It’s going to be okay, right?

THE PERFECT (1)

I left childhood many years ago, followed paths that I thought were meant to bring me success and work satisfaction, and learned skilled that were supposed to bring some kind of fulfillment.

My lifelong quest has been a frantic chasing of the perfect balance between creativity and responsibility. Having someone take care of my bills while I chase creativity is a little distasteful, which always thrusts me towards responsibility. Except it is spiritually draining to sit in a room with stodgy authoritarians who perform tasks that high school drop-outs could easily complete, or managing clashing personalities who enjoy office/corporate drama. When faced with that, I am an optimist with soaring ambitions, whose inventiveness and creativity in this – brand new – field is going to change the World and finally change my life.

my youth was completely wasted on a lack of focus because of this teeter tottering between office stiff and frenzied creative energy, never settling comfortably in either one

On the other hand creativity on a growling stomach, with bills stacking into teetering piles on my desk, and the anxiety of looming failure and defeat, does not translate into success. My frazzled state of mind is unable to create anything that I enjoy, and the sparkle of optimism fades, slowly at first as I struggle with taming despair, then plummeting like a rock, into darkness, and a good old fashioned Netflix binge.

By the standard of many, my youth was completely wasted on a lack of focus because of this teeter tottering between office stiff and frenzied creative energy, never settling comfortably in either one. I’ve watched people build lives around children, husbands, careers, and never envied their lives, but I have envied their seeming satisfaction at having “arrived” in a comfortable place.

I’m still lost and trying to find my way to the thing I love most, creating something out of raw ideas in my mind and collecting skills that will make that happen. Maybe my personality can never be properly satisfied, so that I will be locked in this cycle for the rest of my life. Maybe that final push to stay hungry for a little while longer, is just over the horizon and will lead me to success.

However, right now I’ll finish packing my lunch and race for the huffing red and white bus that will transport me to the birthplace of Zombies, where a little bit of my soul will be sucked out.

Have a nice day folks!

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No more new music

Have you heard of musicxray?

It is a website powered by AI (machine learning for those who want to get technical). Musicians upload their music, which is analysed and sorted using mathematical algorithms. With a huge database of over 3 million songs, it has identified the characteristics of the ones that became hits and organized them into clusters. If the musician’s song is placed in one of those clusters, then it is deemed a hit and an eager music producer will be in touch to help you sell it to the World.

Click this link to see how one lady got chosen.

So, what happens when AI chooses what music we’re supposed to listen to based on “hits” criteria? Will we ever find something new? Something that challenges us into appreciating things that are different from ourselves.

I bet you inuit throat singing is not in that database.

 

Empathy as a virtue

Is this a virtue? Can we honestly say that because we care about the welfare of others, that it makes us better people?

In the case where the person is of less character than we think they should have, for instance, a thieving drug addict who just stole your phone, or politician who  embezzled millions to fill their own coffers. Does it count as caring if we have minimum requirements for the person?

If I am unable to empathize with you because we are so different, do you deserve to suffer- (1)

What does it mean to care about other people? Empathy/sympathy for the situations in which we find them? Monetary assistance? Exert political influence? Pay more taxes?

What are we expecting in return?

The notion of caring about other people has been bastardized to such an extent that we no longer have a meaningful definition ofthe phrase. But this is the political atmosphere in which we find ourselves, engaging with people to make them understand why being concerned about the welfare of others is important.

Is that a worthy cause?

Should I talk to you?

It is impossible to dialogue with a mouth that stays agape and a mind that is locked up.It is a beautiful World we live in. If someone says something I disagree with, I can change the channel, look for a different website, unsubscribe from a newsletter, leave a Facebook or WhatsApp group, or even set the place on fire. I have options.

Someone told me that I’m thin skinned and needed to be in a place where different views are being held to either strengthen my arguments or allow different kinds of information (that I may not have) to change my mind about my stance.

This is difficult. Am I supposed to engage with:

  1. Flat Earthers?
  2. Misogynists?
  3. NAMBLA (North American Men/Boy Love Association?
  4. Racists?
  5. Homophobes?
  6. Slave owners?
  7. Climate change deniers?
  8. Science deniers?
  9. Religious nuttery?

The list is a mile long. But here is my response,

No thank you.

If I don’t stand up for the things I believe in and refuse to engage with people whose arguments flaunt the basic tenets of human rights and shun science. I’m sorry if that makes me narrow minded, but I think I’m okay with that.

Sourcing Great African Literature

African Literature.

Sigh.

People don’t want to be called African authors, Africans shun African authors, Africans fight other Africans about what African literature is and should be.

It is a complicated space to occupy, especially because those of us who write stories know what the publishing World desires from the African continent. But they cater to their audience, who are, by and large, not African people.

If you’re reading this and you claim citizenship of one of the countries of that glorious continent, here are some resources for you. Please enjoy and patronize.

  1. Jalada Africa (stories)
  2. Omenana (SciFi/Fantasy Stories)
  3. African Literature on Facebook (all fun things African Lit)
  4. James Murua’s Literature Blog (literature review/news)
  5. Kwela (sell literature written by black Africans)
  6. Baobab Prize (children’s literature)

I hope this is a great start for everyone.