Saturday, February 12, 2011

Haters, Admirers And My Biro


Wake up everybody
No more sleeping in bed
No more backward thinking
Time for thinking ahead
The world’s change so very much
For what it use to be
There is so much hatred
War and poverty


----Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes


"I thought you said it's happening."

"What's happening?"

"Here we go again. You don't remember?"

"Remember what?"

"What you said earlier."

"What did I say earlier?"

"That your biro is mightier>"

"You should know better; and, of course, it is the biggest weapon. The people are talking; and they are, on a serious note, and by all means, pulling the bull by the horn. It is happening in Tunis. It is happening in Cairo. It's about to be happening in Jordan and Algeria. It's the real deal. It is the voice of the people. The network is fantastic. Some call it a political reform. Some have called it a revolution through the powerful means of the biro. President Barack Obama has been watching as all the events unfold. And, eventually, Hosni Mubarak threw in the towel. You see how it goes?"

"Oh, yeah, I guess it's about time, huh?"

"Of course, it's about time but not with the chairman of the house."

"Which chairman of the house are you talking about?"

"Oh, you mean you don't know? The house chairman who runs the affairs of state and would gather the fat cats and his colleagues within his uncivilized enclave to boycott all boycotables."

"How did Mazi Mbonu Ojike pop up in this discourse?"

"You tell me!"

"Tell you what?"

"Boycott the biro!"

"You see, that is not possible. The biro is mightier than you could ever imagine, which is why it is now getting down. But tell it not on the streets of Abuja, Owerri and Awka. The fat cats don't want to hear it because they will make no meaning out of it."

"Who are the fat cats you keep talking about? Am I missing somethin?"

"Nope! The fat cats are the Omemgbojis of Emekuku and the Oshimiris whose flowing gowns and haul of titles speaks volumes when they meet in their respective huts of who is king and who is not king in their uncivilized world of erecting edifices on dusty alleys without street numberings and disturnbingly an avalanche of power outages."

"What the hell is that?"

"What the hell is what?"

"The jargon, fat cats?"

"Well, the fat cats and house chairman are 'just' full of it, wondering what school of thought one came from for the fact they are limited in training."

"What are you talking about, man?!"

"Obviously, the people are talking and sooner than later you will be seeing it the world over."

"You mean the fat cats and the house chairman?"

"Not at all. The fat cats and house chairman are midgets in what I'm talking about. I'm talking about something of a greater capacity."

"Would it be boycott all boycottables as in Mbonu Ojike's own word, to negate a colonial mandate during the constitutional conferences?"

"Naaaaaaaa, it has some kind of similarities, though."

"Look, man, I'm done with you. I have no idea what you have been talking about."

"Ok, now, I have exhausted all my options of a research project.

"What research project?"

"I am conducting interviews on our war veterans, victims of the numerous pogroms and elite Igbo Diaspora to enable our history not to vanish from the face of the earth."

"Maybe you should consult the house chairman and fat cats to fund your research projects."

"Are you doublespeaking now?"

"What do you mean?"

"I'm talking about a research project for Igbo common good and you are refering to the boycottables. I don't get it!"

"Well, you have a great idea but I'm afraid and I must warn you that the people you are talking about will tell you to move on and forget about the pogrom. And If you don't cease and desist, they will start insulting your mother, your father, your brothers (if you have any), your sisters, your family members and your entire kindred."

"Holy Moses! What kind of people would insult your entire clan just for your freedom to express your views on paper?"

"Because you keep creating an outrage."

"What outrage o?"

"The stuff that you write. The thought-provoking stuff."

"But I'm telling the truth, now?"

"You are right. The truth hurts!"

"How about the reptiles?"

"Which reptiles?"

"The dangerous reptiles that crawl out when they smell my biro."

"I'm out, man!"

"Good! Gotcha!"

Since I have been reading all kinds of literatures and various kinds of journals from growing up, I must admit, I have tossed quite a number of thought provoking issues, and quite a great sum had been polarized in responses, chiefly, the ones not too long ago: "Lagos Cafe's Arrogance and Horrible Services is a Culinary Disaster," "Donald Duke Launches his Presidential Campaign in Los Angeles," "Death of an Igbo Club in Greater Los Angeles," "Blind Followers of Donald Duke," and the list goes on and on.

What the responses, the haters, to be precise, incited, was for yours truly, this writer, to go bonkers into mudslinging with them from what I had written and looking forward to a coherently, intellectual rebuttal based on the subject matter rather than the rantings typical of a clueless bunch who had fallen from the standard and had fallen apart. From that shred of lack of substance in responses, I moved beyond ridicule.

The painful truth is, taking a closer look at what I had penned, the haters did what they were good at in their attempt to be relevant regarding their thoughts on a topic that pops up. For instance, a response from one of Lagos Cafe's admirers when I criticized the eatery:

"Mr Ambrose, How much did Veronica's kitchen give you for the free advertisement. I am sure you eat free food any time you're there, bcos from the tone of your write-up, Veronica must have given you a lot of dollars."

With such inflammatory remarks, wouldn't it be necessary to see my humble self not worried on a crop of issues that shouldn't have arose by all accounts putting into perspectice how it all began and if the ideology was valid? But the thing is, many accused me of sleeping with Veronica Ogbeide; their reasons why I spoke well of her eatery (Veronica's Kitchen); and spoke ill of Ronke Bernadette, who then ran Lagos Cafe on the 14000 block of Crenshaw Blvd. in Gardena, because of the former's love affair with me. Fact is, if Veronica wasn't becoming in her services the numerous times I stopped by to eat out, without question, I would have expressed my dissatisfaction of a service not worthy.

Don't get me wrong. There were admirers who read many of the pieces I had written over time, digesting the entire contents and seeing the topics by way of reporting, analysis, narratives, storytelling, satire and things like that coherently put together on the issues of the day, with sustained accuracy, thus applauding a well done work.

One other controversial affair was about the outraged Donald Duke followers who had "observed" my write-up on the presidential aspirant as a poisonous political stunt to stop Duke or have him throw in the towel for his presidential ambitions he had tailored to sell to a vulnerable and gullible Los Angeles-area-Nigeria populace, the ones I had thought were schooled in the elementary ABCD's of the basics in academia, but sadly unable and unwilling to read, comprehend and to think, critically. And it all began when Duke popped up on my list of literary works when I had expected a free-floating, acclaimed public intellectuals to engage said article that was based on facts to be challenged in that regard, rather than the rigidity one saw at the symposium.

Apparently, Duke's presidential campaign, his blind followers and a bunch that lacked societal vision, have died naturally. Where are Duke's coattails? Where are Duke's followers who knew everything about presidential politics? Where are my critics and all their rantings for my clear vision that Duke was going no where with his bid by starting his campaign from a clueless and politically impotent Diaspora? Where are the acclaimed activists and technocrats who had at any time in their lives played significant roles to show their work of activism by way of demonstrations to challenge corrupt regimes and things like that? Where are they; the ones of bigotry and hatred, who felt challenged from a simplistically, truthful pieces on the social ills of its people?

Enter the rantings of a confused bunch responding to the commentary "Death of an Igbo Club in Greater Los Angeles." In literary terms and disturbed by a Igbo Diaspora to get things done, things that depicts Diaspora as we have seen elsewhere; immigrant groups that established societies and even founded countries at the expense of indigenous populations, often in their stead by way of pragmatism and organizational effectiveness. I have caused commotion when the above-mentioned article was lambasted by a group when I wrote clearly of a bunch tainted with the stain of original sin, from which it can never be absolved:


"A mentally, impotent and unchallenging bunch could not come up with anything other than picnic in its engagement. Things like providing employment opportunities and having economic impact within its community, as in all communities in Diaspora who are doing stuff. From Pico Blvd. and Fairfax Ave. to Olympic Blvd. and Fairfax toward the Miracle Mile on the Wilshire Corridor, sits Little Ethiopia and all Ethiopian owned businesses. On the Westside, is the Armenian community whose history of genocide is, today, in the books, from mounted pressure groups. On the Eastside lies China Town, Little Tokyo, the Hispanics and series of communities dwelling together spreading all down the San Gabriel Valley. And, of course, there is Little Vietnam in Westminster and other Asian communities in and around the Long Beach areas."

I think I'm done with this and if anyone expects me to join a band of blind leaders like the Chief Priest would put it, "Big Blind Country," it will never happen, and they can have it!

No Nonsense!

Ekwuchaa nam!