Wednesday, May 21, 2008

March to Protect Immigrants.

Given that immigrants are people, and that xenophobia is another word for savage racism, I think that this information, received by SMS from the painter, Herman Niebuhr, should be publicized as much as possible:

March to defend immigrants.

Joburg, Saturday May 24.

Gather at 9am,
Marks Park, Empire Rd, near Hillbrow.

Bring placards, banners, friends

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Movie Night

I finally got me and the dodgy boyfriend off to watch “Juno”. He had first bulked when he heard the topic – teen pregnancy – but somehow suddenly his mind was changed and he was all keen....might have had something to do with him hearing Jennifer Garner was in it. Hmmm.

It really is great fun. Light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, worth a watch if you’re up for distractions from South Africa’s daily themes.

And it was not at all like I expect typical Hollywood edge-around-and-be-so-politically-correct-even-George Bush-screams-"JUST SAY IT AS IT IS!!" films on this topic to be... It kinda reminded me of "Little Miss Sunshine" in its "approach". Argh. Just go and check it out and chuckle...

And while chilling with the arties, we also realised a film festival is starting on Friday May 23rd till Thursday May 29th at Rosebank’s Cinema Nouveau (and at a few others around being a national festival). .... For the brochure.

"Africa on Screen is a celebration of African film and culture. Now in its 3rd year the festival continues to grow and in 2008 is proud to be a national festival with screenings at Cinema Nouveau Rosebank and Cavendish, Ster Kinekor Junction at Maponya Mall and Festival Mall, and also with free screenings at Museum Africa.
The festival aims to showcase the best in new and quality African films within mainstream cinema environments, while also reaching out to audiences with educational and classic African films. This year’s festival includes over 24 films, from animation to documentaries and no less than 10 South African premieres of films from across the continent".

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One future day...

Every work day, somewhere between 5pm and 7pm, I dream fondly of a future day when Oxford Road will again be a two-way transport route!!

Gautrain... these diversions have been fun & all. But I am over it. Please return my direct route home!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Trapido: HOW DO I LOOK?

The government (Mrs Traps) loves nothing better than watching the Style Network Channel on DSTV - It's the one where they try and make you feel guilty about dressing within anything less than the budget of a small principality or failing to look like an anoerexic version of Penelope Cruz.

Anyhow her favourite-favourite on the channel is one of those reality shows called "How do I look?" It's where they take a real wenner - who looks like she's just fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down - and plot her fashion and facial ressurection, if this were only humanly possible, before revealing the "new her" at a showing in front of family and friends.

The way that they achieve this fashion revival is to get two parties - a friend and family member - plus a fashion guru to each select a number of outfits for this genius, who then selects the set she thinks is best suited to her. In addition she undergoes a make-up and hairdo overhaul before they show her on stage.

Then everybody gushes on about how wonderful she looks, how she must build from here and not go back to being the old her and so on and so vomit.

As I share a room with the government I often land up watching this "show" which would best be described as a cross between Jerry Springer (sans spring) and Cruffts (sans loveable mutts). Give me the genius with the achey breakey heart, from Desmoines - whose wife is sleeping with her great-grandfather, who is actually a woman and decides, in the interests of good taste, to reveal this "secret" on the Springer Show in front of a live audience, - before this crap anytime!

What they should do, in fairness to all the husbands and boyfriends trapped by their "better halves" into watching this, is to make it compulsory for any contestant who appears on this show, to have first appeared on Springer.

Have you seen the women on that show? There is a 100kg or 220 pound minimum requirement for them and a 60kg or 132 pound maximum for the men. So you see
this Woody Allen look-a-like waiting nervously on stage for his wife - last seen snorting and stomping backstage - who then paws the ground, sniffs the air before thundering on to join's all smoke and dust....horrible!

And then she reveals her incredible secret - "I am actually my husband's sister and I have fallen in love with our father, "who aren't in heaven"!
(Not if this doll is anything to go by). Then they smash each other up for half an hour and it ends with Springer giving his drosh (sermon). Well worth the TV licence payment on its own.

By combining the two shows we, namely the long suffering men, are guarunteed
a woman who will entertain us with her secrets and strength while our wives and girlfriends get to see the people from "How do I look?" attempting to "her". (I'd advise them to have her spayed or put down but I'm sure there are those who would like to see them have a go.)

Think how much better the show would be! For starters when her friends and family break the news to her that she is on the show because she looks like shit - she will probably use her training from Springer to tear each one of them a new arsehole.

Instead of cutesie strolls through fashion stores we'd be treated to scenes normally encountered on safari - like a keeper darting their enraged contestant when the store says they don't keep her size or, if truth be told, enough material to make her size. Watch as she has to select the marquees - no tent will fit her - which she will be wearing to the final showing.

Then it's off to the beautician and hairstylist. It'd be pointless trying to
apply make up to a Springer special - their best bet would be to get a landscape gardener in, let him divide her face into areas and then mark these off with a pen and numbers. Then you get the guys who do industrial painting to colour by numbers - for pink they can just use a roller.

Finally just get them to blow her hair from about ten feet back - use one of
those industrial leaf blowers and then allow her to change into her marquee.
Always remember to remove the centre-pole and pegs first. Then being all the
woman she can be - and armed with a secret - turn her loose.

Bet nobody gushes at that!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

From Lusitoland to Loserland

As a ardent patron of Lusitoland down Johannesburg south, my yearly sojourn ended miserably: the imposed drinking areas where one cannot hear the music emanating from centre stage made for a very sorry state of affairs; and the harsh imposition by grumpy ‘bouncers’ all over the place downplayed the supposed festive atmosphere.

The joys of wandering around savouring the wares and sights on offer with a ‘Caipirinha’ in hand seems to be a thing of the past. One now has to sit, or stand, in designated areas chugging down the savoury drink before being allowed to move on to the next row of stalls. Needless to say, it is just not the same. The customary visible looks of joy were nowhere to be seen, instead one was confronted by grumpy strollers, or shoppers, reminiscent of a daily trip to the local mall.

As a matter of fact, what hit me the most was the absence of the usual throngs of patrons at the ticket stalls, something to which every year I braced myself to endure. This year, I walked straight to the ticket office, purchased my wrist band and walked in without ever having to jostle for position with fellow patrons.

To add injury to injury, I took two new inductees to the exhibition only to be faced with “is this what you’ve been bragging about!?” Talk about a slap across the face.

Ok, maybe there was a reason for the change in modus operandi, but given my vast experience with Lusitoland, whatever the reasons were, the changes did not bring value to the vaunted exposition.

Fortunately we found a dear little eatery in Rosebank where we spent the rest of the evening exchanging quips, stories, jokes and exaggerations to our hearts content. A cheerful conclusion to a dreary experience.

Here’s to next year; or maybe not.

Friday, May 2, 2008

7de Laan's Paula spotted at Woolworths in Rosebank

So I'm in Woolworths and I get these frantic phone calls, and I can't understand it because my girlfriend can't be more than 200m away. Eventually I see her waving and pointing to an elegant figure under a stylish black cap. She was 'vermom' under a scarf, and I actually glanced at her in the Long John section...I only recognised her in retrospect when my girlfriend knocked breathlessly against my shoulder, gasping: Dis Paula van 7de Laan..." "Breathe." Hold onto something I said.

Sure enough it was Diaan Lawrenson - that's her real name. While we were browsing pajamas 'Paula' and a foreign looking dude with a shaved head (in tow) moved stealthily through the warm Woolworthy aisles.

I contemplated giving her my business card. It has the word 'photojournalist' on it. I'm not sure why but I was suddenly very bashful about the idea. I realised later that the reason for my discomfort is that I probably know 'Paula' as well as I knew 'Leigh' for Isidingo, which is to say not at all. And so what would I be giving my card for - an inside scoop, to offer my services as a photographer (compared to what she's used to? - well, why not). Anyhow, I let the opportunity, and Paula, merge with the busy interiors, and dragged my wobbly girlfriend out of the store and into the cold under-construction area outside.

Are you waiting for a miracle?

Once upon a time there was a person lying in a bed near the North Pole. It was cold and snowing, and the iceberg upon which the bed was lying was shrinking by the day. Some of the wet was creeping up the fabric of the blankets, yet a small amount of warmth could be gained by remaining curled in bed. But the returns from remaining in bed with snow piling onto the blankets was becoming almost negligible.

The moment one plunges into a pool of water, or emerges out of bed, or one's rocketship blasts off against the Earth's gravitation pull - this requires a shocking commitment of energy. But every subsequent moment becomes easier. In contrast, every moment the rocket is anchored to the Earth, every delayed moment wrapped in blankets or standing at the side of the pool represents a moment lost, and an investment in the Bank of Doubt.

I went for a walk this fine, miserable morning. It is actually beautiful seeing the rustic Oak Trees and cold bright flower dripping with the morning cold.
We encountered my neighbour, a woman who has been begging all around the neighborhood. All I know is she crashed her car, then crashed it up again good and well so that it can't be driven. Since then she has been rambling, hitch-hiking, soliciting favours from - it seems - everyone. I've driven her to Rosebank a few times. When I spoke to my landlady this morning she wandered by and my landlady dived behind a wall so as not to be drawn into a long conversation (amounting to help me, save me, give me).

So when I spoke to the woman I asked her how things were going, and she recounted all the favours she was expecting from various people (a mechanic who would fix her car for free for example). She asked me to call a friend of mine to get the church involved on her case. Interesting. I must call my friend on her behalf and plead her case for her.

I asked her: "Is your strategy to get out of your financial trouble based on what you hope and wish other people can do to help you?" Because to the extent that we expect other people to save us, to that extent we've defaulted responsibility and are really just waiting for something to happen, waiting to get something for nothing.

My girlfriend said it wasn't so simple. I said: "It is. Go and get a job, or go and DO something. Don't fucking sit around waiting for favours and handouts. Not if you expect your life to change."

Be your own saviour. Invest in Being, Doing and Having, not Hoping, Wanting and Wishing. You be the miracle.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

President for a day…

Watching the current Presidential Candidate debacle going on in the US has me hearing all sorts of promises of “When I am President, I will. …. “

This got me thinking. What would I do in South Africa if I was a President for a day?

So here are some of my thoughts:

Build more courts and at least 1 extra prison per province. One of the reasons we have a crime problem is that the courts and prisons are overcrowded.

Use Clause 36 (Limitation of rights) in terms of those in prison – anyone in prison would not be allowed to vote, sit around watching tv etc. (In the USA, if you commit murder etc, you lose the right to vote forever, any minor crime – which is 3 or less year sentence – you lose the right to vote until you have completed your sentence and any parole if applicable)

Labour Laws:
Any public service official caught in act of bribery, dishonesty etc will have an automatic dismissal.

Any business that is caught with lights on when there are no staff members at work will be fined heavily.
Any minicipality caught with street lights on etc during the day will also be fined – such fine will not be allowed to come out of extra increases in prices to the public.

Child grants will be reduced from 6 children to 3 for any person who gives birth from that day on, this will stop the young people of today having 6 children to claim R180 a child. It will also reduce the stress on the school system with less children needing to be educated.

These are just a few of my ideas, why don’t you add your ideas into the comment box.