Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TRIAL AND ERROR


I've been away for far too long.
I was struck down with a vicious bug.
I felt very sorry for myself.
Then I returned to the land of the living and I felt even more miserable.

I'm fascinated by people who are fascinated by something that has sweet fuckall to do with them. People who condemn without really knowing all the facts. People who call into question the very principles on which our lifestyle is based. People who so easily succumb to the mass hysteria created by a "trial by media". A sensationalist media so often scorned for irresponsible journalism by these very same people. People who seek retribution by posting inane quips online like a vengeful horde of witch burners. People who should know better.

The trial of the century...

How has the death of an innocent young woman in her prime affected any of you, other than giving you something to keep you distracted from the real atrocities committed in this world? Spare a thought for her family, who are so bereft they're selling (soiling) her memory to the highest bidder. So that you can all relive the outrage on your Kindles. For shame.

Murder, rape, burglary (more often then not violent), domestic abuse and assault happen so often in our rainbow nation that they are accepted as the norm. Yet no-one blinks an eye until they are directly affected. We just happily pay the ever escalating ADT premiums. But let one famous athlete fuck up (and fuck up he did, make no mistake) and the bilious vitriol spat all over the social media of your choice is so venomous, it threatens to rip apart the fabric of society like an incensed hive mind.

It's an indictment on humanity that so many are so easily swept along and so infatuated with watching a beloved figure falling from his or her ivory tower. You put them there. And now you're the pack of virtual wolves waiting to rip flesh from bone after terminal velocity has taken care of the rest.

I'm no legal expert. I won't even pretend to give enough of a shit about this entire farce to have an opinion. My beef is with you, the viewers, the commentators, the faceless mass of slack-jawed daytime tv devotees, the self appointed judge and juries, the would be voices of an outraged public. Have any legal precedents been set by this apparent miscarriage of justice? Has the accused - after being given the chance to plead his case in court, and facing the charges brought against him by the state - not been found guilty and duly sentenced? Yes, money and connections bring with them the privilege of being able to manipulate the clearly flawed system. But raise your hands - I dare you - if you would meekly surrender your liberty after, say, being arrested for driving under the influence, if you had the means to get out of it.

I have no doubt that a lot of people I know would disagree with me. I have no doubt that the sentence handed down was most certainly lenient. I have even less doubt that circumstances will eventually lead to an even more comfortable application of this sentence. Appeals may even be considered... But to call what has transpired an error is to buy into the rankest conspiratorial suggestion. The world's penetrating glare was focused on every second of this trial. A mistake was simply not an option. Yet even after all the nitpicking and pedantic point-for-point analysis, has even one legitimate legal mind come out and cried foul? Or are the laws of this shining democracy being upheld, even in the flimsiest sense of the word?

Like I said, I certainly don't know nearly as much as so many of you law professors out there. And I most demonstrably give far less of a fuck. But allow me to make a few suggestions on how better to occupy your time:


  • Find an institution that specialises in trauma counseling for the victims of violent crime and volunteer your services.
  • Engage with your community and do something to help similar victims in your neighbourhood.
  • Join the police or study law. Failing that, just turn off your fucking TV when Shrien Dewani is mentioned, go outside, and spend time with your dog.
  • Contribute instead of condemning. Even if what you see is contemptible. If you wasted all your time getting your tits in a tangle over every shitty thing happening in this shitty world, you'd have nothing left but wrung out hands and an impressive collection of hessian outfits.
  • "Get on with it!" Your life, that is...


Let the spluttering indignation begin...

NGDG: Apparently a compromised debit card need only be cut in four through the magnetic stripe. Not 64 pieces, reassembled with pritt, to scan as proof for the bank that I'm still in possession of  said card, or a really crap puzzle.

Spread The Love. For Everyone. Not Just The Victims Of Famous Shitheads And Their Dirty Deeds.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DROPPING SCIENCE LIKE... WELL, YOU'LL SEE...


I needed to have SOMETHING to write about considering that, if the law of averages is to be believed, some time today, this new post will have some completely unaware stranger read my blog for the ONE HUNDRED THOUSANDTH TIME! I couldn't wait until I had something worthwhile, so I made a little rhyme.
For you
From me.

A kugel did a kegel
As she stood and asked her spiegel
"Who's the bestest of them all?"

But when the answer came
It shocked and left her lame
And prompted her to promptly drop the ball.


THANK YOU ALL for reading the sometimes wise, sometimes wistful, always a complete-waste-of-everyone's-time rants, diatribes and silly stories. I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have.

Here's to the next 100,000!

Spread The Love. No Really... Spread It.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NO NOOSE IS GOOD NOOSE.

Once again, nothing to do with anything.

That is of course if you're not an advocate of the death penalty making a return. Which you shouldn't be. I find it temporarily amusing that so many people baying for the re-institution of the lethal injection are the same dumb fucks who can't help but point out the obvious shortcomings in our judicial system. Clearly not the brightest peanuts in the turd.

If you subjected me to Guantanamo Bay style torture, having bamboo shoots inserted under my nails, enduring a Parliamentary sitting, watching an entire 3Talk with Noeleen show, or if you forced to listen to the latest Nickelback offering on repeat, I really wouldn't be able to pinpoint what got me to that epiphany. And I hate using the word "random" altogether. It's just another reminder of the literary void exemplified in the current generation of layabout slouching youths. If I use enough big words I can distinguish myself from them. Or come across as a gigantic arsehole. Your choice.

The point is I really don't know.

Usually by now when I "just start writing" I have assembled some sort of idea what the subject matter is going to be for the day, but that tried and trusted method of shaping my mindless regurgitation is failing me today. I could tell you about the wonderful Garfunkel & Oates singing comedy act that I discovered on the intrawebs, but you lot probably already know of them. I just recognised them from cameo appearances in Big Bang Theory.

I wish I had more to offer. I wish I had something more constructive to add to the development of humanity. I wish I had bigger biceps...

Perhaps I should make an attempt at that 'contributing to humanity' thing. Seems like the one with the least effort involved. I'll try and steer clear of classics like "Don't be a dick, be cool":

  1. Adopt or foster a rescued animal. If you can't, then do something to aid the institutions that save them.
  2. Observe netiquette. Don't repost willy nilly. Everyone has probably seen that shit a million times and for goodness sake, use an anti-hoax site before you get your tits in a tangle.
  3. Avoid "reply all" at ALL costs.
  4. Get outside and exercise in the fresh air. Unless you reside in Lavender Hill.
  5. Call your folks - if you're still fortunate enough to have. And stick up for your father, he stuck up for you.
  6. Life's too short for bad music, cheap women or running out of booze. (Bad music is, incidentally, an affront for which I would gladly act as judge, jury and executioner. But it is the only instance in which the death penalty would be acceptable. And only if it offends my sensitive senses.)
  7. Never fail to take advantage of an opportunity to help someone. Unless it's at your front door and you'd like to avoid a steady procession of beggars.
  8. Always wear clean underwear? Hah! I say never wear ANY underwear! That way the paramedics will think you are way more risque/popular than you really are.
  9. Don't marry your job, unless you're one of the lucky ones who do what they love.
  10. Use spell check.
  11. Recycle as much as you can.
  12. And in the immortal words of Aretha Franklin, try a little respect. It goes a long way.

I still have no idea where any of this came from.

NGDG: This is why I live here. This makes me more patriotic than Candice Hillebrand in a green and gold g-string.

Spread The Love. Not The Ignorance.

Monday, September 29, 2014

THE CIRCLE-JERK OF LIFE.

What comes around, goes around. Indeed.

"The world we live in, and life in general..." Words that echo from way back in my childhood. As a devout Modie, they certainly shaped my interpretation of things, and probably still have some lingering effect. Don't ask me what exactly they mean to me, or anyone for that matter, but it is what it is.

I suppose lyrics to songs can very often be misinterpreted, and probably are more often than not. I try and keep mine as ambiguous as possible, allowing the listener to make their own assumptions and take from the words what they want. I've even caught the singers of these lyrics out, when asking them exactly what it was they were singing about. Then again, I can be purposely obtuse and a bit of a doos. The vast majority of these songs however, deal with times that have caused me emotional turmoil, such as break ups. To the point where we have even trademarked the name for that section of the song after the second chorus when the music either "breaks down" or "builds up". Yup! The "break up"...

I digress. I have to tell you about a certain interesting run in I had this weekend. Hanging out at some place in De Waterkant for an old friend of mine's birthday party, I found myself glancing around the room more often than usual. I was the designated driver and the conversion was getting away from me. When all of a sudden I notice one of the party of bachelorettes looking at me as if I'd let one rip and she was having trouble seeing through the ensuing fog. I recognised her instantly as one of the young ladies about whom I have been forced to pen a ditty in the past. It wasn't all that positive (he says nonchalantly flicking his fringe from his eyes). After mouthing the query/response of our respective names at each other, we got up and did the whole "Oh wow! It's so awesome to see you! How're you doing?!" schpiel, and here's where I actually started quite enjoying myself. We no longer have contact, in fact there has been very little in the way of communication since I took my kite flying a bit more seriously. It transpired, without going into any sordid details, that in the end one of us is a lot better off. At least in the matters of the heart. I couldn't help but feel a little smug, but managed to avoid blurting out "Ja, serves you right!"

Anyway, people make their choices and we have to respect those choices. Sometime you agree, sometimes you don't. But in the end, we can but hope and pray that the ones we make steer us to the best situations, people and results for us. And here's another thought, just while it popped into my head. You know how everyone believes in karma and the power of retribution and evil people getting their just desserts? Well, that's all good and I'm sure that shitty people will be rewarded accordingly, but I disagree with the same premise being applied to the good side of "what goes around, comes around". Basically, no matter how magnanimous or noble you think you are by "paying it forward", you're doing something nice because you expect something wonderful in return, which is to misunderstand the point entirely.

Now here is something - for you - because I love you and no other reason. A new instrumental Sleepers track. Enjoy. At least this one's words won't be misconstrued...

NGDG: If you simply have to protest Israel, can you start with those annoying Dead Sea Skincare promoters?

Spread The Love. Listen To Michael Bolton On Mute.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

OOPS! WRONG HOLE!

Peek-a-boo!

So Tarty Farty Tequila Party posted something witty about a visit to the gynaechiatrist, and I unfortunately responded by saying I was infinitely grateful that I would never have to go through that clearly dreadful experience. Now, long story short, I have to write a piece on it...

Not that I haven't woken in sweaty night terrors at the prospect of having my prostate checked. I believe I am almost at the age when I get the relive the sheer hell of the school nurse curtly telling me to "cough". It's very similar. Little did I know back then that I'd spend virtually every waking moment of my life dedicated to getting a female to cradle my balls in a similar fashion. It was only weird in the army physical...

Then someone told me that they no longer give you the Polsmoor Probe to determine whether or not your prostate is healthy - they now rely merely on blood work - a fact met with much rejoicing! Which brings me back the the stirrup demon. It's easy to joke about it, but I'm sure that for most women it's rather an unpleasant gedoente. And in the light of my only comparable experience now being a thing of the past, it left me wondering just how kak it must be and how I'd manage a trip to the dreaded Uterus Mechanic. Right now all I can think of is how I'd react to being pants-down in a room resembling a doctor's surgery and all I can come up with is "Happy ending, please!" seconds before the physio threw me out on my ass.

So let's pretend I'm a lady and I do lady's things, and for a few minutes at least resist the overwhelming temptation to point out that I'm a little bitch anyway. You call up and make your check-up appointment. What is the protocol vis a vis grooming? Does one present a neatly trimmed patient for inspection in the same way you brush your teeth before gaping open your maw at the dentist? I bet you there are a few gynies who could tell you some stories. But never mind all that, from what I'm led to believe (I've seen movies like 'Knocked Up' and so forth...) it's fairly unpleasant, if only for the invasive nature of the visit. I would imagine that even for the most aggressively sexual among us that this is invasive and most would rather not have to go through it.
So there I am with my heels in the stirrups, doing my best not to speculate as to the possible problems that could be found and, at the same time, praying that it'll all be over soon and I'll be stamped with a clean bill of health. Bits dangling in the breeze waiting for the bearer of lube and probes. No, we're not in Amsterdam. And with the theatrical thwack of a rubber glove we're away! I don't know what you're looking for, but like I keep telling my husband, it's a little to the left!

You see, it's hard not to sexualise or trivialise these things, as a guy. And I am trying my best not to be too flippant about this subject / ordeal. But with every word I type I have to be honest and admit that the only phrase bouncing around my big dumb head is "don't work where other people play". You see?

Anyway, I have attempted to think what it would be like to deal with this experience, and have come up short, not only in terms of completing the narrative, but also in being able to remain calm and rational. Perhaps I AM a woman after all. I have failed to remain composed and to offer a reasonable or fair portrayal of the terror inherent in a visit to the gynaechiatrist. For this I apologise. But I just cannot get my head around it sufficiently. Let's not even get me started on the obvious confines of trying to keep my language in check.

NGDG: Energy-saving bulbs! Enjoy a glimmer of stone-age ambience in your home today!

Spread The Love. You Got A Shoe-horn Or Something!?!?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

THREE BREASTED WHATSIT? TSEK!

Gaan haal daar vir die oom nog n biertjie, dan kry
jy n slukkie, maar moenie vir die tannie se nie...

It continually amazes me, although it really shouldn't by now, how easily people are swayed by popular opinion. Even the so-called intelligent among us. How easily we bay for blood or have a really strong opinion on something or push an agenda without first educating ourselves or finding out everything there is to find out about a certain issue or story. We're slaves to our emotions and we'd all do very well to take a step back and apply some rational thought to our knee-jerk cries for justice or emphatic outrage against this, that and the next thing. Every day I see highly educated, erudite people that should know better falling into this trap. They sully my newsfeed with half truths and poorly researched propaganda or, even worse, some smutty sensationalism - even the ones with the itchy Snopes trigger fingers. It appears to be more a of a contest in appearing to be just the right amount of indignant, outraged or compassionate that drives this sort of behaviour. What happened to cool detachment?

Well, that isn't the answer either. I am glad so many people are that passionate about so many things. Our ways need mending. And perhaps I'm a bit cynical, but some days I wonder if a bit of circumspection wouldn't go a long way. It really is true that there are usually many facets to any one argument.

Anyway, before I start pointing fingers and pissing off some of my nearest and dearest, I suppose I should move onto jollier ground. Tomorrow (can you hear Annie singing her little heart out?) is a public holiday here in good ol' South Africa. We are celebrating Heritage Day, and since the only thing the various different people of our disparate country have in common is the bloodthirsty consumption of beasts cooked over an open flame, we have dubbed it National Braai Day. (That bloodthirsty bit was for all my friends who do not condone eating flesh.) Or in our case, National Braam Day. You see, it is TDB's birthday and we get together for an event called "My! What An Enormous Sausage" every year. I can't remember if that's in reference to the braaing or that time Tim-kerbell was in the bathroom stall next to him...

Um, nothing to see here. Move along...

In other news, my vineyard now has rootstock planted in it! So now we watch, wait, pray and water regularly. With any luck in a couple of years I'll have some people around with very clean feet and we'll stomp some grapes into mulch, after which we can wait another couple of years before we even know if it's a roaring success or an abysmal failure. Some new pics for you...





And on that rather uplifting note, I bid you bugger off. Enjoy your day off tomorrow, but do so responsibly. Remember the cops will be out in full force and you don't want to be Papa's next girlfriend.

NGDG: Professor Tim Noakes telling jewish fund managers to eat traif liver and brains as part of a Real Meal Revolution: hilarious. Telling me not to drink beer: Not gonna happen.

Spread The Love. Green Peace Sells.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

VINE - A SOCIAL NETWORK

I hope her feet are clean.

Hang about! Don't we have enough platforms on which dumbed-out teenagers, preppy pouty princesses, pissed off pseudo-intellectuals, crusty conspiracy theorists, and self-centred spammers can assault us with cute pictures of pugs, aggressive one-sided rhetoric and woeful spelling?
What do we need yet another for? Is it punishment for ending sentences on prepositions?

Or are people that desperate for a new background on their screen?

I'll tell you a secret...

The vine has been responsible for social networking for thousands of years. Yes, ladies and gentleworms, good old fashioned wine has been the social lubricant of choice for so long, it may as well be considered as old as mankind itself. This probably also accounts for an entire history strewn with poor decisions and worse consequences.

But enough about all the agricultural attempts by my predecessors, we're here to discuss my latest venture. For years I have wanted to make a bottle of wine on my own. From grapes I grew myself. This is unfortunately inordinately difficult to do when one owns a thin strip of backyard in urban purgatory.
Enter Slappy, who has some land just lying around in Constantia...
I now have a partner. We are going to make wine fit for the highest choir of angels, nay, the Gods themselves! After some careful planning and calculation, we embarked on this ever-so-exciting venture on Sunday when we erected the first half of our very small vineyard's trellises. The day after the Sepultura gig. In the sun. With a hangover. I've probably never worked that hard in my life. A farmer's life? Ha! You can keep that shit. But the results will be glorious! With probably a hint of plum and spices.

I'm going to use this here wee virtual soapbox of mine to keep you updated with the odd picture and accompanying anecdote. Vines go in this weekend. With any luck, I won't feel as close to death's door as I was on Sunday.

I hope you enjoy looking at these few pictures of the fruits of my labour as much as I hope to enjoy drinking them one day.




NGDG: You know you've had a wild weekend when your fridge is still full of all the beer you bought for chillax downtime.

Spread The Love. Sowing The Seeds.