Perspective. Perspective

Many a time, under introspection induced by a good meal and a cold drink, I find myself applying new lens to old problems. Or looking at things a bit differently.

I highly recommend it because a new look at old things generally brings them out in a somewhat … interesting manner?

Let us take the case of Job. Of all the stories I suffered through listened to in Sunday School, which at my young age I considered a total waste of a good Sunday morning, the one I remember most was job.

For those of us not familiar with the facts, Job was a gentleman that went through quite the tribulations but he kept his cool

Some years back I thought about the whole thing a little differently and this is how it went.

Date & Time: Way, way, WAY back then

Cast: 1 (One) God, 1 (one) Devil, 1 (one) Job, 2 (two) Angels we’ll call Dark and Peter. Dark is the Devil’s sidekick and (St) Peter is head of the Admissions department

Director’s Notes: God has to be one, what being omnipresent and all. The Devil has to be one or it would be confusing. Job has to be one because having more than one Job is very stressful for everyone.

Scene: Heaven. Devil enters, wiping brow

God: Ah, Earl

Devil: G’day. What’s poppin? And I know you created me and all, but I’m not fond of the name Earl.

God: You’re the Earl of Hell, aren’t you?

Devil: Well, yes, but still … call me Ruby

God: (Smiling) Ruby?

Peter: (Indignantly) Ruby?!

Devil: (Fidgeting) Yes, Ruby

God: All right then, Ruby. How’s Hell

Devil: (Wiping brow) A mite warm, I must confess.

Peter: (Sotto Voice) The roof,
the roof,
the roof is on fire!

Dark: (Outraged) Hey hey! I heard that!

Devil: Don’t you find it boring, sitting up here all day playing those ridiculous harps?

God: My good man, don’t knock it until you try it. You seem to forget you were in the boy’s choir until you broke your voice

Peter: Didn’t break it enough from the sound of things! Sounds like a girl.

Devil: (Colouring) No, I DO NOT sound like a girl.

God: Your falsetto is quite fetching … you really should reconsider …

Devil: (Shrilly) I refuse to discuss my voice any further.

Dark: Yes. Besides playing those pansy harps, what do you DO all day?

God: Said the angel with fluffy wings on his back

Devil: (Opening mouth)

God: What do you have in mind?

Devil: (Angrily) Will you STOP that omnipotent thing?

Dark: (With interest) Omnipotent?

God: (Shaking head) What oh what am I going to do with you Eustace?

Dark: (Indignantly) There is no Eustace! Only Dark.

God: Well Eustace, omnipotence is not what you think it is, my son, not nearly

Dark: (Crestfallen) oh, ok

Devil: Anyway, I have an idea to make things a bit more interesting. Let’s have a …

God: Wager?

Devil: Will you stop that?

God: (Smiling) OK my good man. Put your pitchfork down and give me your thoughts

Devil: Well … Let’s find a chap. Say … (Looking earthwards) That one.

God: Job?

Devil: That will work.

God: Let me play along. And then what?

Devil: I think this business of following your way no matter what is a chocolate teapot, banana oil, stuff and nonsense. I bet he’d think jolly differently about your roles if he was up, if you’ll pardon the expression, shit creek

God: Very well. You’re on.

And poor Job was blissfully unaware that he was an unwitting participant in one of the first recorded wagers in history

STOP PRESS : BREAKING NEWS

The Kenya Bureau of Standards has with immediate effect banned the selling of second hand ngothas underwear. If your ass (ha ha!) is caught selling second hand underwear you’d better have 10,000 bob somewhere on you

WTF OF THE DAY

Hawkers can and do sell anything it would seem! I gots to get me one of those! 

Nas – Made You Look

A Night At The Movies

It has come to my attention that our favourite fossils, better known as Members Of Parliament are very partial to the silver screen. If I may hazard a series of guesses:

John Michuki really enjoys

Raila Odinga is very fond of

Martha Karua is quite partial to

Musikari Kombo can’t get enough of

Charity Ngilu is a passionate fan of

Uhuru Kenyatta finds himself watching

Joseph Munyao is a sucker for

George Saitoti goes giddy for

The First Lady finds this very refreshing

Moody Awori’s dress is without a doubt inspired by

 

 Norah Jones & Dolly Parton – Creep On In

Of Censorship

A heated battle is being fought on various fronts in the KBW Blogosphere. Unfortunately the issues at hand are quickly getting lost, as personalities become the pivot rather than the issues.

An unfortunate state of affairs indeed.

From what I can gather, the facts are as follows:

  • Acolyte put up a post on his blog
  • Some people objected to the content of the blog
  • Acolyte received a mail informing him that he had been taken off the KBW aggregator due to his post
  • The KBW admin team put up a post clarifying grounds from expulsion from the aggregator
  • Acolyte denies that this was the reason for which he was expelled
  • One of the Admin put up a post further clarifying that Acolyte had not in fact been removed from KBW – he had only been removed from the aggregator

The debate now seems to be generating more heat than light, and the issues at hand seem to be getting lost in the furore.

Many of us will recall the post in question.  The subject matter was the meeting between one George Bush of The USA and one Jakaya Kikwete, of Tanzania. That Acolyte objected to their discussing Kenya’s stability, or lack thereof, was apparent.

The post drew responses from far and wide, including one or two or three from Ndesanjo Macha of Jikomboe, who correspondingly objected to Acolyte’s post.

Acolyte himself subsequently admitted that his wording was too strong. He then took down the post.

Some days later Acolyte received an email informing him that he had been removed from the aggregator forthwith. 

The email, available here, makes some statements that raise more questions than answers

One of the aims of KBW is to foster and develop a strong, positive, progressive and unified online community where issues are discussed civilly even when disagreements arise

The strong I get. The progressive I get.

But:

  1. What is a “positive community” Positive according to which criteria? Positive according to who?
  2. Why should we be “unified”? Isn’t diversity what makes a community vibrant?

There is a further post from the KBW admin to correct the impression that Acolyte had been kicked out of KBW. And then there is a post from MentalAcrobatics, the founder and an Admin member of KBW.

He put up a comment in response to some queries and it is this comment that raises some concerns with me. He says

We have never stated that being a member of KBW automatically means you will be on the aggregator. Being on the aggregator is not a right of KBW membership.

This I find puzzling. This means that

  • There are some criteria to being a KBW member. These have been outlined clearly
  • There are some additional criteria to having your blog in the aggregator. As far as I can ascertain, these have not been clarified.

If anything, the extensive excellent documentation from KenyaUnlimited claims otherwise.

This page for instance states as follows:

The KenyaUnlimited Aggregator was launched in April 2006. It displays the latest posts from KBW member blogs as they are published and is updated every hour on the hour. If you are a KBW member and your blog does not appear on the aggregator please email us

It is news to me that being a KBW member does not qualify one to be on the aggregator. I am sure I am not the only one who thinks that it is implied, especially if there is nothing saying the contrary, and especially more upon reading the excerpt above.

The question is:

  1. What are these criteria
  2. Where are these criteria
  3. Why are they not in the open, in the interests of transparency

I have no problem in maintaining control of the aggregator, or even KBW itself provided that the rules are set, the rules are clear, and the rules are in the open.

Until then it is going to be very difficult to justify Acolyte’s expulsion from the aggregator, and why this does not amount to censorship. Bloggers unite as one to defend freedom of expression in the media.

We cannot make up the rules that go along. It is not fair to the membership and it will certainly make administration of KBW even more difficult.

The same benchmark should be adhered to online.

We may not agree with each other but we must fight to the death to defend each other’s right to speak our minds.

This is not to take anything away from the KBW admin. From all accounts they have done quite the job helping bloggers set up and start blogging.

Kenyan bloggers, as bloggers and as a community stand head and shoulder above many others as a community when it comes to being dynamic and vibrant in the blogosphere.

Hats off.

P.S. And I hotly dispute Uaridi’s assertion that if there was no aggregator there is no KBW. As Mental himself has said, there was KBW before there was an aggregator. In fact, if there were no bloggers there would be no KBW for sure.

There will continue to be without one.

We must begin to differentiate the infrastructure from the community. KBW is not the infrastructure it is the people.

It is the people.

Ice Cube & DMX – Eye Of The Tiger (Remix)