Monday, November 28, 2005

Thieves shall still be shot

There are only about two or three politics and news/current affairs programmes and that are allowed to be self-referential. They are: PM and Broadcasting House, both on Radio 4, and This Week and the Daily Politics on BBC1/2. The programmes are so good that they can be, in my opinion, self-conscious entities that can refer to themselves as sentient beings. I love these programmes, so surely they must be alive. Imagine my chagrin and sense of betrayal when I suspected that PM has stolen one of my ideas. I spent a lot of last week hawking the Alamieyeseigha story, and one of the first people I approached was PM. I was told that it was a good story, but "it isn't one for us". This evening, I'm told by someone who was listening to Radio 4 that my Bayelsa story was on PM. So if you listen back to PM at about 55 minutes into the programme, you'll hear the two-way between, Eddie Mair, the presenter, and Mark Doyle, BBC World Affairs editor.

So what do I do? Do I

a) get in touch with the person at PM who turned the story down, tell her that she's a thieving beeyatch, and tell her I know where she works (cos I do)?

b)send her a bill for say, £150, with a note attached saying, "I see you eventually used my idea, nice doing business with you".

c)or do I mollify her by saying that I see that PM used a similar programme idea to mine, that it seems I might know the tone of the programme, and would it be okay if I sent her more ideas?

Well, I'll be plumping for c, and this is why. I have no evidence that the reason PM decided to run the story today Monday, six days after they turned me down, had anything to do with my original pitch. The fact that troops have moved into Bayelsa might have given an additional element to the story and the need to run it. Another reason to run the story might have been OBJ's letter to Tony Blair asking why DSP Alamieyeseigha aka Tina, skipped bail on his watch.

In the media, it's always difficult to claim ownership of an idea. Great minds and not so great minds think alike, so chances are that someone else is thinking up the idea you think is exclusive to you, the very same idea you think will definitely buy you that personal Pacific retreat. Meanwhile, my rottweilers are on the prowl looking for plagiarisers to masticate. Beware of dog.

Sunday Times and all that

I've had my nose to the grindstone over the last few days, and so had to put blogging on the backburner. I was working on a story for the Sunday Times, about our dearly beloved governor DSP Alamieyeseigha, aka Tina. I got an additional reporting credit for the story, which is good, but I don't know if it counts as a proper byline. Does it? My mama is proud anyway, which is always a good thing. Perhaps her hobo son might yet make good. So much more could have gone into it, but there was a huge amount of speculation surrounding the story. Nobody was willing to go on record, and the interesting aspects could have been just mere conjecture. Good sources to corroborate stories were hard to come by. As with many things Nigerian, reliable information was the hardest thing to get hold of. Thanks to all the people in Naij and here who help put the story together. I won't mention names, you know who you are.

It was actually a wonder that the Sunday Times did the story considering it had been done during the week. I know a few paragraphs in the Times, Telegraph and Guardian is not enough, but the sundays don't retread the same ground as the dailies. If it's been covered, it's been covered. There's so much to say about the politics of news reporting, and I couldn't do it justice here. Another time youngblood, another time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Women are like buses

Some are doubledecker, some are not. This is apparently a statement which objectifies women. The sensibilities of my friend (female) were ruffled by it; I wouldn't expect a lesser effect of a quote taken from the teenage pre-watershed soft-porn soap Hollyoaks. She isn't exactly a bra-burning feminista, so I suppose there must be something offensive about it. The remark is neither chauvinist nor misogynist. The remark is a joke making a statement about the size of women's breasts. It takes a well known statement about relationships i.e. women being like buses, none come for ages, then many come along at once, which it marries with a Loaded style pun. Men are objectified all the time, goodness knows how many "men are only needed to change the lightbulb" jokes I've heard in my lifetime. I dislike magazines like Loaded and FHM which reduce women to nothing more than sexual preferences and positions. I'd also like to know who their favourite physicist is, and why they think Kant is of greater import than St. Thomas Aquinas. I might have to wait for the hens in my backyard to grow teeth though, but in the meantime I don't want them taken off the shelves. A lasses mag filled with the objectification of men would be preferable. They'd have the men in the CK boxers asking "so what's your favourite DIY position?", and "how often do you use that razor?" Now that is equality.

Murda da paper bwoi

Indeed. The Bush government apparently laid plans to bomb Al-Jazeera during the Iraq conflict. The government is now brandishing the axe that is the Official Secrets Act if the Daily Mirror continues with the story. If it proves to be true (of which all indications are that it is), it would be the most damning indictment of the neo-con doctrine of spreading democracy via pre-emptive and interventionist measures. Freedom of speech is one of the tenets of democracy, as is the importance of a public having access to information. These are the two things that news stations like Al-Jazeera do. Since 1977, under Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions, journalists have been considered civilians and are as such accorded the same level of protection. Targeting journalist amounts to cold-blooded state sponsored murder, the type that the neo-cons apparently went into Iraq to get rid off.

Of course Tony Blair comes out of this smelling of roses, as he was the one who talked George the Younger out of his idiocy. That's the card the government has been playing since the conflict began. It's been drummed into the British public's head that our squaddies are better behaved, that it's the Americans that had no plan for post-conflict Iraq, that Southern Iraq is better governed than Central Iraq because of Her Majesty's forces stationed in Basra. Big hairy bollocks to that. Britain is as guilty as America in its Iraqi adventure, and history will not judge the Brits to be the benevolent half of the invading force. An invader is an invader is an invader is an invader, for emphasis.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tafa in chains

Tafa Balogun has just been convicted. He was given only a six month sentence which is very lenient. What the sentence does though is present a prominent scalp to Nigerians on charges of dodginess. I cannot remember this ever happening. The picture of him wearing an elegant blue babanriga adorned with handcuffs is a very poignant one. It's similar to the British joke about women having decent knickers on just in case they're involved in an accident and a paramedic ends up seeing them. Dignity must not just be preserved, but ensured. I sincerely hope this is the first of many scalps for the EFCC.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Woman's Hour

I woke up to Martha Kearney and Woman's Hour on Friday. She'd secured an exclusive interview with Liberia and Africa's first female president-elect Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. I was impressed by the panel's acknowledegment that leadership among West African women is as strong as ever. Women might not hold political office, but they're indispensible everywhere else, culture, business, law, banking. In areas where merit is put above the ability to employ an element strong arm-ness, women prosper. I remember my grandmother was very prominent in the grass roots politics of Rivers State; Shehu Shagari (who I'm named after) personally thanked her for securing the state for his party.

More impressed was I by Pat Caplin's mention of the Igbo Women's War of 1929. It's widely believed that this was a pivotal moment in the anti-colonial movement, our very own Epsom Derby moment. Yet we were not taught anything about it in school. What our schools do well is force its students to stand in the hot sun Stalinist-like reciting jingoistic national anthems and pledges, words which given the state of Nigeria, obviously mean nothing. I went to a Nigerian business exhibition a few weeks ago, hoping to find someone selling cut-price Stella Obasanjo oil wells, because I'm flat broke. At the stands for the Nigerian schools, there were pictures of smiling children wearing blazers, and Harrow School straw hats. Nigeria's yearly average temperature is 25-28 degrees C. Why would anyone torture these kids so in the name of education? Ah, I see, it's how the British supposedly educate their children. All the schools with stands had a hankering to represent the British public school ethos. Aspiring to educational standards is one thing, but imitating dress shows they know not what the purpose of education is. I despair for the education of our youth.

A funny thing happened

I was talking to a fellow at the World Service's Analysis this afternoon, trying to flog my story on Governor Alamieyesiegha. It's received surprisingly little coverage here in the UK, so I've been hawking the story to Radio 4's foreign documentaries section, Law in Action, and a few others. The mister at Analysis says he can't do the story, sub judice and all that, but he takes my details down nonetheless. Five minutes later, he calls me, and I recognise that it's the Beeb's call sign. So I answer the phone, hopeful that he's changed his mind and he's going to offer me a job to dethrone Mark Thompson to become Director General of the BBC. Then he says, "he's jumped bail". The story had just hit the wires, so I called my mum in Nigeria to break the news.

After coughing up £500,000 of what may or may not have been stolen funds, the Governor slips out of the country. The borders of this country are porous. I don't mind them being porous coming in (I'm an immigration anarchist), but going out, they must be water-tight. Invariably, it's criminals who are trying to avoid the justice of the Crown that have to leave the country. The EFCC doesn't have the teeth to secure sufficiently high profile convictions because of matters such as immunity. The British government seems to be willing to do our bidding for us, Alamieyeseigha of course being the second bail jumper after Joshua Dariye last year.

What Nigeria might have to do is a reversal of the Umaru Dikko incident in 1986. Perhaps the EFCC should hire Mossad trained heavies to drug and smuggle prominent Nigerians out of the country to stand trial for corruption in the UK. The Crown Prosecution Service seems to the have necessary enthusiasm to charge and try them. Besides, it might enhance Britain's already well hewn reputation for international justice - Pinochet, Roman Polanski vs Vanity Fair. I'm still hawking the story, and I suppose I could add "skipped bail" as part of my pitch.

Friday, November 18, 2005

So, how did it go?

The Guardian interview went well. Over time, I've learnt that one's feelings in the aftermath of an interview don't necessarily mean anything. I just forget about it and move on. When the results come, they come. I remember having an interview at the New Statesman last year, a place where I would've felt at home, only to be told I "wasn't print enough". My television experience had overshadowed my print journalism experience, even though I didn't even have up to one hour screen time at this point. This astonished me because at the time, I thought my strength was print, despite my television deviation. The interviewer has since left the NS, and is now a columnist at the Guardian. We might yet become colleagues.

I also recollect going to an interview with one of the independent production companies for a traineeship sponsored by Channel 4. They were the second company that had interviewed me, after the first one, Maverick, turned me down. This indy had made a few controversial programmes about race and religion, so I knew I'd have a lot to talk about at the interview. In what has got to be an exercise in how best to make an interviewee uncomfortable, he said "I don't know why they sent you. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with you. One can't really tell on the strength of an interview alone how you'll do if you're employed here". Gee thanks. That's a paraphrase of what the guy said, but it shows the pointlessness of some interviews.

So, how did it go?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Tomorrow is the initial day of reckoning, before a second day of reckoning comes. The interview I have at The Guardian is with someone in HR and should last about twenty minutes. It's the first interview, the second is likely to be the killer. They'll probably be testing my levels of lentil-eating, sandal-wearing, ethical-living, oh and my journalistic ability and commitment. Some people grow up wanting to see their byline in The Times, I even know someone who's dream was to write for Waitrose Food Illustrated, moi though have dreamed of writing for the Guardian. Since I picked it up in 1998, I've been hooked. During A-levels I used to read the Torygraph and the Times, largely because those were the only newspapers that boarders received. I now see it as a conservative establishment plot to brainwash and indoctrinate me with an alien political bent. I was at LRGS, an all-boys school in the north of England, four black boys in the whole school (I tell a lie, at our peak there were five of us) - I really shouldn't have expected the left leaning Guardian and Indy served with my shepherd's pie, should I?

I always joke about how the Guardian and my Bible jostle for position on my bedside table, the Guardian sometimes winning, and other times, winning still. Some of my friends think the thought in itself is blasphemous. Well, burn me at the stake. I like the writing in Guardian for several simple reasons: it's witty, irreverent (nothing is beyond reproach), has very good coverage of foreign news, and is the only newspaper that regularly deals with black issues in Britain.

The Guardian isn't perfect, no broadsheet is. But it's the best out there. The Indy is just a rabid intelligent people's Daily Mirror, at the forefront of the viewspaper evolution. The Telegraph is just staid and boring, and the Times is smug middle class blandness. Or maybe I'm just bitter that none of them have given me an interview. We shall see what happens, when the day before the day after tomorrow comes. Now for the small matter of ironing my shirt, suit, and tie, and polishing those shoes. As for the hair...

Monday, November 14, 2005

I remember my first...

I remember my first ballet because it was the ENB's Sleeping Beauty on Friday at the New Theatre, Oxford. I went to the ballet for two reasons: 1) Tchaikovsky is my favourite composer, and 2) I saw a televised version of the Nutcracker which blew me away. It was a potent combination of a composer I love and dance to make my jaw drop. To anyone who hasn't seen a ballet and thinks it's pretentious self-congratulatory faux high art, I urge you to reconsider. The ballet was rivetting from start to finish. Then again, perhaps I'm a dilettante and I don't know my hutus from my piroulettes. For all I know, the critics could have done what they do best - pan it from here to Alaska.

Most people know the story of Sleeping Beauty and her Prince Charming. Imagine the story reworked, not by a soporific underpaid nursery school teacher, but acted out in dance form, set to the genius of Tchaikovsky by dancers who looked like they were enjoying themselves on stage, despite the technical difficulty of what they were doing. Watching them, I felt inspired - like I should be on stage also, prancing about in my tutu.

It is easy to see how art such as ballet and classical music become so-called high art, understood and patronised only by an affluent blue blood elite. The reflections are of the pomp and pageantry of a bygone era. A land awash with supine servants, court jesters, sycophantic advisers (almost sounds Blair-like), and a throne whose word was yea and amen. Only people with ties to that era, who feel such art is reflective of their past or present (insular) history, or yearn for a return to that past can appreciate it. Art should make us question our surroundings, regardless of historical context. The only attraction ballet might have for the ordinary man is in its aesthetic beauty, but it'll be a shame for such beauty to lack deeper meaning due to its "high art" leaning. Bring on Nutcracker!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Remember Saro-Wiwa?

Today is the 10th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian playwright and human/environmental rights activist. Last night, the Royal Festival Hall hosted an event in his memory. On the bill were Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, T.S. Eliot prize winner Alice Oswald, multi-instrumentalist Byron Wallen, and poet Lemn Sissay was the host. I've always thought, like most left leaning sackcloth wearing guardianistas that Ken Saro-Wiwa was a saint. A man executed by Abacha's kleptomaniacal military murderocracy at the behest of big business. He made us laugh with his popular Nigerian comedy Bassey an Co., he couldn't possibly be a bad man. But as I've grown older, I've learned that there is no such thing as black and white, only shades of grey.

Abacha should not have executed Saro-Wiwa, but more curious is the charge sheet against him. He was charged with treason and being complicit in the murder several Ogoni chiefs who were supposedly sympathetic to oil money. There are parallels with aspects of the British Terrorism Bill. Did he know that geeing up the Ogoni youth to stand up for themselves would lead to the murder of the chiefs? Under British law, his activities would have been seen as incitement, and he'd quite possibly have been prosecuted. The government recently won a vote in Parliament. The vote was on an amendment which added a clause that the prosecution would need to show that the defendant had "intent" to cause harm by making his/her incendiary statement. This is they grey area where Saro-Wiwa is concerned. I was pleased that Wole Soyinka mentioned that there might have been overenthusiastic members of MOSOP's youth wing, who took their cue from Ken Saro-Wiwa.

On the issue of treason, we were showed a video of the accusations Saro-Wiwa made against the Nigerian state and the oil companies. He accused the government of seeking to wipe out the Ogoni people, and oil companies being in connivance in this genocide. These are serious allegations, the kind that should not and must not be taken lightly by any government. Should he have been executed? Of course not. Were the charges trumped up? Perhaps. Were the charges grave? Absolutely.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Il a blagué

Which roughly translates as "he joked" in French. It's a bit late to tell the people at the Guardian that I was just joking about my love for rallying, swimming, track & field - just so they would give me a job. Well, they've only gone and invited me to an interview for a trainee sports journalist position. Can I plead the fifth amendment at an interview?

The geeky looking Guardian journalist/sports anorak walks into the freezing cold room. Don't be fooled by the thick rimmed NHS issue glasses. "We keep the room cold to intimidate interviewees. Are you nervous yet? Not to worry, if you're not yet, you will be."

"So Mr. Ifejika," he continues, "rallying eh? We'll see about that". Pause. Then fires three questions in succession, machine gun fire couldn't sound any worse. "Who won this year's driver's championship?* Who won the constructor's championship?** Who's having chemothrapy after the removal of a brain tumour?***"

"Erm, can I google it?" Ifejika stumbles.

"ANSWER Ifejika, ANSWER!" he bellows, nostrils flaring, showering Ifejika with tiny morsels of his breakfast.

Okay, I have to brush up on my sports current affairs (is there any such thing?) I'm only going to be in the interview for twenty minutes. They couldn't possibly ask me enough stuff in that time. Interviews are supposed to be events where one is hung, drawn, and quartered over the course of a day, not a twenty minute chat. I should be happy, I hear you say. Perhaps I should be, but it's at times like this the masochist in me surfaces. Make me bleed!

*Sébastian Loeb
***Richard Burns
ps I'd like to thanks Google for making these answers possible.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Johnson-Sirleaf or Weah?

In a few hours, Liberians vote for a president to take over from the transitional government which ended years of political unrest and civil war. The people will vote for Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf or George Weah. There haven't been any elections this year that I've felt ambiguous about, until this one. UK general elections - Lib Dems, German federal elections - SDP/Greens, Iranian presidential elections - Hashemi Rafsanjani. I err on the side of socialists, liberals, and progressives, but the Liberian question is a tad complicated. Ellen Sirleaf is the Havard educated former World Bank and Citibank economist and politician. George Weah is the high school drop-out former world footballer of the year. Sirleaf seems the obvious choice, after all I sneered at Schwarzenegger in California, cringed at Bush in 2000 and 2004. In my not so humble opinion, both of them are intellectual lightweights, not enough grey matter between the ears to deal with the important business of governance. But what I've learnt from them both is that personalities (e.g. pint sharing appeal) and overarching visions (e.g. cutting taxes) win elections, but advisors run governments.

I'm very uncomfortable with Sirleaf's past support for Charles Taylor. There are some lapses of judgement that cannot be forgiven and supporting a warlord is one of them. When people are desperate for power they cleave to anything, including people who embody the things they hate about their immediate society. One doesn't have to be in political office to make a difference, especially in Africa where politics is a blood sport. Wanting to be in power sometimes means allowing blood to be shed, inadvertently or not. Politicians should be wary of this. Sound preachy? Well, it is.

My mama was gonna to go to Liberia with a contingent of Nigerian women to support the Ellen Sirleaf campaign. Obasanjo's government in Nigeria has created some kind of feminista movement for women's empowerment. A lot of the West's commentary on Nigeria's so called rejuvenation has highlighted the involvement of women in key decision areas - finance, solid minerals, due process etc. There's a lot to be said for women in position of power being a major catalyst for change, not in Nigeria alone, but across the continent. This is obviously a plus point for Sirleaf.

I've watched Weah for a few years. I enjoyed watching him at PSG and Milan, he was part of the Bosman era revolution that created international dream teams in football. More significant is the work he's done with UNICEF, and funding Liberia's football team during the civil war. But most impressive for me was his decision, in 2000, to intervene on behalf of a Channel 4 documentary film crew arrested on treason charges, and his work in disarming and educating child soldiers. He might not have a Harvard degree, but what more would he need to do to demonstrate commitment and ability? Personally breast feed every baby in Liberia?

Now we need a caveat. If the people vote Weah and he's hopelessly incompetent, what do we do? It means we've been taken in by populism, and the power of the satelite dish (Liberians couldn't know about his footballing exploits in Europe without it.) All democracies should have checks and balances, and this is where they should be used. Vetoes and impeachment, methinks!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Friends. Rivals. Sisters.

That is the tagline for In Her Shoes... Were they trying to imitate Mark Antony from Julius Caesar? Shakespeare this is not. I've just sat through two hours of this film at the cinema (under duress), and only my pity for the cleaners stopped me slitting my wrist. I've heard blood stains are difficult to remove at the best of times, cheap cinema carpets would probably be a nightmare. What did I find wrong with the fillum? It has Cameron Diaz, who should have stuck to modelling. It was too long (130mins). There are too many sick bucket moments, "why would anyone want me? I'm fat". That is a sick bucket statement. The dyslexic girl ends up being able to read, all she needed was a bit of encouragement. Puhlease! You know what? The fillum isn't even worthy of my scorn, so I'll save it.

Of greater interest was the blunder of Dogs of War starting and not In Her Shoes. Cue complaining cinema-goers, cue film halted two minutes in, cue apologies and explanations from staff. So as company employees do to compensate customers for such blunders, they break open the glass case and hand out the freebies they'd normally steal for themselves, obviously feeling a pang of benevolence as they rip the free ticket coupons from the booklets. Well, I'm happy for them , but even happier for myself.

I went to a graduation lunch this afternoon. Graduations are one of the most fulfilling events anyone can attend. My graduation was quite possibly the proudest day of my life. I'd put it just below the kind of pride a man feels when his wife gives birth au naturel, sans epidural, sans caesarean. Not that I know how the whole childbirth pride thing feels, but I have a fertile imagination. Our heads of departments called out the names. They were very well practised, because Professor Lister called all five of my (African) names with out choking, biting his tongue, or bringing up the polenta he had for breakfast. The only problem was he took so long calling them that people must thought it was a brief interlude. I came out to a loud roar from my peers, and hugged and kissed our chancellor, Lord Attenborough. He whispered in my ear, "I wish I could pronounce all your beautiful names" (honest). And I think I muttered something like, "I'll only be too happy to teach you, Baron Attenborough. Just send Jeeves round in the Roller, and I'll pop in for a tea-time lesson." Okay, I made up the last bit. But I was so elated, at that moment all my stresses and woes seemed worth it. I won't say late nights studying were worth it, cos I never really did that. But I was proud of my achievements. It didn't matter that I didn't get a first class degree, a second, a third, or a fourth for that matter! I was up there, and my efforts had been acknowledged.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

He wuz briefed!!!

I've just witnessed the PM talk about football on Football Focus on BBC1. He talked about his cult team and it included Malbranque and De Zeeuw, not exactly the most popular players in the world. My conclusion? He wuz briefed! His bank of policy advisers and researchers probably researched everything that was going on in football and then briefed him. He then comes on television to talk about the world's favourite game, and look like a man of the people - yeah right. He's had a torrid time in parliament over the last few weeks, and then he embarks on a media offensive to mollify the electorate. The man sports a grey shirt, top button undone, black trousers, legs crossed. In today's Guardian, he looks similar in an interview with Patrick Wintour and Michale White. Tony Blair is either incredibly lucky, or his advisers are prescient to a frightening degree. These are my politics: start from a position of cynicism and then build towards scepticism, then if the politician is anything close to a 21st century Jesus Christ, mild affirmation.

Last night I played ISS Pro evolution with the boys for a few hours. I started off well considering I haven't got a PS2 of my own, winning about three consecutive games on penalties. As the night wore on, fatigue set in and I started to lose. My not having a console is no excuse, because, it's all in the mind. If you can think a good game, you can play a good game.

Friday, November 04, 2005

All navel lint and no substance

I've just been watching the Question Time debate between the two Davids bidding to become the next leader of HM Opposition aka the Tory party. David Cameron came across as I always suspected, all navel lint and no substance. Cameron was going into this in football terminology 2-1 up. Two points scored from the party conference and another after winning the Commons vote, Davis's point coming from his initial momentum as favourite, which has seen him through till now. Cameron's inexperience showed as Davis gave the audience the red meat they desired, and the meat was perhaps not Cameron's carcass, but his liver or something close. David gave specific examples of what he'd do if he became leader, while Cameron went on about rebranding the Conservative party. Davis made the allusion to Cameron being compared to Blair, saying "I don't mean that as a bad thing". Only ten minutes later for him to say that the country was tired of Blair and what they didn't need was another spinmeister general. Davis said this with two minutes to go, with no time for a proper riposte from Cameron, the third David (Dimbleby) called a halt to proceedings.

If I was dangled off Beachy Head and asked to choose either David, I'd repent of all my trangressions, make peace with my maker, and ask to be dropped. Don't believe in Conservative ideals, they run antithetical to most of my instincts. That said, Labour are no better. I'll slag them off another time.

Thieves shall be shot

I've just finished watching the Culture Show on BBC2. They had a piece about UK hip-hop which looked oddly familiar. As soon as they trailed it, I had the number for Mr. Sue-the-beeb-for-plagiarism QC ready to dial. I thought Auntie had stolen my idea. I contacted the Culture Show some months ago about a hip-hop in the UK idea, but it didn't get approved, because the questions it was asking were already answered in my proposal. If you've already answered the question you'll be posing in a proposal, then it kills the anticipation to watch a compelling piece of tv journalism, not least one about the arts.

I was gonna ask why UK hip-hop sells badly, and posit that competing against the authentic US model has makes it so. ("Make it so" - Jean-Luc Picard). In Western Europe, most countries have had chart-topping rap artists, Solaar, AfroB, Joni Rewind - to name a few. They can't necessarily compete directly with US artists because there's the issue of language, they compete with fellow German speakers etc. In the UK, we have to compete on lyrics, and beats. Double the stress.

Word for journos and media ideas people: don't always conclude that your idea has been stolen by the media devils. A commissioner might receive 10 proposals about a primetime reality quiz show called "how best to put jam on a slice of bread" (I detest jam, btw). The one that will get commissioned (trust me, such a title can get commissioned) is the one which suits the whim of the editor at the time he/she accepts it. You might not be able to spot the subtle nuances in the supposedly similar ideas, but trust me, they exist. The best thing to do is stalk the editor, proposition him/her, this should give you a better idea of how they like their eggs, sorry proposals, in the mornings. In the immortals words of nobody in particular - DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Do as I say...

Every one seems to have a blog. Why? I can't even post comments on people's blogs without being signed up to a blogger thingy myself. I detest having to give any personal details on the internet, and Mr. has made me do it. So now I've signed up to a blog, I might as well start blogging. I shall rant like all the other loonies out there who think they have something to say. I've seen the failings of the democratisation of freedom of speech: Any Thomas, Richard, and Harold can have their claptrap within eyeshot of the sane world in no time. It's the Voltaire maxim about one's right to say summat and dying to defend their right to say it. I'm not dying to to defend diddly. Perhaps they should just shut up.

I am now a blogger. Everything I said in the last paragraph lends itself to hypocrisy. Do as I say, not as I do!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005