Wednesday, 30 November 2011





Monday, 28 November 2011




Aristotle's Claim To Happiness

What is virtue? According to the dictionary, it is described as “behavior showing high moral standards; a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person.” From this definition, it is generally acceptable to declare that we all would love to be called virtuous, even only regarding certain things.  But who decides 
what is and what is not virtuous? The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, Protagoras, stated that the truth on one side must be balanced or weighed against the truth of the opposing side so as to gain knowledge about what is right and wrong. It has been seen and said for ages passed that there could be no objective truth and in this case moral values. It seems hard to believe there is, but in my opinion, what is moral or True is only human nature and our undying thirst to please ourselves and fulfill our own needs or wants. We must only believe in the moral value of our need to justify. Several cultures believed in slavery, from ancient Lacedaemon to Post-colonial America. They saw this as a means of fulfilling their desires. I believe satisfying human nature is the absolute moral value no matter the form you address it as. Although eras change and novel ideas come to light, they condition us to accept those newfound ideas as our nature and thus the argument about slavery/anti-slavery is only supported by the notion that individuals and cultures only abide to these values to delight themselves. In essence, whomever is able to direct and/or shape the nature of men and reveal to them that prior beliefs are ignorant and deplorable, he alone has the power to control morality. Our societies and cultures shape what we believe to be good, right and virtuous. Aristotle goes against these doctrines to identify certain aspects and outstanding elements that are absolute in regards to the pursuit of virtuous acts. They are fundamental, according to him, to the make-up of human-kind in this realm and the next. In his famous work, the Nichomachean Ethics, he holds that virtues are “those qualities that allow us to achieve a state of eudaimonia, or human flourishing.” He later goes on to distinguish between intellectual virtues and moral virtues. Intellectual virtues, he explains, enable us to think rationally, while moral virtues enable us to handle our emotions and desires rationally. It seems to suggest that virtue is very much related to rationality. 
On the search for the chief good of existence, Aristotle holds that “every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that which all things aim.” In this regards, he discloses that human endeavors should be aimed at attaining that “chief” good unless we are prone to a life of infinite quests and activity as we choose everything for the sake of something else which results in vanity and emptiness. A simple example would be surrendering to the passions of lust, hunger and even anger. It is virtuous to partake of these emotions and sentiments only if they are necessary for human flourishing and furthermore, beneficial to the community, society and human-kind, then and only then, can they be regarded as being virtuous. In order not to be subjected to a hollow and meaningless life, he declares happiness the greatest and chief of all good. But how do we attain happiness? Clearly it involves building a foundation with the virtuous deeds and thoughts through the interrelationship between the function of man and doing things well, that is, in accord to virtue. Happiness, which is synonymous to contentment or satisfaction is closely tied to the fulfillment one begets from excellence and chasing that which brings a sense of competence in a job well done (virtue). Using this mode of thinking, the practice and exercising of virtues is progressive and favorable as a whole towards the individual life, the general public and ultimately, attaining happiness. “For the state of mind may exist without producing any good result, as in a man who is asleep or in some other way quite inactive, but the activity cannot; for one who has the activity will of necessity be acting, and acting well.” This statement goes to show that not only in physical actions but more importantly, happiness depends on a restructuring of the mind in which no immediate harm can be done but a stable foundation, independent of the passions and transitory nature of circumstances. 

They seek a temporary elation without first making a conscious decision to remain adhered to efforts needed to be secure in the contentment and satisfaction of hard work and other virtues. Furthermore, they are regarded as irrational (due to our  earlier connection of virtue to rationality) and thus, are as changeable as an infants diaper. Being easily swayed by external factors, there is no sense of rest or peace for these ones; their attachment to the pleasures and desires bring them suffering and pain forever chasing the next good like a dog and his tail. Without attachment to anythin
g within this realm, we are free from upset and suffering (which are defined as antonyms to happiness). In closing, the practice of non-virtue, no matter how innocent, ultimately leads to sadness and destruction. A life of non-fulfillment should never be wished upon anyone. 

Olujimi Oyenekan.




Monday, 21 November 2011


Tolu Falode.


JEGGINGS-The newest craze
The final word on jeggings- yes or no?
Jeggings have become the newest craze today.
Jeggings have become a signature stamp in the Nigerian fashion-some wear it the right wa;some don't.
Jeggings are very affordable. They also combine the comfy feel of the leggings with the appearance of the denim. The unique thing about jeggings is that they are perfect for most outfits. From sport sweaters to long blouses and dresses, also most ladies now prefer to wear jeggings to parties because it allows easy movement of the body unlike other pants .
For whatever reason you wear jeggings ,follow these simple rules.
Buying the right Jeggings for your body type.
It is very important to buy the right kind of jeggings that suit your body type .
If you are short in height ,then petite sizes would be appropriate, vice versa for tall sizes.
Never tuck your shirt in your jeggings
Wearing jeggings like pants is an extreme faux pas. This is a major error committed by most Nigerian women. It does not work well because the lines from the garment would be obvious thereby creating a scruffy look rather than the elegant chic look .
Ladies make sure your butt is covered when you wear jeggings.
 Wear jeggings with long tops ,blouses ,tunic dresses or cardigans
This is probably one of the best ways to wear jeggings ,they may look like pants but they are definitely not. Therefore, the bottom should not be exposed unlike regular pants and jeans.
Wearing long tops and blouses are your best bet with jeggings 
Short and curvy
If you are short and curvy ,the best way to rock jeggings is with platform heels.
Those few inches really elongate the legs matched with a lovely tunic top that floats away from the body. Consider belting the tunic at your waist to create the coke bottle look.
Pick a dark pair of leggings that would go with everything from a basic tank top to a sweater dress. 
Wearing multi coloured patterned jeggings create a comic look .

You don’t have to be as skinny as Mo'cheddah or as voluminous as Sasha to wear jeggings!
They are very versatile as they are made for all shapes and sizes , but wearing them in the right way is key to getting that young and chic look .

Mariam Animashaun.

Rihanna-Man Down


It’s heart breaking to know that domestic abuse is still eating deeply into our society. It can happen to any woman or female child and has become part of the Nigerian culture. Most of us expect the Nigerian men to revamp their beliefs on domestic abuse but the reverse is the case  as it has become a totality of marriage in the Nigerian setting-even celebrities and high power holders are victims and offenders. 

  Domestic abuse can be defined as “the actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse of a woman by a partner, family member or someone with whom there is, or has been, a close relationship”. This abuse also relates to the perpetrator allowing or causing a child to witness, or be at risk of witnessing, domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is not a new thing in Nigeria or Africa, as even am
ong social experiments  like the big brother show, domestic violence is show cased . So what stops it from happening in reality? The Nigerian media has carried out justice by exposing high profile domestic violence . In some cases a man  is suspected of murdering his wife. In the worst cases, the family of the wife meets a mutual understanding of keeping the  murder case from the law in other to save the family’s name! How can a person turn from loving and living with a person to beating them up or murdering them? What kind of person results to domestic violence  against their spouse? What kind of person thinks it is “ok” to continually humiliate or talk down to their intimate partner? What kind of person has sex with their partner without the persons consent and desire to participate? 
Here are the thoughts of an abused lady:

‘He hates me talking to other men ,
I don’t know why,  
really for he know’s
I love him
he hates me being around men
that’s why he hits me
he is not that bad
he provides for me and my children
you want me to leave him ,leave him to go where
who would take care of my children
I really don’t see anything wrong in him beating me,
my father did it to my mother
as if it was also done to her mother before her,
they do it because we aren’t beautiful enough
because we can’t stand on our own without them.
He is a good husband
Providing me with all I want and need
He tells me that  I am not beautiful
every hour and minute he gets angry at me
he tells me that there were a million  other girls but I roped him in
That I teased him with my body
That I made him think of no other
he hates way I walk
my breasts aren’t big enough
he tells me these so much that I believe

  This is just the tip of the ice berg as the woman in question pleaded anonymity. A common pattern of domestic abuse is that the perpetrator alternates between violence, abusive behaviour and apologetic behaviour with apparently heartfelt promises to change. Most Nigerian men are real actors. The key elements of domestic abuse are intimidation, humiliation and physical injury.

Here are the different types of abuse:

Physical –This is the use of force to control a woman. This comes in different forms and in worst cases, it can lead to murder. It also includes pushing ,slapping ,kicking ,and all other things that could cause damage to the victim’s body .

Verbal or non verbal –This is a modern version of domestic violence in Nigeria. Most husbands use subtle actions or behaviour rather than physical abuse to intimidate the partner; it is psychological and emotional. Research has shown that verbal abuse can be more damaging than emotional abuse. Examples of this type of abuse is threatening the partner ,yelling , name call
ing ,public embarrassment and harrasment.

Sexual abuse– Most men in Nigeria turn their wives to sexual slaves and have sex with them with or without their consent. This is not seen as rape in Nigeria because the culture sees the man as the owner of  the woman. Since he has paid  her bride price, he believes he can do anything to her.

There are various causes of domestic abuse but the most common cause can be found within the family structure. As the saying goes, a man who treats his wife like a princess was raised by a queen. This cycle of domestic violence is difficult to break because most parents have presented violence as the norm.

Drug and alcohol abuse –This is also a major cause of domestic violence, substance abuse leads to out of control behaviour, which usually leads to violence.
The environment – The Nigerian society is a typical one. Most norms, cultures and societies don’t see this as a big deal; a young boy may see his father come home from work drunk and angry,screaming at his mother ; the young boy is being taught violence . He is developing his owns ideas about what makes a man.

Other causes are;

Stress, provocation by intimate partner, economic hardship, such as prolonged unemployment, depression, jealousy and anger.
The concept of abuse whether emotional or physical is that which we Nigerians have failed to discuss openly; we submit to our husbands because we are told to do so. We are the wives and we don’t have a say in the relationship, we should only follow.
If he h
its you in anger or just for the fun of it.....get out of that relationship .It usually starts with a slap or a punch then the bastards come begging and like fools we always accept because we believe God will touch his heart, keep that notion aside , RUN FROM HIM. I beg of you leave.....Do not wait till someone writes a story about your death.
Mariam Animashaun.

CULTURAL TUNE OF THE WEEK-TY BELLO - ekundayo music video

The Lion King Tribute - Circle of Life


The Lion King is one Disney’s greatest masterpieces in the fascinating domain of animation.
As this historic story is being reproduced in 3D and shown in theatres, it is only worthwhile to reflect on the rich texture and the amazing sounds that enhance the beautiful story of life and learning through the touching growth of Simba, the Lion King.
Animation in general is a difficult process as the artists struggle to bring a touch of life to man made drawings. It is a process that involves a lot of effort on the part of the artists as they work day and night to bring a breath of life to their characters.
This process is no less daunting in companies and studios that take these productions seriously like the Disney Studios.
The Lion King; the eye catching tale of Mustapha and Simba; the story of a father and son or rather a parent and child is universal. So how did the talented Disney animators capture the heart of millions through this simple story? 
Here is a little summary of the huge task that was involved in this highly rewarding scripted story.
The late Roy Disney describes the Lion King as ‘animal allegories to tell human stories’.
This is exactly what the Disney animators have succeeded in producing through the use of scenes and gags shown through the useful techinque of storyboarding.
The artists imagined and reimagined the story to discover what would make it unique.
There is a hint of humour in the Lion King that adds to the touching tale that seeks to show the ‘emotional relationship between us and our parents’
The actors inspired and inspire the characters in animated productions. Its easy to see why this story is so humurous with the likes of Whoopi Goldberg and Jeremy Irons acting as Shenzi-one of the funny hyenas- and Scar respectively.
The actors are taken through the story with the use of storyboards.
Here’s a piece of news for animation ethusiasts, did you know that the sounds of the lions and other animals in Disney animated productions in particular are made by ventriliquists? I found that quite interesting as I always thought..frankly I dont know what I always thought  but to think that humans make those realistic sounds o flions roaring is truly fascinating. I think it helps one to understand the huge effort that goes into these masterpieces. 
Disney artists also get to travel to the locations that inspire the vibrant landscapes of these aniamted productions. For example, in the Lion King, the troop travelled to East Africa to help them visualise a background that would best describe the African landscape for the Lion King. 
The Music of the Lion King was undertaken by Elton John and Tim Rice and muscially directed by Hans Zimmer. I must say the Disney artists went all the way getting the South African composer Lebohang Morake ‘Lebo M’ to lead the African choir. Remember the African chant that leads to the opening sequence? Well that’s Lebo M. 
Here’s another piece of information for animation enthusiasts, the Disney animators get to study the animals up close to be able to draw and duplicate evry movement, every reaction made by these creatures. And in the case of the Lion King, that meant studying lions and cubs full frontal! Not an easy task I must imagine but it did produce amazing results as shown through the believability of the creatures.
The Lion King is undoubtedly one of Disney’s most successful productions and reminds one of an age when we were all able to experience and enjoy the full potential of imaginative animation. 
Here’s to the Lion King’s successful reapperance in theatres; acting as a window to an imaginative past and a hopeful future.

Tolu Falode.


You are given yams at Oyo and you rejoice; have you secured wood to cook them?
(Never assume that a propitious beginning assures a successful conclusion.)
One does not fight to save another person's head only to have a kite carry one's own away.
(One should not save other's at the cost of one's own safety.)
The needle makes an almost inaudible sound when it drops into the water Odofinfin said he heard a loud splash.
(Excessive exaggeration amounts to lying.)
           The ear that will insist on hearing everything will go deaf.
(There is some benefit to ignoring certain things.)
Inability to speak out precedes misfortunes.
(A person who will not speak out on his or her own behalf suffers the consequences.)
One treats an illness; one does not treat death.
(If one neglects an illness until death intervenes, the treatment comes too late.)

A dog does not boast " No danger "in a leopard's bush.
(Never sneer at obvious danger.)
A dog destined to be lost does not hear the hunter's whistle.
(No matter what help one may render, one cannot save an ill-fated person.)

A dog that sees a motor vehicle and stands in its way makes itself a sacrifice to Ogun.
(A person who needlessly endangers him/herself deserves his/her fate.)
People who live impatiently: their going to heaven is not far off.
(Reckless living leads to early death.)

Tolu Falode.

Saturday, 19 November 2011


What Is The Case For Abortion?
“The sanctity of life, the inviolability of innocent human life, and the fear of social implications of a liberal abortion policy for other defenseless people such as the handicapped and the elderly” as a backing for the religious and philosophical arguments - a very underwhelming rationalization (Shannon CH 5). It nevertheless, gives us a glimpse into the underlying problems of this issue – The importance and valuation of life. Some say it is too priceless to be given away, under no circumstance should it be appropriate, often claiming that “[Abortion] involves the most natural process in the world, pregnancy.” I ask, even in rape when the child is a constant reminder of heartache? Anyone is free to state otherwise. There are others who would be displeased with the very idea of taking a life, but understand that not all life is equal and address that problem. Although, there are those in liberal and moderate circles who undertake this task for selfish means (who are by no means commendable), the broad scheme of work suggests they have a better motive through reason.
The basic problems (including topics related to euthanasia) arise with the differences in the ‘valuation’ of life along with the basic and simple, assumption that life and death are antithetical legal concepts—to say that someone who is alive cannot be dead. It stems from views and beliefs various sides hold in their decisions, which could be settled by offering a choice (since there is no perfectly established and accepted point of the difference between life and death). Firstly, the pro-life and vastly conservative side suggests that it is an abomination to take a life, any life. Most owe this method thought to their religious and sometimes personal motives. To address the religious aspect, they reference the equality of all human beings and mankind as a united family. Bearing this in mind (that the fundamental problem involves a valuation of life and that we are homogenous with God), we should be given the same rights as God created us all from him, all equal to one. In this case, why do not sinners go to hell? Does God have a difference in the valuation of life and souls as well? For those who declare that God told them abortion is wrong, I ignore that. To the advocates who stem from personal motives, I argue that there is nothing else to be done to sustain that opinion. A simple question suffices: Would you choose to keep an unborn child knowing full well he or she is prone to torment and hardship if born? What would your personal motives be inclined to do? On the other hand, the pro-choice’s respect the ability and willingness of each individual within the society to make a decision based on his or her own likeness to promote happiness within a society, stems for reason of an improving beneficial world-plan (a view similar to John Adam’s – a man of intelligence, reason and principle’s stand to represent British soldiers believing that all men should have rights to CHOOSE whatever helps their circumstance in an orderly manner and not be subject to one overruling, unjust law – he went on to winning the case for the soldiers and preventing untimely, unreasonable deaths). If you take away choice, what then do we have? The person of personal moral or Godly conviction (who now understands God places varying importance on our souls and value) could not help our world and thus, would be detrimental and harmful to everyone and himself. Their explanations are normally adopted as a means of reinforcing their prejudice rather than explaining why they chose that position in the first instance.
Next, we shall observe that the moderate view holds aborting a fetus to be a painful and a tragic event but one that needs to be done through the evaluation and deliberation of its costs and effects and the acknowledgment of the moral acceptability of some abortions, basically speaking. That is to say, when the mother’s health is in jeopardy for instance, it is a clear-cut decision to save her by removing or terminating the pregnancy. Similarly, the liberal approach to this is a more accommodating attitude towards the “so-called soft reasons for abortion”. They are powerful advocates of the rights of an individual (the mother) and the ensuing state of her life when the action is permitted. Unlike the conservative stance, this doctrine is not a self-refuting idea. Worldwide, about 20 million abortions are performed unsafely. For those screaming to be “life-savers” therein lays a big contradiction here – as it is easily preventable.
Now, we shall take a look at a dilemma that will arise if we adopt a conservative stance. In this situation, people are able to birth and procreate freely. There is no case for the thought of terminating a pregnancy to even arise; STI’s, deadly disfigurements and impregnation as a result of rape or incest are erased from the world.  It seems such a world would have no need for pro-choicer’s to even exist. Such a world could also not exist. Alternatively, there is a world, real as could be, where diseases are rampant, children are raped and mother’s still drink with pregnancy. They are not allowed to perform their duties and choose what point or option that will bring them happiness. We will soon see that the offspring of these people will be the definition of suffering. But, it should not matter; their God shall help them all. Men willingly believe what they wish. Thomas Jefferson said, "Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense. The conservative, fictional world does not. According to these named scenarios, what would be the most realistic choice? Also, which is the more realistic world?
A woman with child realizes in the days after her first trimester that she could not support the lives of both her and the offspring if it is to be born (financial, personal choice or even health related issues); what then should be done? Government funding? Healthcare miracles? The issue is not “being alive”; we seem to have the faintest idea of that notion. We also have to consider and weigh the costs and effects after the child has been born. Any efforts made to determine the “livelihood” of an unborn child makes it unacceptable to terminate the pregnancy - regarding (the child) as being alive makes it considerably more difficult to make the decision to abort and as such, the pro-life option would be the law of the land. There are now techniques used to check for anomalies in babies that could be used to prevent suffering, AND save lives when none are found thus, the baby SHOULD be birthed. Conservatives, take note.
A universalizing of abortion illegalization would contravene that happiness item, an alternative that does not fit in with the pro-choice promoters of this issue. Equally, the moderate and liberal approach, which inspects and takes account of the choice and individual has – be it pro-life or pro choice in the matter – has the ability and is willing to choose aborting or carrying the child to term. It is more sustainable in our world, clearly. And an idea that I believe would appeal to Kant, a man of reason, very much. Kant constructs a framework that is able to stand above the many varying perspective and give rise to the greatest outcome possible in a society (he does this by placing reason squarely above bias, and disposition to reach a median that can and does work for the society). He places [good] will (good in this case due to its adhesion to reason) in acting according to the conception of law, that is, by working along with the principles. Next, since the good will produces the action, which is directed by law that is rooted in reason, then, we can safely say that the action or decision to take an active pro-choice stance is the physical manifestation of reason. Kant calls it practical reason. This reason is purged of all human inclinations and as such, is regarded as being good. In the words of Kant, “That is practically good, however, which determines the will by means of the conceptions of reason, and consequently not from subjective causes, but objectively, that is, on principles which are valid for every rational being as such.” (Ethical Theory155). He would suggest a more moderate approach that lends an ear to various conditions and settings through which a decision can be made for the pro-life position. He would be more accommodating with the choice of a universalized, institutionalized abortion law as discussed earlier.
The utilitarian would expect us to follow that which makes the greatest number happy, and thus through reason, the best outcome arises which factors in the health and well-being of the largest number of individuals than the sadness of all. Mill proceeded to installing a principle of the valuation of pleasures. He states that some pleasures are more highly esteemed to the people, society and nation than others. He goes on to mention that man would rather pursue intellectual pleasures, that is, pleasures of the mind like competence and wisdom (which inadvertedly leads to a more conceptually stable happiness) than pleasures of the body or physical pleasures which sort of serves as a counter-argument to the criticism that the Epicurean received. He goes on to elaborate on the discernment of a higher valued pleasures explaining that the judgment and analysis of pleasure values should be left to individuals or agents who have experienced the pleasures in question. In this case, what side should favor? Are we to favor a side, which gives us the ability to choose, where each is able to commit to whatever personal proclivities they identify with or one which gives an overruling doctrine that cannot be sustained? In another scenario, a child is to be born with a defect. In a pro-life world, he is left to suffer and the family is meant to cope with the problem (seeing that one cannot simply “get rid” of the child or is this allowed?). In a pro-choice world, the family addresses the problem by terminating the pregnancy and avoiding the issue altogether.
Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the concept surrounding this issue spills over into the topic of euthanasia and it’s ethical arguments. If we were to make euthanasia illegal and outright banned, wouldn’t it be more accommodating to legalize it and as such give individuals the right to CHOOSE whether or not they would want the treatment? Those against it can decline from participating and vice-versa (it should be noted that the choice is made in reference to what makes one happy at the point of the decision and as such should be the only way of knowing whether or not he or she is agrees with the treatment for reasons including a vegetative state where it’s impossible to decide). In other words, would you like a choice that gives the potential option of happiness to all, or one that does not?
Olujimi Oyenekan.