Lola Sebastian- Anthony Bourdain: A Love Song

This video essay is so good.

The mention of the commodification of celebrity death is something we should think about more.

My Body, Your Opinion(?)

I am fat. Like size 20/22 fat. And there is nothing I can wear to hide this fact.

So I’m always surprised when I see especially older women snicker about something I’ve worn. The internalised fatphobia of it all.

I was beach side and let me just say, a woman who happens to be fat, who wears what she wants seems to be a sight to behold. Especially if she is black. Cause I can tell you the white women don’t even get a glance. Meanwhile I’ll just be wearing a one piece swimming costume and there is an expectation that I should wear those ugly ones with a skirt or bikers. Yuck.

I really wish we’d all understand and deal with our fatphobia, internalised or otherwise so we can all live in peace without the side eyes and whispers. Heal beloved. Thanks.

I am the representation I needed when I was a kid. Hide for what? For who? Nonsense.

Random Things I Remember From The 90s

Previous post on memories here .

There was a place at Adam’s Arcade that used to sell chips called Cinderella. They used to put cabbage and carrot mixture (not coleslaw) in the chips and it was delicious.

There was an Indian restaurant called Minar (that was in Yaya and somewhere else I don’t remember) which had good food. It didn’t last but we enjoyed.

Utalii hotel had excellent lunch and dinner. Because it was the hotel for the hospitality college, it was students doing the cooking and serving as part of their course and honestly, it would be very packed on Sundays and the food (in my memory) was absolutely lovely.

There was chewing gum called racers which we bought to “collect” the different cars under the wrappers.

The Problem With #CoupleGoals

A couple who were doing coupley content on TikTok broke up and the ensuing comments have been truly something to behold and it gave me the final push to talk about this concept of Couple Goals.

Goals

noun

the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result

Like many things that have been commodified – other people’s relationships are something we are told to aspire to – despite the fact that we have no idea what the totality of the relationship is about. As I keep proclaiming, being coupled is seen as an achievement due to the hierarchy of relationships with romantic relationship being seen as the apex – the highest achievement. And not so much the quality of the relationship even but rather that you attained it.

And that’s why people love the idea of couple goals because it gives them this rose coloured glasses view of how relationships ought to be. From my observation, we often say people are couple goals because they are portraying an aesthetic we desire (or are told we should desire). Beauty and youth are especially heralded. If they follow social norms, live a conventional life – the better (date, engaged, marry and then children) – most variances to this are rejected. If their social media presence shows wealth, travel and a curated aesthetic – even better; manufactured vulnerability is interpreted as intimacy.

I find it all so unimaginative.

Alaine de Botton often says that we assume that love should come naturally to us and that it shouldn’t be work or something we should learn which, is a product of romanticism, of which I am not a fan. People also have that ridiculous expectation that those in their lives should somehow automatically know how to love them. But then it brings to question, do people even know how they want to be loved? Or are they looking at other coupled people and picking from what they doing and deciding that whatever it is someone is getting, it would work for them to? Is that why these people become #Goals? Do people seriously think that they can gauge relationships from snippets they see online?

When couples separate or have issues publicly, suddenly you see comments “love is dead”, “if they didn’t make it who will”, ” I don’t believe in love anymore” and such like statements. My first instinct is to think it all hyperbole but truly there are people whose values on romantic love are derived only from what they consume on social media. Making choices because they see other people make them.

And that’s tragic.

I Said What I Said

It’s fascinating how people confuse someone being good looking and being attracted to them.

For everyone who has ever wondered how R Kelly got away with everything he has done for so long, just look at what Kanye is doing. And the excuses people make because someone made a piece of music that they like is mind blowing.

I truly believe that most of the things people view as status symbols are trappings of capitalism and I am therefore rarely impressed by the performance put forth to show wealth.

I wonder how all the kids who were born so parents could make content will be when older. I hope they’ll be okay.

Congruently, I think we should celebrate parents who bring up kids well. All that hoopla spent on congratulating people on being pregnant should be saved for how they bring up kids.

Also, let’s take a moment and think about class and showers (baby and bridal). 🤔🤔🤔

Do you sometimes feel like classed people think they know more about love and don’t think non classed people do?

Would You Join A Cult?

I have been watching cult documentaries with fervour. I love them so much and every time I do I always wonder if I could be susceptible enough to join one. I do not think anyone is above joining one by the way.

Now, given that I am not religious, it limits the number of cults that I could join. However I recently I watched Seduced and The Vow about NXIVM which is a cult based on self help/personal growth and new age/empowerment/spiritual rhetoric. Cults are evolving y’all.

But let me not get ahead of myself. What is the definition of a cult? According to dictionary dot com the definition is a variety of things but the basic tenets are that there is an ideology that brings people together, object or person of devotion, existence of rites and ceremonies and then the things that separate it from organised religion – isolating people, requiring loyalty, worship of one specific person among other things (Read this).

I think NXIVM really hit me was because it is a self help organisation. They have the wording of self help and then once you are deep in, it goes off the rails. I mean, they preached productivity, calorie control, gyming and physical activity and also things like you didn’t need 8 hours of sleep. Watching these documentaries was truly something.

And this makes it different in that if you aren’t religious, it is easy to avoid the religious based cults. However we are almost always looking for ways to improve ourselves, to find purpose, to be better, to grow. And this can lead you into a cult.

Especially now as things are tough and statistics are showing we aren’t as religious, we are looking for other ways to escape and find ourselves and community. It could be easy to join a group of people on the path to better yourself and the next thing you know, you are being asked ORDERED to have sex with the leader. Whew.

And you know the thing about these leaders is that when people watch these documentaries you wonder how people would follow them. And I think in underestimating them is one way people fall into the trap. I mean look at Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, Bikram, Gwen Shamblin – all of them. They are truly fascinating.

All this to reiterate that I think we are almost always susceptible to joining a cult. As one of the ladies said “We all want to believe”. And as the cult expert said, the mind is a fragile thing and we are all subject to influence.

Finally let’s remember that capitalism is a cult so we are all participating in one albeit for some of us begrudgingly.

(You know, it’s sad in a way because behind all this, we are looking for meaning and purpose because the truth is, the world as it is doesn’t make sense).

Random Things That Irk Me

When people say they are at brunch but there is no lunch food. If it’s only breakfast food then it’s breakfast. Time doesn’t matter. You are eating breakfast food at almost lunch time.

When Kenyans extol virtues of rich people. I will not be elaborating.

Kenyans who talk about politics of the country at face value without digging deeper into the whys and how’s and even how colonization and capitalism affects us. It all seems like what we have masking as punditry is purely reactions as if to a reality show.

Stores that only have clothes up to a size 16 and call themselves plus size.

People who cross right under a bridge. My inner thoughts always make me want to speed up.

How Nviiri pronounces some words when he sings.

Online Kenyan Adverts

SWVL has the best and worst online adverts. The space ship ones?? Absolutely good. The ones with various celebs? So annoying. Pascal especially is what people should point to when asked how a cheers baba person talks.

The Jiji Matchmaker ones are so cringe. Like I don’t know why there is need to make them have that sexual innuendo vibe. It’s so yikes.

Jury is still out on the Juicy Fruit one (the interview one), it gives me the ick though to be clear.

I have never watched the Copia one until the end because it already irks me in the few seconds I do have to view it.

Bold and Glovo are doing way too much its honestly a turn off.

Opioids

I was on YouTube watching this

And it made me think about how aggressive Cipladon is marketing itself as a pain killer. I obviously don’t think it is on the level of oxycotin or fentanyl but it is still so weird seeing influencers pushing medicine on social media. Especially given how consumer protection in this country is non existent and how reactive regulators in various sectors are.

It is certainly off-putting to have a non medical profession tell us about medicine that much is true.