Nigeria May Be A Developing Nation, But It Is Rich In Culture vs. Get Me Out Of This Godforsaken Hellhole

In This Section

Vol 36 Issue 29

Critics Accuse New Movie Of Glorifying Sex

HOLLYWOOD, CA–The Five Senses, a new film from Fine Line Features starring Mary-Louise Parker and Philippe Volter, is drawing fire from conservative Christian groups who charge that it glorifies sex. "Billing itself as 'a touching exploration of human perceptions and dynamics,' The Five Senses is filled with images of adults engaged in intimate acts of sexual union," said Focus On The Family executive director Michael White. "By depicting it so frequently and so casually, this film only serves to condone the act of lovemaking." White added that sexual imagery in Hollywood films is largely to blame for "the proliferation of sexuality in society."

Husband Points Out That He Vacuumed

BOISE, ID–Area husband Will Grantham, proud of his contribution to the household chores, made special note to his wife Monday that he vacuumed the living room and hallway. "I took care of the vacuuming," Grantham told wife Emily as she scrubbed mildew out of the shower tile grout. "There might be some lint under the sofa, but I got all the visible parts." Grantham previously made headlines for his 1997 unsolicited wiping of dust from a den bookshelf.

Area Organization Pro-White, Ain't Anti-Nobody

WAYCROSS, GA–The International Knights Of The White Race, a Waycross-based "Caucasian advocacy" group, is about celebratin' one's own whiteness and ain't about hatin' nobody, Exalted High Commander Clem Hooton said Monday. "The Knights is about bein' white and proud. We don't tell nobody to go out beatin' on no blacks or nothin'," Hooton said. "Like it say on our pamphletures, we officially ain't responsible for what y'all do, 'cause we about getting together to celebrate our genetric superiosity in a real peaceable manner."

Man Insists On Calling Fanny Pack 'Lumbar Satchel'

LORAIN, OH–According to coworkers, Novitech systems administrator Ted Shiner insists on referring to his fanny pack as a "lumbar satchel." "I asked him if he had the key to the fifth-floor men's room, and he tells me to get it out of his 'lumbar satchel,'" account manager Fred Weyert said of the ponytailed, 29-year-old Shiner. "I had to ask him, like, three more times and go through having him describe exactly where it was on his desk before I realized he was talking about his damn fanny pack."

Scientists Put Sleep-Inducing Power Of Agribusiness Today Into Pill

INDIANAPOLIS–At a press conference Monday, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly unveiled Agritol, a new over-the-counter sedative with the sleep-inducing powers of the AM-radio program Agribusiness Today. Said Eli Lilly spokesman Gregory Bordick: "Each 40-milligram Agritol caplet contains a full 30 minutes of barley forecasts, grain-storage hints, and, just in case you need that extra help nodding off, citrus-canker reports." Last year, the FDA declared drought-relief coverage "unsafe" for use in sleep aids after lab animals' hearts stopped as a result of exposure.

Cell-Phone Safety

Cell-phone use in automobiles is a growing problem, with more and more accidents involving distracted drivers. What is the government doing to combat the problem?

When I Put Something In Italics, I Mean It

I've been office manager at Johnson Railing Supply, central Missouri's largest wholesaler of rails, for more than seven years. And in that time, I've had the chance to hone my writing skills in countless company memos, bulletin-board announcements, and break-room signs. With all this writing experience, I have the ability to cut through excess verbiage and get my message across clearly and effectively. But, despite this expertise, I've found there are those who fail to respond appropriately to strongly worded directives. They fail to understand that when I put something in italics, I mean it.

Roach Motel

As my more astute readers will no doubt recall, about three weeks back, I was mysteriously transformed into a gigantic cock-roach. Though the change has been decidedly odd and shows no sign of reverting any-time soon, I must confess that I am having the time of my life. I can now eat all the foods that age and infirmity once denied me: binding-glue, horse-dung, toe-nail parings, silver-fish–everything! I can carry myself about my enormous mansion, though I cannot seem to keep from disappearing under furniture whenever the lights are suddenly switched on. I can even climb to the ceiling and suspend myself for a time. (It is quite luxurious to sway in the air-currents and doze off!) I leave a much smaller slime trail than I did as an aged gentle-man, and if my looks are not much improved, I gather that my odor most certainly is.

Lawn-And-Garden Tips

For homeowners, few things are more satisfying than a beautiful lawn and garden. Here are some tips to help you improve yours:
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Originality

Healthy Living

  • The Onion’s Guide To Gym Etiquette

    Every new year brings a surge in gym membership from new members nicknamed “resolutionists,” many of whom may be unaware that there are unspoken rules everyone must observe when working out.

Nigeria May Be A Developing Nation, But It Is Rich In Culture vs. Get Me Out Of This Godforsaken Hellhole

Nigeria May Be A Developing Nation, But It Is Rich In Culture

Ever since taking West African History 201, I've been fascinated by the rich cultural tapestry that is Nigeria. Professor Olson really opened my eyes to Nigerian accomplishments in art, music, and literature. What an incredibly cool place!

It's sad how the media always dwell on the negative aspects of African society. Granted, Nigeria faces some economic challenges (the result of centuries of colonialist exploitation), but I'm sure Nigerians don't concern themselves with thoughts of shallow materialism when they are surrounded every day by such stirring, dynamic expressions of the human spirit.

Nigerians don't need money for stereos or CDs: They make their own music! Along with a huge variety of drums, traditional instruments include many kinds of flutes, xylophones, and wooden clappers. Music permeates all aspects of life there, including public assemblies, festivals, weddings, funerals, and storytelling sessions. In fact, in Nigeria, music literally is a language: Giant slit drums are used to relay messages between villages situated along river systems. (At first, I figured it was like Morse Code, but I learned in class that it's actually an extremely sophisticated tonal language system!) There's a West African djembe–a large, goblet-shaped drum–at this store on University Avenue for $450 that I totally want to get.

The various ethnic groups of Nigeria all specialize in beautiful dances. The Ishan stilt dancers twist about in the air wearing their multi-colored raffia-palm costumes. The Ubakala people resolve conflicts and mark the seasons of the yam and cocoa-yam harvests with slow, ritualistic stomping while wearing these huge, intricately carved wooden masks. Doesn't that sound amazing?

Of course, I would only be reinforcing racist stereotypes if I just talked about Nigerians playing drums and dancing. Have you ever heard of the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe? He's a Nigerian writer. It's definitely one of the best books I've ever read. Then there's Wole Soyinka, the Nigerian playwright who won the Nobel Prize in 1986. He had to flee the country because the government wanted to kill him. Fela Kuti, the famous musician, is also from Nigeria, and his stuff is really funky. He's, like, the African James Brown.

But for all that culture, the most wonderful thing about Nigeria is the warmth and hospitality of its varied peoples. Whether they speak Yoruba, Edo, Ijo, Igbo, Igala, Idoma, Nupe, Gwari, or a dialect of the Benue-Congo subgroup, all Nigerians will greet a visitor to their homes with a piece of boiled meat and a ceremonial food bowl holding a sauce for dipping. It's this kind of generosity and kindness that I would really love to experience firsthand someday.

As you can see, the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria gives its people the strength to overcome the many challenges that a developing African nation such as itself faces. It must be such an exciting time to be in Nigeria right now. I've got to get over there!

Get Me Out Of This Godforsaken Hellhole

Ever since my parents and three brothers died in the gasoline explosion last month, my mind has been dead to the world. Please, God, let me leave this place. I have no hope for my country.

I see it in the glassy-eyed stares of the people on the street. We have nothing. We have been ruled by fat generals who promise elections but steal all the money from the people. The oil money, billions and billions of dollars, it disappears. Millions of us live here in the Lagos slums with no electricity or sewage system. I don't want to smell the garbage rotting in the streets anymore.

No one is safe. The police chase people in the streets and beat them like dogs. This new general, Abubakar, he is no better than the rest before. President Babangida, he stole $12 billion from the Nigerian people. When people ask where the money goes, they are shot. They shoot people every Sunday on Victoria Beach. The bodies always wash up on the sand after they throw them in the ocean.

Last month, thieves broke the oil pipeline to steal fuel. Many people rushed out to scoop up the fuel that spilled out, to use, to sell. Then, everything was in flames. Seven hundred people died. I saw the tractor throwing the burned bodies into a hole in the ground. My family is somewhere in that hole.

The month before that, the soldiers threw my grandmother out a window. The soldiers, they set up roadblocks. They stop anybody trying to drive past, and they take all their money. I see people walking down the street in broad daylight who are attacked by criminals. Men with knives, sticks, broken bottles. They attack you and beat you down.The people sometimes chase a thief who steals a bag. The crowd chases him and throws him down and beats him to death. The streets are very bad. There is so much hatred.

If I could get just a little money, I could try to leave. But I must save my money for food. There is no good food to buy in the streets. There are no doctors. I am still young. I don't want to get sick and starve. I don't want to be killed by the police. Please, God, save me. Shango, Ogun, Ifa, protect me. I don't want to die. I have to get out of here.

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More