Category Archives: Society

On desire, expressed

kw bite

Most Fridays for the last nine-ish months, I have been putting together a list of things I like, and posting them on Twitter. With trademark wit, the list is called “#Bims10Things” and I am delighted by the number of people who are genuinely into the things I share. The formula is not set, but includes […]

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On ‘surprises’ and paying attention

The (beautiful) cast of The Best Man Holiday (2013)

Last week, I saw a tweet in which the author was marvelling at having spotted the term ‘twerking’ in a song all the way back from 2006. I think the tweet ended on an exclamation point – it was perhaps a jokey way of saying, “Hey! Pop culture, eh? Undiscovered layers like an onion.” Even […]

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Bim Does Berlin: The Cold Snap

ubahn

Everyone – and I mean everyone – warned me about the cold. The Brits at home before I left: “Berlin! Ooh, they’ve got proper cold winters, you know”; the Berliners themselves when I arrived: “Only last week, a fierce Siberian wind carried away most of the city’s children”; even the internet-at-large joined in: “You’re going to […]

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“You’re buggin’ me/and don’t you see it ain’t cool”

bugaboo

Earlier this week a friend and I went to the cinema. We were there early, so we sat in the bar, catching up on our respective weeks: among other things, we had both become adherents of ‘clean eating’ (mostly wanky smoothies and lots more veg, as far as I can see). There was a lot […]

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Nostalgia, Recognition and Americanah

Americanah

Last Thursday night I finished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. If you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen an outpouring of emotion of the most sickening sort; a kind of fawning that one can only ever get away with once or twice a year, max. If I have only two opportunities to do this […]

Also posted in Black Thursdays, Books, Culture, Nigeria | Tagged , , , | 5 Responses

Context and truth-telling

TODAY’S FORECAST: HIGH INCIDENCES OF RAMBLING AFTER THE JUMP.

Also posted in America, Black Fridays, Black Thursdays | Tagged , , | 2 Responses

The sweet smell of success

u mad

My sister is contemplating ‘going natural’ with her hair. I did my Big Chop about 30 months ago, and tried not to be that natural girl, you know the one: she feels the beautiful coils and kinks growing out of her head and starts singing about “touching Africa and coming back darker” and generally being a […]

Also posted in Beauty, Black Thursdays, Hair, Identity | Tagged , , | 3 Responses

For the times when “piss off” doesn’t work

Lisa Simpson

Many years ago, while in a job that I hated, one of my bosses ‘offered’ to spunk on my legs, among other delights. There was no preamble. We had barely spoken more than 50 words to one another in the ten or so months I’d worked there; there was precious little overlap in our duties […]

Also posted in Work | Tagged , , | 6 Responses

What’s in a name?

Everyone calls me Bim. Everyone. For most of my life that’s what I’ve gone by. Bim. B-I-M. Three letters, one syllable. Bim. When I was concerned by these things, I would lament its cuteness – “that’s not a sexy name,” I would think. I would put on Billy Crystal’s voice and paraphrase his line from […]

Also posted in America, Identity | Tagged , , | 8 Responses

While You Were Sleeping, and the Dearth of Working Class Romcom Heroines

Last week I watched While You Were Sleeping, which is but one leaf on my ‘Christmas Movies – Romcoms’ branch. I love this movie. It is cute and funny and genuinely romantic, and it stars Sandra Bullock, a fine actress who has contributed much goodness to the genre. I <3 Sandy, man. And speaking of […]

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What we talk about when we talk about ‘tokenism’

token

Here’s something I’ve been ruminating on for a while, forcibly brought to the forefront of my mind given recent events, so apologies if it’s not terribly coherent. A quick perusal of comments sections across the breadth of the internet throws up the ‘but do you want tokenism?’ defence. I mean, practically every comment section has […]

Also posted in Culture, Identity, Television | Tagged , , | 6 Responses

On ‘Black Girl Feels’

Solange

Last week, my Tumblr dashboard threw up a teaser promo for Solange Knowles’ upcoming single, Losing You. I watched the clip (less than a minute long) three times in a row, liking what I heard and saw much more with each viewing. Then I re-read the blurb an earlier poster, Britticisms had written: Preview for the new […]

Also posted in Culture, Identity, Style | Tagged , , | 3 Responses

Girls In White Dresses (or a quick note on many of the post-college/uni novels I have read)

I just finished Girls In White Dresses. It could easily have been called ‘White Girls In White Dresses’ or even ‘Lena Dunham’s White Girls’ or ‘HBO’s White Girls In Dresses’… I think you get the point here.

Also posted in Books, Literature | Tagged , , , | 8 Responses

Right Here, Right Now

Lisa Simpson

“If you could live in any other era, when would you choose?” Around me, co-workers pick their favourites – a lot of attention is being showered on the 1920s and 1940s: “the dresses!”. Others pick the 60s: “swinging London, the music!”. You know, all the usual popular period suspects. Then my co-workers’ attention shift to […]

Also posted in Essay, Identity | Tagged , | 9 Responses

Free for Foreigners

My sister sent me this piece from the Wall Street Journal last week, and we had a short angry ‘WTF?’ conversation about five minutes after I’d read the first couple of paragraphs. This bit, from the event organiser Rachel Chan was interesting to me: “For most guys, especially bankers, they say, ‘I’ve seen many, many pretty girls […]

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