Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Power of Electricity and the Electricity of Power.

The Power of Electricity.
Oh how sweet it is. Oh what wonderful feeling. Oh what a wonderful day. I am filled with good spirits. I woke up this morning and stretched and yawned like the cat that got the full fat cream with sugar on top. What has led to this state of delirium. A very simple thing. But profound no less. We have had electricity almost constantly for the past two days. You might say to yourself "and so?". Well considering that in the past year we have been mostly reliant on generators and you can understand my sense of euphoria. Oh yes we have had occasional glimpses of that thing called light. But that has always been a tease. Never full current but that bastard child called low current that destroys your electrical items, barely illuminates a light bulb far less carry fans or air conditioners and also tends to set your house on fire (which is what happened to us).

But for some perverse reason we have been blessed for the last two days with "light". Let's not go overboard here. It is not the full current one would expect in a civilised country but hey, here it is Sunday morning and I can actually make toast for my breakfast. Off the National grid. NEPA. PHCN. Whatever.

Oh I am giddy with joy at this simple thing that in other places are taken for granted. I feel strangely normal. I want to wear some new clothes knowing I wont have sweated through them by the time I stepped out of the bedroom. I can connect to the internet without having to pollute the environment to do so. I can have a shower without silently poisoning my neighbours. I can send to the village for another wife (pending the consent of Iyawo although terms and conditions will apply) on the basis that she can move into a house with almost full current. Tell her people she will never suffer in darkness. Oh I am giddy with excitement. The possibilities. Maybe I will open a manufacturing plant in the backyard. Not sure what we will produce but what does it matter with all this electricity flowing through the house. Oh this Nigeria is a funny country. You sack the Minister for Power and the power supply improves.

The Electricity of Power.
All over the land in direct contrast to my giddiness there will be people who will feel like someone has switched off the lights. They who once were so illuminated and incandescent will now be standing in somewhat duller environments. These people are the recently sacked Ministers who will find that all of a sudden they are also running on half current. Not fully abandoned by friends and acquaintances, in the event that there is a recall on the cards, but certainly not awash with current. This is the way of the world.
From the minute the sackings were announced the crowds will have diminished, the noise abated, the convoy disappears, phones becomes silent, they become (almost) human again. Now they will find out their real worth. For some of them there will be no way back (thank goodness and good riddance). For some it will be like all their "intelligence" had disappeared as where once all they had to do was open their mouth to hold their audience in thrall they will now find out that when they speak now it is like they have gum disease. So it is with the electricity of power. Enjoy it while it lasts. Once it is switched off it's good night and beddy byes.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Looking for clues..

I was very touched last week by the story of the lady that was killed by the whale at Disneyland in Florida. I pondered on this tragedy for quite some time and wondered what could have been done to prevent it. I tried to look for some clues that would have given a hint as to the potential for this sort of tragedy. After much consideration I decided that I would have to put it down to the language we use and the way we use it to describe things.

So for example I tend to avoid vicious dogs. See how the language comes in handy there. Look at it again. Vicious dogs. Let's take another example - Serial killer. Another one to avoid at all costs. It's all there in the name. Oh how our forebears through the generations were so perceptive and accurate with these things. Ok another one. Extreme sports. See for me sport does not need to be extreme. I am more than happy with normal sports - like watching TV. If I want to be extreme about it then I get up to change the channels rather than using the remote -either the one with batteries or the ones that eat my food otherwise known as children.

So back to this poor lady and the killer whale. Spot the clues in that one. You spotted it straight away right? If you were meant to play and fondle the thing surely our forebears the Romans would have named it something like playful whale or tickle my tummy whale or such like. But killer whale? Which means they must have spotted something right? Maybe the first guy didn't but by the time the thing has eaten ten or twenty Romans someone would have stood up in the parliament and said something along the lines of "£$% this. I cannot take it anymore more. From this day forward that beast will no longer be referred to as Tinkerbell. I decree that henceforth it be referred to as a killer whale". Someone never told them at Disneyland.

Which brings me nicely to our Minister for Information who proudly and loudly announced last week that on a matter of national and even international importance - the status of the Yard man- she has no information. Nothing. Nada. So again I went back to the drawing board and banged my head on it. I took a long hard look at her title and pondered how it must feel to be a MOI without I. Is this the sort of thing you stand up in public to announce? Surely that would be reason enough to resign? Throw in the towel? How can you continue? Why not just keep quiet? Keep the lack of information to yourself? Unless you were grandstanding of course. Playing to the gallery. Sending the market women into raptures with your high moral standards and your superior intellect. Over and above the other members of the Cabinet. Meanwhile there are rumours of a major reshuffle in the Cabinet by the Acting President.

Anyone spot the clues there?