Train her? Really?

This was the advice from the (formerly) highly regarded Dr Chris Hart.  In his article in the Sunday Nation, Bad girls don’t change, so get a good one and train her, the good doctor saw fit to dispense, umm, wisdom?  Tell me, in what world is this…

But there are bad girls, too, who always break their boyfriends’ hearts.  You will recognise her on sight! Instantly arousing and loads of fun, she knows exactly how to strut her stuff.  The highest heels, shortest skirts, deepest necklines, barest midriffs and the sexiest lingerie – or none at all. She parties all night, loves sex and will happily fulfil any fantasy you can imagine any time you like. 

But she is totally untrustworthy and will never be loyal. Every man wants her – and she knows it. She lost her virginity way too soon, laughs and flirts with your friends, and will be with anyone who catches her eye.

Or this…

But good girls can also be boring and predictable. So no lust or lacy underwear. And even the most faithful girl can bring a mountain of problems.  Watch for the signs that she will be awful in bed. Self-conscious, never saying what she wants, endlessly giggling or really quiet, over-analysing everything, afraid to try anything new and never making up her mind.

…even remotely sensible things to say?  And how about this…

Instead, marry the girl who eats well, spends more on food than clothes, plays video games and likes being naked around the house.  She will be lots of fun – and loyal. Now then, all you need to do is train her to be a wildcat between the sheets.

There is no way a bad girl is ever going to be good. You have to start with someone who is faithful and fun then teach her to be sexually uninhibited.  Help her discover her natural sensuality. Show her how great sex creates a powerful bond between you.

Train her to be a wildcat?  Teach her to be sexually uninhibited?  EH?  Forgive me, but this needs to be said.  Motherfucker what?

I am taking deep calming breaths right now.  


By his definition, I am probably a ‘bad girl’, what with my short skirts and plunging necklines, and virginity lost very early.  But wait, I own neither of those items, and I lost my virginity quite late, relatively speaking, and I generally don't receive too much attention from many men, as y'all well know (is why I have a blog, and an imaginary cat).  I guess that makes me a ‘good girl’ then, what with my cotton undie wearing, quiet, over analytic ways, right?  No, wait, I suspect I know a little something about sex (possibly more than this mother...), and I’m pretty sure my natural sensuality was discovered a long while back.  I guess that means I’m one of those exceptional women who are neither one thing nor the other, kinda like every other woman I know. 


Doctor, on behalf of all the women who are not ‘disloyal bad girls’ or ‘sexually inhibited good girls’ or house pets looking to be trained, fuck you very much, you silly ass of a man.

Men want to be loved, women want to be desired.

Stop frowning and listen to me for a minute.  As much as women often claim to be all about love and all that good stuff, it's possible we may not need it as much as we say we do.  In fact, I'm starting to think our love for desire is what drives us, not the other way around.  No?  She smiles an evil smile…

I’ve stolen this line from a woman wiser, and more deviant, and more evil, than myself.  Gemma, the slightly very psychotic matriarch in the TV show ‘Sons of Anarchy’, one of the more violent American exports to hit my screen (and yours, if you like twisted family dramas and motorcycles), unleashed this little gem after her man professed great love.  She scoffed, looked him dead in the eye and said, “Baby…”  You know the rest.  Just to give you some context, at the point when these declarations were being made, the woman was dealing with soon to be ex husband issues, son issues, daughter in law issues, booze issues, weed issues…I don’t think there was anything she didn’t have issues with.  She was a mess, is what I’m saying, fucked up in ways only TV people can conjure.  Further context.  The man in question is played by a very sexy Jimmy Smits, a man I can proudly say I would never, ever, kick out of my bed, even when he’s covered in Hesse (spelling?) tattoos and shit.  I know it’s a TV show and therefore not real, but if that man, or man closely resembling him, professed love, I suspect I would offer to have his babies.  But that’s just me.  Let us move on.  This man was her knight in shining, if a little dodgy, armour.  The way they tell it, she should have collapsed in a puddle at his feet when he swore his undying love, made…wait for it…complete by his affections.  She did not, thankfully.

All my life I’ve been hearing, and reading, that all a woman wants is love.  Love conquers all, love is all we need, love takes time, love is a wonderful thing, love will save you…  Every other sappy R&B song and fluffy romance is built around this one concept, that love is the only thing that should matter to us females.  Thing is, after chasing love my entire life, and finding it all of thrice, I think, I’m not sure love is all I need.  In fact, I’m pretty much done with that love story.  The last time I thought I had found it, I felt lonelier than I ever had before.  It’s not that I didn’t know the man loved me, he did (at least he did at the time, although perhaps not nearly as much as I thought, which is probably how I came to be talking to a bunch of strangers out here…), it’s that I didn’t feel loved.  Have you ever been with someone and felt…less than important to them?  It’s a strange feeling, a combination of being ignored, neglected, generally paid little to no attention to.  That sounded very ‘woe is me’.  Not good.  Disgusting, actually.  Let’s try this again.  It feels kinda like you’re an accessory, picked up when it’s good for him, and then cast aside and ignored when he’s off doing whatever it is he does when he’s not loving you.  Yup, that sounds much better.  Or not.  

For all the love that was conveniently claimed when the man was within spitting distance, the minute he was out of sight he didn’t seem too enamoured with me.  He may have said he loved me, but I didn’t feel it, and a large part of that was because I didn’t feel like he wanted me, not really.  See, the one thing a woman, this woman in particular, cannot stand is to feel undesired.  More often that not, that’s the one straw that breaks her camel’s back.  Love and desire, to my mind are not the same thing, and even worse, the latter may be just as important, if not more so, than the former.  

That one thought followed me throughout the relationship and long after.  Did my wanting desire from the man make his love for me less significant?  Was I reducing our relationship to sex and nothing but?  Is desire only about sex?  Are love and desire not two sides of the same coin?  I couldn’t wrap my head around the difference between the two, hell, at one point I was convinced my OCD was working overtime, driving me insane.  (Now you buggers…  Stop laughing at me, dammit.  For the last time, I am not insane, I am delusional, and yes, there is a difference.)  Sitting there listening to a drug and booze soaked, fictional woman deflect declarations from Jimmy Smits, Jimmy Smits of all people (LA Law fans can feel me on this…), the penny finally dropped.  Having been around the block a couple of times, so to speak, love as an abstract concept simply doesn’t cut it any more, does it?  Put differently, the idea of romantic fluffy love, while oh so heart warming and lovely, comes a (not so) close second to good old fashioned desire, not unless you derive great pleasure from stuffed animals and much less from a proper shagging. 

Don’t look at me like that, you have to know by now that I always resort to our more base instincts, yes?  Yes.

Now I already have my google set up to deliver nuggets of scientific wisdom to prove my flawed theory, but for what?  All I ever do is impose my confirmation bias upon you, selecting that which adds to my argument and creatively deriding that which doesn’t.  But not this time, no sirree bob!  This time I’m going to tell you exactly what the shrinks and fake love experts say, that this theory of mine is complete and utter bollocks.  No really, it is.  

But wait, is it really?  See how I just did that, planted the seed of doubt in your impressionable minds?  Insert evil laugh here… 

First stop is a disturbingly useful site, ‘The Truth About Deception’.  Slight detour, how a site whose tag line is ‘Advice About Lying, Infidelity, Love and Romance’ can be so helpful about relationship stuff never ceases to amaze me.  In What is the difference between love, attachment and sexual desire? they claim that our romantic relationships are built on three emotional systems:

Sexual Desire
The first emotional system is sexual desire.  Sexual desire involves the lustful, sexually passionate feelings people have for each other.  Sexual desire is a very intense and powerful emotion; it can cloud one's judgmental and prompt risk-taking.  Sexual desire is often based on physical appearance, novelty and the chemistry between two people.  And while sexual desire motivates a lot of our behaviours [sic] early on in a relationship, intense levels of sexual desire are difficult to maintain with the same person over the course of time.

The second emotional system entails love.  And love, in and of itself, is composed of a complex set of feelings.  Love often entails feelings of closeness, genuine appreciation, and concern.  But, the experience of love is not the same for everyone.  For some people, love is delusional and needy, or based on emotional game playing, or experienced as the desire to take care of another person.

The last emotional system involves attachment.  Attachment is the feeling of security and comfort we get from being close to someone else.  Attachment provides a sense of stability, certainty, and safety – the feeling that someone will always be there for you in a time of need.  And, like with love, there are individual differences in the experience of attachment.

That sounds about right, first desire, and then love, and then attachment.  The ordering of these systems would imply that the progression means that one replaces the other, but no…

However, these basic emotional systems do not necessarily work in sync over the course of time.  Long term, it can be difficult to find one person who consistently satisfies all three needs.  In many cases, these three emotional systems work against each other - creating competing desires and interests.

They then throw in the point to their article, in case you’ve forgotten why you’re on that particular site…

For instance, it is possible to be attached to one romantic partner, be in love with someone else, and still have sexual desire for another person.

Being aware of these competing emotions, and that not everyone experiences love and attachment in the same way, often helps make sense of the problems that arise in our romantic relationships.

And understanding these basic emotional systems can lead to a greater understanding of the types of affairs people have.

In their defence, they do state their mission quite clearly at the top of the page.  What they’re saying, in summary, is that the three systems are often in play at the same time, making it hard for us to balance desire, love and attachment.  Anything else you take from it is solely yours, yaani don't use me to justify your other mama, I will deny all knowledge.

Next up are the lovely neurologists who believe brain scans are the key to everything.  These geniuses went out and scanned heads to see what parts of the brain are involved with sexual desire and those tied to love.  The result?  It’s the same part of the brain, kinda.  I want to know where love is: First brain map of love and desire.

Love and sexual desire activate different areas of the striatum. The area activated by sexual desire is usually activated by things that are inherently pleasurable, such as sex or food. The area activated by love is involved in the process of conditioning by which things paired with reward or pleasure are given inherent value. That is, as feelings of sexual desire develop into love, they are processed in a different place in the striatum.  Somewhat surprisingly, this area of the striatum is also the part of the brain that associated with drug addiction. Pfaus explains there is good reason for this. "Love is actually a habit that is formed from sexual desire as desire is rewarded. It works the same way in the brain as when people become addicted to drugs."

The study found that love and sex fall on a sort of neurological continuum. Both phenomena activate a section of the striatum (the part of the brain that receives messages from the cerebral cortex about emotions, memory and other functions). Lust causes the ventral striatum the part of the brain associated with emotion and motivation -- to "light up." Love activates the dorsal striatum, which impacts decision-making and is associated with drug addiction, reported MSNBC.

Perhaps not.  The Huff Po article is making a case for love growing from sex, as evidenced by the article they quote claiming a one night stand can lead to everlasting love (a lovely idea, but entirely misguided in this case).  What the scientists found is that the link between desire and love is more feedback mechanism than one way progression.  Desire feeds love, feeds desire, feeds love, and on and on (at least that’s my interpretation), which in turn means that taking one element out of the equation would break the chain, no?

This is my question.  Can you love without desire, and if so, then is desire unnecessary in love?  I’m talking about romantic love here, not the great love you have for your babies or your ma, or your barman.  That there can be desire without love is well documented, all you need to do is google clips of any cheating bastard who’s been caught with his, or her, proverbial pants down.  ‘It didn’t mean anything, it’s not love, baibee…’ is the common refrain, one which I have neither the time nor energy to explore today (always gets me into trouble that discussion).  On the other hand, love without desire is often quoted as the definition of marriage (insert own joke here…), but how can this be?  

I haven’t found an answer to this most vexing question yet, part of me suspects I never will, but I will tell you this much, there can be no love, from me, without desire, from him.  I don’t care what he provides, if he doesn’t try and grab my behind (or front) every so often, very often actually, he does not love me, not the way I want, perhaps need, to be loved.  I know, it makes little to no sense, but there it is, love is the concept, desire is the action.  Us women we like action, so stop loving and get to desiring, yes?  I’ll love you after, promise.  Look, even the Ancient Greeks, they of the incestuous gods with serious anger management issues, had the good sense to pair the two together, all immortal like.  The erotes were the gods of love AND desire, together, at the same time, as in inseparable.  All I’m saying is, what the gods have put together let no man put asunder, or something such like.


Life lessons from Githurai.

You know how your mother always told you not to go to strange men’s houses?  She was right.  Do not go to a strange man’s house for lunch.  Ever.  Said man may have a room full of women’s clothing, and accessories, clothing he makes his women wear on a night out, because he likes his women to look a particular way.  Now understand, I make no objection to a man providing his woman with a selection of high street fashion, but when said man is providing what appear to be whore outfits to a bevy of females, well then, I have some reservations.  Who does that?  Gentlemen, is this a thing, outfitting your girls in skimpy, underwear-revealing dresses, and stripper pumps, and stockings?  How?  Why?

You buggers need to stop laughing, this here is a true story.

when we...
should we say...
lemme see your hands up baby...
hii ni remix sawa
kwa mamanzi sawa

Slight detour, my life is a tragic comedy.  Further detour, this post was inspired by The Spinster, she who’s returned after too many months away, and is dedicated to OGAO (hello madam), whom I owe a good tale (I owe her more than I owe the rest of you, she's nicer to me, and she derives great pleasure from my troubles, perhaps too much?).  Detour over.

I met this man at the almost local, the karaoke bar, at the counter, where all the self respecting drunkards sit.  He was, I thought, a pal of a pal, and thus he became my pal.  We got to talking, hit it off somewhat, and before I knew it, he was my ‘karaoke husband’, twice a month, on Thursday.  Hang on, it occurs to me that you could use that information to stalk me, but you won’t, because you’re not batshit insane, right?  Right?  Shit.  Please don’t stalk me…  Now this ‘husband’ of mine is a ‘bar pal’, not someone I planned on ever meeting outside the dark (and slightly dingy) confines of that fine establishment.  It’s not that I wouldn’t have wanted to meet him outside the bar, it’s just that I know better than to try.

Lesson Number One: Friends made in the bar are only friends IN the bar.

See, most of these so called friendships we make at the local are seldom substantial, more often it’s a relationship based on one’s ability to imbibe copious quantities of alcohol, or one’s ability to share copious quantities by way of purchase, or one’s ability to conversate while doing either, or both.  It's beer goggle friendship, in my experience, made greater by the spirits, but ultimately an illusion.  These are not the people you’ll call when your mother dies and you need to raise money to take her home to Nyandarua, or when your business is crumbling and you need to raise a loose million overnight, these are the people you call when you have a spare ticket for a ragga concert (not reggae, reggae you share with your mother-resting people, no?).

Thing is, after almost two years of ‘friendship’, you kinda become friends, no?  We did, kinda.  Not so close that I was confessing my deepest darkest, but close enough that I was privy to the details of his last date.  Ah yes, I was also his confessor.  Another lesson I’m learning, don’t let men tell you their problems in the bar, they never stop, even outside the bar.  Woi…  Moving right along.  The man would sit there and rant about whatever was up his ass on that particular night, and I’d listen, happy to let him talk, often enjoying his misguided tales.  Then, as tends to happen with these things, it came to pass that we exchanged numbers, and with that we entered a new realm in our relationship, we became text buddies.

Lesson Number Two: Don’t give out your number unless your phone has a blocking thingi that allows you to ignore a mother.  Mother here refers to both your mother and that mother… who needs to stop texting your ass.  Gentlemen, a free tip, if a woman wants to talk to you, she calls. If she texts, she don’t wanna talk to you.  Unless she’s cheap, in which case she will never call you.  (That’s to cover my ass, because I never call.  Ahem.)

This man can text.  Lengthy texts.  With smileys cum emojis and shit.  Many smileys.  Kendo three in a row.  Now, I don’t particularly like smileys, I see their usefulness, but I can’t say I care too much for them.  Doesn’t help that I only know two smileys, happy and unhappy.  This man has a smiley for every occasion, I think he even has one with what looks like an umbrella.  Have I digressed?  I have.  So the man took to texting me, condensing his day into chatty little messages, breakfast, lunch, football, bar, and back around again.  Did I mention the man is retired?  No?  He is.  He’s blissfully unencumbered by the daily demands of earning a living, lucky bastard.  Which in turn means he has time to cook lunch for his many ‘friends’ (euphemism for random women), any time he damn well pleases, and he pleases to quite often.  After reading way too many lunch texts, I asked him why he hadn’t offered to cook for me. (I know, foolish.) He then offered to cook for me.  (Walked right into that one.)  I had to accept the offer, no?  No.  I should have followed my gut and said, ‘Hell no, you strange texting wierdo!’

Lesson Number Three: Listen to your gut.  That queasy feeling you get when you look at a suspect piece of fish is a warning, don’t eat it.  Wait, that’s a different story, but it applies here, no?  Perhaps not.

And that is how I found myself in a strange man’s house on a Saturday afternoon, staring at pictures of way too many women in various states of undress, and listening to his tales about the women, and the clothes they were wearing.  That’s right, he’s been providing women with clothing for many, many years.  And he has proof.  Walalalalalalala…  For the first 30 minutes, I was working out my escape plan, because a man with pictures of random, yet seemingly identical, women scattered all over his flat is not a man I feel comfortable around, and this was before he told me about the clothes.  I know I joke about men making like Lecter and eating my ass, but this guy had me scared, for real.  I was trying to work out if anyone knew where I was, in case I never made it home.  At one point I considered calling the mother (my mother, not the mother…).

Lesson Number Four: If you’re going to a strange bugger’s house, tell someone, and give them directions too, in case they need to bring the po-lice.  The only people I told about this plan were my penpal Blue and the pal who introduced me to this pal (he now denies any involvement, useless…).

There I am, in a strange house, surrounded by pictures of young women in as little clothing as possible, with a man who talks lovingly, way too lovingly, about the clothes he makes them wear, and I have an epiphany.  The man is insane.  Not mad, not delusional, batshit insane.  My friend, there are bodies buried in his garden, bodies of women who refused to wear the lycra mini dresses he is so fond of, or perhaps women who questioned his taste in shoes (not that bad, surprisingly).  On the up side, the man cooks, so…

Lesson number Five: Life really is too short for this bullshit. No really, it is.

Dear batshit insane men, please stop talking to me. I promise to stop talking to you from now on, and I will never listen to your tales of woe if you promise to never, ever buy me a drink.  No more drinks from chatty men at the counter.  Ever.  That’s how I end up sitting next to a framed picture of a lingerie clad Pamela Anderson, the only woman whose clothes, or therein lack of, he did not procure, because he's never met her, yet he has her picture sitting there like she's family.  And we were in bloody Githurai.  

In the words of a great poet, whose name I don't recall, fuck my life.

Which brings me to today's track, the timeless 'Wasee (Githurai) Remix' by Mr Googs, Vinny Banton and Mr Lenny.  

whose got the biggest appetite for Kenyan ladies
when them move a thong
wakijua them wearing tighties
when them move a short silky skirt with no high heels...

These Githurai fellas are a little kinky, no?  Yes, I realise it gives away my age, but come on, no one in their 30's hears Githurai and doesn’t think of this song, it's like their national anthem.  The lyrics are no good, but dammit if it wasn’t the funkiest thing out of Ogopa at the time.  After E-Sir.  And Historians.  And a couple of others, but it was definitely top 10 funky, shallow, but funky.

na wasee tumetoka Githurai
tumekam kukupa rhymes zingine dry-y
tuki-fry whack MCs ka mayai kwa kara-ai
ikiwa zimeshika sema my!

Lakini these lyrics (courtesy of Ghafla) are suspect...


Nobody wins a war.

What the hell is going on in Eastleigh? And Kasarani? And why is no one in authority talking about it, other than giving us meaningless quotes about security operations?

Are there people, possibly Kenyans, being held in 'detention centres'? How is 'detention centre' a phrase I use in this our Nairobi, in 2014?

Are we repatriating refugees? Back to the part of Kenya we consider not really Kenya, or back to Somalia? Are we no longer hosting any refugees, from anywhere? Are other refugees from our other four neighbours, among others, being sent home too?

And how can we trust that the people being picked up are 'threats' and 'suspects', when we keep reading stories of people released after paying the requisite bribes, buying their freedom? And what about the sweeps going on other neighbourhoods, if any? And why now, and not last year?

Why is the mainstream media silent?

Are we really detaining people in Kasarani, with no food or water?

Are we those people?


Now what would you do, what would you say
If you heard a bomb was headed your way?
Where would you go, what would you bring
If you heard a bomb was headed your way?

We're angry. And we're scared. And we're tired of being some random idiot's target practice as he works his way up to the rumoured virgins. But if the solution is to 'detain' people, refugees and Kenyans alike (let's face it, the cops are not being too discriminating, if the stories are to be believed), then we have much bigger problems on our hands. We are wilfully casting aside that which makes us...human, and this to chase the illusion of security? What makes us believe that with every single refugee, Somali, Muslim...insert preferred culprit here...gone from our streets, what makes us believe then we shall finally be safe? What if these terrorists are not foreigners, outsiders or strangers? 

And then?

What if the government decides we, you and me, are the terrorists?

What if I want to detain you too, because you're not like me?

The song is 'Nobody Wins A War' by Raheem Devaughn, featuring pretty much everyone worth listening to in Neo Soul. Listen to Jill Scott from 5:20...

We, the people speak, speak
We want to be free of this sick bureaucracy
No more death tolls with our morning coffee
Oh, government, you have lost your feeling for life
It is war that you reap
But the loss is too great and the pain is too deep
The scars do not heal
Your system is thoughtless and your vision is weak
Your actions are hurtful
You never find what you seek
You make the sky a storm
You destroy the earth, make possibilities bleak
Your lies are your destruction, your justice stinks
Your pride is maniacal, you are the bearer of grief
Your win is shallow, your truth is oblique
Your patriotism is garbage, it rots and it reeks
Of death in the wind, the foul stench of men
Basking in their cruelty, rejoicing in their sin
You give up and give over so easily to the darker side
Because of your pride, you risk all of humanity
You send my children to murder human beings
Families they do not yet know, people they have never seen
You send my children to war
Without exasperating dialogue to get to the meat
An equal understanding, as if there isn't even a possibility for peace
But there is always a possibility for peace
As un-perfect as we are, we should in all ways reach
Deep, deep down in our beings
Oh, this wicked, wicked system of things
As our grandmothers say
Will soon be no more, will soon be no more
Because nobody, no one ever wins a war

I'm angry.  And I'm scared.  And I'm tired.  But I am not going to hold someone in a 'detention centre', and I do not want it done in my name.  Not by a corrupt bureaucracy that places more value on a few thousand shillings than on my security, at the border, at the immigration offices, at the chief's camp, at the police station, next to the Black Maria, in Parliament, at Sheria House, at Harambee House, at State House.

Oh, government, you have lost your feeling for life...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'm playing catch up.  Apologies, but Dunia has been neglected, and there is much ranting to do, starting with the idiot press, again.  Then, perhaps, happy clappy Alex shall return, no?  Probably not, I'm always cranky.  

Be safe.


Idiot Press: The Standard Edition, again.

These buggers aren’t even trying any more, are they?

One fine Friday last month, we woke up to the screaming headline, How Government spent millions on luxury retreat, a front page expose on the 100M price tag of the cabinet retreat in Nanyuki. 'Eh?' we asked, aghast, 'How now?'

But calculations by The Standard, based on actual expenditure incurred by our reporters at the resort after the Government event and interviews of people in the know reveals a different picture. The Ksh100 million figure was derived from costing of the 120 rooms reserved for the government delegation at the resort, fees paid for closing of hotel to other guests, food and accommodation levies, and the cost of plane-hiring and extra services by the hotel. However the figure could be higher if the allowances the officials are entitled to when they work out of station are factored in.

And why, pray tell, did the good people at the Standard group feel the need to investigate?

The Standard’s team inquiry began with the notion that the retreat need not have been in such a respected, expensive and World Class destination in moments of hard times.

Aaaaaawwww... Warms the cockles of my heart, their altruistic nature. Not.

The rest of the article is in a similarly sanctimonious tone, which I would ordinarily quite enjoy (I love it when people talk shit about this government, any government actually...) except that coming from this newspaper it's a bit, how do you say, hypocritical? They listed the cost of various rooms, and the cost of a meal, and horse-riding, and hiring a set of golf clubs, and a bottle of water... This was some in depth reportage, my people, in depth. They even gave suggestions.

Apart from Sagana State Lodge, Kenya School of Government in Lower Kabete also has conference and boarding facilities regularly used by State officials. It is also the same with State-owned Kenya Multi-Media University, Utalii Hotel, Kenya School of Monetary Studies and Kenyatta International Conference Centre, which however has no boarding facilities.

See? The Standard Group cares about us. Just not enough to fact check their shit, is all.

State House on Friday said the Government spent only Sh8.4 million on the four day retreat by the Executive at the exclusive Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club and not Sh100 million as reported in this newspaper yesterday.

Yes, they published this a day later, but they weren't too repentant, were they?

In publishing the story, The Standard was motivated by their journalistic duty to contribute to the current national debate, initiated by the President himself, on the sustainability of public expenditure. It was done in the undisputed knowledge that the resort is one of the most expensive in the world and that the whole Executive had relocated there for four days in hard times.

Additionally, unsuccessful efforts were made to get the Government’s side of the story before going to press.

Using the commercial rates that the hotel ordinarily charges, assuming each senior government official had attended the four-day retreat with at least a body guard and driver as is the common practice, further assuming that each of these public servants were drawing allowances for working out of station, factoring in the cost of fuel for each of the state official’s cars or aviation as the case might have been, and considering that non-members of the Club pay a fee for temporary membership, the bill could have been much more.

Standing by their story, I respect that. Only...

But State House clarified yesterday that all these assumptions were wrong. They said they had a negotiated special rate from the facility, which included full board lodging and conferencing facilities. They further clarified that none of the state officials attending the retreat enjoyed the expensive extras that the hotel offers.

Right. No one enjoyed the extras. And that was water in the KDF paper bags. 

This is the thing. The 100M price tag seems a bit outrageous, even for this most jubilant government, and that 8.4M doesn’t sound quite right either, but because the gova showed us a receipt, which the bloody Standard geniuses verified, well...

In light of this clarification and the provided documentary evidence, we take this early opportunity to apologise to the Government for any inconvenience caused.

They threw in the apology at the end, but it was not enough. A day later they stuck another apology, nay retraction, on their front page, from none other than the MD, my man (I jest), Sam Shollei. I can't find a copy of it on their site, but I saw it, front and centre, it was even in one of those shaded box thingimajigi.

Now while all this was going on, they were busy promoting the hell out of their latest Jicho Pevu 'investigative report'. The Hounds of...no, wait, that's a Sherlock Holmes story, sorry. Their latest is the suspiciously plain titled, What really happened at the BALLOT. Unfortunately for us, it was never to be. A day after they ran the 100M story, management was summoned to State House, at least that's what the rumour mill is saying.

Kenya Today is receiving disturbing information that President Uhuru called the Standard Media Group’s top CEOs and warned of ‘unspecified consequences’ should the media house go ahead to air the story. The sad meeting today morning comes after the Standard run a story pouring cold water on Uhuru’s hyped war on wage bill.

The management of SG were yesterday summoned to State House, Nairobi over the much-awaited exposé as well as a Friday article appearing on the Standard newspaper in which it was alleged that Office of the President (OP) spent over Ksh100 million to hold an exclusive 4-days Cabinet retreat at the luxurious Mt. Kenya Country Club, Nanyuki.

Promptly, the SG carried an apology over the Nanyuki retreat in its Saturday Standard edition, perhaps to safeguard its dwindling commercial fortunes

Within the high-echelons of power, Jicho Pevu is largely considered a “threat to national security”

So now the government is trying to shut the Standard Group up? Why? These negroes can do bad all by themselves, no? Then again, serikali is not the sharpest tool in this shed so... All I'm saying is, buggers who print a front page expose with nothing but a reporter's dodgy calculations to back up their claims, they don’t need to be silenced, they're shredding their own credibility every day, and with remarkable ease.

Sample this little gem from two Sundays back, Raphael Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki personal struggles with old age and fading memory.  Now this article was billed as an exclusive, of course, on their front page, and while the title should have warned me off, this paragraph got my bullshitometer tingling.

At his prime, retired Archbishop Raphael Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki was a sharp-witted deeply religious priest whose sermons were a thorn in the flesh for the unjust. Those who knew him then say his ability to remember incidents from years back was unrivalled. But currently, behind that small, wiry frame, a different man blankly stares back at the world. His eyes are like a seal holding back painful secrets.

Like a seal holding back whatnow? What the...?  After informing us that the man has been diagnosed with Dementia, this, umm, genius, proceeds to lay it on nice and thick, cloying thick...

This condition makes it nearly impossible to have a long conversation with the retired archbishop. His memories have a set timeline. Questions about events that occurred during more recent periods trigger a long thoughtful pause. His eyes look distant. Failing memory Ndingi valiantly tries to talk about his most challenging period during his priesthood. But once again his memory fails. He stares hard and long at a particular spot on the glass table before him, then begins to ramble again. His narration of his past is in staccato.

How better to show us the gravity of this tragic disease than to parade a sick man in front of us, a sick man we once knew as a not sick man? The comparisons were thrown in, carelessly, down to the pictures of a frail old man alongside the pictures of the vibrant Cardinal we remember. Exclusive, remember, because what can be more important to us than a shameless example of tabloid journalism? That's right, I called it tabloid. Mindless, (not particularly) sensational swill passed off as a feature on a revered old man.

With a concerned look at the retired archbishop, he [Fr Steven Mbugua] says it often helps to have people who have spent years with Ndingi present during interviews. Whenever they can, they answer for him.

And yet that didn’t give this, and I use this word most reservedly, writer any pause, or his editor, for that matter? This article was the print equivalent of slowing down to stare at a gory car crash, ogling the banged up bodies, fascinated by the blood. This article was nothing but grief porn, and it was most disrespectful. Most. It bothers me how little these journo types value our dignity, us the idiots who serve as fodder for their 'exclusive' stories of suspect grammar and idiotic syntax. Ati seal holding back secrets? EH?

Incidentally, a few days before this rubbish, they announced a 13% increase in profits.  "Kenyan media company Standard Group posted a 13 percent rise in pretax profit for 2013 on the back of sharp growth in print and TV advertising revenue. The publisher of Kenya's oldest and second-largest daily paper, The Standard, and an operator of a radio and TV station, said profit before tax climbed to 300.7 million shillings ($3.48 million) on revenue up a third at 4.82 billion shillings." (Advertising buoys profit at Kenya's Standard Group)  On behalf of every right thinking news junkie, may I just ask, who the hell is advertising in their prin...ah yes...now I understand the tabloid shit. Very clever. Or not, depending, their Editorial Director was allegedly fired a couple of days ago, despite his sterling work.  Moving on...

As you can imagine, I approached this weekend's Standard with trepidation, expecting even more nonsense, now that I'm convinced it's not deliberate stupidity on their part, it's deliberate stupidity borne of greed, and laziness, and what appears to be the complete lack of a fact-checker.

Mere coincidence? Mystery of 10 killed in pairs, dumped naked. That was their big page 2 feature in yesterday's paper. Sounds quite terrifying, no?

The first case reported is of two matatu owners whose bodies were found in a forest. “Relatives who visited the scene upon receiving the news positively identified the bodies. They had deep panga cuts. A third unidentified body lay besides the two.” Remember the killed in pairs bit? So what was the third body then? And there's no mention of nudity.

The next reported case. “On February 13, two other bodies were found stuffed in nylon bags under a bridge in Narok. This was only a week after four others had been discovered in similar circumstances in Nakuru and Baringo counties.” The article says the men were identified as matatu touts from Kinoo. “It is believed the victims were strangled with ropes before their bodies were stuffed in the bags. Narok police boss Peterson Maelo said the two could have been killed elsewhere and their bodies dumped in the area.” There's no mention of nudity here either, that I can see, and they were strangled, not hacked.

Then there's the bar owner and his employee, “found dumped naked by the roadside on the Eldama Ravine–Maji Mazuri Road in Makutano on March 7... A postmortem examination conducted by Rift Valley Provincial Pathologist Titus Ngulungu showed that their skulls and ribs were fractured using a heavy, blunt object. There were signs of struggle.” A naked pair, bludgeoned to death.

And then there is this, “In Nakuru, naked bodies of two men were found dumped at Kibunja Bridge in Molo forest on February 5.” And, “On the same day, the naked bodies of a man and a woman were found at Ngoswet on the Nakuru-Eldama-Ravine Road near Muserechi.” And lastly, “On the morning of February 21, naked bodies of two men were found dumped at Kiganjo area on the Ol Kalou-Njambini road. Both bodies had deep cuts on their heads.

Now you buggers know that I have a thing for conspiracy theories, and I love a good serial killer, but when some half wit journo can't be bothered to count, or read, or look, then I get a bit upset.

In a period of two months – in February and March – more than five pairs of corpses have been collected on various roads in central Rift. In total, 11 bodies have been collected in various locations, sparking a wave of fear and anxiety in Nakuru, Baringo, Narok and Nyandarua counties. And although the bodies were discovered miles apart, police and relatives of the deceased are in agreement that there existed a pattern in the execution of the devious act, further raising fears that a serial killer gang could be roaming the region. The bodies were all naked and there is consensus that in all the cases, the victims were killed elsewhere.

That was the intro to this little piece of brilliance. 11 bodies? Close, there were 13, and three were not killed in a pair, obviously. A pattern of execution? Panga cuts, strangulation, heavy blunt object...I see what they mean. Sweet Jesus! All naked? Even the pictures accompanying the piece had clothed corpses in them. Pictures, as in visual proof. What the hell? As for the killing elsewhere bit, well, I'm not a killer or anything (yet), but I would think that disposing of a body, so as not to be apprehended by the po-po, requires a bit of subterfuge, thus one tries to dump the body in a remote place, far from where your murderous ass presently is, yes?  But hey, what do I know, apart from my three R's? 

Reading, 'riting, and fucking 'rithmetic, not nearly as easy to find in the papers as you'd think.  Which brings me to my next rant...

Idiot Press: The Nation Edition.

We need to have a conversation about the Saturday Nation. You buggers, what the hell is going on?

I need to give you a bit of background before I continue, that you may fully grasp from whence my anguish emanates. I've been reading the Nation since I could read. My father, bless his demanding ass, used to make me read him the paper on the way to school, primary school by the way, and when he was feeling particularly malicious, he'd make me read Taifa Leo, just because. Those were not good times. My father's house was always, and will always be, a Nation household. Because of this, my house has always been a Nation household, at least it was until they became a bit suspect. In the run up to the last election, round about mid 2012, I stopped buying the paper every other day, restricting myself to the weekend. It was partly out of a deep seated desire to save money, what with the never ending price hikes, but it was also borne of frustration and the increasingly rubbish reporting they were putting out, and the dodgy columns they kept adding. In truth, I suspect I simply outgrew my paper, no longer satisfied with the shallow analysis and limited scope. These days, I read the weekend papers, and only the weekend papers, content to skim headlines online the rest of the week. I figure after almost 30 years with them, I’m allowed to be picky, no?

Detour. Can we please talk about the atrocity masquerading as a website? How on earth did they manage to make it worse than it was? The old site was tedious, but it worked, kinda. The new site, however, is nothing but a Nation sponsored billboard. Imparting information? For what? On the off chance someone on their digital team reads this, stop ringaing with your links, if the article is up, put the damn thing where I can see it, because your search ain’t worth a damn. Just saying. And fix the bloody feeds. And please don't touch the East African site, please. Detour over.

I have a couple of issues with the Saturday Nation.

First, why the hell did they move Randall Smith (Letter from America) all the way to the international section, na huko nyuma? And if that's not bad enough, the pieces are now shorter, because who could possibly care about some random dude talking about random stuff? I'm half expecting them to bump Gado to the classifieds at this rate. I may have just given them ideas, dammit. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the combination of Kiai, Dolan and Makhokha make my Saturday morning, and Smith and Ochieng were the B-side. Stop fucking with my B-side, you idiots, it's sacred. If you want to tinker, do it in the 'Literary Forum' (aka, 'what did Ngugi and his clan say this week'.  I'm not upset, I love the man, but it might get old one of these days).

And then there's their pride and joy, the magazine. Problem is, the Saturday magazine has gone to hell. In a hand basket. On Satan’s arm. The only thing keeping it going are the third page (Kate Getao), the financial advice page katikati (Waceke Nduati Omanga), and the third page from last (Rupi Mangat). It might be that my age has me less interested in the man vs woman nonsense, but I don’t think so. I think the mag has gotten boring, and a little, dare I say it, dumber. Note, I didn't say the people in the mag are dumber (the legion of Biko fans are already lighting torches, bloody fascists), I said the mag itself is dumber.  There is a deliberate lack of substance, no? No? 

I could bitch about the never-ending/moving Lizzie's World, but I have a love/hate relationship with it, I love to hate it, read it eagerly every week just to get pissed off. I know, its the oddest thing. I could whine about the baby stuff, but I'm not the target market, so what the hell, right? The less said about the restaurant reviews the better, any review after just one visit cannot possibly be useful, can it?  Which leaves me with the features, oh the lovely features. The features in the magazine are...woi! Let me give you an example. 

To catch a cheating spouse was the cover feature this weekend. Exciting, no? No, dammit. The article was pretty much a how to manual. Worse, a badly written how to manual.

While statistics say that women cheat nearly as much as men, they are definitely better at hiding it. For the suspicious husband, Kinyanjui offers Semen Spy, a sophisticated test kit which will tell the suspicious husband if his wife has been with a man apart from him.

This test will detect the smallest amount of seminal fluid on clothing – even after a few washes. It will test positive even if the male involved has had a vasectomy because it tests for semen, not sperm.

Are you suspicious about that business trip your wife just took? All you need is to have her underwear tested. Want to know who she was likely with? Surveillance and DNA lab services will confirm the identity of the interloper.

According to Murigi, ascertaining the other man’s identity is as easy as following the suspected party to a restaurant where they are having a meal with the suspect, swiping a napkin that the suspect uses and testing the DNA found on it to match up to the DNA sample from the underwear.

Courtesy of what Murigi refers to as ‘touch technology’, as long as the other man or woman touches surfaces or items of clothing, it will be possible for them to be traced using DNA from their hand prints.

Semen Spy? A sophisticated test kit? Touch technology? DNA from their hand prints? What the hell do you say to that brilliance? Do people not watch CSI any more? Sweet Jesus! For the record, the semen thing is a chemical spray and black light (see, Basic Instinct, murder number one), and the touch thing is pretty close to complete bollocks, unless they've figured out how to get DNA from a fingerprint (have they?). Either the guy peddling this stuff is full of shit, or the writer, and editor, no speaka da science, or google. Either way, what the fuck? In the same vein, the article went on to detail methods of tracking phone calls, texts, chats, emails, you name it. There are even trackers for his car...

These are sold for security purposes, obviously, but many a spouse has used them to monitor their partner’s movements. In addition to showing you where he is at all times, these trackers will take snapshots of all these locations which you are then able to view on your phone or computer.

If you call him late at night and he says that he is at the club with the boys, a GPS car tracker will be able to tell you that he isn’t and his car is indeed parked in a residential area by giving you the car’s location in real time. You can watch these locations on websites like Google Maps on your phone.

Is anyone else feeling oddly uncomfortable with this writer's level of comfort discussing this shit? This is fucking insane, it's like ClassicFM, in writing. On the up side, she does offer a warning, of sorts...

Please remember that while most of these gadgets are sold legally, it is the buyer’s responsibility to make sure that the law isn’t broken. The Kenya Information and Communications Act outlaws attempting to, or intercepting a communication message, and stipulates a jail term of up to three years – unless you own the phone or computer or have legal rights over it.

There, however, appears to be a large grey area when it comes to digitally spying on your spouse in relation to the law. This is because these applications used to spy on spouses were created for security, to track stolen phones and devices and to check up on children and teenagers, and the seller isn’t responsible if you opt to use them otherwise.

It is clear that there are limitless ways of catching a cheating partner; how far you are willing to go is a moral issue, which is a different thing altogether.

That was the cover feature this weekend. I rest my case. 

The Saturday magazine has gone to hell. And the rest of the paper is not too far behind.

See? I'm an equal opportunity ranter, I dislike all media houses equally. Except the Star, I can't dislike the Star, that's like picking on a child, a child who can't spell, and likes to plagiarise, a special child...