• Movies sometimes give us life lessons
There’s nothing more concisely enlightening, revealing, that mirrors the world around us than quips and quotes. And so, I’ve put together what I think are a couple of famous movie quotes, and a quip that reflects what our world (Kenya) looks like to me.
The first movie quote is from the 2001 crime thriller, ‘Swordfish’, starring John Travolta as scheming villainous antagonist Gabriel, and Hugh Jackman playing the hapless, reluctant hero, Stanley. There’s this scene where the two are in a car chase, with Gabriel driving, and as they tear down a city street to get away from dark SUVs’ threatening ill-intent, right in the thick of it, Gabriel starts talking about illusionist Harry Houdini.
‘Have you ever heard of Harry Houdini?’ says Gabriel. ‘Well he wasn’t like today’s magicians, who are only interested in television ratings. He was an artist. He could make an elephant disappear in the middle of a theatre filled with people, and do you know how he did that? Misdirection.’
Stanley: ‘What the f*** are you talking about?’
I can’t help but relate Gabriel’s spiel on misdirection, the act of intentionally deflecting attention, to the noise in Kenyan politics today. Noise especially related to BBI and specifically about President Kenyatta becoming Prime Minster after his term expires as President.
Now as far as I know, the President hasn’t explicitly expressed interest in a Prime Minister’s position, and secondly, there’s isn’t yet a prime minister’s position to be had, so one has to wonder: what is all this unnecessary political ruckus meant to deflect our attention from? A certain SGR loan repayment this month, perhaps? Or are we being distracted from taking a long, hard look at the economy?
Speaking of the economy, what else is there to say about the Kenyan economy other than it is not doing great at all? But not so in government and ruling elite circles, they’re painting a rosy picture of the economy. ‘Overwhelming debt? What overwhelming debt?’ our rulers ask. ‘SGR will pay for itself, we’ll get manufacturing going, eventually. As a country, we’ll manage. We’ll repay the loans, you’ll have money in your pocket… Don’t worry.’
There’s this movie titled, ‘Devil in a Blue Dress’. It’s a 1995 drama mystery with Denzel Washington playing the lead as Ezekiel ‘Easy’ Rawlins, and if you haven’t watched it, I recommend you do. Anyway, in the movie, there’s a scene where Easy is being offered a dodgy sounding job and so he’s asking questions to get a bit of clarity. He doesn’t quite get clear answers on what the job entails, but in an effort to reassure Easy, the person offering him the job finally says, ‘…Ain’t nothing to worry about?’ To which, in voice-over narration, Easy says, ‘When somebody tells me ‘don’t worry,’ I usually look down to see if my fly is open…’
The takeaway from this movie quote is when our rulers imply we shouldn’t worry about the economy and the debt, then there’s probably something to worry about.
And while we’re on the subject of Kenyan debt, a quip: …Debts are about the only thing we can acquire without money – and so we did.