Monday, December 31, 2012


"Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone the song is over, thought I'd something more to say"

(Time - Pink Floyd)

Appropriate for the end of a year.

G and I were sitting and musing on the passing of years, and the fact that there will (as usual) be the crop of new year binges across the country tonight. And we thought "so what is time, exactly?".

And of course greater minds than ours have examined the conundrum of time. Mathematicians have declared it to be the 4th dimension, following length, breadth and height, the familiar three. So while I sit here, hardly moving in 3 dimensions, I am speeding along in the 4th with all the rest of us. I shudder to conceptualise the other 7 or so dimensions that I'm reliably informed also exist.

So what will 2013 bring, and why do we want to especially welcome it with parties and lotsa booze and drugs and trance and all that crap? The easy answer to this double-barreled question is : 2013 will bring the same as 2012 and all the years before. Good things will happen, bad things will happen, people will be born and people will die. All of us will grow older. It's called "life" and it happens all the time.

And we welcome it with parties, because there are many clever people out there who know how to take advantage of many other people. And there are far more other people out there who are hell-bent on spending money in order to be convinced that they're having a good time. And they will - at least they think they will - on New Year's eve. They will drink and rock and roll and party and quite a few of them will kiss complete strangers in a fit of bonhomie in the "spirit of the season" and some may wind up having spontaneous sex either with a partner or a stranger; and many more of them will wake sometime on 1 January (or later) with a hell of a hangover and wonder what happened and why they did it (again) this year?

And the clever people will be more wealthy, and the masses will be poorer, but they will think they are happy, because they have been entertained. This is called "seeing the new year in". Consider it seen, and it's no different to the other 50 or so occasions (depending on how long you've been alive).

And when you drag yourself off the planet and you imagine yourself as a spaceman sitting far out in space, looking at the earth turning slowly, do you know time? You look at your watch and what do you see? It says 15H45, but it might as well say 03h03 or any other "time", because for everyone on the surface of the blue planet, it is every time and no time - all the time at every instant of the day. And while you hover in space for 1 million years or so, what do you see? You see the Earth spinning slowly and maybe the odd comet and orbiting moon and not much else. So what is the point of a watch?

And when you get back on earth, depending on where you land, your watch will either be "right" or "wrong", because time as we know it is a man-made local construct, useful only for ensuring you are at your next appointment "on time". It serves no other useful purpose in the greater scheme of things.

Consider the animals, or the early neanderthals. They saw the sun rise, and they lived their lives in the daylight. And when the sun dipped below the horizon, they made a fire if it was cold, they ate and they slept. The next day, the sun appeared again, and again. And at certain periods, it was warm, and at others it was cold. And those who were suitably prepared, kept warm or cool. And those that weren't, froze to death or died in the heat. This was called "survival of the fittest" and only the fittest survived. And so "time" passed, the only mark of its passing being the periods of warmer and cooler weather, and the fact that bodies become older and sagged more and were more frail. And sooner or later, some stopped breathing while others started. The passage of life.

Time. We all have a share of it, some more than others. And the only discretion you have, is deciding what you're going to do with your allocated portion of it.

Remember the last line of the song? "The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say". Say it, and do so wisely while you still have time.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Pointless Politics of (Christmas) Partying

Oh wow. Are we glad we've given up on the mindless annual Christmas - thing. The months of worrying about where Christmas day celebrations will be this year and what to get so-and-so because tradition demands that we all scurry around like little lemmings with buying fever, maxing our credit in order to give out a bunch of doodads, most of which are unappreciated anyway. And if you visit the malls today, 24 December, you will find hordes of people pushing and bumping into each other, starting to look a little glazed and panicky because they are still trying to finish their Christmas shopping.

If you are one of the enlightened, you will by now know that the true meaning of Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with Christ (put Christ back into Christmas - yeah right. He was never there in the first place). And it also has nothing to do with a big fat dude called Santa Claus, who hails from Lapland and lives in a cave or somesuch. He also supposedly travels very fast - about 125000 homes per second in order to deliver all those goodies to every home in just one night. He must have permanent indigestion, eating 125000 mince pies and drinking a little over 93000 litres of beer per second. No wonder he's fat. He doesn't bother with the carrots and milk. Those go to the reindeer and down the plughole respectively. It's a time-management necessity.

It should be called Chris-myth.

But I digress.

So there we are, blinded by tradition, (un)happily mixing up a fat red and white Laplander with a skinny non-existent Palestinian who was (not) born in the middle of northern hemisphere winter or anytime else for that matter, and giving all our cash (and everybody else's cash on credit), to a bunch of mega conglomerates which control the retail market. And then we are paying our banks back at 15% the whole of next year, in what we are told is a "low inflation environment". Are we all out of our minds? I suggest we are. Most of us, at least.

So we stagger home triumphantly with our parcels which now have to be wrapped - a task that gets finished around 2am Christmas day. And while we are doing that we are multi-tasking the food in the oven which is determined to burn to a cinder everytime we take our eyes off it. Or (And) we are on the phone trying to iron out all the last minute little glitches, like the fact that Reg refuses to attend Xmas dinner because Mary will be there, or that Kate doesn't want anyone in her personal space trying to help, and doesn't really want to do too much herself either. Or that Sheila is whining (again) about the food I am making. If she doesn't like it, I urge her to stay at home and not grace us with her presence. What's that you say? It is her home - she's the hostess. Shit - why did I volunteer to prepare anything for the occasion? What about the fact that I'm totally out of freezer space? You can't get a greasy piglet into the fridge, and Jack Sprat and his noisy brat will be bringing 15 cases of beer and 300kg of meat for the braai. Shit - must still get charcoal and firelighters NOW - shops are closing in 15 minutes. HELP!

See what I mean?

And we have an ache in the pit of our stomach, from hoping that George will like the present we bought him this year (for a change), in contrast to last year's present which probably ended up in the unwanted returns queue last Dec 27th. And everyone wants bigger and more expensive. Last year I bought Keith a learjet. Now he wants a friggin' landing strip to put it down on, and didn't like it very much anyway. You see, he actually wanted a VTOL Harrier jumpjet so he could park it on his back lawn and not pay airport landing fees (he's a mean b@$tard, you see). So my humble CD that I'm giving him, is unwelcome and will be treated with active dislike and disdain. And don't get it into your head that "homemade" means anything significant to the majority of people. They just want stuff. And it better be good, expensive working stuff too. Don't give them any of your cost-saving cheap-assed home made shit. It doesn't mean a damn to them.

I forgot to mention. Everyone who is getting up everyone else's nose at this time of the year, are actually normally related to each other. They're family. Yep - you can choose your friends, but you're stuck with your family. Especially at Christmas time - the time we feel that for the sake of tradition, we just HAVE to be together.

G and I have a different view. We'd like to get together with our family whenever they want to get together with us - for no other reason that we like to be together. And if anyone in our family don't like to be with us at any other time of the year, why should they feel compelled to force a smile and do it specifically during a season which has no meaning? And when we see something we feel we'd like to give to someone in the family, we'll buy it and give it at that time. And they can too. Or not.

Christmas is indeed a special time for Children - may they continue to enjoy it, and be excited by all the fun and furore around the season of giving. And when they become adults, may they understand that because it is a season for the children, they should put away childish things and not continue to contribute to the blatant profiteering of commerce under the guise of romanticised fallacious tradition.

What are we doing tomorrow? Why, getting out of bed as normal. Around 11am I will have to get our bi-weekly irrigation water (it's the last water we'll get this season) and sometime around lunch, we'll probably fix a light salad and then watch a DVD, with some choccy for pudding, surrounded by our beloved furry and faithful companions. And sleep, like we usually do in the afternoon when we're on leave.

Are we jostling with neighbours or trying to keep a stiff upper lip in the family political party, hoping that everything we say will not be taken incorrectly, or gossiped about later? Bet your life we're not.

For us, Christmas time these days is as unstressed as most other days. And that's not going to change anytime soon.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy EOW

In accordance with the Ancient Mayans, (who weren't particularly successful in predicting their own demise), I would hereby like to wish you all


I'm not sure exactly at what time this will occur, and in retrospect I possibly shouldn't have paid today for a power supply to a computer which will (possibly) not be picked up tomorrow..... (!!)

However, I leave you to savour these thoughts from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, while you head for the closest bar (!)

" Ford", said Arthur, "would you please tell me what the hell is going on?"
"Drink up" said Ford "you've got three pints to get through"
"Three pints?" said Arthur, "at lunchtime?"
The man next to Ford grinned and nodded happily.
Ford ignored him. He said "time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
"Drink up"
"Why three pints all of a sudden?"
"Muscle relaxant - you'll need it"
Arthur stared into his beer
"Did I do anything wrong today," he said, "or has the world always been like this, and I've been too wrapped up in myself to notice?"
Ford gave up. It really wasn't worth bothering at the moment, what with the world being about to end. He just said :
"Drink up"
He added perfectly factually:
"The world's about to end".
Arthur gave the rest of the pub another wan smile. The rest of the pub frowned at him. 
"This must be Thursday" said Arthur to himself sinking low over his beer "I never could get the hang of Thursdays"

And with that, I leave you to go into the back garden, put my head between my legs and kiss my ass goodbye!! 

I sincerely hope the ancient Mayans are correct or the neighbours are going to wonder what the hell's going on....


Sunday, December 16, 2012

I am Amos

"I am Amos, hear me snore
See me stretched out on the floor
And I'm slow - too much to try and start again
'Cause I do just what I want
I'm a Peke and I can rant
No one's ever gonna change my royal reign

(You can hum this to Helen Reddy's "I am Woman")

We are learning that Pekes NEVER do anything unless they think it's their idea - and it needs to be a truly splendid idea too.

So when it's supper time, he throws his head from side to side :

"Oh look how cute I am - I might lick a plate
 look at this Peke, I smile and I speak
Now gimme that treat! "

I made the mistake tonight of trying to take him for a (short) walk down the road, because we thought the lad might be sleeping a tad too much. Y' know "healthy mind, healthy body" - a walk a day keeps the doctor away - kind of thing.

The problem of course is that Amos' idea of going for a walk, is rushing to the side of the car and screaming for me to open the door so he can get in. Thence to be propelled in great style round the village, courtesy of the internal combustion engine....

And (naturally), he's not trained to walk on a leash. Why would he be? Nobody's ever had the temerity to try and actually make him walk - until now. So - on goes the harness (which is a wonderful adjustable contraption, orange in colour, and it gets clipped to the leash - just so.

And Amos sprints to the car. And stops dead.

" OEAGHHAGHOAAWAWWAWWAWWAW" , he intones. At full volume. And of course, the neighbouring dogs (and the neighbourhood dogs) prick up their ears and take an interest, and start barking at full volume.

But worse is to come. Hell bent on destroying what's left of my tattered reputation, I bravely cluck him into venturing outside the front gate. Wherapon he sits his backside firmly on the ground and : "WORRAWORRAWORRAWAWWAWWAW" at full volume. The next door dogs are now getting their juices nicely up and working, and are starting to rev.

So in desperation, I scoop him up and escort him to the other side of the stop street, some 50m from the front gate. Hopefully he will now breathe in the scents of evening and condescend to trot along happily in the gathering gloom (I chose gloom to make it harder for anyone to identify me).

No such luck. He has been silent under my arm, but when I put him down, its "WORRAWORRAWORRAWAWWAWWAW" again, in a rich variety of choral tones. Freely translated, it means "Oy! come and look at this bastard maltreating me. He's taking me to the Tower of London, where he will put me on the rack and stick hot pokers up my ass". And of course, unless I take action immediately, the locals are sure to stick their heads out of the windows and wonder why the guy down the road is persecuting his pets. One can never be too careful in a small village.

So I cheerfully cluck and whistle, and - surprise!  - the lad charges ahead. "Oh good", I think, "we're going to have a little fun. I'm going to stroll in a leisurely manner and Amos is going to start to take in the heady evening scents and have a little fun". And of course, I'm wrong. He charges two metres and stops dead. Then ducks his head down and buries it in the dirt on the side of the road, apparently trying to emulate some sort of digging machine. And this process is repeated a couple of times.

(I would like to mention here that I worked quite hard this morning in very sweaty conditions to wash and groom the boy, so I'm not altogether enchanted with the prospect of our pet grinding the top of his skull through the substrate, en route to some nether region several hundred meters below ground level). But what the hell do I matter?

He then adds insult to injury by coughing up a lungful of foam, just to show me how little he is enjoying this walk. So I give up. I pick him up under one arm, and peace is restored immediately. As I walk the 100m or so back home, I have to endure the local youths "Hey mister, that's a nice dog". "Yes he is", I reply through gritted teeth.

"What sort of dog is he?"
"He's a Pekingese", I reply, trying not to burst into tears.

And the moment I open the gate, and slide the reluctant lad into the property, removing his harness and leash? He bounds forth, wagging furiously. Can't wait to get back inside.

Sigh. At least I now know. No pleasant walks with camera in hand, ambling along while Amos enjoys his surroundings. I'll have to go on my own.

He's getting as much exercise as he wants, in the back garden....

Thursday, December 13, 2012


It's a joke! I'm talking about Italian politics.

I never have the need to watch comedies anymore - I get my jollies from watching BBC, CNN and Sky. I never bother to watch (South African) SABC or ETV - that's just gossip for brain dead idiots. But some of the items on the overseas channels are laugh-a-minute stuff.

Take for example the latest Italian soap-opera. I'm talking about the off-again on-again Berlusconi power grab. If you've been watching, you will know that Italian PM not-so "super" Mario Monti is throwing in the towel after only a few months and has opened the way for the ever-hungry Silvio Berlusconi to march in and take over the top job (again)....(sigh)

And now tonight on CNN we are informed that Mr B is urging Super Mario to take back the big job again. Give me a major break. I can't wait for the next episode where we find out who shot JR. Sorry! That's been done already, hasn't it?  Well - perhaps we'll be shown the inside of husky Matilda Tritt's inner thighs where we find the address and phone number of a Belgian belly dancer.

Forget the fact that Uncle Silvio appears to be almost universally viewed as bad news, or (to be less indelicate) lacking in credibility. Forget the fact that (amongst other things) he has an outstanding court conviction for romping around au-naturel with an underage minor and doing all the things we might expect in such moments of passion.  And definitely forget all the other nonsense he has been involved with.

See : Naughty Silvio for just a taste.

He's 76 for god's sake. Superdick. And that's not short for detective.

The funniest thing though is that the Italians might just be prepared to have him back as the PM. I swear those Euros deserve everything they get. I mean - how thick do you have to be, to vote a paedophilic philandering felon (I like alliteration) back into office?

Just shows - you get as much shit as you are prepared to put up with. No wonder the world in general and the Eurozone in particular is a shambles.

Yesterday I felt sorry for Europeans. Tonight I'm not so sure. I was starting to get defensive about LaGarde's manouvering to keep the Italians in financial shackles for the term of their natural lives. Now I think if they're that stupid, they deserve everything they get.

Can't wait to hear about a new bailout for Italy in some not too distant CNN broadcast....

Friday, December 7, 2012

O Come Mall : The Faithful

Humour me - I'm feeling frivolous. And festive.

So - in the spirit of the nonexistent Jesus, god (small g) et al, I dedicate this to the Gods (big G - they make the world go round) of the 20th and 21st century commercialism, after whom this season is derived and the stupidity of those who persist in believing in ghosts and apparitions.

All together now - and don't waver on those high notes :

"Oh come mall the faithful
Edgars and the water bars
Woolworths and Checkers and the fine clothing stores
Come and be merry
Spend your cash entirely

O come and park in safety
O come and spend so hastily
O come and max your credit cards
Until the new year

Oh spend, throngs of housewives
Spend on sets of kitchen knives
Or spend it on furniture or home decor
Spend it - O spend it
We care not what you buy with it

But spend with cash or credit
O spend and don't regard the debt
You'll get 3 months to pay
And then you'll regret it !

All hail god of finance
We greet thee with our bank advance
Born of debt and overdraft
You name is adored!
Buy now pay later
The bills are soon appearing

But keep the money flowing
O keep the credit growing
And keep the masses from knowing
That the crunch is near!

Ah - men!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

You're the Next Indian

Remember Nelson Mandela?

Well - South Africa and the world cannot forget him - the man came out of 30 years of imprisonment to lead the country to freedom, and it's a debt nobody should forget too soon.

But this post is not about Nelson Mandela. It's about Leonard Peltier and the plight of the Native American Indian - a race which were systematically exterminated and victimised by the American governments of the day - right up to the present time.

And whereas Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for something he actually did, Leonard Peltier was imprisoned for something he didn't do, on the flimsiest contrived evidence - hearsay from an "eyewitness" who wasn't even on the scene at the time. But it was a convenient excuse to get one of the key leaders of the Native American Indian movement out of the way - and it's been 37 years already and there is no end in sight. If the US government gets its way, Peltier will die in jail. He's scheduled for release in 2040 - if he doesn't get paroled at his next hearing in 2024. Can the Americans bear it?

There we have them - a supreme example of the biggest hypocrites on Earth. The US government boycotting  South Africa for release of one of our leaders, while ignoring the shameful and wrongful imprisonment of one of their own. A man whom they fear, because they know he'll be a rallying point for the Native American peoples. A trial that was criticised by amnesty International in the 2010 report - the Peltier case has been placed on its unfair trials list.

A nation which proclaims their "freedom" while enslaving their people under repressive security legislation, enacted without due force of law to "protect them" from the scourge of "terrorism", following an act of terror carried out with the collusion and cooperation of the US government itself. I speak of 911.

THE LAND OF THE FREE! Oh yes? The land of the Nazi police state more like.

Hypocrites! The US who proclaim freedom, yet try to block the passage of recognition of the Palestinian people in the UN - people who like the Native American Indians were in their true homeland before the "settlers" arrived and settled them out of it. How did the Native American Indians go from being the majority to the tiniest minority?

South Africa imprisoned and exiled its majority. America killed theirs.

Listen to the words of this, and reflect. Wake up otherwise you will be the next Indian.