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Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

I’ve always been rather careful of romantic relationships. They’ve never worked out well for me, and I put it down to the fact that I’m a rather quirky person. My sense of humour is dark and twisted, my interests are far from mainstream and socially I don’t really fit in [not that I care]. But every now and then something comes along that makes all the potential hurt and heartbreak worth it.

I met you under a set of very random and serendipitous circumstances. Even though I was hesitant to chase after rainbows or to place labels on anything, I couldn’t argue with the way I felt. I really liked you, and I felt that the feeling was mutual. Watching a movie with you next to me was pure perfection, and falling asleep in your arms made me feel safer than I’ve ever felt before, as if all the bad shit in my life just simply wasn’t there any more. I really felt that we had something going.

But alas, not quite. I hoped things would work out, but after a brief mistake on my part it was radio silence. I’m a simple guy, and not one for games. Cryptic messages at irregular intervals confuse me. It seems a bit hypocritical of you to ask me not to mess you around, as now it feels you’re doing exactly that, but to me.

I now remember why I keep my emotions closed. I guess in future I’ll just have to trust less.

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How to solve two large problems

The world has a lot of problems. Srsly. There’s global warming. The crashing economy. The price of bread. Overpopulation. And stupid people. Lots and lots of very dumb people. There isn’t a lot we can do about the first few problems, but I have thought of a solution. It’s really simple, actually.

The earth has far too many people. Way, way too many. We may have enough resources to live for the time being, but it’s by no means sustainable. People are living longer than they used to, there are no more large-scale world wars, and it’s been a while since the black plague. It’s all leading to a horrible case of exponentialism, population growth wise. Personally, I blame Powerthirst.

400 Babies

400 Babies

Added to this, is the fact that people are having more babies than usual. Infant mortality rates are way, way lower, so this babies grow up, and produce more babies.

So here is my proposed solution: Only people of a certain level of intelligence may produce children. When you hit puberty, you have to go for this test, and should you fail, you are sterilised. Bang, problem solved. Think about it. Families that wish to continue their bloodline are going to push their kids to learn harder, become smarter and the intelligence of the world would rise, lest their kids fail the test and get the snip.

The only problem is off course the groos violation of human rights. Which is when I posted this idea on a forum, the discussion turned to the idea of a marriage licence, much like the licence you need to drive a car. This way, you are only allowed to become a parent if you are approved. Sure, accidents happen, but when I go to do my shopping and see a woman holding her child in her arms, whilst having a cigarette, I realise that a lot of people just shouldn’t be parents. At all. And it’s usually those least suited to parenthood that are having children.

However, the best solution to stupidity came off quote website, bash.org:

<xterm> The problem with America is stupidity. I’m not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don’t we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

‘Nuff said.

Disclaimer: This is not a article of hatred or discrimination. It is meant to get you thinking, if anything at all.

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There’s a lot of shitty ads on TV. Any student will tell you this. Students spend a lot of the time being abused by advertisements for the latest ringtones, and badly dubbed-over ads of the perfect family needing to clean their kitchen. Not to mention the horrible, horrible ads for the 2010 soccer world cup.

Don’t even get me started on 2010. Whilst I’m glad that the World Cup has largely sheltered SA from complete economic meltdown, by creating jobs where otherwise there would be none, it has done no favours to the advertising industry.

SA ads are dismally bad. But one company has done something right for a change. And for once, I don’t actually mind seeing the ads on TV. And would you even believe that it’s a petro-chemical company? It’s not even Shell, exploiting a Ferrari in their time honoured tradition. It’s BP.

BP: The best 2010 Sponsor thus far.

BP: The best 2010 Sponsor thus far.

If you haven’t seen the ads yet, it’s essentially soccer matches played between South African stereotypes. So we have Mama’s vs Cafe Owners, Taxi Drivers vs Sandton Poppies, and even Car Guards vs I can’t Remember. The ads are brilliant. Even the attention to detail in the stands, with the Car Guard supporter’s holding out banners reading ‘Don’t worry, I am here’, and the Taxi Driver banners shouting out ‘When days are dark friends are few.’ It’s simply genius.

Keep an eye out, SA advertising people. South Africans don’t mind laughing at ourselves. We’re really good at it. With a president like JZ, how couldn’t we be?

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Let me preface today’s post with an apology. Yesterday I promised you a post on America’s Next Top Model. This was the plan, but upon sauntering down to the living room to watch the bitches in 32″ widescreen glory, I was confronted by something horrible. A recap episode. The Horror. Apart from a little gem from ultra-bitch Jade, along the lines of “I’m made of humble, that’s just part of who I am,” there really wasn’t much more to say. One can only assume that the reason this week was a recap was because the girls were being taught something that couldn’t be shown on TV. Like the self-bikini wax, or how to work with credit cards and rolled up dollar bills. Both essential skills in the modelling industry, I might add.

So, in lieu of there being no 30 Rock or even Survivor either (damn Twenty20 World Cup! It’s not even real cricket.), I have found something to write about. Inspired by MusicLady’s post on Little Miss Miley, I have decided to come out. I have a slight obsession. With someone amazing. Her:

No Caption Required.

No Caption Required.

Now I must say, once I left the world of radio, I hardly ever listened it. But on closer inspection, Lady GaGa is set to take over the world.

There’s a lot to like. She dances, she sings, and refers to her VaJayJay as her ‘muffin.’ And she has amazing amount of talent. Now I’m the first to admit that she does nothing more than make pop music. Srsly. That’s all it is. But she’s going to take over the world. Trust me.

Why? Because not only can she sing, dance, play poker with her face and poke her muffin, but she’s smart as shit. She knows exactly how to play her market. Sure, she may have about 1 000 people working their asses off to work her own personal brand, but I have a sneaky feeling she’s got a lot to say about it as well. Unlike, Britney, Christina, or the rest, she seems a little less… uhm… ‘manufactured.’ And when she plays live, she actually plays instruments. And who doesn’t like a juicy, crunchy synth?

I got a hold of her CD recently, and to be quite honest, I’ve listened through it about 15 times now. Having now gotten over my initial shame, I can honestly say this Lady is the tits.

The only thing I don’t like about her, is that she’s so damn famous. Which results in people of below-average intelligence, hopped up on brandy and coke, loving her music. Which sucks. Because it means I have something in common with them now. Grrrr. I’m trying my best to look past it and indulge my guilty pleasure.

Finally, some decent pop music.

Finally, some decent pop music.

This lady is going to go far.

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Kommetjie Crisis

It was when I checked my Twitter account on Saturday morning that I first heard the news of the whales beached at Kommetjie. Not one, but almost 60 whales threw themselves onto Kommetjie beach in the early hours of Saturday morning. The story has been covered in extreme depth on local as well as national news, but there are two aspects of this event that left me a little worried.

Now this may be a little soon for me to comment, but I’m going to risk it. There was a massive uproar into the euthanasia of the whales late on Saturday afternoon. I don’t agree with the deliberate killing of anything, but the following facts must be considered. The whales had been out of the water since approximately 05h30 that morning. This is essentially ten hours out of their natural habitat. Whilst whales are mammals, their skeletal structure is not designed to support their weight, as they are normally suspended underwater. As soon as they find themselves lying on land, their immense weight starts to press down on their rib cages, and they suffer a slow, suffocating death. Believe me, euthanasia was without a doubt the safest option. To put it into perspective, imagine having a one-ton weight lying on your chest, and trying to stay alive.

The way in which it was done was not correct though. All unnecessary volunteers and media should have been removed from the beach. Allowing a child to see a whale getting shot in the head is not cool.

Pilot whales from a happier time

Pilot whales from a happier time

The second point which bugged me is as to the reasoning as to why these whales beached themselves. Now it has already been suggested that the whales were sick or diseased, but I want to offer my own conspiracy theory. Right around the corner from Kommetjie is Simon’s Town Naval Base. In an article in National Geographic, a link was found between military sonar and mass stranding of aquatic mammals. Essentially the sonar sends a pulse out underwater, which ‘scrambles’ the whale’s internal navigation system, which in turn steers them towards shallow water. Could this have been the reason? I think the fact that this hasn’t even been explored is a little negligent on the part of the authorities.

There is no doubt as to what happened at the weekend was a tragedy. And yes, Cape Town disaster management could definitely have done a better job of taking care of the situation. But I think a lot of anger is being directed at people who were trying to control a very uncontrollable situation.

Would you have wanted to work for disaster management on Saturday?

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Those close to me will tell you that I don’t anger easily. And when I do get angry, what the public see is usually nothing more than a mere grumble, grumble, swear-under-my-breath kind of vibe. Call me old-fashioned, but I subscribe to the school of bottling up your emotions. Or expressing them in blog.

But one of the few things that have worked me up in recent years, to the point of a shouting match with my housemate, was Proposition 8 in America. Proposition 8 was all over the news last year just before the November 8 General Election in America. Essentially what it came down to was whether or not the State of California would disallow gay marriage. That’s right. Gay Marriage was allowed, and Proposition 8 wanted to take that away.

raising_gay_flag

Allowing gay marriage in California was a big step for the gay rights movement. Proposition 8 was approved after the November General Election, after receiving a hairline 52% victory. This decision by voters was taken to the Supreme Court, who ruled yesterday. I don’t mind those that oppose gay marriage. People’s views differ. Hell, I don’t even have a view on the cause. But here’s where I thought it all went horribly wrong: The way the proponents of Proposition 8 went about it.

What got my blood boiling was the arguments of the those in support of this ridiculous cause. And I quote:

If Proposition 8 is defeated, the sanctity of marriage will be destroyed and its powerful influence on the betterment of society will be lost. The defeat of Prop. 8 would result in the very meaning of marriage being transformed into nothing more than a contractual relationship between adults. No longer will the interests of children and families even be a consideration. We will no longer celebrate marriage as a union of husband and wife, but rather a relationship between ‘Party A’ and ‘Party B.’ The marriage of a man and a woman has been at the heart of society since the beginning of time. It promotes the ideal opportunity for children to be raised by a mother and father in a family held together by the legal, communal and spiritual bonds of marriage. And while divorce and death too frequently disrupt the ideal, as a society we should put the best interests of children first, and that is traditional marriage. Voting No on Proposition 8 would destroy marriage as we know it and cause profound harm to society.

Now you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that this is blatantly and utterly discriminatory. Other arguments included the argument that same-sex couples raising children would be more likely to raise criminals and drug addicts. WTF? Not to mention the storm on facebook. Some of it is nothing more that vindictive hatred towards homosexuals. Imagine if there was a proposition that wanted marriage only to be recognised between a white man and a white woman. An over-simplified example, I know, but that’s essentially what it boils down to.

The Supreme Court in America today finalised Proposition 8, ruling 6-1 that gay marriage will no longer be recognised in the state of California. This is a slap in the face to equality and gay rights the world over.

I’ve never been happier to live in South Africa.

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While I do realise that this is nothing new to anyone, whilst eating breakfast this morning it struck me again – what has happened to the world of advertising? TV ads are never really good, but every now and then something different happens.

This different can take the form of an ad with a twist, something funny, something to warm the cockles of your heart, or even something that makes you go: “Heh?” As one of the media Writers at The Sunday Independent put it:

Advertising has a surprising number of unwritten rules and conventions for an industry that prides itself on its left-field, out-of-the-box, blue-sky thinking. Cars must be shown speeding round hairpin bends. Haircare commercials are apparently obliged to feature a dodgy science sequence and there seems to be some law which says that banks have to be youthful, honest and in touch.

So please excuse when I sat down to watch a film recently and was presented with a Gorilla playing drums. To sell chocolate.

The ad makes no sense, I couldn’t find the link between the Phil Collins and the Dairy Milk. So I jumped on the interwebs in search of  meaning. Some people need religion to find meaning. Luckily, I have Google.

But then I realised. That’s just it. The clever folks at Fallon London (the agency that gave us the drumming gorilla) doesn’t want there to be a link. It wants you to be confused by the ad. So that you talk about the ad when you’re sitting in the bar with your friends. It’s genius. Be confused, go WTF?, and have a chocolate. What’s 6 million times better is Wonderbra’s spoof of the ad, which replaced the tagline “A glass and a half full of joy,” with “Two cups full of joy.” Brilliant.

Is viral marketing the most effective method? Does it really sell you more things than the good old fashioned interruption-method? I’m not so sure. Yes, if what you have becomes viral, it certainly does spread faster, but I’m not sure that it’s remembered as long. I can still remember the David Kramer Volksiebus ads, Aquafreshing doing it all in one (mum), and whilst not always the obvious choice, every know and then I’ll say no to the coffee and rather have a Bar-One. Taglines people. That’s where it’s at. I can’t remember half the viral videos I’ve watched, mostly because the only effect they have (and to a certain degree this is desired) is that they make you go “Oh, that’s cool”, and then are instantly forgotten.

So what’s next for Cadbury? Well seeing as the gorilla ad was shot in 2007, two years ago for those who are mathematically impaired, I had a look at what has since been aired in the UK after the gorilla. It would seem that what we have to look forward to is something called “Cadbury Eyebrows” Brace yourself. The so-called rules of advertising are being re-written. Soon we’re going to see bald people advertising hair shampoo. Whilst playing the flute.

Mark my words.

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