Things I Like
Or How You Can Get Me Talking Feverishly
I saw Tyler The Creator's THINGS I LOVE video and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Without the skill or network to create such video, I have settled for writing this piece which will hopefully capture a fraction of the magic that is the sum of all the things I like - yeah, you should love people and like things haha.
I like music. Any genre, any format, I'm willing to give it a try. Music touches me in places that are normally unreachable and evokes feelings I simply cannot explain or express. Frank Ocean dropped Nostalgia Ultra and had me feeling mysterious; Kanye West's MBDTF took concept albums to a whole new level; Lil Wayne's Tha Carter II and III had me desperately wanting to wear shorts and spin police officers; Fela's Coffin for Head of State showed me the true cost of activism when I was young, passionate and foolish; Mozart's Lacrimosa made me feel like a villain in slow-mo while Erik Satie's Gymnopedie has to be the soundtrack for the audiobook narration of my first novel - whenever I finish writing that. Kendrick Lamar's GKMC reminds me of my truant days with the homies and Cole's Adolescence perfectly describes my interaction with all the cool street dudes I once idolized.
Music is so beautiful and like most art forms, I believe it is divinely inspired. One minute, it's There is a Name by Byron Cage for the lows, next, it is August Alsina's Pornstar for the raw RnB expressive magic. Either way, the whole experience far exceeds the sum of the components. I'll post music, I'll talk music, I'll share music. If you're new to this, holla, I've got some really good stuff and I'm more than happy to put you on.
I like sports, nay, football. It is hard to say what is special about football but it has reduced me to tears on 2 occasions - losing the '08 Champions' League final to Man Utd and winning the '12 final against Bayern Munich. You can tell, I support Chelsea FC; I saw Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard link up on the pitch with a brash, confident, and outspoken manager who referred to himself as The Special One on the touchlines, and it was love at first sight. That Chelsea team gave it all on the pitch and it was always a joy to watch them play, culminating in that most magical moment when Ramires unexpectedly lobbed the ball over Victor Valdes at the Camp Nou - I fell to my knees outside the Zik Hall viewing room and screamed till I lost my voice. Cocaine is a hell of a drug, but I'm sure that feeling was better.
I like books. Enid Blyton's Famous Five series, RL Stine's Goosebumps, My Book of Bible Stories, Sydney Sheldon's (we all thought he was a woman) high octane books - Windmill of the Gods and Master of the Game, One Thousand Fantastic Facts and many others filled my earlier years until one day I began the chapter titled The Boy Who Lived in a strange book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and everything paled in comparison. Chinua Achebe reeled me in with Chike and the River and stunned me with Things Fall Apart; Chimamanda's The Thing Around Your Neck choked me hard; Tambari's happy life (in Dukana and elsewhere) was a stark contrast from his creator's; Cyprian Ekwensi churned out banger after banger - African Nights Entertainment, Juju Rock, Jagua Nana's daughter, Passport of Mallam Ilia and Drummer Boy - while taking me on a tour of Nigeria before I could travel around myself.
I want to sit with these authors and just talk for hours. Dostoevsky really wrote The Idiot, Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, and The Brothers Karamazov! How can one man have that much depth and insight into the human condition? That is amazing and truly humbling. I like the kind of clarity of thought I've experienced with CS Lewis and GK Chesterton. I like the knowledge of random facts I've gained from Michael Crichton - yeah, the Jurassic Park and Timeline books are way better than the movies. I like the stoic approach of the Gunslinger in Stephen King's Dark Tower - move, maggot. I like the simple life of Leia and Januario in Lilia Momplé's Neighbours.
I like food. There has never been a situation so bad or a condition so crazy that my appetite was lost. I love to eat. I like to eat quietly because speaking while eating is disrespectful to the meal. Variety is nice but its utility is marginal in this case - I can eat rice or spaghetti all day, every day for weeks with the same sauce! I can do it, I have done it, I will do it. I love bread. The ancients had discovered grain, then agriculture, and consequently, settlement, then all of sudden, they whipped up this baked goodness called bread. Even our Good Lord fed the five thousand with bread and used it at the Last Supper to represent his body! Literally, bread of life.
I like movies and tv. Everything Wes Anderson has done has been perfect to me - I have seen the Grand Budapest Hotel at least 8 times, I will be seeing it again soon. Peter Jackson was floating in the nth dimension when he made the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Nolan giving us The Prestige, Inception and The Dark Knight is ridiculous. The Shawshank Redemption features a young Morgan Freeman and that movie is still so fresh today. Guy Ritchie's Snatch is a masterpiece and Brad Pitt's performance was astounding. While Pierce Brosnan was suave, Daniel Craig was rugged and Roger Moore embodied the role of Bond more than others, I still think Timothy Dalton in Licence to Kill is the best Bond performance and most interesting Bond movie ever. Pulp Fiction is sick, Quentin Tarantino is one sick bastard, I love all his sick shit. There might be superhero fatigue now but the MCU until Infinity War and Endgame was untouchable - you had to be there. James Cameron's Terminator series reintroduced us to the Commando guy who my mom was a big fan of and Scorsese teamed up with Jack from Titanic to give us iconic titles like Gangs of New York and The Departed.
Little me and my homies spent hours trying to learn Van Damme's triple roundhouse kick that rocked General Bison in StreetFighter and that Darth Vader Scene in Rogue One still has grown-ass me squealing like an uncouth piglet whenever it comes on. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is still one of the most beautiful stories I have ever seen. Donald Glover's Atlanta is my all-time favourite TV Series - Paper Boy is still one of the realest characters on tv, I gave a standing ovation when he dropped the mic on those weirdos in the streaming platform office. Too real. Agents Moulder and Scully gave me an alternative to fear with their sci-fi approach to the paranormal, I still randomly watch episodes of the X-files.
I like perfumes, I like puzzles. I like beaches, I Iike blue waters. I like Macbooks, I like Meal-prep plans. I like coding, I like Python. I like hanging with the homies and I like people telling me about those things they like.
So, talk to me on IG: jaeycyril.