-Article condemning There Once Was a Country.
I legit rofl’d. It is on record that some houses and buildings were kept and returned to Igbos by the Nigerian government after the war though… but oga, if you no pay rent se you fit occupy house? Seems to me that was out of necessity as opposed to generousity.
. To Nigerians, the war was an embarrassment and a shame. It was a victory that brought as much joy as the sight of a brother fighting and beating a younger brother in the middle of the street in front of their neighbours. The shame to the family overshadows any victory the older brother obtained. It was a war best forgotten! Nigerians have gone to extra lengths to reabsorb biafran soldiers, pardon its leader and give a state burial to the rebel leader.
To Igbo biafrans, the anger and humiliation is very vivid. They see themselves as wronged. They dont think they deserved (which may be right) or caused (which is wrong) the events that led to the war or the war. They are full of vengeance, anger, envy and bitterness.”
Lord, I’ve had days black as pitch
And nights crimson as blood
But they have passed over me, like water
Let this one also pass over me, lightly
Like a smooth rock rolling down the road
Down my back, my skin, like smooth water
(-Lomba by Helon Habila)
An old lover once asked me if I would die for her. I couldn’t say, Of course not, are you crazy? Not when the room was bathed in candlelight. Not when Coleman Hawkins was on the stereo. Not when she had made her daughter go stay with a friend. Not in that moment, London falling away in lights from the window of her high-rise council flat.
Instead, I pointed out the window, at a flickering train in the darkness, and said: “Can you wish on a train moving through rain and night”
“Coward!” And even as she said this, I was already leaving on that train. There would be other nights and other trains, but this one was lost.”
Yesterday, I managed to catch this episode of Phineas and Ferb. “On the Savannah”, where the boys go to Africa. Where in Africa? I don’t know, because they never tell you.
This is a thing I’ve noticed in media: everyone wants to avoid acknowledging that Africa is not monolithic, so whenever they *include* African characters, their country of origin is rarely ever specified, or when they have their white American characters travel to Africa, exactly WHERE they go is never specified. Because that would mean picking a country (of the 50 on the continent) and actually getting the cultural setting right—which is just too much for the poor little Hollywood producers who have unfathomable budgets and resources at their fingertips. (have you ever noticed that you don’t know where Cady from Mean Girls is from? She’s just “from Africa”. All 50 countries of Africa. All at once.)
This particular episode of Phineas and Ferb really bugged me because you could tell they were trying so hard to be ~progressive~. There’s a scene where they meet the ~African~ who’s going to be their tour guide, and this conversation happens:
Candace: Please tell me you have cell phone reception
Mr. Flynn: Well, of course, they do. Africa isn’t as primitive as you’d think.
Dialog like this is problematic because it’s trying so hard when the setting is just a massive fail. It makes it seem like they’re so ahead of the game when, really, they’re just perpetuating the same stereotypes you’ve been taught about Africa.
I mean, they go on A SAFARI. BECAUSE THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO DO IN ~AFRICA~. GO ON A SAFARI. How groundbreaking and progressive and informative. That’s actually just some bullshit.
Then, there’s a musical number where Candace (who has been stressing about her boyfriend, Jeremy, not being able to reach her) sings about leaving behind things like “a house, a car, cell phone, stress” so that she can ~live at peace in Africa~. Let me repeat that: this was a very recent episode of a kids’ television show where a white girl talked about how leaving America for ~Africa~ literally meant leaving civilization.
Tell me that’s not supposed to piss me off.
OH, AND THEN to add insult to injury, Phineas comments, “wow, looks like Candace is really embracing Africa” when he sees her wearing a cheetah-print Flinstones-esque dress. Then, he asks how they’re going to get back to their campsite, and Candace yodel-calls an elephant. Because now that she’s bonded with Africa, she can now speak to animals. The episode ends with Baljeet (the token Indian kid) telling us the moral of the story: “I guess living in the wild isn’t as hard as we thought”. Because that’s what Africa is. “The wild”. *my rage*
I love Phineas and Ferb—which is why this episode left me furious. Like, blood-boiling, seeing-red furious. Because a lot of kids watch this show. And there was just so much fail in this episode.
I’m tired of this. I’m tired of being misrepresented in American media. Protip: if you’re too lazy to do your research on ~Africa~ (hint: you can start by not treating it like it’s all one country), then don’t write t.v.shows/movies on it.
Also, I don’t appreciate the female representation on this show. Candace has only one friend, who she only talks to about Jeremy. Her entire life revolves around the guy she wants to be her boyfriend, and busting her brothers. And it seems like the only way they could justify Isabella’s presence is by giving her a crush on Phineas, even though she’s a pretty kick-ass, determined character on her own. Thanks, Disney.
I’m so tired of all of this.