Monday 23 March 2015

Hollywood Maasai

The latest bulletin from my brothers Juma and Frank has them on a trip to Los Angeles. The food is still very unimpressive (Californians eat all that chicken and fish - no food for a warrior). Frank, however, says that Santa Monica Beach is "nice like Paje".

Maasai don't like water a great deal so this is praise indeed. I was with Frank when he touched the sea for the first time in Paje in 2011. It was quite something to see a six foot something warrior shying away from a tiny wave as if it were going to engulf him.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Maasai Burgers

Juma and Frank - my two closest Maasai brothers - are in the USA just now. I'm not entirely sure how they have managed to persuade Middle America to sponsor them on a cultural trip but they have. They are very adept at it -- they were in Germany last year.

They are very pleased with the welcome and find the USA interesting.

We tend to assume, in the rich countries of the West, that anyone from Africa just can't wait to settle and grab their bit of the American or British or Australian Dream. Legally or illegally they will have to stay, so intoxicating and superior is our way of life.

Juma and Frank make the following comments as they count the days until their return to Tanzania.

1. Why do Americans eat such dreadful food? The pizza and hamburgers are particularly bad. Don't they have any pride and desire to eat proper meat? The two warriors plan to slaughter and eat a whole cow, just the pair of them, as soon as they get back to their village in Tanzania.
2. It's too cold.
3. Some American customs display a complete lack of common sense. Juma - who is clearly in his mid thirties, not only a warrior but a village elder to boot - was asked for age ID when he ordered a beer.
4. It's very difficult to watch Manchester United matches.

Tanzania here they come.


Saturday 14 March 2015

Jeremy Clarkson Irreplaceable?

Remember the BBC's Biggest Star?

Clarkson isn't the first BBC presenter to be hugely popular, overbearing, rude and seemingly irreplaceable. Back in the 1950s Gilbert Harding was almost as famous as the Queen and definitely - in those pre-celebrity days - the number one TV and radio "personality". BBC managers suspended him on more than one occasion but he was always reinstated. I'll wager that any petition to keep him on the airwaves would have reached several millions.

Harding's brand (although in those days branding was something you did to cattle) was being the rudest man in broadcasting. He was a  pompous and exceptionally unpleasant character both on and off camera. But he was also a true revolutionary - breaking the cosy fireside world of broadcasting and bringing the unexpected onto the airwaves. Audiences loved him, or loved being shocked by him, and the tabloids faithfully reported every insult or slight he doled out. I rather like a story told of when Harding met a mother and her two children. The great man was used to being mobbed by his public and when the two kids remained seated in his presence he remarked to the mother that her offspring must be crippled. Imagine that in 2015.

Harding died suddenly, on the pavement  outside the BBC's headquarters in 1960. He was 53.  The BBC was forced to manage without its premier star. The world didn't end and only weirdo retrophiles like me have the slightest clue who Gilbert Harding was.