ThinkExist Dynamic daily quotation

"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Superman, Smallville, "Small Things": I'm 29!!

What do you get when you cross Tom Wellings, of Smallville fame with "Superman", and "Small Things"?

You get...erm, me?

Tom Wellings was born on the same day as me, so he turns 29 on wednesday 26 april (tomorrow), too.

Smallville is the name of the sci-fi show in which he plays a young "Superman", or Clark Kent.

Small Things has nothing to do with where the sun don't shine ('cos it's big!;-)), but the title I will most likely use for the crime thriller I am writing.

Be prepared for big news on its publication this time next year, babe!!!

Maybe once it becomes a best-seller (touch wood!!), Laura Tooth can write the screenplay, and Daniel can write the play?;-)

I'm off tomorrow attending a three-day course on ICT Journalism for Journalists, which will include sessions on Online Journalism and Blogging.

Can't wait...

Toodle pip!!


Monday, April 24, 2006

My Best Friend, Juliet (After ObifromSouthLondon)

ObifromSouthLondon made an interesting entry this month, which happily coincided with the post I was going to write about...

Hold on: all will be explained.

Juliet is the "best friend" I have talked about many times in the history of this blog. She turned 29 a few weeks ago (the picture is from the outing we had together the evening after her birthday), and I turn 29 in TWO days time--that's the 26th April.

Juliet is a trained journalist, publisher, and a very very hard-working person who is prepared to earn very little just for experience. She started off as a bit of a high-flyer, earning a very good salary at an early age, but she gave it all up to go into her own business. This, coupled with the fact that she was loathe to continue working at a place where she was given a great title and perks, but where they (foreign company) were basically ripping the country off by exporting gold out of the country.

I first met Juliet at one of those many fast-food chains here in Ghana. SHe was the one who actually introduced herself to me, asking whether I knew x, y, or Z, because I looked very much like someone she knew. I thought "wow, what a role-reversal!". It wasn't a come-on, though I sometimes wish it was.

Let's talk about the sometimes...

Sometimes, I fantasize about J being my girlfriend. We connect intellectually (when I broke out to her that I had started writing a book, she just smiled, cos she had the day earlier just been writing an outline for her book that she's writing!) and sometimes in other ways. For example, during the Easter break, we hadn't heard from each other for a while, so en route outside the capital, I sent her a txt message. She immediately called back...It later emerged that she was just about to send a text message/call that minute I did so...

maybe, that's just coincidence, but there have been a number of things that unite us. Ofcourse there are our differences: I can go on sometimes about an issue, and she will tell me, frankly, that she doesn't have time for that type of conversation at the moment, or will simply tell me she's bored by how I'm going on. I always appreciate that candour--even if I do get a bit irked, but that's how she is: candid.

But, she's also beautiful, in my view--both spiritually, physically and intellectually. Some days, I spend minutes thinking about her intensely--but never call. I always let my emotions pass away before I do anything stupid.

When I say she's beautiful, I mean she's really attractive. She has such a feminine voice--and that British accent! She exudes confidence and sexiness, and my God, she's sexy! She can turn me on any number of times during a long conversation...I will just smile. She has to work on her laugh, though...;-)

So, that, in a nutshell, is a bit about my best friend who knows the latest history of what I have been doing, whom I have been seeing, etc. My latest session of, erm, hanky-panky;-). I love my girlfriend, but I fancy my best friend...very very much.
I have thought about crossing the line, but I know I am not her type (she has told me many times before) and we are comfortable with that.

But something she said last year has tremendous resonance with Obi's post. She told me this: "there is never a truly platonic relationship between a guy and girl". She maintained:
(a)either one--guy/girl--wants to sleep with one another, but knows:
  • either is already attached

  • either is thinking of doing it in long-run

  • only ONE of them wants to sleep with the other

  • (b) they have already slept with each other, which has strengthened their friendship.

    To tell you the truth, I'm all for the latter!!;-))

    But, seriously, there are some truths there that are quite interesting, and I have wondered why J brought it up last year...

    Anyway, this is Obi's post:

    can you seriously be lovers and friends in a non-relationship context? when does a friend become a f**k buddy? sometimes one is attracted to another. pure animal attraction but friendship is the safest option. perhaps some commitment somewhere else, wrong timing on one's part, cultural/religious differences hindering any real engagement, plain just ain't happening. lovers and friends is a fine line. You hang out, coffee, parties, dinner, soul to soul chats, looking out for each other. crossing it is never factored in and not forseen (or simply blocked out). and then bam!!! you can't get enough of each others internal space. but the inevitable fallout. you start dealing with ish that you'ld never have encountered as just friends, jealousy, the new boyfriend or girlfriend, no being around in time of need or cant be around. I've heard the arguments and it can be deemed conveninent by some meeting up for the odd drink, the odd sex, no strings. You get on with your separate lives.


    J told me that night that picture was taken that she's met someone, and she reminded me of a list (outlining each and every one almost) of what she's looking for in a man. She went all garrulous on me, explaining with much enthusiasm why she had that list.

    There was only a vestige of jealousy within me, which I ignored. I want her to be happy--very much, and she deserves a good guy, but woe betide him if he messes with my best friend!!

    Crazy, indeed, I am about J.


    In so many ways, writing this is very cathartic...thanks for reading!!

    Thursday, April 20, 2006

    The Samson Syndrome, or Men Getting Weak at Beautiful Women

    I don’t think you have to be fan of the Bible in order to appreciate the magnitude of the Biblical figure Samson’s decision to tell his Delilah the biggest secret about his hair and his (immense) strength. It would prove to be his fatal undoing: he would be blinded by having his two eyes gauged out! ( This salutary lesson finds expression in the latest BBC article (Sex cues ruin men's decisiveness

    From:, which suggests that men get all weak and bothered once they see pictures of a beautiful woman, ultimately forcing them to be as less cohesive as they need to be in their thoughts.


    I confess to having suffered from lack of concentration towards the sight of beautiful women many times—and now we have definitive proof, of sorts…;-)






    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Fathers and Sons--Eat your Heart Out Turgenev!

    So there I was preparing for work, when my mind started roaming, as it is wont to that time of morning, about life and routine and whatnot…

    Then I got to thinking about how for granted I take my parents. Then it developed to whether my future progeny will take advantage of me also. Probably, I thought, maybe man is condemned to have his progeny take advantage of him/her—not because it is deliberate, but maybe each generation being taken advantage of is the way it is supposed to be.

    I know there are parents out there who do things for their children out of duty—not necessarily because of love—and those who do it for show. That is out of a myopic and solipsistic, or selfish, desire to prove to the Jones, as it were, that I can also do it for my children. When you ask them whether they spend time with their children, they might just nod at you, and say “look at the expensive school he goes to”, and “the good education that he/she is getting”. Surely that should indicate that the parents love the child?

    I beg to differ.

    Loving children is not taught. I am inclined to agree that mothers possess the inherent capacity to love their children, but I am not so convinced that fathers do. Having said that, I have many female friends whose relationships with their fathers is just this side of enviable.

    And ofcourse, there are many cases—rare though they might be—of mothers disliking their daughters and, well, children.

    I think it’s called Yin and Yang.

    Laura, that deeply sexy and erudite smut-writer, wrote an incisive post the other day ( about how different she is from her mother and her sister. One particular quote hit home:

    "when people reproduce naturally, many of them think of it in terms of reproducing more of themselves. implicit in this assumption is that their progeny will be like them. this is probably why many parents name their kids after themselves. but even if that kid carries your genes, that doesn't make him or her you either. he or she may look like you, and may even act like you--but that's a separate human being who has a mind and will of their own. the fact that this person carries your genes doesn't give you the right to control him or her, and that certainly doesn't give you the right to live your life through him or her either"

    Whilst it is a very telling insight, one thing that got me really thinking this morning was this: how having children is the greatest redemption not just of our loneliness, but – if you believe—of man’s self-sacrifice.

    Look at the number of times either our father or our mother (usually the latter) has sacrificed something for the child—for the child only to realize much later, and not understand the level of sacrifice. I am talking about going without certain things in order for the child to undergo an experience that will put him in good stead.

    And since, we children cannot in any way pay back our parents for all those silent, self-sacrifical periods, we might just replicate that same kind of sacrifice by way of our children. This, simply put, means that we chose to do so much more for our children than our parents were able to do. That way, the level of "recompense"(emotional) is catered for.

    Or is this simply utopia?

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Here's a Thriller for You--Part II

    I spent the better part of the weekend loooking through the story I wrote for my Creative writing class at college back in 2000. The titles are hevily inspired by the Welsh-pop group Catatonia and their 1998/99 hit "Strange Glue". So, you will find titles like "Secrets I Keep" (Chapter II); and "No Saviour" (Chapter III)--both of which can be found in the lyrics of the song.

    It is a very haunting song, and if you read the lyrics, you will understand why it is so inspirational for writing crime;-) It is one of my favourites on that chapter, barring "Road Rage", and "Mulder and Scully".

    The title--"End of the Night"--comes from the refrain of the lyrics:

    The end of the night never comes too quickly for me...never comes too quickly for me...

    So it was that I would turn to Christoper McQuarrie, writer of the 1995 classic gangster thriller "Usual Suspects" and his script, which I purchased from amazon in 1999 after watching the film--twice!-- in the Christmas of 1998.

    I re-call having read the preface to the script when I first bought it, and wondering how amazing it must have been to work in a detective agency and all that. WHat was most interesting was the manner in which McQuarrie had come up with the plot of the film solely upon sitting down on his desk and looking around him. Apparently, a lot of the names he had used (some which he sought permission for) for the film came from the law firm which he had once worked for...

    Which just struck me about the necessity of drawing inspiration from one's own surroundings if you want to write something more authentic. It stands to reason, but it can sometimes be forgotten that once you begin to elect domicile in the world of your characters, playing god here and there, it is of utmost importance to get back to what rings true in your real world and try to reflect that in your newly-created world.

    Good stuff!!

    My story revolves round a crime reporter who, along with her husband, a Chief Inspector, is drawn to a town where killings have taken place only to throw up a surprise for her husband that that same town is inhabited by her younger sister--married to a cheating husband...

    The story unfolds from there, but there WILL be many body counts--that's for sure!! And I am seeking to bring in as many red herrings as I can find--and getting inspiration from the "Usual Suspects" script is quite helpful, actually;-)

    I want to expand the chapters from three to ten, and introduce other characters--minor and otherwise--and possibly fuse an older story I wrote with this...

    who knows, but it's all exciting stuff!!!

    hope you are all keeping well...steph, sisoula, daniel, portuguesa nova, JeN, laura?...daniel??...the (lurking) visitor??


    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    The Multi-Facetted Mortification of the Ignoble Kind

    The news that Saddam Hussein will face genocide charges is welcome news, which you can read here:

    "BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraq tribunal Tuesday announced new criminal charges against Saddam Hussein and six others for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity in the 1980s crackdown against the Kurds, including the gassing of thousands of civilians in the village of Halabja."

    Contrasting this news against that of the egregious war criminal (though that's a bit of an oxymoron) Charles Taylor, it reminds me of how cowards die many times before their death.

    Think: Saddam hiding himself in a hole-ok, a "tiny cellar"; Taylor being caught at the border between Cameroon and Nigeria the day of the eclipse in the West African sub-region. I am re-posting an article I wrote for my college newspaper back in 1999--under the pseudonym of "max Sunrise" about Milosevic:

    The Leaders should try to avoid another Versailles

    At the time of writing, the Nato threat to launch air-strikes have been suspended, and the decisions have been postponed, if not suspended, till next they meet in March. Then, perhaps, another threat of air-strikes will be made.
    This is getting a bit too much, isn't it? These people in the castle aren't children fighting over who stole the chocolate, and who got hit. These are real lives, real people fighting for a real cause. They need time, patience, diplomacy at its highest, and a combination of all these, plus high-level discussions to produce a palatable compromise. Instead, one has seen things go wrong: rumours alluding to the idea that some of the delegations, upon which the discussions are incumbent, have leaked information to the Press with their mobile phones. Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary-of-State, has been seen jetting here and there, throwing out the usual flights of rhetoric - if no decision is made, Nato troops will be ready to act - and furthermore, the Serbs have expressed dissatisfaction with their part of the deal. Could history possible be repeating itself, a month later?

    Eighty years ago, in January, the Statesmen of the time also met in France - at Versailles - to carve up Europe. It was dissatisfaction by the Germans with the harshness of the compromise that ultimately precipitated the rise of Hitler, who later called Versailles a diktat and dolchstoss. Let us hope that these leaders do not make the mistake of trying to force deals with either the Serbs or the Albanians, or the ramifications of an adverse result could lead to disaster.

    Negotiation is an art, and it would be foolhardy for one to believe that the Six Contact Group, attending the conference are amateurs, but the problem is these statesmen don't seem to listen to the political scientists and historians out there who make a daily analysis of the politics of the international system. These people have the precedents at their fingertips; they know that you cannot force enemies to sit together by bungling them together in a fancy castle. Versailles ought to be enough of a reminder that things can go seriously wrong.

    That said, the impression one gets is that they feel one type of conflict resolution - Dayton Peace Accords brokered by Richard Holbrooke in Ohio, 1995 - is equally applicable to the case of Kosovo. These people may look the same, talk the same and argue with the same intensity as the Bosnians, but they are Kosovars, Albanians, etc. and their history is different. Most importantly, their lives have been thrown upside down by the master criminal behind all the problems: Slobodan Milosevic.

    This man is responsible for having repealed the autonomy that was granted to Kosovo, in 1989. Yugoslavia had originally granted the Serbian province of Kosovo autonomy in 1974. Yet Milosevic has single-handedly altered the lives of over million people, and in the process, whipped up the notion of superiority of one ethnic group over the other. His invective has ultimately triggered ethnic cleansing of the dimensions encountered during the Bosnian War of 1991-95.

    The statesmen in the castle of Rambouillet should keep in mind what Oscar Wilde wrote -- that "the systems that fail, are those that rely on the permanency of human nature". Agreements, such as Dayton Peace Accords, made under pressure have a high likelihood to result in a nuanced peace. In other words, human nature is inherently bad, and all sides have the potential to run out of patience. However, I believe that patience and increased diplomacy, rather than threats to strike, is what is needed. Simply put, empathy and understanding must play a superlative role if negotiation is to succeed.

    The rap artist, Coolio, perhaps was right: "we keep spending most of our lives living in a gangsta's paradise". In the case of Kosovo, the "gangsta" has long been President Milosevic. If negotiations break down, he will be the one to go unscathed in the face of all the killings. It is paramount that the negotiators proclaim the death knell of this particular gangsta's paradise.

    ©Max Sunrise 1999.


    For whom the bell tolls? one wonders...for war criminals, that's who!! Quite why the US government wants to distance itself from the working of the International Criminal Court, mooted in 1998, remains less a mystery, and more the case of the US government being what historian Norman Rich described, in his classic book "Great Power Diplomacy 1814-1914" about 19th century statesman Bismarck: :"an exponent of a modern and amoral realpolitik".

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    Here's a Thriller for You...

    I know I have always been a bit strange, albeit eccentric, but this HAS got to take the biscuit…


    I want to write a crime thriller.




    Though quite why I want to write a crime thriller as opposed to any other thriller I haven’t yet got my head round.


    All I know is that there are TWO things I want to do.


    1. I want to publish excerpts of my diary/journal, which I have been writing since 1988. I have many volumes, and I think it’s time I got it out there for posterity, and run the risk of denying my progeny from having a first-hand look-into their Dad’s life…
    2. I want to write a crime thriller. I wrote one for a creative writing class back in 2000 in university, which my lecturer called close to “Usual Suspects”--but not quite…L


    Evidently, there’s some work to do, and if this blogging enterprise is anything to go by, writing isn’t a problem as much as the idea for something that sells.


    Any ideas—Daniel, if you do read this, pls, man, some pointers!!!


    O, and Portuguesa Nova, I could do with some ideas from you—given your writing style that is capable of spinning a good yarn the moment you start writing:-) Good to see you back—I was there Friday, but computer probs frustrated my attempt to commentL




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