Friday, December 31, 2010

Cynical Revelations... Reservations? Resolutions. That's it.




I’m not prone to resoluting. You know, for New Years. I find it serves no purpose than to set you up to fail. I can’t say I’ve ever made resolutions which I haven’t fulfilled, and that that’s how I know this - I’ve never made the mistake of making them in the first place. Ha!

But the point is, the New year (like the new week, the new month - even the new day) is a good point in time to make big changes. Big decisions even. Force yourself to morph. Seeing as we have to sum up our lives in years, we might as well make an effort to make an entire one awesome. All those Facebook statuses with their “2010 was awesome! Couldn’t have wished for a better year! Blach blah blaaah I’m a schmuck!”? Ya, so next year on the 31st of December you can have a status that says “I made 2011 my bitch! Made millions, shagged plenty hawt shorties and rimmed your mom!” In fact, just say that in your 2010 status now.

So I’m considering setting myself a couple of “challenges”. I shan’t write them down and stick them on the fridge. If they’re relevant enough, they’ll stick in my frontal lobe. Haven’t fully decided on them yet. One of them is to cook a proper meal every single week night. I’m tired just typing that. Meh.

But, despite my cynicism, I am very excited about the new year.

I’m thrilled beyond description that we don’t have the daunting World Cup. We don’t have to defend our ability to host it, we don’t have to deal with horrifying traffic, and the students and lennas don’t have to write exams three months early, or whatever it was. And even though I got all geesed up and woo-girled my way around the WC2010, footie appeals to me as much as a spinal tap. Looking MAHJAHLY forward to the Cricket World Cup in India too.

I LOVE the beginning of the year ‘cause my grandslams are back. Starts off with the Aussie Open on the 17th of January. I have lots of little hopes for tennis this year - but like the unmentionable Kallis double century, I wont tell you what they are ‘til they’ve been achieved. Gooood it’s going to make being more productive difficult.

I’ll be moving. AGAIN. Possibly twice. FML or YAY, I’m not quite sure. Happy that I can, at last, get my very own couch though.

I plan on getting even more in your FACE, but I’ll divulge more when the time comes. (I’m a firm believer in karma, lani.)

Big plans, comrade, big plans.

This whole “2011” vibe also got me thinking back to matric - because my lil’ sis’ has just finished High School. I had the plan tabled OUT I tell you:

2004 - 2007: get engineering degree
2008: have awesome job that overpays me for said eng degree.
2010: possibly be living in foreign country because eng degree gets paid more there.

‘Sept the “eng” degree became an “eng”LISH degree. Ha! And at the time it looked like aaages! I thought to myself, “shit, I can’t believe I have to wait until 2008 to have a proper degree and job. Pfft.” And then life in its awesomery happens, and you realise, firstly (to a degree) who you are and what you actually want to do, secondly, that varsity is well wicked and that you should spend as many years as possible being a student and thirdly and fourthly, that 25 is not old and most people don’t have their goslings in a circle only 5 years after leaving school. I reiterate: Ha!
So despite my young perceptions of who and what I’d being doing in 2011 being blown to balls, I’m looking forward to it. Get to make it up as I go now, you see.

(I hate that not even I can help reflecting and somewhat resoluting, despite myself.)

Yes, I know resoluting is not a word.

Have a good’un tonight!

Oh, one of those other “challenges”: blog every day. Even if it’s just a funny pic. Hoping to keep you logged onto this here shoe. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

GATSBY Update! Hoorah!



In case your rock hasn't be lifted, I should bring you the happy news that Carey Mulligan will be starring in The Great Gatsby alongside Leo, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. The world is once again safe! Our astrological balance is restored! I think I could do without Maguire - those Spiderman movies reaaaally put me off him, and that stupid horse movie. But here's hoping. I don't have a Blake-Lively-Like problem with it.

BOOM!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The KAK Gatsby




I fear I may have uttered this sentence in this very blog, but just in case you don’t know: I love movies. I wont go into the whys and wherefores, just know this.


[Baz Luhrmann - Director]

And it’s for this reason that I’m often reading about movies before they’re made. It’s good to be in the know, you know? So when I read that Baz Luhrmann was going to be directing a new film version of “The Great Gatsby” I was excited. When I read that Leonardo DiCaprio would be starring as Gatsby himself, I was drooling. After that it’s a matter of not casting Paul Rudd as the narrating Nick Carraway and finding an accomplished actress to play the muse of all Gatsby’s doings: Daisy.


[Duh. Okay fine, Leo DiCaprio - Gatsby]

I loved the book, and I also didn’t take for granted how incredibly important Daisy is to the story. I mean, DUH. And she’s more than just the superficial, fickle flirt - her character has to be approached with the same bi-polar delicacy that Liz Taylor used for Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Note - I said the character needed to be APPROACHED in the same way, not that the characters are in any way the same.)


[The most recent Gatsby attempt starring Mira Sorvino in the disputed role. She did it justice.]

So can you conceive; can you fully GRASP the agony with which I came upon the rumour that none other than Blake “Boobs Legsley” Lively was up for the role?? I mean, for all things fucking sacred in literature! Yes, the girl is gorgeous. She’s tall, she’s T&A, and she’s Hollywood’s “It” Girl thanks to some heavy petting from Anna Wintour. But tell me, Baz Luhrmann, is this reason enough?? Lindsay Lohan would be a better bloody call FFS, at least she has all of two facial expressions. The only acting prowess I’ve ever seen from Lively’s “Gossip Girl” performance is a slight tilting of the head in disapproval and shock. And happiness. Much like the Steven Seagal of teen actors.


[The Lovely Boobs Legsley]

And the problem with this decision, should it come to fruition, is that it blatantly illustrates the nature of Hollywood. It’s not Luhrmann casting the equally beautiful and talented Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge. It’s putting Kylie Minogue in the role of “Satine” instead of the Absinthe Fairy. That comparison doesn’t even cut it - at least Kylie’s charming. I’ll spell it out: it means even an accomplished director still feels the need to put a pretty, useless (or pretty useless, whichever you prefer) actress in a movie for the sake of grabbing the attention of a younger generation. Despite the fact that you have LEONARDO Di-FUCKING-CAPRIO signed and sealed for the lead.


[Michelle Williams - she's starred with Leo before - GOOD chemistry! C'mon!!!]

So what’s the question then? Why not use Natalie Portman? She always “It” and “happening” and “stunning”. Not to mention infinitely talented. Why not use Scarlett Johansson? She’s not as broadly-able as Portman, but she could pull it off. I take back my Renee Zellweger suggestion from Twitter - that was a terrible idea. There’s Rachel McAdams, there’s Amy Adams, there’s friggin Michelle Williams (HELLO? How awesome would she be?) - I could go on for a page. I repeat, what is the question? Does he not want a strong actress overshadowing his hero? Erm, doubt it. The man has played opposite Kate Winslet (twice) and Jack Nicholson, and more than held his own. I hardly think that’s an issue. Does he want to give an as yet unaccomplished TV actress a shot? most-likely. But how BLIND are you? There’s a time and place for new talent. And this situation is neither the time, nor the new talent.

Suffice to say I will be BLEAKLY disappointed and the possibility is high that I will actually not watch the film when it comes out in 2012 if they decide to cast her. And from recent reports, Leo’s not one to interfere too much with the casting process. Even though the rumour came from a large crew dinner which included Luhrmann and DiCaprio seated across from the poor victim in discussion.

Enlighten me - tell me I’m wrong. Please. It’ll ease the rate at which my head is about to explode from bafflement.

(I'm vying for Michelle Williams - I think she'd be spectacular.)

Review: The Social Network




“The Social Network”
Directed by David Fincher
Starring Jesse Eisenberg; Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake



When it comes to movie-watching lately, I’ve found I prefer to know as little as possible beforehand. The ever-dramatic trailers designed to lure you into watching the film have become little more than total summaries, leaving you with no storyline to look forward to, and expecting you to watch a movie simply to fill in the cracks or see a bit more of Leonardo DiCaprio. So I was more than happy to go see “The Social Network”, having not seen a single advertisement, nor knowing enough detail about the story upon which it was set.


[Jessie Eisenberg]

We all know to a certain degree that Facebook’s creator and owner, Mark Zuckerberg (zukk-er-berg by the way, not zook-er-berg as some of us Saffas had reckoned), had more than a few court cases brought against him by the young men who claimed to have been instrumental in the revolutionary site’s creation. And we know he lost a couple of mill, but ultimately won the battle. Honestly, beyond the privacy scandals that upset our violated little hearts, I don’t think most of us cared about who created Facebook, as long as it was still there with all 500 of our proudly earned friends in tact.

As it turns out, the story of our beloved Facebook is quite fascinating. And not necessarily because of the precarious plot line. There’s one thing that makes this movie work, and one thing that makes it worth watching: Mark Zuckerberg. Specifically, Mark Zuckerberg played by Jesse Eisenberg. He’s a character you’ll find you’ll be quite proud to have as the owner of your favourite social network.


[The actors and their real-life counterparts]

How accurate Eisenberg’s representation of Zuckerberg is, is irrelevant. From an entertainment perspective - let’s just say he had me hooked onto the arrogant, smart-assed, intelligent prick you’d expect Mark Zuckerberg to be. His character is established in the first scene, to perfection I deem worthy of an award nomination. Because not only is it succinct and unflinchingly good acting, it’s maintained throughout the movie. It’s not some cute, well-scripted, highly witty conversation with his girlfriend that, used in a lesser movie, would establish some kind of weak flirtation, only to be overtaken by a babbling character that even a good actor wouldn’t know what to do with. It establishes Zuckerberg as a stupidly intelligent young man, with ambitions and a bluntness that could only be attributed to someone who knows enough about social etiquette and norms to not give a shit. He’s like the real-life Sheldon (from Big Bang Theory) without the physics major and OCD. And he’s a typical nerdy guy, as you would have him here on earth, not as some cliched, virginal, loser stereotype. He loves his computers, he loves his blogging, and he still loves his beer and bitches.


[*drool* Armie Hammer]

So yes, I give most credit to Jesse and his character. But there is no doubt that the movie is constructed brilliantly. I had been hesitant - worried that it would be very much narrative and chronological, and starting from the base-beginnings. I didn’t think the story would be interesting enough to keep me transfixed. But it’s edited with a brilliant balance, between the chronological happenings and the things that made this story documentable: the court cases. So you’re seeing the drama unravel simultaneously. No ominous music stating: “this will be a mistake! Remember this scene for the Winklevoss courtcase!”. (Winklevoss twins, by the way, both played by the delicious Armie Hammer and his equally deliciously deep voice.) It’s a technique that keeps you very much on the edge of your seat.


[The Real Winklevii]

Of course, you’ve got to ask me: “What about JT?” It was definitely a good move on David Fincher’s part to put Justin Timberlake in this movie. Even though he’s not the most credited actor in the world, he’s a big name and people are curious to see what he’s doing with this craft now that he’s neglecting our need for his awesome music. And it’s fair to say he’s the only big name in it. Which, again, I love. Yes, you’ll have seen Eisenberg play the talkative geek before, and his resume does boast some rather large movies (the highly nominated “The Squid and the Whale” included), but his brilliant performance is distinct. The charmingly ‘suited up’ (and future Spiderman), Andrew Garfield also showed off his chops as Eduardo Saverin, the somewhat ‘silent’ partner of Facebook. Did I mention the delicious Winklevosses? Winklevi as they’re referred to? Oh yes. Back to JT, his role as Napster’s creator, Sean Parker, is relatively small, albeit prominent. And he’s good in it. He pulls it off: another arrogant intellectual who made it rich at a young age, but still a bit of a geeky pussy with an unfortunate drug problem. Which also does well to highlight why Zuckerberg himself is where he is, and why most of you have never heard of Sean Parker. He does it well, and his character serves its purpose.


[The Leading lads]

The sole (and I mean ONLY) problem I had with this movie? The Winklevi are in England for a rowing competition (whatever you’d call it), and they’re introduced to Prince Albert. Who has an American accent. I shall say no more. (Unless I missed a boat somewhere, and Prince Albert indeed has picked up the twang of the Yank.)

There’s so much humour to be enjoyed in this movie too - from the very clever Zuckerberg to the general Varsity-vibe that’s portrayed, along with how much you’ll appreciate how close this story is to home. Ultimately, it’s what gave Finch the need to make this film: the fact that he knew 500 million people use Facebook, and that 500 million of them would undoubtedly want to watch it. And trust me, you should.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Goin' on a summer 'olliday



This whole ‘getting paid by the hour’ thing is fucking with my travelling chi. What it means, for those of you who get paid leave, is that I not only have to save up for my holiday, I have to save up enough to cover the amount I’m losing by taking the leave. That’s a lot of saving for a simple week away in Moz or summink.

Truthfully, I’m aware that a lot of people don’t take holidays. They may take leave, but wont necessarily go away. Either because they don’t want to flood the coast with the rest of Joburg, or simply because they can’t afford it. Not that you have to. I am a hard advocate for some well-earned couch-potato time. I don’t think there’s much that’s more relaxing than being able to get up, shower, get back into pjs and spend the rest of the day reading. Or watching tele.


(Rhino Butt)

Other than getting away, of course. ‘Cause face it – we could do the lounging about thing on a weekend if we wanted to. Nothing’s quite as invigorating as leaving the city you’re in and completely displacing yourself. No work to take up your time or your mind space. No bills filling up your mailbox. Yet. No friends pushing you to get pissed every Friday and Saturday. Slash every night of said holiday. It’s just relaxing and detaching.

Which explains why people who shouldn’t really go on holiday (I.e. me) still make a point of doing it. Plus I really don’t want to become a jaded city person. It’s not like Jozi’s New York City with it’s “all you need” access, but it’s bustling and smelly and the same. And I need time in the bush. (Insert stupid joke here.)



I was raised going on “safari” holidays. We went to game lodges more than we went to the beach as a family. And I love it. I love that dry, midday heat and the smell of sage a lot more than the humid, clammy heat and sand sticking to my arse and finding its way into every orifice. I don’t dislike the sea by any means – love it – I just have my preferences. Call it a curse of familiarity. But I immediately power-down and zen out when my car enters big five territory. I don’t even mind waking up at 5am to catch a beautiful morning drive. (And you should know how I feel about sleep…) There’s always a yummy breakfast when you get back and plenty of nap time in the hot afternoons. There’s no TV, which I love. It’s another way of distancing yourself beautifully from your everyday hobbits. You just veg out. Literally sit on a day bed under some shade and stare at a dam or river bed. And if you really need amusement, you can read yourself into Nobel recognition. What more could you possibly want from a holiday?

I do like my ‘olliday’s, not necessarily in Majorcaaaaa.


(This is Majorcaaaaa)

The next issue is of course WHEN to go, WHEN. ‘Cause I really don’t feel like being taken for a ride by one of these:


(This is what accommodation and holiday people look like under their human-masks)

Scolding puppy says you will not judge me for putting up a face-dildo.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Farting behind closed butt cheeks



Farting is a simple yet complicated bodily function. It’s simple, because, well, we need to do it. It’s a totally natural thing. We have internal waste systems for a reason, yea? It’s complicated because most women (in particular) hate it. And ponies smell bad. Duh.

I decided to ask the Twitter world what they thought of farting, particularly in bed. Because you have to realise that at some point in your life, you’re going to fart in front of the person you have sex with. So specifics need to be noted.

You will not actually believe how many people said “it’s fine, as long as it doesn’t stink”.

…..



Seriously? But, like, really?

I’d say 10% of farts are odour free. I don’t think anyone would give a continental shit (all puns in this post intended) about farts if they didn’t smell vile. Much like burping. Burping can be hilarious. Though it seldom is after a spicy dinner.

I could immediately tell who’d been in a comfortable, long-term relationship. The young people replied with their “Oh my GAAD NFW!” (no fucking way) and “I think it’s poor form of either partner” responses.

Most people were of the “Let it Flow” party. “You gotta let it out”; “It’s not paying rent – get outta there!”; “It’s totally bad for you to hold it in.” Mostly men. Obviously.



Now, my other half believes that women suffer from the terrible stomach problems they have because of their tendency to hold back on the tooting. Which is not entirely inaccurate. A huge percentage of women suffer from IBS and all sorts of kak (ya.), which definitely isn’t helped by holding in gas all day. So yes, concluded in the general sense, once you’ve been in a relationship long enough for you to be comfortable to do it, do it. Don’t OVERDO it. But, you know, do what you gotta do. Just a thought.

My query was with bed-farting in particular. Because I hate it. Yes, farting in your sleep is a tricky one to beat, and if the other person’s asleep it can do little harm, so that can pass. But lying in the bed, having just come from night-time ablutions, and letting one rip like a lipless person playing a trumpet, is just not cool. Anger before sleep is never good. Neither is receiving a palm to your nose.

Some said go for it, just be considerate and don’t lift the covers. But then surely it festers like some kind of fart incubator? Only to come out worse with the additional tang of feet? Others said do that, but make an air vent at the bottom with your foot. A more promising suggestion, but not entirely baff-proof. Air doth moveth in mysterious ways. Then there were those who think that Dutch-ovening* is totally hilarious. I don’t know about you, but I would fuck a dude up good and proppa if he EVER did that. Like ball-pummelling kind of pain.

Most of the women suggested doing your best to get it all out in the bathroom and farting away from the other person as much as possible. Which is a typical women answer: It’s endearing and considerate, with the best intentions fitted into reasonable logic. But the truth is farts don’t come on cue to most of us. Some of us are lucky and can channel all unwanted gassage down at once, and eject. For the majority, they usually come up in the middle of a board meeting or lift. And when you’ve just climbed into bed and give that first relaxing sigh. All your muscles relax when you’re relaxed, so it just makes sense.

Is farting in bed okay?

NOT if you do it the first second you’ve climbed in.
NOT if you’re doing it deliberately and you know it’s going to kill all living creatures in a ten meter radius.
NOT if you plan on violently flapping the duvet around, like that’s going to solve the problem.
NOT (NOT NOT NOT NOT) if your arse is facing the other human being beside you. You deserve to have a studded plug shoved in there if you’re gonna tempt that shit.

YES, if you’re asleep.
YES if it’s reasonably inoffensive.
YES, if it’s not going to play out an entire symphony that would put Bach to shame.
(i.e. and wake the other passenger up.)
YES, if you know how to spread your cheeks and make that unnoticeable “ffffffff” sound. That’s funny.
And YES, if you know your partner can have a laugh and get over it. And do it back to you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fame-whoring: Wherefore?



It’s funny how right Andy Warhol was when he said that in the future everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes. And it’s not humorous only because he was definitely on to something – it’s because everyone’s so desperate for it. When celebrity first became a visible entity in the world, it was otherworldly. Celebrities were glamorous and godly – they were unique and out of reach. And the life of celebrity was also unattainable. The larger population was happy to accept that it was a rare calling, and they were also happy to admire celebs from their cinema seats.



That changed, both with the increasing power of celebrity and with the path towards total freedom of choice. People became increasingly aware and headstrong of their right to pursue their dreams. We no longer had ‘lots in life’, and had a choice in the matter.

That’s what’s brought us to this point, where every one in two people thinks they should be famous. Or deserves to be famous. Or even worse, thinks they have the talent that acquires fame. Along with the right to vote, the right of speech – general human rights and freedoms, came a very odd need to validate ourselves. It’s no longer good enough to make your family proud, and your friends proud – or even just make yourself proud of your own achievements. Whether it’s a promotion at your small firm, or making partner in a law firm – for some that kind of success isn’t appealing.



Our overexposure to other people’s lives has become a bit hazardous. In more ways than one – but I’ll keep on topic. We “know” all about the personal lives of movie stars and musicians. We watch them being idolised and admired by TV presenters and their peers over their clothes, their personalities and sometimes their talent and beauty (snort). And it’s created a generation of insecure lost souls. There are people who painstakingly think that they need to have their names in a magazine or on a television show in order to be successful. To “win”. To validate their lives since high school, since their last bad break-up or since they lost 30kg, they need to be famous, and prove it.



The worst thing is, they love to think they’re just proving it to themselves, and “doing what they really want to do with their lives”. But they expect that when they “make it”, all those people from school, all those ex-boyfriends and shitty friends will suck it, because they’re famusth. I’d like to chat to someone who really feels better when it all “works out”. I’d ask how it feels now – are you vindicated? Are you content? And I can promise the real answers won’t be yes. They’ll still feel empty, and unfulfilled and wanting. Because what they’re really trying to do is be happy through other people’s opinion of them.



Enter the reality TV show. People who long for fame and haven’t “made it” yet in whichever field, now have this “platform” to fame and, er, fortune. (Excuse me while I fall over and kill myself laughing.) The examples are endless and I don’t have the energy to go through what’s wrong with it – other than it makes for the most dull and pointless viewing I can imagine. How this shit makes it onto television, I have no idea. But now that we have stupid numbers of people becoming famous for absolutely no reason, it’s given more hope to the masses who are mildly aware of their lack of public appeal. Some of the dumbest most vapid people on the planet are household names. And you’d be hard pressed to give a good reason why.



But back to the root of all this need for fame. Yes, we all care what people think to a degree. We have to. We live in societal confines. It’s part of the deal. But isn’t basing your entire existence on what people think exhausting? I mean gaaaad – you’d be rethinking your every move; every sentence you utter; every outfit you wear and how you do your hair. How bloody pointless. And there will be a point reached when they’ll realise all this shit they did “for themselves” has left them with no friends, no real personality and no direction. Sad isn’t it?

Routine Hell

I’m a creature of habit. But I am very fond of change. Ya – walking contradiction, I am. Specifically when it comes to my routine. I wake up at the same time, brush my teeth, put in my contacts lenses etc, etc always in the same order. Nothing wrong with it – it’s a very good time gauge and is definitely one of the reasons why I’m seldom, if ever, late. (Touch wood.) The kak thing about it is that I’m now having to wake up particularly early, what with the whole PTA – JHB schpiel. And my control-freaked always-alert brain constantly reminds me at night that I’ll have to be waking up really early the next morning. It pisses me off, man! ‘Cause it really fucks up my nights. By the time it’s half past eight my mind’s going, “don’t commit to anything now – you’ve got to get to sleep soon”. Sonofabitch.

I miss late movies, late TV shows and much-needed reading. And I’m one minus HDD recorder at the moment so I can’t even tape the shit. (No, I don’t have PVR. Duh. Not retarded.) All in all, feeling very sorry for myself.

Then some nights I try to say “fuck it” and just stay up and watch whatever, read whatever and surf for however long I like. Aaaand of course I hate myself for it in the morning. See, one thing about me that will never change is that I like my sleep. I like eight hours of it. I always have. I’ve tried being that person who can live on five hours’ sleep a night. Either reslutting (yea) in a miserable bitch or quiet and tired toddler. Doesn’t work.

There’s nothing worse than being habitual and routiney and hating said routine. It’s turned me into one of these weekend-loving folks. I’ve obviously always loved weekends, but I’ve never been a Monday-hater or a “count down to Friday” maniac. I’m like that now… It bothers me. ‘Cause my job’s awesome, my weekdays themselves are rad.

I need to get around this whole issue. Kveekly comrade, kveekly.

(Back to more compelling topics soon.)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Small Change

This is going to sound all wrong, and some of you are going to get all, like, ANGRY AND TYPE ME MAD EMAILS IN ALL CAPS. I know it. ‘Cause it’s one of those topics ‘you’re not supposed to talk about’, you know. You’re not allowed to be annoyed by poor people, let alone admit to it on a public platform. For shame!

But seriously. I drive around far too much, and far too far, for this not to be an issue. There is some form of beggar at every corner, in every parking lot, everywhere. You get the guys who, for some wondrous reason, kneel at the intersections, no doubt to illustrate the seriousness of their plight. You get the basic hand-cupping guys in their dirty clothes. Sometimes with rubbish bags. “I’m providing a service to you by gathering your car garbage. Give me money.” And of course there are the car-guards. But that’s a whole different tirade, we’ll just generalise, yes?




Now admit it – every time you approach a red robot and there’s a guy standing there with a pitiable look on his face, you get riled up. Your blood pressure rises. Your teeth clench. You roll up your window if he’s not looking and if you can avoid being too obvious. The reason for this frustration isn’t such a grand mystery: white guilt; yuppie guilt; shit, just plain “I have a car and food on my table” guilt. But that doesn’t make you feel any better about ignoring them flat, does it? Or even driving off with a quick “sorry”. And lately they’ve taken to holding two or three five cent coins in their palms to illustrate just how little they’re willing to take. And to add to the sympathy, of course. Along with women who, much to our total horror (Shock! Gasp!), hire babies.

My issue is: do you have a right to be pissed off, and to drive away not feeling bad about it?

There are several ways of justifying it. You can go with the “charity starts at home” adage. But that’s just weak. True. But weak. Ya ya you work hard to earn your cash, and deserve to spend it where you choose. But you need more. You need to make the beggars’ actions wrong in order to feel completely absolved, right? And you can’t just go to the obvious raging idea that they should get jobs. It’s the right path, but you have to go deeper.



Yes, these people should absolutely be out there looking for jobs. But it’s not that easy, as you know. Our unemployment rate is ludicrous – people with University degrees can barely get a job. And because of the economy, big companies are even struggling to afford their unskilled labour. But the point is that these gents are no closer to finding work settled on the same corner every day. And dare I say it, chances are, they’re not interested in working either. It’s a lot easier to stand in the street and blame the hundreds of selfish motorists when you don’t have enough money at the end of the day. Painstakingly and tirelessly looking for a job that will undoubtedly pay you peanuts is not nearly as appealing as technically doing nothing and getting a good R2 from, let’s say, one in five cars that pass.

Think about it this way: there are millions of people in this country who struggle and suffer. We all know it, whether it’s general awareness or that we’ve gone out of our way to see it for ourselves. There are men and women who commute for four or five hours every day to get to and from work, to earn a pitiful salary that barely feeds their families and educates their children. But they wake up every day, and they do it. And it’s a fight. They’re trying. Some of them have two or even three jobs. Some of them live in entirely different provinces to the families they’re trying to provide for. Are these not perhaps the people that deserve that R2 every day? What’s with this sense of entitlement? This idea that somehow the world owes you your living? Not in the history of mankind has life ever worked that way, and nothing’s going to change. No matter your position in life, there’s always someone worse off than you, so what makes you any more or less in need than say, the people of Ethiopia? (Guess who ‘wins’ that one, by the way.)




I dunno. I became acutely aware of how much it annoyed me this week, and I know that after years of driving around and dealing with it, there must be a reason. It just doesn’t feel right giving these stationery people money. I’m not of the patronising school of “oh well they’re just going to buy booze and glue!” Nor the “little child being exploited by adults” route – even though this is fairly obvious some of the time. So it’s not as simple as my issue being with what they do with the money they gather. It’s why they’re (dangerously) occupying our intersections in the first place. And the fact that they’re evidently making money that way, which is why the problem persists. If your job as a beggar or glorified beggar (read: car guard) is paying out, you’re not exactly going to go do something that requires any effort, now are you?

My suggestion: if you are someone who gets uncontrollably annoyed and riled up at the sight of a beggar – don’t give them money. And don’t feel bad about it. I, personally, hate ignoring people, so I always tend to speak to the dude. I just say “sorry I’ve got nothing for you”, and if they persist I get a bit tougher. But that’s up to you. If you’re a sucker and always pay up – rather give your maid an extra two rand for every day of the month. Or your gardener. Or pick a charity of some sort. Someone or somewhere you know will use it well. Where you know where your money’s going, I mean. Fuck, give the guy a sandwich or an apple if that’ll help you sleep at night.

But that’s just lil’ ol’ me. Please enlighten me with your view on the issue.

(I don’t purport to be an expert on this issue – it’s just my experience and my attempt at justifying how much it bothers me. I can also, obviously, not pretend to have any idea of the desperate state so many South Africans live in. So don’t sharpen your pitchfork and light your torch. I don’t intend to run for parliament. Just another Joburger who gets pissy.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Discovering I'm a Screamer



Waking up at 4.30am is always going to be a challenge. Whether it's the actual waking up or the delayed exhaustion that kills you depends on your own niggles, i suppose. I am victim of the latter. Been waking up like a hot-gang over-excited rooster. But come 11am slash 12pm slash 1pm, I'm a goner. (haha, thought that read: boner, for a sec.) This is problematic if you're an all day worker. It's even more problematic, I believe, if you have to handle heavy-machinery. Ya. Most days I'm driving back on the highway during my slump. And dozing off at the wheel is not recommended, comrades. Not recommended at all. But I do get holy-fuck-fuckered tired. Listening to the radio really loudly doesn't work. Neither does singing. I just fade into the backup. I tried something yesterday, however, that works a treat, albeit temporarily.

What could such a solution be?! What stroke of genius?! Is it thumping your noggin with a very large, half-full water bottle? No, no, silly rabbit. Could it be opening the windows to create a virtual tornado in your car? You know - blowing your face off and your ears in? No. No. What about plucking arbitrary hairs from your arm, that will induce owee-howling pain? Nyet. (Bugger knows how to spell it. I care.)

I just YELL really loudly. With the aforementioned windows open, radio on full volume and water bottle on standby. But just "HAAAWROAROAOOWOAAAAAAHLAAAL!!!!!" It kaks my head into the conscious. Then after about twenty seconds it wears off. So I have to do it again. "BOOOALALALALALALALALAYADDA _RAAAAAAAAAAAAAPOOO!" Then there's usually a bit of a backup in traffic which for some reason also brings me out of my driving coma. Balls. It sucks saggy crack sack. (Earlier tweet of mine to be credited here.)

But YAY for a temp solution. If you have anything better let me know. You should not include energy drinks here. I can't afford (in all senses of the word) five Red Bulls a week, as yummy as they may be. Nor those horrid Monster things. And I hate Play.

Onward-HO! (haha...aahaa...hahahahahaaa.)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Awesomery



I hate it when I see old friends who are still awesome and fun and as wonderful as they’ve always been. I hate it, because I cannot for the life of me understand why I haven’t made more of an effort to see them. It means I’ve missed a lot too.

I should tell you, I was very lucky in high school – I had THEE best group of friends any recluse could dream up. An intelligent, strong and still girly group of girls, and a cool, fun and gentlemanly group of guys. There are obviously all the high school niggles thrown in there, but as people they were always amazing. And they still are. I know folks who had to deal with horrible bitches at school, or not really clicking with their peeps. It’s fine, ‘cause it’s gets you through it and then you can just quietly distance yourself. I know, unequivocally, that the people who I was close to in high school are still some of the most phenomenal people I know. Who I get along with like a house on fire. I haven’t seen a lot of them since we all went to our different Universities, and now new cities and new jobs. But when I see them now it’s like it hasn’t been a day. Which is a consolation. It’s a relief to know the lost time was more like a memory-lapse.

My Pretoria Pros and Cons list just got another positive tick. Happy Kimmeh!

Extremely hilarious (and offensive to some) joke

"I feel sorry for the McCanns. Maddy being The Stig was their last hope."

(Courtesy of Mr. Rob Forbes via twitter @RobForbesdj)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Eat, Pray, GET BENT.



There’s a lot of pointless shit in the world. And it exists because people buy into it. Or physically buy it. There’s a specific category of pointless shit that I’m sure makes millions. A lot of people think they need it, and they drink it up like the fountain of youth and knowledge. Yes, we’re entering self-help book territory. That area in the bookshop people like to pretend they’re not looking at. Pfft.

I despise self-help more than most people hate brussel sprouts. (I like brussel sprouts.) They are filled with brainwashing, sycophantic bullshit. Or brainwashing scolding techniques (and brussel sprouts aren’t.) They’ve fed into the idea that people need to fix aaaalll the shit they think is wrong in their lives, and that the answers to all those problems lie within the two hundred pages of drivel some shrink decided would change their lives. A bloody monkey could write that shit and you’d nod your head in agreement. (I have tested this theory on a friend. She said her shrink was a twat. I guessed what he’d said about her issues. Spot on. And I mean – verbatim.)

What’s worse than self-help books? This growing idea that self-help books are good movie material. As if self-help crap wasn’t bad enough. That shit should be burned. Like whichever Caesar burnt all pagan scripture. It is the debbil! All five of your copies of “I’m really insecure, make me feel better” are muddling up your brain and turning you into a potential patient at TARA. Go see a real shrink (as in PSYCHIATRIST) if you really need help. Jesus.

But re-scripting this stuff and turning it into a motion picture? The world has gone crazy people. It started with “He’s just not that into you”, which admittedly, was a cute movie. But I will categorically state that it was only cute because of its fab cast. The characters are a pathetic bunch of arseholes. And it’s the kind of book/movie that conveys the message that life’s not complete ‘til you find that someone special. And even though all the girls learn that ‘he’s just not that into you’, every single one of them has a man at the end of the flick. Oh, and don’t ask me how alike the book and movie are – I have no fucking idea.



Now, if I say the cast saved “He’s just not that into you”, this next one should be a bit of a conundrum. “Eat, Pray, Love” is the next sonofabitch. Their first conniving trick was to pay Julia Roberts mucho dinero to star in it. Hmmm. I loves me some Gggulia.



I have no issues with urging people to eat. Food is great. Chow down. Praying is another individual exercise a lot of people need to do so, each to their own. Love is also a relative term that is very different to various people. And what is that part anyway? “Love.” Gee okay! Unrequited still okay? “LOVE EVERYODY! LOVE IS ANSWER!” Crikey I’m waiting for bell-bottoms and flower-power to make a come-back. (Not that I mind. I quite dig hippie hairstyles.) Bottom line here – if it wasn’t such a self-righteous bunch of crap, I might respect it for what it is: a way to help people. But it’s not. It’s just another sad person who took measures to change her life, and decided the world needed to know how she did it, and they should all do it too or they’ll never be as happy as her. And what does that really do? To someone who doesn’t know better, it makes them feel shit about their lives. Even if they appear on Oprah, tears in their eyes, sobbing, with book in hand, about how much it saved them. And in the movie case, they probably walked into the cinema perfectly content with life. Again – never read the book. I never will. Don’t ask me to.


(I love Gggulia)

Self-help movies should only be available on the internet, or through Verimark ads. I wont crouch in on certain peoples’ needs to validate their existence or ‘polish’ up their job being a human being. Well, at least no more than I have. But bringing self-help into the cinema isn’t a simple matter of: “well, if you don’t wanna watch it, don’t buy a ticket!” It means that millions of people are still looking for ‘the answers to life’. ‘What’s the secret to living “right”?’ My issue with it is, that after all this time, do we still feel the need to be living in a way that gets all round approval? People don’t need to know your every action and movement. And if they do, and they find it odd… so what? Is everyone worried they’re going to be filmed on reality TV and have their nuances displayed to the world? Probably, the point is the world is fucked for why we’re here in the first place. Living life is complicated. This whole industry is probably tied up by all sorts of messed up reasons. Over-exposure to how other people live, past subjugations and inequalities and all sorts of societal exposures influence the way people feel about their lives. My point ultimately, is that unless the issues in your life are debilitating, it doesn’t really need fixing. Everyone’s dated an arsehole or five. Everyone has family issues. Everyone secretly likes porn. People have to ‘start over again’ every morning. Your shit is your shit, and you have people in your life to bang it out with. Some generalised guide of how to deal with your crap is not going to be the thing that helps you grow or makes you a better person. You probably already are ‘cause you went through it in the first place.

But mostly, I don’t need more crappy content added to the disappointing cinematic year, mkay? Even if it is Ggulia.


(This is Scolding Puppy. He's looking at you that way to let you know I'm serious. But he's a puppy, so you can't be mad at me. I'm fucking smart eh?)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh Poppy-Cock!



Mkay so I might have gone a bit overboard on the whole “not wanting to sit in traffic” sphiel. I’m at work already. It’s 6.30am. I don’t start work ‘til 9am. To be fair, it did take me all of forty minutes to get from Pretoria to Jo’burg, as opposed to the mandatory two hours most people do. But now I have three hours to kill.

Not to worry – I have (from the start had) full intentions of going to gym before my shift starts. I was kind of hoping Auckland Park would have a Virgin Active conveniently placed on the top floor of the SABC. Alas, I will apparently have to try out the gym at “Old Eds”. This “Old Eds” place eludes me. But I shall conquer it. I’m driving there after work to ch-ch-check it out. And if I can’t join tomorrow morning I’m leaving at 5.45am and dealing with the consequences.

I’m all bright and sparky now – oooh yes the morning highs of waking up at cock’s fart are all grand and dandy now. But wait ‘til 10am. Imma crash like a roller with a broken heart. (If you don’t get this – look up “ornithology”.) It always happens when I have to fill in for Leigh-Ass Hole. All fuckin’ chipper ’til my body realises, “sweet Mary Poppins’ crumpets! I’ve been awake for six whole bollocky-dashed hours! My-my, is it nap time already? Toodle-loo!” You see, what it is, is that that’s when my afternoon slump technically starts. At 10am. FML right?

Needless to say, this whole Pretoria commute should make life interesting. There are the people who seem to think that even though there are three solid lanes of, albeit moving, traffic, they can still manage to weave their ways to Jozi quicker than the rest of us. They never win, by the way. Just in case you’re one of them. (Buttface.) Then there’s the constant joy of the UNBELIEVABLY SHIT condition of the highway. Which they want to charge us R60 a day to use next year. Ya. Try get that money out of me, govvament, I dare ya. Unless driving on that highway is the auto equivalent of foot skiing on baby oil, I’m not paying. And the bonus to all this great tarring they have going at the moment, is that you are bound to pop a tyre at some point. (Again, I realise we’re all supposed to be driving at about 80km/h, but NO one does, and that’ll turn that forty minute trip into at least an hour. And frankly…. Get bent.) So like I said, interesting. (I’ve decided to leave out the obvious rant about petrol costs and fuel economy. That goes without saying, an frankly, it’s unavoidable and something I’ve decided to deal with. End.)

Wish me luck! I’ll be sure to update you on any terribly interesting driving oddities. (‘Cause those are enthralling I tell you.)

(I’ve grown fond of parentheses. I have far too many branched thoughts for it not to get confusing without brackets. Bless brackets. I loves them. Commas can be problematic. Stop.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Today's Grammar Tip




Pathetic (noun) - when an individual has reached a point of such desperation and uselessness, and is found to encapsulate all that is the word 'pathetic', such an individual removes the need for the adjective, creating an object form. Eg: "She is a pathetic."

(Please note: this might not fly in matric English papers. AVOID! AVOID! It will, however, be very useful when needing to refer to an individual fitting the abovementioned criteria.)

The Groot Trek



For those who have moved, this post will be unsurprising. Dull even, out of sheer predictability and familiarity. I’ve moved a few of times, and there’s one thing that always surprises me: you always forget how kak it is. Not just the packing and stacking and taping and moving of boxes. Not even the heavy loads. It’s the unsettling nature of it all. You call a place home for lets say, two years, then suddenly within a week you have to pack it all up and try nomadically plant yourself in a new location. And call that place “home”. If only it were that simple.

Of course the first thing that’s (obviously) drastically different is the actual house. You were used to your layout: TV there, couch there, dining room wherever, wine boxes here – there’s a general setup to it that your body grows accustomed to, and it’s programmed to expect certain objects to be in certain places after a while. I won’t even go into the nightmare that is getting used to the kitchen. It takes a really long time to feel completely comfortable in a new place, and to completely relax there. Particularly when you have all sorts of plans for the joint. (For example, I already have: curtains, TV cabinet, TV, bookshelf, hooks in kitchen, redo floors, paint peeled wall, retile bathroom, hang up mirrors and pictures – it doesn’t end any time soon.)

The thing I find most perturbing, however, is the locale. The houses around you, the streets, the kind of traffic in those streets, and above all – the shops. I was very happy with my Woolworths – quite literally around the corner from me. Along with the best Chinese and Indian take-out joints I’d been to, The Throbbing Strawberry being my ‘local’, and the very good Pick ‘n Pay across the street. Not to mention optometrist, pharmacy, post office, biltong shop (beeeeeest biltong), gift shop, carwash and garage AND even more food places. I think it’s safe to say that shopping centre (300m away from my house) is probably one of the best ‘stocked’ centres around. And I’ll settle with the idea that they’re difficult to find. But daayyyum was that convenient. I now have a tiny Spar, two very nice restaurants, a couturier (?), a pharmacy, and a convenient store Woolies at the garage. BALLS! And you get used to the layouts, you know? “Oh, I need mafasha-mafash, I’ll also get some yadda-yadda while I’m there, and pick up the shmoo-shmoooo-shmoo.” No more of that, my friends. I now have to do my general shopping… IN A MALL. I know – just put me in a canoe and sail me out to sea.



I have to say, other than the obvious inconveniences, moving is great. For your mental state that is. After you’ve recovered some sense of sanity, you notice the change is very refreshing. It’s exciting, uprooting and stressful. And the one big change (i.e. relocating) is often the first of many. Restructuring the foundation of your life, being the place you call home, can make you see the need for change in so many other areas. Extra work you’ve been putting off, throwing out things you weren’t sure about, buying furniture you weren’t sure you needed, ending relationships, starting them, revitalizing lost friendships – all sorts of great things come from having to get off your arse. (If I’m kidding myself, do me a favour and leave me in sweet delusion – it’s obviously a coping mechanism I’ve created. I think it’s a good one anyway.) Olé! And here we go…

(Needless to say, the move is the reason the blog’s been dead for a good week. I’ll be back to mixed tape Mondays and what-not immediately!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hollywood Ho-Down

I think it would be an understatement to say that there are some insanely creative and talented people in the world. They’re all over the place just dying for their work and imagination to be put to good use. Why is it then, that Hollywood has entered an age (yes – age) of remakes? And shitty remakes I’ll add. Both in that the remakes are crap, and in most cases, so were the originals. And what’s worse than redoing a shitty movie, is trying to reinvent a classic – it’s sacrilege.

Where to begin…

There are those that are pointless and transparently about box office cash:



Kids loved the original Karate Kid back in the ‘80s. And they still loved it in the ‘90s. I wouldn’t classify it as a cult classic, but it was massively dug. The two sequels, not so much. But Mr. Miyagi is a legend. “Wax on, wax off” will forever be famous, for no other reason than he said it.




And the chap who played Mr. Miyagi, Pat Morita, was also the latter day Jackie Chan, in that he was in every kiddie Kung Fu movie made. Difference being that at least Jackie Chan is “Jackie Chan” and unfortunately Pat is “Mr. Miyagi”. The original was also nominated for an Oscar. Why? BECAUSE IT WAS AN ORIGINAL!




Even though the 2010 version has an authentic looking Chan and Big Will’s kid in it, it ain’t gettin’ no Oscars. I understand that making a wannabe inspirational karate movie and NOT calling it The Karate Kid would be head-slappingly lame. And there is a gap in movie land for tweens.



They’re not really into the teen romance flicks yet, and want to be too cool to watch animations. But I still find it hard to believe that they can’t think of anything else. I’ll reserve harsher judgement on this ‘til I’ve actually seen the movie.

There are those that have potential:


Arthur’s another one they’re busy redoing. And the tricksy little hobbitses have clinched Russel Brand’s skinny white arse. And Jennifer Gardner’s. I don’t see much Liza Minnelli resemblance there, which is possibly a good thing. In case you don’t know, Arthur was about a bratty heir who does what he likes. Usually resulting in drunken acts of inhibition. His problem is, he can only inherit his fortune if he marries a picked out prim lass. Only to be exacerbated by his meeting a very interesting woman who has no money to speak of. And it was an Oscar WINNER.



I suspect that (in line with modern day comedy, and what we consider to be risqué and funny now) this one will be funny and enjoyable. The movie’s just old enough for a good wad of the movie-going population to view it as an original, and let’s face it: Russel Brand’s hilarious.

And there are those that have been talked about, but not confirmed:
The buzz on some possible remakes is also worrying. Forgive the inaccuracy here, but because these are all based on rumours (highly plausible rumours, but rumours nonetheless) I’m not entirely sure if they’re complete remakes, prequels or sequels. I’ve also grouped them according to genres, and reasons why they should/shouldn’t be redone.

Slapstick comedy from the ‘80s or ‘90s

Ghostbusters



Another classic that was awesome in it’s time – there’s no reason to redo it. The slapstick humour and gooey gruesomeness was unique to the time, and they’ll no doubt try to replicate that. And fail.

Police Academy



A stupid idea for the same reasons as the Ghostbusters remake. Plus they made too many sequels for this to be salvageable.

Classic, cheesy old school

Honey I shrunk the kids



Whyyyyy?! Why oh why oh whyyyy?!

Footloose



Musicals are definitely back and are box office gold. But there are hundreds of them to choose from. Leave ‘80s classics as they are. And Kevin Bacon. Leave him out of it too.

Teen Wolf



This is Michael J Fox magic you’re dealing with here. Not to mention the plethora of werewolves on our TV and movie screens right now. Considering the current climate, this might actually do well if it’s updated properly.

The Neverending Story



I loved this movie when I was younger. And I wouldn’t mind seeing an updated version of this at all, to be honest. No issues here.

Superhero slash Comic Book Movies and Action

Daredevil



Hmmm ya, ‘cause the first one was so awesome. As was the Elektra spinoff. Prime example of redoing a shit movie. It’s kak because it’s kak – don’t kid yourself. It had nothing to do with Ben Affleck.

The Crow



This is not to be fucked with. The Crow IS a cult classic and Brandon Lee died making this bitch. It should be watched the way the people who created it intended. I will be shocked if this movie doesn’t tank. Blasphemy!

Spiderman, Spy Kids, Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Comic book remakes will never cease to exist, so I shall cease to complain. And just make sure I never have to watch them. ‘Sept for Iron Man. Iron Man is awesome.

Tomb Raider



If it’s not Angie – and it isn’t going to be – I’m not interested. She’s the only reason the first batch of films worked. Her and Daniel Craig and Gerard Butler, that is.

Robocop

No.

Stuff that’s just way to young to be remade

American Pie



Yes, they don’t think they’ve quite milked the life out of this one yet. Apparently it might even include old-timers Jason Biggs and Sean William Scott. If they’re trying to redo this for the new generation – just show them the goddamn original! It’s not that old.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith



I know what you’re thinking: “What? This was released like two days ago?” But apparently there’s been talk of doing a younger Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Ya, ‘cause a couple of ingénues are going to be more appealing than Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Pfft.

A Bourne prequel

If they do this, there will allegedly be no Damon and no Paul Greengrass. Fail waiting to happen? Eee-yes.

Horrors, Thrillers

Alien



As if anyone’s as hot as Sigourney Weaver. Seriously.

The Birds



Remaking Hitchcock is seldom a good idea. Mostly ‘cause he was a crazy mofo whose insanity made things uniquely his. It’s like rewriting Shakespeare in modern day English – the imagery’s just not there!

Pet Cemetery



This was very fucking weird and creepy the first time. But then again, the horror movie circuit’s been as creative as a peanut butter sandwich for the past decade, so do what you must…

Planet of the Apes



Hmm ya cause the first remake you did a few years ago went oh so well.

Jurassic Park



Erm, I thought we’d covered all the bases here?

Gremlins



A remake could definitely benefit from the potentially amazing CGI. But that would most likely be where the novelty ends. Just leave it alone ne? That cute little dude cannot possibly be any cuter. You’re fighting a losing battle mkay?

The point is, any remake of something that was phenomenal the first time around is going to be a watered down copy. And if you look at the above-mentioned flicks, they were award winners, box office hits or horror movies. And they were one of those three things because of their originality and creative flair. You’d be dumb to not know that any remake today is made for the sole purpose of profit. There is no respect or award winning to be earned there. I just wish the movie world could match its thirst for cash (via remakes) with an insatiable need for originality. How does the industry that brought us Inception, Avatar and Stranger Than Fiction not want more? Because we all know how much both Inception and Avatar made… Maybe it’s about cliques and good screenplays being rejected before they’re read. Maybe it’s money. If you really think about it, there aren’t a lot of movies that have come out this year that really stick. The state of creativity in the movie world is dismal. And I don’t know that it is just money… Whatever it is, let’s all hope its greed doesn’t destroy the art of cinema.

(Dun dun duuun – how serious an ending, right? Sheesh.)