Things are not as they seem

I was inspired by Joy of Lamusicjunkie to do a post today. Thanks for that Joy,  Well in. Funny how writers block is murdered so easily and effortlessly. Ive always been a curious one and nothing puts me in a binder more than being so sure of myself then being proven so wrong. It is always a hook that I always bite. I am definitely not alone in this as that kind of story telling seems to be the plot for just about all the movies and series I end up enjoying. Somebody cue Shutter Island,

Film poster for The Usual Suspects
Film poster for The Usual Suspects (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Usual Suspects .  . The attraction to these flicks is simply because I couldn’t predict the end, or rather that my predictions were so far from the truth. Mind F***s are also welcome as was seen on the (tiger on boat thing) So its evident am definitely a story kinda guy. A well told story is the best thing you could gift me.

And then last week happened. I was amongst the folk that was caught with their jaws on the floor as Donald Trump became the 45th President elect of the land of the free, home of the brave. I totally didn’t see it coming and I thought those who were afraid of his win were rather panicky. As he marched from one ridiculous statement to the next even being recorded talking about how he groped women, I didn’t think he stood a chance. but here we are.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...
speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I suppose we deserved it. Those that believed Hillary would win live in a bubble. A bubble that sees the way the world works to be ideal. A bubble that doesn’t exactly struggle to make ends meet. One where the tax increases that hurt are on beer and cigarettes, and only for a little while. This bubble is across the world. I see it in Nairobi all the time. I remember when buying a beer was 120/- and that was considered costly. This is barely 4 years ago. A regular beer now in a regular bar is upwards of 200/-. Ofcourse this can be attributed to the government layering on the sin tax on alcohol. Which is actually fine. What is interesting is that the rate of consumption doesn’t reduce at all with increase in price. Everything else is getting cheaper in terms of capital required to start a business or enterprise but the cost of living keeps increasing.

Its easy to get lost in the bubble and the echo chamber that is social media. You post what we think our friends will like, proceed to get 400 likes and believe this is a true reflection of what its like out there. I think our Presidential Social Media team has fallen for this. And its probably dangerous for all of us. To live in a bubble that thinks next years elections will be won by the incumbent just because they control the state, parliament and Twitter.

Geopolitics is amazing and in another life i will take it up as a study topic as I find it fascinating. Its especially very satisfying to spot a trend and predict outcomes correctly. It is also very educative to be proven so wrong so hard. I will not forget the Trump lesson and its implications locally.

Another prediction that I have had for ages is that the era of global wars is over what with mutually assured destruction being what it is. But when a guy like Putin starts talking like this and guys like Trump win elections. . . well what can I say. I hope I don’t get to eat my own words.

Olympus Has Fallen

I have just finished watching this flick and I could not help but shake my head throughout half this movie.

I will not bore you with details but the basic premise is Jack Bauer being played by Gerard Butler and saving the day with everyone else including the main bad guy being pitifully inept at hand to hand combat though he does let in afew left hooks on our “Starring”

I was more interested in the general story arc and the intention of the movie makers in terms of what emotions they meant to stir in the viewers. After I watched the Matrix and then much later  Inception I began to understand just how powerful movies are in molding the psyche of the target audience. I am a conspiracy theorist at heart and I do not fight it anymore. I smell a well articulated staged scenario that will scare Americans into believing they could easily be victims irregardless of the fact that they are the biggest aggressors on the planet.

Destruction or rather breaching of the white house by a foreign aggressor is like the end of days for American national pride. Thank their heavens they are saved by a tough talking all round bad ass loyalist who beats up everyone in his way.

That the main protagonist is a rogue North Korean is no coincidence and may help to temper the public to being more understanding when Obama decides that the threats by Kim jong have gone too far and ordering a preemptive strike.

There are so many plot holes in the movie that I stopped caring about the logic and just went with it.    It isn’t feasible that anyone would get that close to the white house in a military plane (especially after 9/11) just when a foreign dignitary was visiting. And why are all those secret service guys so incompetent? and does noone have a bazooka to bring down 1 plane?

Its interesting that most US presidents are depicted as such die hard nationalists that would rather die than give up codes but we all know they are politicians first and hardly soldiers.

I give it a meh rating

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Obama in Africa

So Obama just finished his prance across the continent to mixed reviews from the armchair analysts.

In my opinion this was a lackluster trip that has even less oomph because it is obviously a reaction to the Chinese onslaught on Africa with way more agreeable deals.

Many Kenyan pundits were up in arms that not stopping by was rude seeing as his father was Kenyan. I personally don’t think this is even remotely important even to historians. Barrack is as american as 95% of the American population. Authentically ethnic Americans are the Red Indians that were either exterminated or pushed to reservations and allowed to run casinos without paying taxes. I suppose they like this arrangement however much it may sound like a horrible deal to the land loving Africans.

So Obama promised $7bn towards building out Africa’s power capacity. The fact that he came in with hundreds of US investors and the increased activity of the likes of General Electric in the country tells me that most of that money will wind up paying US companies for consultancies and services.

This is expected and that the money is being split between 5 countries over several years says this is not much investment. The US has for the longest time treated Africa as a weird awkward neighbor that is given aid but not really helped. There are few actual American industries that invest in the continent and do stuff like build out roads,hospitals or power plants that are sustainable. Maybe they exist but they are far less conspicuous than the European brands and this is very visible seeing ad they are the wealthiest country on the planet. The “neglect” is conspicuous in light of their willingness to steer geopolitical affairs especially internal country policies.

American power is also amusing if you compare its size to the African continent. All of the US easily fits in the Sahara Desert. That’s it.

We should get off the Obama euphoria and wake up to the fact that he is an employee of the US industrial-military complex and stop viewing him as some sort of Savior.

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Margaret Thatcher

The Iron lady is dead.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll be the first to admit I know very little of her seeing as she ruled before my time. What I can glean from the media though gives me a good idea about what she was all about. She seems like Martha Karua on steroids without the affectionate dancing side.

She called Nelson Mandela a terrorist for crying out loud and thought the Apartheid regime was pretty rad. Now this was the 80’s so such sentiments were rather archaic & jarring even in her time.

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...
English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on 13 May 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia). The backdrop many british lovers like to use is that she was protecting british interests and it is quite possible that she decided to be the fall guy(or girl in this case) to absorb all the bad press.

But years, nay, Decades later it is especially her countrymen that despise her. I gather that she devastated the mining communities and by extension the working class and precipitated lts of suffering for them. A documentary I watched a while ago insinuated that the whole global warming fiasco was started by her and others to popularize use of nuclear energy for power generation so as to reduce the influence of coal workers unions. This would make her a highly intelligent leader if true and the effects of her decisions are reverberating to this day. Now that is influence.

The reaction to those that are happy to see her go is however what is most amusing to me. We generally(Africans) avoid speaking ill of the dead but a line can be drawn somewhere right? I mean the Americans nearly called a national holiday when Obama murdered Osama and dumped him in the sea. This was blatant happiness over an individual’s death. Why should this be any different for those who suffered under the iron lady’s rule?

I am personally indifferent to her death or influence if it still exists seeing as she is no longer a shot caller and I doubt whether her policies to Kenya were to Kenya’s benefit. The right for people to be glad she is dead should be protected though same as an entire country can be proud of itself for murdering a supposed terrorist and celebrating it.

 

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