2016: In Which I master the Mike Ezuruonye Approach to Life, Living and being Unflappa-fucking-ble.
Consider Mike Ezuruonye.
Some of you might know him from any one of the numerous Nigerian movies he has acted in. Opinions may vary as to whether he is best cast as the wealthy prince, or the hopeful lover or the (adorable, still adorable) menacing thug, but the one thing I think we can all agree on is that Mike Ezuruonye is one chilled out motherfucker.
It doesn’t matter what shit is going down. Look at Mike and he will be as calm and at peace as a baby boy in a basket, floating down the Nile.
Of course, I do not expect you to take my word for it, so I have provided photographic evidence. Behold the man in question.
I can bet you his flight was delayed but there he is, sitting all calm and pretty with a look that says: what else do you have to throw at me, life?
See also, Mike Ezuruonye enjoying a light sea breeze in the middle of a photo studio.
How? He carries his own sea breeze with him, motherfuckers.
See also, Mike on a bad hair day.
Nary a fuck doth he give.
I was lucky enough to notice this about the gentleman at the start of the year while building my folder of meme material. I resolved to search out the secret of his happiness and equanimity. My hope was not to be like Mike Ezuruonye, but rather to feel how he looks.
I set out to become a peace-filled, unflappable son of a bitch, and damned if I didn’t learn a lot about life and myself in the process. And so Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the 6 things trying to feel like Mike Ezuruonye looks taught me in 2016.
6 Most Important things 2016 taught me, or how I learned to feel like Mike Ezuruonye looks.
- I Need to Build Shit:
I was engaging in that favorite Nigerian pastime, viz, ridiculing our home videos et al, when it occurred to me that the person who had made the worst film in Nigerian history (see Battle Axe 1 and 2, or rather don’t see it) is a hundred times better than I am. Why? They built something. It’s easy to have an opinion, or write a review, but it costs you nothing. The problem was I’d been waiting for the perfect circumstances to make the perfect thing, meanwhile some hoodlum from the local township had gone and fucking made a movie. I had no excuse. I realized I’d better start building shit fast.
Mike Ezuruonye doesn’t have time to write a review. Or read one. He’s a boss.
- I Ought to Own My Mind
I spent a lot of time thinking about myself this year. And I realized that a lot of the deepest most sacred parts I thought belonged to me, where nothing but the whispered words of others, bouncing around in an echo chamber. I realized the confirmation bias I had lived my life by: I’d only ever sought for evidence to support what I already believed. It was disturbing and frightening, and it forced me to ask some scary questions. It took a long time for me to convince myself there was nothing wrong in asking those question, or even admitting I was asking those questions. There are tons of biases and opinions I’d been programmed to believe by my culture, training and upbringing. This was the year I knew all those things were mere suggestions. I would have to choose for myself what to believe and whom to be.
- There is no time for Bad TV shows.
Earlier in my life, I would stick with a TV show I did not enjoy, hoping it would get better. But this year, after watching one episode of say, Blacklist or 2 Broke Girls or Big Bang Theory or DC’s Legends of Tomorrow or Supergirl, I went nope-nope-nopity-nope and moved on.
- DC and Nigeria are going to break my heart
You will not understand the peace that flooded my soul once I understood this and stopped believing that
- A) Nigeria would get better: It’s not. There will never be constant power supply because no one is working on a solution. There will never be justice because people don’t want it. Also corruption will never leave a country because our culture fanatically supports it.
- B) DC would get good at making movies: See Suicide Squad. Or rather, don’t see it.
- The news is bad, but this is good.
A ton of bad shit happened this year. People died. People starved. The economy collapsed. Nigerian lawmakers stretched for new levels of idiocy with the ardor and zeal of a bus conductor stretching for change.
Here’s what I learned:
- a) There is no point seeking out the news. If it is truly important or relevant to me, I will hear of it.
- b) Bad news is good news. If bad news were so prevalent that it weren’t news anymore, that would be bad news for all of us.
- c) This is the best time in the known history of the world to be alive. See democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion etc. All concepts which have only been implemented and accepted in the last 200 years or so.
- Religion isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
I’m Christian, so I’ll be speaking on that topic. My argument’s here include:
- a) For much of its history (say 90%) the church has been a tool of oppression and a bully. It’s also done some good stuff, but it’s important not to forget or brush aside what happens when you give it power to wield.
- b) There is no excuse for your pastor to own a private jet using church funds. There is no excuse for your pastor to use contributions from church members to start a for-profit business and not provide the members annual financial reports and returns on their investments.
- c) God doesn’t care if you pay your tithes to the church or use them to help people in need. In fact. I would argue he prefers the latter (See story of the Good Samaritan).
- d) Everything Jesus said and did was really just to get us to love other people. Everything else we do in or as a church is just background noise.
- e) God doesn’t hate homosexuals. Neither should you.
Maybe you had a pretty bad year. Yes, everyone complained, but maybe yours truly sucked balls. Maybe you’ve watched in horror as Buhari and Emefiele made rough love to the economy and you’re worried about next year. Maybe you lost your job, your house, or someone you loved.
I would ask you to consider that the fact that you are alive is badass in itself already. That you are alive in Nigeria is double badass. And the fact that you are a free agent, with a mind and will that frightens gods, with the power to choose – always – what you are going to do… why, if that isn’t the most badass thing I ever heard of, I don’t know what is.
So don’t let worry or anxiety or (horrors of horrors!) the empty opinions of others steal your peace. Don’t let indecision or fear stop you from making awesome shit. Don’t let the idiots on Twitter and Facebook (of which there are many) fuck your day up.
Consider the birds of the air. Consider the lilies of the field.
Consider, if you will, Mike Ezuruonye.