Getting High on Flying Spaghetti Monster!

I am not a fan of cold weathers and I can be quite grumpy when forced to go out in cold weathers. I am also not a fan of bulky clothes and I certainly am not in my best moods when I 531624_449896628413934_244946797_nam all covered up and weighed down by shapeless, bulky winter jackets. Although they do hide my accumulated holiday fat caused by gorging on holiday temptations like ice creams and cakes, urged on by tempting Xmas food commercials.

Anyway, there I was rushing out in the cold weather to make a trip to my pharmacy; I guess this constitutes an emergency and therefore justifies my having to leave the warmth of my bed. Anyway, there I was walking down the high street minding my own damn business when a black woman abruptly thrust a leaflet at me, muttering “Take, Jesus Christ will change your life forever”. I politely declined and walked on. What I really wanted to say to her was “So, in the usual bigoted religious assumption, you thought my life needed changing”. I guess that would be an overreaction. Damn proselytizer Christians!

Not that my life could not do with a bit of change. Well, for one, I would love to win the lottery even though I don’t buy lottery tickets. I wish I could overcome my skepticism about my chances of winning the lottery. Well,  if Jesus has not changed the life of the Christian proselytizer with a lottery win, I don’t think he is in a position to make a dent in my life. Hmm…life changer my ass.  Well, I did say my mood is not the best during winter.

OK, there I was at the bus stop with my bag of prescription, waiting for my bus and minding my own business as usual, when this woman with a pram just came and stood right in front of me, blocking my vision. She started cooing or was it scolding the tot in the pram. In a typical Nigerian way,  she would, once in a while, look up from scolding the child and try to engage me and the others at the bus stop in her cooing/scolding. We all ignored her. It was after all a very cold day, so I gave her a very cold look.

She eventually stopped cooing and when I thought I was finally going to have peace, she burst out singing a very old but popular gospel tune. In fact it took me by surprise because I have not heard that tune in a long time. It used to be a special tune for me when I was a believer. I sang it whenever I wanted to go into a trance and be at one with the Holy Spirit. I sang it in a dramatic way, with all the treats including theatrical tears, which come to think of it, must have looked like a painful sexual mating with the Holy Spirit!

The tune was the popular- 

Lord I lift Your name on high
Lord I love to sing Your praises

I’m so glad You’re in my life

I’m so glad You came to save us 

You came from Heaven to earth

To show the way

From the earth to the cross
My debt to pay

From the cross to the grave  
From the grave to the sky
Lord I lift Your name on high 

I was so surprised that I actually found myself nodding to the song. As I said,  it used to be my ‘get high on holy ghost’ song. Just as I was getting into the mood, my bus pulled up.  I was still miming the song when I realized I had brought out the wrong bus pass, which means I got charged for the bus fare when I could have used a free bus pass. Talk about paying debts that I didn’t owe, damn fucking Jesus Christ!  OK, that got me annoyed, as if I was not annoyed enough already, but it did not stop the song from stubbornly playing in my head. 5eff246e7ac4ba2c7785bed9d0214848

Well, I really was once very much into the song, it got me high. As we know, religion really is the opium of the masses. Some prefer to get high on cannabis, marijuana or cocaine while many get high on religion. The song was my dose for getting high when I needed to speak in tongues and mate with the Holy Spirit.

Funny enough, as I mused about the extra charge on my oyster and the unnecessary debt I paid all due to the distraction of that once beloved tune, the song started playing in my head as a tribute to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Below are the lyrics and BTW, here is a video of me getting high on his holy noodleness, Flying Spaghetti Monster. I guess I would rather get high on skepticism, logic and facts than get high on delusions, but I don’t mind getting high on Pasta in praise of his holy noodleness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Happy Holidays! 

 Tribute To Flying Spaghetti Monster 380602_4170850911488_21843259_n

Flying Spaghetti Monster
How I love to eat your pasta
I am so glad you came to boil for me

I am so glad you wrap me in noodles

You came from heaven to earth
To boil for my sins
From the pot to my plate
My hunger to quench
With sauce and pasta
You fed me with love

Flying Spaghetti Monster 

R’Amen!

Spending Xmas alone but gladly not lonely!

I am alone but not lonely this Xmas. My son is off somewhere in US enjoying Xmas in the snow and my family members in UK are 380602_4170850911488_21843259_ncelebrating in Manchester. Even though I have invites to join in the sometimes forced Xmas hilarity, I chose to spend the day alone. NOPE, it is not because I am an atheist  and BTW, choosing to spend Christmas day alone does not make me anti-social.

Spending the day with my feet up is kinda fun, cos I get to indulge on all the cakes and ice-creams without anyone ‘judging’ me. Plus I get to catch up on my writings, check my accumulated dating sites messages and watch my favorite Xmas movies including ‘Home Alone’ for the 100th time!

 It is OK to be alone on Xmas; it is even OK to feel lonely on Xmas. A lot has been invested by big companies into making the day seems like one endless day of family fun for everyone. What with the big Christmas adverts consisting mostly of big family dinners and of course gifts under the Xmas trees. And oh, damn if you are not in love on Xmas day, what with all the mistletoe hanging everywhere, you should at least be kissed on Xmas day. lol!

 If you are not off partying, opening presents under the Xmas trees or getting swept off your feet under the mistletoe, don’t be disappointed, you aren’t alone. In fact, welcome to the reality of many!

Xmas does not stop being like every other day just because of the Christmas trees, bright lights and gifts. People still receive bad news 12564_10151385279356873_843091362_nduring Christmas period, people still lose loved ones, there are grieving mothers and grieving fathers, grieving children, grieving lovers and worst of all, there are starving children on Xmas day.

 Not everyone will have a happy holiday, so  for those who are grieving this festive period,  I wish you all the fortitude to bear your loss and a very splendid support system with people that won’t judge you, will hold your hands, listen to you moan and offer you tissues to wipe your tears.

We all cannot be merry this Xmas, please do not feel forced to join in the hilarity if you do not feel up to it. Be strong. Pain and pleasures are life’s twin fountains, with our pains; we appreciate more our pleasures when it comes.

Happy Holidays to everyone who is up for it and don’t forget to put a smile on someone’s face today!

BTW, I just got the opportunity to video Skype with my 19 year old son, who for the first time isn’t spending Christmas with me. I noticed he was enjoying a plate of fried rice with berries. Berries, I mean berries? Where the heck is the chicken? If he was with me now, he would have his face stuffed with a whole big nicely barbecued chicken! Who eats berries on Xmas! tag4

Anyway, I asked why he did not take his bath and dress up for Xmas before eating especially since it is Christmas day. He replied:

 “Mum, it is just around 10:00am here, I don’t even dress up for my own birthday, why should I do so on Christmas!”

 Needless to say, that made my day. :)

 Here is wishing you all Happy Holidays!

Nigerian and Ugandan Lawmakers: The Passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bills

Ugandan Parliament’s idea of putting Christ back in Christmas was to present LGBT Ugandans with a gift of life Imprisonment! The parliament has now passed the anti homosexuality bill that was first presented before the house in 2009. i

In April 2009, the Ugandan Parliament passed a resolution allowing Member of Parliament (MP) David Bahati to submit a private member’s bill in October to strengthen laws against homosexuality. The bill was proposed on 13 October 2009 by David Bahati.

According to its sponsor, it is based on the foundations of  “strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family“, that “same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic”, and “protect[ing] the cherished culture of the people of Uganda, legal, religious, and traditional family values of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda”

The legislation strengthens the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda by introducing the death penalty for people who are considered serial offenders, are suspected of “aggravated homosexuality” and are HIV-positive. People who are caught or suspected of homosexual activity will be forced to undergo HIV tests; Ugandans who engage in same-sex sexual relations outside Uganda will likewise fall under the jurisdiction of this law, and may be extradited and charged with a felony.

Furthermore, the bill requires anyone who is aware of an offense or an offender, including individuals, companies, media organizations, or non-governmental organizations that support LGBT rights, to report the offender within 24 hours. If an individual does not do so he or she is also considered an offender and is liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment up to three years.

The original bill stipulated the death penalty for same-sex relationships. The bill generated international outcry, US President Barack Obama described the bill as “odious,” while some European countries have threatened to cut aid to Uganda if the bill becomes law. The death sentence for homosexual behaviour was later amended to life imprisonment.

Ignorance is not an excuse to deny others the same right you enjoy as human beings. The combination of ignorance and hate is indeed a deadly weapon of mass destruction. Hate kills and African lawmakers seems to breed it in abundance.

Nigerian National Assembly also proposed a similar bill in 2006 known as the Anti Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition bill . and The National Assembly passed the bill earlier this year, but like the Ugandan bill, it is waiting for the President’s assent to turn it into law. The Senate on 18 December, 2013 unanimously adopted the report of its conference committee on the ‘Jail the Gays’ bill.

Nigerian Senate President, Senator David Mark called for the President to urgently sign the bill into Law.  ‘The earlier we sign it into law, the better. [Nigeria] have many shortcomings, we don’t want to add this one to it.’  Senator David Mark stated this in his usual pompously ignorant manner.

According to him, “The law against same-sex marriage is an approval of the wishes of the generality of Nigerians who are desirous of living within our cultural bounds. “The law is not designed to infringe on the human rights of Nigerians in any way.” Hmm, David Mark probably does not consider Nigerian Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans as Nigerians or even Humans.

Nigerian and Ugandan Legislators have confirmed that they are all a bunch of ignorant fools and are part of the problems dragging the African continent backwards. Uganda has also earlier this week, passed an Anti-Pornography Bill, which bans miniskirts and sexually suggestive material such as some music videos. It seems violating the rights of its citizens are what most African parliamentarians termed as keeping with tradition! For how long shall innocent lives be the victims of ignorance, hate and power?

Uganda: Existing LGBT Laws

Homosexuality is currently illegal in Uganda as in many Sub-Saharan African countries, punishable by incarceration for up to 14 years. Under section 145 of the Uganda Penal Code, the act of sodomy is punishable by life imprisonment. (“Any person who (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature . . . or (c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge with him or her against the order of nature commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.”). Sections 146 and 148 also further support this provision.

Nigeria- Existing Laws against LGBT PeopleDSC_0956

Under the Federal law in Nigeria, Homosexuality can carry up to a 14 year jail term. Under Shari’a law which has been adopted by 12 Northern states in Nigeria, Sodomy is a criminal offence which is penalize with death by stoning. This penalty is harsher than the penalty provided for Sodomy under the criminal code.

Chapter 42 of the criminal code, section 214, states that any person who “has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” or “permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”

The Penal code states: “Whoever being a woman engages another woman in carnal intercourse through her sexual organ or by means of stimulation or sexual excitement of one another has committed the offence of Lesbianism. … The offence is committed by the unnatural fusion of the female sexual organs and or by the use of natural or artificial means to stimulate or attain sexual satisfaction or excitement”

The penal codes have simply taken over the language of the British colonial provisions on “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” Although these laws were imposed during the British colonial rule, they have been adopted by Uganda and Nigeria in its post-colonial era.

Nigeria and Uganda obligations under International Laws

The adopted anti-homosexuality bills in Nigeria and Uganda contradict fundamental freedoms under Nigeria and Uganda Constitutions and also under international and regional human rights law and standards. Nigeria and Uganda are signatories to a number of international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. However, like many other African Nations, both countries have not held their obligations under international treaties in high regard.

The legalization of Homophobia in most African countries has created an environment of fear amongst African sexual minorities.70612_100002673874449_24624348_s The Anti-homosexuality bills in Nigeria and Uganda, if signed into law would negatively impact on human rights records and activities in both countries. However, a positive outcome of these proposed legislation is that sexuality rights have been brought to the forefront for debates.  Topics that were once thought to be taboos are now subjected to debate in the public arena although the debates have been one-sided for fear of a possible backlash.

Although there has been a deafening silence from Nigeria left on the the Jail the Gays bill and LGBT rights, some Human rights organizations in Africa are beginning to come out in support of LGBT rights and are affirming that LGBT rights are human rights worthy of protection. This is a big step forward for the LGBT community in Africa because prior to the uproar generated by these proposed legislations, human rights organizations in African countries were reluctant to openly support sexual minorities.

Also, with the threat of the proposed anti-same sex bills, many human rights organizations, media and LGBT activists were educated on LGBT issues through organized seminars and workshops mostly organized by the international LGBT community in conjunction with local LGBT activists and human rights organizations.

The international community has been emphasizing that LGBT rights are human rights and in some instances some countries like United Kingdom and United States of America have threatened to cut off international aids to countries that are threatening to impose harsher legislative provisions to further discriminate against LGBT people.

However, a backlash flowing from the support of the international solidarity for the Gay community in Africa is the counter attack by some Africans especially politicians, who believe that this is just another mission of the west to control and impose its policies on Africa countries. This has led to resistance to any form of concession to LGBT rights.DSC_0951

It is not certain whether or not these adopted anti-homosexuality bills would be signed into laws in Nigeria and Uganda, however, the mere passage of such bills is detrimental to the rights of sexual minorities.

Last year, Uganda Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga said that the bill, which originally mandated death for some gay sexual acts, will become law before the end of Christmas. “Ugandans are demanding it,” she said.  It was however not passed last year, I guess Santa Claus was delayed somewhere in the North Pole!

Nigerian and Ugandan lawmakers, by passing the ‘Jail the Gays‘ bills have shown the world just how hateful, intolerant and bigoted they are. Their gift of hate to  Nigerian and Ugandans LGBTs is hugely supported by religious believers especially USA Evangelicals. Talk about putting Christ in Christmas! Really horrendous, I hope they choke on their hate-filled Christmas gift!

Related link- Trilogy: Debunking the African Homosexuality myths

Sex Workers Need Rights Not Rescue!

imageDecember 17th is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. From a feminist and also a trade unionist perspective, I know supporting Sex Workers’ Rights is the logical thing to do.

As I wrote in my blog post ‘Organising Sex Workers Within Mainstream Labour Movement’,  the stigmatization and consequent exploitation of sex workers would be minimized if sex work is accorded its recognition as a bonafide job; a real job which has its challenges, rights and protections under the law like every other job. Criminalization of sex-work in many countries and jurisdictions makes it difficult to create a safe, enabling environment and workplace for sex workers.

The continued criminalization of sex-work, rather than serves as a deterrent has only succeeded in exposing sex workers to violence, intimidation, harassment and exploitation. [Read more...]

India and the Re-criminalization of Same-Sex Relationships

I was shocked and dismayed when I received the news that India has re-criminalized same sex relationships. On Dec 11, 2013, the Republic of India Supreme Court overruled the  2009 landmark decision of the High court. Although I wGay rights activists display a rainbow flag during "Queer Pride March" in New Delhias aware that the 2009 victory has been challenged in the court by some religious bigots and politicians, I thought the Judiciary has made remarkable progress in human rights and wouldn’t think to take such a step backward.

In 2009, the Indian High Court ruled that the 19th-century provision of the penal code that prohibits people from engaging in “carnal acts against the order of nature” should not apply to consenting adults, including same-sex couples. Religious groups challenged the ruling, claiming that homosexuality is a Western import that hurts Indian society and family values.

The 2009 High court decision in favour of consensual same sex adult relationships had put India on a high pedestal in regards to the defense of sexual minorities’ rights. I did not think the Supreme Court was going to reverse the outstanding judgment.  In fact I did not think there could ever be a good reason to reverse a decision which condemned discrimination and supports equality for all. But it just did. [Read more...]

The Dictators Are Not Only Those

The Dictators Are Not Only Those…A poem dedicated to a dear friend COMRADE OLAITAN OYERINDE. He was assassinated on May 4, 2012 at about 2am at his residence in the Government Reservation Area, Benin, Nigeria.

At the time of his death, he was the private secretary of the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. He was also the deputy secretary of Nigeria Labor Congress. Olaitan Oyerinde was a bright young life lost to Nigeria’s ‘do or die’ dirty politics. [Read more...]

Adieu, Nelson Mandela; the Great Madiba!

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Nelson Mandela was probably the first name I ever associated with Human rights during my childhood. His relentless struggle against apartheid nurtured in me the fire against injustice. I identified with his struggle for Freedom and Equality; he was my human right hero and a living lesson in compassion and forgiveness. To me, the name ‘Mandela’ was  (and still is) synonymous with anti-apartheid, defiance against injustice, fight for equality and a passion for justice. It later became synonymous with Forgiveness. [Read more...]