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Archive for July, 2017

Another Random/Not-So-Random Story

 

It was wrong. This; was wrong.

 

I wasn’t supposed to be kissing her; that’s why I wanted to stop.

 

So I started to stiffen my jaw – but then my phone rang. And then, I did stop kissing her. I had to stop kissing her to attend to the phone.

 

However, by the time I was done with the phone, I had forgotten my initial intention not to kiss her any further.

 

I just continued to kiss her. Like it was the most natural thing in the world.

 

And, just like that – I was doomed by my own hand…

 

Or mouth; as the case was.


That Gender Equality Bullshit II

 

That Gender Equality Bullshit II

Or

Pick A Struggle, Biko.

 

Before I proceed, look at this picture:

 

X-Men-Billboard-20th-Century-Fox-640x480

 

 

Seen? Good.

To provide context, that is one of the promotional posters for X-Men: Apocalypse, one of the worst X Movies I have ever seen.

But that’s not the point.

The big guy is En Sabah Nur aka Apocalypse, the guy hailed as the first mutant. In his hand is Mystique, a female shape-shifting mutant. They are on opposite sides of the war, which is why he would be choking her

That poster raised the ire of some ‘feminists’ and ‘human rights groups’.

Their issue?

It promotes violence against women.

It isn’t a lie, is it? Why would anyone want to promote a movie by having a man wrap his hand around the throat of a woman? Isn’t that what they/we’re fighting for?

It is wrong, right?

 

But; aren’t we supposed to be fighting for gender equality? Those two up there aren’t friends; neither are they lovers. They are people on opposite sides of a war; and in war there are casualties of both sexes, aren’t there?

 

Someone should have told those hot-blooded feminists; context is everything.

 

I mean, if she was given preferential treatment because she’s female, that would be sexism, wouldn’t it? He treats her the same way he would treat her male counterparts, it’s violence against women. It’s like asking that female soldiers be shot with special bullets – just because they’re female.

 

You see why people like me often find feminism confusing? Pick a struggle, biko.

 

To read more about the X-Men Apocalypse fiasco, go here and here.

 

That was just the intro; I said that to say this:

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Dr. Who, that British Time Lord who has thrilled English people (and people worldwide) for decades will be portrayed in its thirteenth incarnation by a female. Of course, a number of reactions trailed the news. I wasn’t bothered however, because I know the history of the character. The Time Lord is supposed to be genderless; it was written into the show to allow for continuity in spite of time and explain the change of actors. In fact, I honestly wonder(ed) why it took so long. It’s been coming since forever.

 

Around the same time, gist about some ‘Women Liberation Front’ People agitating for a female James Bond surfaced. The first I heard of it, it was because Chris Hemsworth had seen Atomic Blond, that Charlize Theron movie and said she would be an amazing Bond. Honestly, I’m pretty much indifferent to the dude. He’s cute but can’t act for shit. That said, I was disappointed. I mean, I would expect him know better.

 

I’m sure he was trying to pay her a compliment – but he didn’t think it through. If he had, he would have realized agitating for a female Blond is not a compliment to Charlize, neither is it a fight for equality; it’s appropriating a well-known male figure and forcing him into a female mold.

 

Now let me ask you; why would you want to do that? Is that you don’t think female characters are strong enough – therefore only by appropriating what has been male for so long is the only way to make women relevant? Don’t you know that by doing stuff like that, you’re actually being sexist?

 

As an aside; I love Kemi Adetiba to death – but the title of her show/program King Women is something I frown at. I love the show, I’m a fan of several of the women who have been on it – but that title is the summation of everything wrong with that side of the ‘gender equality’ war; women can’t achieve greatness on their own pedestal (Queens Regnant; that is – ask Google), they have to come into the men’s arena (Kings).

 

Or maybe I don’t understand the thinking behind the title ‘King Women’. I stand corrected.

 

Remember Lara Croft? How about Salt? How about that great lady, Agatha Christie’s (debatably) greatest creation; Miss Marple? How about Wonder Woman? How about Major Motoko Kusanagi of Ghost in the Shell? How about Linda Ikeja? Genevieve? Sally Kenneth Dadzie? Tomi Adesina? Ogechi Nwobia? Elsie? Joy Isi Bewaji? Beyonce? Melissa Macarthy? Angelina Jolie? Scar Jo (even though I don’t think much of her acting skills)? Ellen Degeneres? Can’t you be great, successful, fucking wealthy and be utterly, undeniably female? Honestly, this kind of thinking is the bane of gender equality – because whether you know it or not, you’re saying there’s no value in being female; there’s something wrong with being female. Like; once you have a vagina, you’re doomed; and the only way out is to try to be male.

 

It’s the same thinking that makes people ascribe the success of Wonder Woman to ‘GIRLS ROCK!’ and not an amazing character given an amazing story, played by an amazing actress and shot by an amazing director.

 

No. It’s only because she’s female and we haven’t seen a female-led movie in forever. Hm.

 

Just yesterday I read on a friend’s Facebook post that some person said chivalry stemmed from chauvinism and therefore should be eradicated.

 

Bloody Hell.

 

SO, there’s something wrong with a man being nice to a woman.

 

Okay. Fair enough.

 

Yet, if a man behaves around a woman the same way he does around his male friends, there’s a problem. He’s barbaric; animalistic and male. You understand the confusion yet?

 

Pick a struggle, biko.

 

Let’s not go into the double-standard conversation. Let’s not go near the whole it’s-only-rape-when-its-done-by-a-man-to-a-woman gist. Let’s not talk about how it’s flirting when a woman does it, it’s sexual harassment when a man does the exact same thing. Oh, let’s leave out all of that.

 

Please. I’m just asking for clarity. What does gender equality mean; the equality of a species or the ‘get-out-jail-free-card for women when they are in generally inconvenient situations?

 

I’m just asking. And from one human to another….

 

Pick a fucking struggle, BIKO!

 

Danke.

 

 


In Memoriam.

 

 

Of the many, many tragedies that taint my well-lived life, the one I probably regret with the most frequency is the fact that I don’t have a lot of pictures of my mother. I only have about two or three; not as much as five.

Imagine.

I don’t know; maybe it has to do with me not being much of a picture person. I’m the guy who disappears from groups when it’s time to take a picture. I don’t know; something about pictures just puts me off.

Maybe it’s the knowledge that I have to smile when I don’t feel like it (nothing personal; I usually don’t feel like it). Maybe it’s the idea that…oh, I don’t know. I just don’t like it. Whatever my reasons/excuses, they are why I don’t have a lot of pictures of her. As much as I loved to look at her; as beautiful as she was/is, it just didn’t occur to me to take more pictures of her. Despite being way into the smartphone age by the time of her untimely demise, I only have one picture of her taken with my phone. All the others are hardcopies.

It might not sound like a big deal, reading it like that, but think of the person you love most in the world. Think about the things you adore about them – like how they listen when you talk, how they hold your hand, how they call you for no reason, how their eyes light up when they see you, how they call your name – everything that makes them special to you; everything you know only comes in their package.

Now think about dealing with never seeing them again – literally.

Not that you don’t want to; unfortunately, the choice is moved out of your hands. They leave when you least expect it. They go without saying goodbye.

And what’s worse?

Not only do you have to deal with never understanding why what happened happened the way it did, you have nothing but your memories to remember them by. Not a keepsake, not a love note –

Not a picture.

And memory, even one as awesome as mine, is a frail thing. I remember thinking of my mother in terms of how she smelled, the smells I connect to my more pleasant memories of home, of growing up – coconut oil, Joy Soap and Imperial Lather. There was also one perfume – the name however eludes me now. I miss those smells – especially since coconut oil smells like plantain these days, Joy and Imperial Lather have forgotten where they came from, and home is an unfamiliar place.

 

27

 

If I could go back, apart from taking hundreds of photographs of this great woman, I would also make sure to record her voice. Common, one of the greatest rappers ever and one of my personal favorites, had his father frequently contribute to his albums till the man died in 2014. Imagine how comforting for him it would be; being able to touch a memory of his father whenever he felt a need to. I wish I could listen to my mother’s voice once again – but I still hear it in my head; as clear as a bell.

She’s just as warm as ever.

The physicality of my mother is preserved by a headstone, a few pictures and a letter that contains everything I need to know to live a fulfilled life. The most important things however; her spirit, her warmth, her gracefulness, her kindness – these are the things I will always have with me, the things that defined her essence.

And nothing can take those away from me.

PS: Remember those tragedies I spoke about?

They are the ink and blood that make the tapestry of an otherwise bland life colorful and interesting. They are the things that make me who I am, because no matter how tragic my circumstances have been, I always find a why to smile.

And that’s enough. I hope you get/got the message.

Oh, and one more thing:

Happy Birthday to Me.

 

 

 


Movie Review: Picture Perfect Is Damn Near So.

picture-perfect

 

 

Is there any such thing as a ‘perfect Nollywood movie’?

 

I, along with a lot other people don’t expect a lot from Nollywood. I’m used to substandard work, movies with plots that make little sense, acting that means something else entirely, dialogue that sounds like it was inspired by Martians – and a billion other flaws.

 

But every now and then, a movie comes along and makes me want to jump for joy.

 

I hardly go to the cinemas to watch a Nollywood film. This one, I stumbled into by accident. I was at the cinema to pretend-watch the latest Ape Planet something. I changed my mind last minute – but then, I still wanted to watch a movie.

 

So.

 

Against my judgment, I chose Picture Perfect. And I can tell you, I didn’t feel as fulfilled watching Spiderman: Homecoming.

 

And that is saying a lot.

It is written and produced by Biodun Stephen and directed by Tope Alake. The premise is simple: a tailor/fashion designer gets stuck in a notorious neighborhood and is about to be assaulted by a couple of touts. She’s saved by another tout who pretends to know her from somewhere – just to save her from the other ‘undesirable elements’. A bunch of funny things happen – along with a major plot twist – or not so much a twist, depending on what side of the camera you’re usually on.

 

I saw it coming tho.

 

It’s a simple movie; it isn’t trying to fix humanity or the government for that matter. It isn’t trying to make us see the value (or lack thereof) of marriage; it’s not trying to sell us the glam and flimflam of how the other half lives. It’s just trying to be a fun movie; sweet and entertaining.

 

And that; it manages quite well.

 

Picture Perfect works best because the cast completely inhabits their characters. Bisola Aiyeola smoked as Kiksy, the lead female’s best friend. She’s completely natural – though she does come across as overacting in a couple of scenes. But she is the voice of reason (as the lead’s best friend usually is) and she’s sweet and kind and fun and real and will marry me by force or…

 

I’m just kidding.

 

The women in the movie represent a class of oft-ignored Nigerian woman – strong, independent, capable, and caring, don’t exactly need men but want them nonetheless. The women in this movie are not weak, neither do they have an agenda or feel a need to shove the gender argument in your face. They are just women who love life and are living it on their own terms. I gotta get behind that.

 

Bolanle Ninalowo also rocked as Jobe aka Jobsy Jor-Jor, the tout who rescues Kumbi (Mary Njoku) from his less-than-gentlemanly associates. I would like to meet this young man, because his accent is spot on, and he cannot seem to stop saying ‘philanderer’ in all its forms. He’s the quintessential tout; rough, strong, respected, honorable, kind, thoughtful, considerate…Jobsy is a character to love and root for.

 

Mary Njoku, the female lead is also a pot of discovery. The way she switches between fluent English and Yoruba is noteworthy. She, just like Bisola is also completely natural, inhabits the character with grace and feeling. She is believable in all of her scenes, from the dissenting friend to the spurned lover to the consensual lover to the protective mother. The cast had a lot of fun creating this movie – and I’m sure the viewers will too.

 

The movie is not without its flaws tho, as a couple of scenes/incidents defy explanation, and in some cases, reason. Nothing major, however, the couple plot holes do not dim the fun to be had even slightly.

 

Is there any such thing as a ‘perfect Nollywood movie’?

Maybe not yet; and I stand corrected, but Picture Perfect comes close.

 

Now showing in a cinema near you.  


My Little Girl Goes To The Movies.

 

Every chance I have, I try to spend with my little gremlin, who colors my life better than any combination of colors. So whenever she’s around, I take her to the movies, and of course we have conversations afterwards.

 

Here are a few of her thoughts on some of the movies this year:

 

Spiderman: Homecoming – ‘I really enjoyed the film. It’s nice…I understand the boy! I don’t get all your complaints…mommy was right! You’re old!’

Me: ‘Your mother thinks I’m old?’

Her: ‘Well, she said ‘your father is the cutest old man I know’.

Me: ‘Well. Banana fall on her!’

Of course, I didn’t say that out loud.

Read My Crash Review of Homecoming Here.

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy 2: ‘If I was that one (Drax) I wouldn’t go around calling people ugly. Look at his mouth!’

Me: ‘Didn’t I say not to insult people?’

Her: ‘He started it!’

Me: ‘But he wasn’t talking to you…’

Her: ‘Didn’t you also say to fight for people who can’t fight for themselves?’

Me: *facepalm*

Read My Review of GoTG 2 Here.

 

Wonder Woman: ‘I like it. It was nice…but I like Hidden Figures better.’

Me: ‘Why?’

Her: ‘Not all of us can jump around and fight like that, but all of us can think and change the world.’

Me: ‘That is the idea…to make people understand that you have choices. Some of us fight for others, some of us improve the world – as long as we’ll all doing something or the other.’

Her: ‘That’s true. (pause) We all have choices, abi? My choice is Hidden Figures sha.’

Me: *facepalm*

Review Coming Soon.

 

 

 

Logan: ‘Why are you crying, Daddy?’

Me: ‘Well…I wasn’t – (she frowns) well…it makes me miss you.’

Her: Silence

After the movie

Her: ‘Daddy, if I leave mommy and come and live with you, will that make you stop crying?’

Me: *cries some more*

Read My Thoughts On Logan Here.

 

Of course, none of that happened. I don’t really have a daughter.

Hehehehehe! Have a great week!

 


A Crash Review: Spider-Man – Homecoming

Smh

 

Spiderman: Homecoming.

 

A good re-introduction to teenage Parker. A high-school melodrama, a coming-of-age movie of sorts. It’s bright, high-energy, fun and engaging all at once.

 

Fun fact: The initials of Spider-Man: Homecoming is ‘SMH’. Isn’t that interesting?

 

It is a good movie – but not a great one. I won’t be seeing it a second time.

 

EXCEPT…(Deoye, I’m looking at you)

 

Tom Holland is a good Peter Parker, an interesting Spiderman. He makes mistakes, is careless, reckless, excitable and overeager. However, while he’s a nerdy Parker, he’s not a bumbling, socially awkward one. He tries – but it’s glaring he’s trying. Did you see Andrew Garfield in the first Amazing Spiderman?

 

It would be hard to top that performance.

 

If you read the piece I posted here, I mentioned, among a number of other things, the casting of a black ‘Mary Jane’. I am happen to inform you, I was wrong. The character isn’t Mary Jane but –

Go watch jare!

By the way, is May – as in Aunt May unmarried? Where’s Ben? There isn’t a SINGLE mention of the reason Peter Parker became Spiderman.

Good or bad? You decide.

It was nice seeing Downey again. His arc as Tony Stark has come full circle. In a subtle way, becoming a mentor of sorts for Peter seems to have given him purpose and taken away some of the guilt that has been burdening him. He looks better than ever.

My favorite part came at the end. It’s not a dis – it actually comes at the end, and it has to do with a missing part of Stark’s on-screen life. A beautiful, stunning, loving, warm –

I screamed in the cinema. Trust me. It is IMPOSSIBLE to make me do that under normal circumstances.

 

Now, speaking of Marvel movies generally, they have a formula that has been working, so they keep doing it, and have Hollywood following that pattern these days.

 

It’s the ‘a-joke-every-two-lines’ ridiculousness.

A friend graciously shared an article with me, in which someone was praising Wonder Woman by taking shots at Marvel films – the part of Marvel movies I mentioned above. I didn’t agree with him because he did not sound objective – but I’m afraid he was right.
Marvel movies for the most part no longer have intense, emotional moments. It is ruined with a quip from Stark or a one-liner from Hawkeye. And what they’ve done, which Homecoming helped me realized is; they desensitized the audience.
‘Intense’ is now in the same space as ‘funny’.
Case In Point: there is a scene in Homecoming in which the bad guy traps Peter underneath some rubble (in the comics it is a now-epic fight in Doctor Octopus’ lab where he went to retrieve a serum for Aunt May). Peter frantically screams for help; he can’t lift tons of concrete. He gives up – and then, he remembers Stark doubting him, his own fears – and he lifts the rubble. And this is my point; at the point he was panicked and screaming for help, the cinema audience erupted in laughter.
Even though there isn’t a joke to be found in that scene, they were expecting one because that’s Marvel’s troupe these days – and so they laughed. And by so doing, missed a pivotal point in Spiderman’s journey.
So. By all means, see this one. However, grumpy old men won’t enjoy it.

 

PS: Guys, it has TWO post-credit scenes, so WAIT TILL THE END…unless dem off light for cinema!