So here are the things that have been swimming around my head this week.
I won't lie to you, this week wasn't the best. My deadlines loom and all the news I hear seems to be bad. It isn't even the sort of bad that you can forget. It's the sort of bad that sticks with you and sinks you. Because I am Afam the happy, and the benevolent, I will refrain from telling you of the sad sharks swimming in my head until the end.
If you read the sad things and you are sad, then I'll direct you to this blog that I wrote three years ago called London Lunges: The Barclays Gander. I did not lunge in that blog. The image of me lunging is so truly horrifying that I hope I never have to lunge in public again. Heck! I won't even lunge in front of a mirror.
And so we begin!!
Bye Bye Tyra!
After 22 seasons of some of the trashiest television known to mankind we can finally kiss goodbye to America's Next top Model. In all truth, this one deserves a post of it's own but that'll have to come later. I'm just glad that it is over, even though Tyra Banks probably isn't.
The film I quite liked this week was Angelina Jolie's latest venture in the world of directing, By the sea. The entire thing was a Brangelina affair. Angelina personally produced, directed, wrote, and starred in the thing. It was a little bit artsy, a little bit vain, a little bit off beat and she costarred with her husband. I loved it. They hadn't been together on screen since Mr and Mrs Smith. It wasn't the sequel to that, but it could have been the sequel to I'm Depressed Get Me Out of here!!! If you're ever in the mood to watch sadness compound itself then By the Sea is the one for you.
This week I'm reading James Baldwin. He did a lot of writing about race in America in the 20th century. He's perhaps most famous for Go tell it on the mountain, which has been featured in quite a few best English language novels of the 20th century lists. I'm not reading that one yet. I started with a collection of his essays, Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows my Name, The Fire Next Time, No Name in the Street, and The Devil Finds Work. I won't lie to you, I've really only just begun, but it seems promising. Last night somebody told me that I reminded her of James Baldwin and I was offended, because though James was brilliant, he certainly wasn't brilliant looking. Furthermore, this person hadn't read my work, so she couldn't possibly have meant that I write like him. Mama Afam come to my aid! This mummy's boy needs an outpouring of compliments about his handsomeness.
My television pick of the week is something I literally found right now. I was halfway through putting this all together, when I discovered that I hadn't watched any television shows this week. I rectified this immediately. It took about 2 hours and a bit of my life but no matter. What is time for if not to watch television. silent chuckle.
You've probably heard it said or sung that everybody loves Kung-Fu fighting. Into the Bad Lands has all the Kung Fu you need. People fly around like evil spirits, blood sprays about like it does in any good Tarrantino film and all of this is supported by a perfectly adequate plot, and unrevolutionary acting. It won't win an emmy but it's won my heart.
This one is hard, especially as the music I listen to isn't very often recent. This week I've been listening to Summer Time, and my Funny Valentine. Their simplicity is so profound. My Funny Valentine has been recorded by over 600 musicians and appeared on over 1300 albums. Now, that is what I call a song and a half. Here's a video of Michael Buble singing My Funny Valentine live.
I'm still reading Long Live Summons. How could I stop? The latest translated chapter's called, You dare? I will step on your head. I can't step on heads in real life, even though I'd like to sometimes, so it's really lovely to live vicariously through a villainous hero like Yue Yang.
However that's not the only online read I've got for you today. I've just finished reading Coiling Dragon by popular Chinese Writer, I Eat Tomatoes. Believe me, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. This one follows one Linley Baruch on his path to immortality. It's got so much Wish fulfillment that it deserves a wissh fulfillment award. Linley effectively tramples on everyone that crosses him from book 1 chapter 1 to book 19 chapter 64. It's translated by the lovely people at wuxiaworld.com.
Old Blog of the Week
This one is quite a good one I wrote in collaboration with the good people at Warby Packer last year. They emailed me asking if I'd like to do a piece on their spectacles. I said I would if I liked them enough, and I did, so I did. The thing you don't know about that post is that I was half hoping to get a freebie out of it and I didn't. Bad Warby. Bad Warby! Just so that you know if you've got something to sell, and I like it, I'll blog about it for you, but I now charge for this service. Contact me some way some how, and we'll talk about it. At the minute, I'm most in need of a free haircut, so barbers far and wide come to me. I will blog for a shape up. To read that one, go here.
Of these there are two...
A blogger whose pseudonym is sugabelly shared her account of rape at the hands of Mustapha Audu and some of his family and some of his friends last week Friday. This story sent my week spinning into disarray. I do not know that I have ever been so crippled by empathy as I was then. The tools of the journalist (black humour, and alcohol) could not protect me. I constructed a timeline from her blog. It took me two days to get it right and still there are problems with it.
I'm following up on the story, speaking with whoever will speak to me. It is fairly hard to do this as I have not the resources to chase it effectively. So far I've spoken to a relative of Mustapha's and someone that worked with both he and Sugabelly at the company when it all began.
You can call this my crusade for the month or the year. I'll follow this one to the end.
The UK's started bombing Syria. I mourn for the civilians who will be reduced to arms, legs, and ash. It really is incredibly saddening. But what are we to do. Someone's damned if you do and someone else is damned if you don't.
That was a little bit heavy, so I'll leave you with a meme I made in my Online Journalism class.
Papa Afam, if you see this one, that thing on the left isn't me.