Category Archives: Celebrity

CONTROL: Inspired By Tom Ford

Over the years, as early as when I could clearly understand the language of humans; I have been rather fascinated by the notion of control. That urge to want to direct the path/course of movement or progression of a thing or person or whatever the case maybe. You can either be on the receiving end of the brunt of control or on the exerting end. There are billions of people who fervently support the idea of control; some have even gone to make huge thriving careers from teaching people how to be in control. As much as I would like to subscribe to the idea that there are people who are in control of everything, and some who go the extra mile to forcefully exert this control on people and things ( hence the term “control freak”), I have to know: are those people really in control?

Every year a ton of people are admitted into business schools with the aim of mastering CONTROL. Firstly, in business and then in other facets of life. Some of them emerge with success others maybe not so much, but really who can truly say that they are in control of everything around them? The human body for one has a natural process which resumes work at birth and is retired at death. We age regardless of how much money we own and put towards fads that pummel us with vain hope of being young forever. But the really wise ones know that this is absolutely ridiculous. It has always been my personal belief that the Plastic Surgery Industry will completely collapse if all the “control freaks” suddenly all died. Think about it, which type of woman is more likely to want to go under the knife to pull together the loose skin around her abdominal area? I will tell you who she isn’t. She isn’t the confident woman who understanding the biology of child bearing and knows that the expansion of the abdominal is a natural occurring incident in child bearing which cannot be stopped. It is the overly controlling woman who wants to cajole her body into looking like it has never been through the joyful ordeal of child bearing.

Some might argue that such a woman is driven mostly by Low Self-esteem. As tempting as that suggestion might be, I think not completely. I think being over controlling breeds Low Self-esteem when the individual in question is met with the harsh reality that some things are just out of their scope of control.

Humans are born with varying degrees of control, which explains why even the meekest of individuals can at least direct where the steps taken by the feet leads him to. If there is anything to be learned from the lives of wealth and successful people who have gained for themselves, for the most part, the luxuries of life which everyone clamors for is that control isn’t really the purpose of life. I watched an interview of Tom Ford the designer where he talked about the making of his movie “The Single Man”. He had just left Gucci when he was struck by this feeling of emptiness. He began to think about his life, where he had been and where he was headed and then it dawned on him that he was having a mid-life crisis. I believe he defined mid-life crisis as “placing a ladder on a wall, climbing it to the top only to get to the peak and realize that you had the ladder on the wrong wall the whole time” or something like that. Tom Ford had been in “control” of everything as he said, raising from the bottom to becoming the Creative Director at Gucci one of the biggest brands in the fashion business. But was it enough? Upon leaving the job, he was quick to realize how fleeting it all was. He realized that even though he had manage to control and steer his life and career in the path it went, he could not shake the way he was feeling. It’s like youth. Youth is beautiful, it is sexy it is hypnotizing, it is strong, but ultimately it is fleeting. And as much as we try to control its tenor, it eventually fades and withers-off.

We as a people are not in control of everything as most have deluded themselves into thinking. We are in control of few things, but for the most part we are left to chance as a being. For example, you choose to eat a loaf of bread (In our control), and then our digestive system takes over and begins to extract what it needs from the bread and tossing the unwanted ones out (Out of our control). We cannot control what the digestive system picks up or what it throws away. All we want to achieve is the feeling of being fed and how this is done internally shouldn’t really bother us.

I think that as an individual, the ultimate purpose is to apply the utmost wisdom and care in making the decisions in our control and hoping optimistically that the rest will go as we have occasioned in our minds. It is the reason why the religious pray.

Towards the end of the Interview, Tom Ford continued to emphasize a certain point. “Nothing, nothing lasts, that the beauty of it all” was what he said and I could not agree with him more. If we can be patient enough to let ourselves comprehend the point that Nothing Lasts, then we can see how pointless it is to try and control everything.

LIFE

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Que Sera Sera.”

Advertisements

Sight As A Burden

“Be Blind To Be Focused”

That was the concluding remark made by Cobhams Asuquo in the speech he gave at the TEDxEuston Conference. To better appreciate this bog post I strongly recommend that you watch this video of Cobhams giving the speech at the event.

VIDEO:

The sense of sight is one of the five most important senses for humans and many other creatures. The human senses are fed by stimuli from the surrounding environment, transmitted via sensory organs of the body. Arguably most of our perceptions about people, places and things are formed largely from the data our brain processes from information received from sensory organs. I could go on about sensory organs and messages but the focus of this piece is on the sense of sight.

While listening to Cobhams speak I could see his visionless eyes roll around in their sockets as his finger stroked the paper with Braille inscriptions placed before him. In that moment the saying “you never know the value of what you have until you lose it” flashed in my mind. As a person with all my sensory organs in relatively good working condition, it dawned on me how easy it is to become jaded about the importance of sight. As he went on with his speech I began to think to myself how different my life would be if I were blind. Would I have graduated? Let alone get a job? Or even be able to write this blog post. It is true that modern technology has done its very best, and still is, in including people of various handicaps into the rest of the society. These days we have blind poets and writers, lame drivers etc. That notwithstanding, I could not help but ponder the implications of what he said. BE BLIND TO BE FOCUSED. Throughout his speech I kept looking out for something, something I am a bit embarrassed to admit. What I was seeking to seeing in him was discontent/jealousy, stemming from the fact that he was in a room with non-blind people, but he spoke with such confidence and vigor that I began to wonder if I was indeed better off with sight.

Back in school we were told things like “keep your eyes on the ball” and many other motivational sentences. But on further inspection of that saying, coupled with the words from Cobhams it’s easy to see that it’s our “Mind” and not our “Eyes” that needs to be on the ball. Every day we walk out of our house, we are pulverized by a slew of stimuli from the outdoors. Various things to see, hear, feel, etc. it is very easy to get distracted. The struggle to stay focused is even harder if you live in a cosmopolitan city like New York, London or even Lagos. A couple of times I have missed my bus stop because I was engrossed in admiring a building or typing away on my iPad or blackberry. Sometimes when I go shopping for just one item, I would emerge from the store with three items, none of which is the one original item I initially went in for or even remotely close. It happens to best of us all the time. So Cobhams might be right after all, you need to be blind to every other thing around you in order that you archive your set goal. Another example is one from a story my dad once told me. One of his senior brothers was on the greedy side and was constantly looking for ways to outmaneuver his friends and siblings to get some of their own things. One day a visitor was on his way out of the house and decided to show generosity towards the kids.  The man gave my dad a big sized coin (I can’t remember the denominations, but shillings and penny were involved) and then gave my uncle a smaller sized coin. I was told that, my uncle, on realizing the difference in sizes began to fight and cry, demanding that he be given a bigger sized coin as well. This was done promptly. But it is important to note that the small sized coin was said to have been worth two times the value of the big coin. Had he been “blind” to the size he would have had gotten more money.

After much consideration and thought, I cannot help but concur with Mr. Cobhams on this one. There are many more examples I can give here, but I would just end up with a really long post and nobody wants that. Sometimes we need to “blind” ourselves in order that we get a clearer visual of what our goal ought to be.

STAY BLIND, STAY FOCUSED. 

Is it Dead or Just Elusive?

I was inspired to write this post by two things. The first was the blog post of badlandsbadley with the title: “Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Prove True Love is Dead and There is Nothing Anyone Can Do About It.” The second thing was a song by Michael Buble titled “Haven’t Met You Yet”. You can check out the lyrics and song with the link.  Now I know what you are thinking. How are these two things related? Just hold on, I will get there eventually.

Let me start with badlandsbadley’s blog post. In his post, he goes on and on about how love is dead and all, with the romance between Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez being the focus point. He takes us from how hopes were raised when the initially started dating, and eventually to the final death of love illustrated by their break up. badlandsbadley comes off a tad bit over-dramatic. Like this paragraph from his post:

“Words cannot express the emotions that ran through my mind as I read the headlines today. I found myself paralyzed, unable to move. I did not want to stand or walk. All I could do was sit in the fetal position and cry. I looked around for a hug, but no one was there, not that it would matter anyway. They would hug me and it would be comforting, sure. Then they would leave me just like SELENA LEFT JUSTIN! AND THERE IS NOTHING I COULD DO ABOUT IT BECAUSE THE WORLD IS A TERRIBLE PLACE FULL OF ONLY EVIL! NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, YOU WILL END UP DESTROYED JUST… LIKE… JUSTIN! WHY?! WHY, SELENA?! ALL HE EVER WANTED TO DO WAS LOVE YOU, BUT THAT JUST WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH! SURE, YOU THINK YOU CAN DO BETTER, BUT THERE IS NO WAY YOU WILL EVER TOP JUSTIN BIEBER! EVER! HE CAN SING AND DANCE! AND THE HAIR!”

If you are like me then you would know that most celebrity relationships are rarely ever “real”. Everything is always done for the camera. Over-dramatization aside, I can relate to badlandsbadley’s pain and disappointment resulting from the breakup. It sure is sad to see such public mutilation of Love from two young, seemingly innocent individuals. When you see love between two kids with such pure hearts, you can’t help but be mesmerized by the very pristine nature of it all. I guess it’s this type of love that badlandsbadley and others saw between Selena and Justin. With the rampant wave of breakups and divorces both in the mere mortal world and in the celebrity world, most people are desperate to cling to something that always reminds them that love still exists, that it still endures and all. But unfortunately you are left with no choice but to ask; is there still love?

Now I will finally show the connecting cord between Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet” and the Justin&Selena Story. I recently started listening to Buble’s music. Yeah I know I am really late to the club. With the sheer amount of Hip-hop and Pop saturating the airwaves these days it’s very easy to miss out interesting jazzlike artistes like Michael Buble. I was particularly drawn to “Haven’t Met You Yet” because of the promise the song carries with it. The promise of love even after yet another heart wrenching breakup. He starts off with his loss of hope in love; “I’ve broken my heart so many times I stopped keeping track”. You cannot help but sympathize with him. It is quite sad actually. But as the lyrics go on you get a sigh of relief when you hear;

“I might have to wait, I’ll never give up. I guess it’s half timing and the other half’s luck. Wherever you are, whenever it’s right. You’ll come outta nowhere and into my life

And I know that we can be so amazing. And baby your love is gonna change me. And now I can see every possibility”.

These lines so strongly gives that reassurance that badlandsbadley and other love fanatics desperately need. This impetus to still wax strong with enthusiasm about love displayed by Michael Buble is quite enviable and worthy of emulation.

As much as pop culture might have us believe that love is dead or unattainable, I still believe that it’s still out there. Love isn’t dead; it’s just very elusive for good reasons. Think of love like The Trinity, even though it cannot be fully explained, it still doesn’t discredit its existence. And we should not torture ourselves by looking up to what might seem like love. Just because it did not work between Justin and Selena doesn’t spell the end. There is still hope out there.

Believe in Love!