It is customary to compliment a man before you speak of his flaws. We have no doubt all received the ‘you dey try but...’correction from well-meaning friends. On that note, I will proceed to comment on the positive aspects of the Justice Oputa chamber dinner. The show was properly planned and sufficiently funded. Of that we can have no doubts. It was doubtless appropriately advertised too as the turnout was quite ‘colorful.’ Ladies and gentlemen clothed in all manner of jackets, suits and in some cases, ‘coats.’ In some other cases too, what I will refer to as ‘monkey apparel’ or is that ‘monkey coat?’ *grin* :D. All manner of important personages also graced the event.
Few hours into the show, one learned fellow climbed the stage and proceeded to pompously regal us with tales of his effortless win during the elections. The president of the law bla bla bla of Ikeja I believe. I didn’t really catch that part. I was busy looking for flaws to write about after the event. You all know already I’m an insufferably hateful critic with nothing to offer about anything, apart from disparagement. So let’s get on with this. [Clears throat and spits fire].
The food was also passing fine, I congratulate the Oputa team and Sanni Kayz kitchen on that (Yes, I offered a compliment; I like to be unpredictable). Clint ‘the drunk’ helped the show immensely and proceeded to amuse us all with his bawdy, lecherous and slightly obscene jokes which I will admit I enjoyed immensely. I am an obscene little man after all. Did I say man? Dragon I mean. The jokes though. But let’s forgive the poor man. He put up a splendid performance amidst breaks in transmission where he swerved off to issues of the speaker bouncing and a poor, unfortunate young man’s tie. I had a feeling someone was trying to remember his lines. Also not the pinnacle of professionalism to swoop insultingly on your guests whose participation fee makes up your performance fee and make them the brunt of your jokes. But then again something tells me the esteemed Mr Mike had more to do with that, his performance fee than our meagre attendance fees. Still, the principle stands. We will forgive the indiscretion, however, or look the other way at least after all this is Nigeria where shit is the norm and I am not a defender of the universe. Just an ill, conceited writer who likes to write bad things about people and things. Various ‘upcoming’ artistes also helped spice up the event with their exuberant performances. I’m proud to say my good man Pryce Williams ‘killed’ the show. Tanner didn’t do badly either. No fighting, please. I am shamelessly sentimental and I admit it. Please take my declaration as opinion and not fact. You can air yours in the comments box. Just try not to insult me too much while you are at it. [wink]. Anyway I like Tanner too and like I said, he didn’t do too badly. Up until the point where the subject of the ‘dropped’ mic came up, which brings me up to the ‘but’ part of this.
The dinner was awesome and they tried but… Why did they stop the show in the middle to pursue the issue of a dropped mic? It’s a fucking show for Christ’s sake. Artistes come to the stage in all manner of moods having subscribed to all sorts of ‘inspiration.’ These things do happen and should be prepared for even. It is certainly not worth putting a hitch on the show. And the performing artistes trudging up and down being investigated by the respectable chamber head while the show went on can be described as less than ideal. At the least, they should have had more than a mic or three around for such eventualities [sighs]. Now embarrassing my conquering champions ‘on top’ mic. That’s one.
The second thing I will comment on is the issue of the presentation of awards to honorary members of the chambers. Let me start by saying I have nothing against the award, the awardees and those presenting the award. However, I do feel that the manner of the presentation of the award left much to be desired. It is customary, especially in this part of the world to encircle an affluent man with a garland of honours and sing his praises in resounding tones. I really do not care if one wishes to stick his entire tongue into another’s posterior and proceed to flick it around and thoroughly wet the inner and outer areas of the orifice. But this is a legal gathering, full of learned minds. One would expect something different from the rowdy and rambunctious praise-singing usually present at such events. One would expect that our learnedness would make a difference. One would expect finesse, one would expect oratory elegance. One would expect refinement. One expected and was disappointed. This is the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos not some back alley tavern. Gracefullness is not just requested; It is expected and, demanded. When you are in the spotlight representing a body of people who lay claim to a certain class and style different and better than any other profession, you do not go forth to sell us out in an effort to be pleasing to affluent persons. Yes, we know they are great and you cannot see them easily in any other place and bla bla bla, but couldn’t you have announced their rarity in more cultured tones? If there had been other learned outsiders in that gathering, what would they think of us? Why did the honourable HOC have to throw our learned composure to the four winds? If you sought to be a fawning toady why drag the name of the esteemed Oputa Chamber and Law Faculty along? What was that?
It is also a wise move to research your quotes and discern their intended meanings before going forth to spout them out in public. Not doing so puts one at risk of misapplying principles at best and looking foolish and ill enlightened at worst. During the fawning session which preceded the award presentation, as a way of highlighting the awesomeness of the awardees, reference was made to George Orwell’s famous line in animal Farm, ‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.’ Using this quote as a way of praise is essentially wrong and I consider the user ill-informed. Proper research into the origin of the maxim would have alerted the user to the fact that the famous line was not meant for praise. It was intended to be derogatory and cynical. It is a sardonic reference to the fact that there is no real equality. Animal Farm itself was intended as a satire to criticise the government of Stalin and the Soviet Union on its brutal dictatorship which was looked on favourably by the British people and intelligentsia. In his famous quote, Orwell appeared to be pointing out the fact that equality was a farce. His book was only portraying the destructiveness of an unhealthy focus of power on one person and the oppressiveness that ensues. Using such to depict the awesomeness of an individual or to show that he is above his peers and as a way of praise is a gross mismanagement of literary principles, shows sheer ignorance and a reckless desire to please without recourse to proper literary attentiveness. Not to mention that happily touting such a maxim and twisting it to praise and eulogize is insulting to a faculty that is the paragon of learning and legal studies and seeks to uphold the principles of equity and fairness. I cannot express my disgust enough at this colossal blunder. At the very least, an apology to the faculty is called for. But I will not push it. I am only an expositor after all, not an executioner. So that’s it for Oputa’s dinner. That’s the good, the bad and the ugly of it. The last was really ugly. I still would say that it was good on the whole. The arrangement was good, the execution was better, and the chicken, aah!!! It was just marvellous, simply the best. Dragons love chicken. Did I mention that?
#Anticipate – Law Gots Talent