Tuesday, August 19, 2008

where are our employees?

I was just watching the news on telly and i saw the headline story: Ghana Telecom workers hold float. So obviously, i just had to see it... and sure enough, when the item came on, it was a thick crowd of former GT and i suppose now Vodafone employees, dressed up in vodafone shirts and matching red caps, wildly jubilating to some apparently, quite energizing brass band music.

This is not about the sale of GT to Vodafone, but were things really that awful that its sale has resulted in such a joyous outcry of employee affection for the buying company? or is all this just being orchestrated as a final sprinkling of sand into the gari as it were, of the people who seemed to be against the move?

My biggest wonder, however, was this: how can the employees of a newly privatised company, afford to be out partying, celebrating... basically having a seemingly profound carnival experience on the streets in front of their national corporate headquarters - first thing in the morning - at the beginning of the working week!! Meanwhile, the vodafone officials interviewed in the same news story, seemed remarkably sober compared to all the fanfare that was going on outside their building. They looked like they were deeply in thought about finally getting business off the ground... or maybe they were just simply baffled by the fact that there was nobody manning the offices and most employees were outside... having a rollicking time dancing to brassband music.

I know there was a similar celebration the day the sale was ratified. The celebration then, was to be expected. But here we are, beginning of a new week.. and yet, once again, another celebration? What was it in aid of? Was that the norm at GT before: Music mondays, Trumpet tuesdays? (cuz that might explain the need for its sale... would it not?)
Or, is that one of the advantages that's coming along with the sale to V-fone? Because if it is, then i will be switching jobs... in time for next week's party! Red cap anyone?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beijing 08: 08 - 08 - 08

Like the over 4billion other viewers, i watched the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing olympics... and boy!! What else could they have possibly added to make that thing more magnificent? Nothing... absolutely nothing... unless they could've come up with a way to magically part their misty and hazy skies. It was a phenomenal event. Simply eye-nourishing and breathtaking! My only regret is that i wasnt in the Bird's nest to feel the ambience and euphoria that must have been pulsating thru everyone lucky enough to be there.

The lighting, the electronic stage/platform/ground, the costumes, the colours, the choreography, the precision, the art... the fireworks!!! those fireworks could be seen by everyone in Beijing. imagine that! they used over 20,000 fireworks! it was one of those defining moments of history.

Right from the beginning, they set out to dazzle and confound everyone completely, and they succeeded with me in 30 minutes. it ocurred to me along the line as they kept rolling out new scenes and sequences and transitions that almost if not everything is/can be manufactured in China. So why was i expecting any less? it was like Cadbury, having a chocolate party. there was no lack of resources or ideas or raw material. they were playing in their domain... and it was a beautiful thing to behold.

The show had a cast of 15000 strong - a feat only the Chinese could've achieved - and yet it was as smoothly choreographed a show as i'd ever witnessed. In all the pomp and pageantry, beauty and awe, one clear message popped into my head - the message i think they were trying to put across to the world. and it was simply:

we're large and in charge so just chill with all that human rights crap and let us show you a bloody good time!

...and then they proceeded to knock us out with an overdose of sheer amazement and disbelief. And all u could think about was, what's next? what can possibly be next? Not once during those four hours did my mind even wander to the issue of human rights, or attendee boycotts... nope. i was entranced and blown away, swiftly and powerfully, and honestly... now i'm too weak from the sensory experience which was the opening ceremony to even think about any of the other political issues...

So did they succeed? err... do doves fly? they'll be talking about this for a while, and London's got a very big task ahead of them in 2012.

it seems that China's decision to start the ceremony at 8pm on the 8th day of the 8th month of 2008 - a year of new beginning, and infinite achievement paid off... 8 fold. One world, One dream.

Friday, August 1, 2008

shoot the wings off the flies

i got to watch "Wanted"... angelina Jolie's latest. i guess there are different ways to reference the movie, but the female half of Brangelina is all that comes to mind at this point. but to be fair, it also stars Morgan freeman, James McAvoy, Common... and Marc Warren (who played Danny Blue in the Hustle series) to name a prominent set.

i couldnt wait to see the movie after i saw the promotional trailer. i dunno wat i was expecting... and i still am not exactly sure how i feel about the movie. The action floods in in tidal waves and the buildup is rollercoaster capable. It's quite a rush... and then it gets a little too "enhanced". the effects were astonishing... almost too astonishing. i like CGI as much as the next movie buff, but the beauty of CGI comes from its subtleness... u know it's there, and you're thankful to the guys with frilly hair and glasses for putting those effects there for you. But you dont want your brain to keep throwing reality check exceptions anytime u see an effect in a movie... but that's exactly what mine kept doing.

case in point, the part where:
wesley drives his car over fox's car,
his car flips in the air,
he shoots the "bad guy" (who's ironically listening to 'dont say goodbye') thru the sunroof of the limo
his car lands back on it's tyres and they drive off.

No commotion, nothing. it was a smooth op. uh, yeah... right.
i know people say what about the matrix? well what about the Matrix? in The matrix thatwas the whole point. they were in the matrix! no natural laws applied. Wanted on the other hand, is set in what looked like downtown New York. Should we do the math? maybe not.

A couple of weeks ago i sat in a Digital video seminar and the speaker showed a 3 minute clip of a project made by two students who were eager to show off all the digital effects they had learned over the period. so it was basically a simple sketch crammed with all the special effects they could. For a minute, i felt like i was watching something very similar to that. i was just staring at the screen in awe and shock and amazement and disbelief. it just kept coming... long distance curved bullets, knife fights, splattering heads, flying cars... talking pigs. just kidding 'bout the pigs.

i think my favourite scene was the one where with one bullet all the assasins are knocked out cold, for good, in a circular path. Oh, that was very cool... not because it heralded the end of the movie (or was it? hmm... ) but because it was a subtle cleanly executed effect. a nice way to curve things off - pardon the pun.

i still am not sure exactly what i think about the movie. it had a great cast and a workable plot, a lot of action and adrenalin generation. but was it a bit over the top?
i will say this: it was quite an experience.