Ugly Talent

By now you must have heard of the internet phenomenon Susan Boyle. A woman in her late forties, she appeared on the reality TV show "Britain's got Talent" and floored everyone. Why? The woman was as homely as homely gets. No style, grey hair that looked like it was about to pounce on the nearest small rodent, and an admission that she had never been kissed allowing us to form the impression that another delusional nutcase was about to get immediately booed off the stage. The audience seemed poised to be racked with laughter, and the judges had their laughter at the ready. It was not to be, she knocked everyone off their high-horse. She sang like a slightly-out-of-tune angel. In fact I honestly prefer her rendition of the song "Cry me a River" (originally composed for Ella Fitzgerald), which currently resides on my computer and is on constant replay (next to all sorts of Korean shizz I'll cover sometime later).
As an overweight, downright homely (I hate to use the word ugly, it seems so harsh, LOL) person living in such an image conscious society, it must have been sincerely difficult to have such talent, and have it constantly overlooked because your outward appearance instantly puts to mind that you have nothing to offer. I get it. While beauty might not equal talent, not pretty is almost immediately equated with a lack of talent. Especially with women.
If you are intelligent, you often get the "ohhhhh, alright, I get it now" look, as if somehow intelligence and beauty are two separate sets in a Venn diagram that rarely, if ever overlap. Which to be honest is quite a stupid assumption.
It was a proverbial smack to the back of the head to the British (and the Americans who created this internet snowball); a reminder that in days of yore talent was supposed to be a good thing and shared with the world irrespective of the owner's looks. A lot of people connected with her story, felt a kinship with a woman who is representative of a good chunk of a global population.
I guess after years of "you'd be prettier if you did this, or that, wear contacts, get your teeth fixed, dress properly, lost weight, did you hair, wear makeup, wear high heels, skirts, tighter trousers, stop using big words, yadah, yadah, yadah" the list goes on and me saying "no, I wouldn't cos I'm not pretty", it is nice to identify with someone. Then again that someone is alone and lives with her cat.

Driving Ms Seoul Sista

So, I was driving (no, that isn't the punchline) in the Palms the other day turned a corner to get into a parking behind a mercedes SUV--you know, the ones that look like old school range rovers but cost a heck of a lot more money. He looked like he was trying to get into a space about 3 cars out and so I came to a full stop, giving him more than enough room to manouever and get his fancy car into the space. He starts backing up because, he is kind of a crap driver apparently and he could not swing out and swing in. He started getting too close, so I lean on the horn to give him a warning toot, and lo and behold, the dude backs into me. Might I remind you again, my car was at a complete stop.

Mr I-drive-a-fancy-car-so-I'm-right gets out the car and starts yelping, "look what you've done to my car! You are going to pay for it" in probably the fakest accent I've heard in a long while. In my head I was like "shoot, don't think you can scare me with your fake Jand accent, I can put on an American one with the best of them" and I get out yelling "You just backed into me! What the hell were you doing!" After a brief shouting match he parked his car, and I parked mine. For some odd reason I decided to check the hood (bonnet to you non-Americanese speakers) and saw that it was warped.

So I decide to chase after the dude to get him to pay for the damage, I am one broke-ass chick, in case you didn't know. I chased him into the palms and tell him "'scuse me, you warped my hood, you need to pay for it". That, apparently was too much 'grammar' for him because he looked absolutely baffled by the word 'warped'. The gentleman (term used extremely loosely) went on the offensive with, "you are gonna pay for ma caaa". The conversation then devolved into a full out shouting match in the refined aircondtitioned hallways, that continued as we argued our way outside. I accosted police men, the general public and anyone who would listen, and all looked very amused and not in the least bit concerned. After him throwing out some very sexist comments "go call your brother, your husband to come talk to me because you don't know the right grammar", "how long have you been driving" things finally come to a head. I am literally screaming myself hoarse at this point in time. All the foreigners were slack-jawed, with bemused look on their faces, probably wondering what this raving lunatic with the American (by this time I was at the "this ain't ma faul' you can't drive yo' shit" stage) accent is doing, bellowing at this guy.

A couple more accusations followed; (a 5'7" 180 pound (you know that's a lie) woman was 'bullying' a 5'10" 210 pound dude, I was unhinged, in shock, blah, blah, blah) and I was pretty close to tears, when he suddenly caves asks for my number and said he'll fix it. Give him my number, he calls me that night and says his 'panel beater' (the guy who does his body work for you non-Naijanese speakers) will fix it, which is supposed to be this saturday. We'll see how it turns out folks, so stay tuned.

Some Seoul Music: Could not find a more appropriate tune that one of my current favourites Spazz by N.E.R.D because I really spazzed out that day. Craziness is not a lifestyle; it is a way of being.

Let's Try Again: Of Music And Piracy

My previous post was actually supposed to go a little more like what will follow, but I got seriously side-tracked by my work drama, and needed to get it off my chest. Now I guess I can write this:

I have to say, I am an unabashed pirate (arrr!), especially for music. I pretty much just google the song name plus a couple of familiar hosting sites and I can find almost whatever music I want, with several caveats to that. My more recent musical tastes also contribute to that fact, seeing that I can't really just pop round to the record store and pick up the hottest Korean album.
Most of the time I refuse to feel guilty, but for Epik High's Map the Soul, I really do. Sort of.
A bit of back story first: Epik High is probably South Korea's premier hip-hop group. Featuring the talents of Mithra Jin, Tablo and DJ Tukutz, they have managed to successfully straddle maintaining mainstream popularity without becoming empty, overexposed and irrelevant. With K-music's every expanding pool of up-and-coming talent, they remain at the forefront, continuously experimenting with their sound. I was especially impressed my Remapping the Human Soul, a two-disk album which had some of the best production I have ever heard.

Due to creative conflict with their label, in 2009 Epik High went independent, creating their own label. With acts like Keroone and MYK helping them with their new mini album Map The Soul, they are taking a stand, trying to make their work directly accessible to their fans, both in Korea and overseas. They also embarked on a world tour, with stops in Japan, the US and of course, Korea. Tablo is the frontman of the group, a Stanford graduate, which his sometimes too-cerebral nature showcases. DJ Tukutz is their brilliant DJ. Mithra Jin is probably the least well known to me; he is the other rapper in the group and since he's all Korean all the time, there's absolutely no way for me to judge. I love them all anyway, they are brilliant.

Their first post-label release, as I mentioned before, is Map The Soul, which they decided to sell independently through their website I can't buy it. Reason being that you need:

1) A credit card
2) A reliable postal system,

neither of which Nigeria has provisions for.

The fact is, there is no way for me to their music or any other K pop without scouring the internet for it. It is a sort of cop out, I know because If I was overseas I would say the cost would be too expensive to purchase all the music I have downloaded (TONS!). I hope one day, I can actually buy the book album. In reality I probably never can.

So this is my mea culpa of sorts. 정말 죄송합니다 (I'm really sorry) but I had no choice.

Some Seoul Music: Probably my fave track of Epik High's next to Fan, Music featuring K.Will (who continually frustrates me because he ALWAYS sings weepy, crappy ballads meant to show off his voice, but really just put people to sleep because they are boring and do nothing for his voice. Really.)

On Downloading errr Never Mind

No doubt about it folks. I'm home. I have been here for over six months (going on 9 actually) and let me tell you, I could not be less pleased. I am truly paying my dues, working as a--let's take a look at the progression here--youth corp service member-slash-writer, then youth corper-slash-intern, and finally 'koppa'-slash-editorial assistant. All in all, i am moving up the ladder slowly albeit without choice as pretty much I'm the only person in the office that could do it. Everybody either quit or skipped out.

I would like to say I am indispensable, but to be honest, my boss would find someone in a heartbeat and pretty much would go on as before.
I do need somewhere however to gripe about work. Okay, I do admit that I am somewhat intelligent. Not brilliant, mind you, but enough to read a newspaper with fairly big words and not go cross-eyed from the words on the page. Not so smart that I could join in in an intellectual debate and actually make any coherent sense. There are lines to be drawn here. As an aside, my grammar sucks, I have a propensity for profanity (and seriously cannot control it), as reliable as a the weather during the first few weeks of spring, and lazy as all get out. I am not perfect.

But (yes I know, never start a sentence with 'but') Lord save me from people with not a lick of sense. I do my job, with a lot of direction, but I only need to be told once or twice, before learning. In fact, I didn't have to be told I just assessed the gorram situation and came to a conclusion. Like let's say if ALL the words in the margins that don't finish for some odd reason, it might simply be because THE TEXT IS OUTSIDE THE PRINT MARGIN. Or maybe someone reminds you of something that is vital to the magazine being printed, and you don't just sit on your ass and wait to be asked if you've done your work. Don't lie that you didn't know or you weren't told. Don't fucking well show up one-and-a-half hours late for work, then have breakfast. Don't ask me what the definition of a word is; use the fucking dictionary. Don't do other work on the work computers. Go get improve your gorram skills by trolling the internets. Read the material that you work with, it's good to know what you print. Have some bloody sense! Use your brain, we all have to multitask here. LEARN. Is that too much to ask that you grow on the job? I guess so.

Could it be my bosses fault for hiring people that she would like to give a chance to? Yes and no. No in the sense that it is noble to try and foster talent (I would not be there unless she did), but you gotta have the guts to cut them loose if they ain't makin' the grade. Which, sad to say, some aren't.

BTW I will eventually learn to post music (ha! been saying that since my first blog) but go check out

Some Seoul Music: Epik High Feat MYK Scenario my love/hate relationship with Map the Soul is firmly in the love box for this track MYK's voice is cool. Plus it features my movie love

About this blog

A K-popper trapped within the confines of Lagos, shares her uninteresting musings with no one.