The Lie of Romance

If there is one thing I completely agree with Alain de Botton about is that Romanticism needs to ummmm end.

But before I even go into that, let me say that we mostly like love the feeling and not love the reality of it all. We like the butterflies in the stomach nonsense. What Hollywood (and the philosophy of romanticism) has made us believe love should be.

Anyway

I was watching a True Crime documentary where the girlfriend of a convicted sex offender calls that man “romantic” because he wrote her letters. A SEXUAL DEVIANT. As if the fact that he is romantic should somehow mean something. He killed people Kayleigh, we don’t care what he wrote to you while in JAIL.

Romanticism is why we think in these romantic relationships, one has made amends because they brought flowers and chocolate instead of watching someone’s behaviour. It is why we think responding to texts is a bigger deal than it really should be. It is why we believe someone sharing inane details about their daily lives means they are emotionally open. It is why we put credence to ridiculous things like diamond rings and weddings. And most often than not, heterosexual relationships are better books than in real life, and that’s because women write romance books.

PS: I don’t care about your token good relationship, calm down.

Even astrology apps when talking about relationships focus on romantic over others which COME FUCKING ON!

And that is just part of the lie, isn’t it?

That focus on firstly, romantic relationships and secondly things that further capitalism (buying things to show affection for example).

I keep saying that I do not say all this to minimise the significance of romantic and/or sexual relationships but I do think we must think of the messaging out there a bit differently. I also want to be clear that companionship and marriage are not synonymous despite people wanting to act like it is.

And so let’s talk marriage because most often, the expectation is that a romantic relationship will lead to marriage. We must continue to ask ourselves why we are taught to look forward to marriage, to desire it even and also to want happiness and yet the two are at constant odds (especially women). And also, let’s not forgot the fact that a marriage is a government institution -which we don’t talk about enough.

And you know, despite years of seeing that this institution done one way doesn’t work but somehow we think we are the feneratjon that’s gonna do it better. And then we find ourselves in that cycle of deep hatred, discontent and anguish. A whole reimagination is needed.

I think beyond self awareness we have to accept how society and expectations thereof are ingrained in us. There are things we do thinking they are being done in self awareness but really, we are just doing what’s expected of us.

Are we valid, worthy if we aren’t “chosen“?

Is it what you desire or is it social conditioning?

Is it who you are or are you performing a role?

Who Am I? Random Things About Me

What song is in your rotation currently?

Not even gonna front, this is my best song of this year so far.

What’s the best feeling in the world?

Knowing you are going to have the best sleep ever. Like when you are about to sleep and know it’s gonna be good. And then the actual sleep. Sleeping.

Best vocalist in my opinion?

Always Luther. But current crop of musicians?

Gallant.

A random memory

The 1987 All African Games at Kasarani and we actually went. Have no pictures to prove this but we did. I was young but that is not the point.

Fox Drive In was the plan when we were kids especially when we moved to Thika Road. I really wonder what the story is with that.

An Out of Pocket opinion you have

People who cross the road under a bridge have a death wish. Do with that what you must.

Women who think they are special snowflakes and certain things won’t happen to them almost always end up having that thing happen to them.

Listening to things about your kids isn’t interesting to me (sometimes, not always).

Survival for the Fittest?

I wonder sometimes whether we, collectively as Kenyans, are in denial.

We are often proud of being Kenyan but most times, the foundation of that pride is weak.

We survive, we cope by:

1.Being delusional about politics. These politicians do not care and no amount of talking about politics will change that or make things better for that matter.

2. Using religion as a distraction. I said what I said.

3. Alcohol. We are a country of binge drinkers and we shouldn’t lie otherwise.

4. Pretending and loudly proclaiming we are better than other African countries.

5. Being unkind to each other. For example on the roads.

6. Joking about random things. Most often at the expense of someone.

7. Paying attention to and giving people money to tell us how to live our lives.

8. Pretending to be too busy to demand leadership. Also failing to realise that the bigger issue is not tribal but rather classism and all the ills that come with it.

Incompetence and Performance

I wrote in this post: Having watched that clip of those two men on red table talk plus a couple of comments on father’s day, I must say: There is a way fathers are infantilised when it comes to taking care of their kids that I REFUSE to get behind. How are you kekeing about your partner’s inability to remember things about his own children? Yuck. and then I came across a TikTok that talked about strategic incompetence. I didn’t save it so cannot link it.

But basically it was talking about how domestic work is something everyone should learn for their own living but somehow men are able to pretend they aren’t good at it. No one is born knowing how to do anything (except probably eat, sleep cry and poop). And then we are socialised, taught, we learn by observing etc.

Strategic Incompetence is the art of avoiding undesirable tasks by pretending to be unable to do them, and though the phrase was apparently only recently coined in a Wall Street Journal article, the concept is surely as old as humanity

You know how this incompetence is normalised? By making jokes about men not knowing how to take care of themselves or their offspring. And then people laughing about it. Like. Why? How do you not see the ridiculousness of it all?

Is it because doing this labour makes you feel like your life is important?

And this is where the performance of womanhood comes in.

Domesticity is not a birthright for women. And neither is suffering.

And that is why it grinds my gears when women perform womanhood as portrayed by society as if they were born to be nurturers as opposed to something socialised into them. All so that one can be “chosen”

Let us agree it is ALL a performance, ok? And let us imagine better. For us all.

“The ideal woman has always been conceptually overworked, an inorganic thing engineered to look natural. Historically, the ideal woman seeks all the things that women are trained to find fun and interesting – domesticity, physical self improvement, male approval, the maintenance of congeniality, various forms of unpaid work. The concept of the ideal woman is just flexible enough to allow for a modicum of individuality; the ideal woman always believes she came up with herself on her own.”

Trick Mirror – Jia Tolentino

Things I’ve Said Recently

Have you ever said something and then thought to yourself how dope it is? Recently I’ve been trying to remember the dope things I’ve said

We must really stop consuming things with the sole purpose of critiquing them. That isn’t good for the soul and the assumption that people are doing things in bad faith and it is your job to call them out is something social media and especially twitter made mainstream.

I don’t know what kind of super strength people think love has. That they can love someone so much until they change.

Most men don’t know how to be in communion with others. That is why they want to dominate more than anything else. They only know when women are in servitude to them. And also why I think they are adept at manipulation.

I get that you want to be a priority to someone but you can’t force it. Just the same way there is someone out there who sees you as a priority but they aren’t a priority for you.

Celebrity culture must end soon because I do not understand how people think it makes sense to defend these people and also, how do you decide on politics or what is moral based on what a celebrity said/did?

I do not know why parents think their responsibility for their kids ends at 18. It never ends. Why did you bring them into the world? To learn responsibility? That seems like a very silly reason to have a child (legacy is also a silly reason). People really must accept they just want to feel god like… “i created life” nonsense. I am never impressed unless parents are actively working to make their kids lives better, which must include making the world better.

What is Happening with Kenya’s Vision 2030?

I have always felt that Vision 2030 was like many Kenyan ideas, good on paper. And that is it. Because we know with the corruption levels in this country, it would never materialise into anything sustainable. The other day I saw a billboard on Vision 2030 and decided to see what had happened and the status of projects.

Back when I used to work, I had a job where we had to read on Vision 2030 often and link what we were doing to it and so I am familiar with the ideas, pillars – whatever you want to call them.

Like many organisations paid for by taxes that don’t seem to do anything much (I am looking at you Privatisation Commission and Numerical Machining Complex), but still gets financing every single year, the Vision 2030 is still alive y’all.

What have they achieved you ask?

Let me give you a few examples

Action plan: 404,800 hectares will be put under irrigation by 2017 especially in the Arid and Semi Arid area in Turkana and Tana Delta.

Currently: Stalled and in ruins

Action plan: A state-of-the-art BPO Park will be constructed at Athi River Export Processing Zone. The aim is to provide superior telecommunications infrastructure, easy access to international transport facilities, and affordable and readily available energy which are critical for a competitive BPO industry.

Currently: Closed

Action plan: Construction of one pilot wholesale hub in Maragua to serve as a model for the private sector.

Currently: Still a pipe dream

I am not writing this to be a debbie downer. Is there an action plan that has been implemented? Yes.

For example Implement the National Electronic Single Window System that allows parties in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry-point to fulfill all imports, exports and transit-related regulatory requirements has been and continues to be implemented by KRA.

I do not see why Vision 2030 still needs to exist as a separate entity is all I am saying. Look at these tenders. Are they necessary? No they are not.

I REFUSE

There is a #girlboss messaging especially on social media that furthers the capitalist agenda (which is an actual agenda) that I REFUSE to be sucked into. Capitalist girl power.. miss me pls

I just basically REFUSE to consume and react to content that is misogynistic, promotes shame and is bad. For example, I refuse to listen to some Kenyan music just because it is Kenyan.

Having watched that clip of those two men on red table talk plus a couple of comments on father’s day, I must say: There is a way fathers are infantilised when it comes to taking care of their kids that I REFUSE to get behind. How are you kekeing about your partner’s inability to remember things about his own children? Yuck.

In the quest for growth and improvement I REFUSE to continually be in that mode – that grind preached by the self help genre. I am my best self at any one moment.

Buildings =\= Progress

There is something I see often in content online and more so recently prevalent on Kenyan TikTok.

It is where someone posts these new buildings and restaurants and like Thika Road or a bypass and captions it “Welcome to Kenya”

The point, and I get it, is to show development and building and roads are often seen as progress for a country and in a way especially for roads, it has positive effects for value chains. I get it.

But I’d like to kill this trend post haste.

I don’t know who told us all that building things is a sign of development. Especially when done by loans provided by colonisers. And then the government misuses funds at the rate they do. It doesn’t make sense y’all.

In a country where (good) health, education, water and even food comes at a prohibitively high cost it is ludicrous to look at buildings and think “this country is doing fine”

It is not.

And I think we have to agree that the sign of a country doing well is when the majority (if not all) of the population is able to meet their basic needs. And when I speak of health I am absolutely including mental health because Kenya can kill you with stress.

And that’s facts.

The Kenyan Dream: Satisfaction Not Guaranteed

Honestly, capitalism makes dreaming seem so unimaginative.

Dreams, something that is beautiful, awespiring, vivid, so colourful – reduced to such inane things.

We all know about the American dream: A house with a white picket fence, a job and a family with two kids.

Imagine dreaming about labour as something to aspire to?

So boring.

And yet, we do it and because of the insidious nature of American Imperialism – this has also become the Kenyan dream.

A piece of property, a job and all the other things that we must own because capitalism has made us believe that we are successful in life if we accumulate these things.

And honestly, it is sad.

Like, the rest of our lives just accumulating things? That’s the plan?

We must reimagine something better surely.

This Conversation Amuses Me Pt 2

READ this post first because I had to come back to this because I saw the FUNNIEST video ever.

There is a video on YouTube about why women these days arent “marriageable” and it reminded of some things I forgot to write in that post from Monday.

  1. WHAT IS A MAN BRINGING TO A WOMAN’S LIFE? Like why is that never discussed? Why shouldn’t that be the focus? WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING HERE KEVIN? And please remember the science that women partnered to men are the unhappiest and least content. So tell me LEWIS, what you bringing?
  2. These are not the times when marriage was what gave value to a woman’s life and I think men feel like they are owed labour and absolute devotion from women. And that’s a pipe dream.
  3. The thinking that they can shame women into submission and desperation and that ain’t gonna work.
  4. And there is something to be said about the FACT that men listen to OTHER men about what women want (or should want) and that is sus. SUSPICIOUS. But also have to keep reminding myself that men don’t like women as people but rather as sex objects and labourers.
  5. LET ME TELL YOU MAINA, when women stop doing things for and seeking validation from men, it is going to be glorious. Divesting and whatnot because even seeing women file for divorce isn’t something that used to happen and it is happening more. Whew. It will be so glorious. WOW.