigeria on conviction, will be liable to 10 years imprisonment.’’

It would be recalled also that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, had warned that his country would consider withholding aid from countries that did not recognise gay rights.

In Nov. 2011, the senate approved the bill that would make same-sex marriages punishable by up to 14 years for the couple and 10 for anyone abetting such unions.

The bill is expected to be sent to the Senate for concurrence.

Public opinions have been flying around with a lot of them applauding the Nigerian law makers for doing the right thing. I’d like to know your thoughts on the matter… Until then:
“NO SIR, YOU CAN NOT TAKE THAT MAN AS YOUR LAWFULLY WEDDED HUSBAND!!!”

Domestic Justice

A chinese woman has been forced to met her own brand of justice to her mentally deranged son by locking him up in a cage for past eleven years. 74 year old Wang Muxiang, mother of Wu Yuanhong had to resort to this course of action after he murdered a teenage boy in their village of Ruichang in Jiangxi Province while suffering an episode of ‘psychosis’.

He also beat a 13 year old to death in 2001 but wasn’t held by authorities due to his mental illness. The sad mother built the cage which held her son for over a decade by herself because no one agreed to help her for fear of the explosive Wu. Wang said:

‘I wielded the cage while crying heavily. Although he suffers from mental illness and killed a person, he still is my son. Thinking I was making a cage to lock him in, my heart was broken.’

Was the woman cruel to have done that or vindicated on the account of her son’s violent disposition?

Continue to see more pictures of Wu in his cage …

what dresscode?

In most weddings, the couple, especially the female fret for months over what to wear on their special day; strapless or strap, three piece or double breasted… This New Zealand couple however, didn’t need to worry about such details… because they got married in the NUDE.

Nick and Wendy Lowe were married at the Wellington Naturist Club on Saturday in a “clothing optional” wedding, reported local newspaper The Dominion Post. About half of the 120 guests were Unclad. Both clothed and Unclad photos were taken, and though guests were asked to dress for dinner, the dancing portion of the event was clothing optional.

It was Nick who encouraged Wendy to embrace the ‘naturist’ or ‘nudist’ lifestyle.

“It was one of the first things he said to me: ‘I’m a naturist, how do you feel about it?’ I knew at some point I’d have to at least try it,” Wendy, the happy and naked new bride said.

Check out more photos below and let me know what you think about this bizarre event.