I was never really into African Literature, but he was (is) a rare shining example of how I wish to acieve my goal in the increase of general human conscience – it’s a shame more of his writing will not grace Literature.
Breaking News: Just announced that Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has passed away at a hospital in Boston. Achebe was eighty-two.
Achebe rose to fame in 1958 with the publication of his first novel Things Fall Apart, a work that met with both critical and popular success. Other international best-sellers include No Longer At Ease, A Man of the People, Arrow of God and Anthills of the Savannah.
For the last four years, Achebe has been the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Here are ten memorable quotes from both his lectures and works:
1. “To me, being an intellectual doesn’t mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.”
2. “When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry…
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That the human race, or at least a vast majority of it, is inclined to risk behaviour of varying degrees is no understatement. Some individuals even make a culture of it, seeking the next rush of adrenalin simply for sensation’s sake – the so-called “adrenalin junkies”. However, there are risk behaviours that blur the boundaries between what are vigorous forms of excitement and what is simply a drawn out death wish. This piece assesses the psychology behind risk behaviour from the outlook of Cardiology, zooming in primarily on the risk behaviour of smoking as a paradigm for all others.
It is a curious piece of psychology to attempt to dissect the reasons behind why a sufficiently educated individual would deliberately choose to engage in a behaviour which is biomedically proven to impair future health and general well-being. A factor enforcing risk behaviours such as smoking, alcohol abuse, over/under-eating, etc., as addressed by Weiten and Llyod (2000) is that the detrimental effects become apparent in the very distant future , providing an extended period of time during which the habit becomes an ensconced, impulsive ritual. Another characteristic is that these health-impairing behaviours “involve activities that are quite pleasant” (Weiten, Llyod. 2000.p407) at their commencement, often effacing the imminent repercussions. This disregard of consequence is most apparent in the cases of chronic illness, an eminent example being the future development of cancers as an upshot from smoking.
From a cardiological point of view, cigarette-smoking increases the possibility of acquiring a large pool of diseases, arteriosclerosis (hardening due to deposits present in arterial lumen) being one of them. When analysed from the individual level, the supposition is made that individuals are explicitly cognisant of the dangers associated with nicotine (for example). This is not a completely incorrect supposition to accept due to the efforts made by health promoters and the media in making all aware of the detriments concerning smoking. In fact, according to Weiten and Llyod (2000, p407), the “percentage of people who smoke has declined noticeably since the mid-1960s”. Reasons as to why a physician’s admonishment would be dismissed (evident even with patients experiencing the onset of the behaviour’s consequence) range from the reluctance “to give up a major pleasure”, the fear of putting on weight and “becoming tense and irritable” (Gunberg, Bowen and Winders. 1986).
The majority of the time, risk behaviours are taken on as a type of coping mechanism for stressful life events (such as how alcohol abuse usually succeeds retrenchment). Also, with especial occurrence among the youth, risk behaviours such as smoking are as of the inclination to rebel from parental and/or societal expectations – or to simply ‘fit in’. However, according to a journal by Doran, et al, (2011), “sensation seeking” and “impulsivity” is a factor which can be appositely linked to the prevalence of smoking, and so with a considerable pool of other risk behaviours. A health practitioner must be cognisant of the psycho-social characters influencing the variety of risk behaviours, so as to pair a biomedical intervention with the present psychological elements
The doctor-patient relationship when considering health-impairing behaviours can only go as far as admonishment, supported by biomedical expertise and not “sermonizing” as Coon and Mitterer (2012) put it. Otherwise, regardless of the medical advise and/or biomedical aids (such as the nicotine patch) proffered, there must be a strong will to quit the risk behaviour on the side of the patient; the psychological frame of mind is the panacea, after which the physiological treatment may be implemented.
- Coon, D & Mitterer, J.O. (2012) Health Psychology(Module 12.1). Introduction to Psychology, Active Learning Through Modules, 12th Edition. Pub. Wadsworth Cengage Learning. [p505]
- Doran, N., Sander, P.E., Berkman, N.M., Worley, M.J., Monreal, T.K., McGee, E., Cummins, K & Brown, S.A. (2011) Mediating Influences of negative affect and risk perception on the Relationship between Sensation Seeking and Adolescent Cigarette Smoking. [p457]. Nicotine and Tobacco Research 13(6), 457-465.
- Gunberg, Brown & Winders. (1986); as cited in: Weiten, W., Lloyd, M.A. (2000). Psychology and Physiological Health (Chapter 14). Psychology Applied to Modern Life, Adjustment at the Turn of the Century, Sixth Edition.[p408]
- Weiten, W., Lloyd, M.A. (2000). Psychology and Physiological Health (Chapter 14). Psychology Applied to Modern Life, Adjustment at the Turn of the Century, Sixth Edition.[pp. 407-408]
I would like to begin this post by stating how very pissed off I am with the reception that this song has been getting, from so-called fans and outsiders alike. So as anyone with contact to the outside world should know, Beyonce has recently previewed some new material from her upcoming 2013 album, namely, Bow Down. Let me say, this track is VERY different from the musician’s previous work in that it is far more vociferous, a million-fold more arrogant and plays home to more cursing than we have become accustomed to from “Queen Bee”. I must say that I thoroughly enjoy the 58 seconds of the track that has been released, which makes the whole controversy around it even more inane – we have only 58 goddamn seconds of the music and already the likes of Rush Limbaugh ( American radio host) and Wendy Williams (host of the lacklustre Wendy Williams Show) are passing their uninformed criticisms. With that having been said, the little bit of the song that we do in fact have goes a long way in expression of its meaning – well, I would assume it would for anyone with even the most minimal degree of comprehensive skills:
Don’t forget it, don’t forget it.
Respect that – bow down bitches.
I took some time to live my life, but don’t think I’m just his little wife.
Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted.
This my shit – bow down bitches…
… I’m on that H-Town*
Coming, coming down.
I’m coming down dripping candy on the ground. ”
Rush Limbaugh’s interpretation of otherwise very clear lyrics is nothing short of shocking. The man insists that Beyonce is calling women to make subservient obeisance to their husband and boyfriends – I point you to the lyric’s fourth line. So it should be clear that the track is in no way anti-feminist, which would have been in direct contradiction to the fundamental establishment of Beyonce’s musical career. Should I remind those of little faith: Single Ladies, Irreplaceable, Independent Women and Survivour are all ‘power-to-the-woman’ pieces – Bow Down simply follows suit, although in a (yes) much novel manner.
Secondly, many are up in arms about Beyonce coming off too abrasive and unnecessary offensive. What bullshit!! She is using the medium of hip-hop to voice the opinions of this particular piece of music – this is how it is done in the respective genre! It does not make her uneducated; in fact it makes her pretty goddamn smart.
I really wished to abstain from my own public interpretation of the song before the full track was released, but I know feel the need to chip in my two cent. I seem to link it to bullying that Beyonce may have encountered during her teenage years; the reference to “H-Town” points me to such a conclusion. In the very little that I know about hip-hop, it seems common practice among the genre’s artists to make reference to the “hoods” in which they grew up. In a lyric I have excluded Beyonce sings to whom she calls “H-Town bitches” – I didn’t take that she meant it in an endearing or affectionate manner and therefore understand that she is sort of flexing her muscles at those people. Furthermore, the accompanying art (left) she put forward with the track is one of her in her teens – if that does not point to teenage bullying, then I don’t know what does.
Anyhow, I have said what I needed to say, and I hope that I have shed some light on the unnecessary controversy surrounding what I feel is a strangely, but exceptionally empowering song – even if it only be 58 seconds an all at present.
JOHN CADAVER – Namaste.
I lost my name, My soul is claimed, On my journey through life, I stand alone. The wind is harsh, Rain like thorns on my skin, Wherever I go, I stand alone. My heart is sealed, My ears are shut, I stand in the dark while the blackness stalks. I feel no love, I have no hate, I am a soulless being, wandering the world. I see the crime, I see
the death, I see the life being born through fate, I see the tears of the faithful ones, wondering where it all went wrong. I do not know how to belong. Clueless in the ways to go, But of one thing I am sure…in this place, I stand alone. (15/01/09-13)
Just the smack of inspiration I needed!
Jeff J. Lin writes a great post on the success of director Ang Lee (most recently of Life of Pi fame). The highlight is that Ang Lee went through a period of six years of where he had nothing, being rejected over and over:
From age 30 to 36, he’s living in an apartment in White Plains, NY trying to get something — anything — going, while his wife Jane supports the family of four (they also had two young children) on her modest salary as a microbiologist. He spends every day at home, working on scripts, raising the kids, doing the cooking. That’s a six-year span — six years! — filled with dashed hopes and disappointments. “There was nothing,” he told The New York Times. “I sent in script after script. Most were turned down. Then there would be interest, I’d rewrite, hurry up, turn it in and wait weeks and weeks, just…
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Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear. – Proverb