Thursday, November 13, 2008

Watson - did we listen?

This is by no means a platform to defend Luke Watson. But I think we should look hard at the facts here. Let’s face it anything Watson does or has done since his ill-fated selection to the Jake White’s Springboks, in our eyes, will be negative. Nothing will make us love him and nothing will endear him to a nation who now believes he would actually throw up on a Springbok jersey.

So Watson? As a player at provincial and Super level he is a great fetcher and although in my opinion never passes the ball enough, he makes ground and is always willing to get in there and have a go. I could name several players from various teams that certainly don’t carry that attitude at Springbok level currently (just need to review the Wales game to see that). But let’s look at Springbok level – Watsons not Springbok. I agree with Jake White when he said that Watson comes with his limitations (and not just his Father). He is fairly predictable and perhaps at international level is unable to show the same flair that he occasionally carries when playing for the local sides back home. But he is a hard worker and as we all know he was voted Player of the year back in 2006. Just a shame that the following season was a far more lackluster.

But do ever look at Watson as player? Luke has made more press than anyone else in recent rugby history but none of it is for his prowess on the feild. As is so often the case in SA, it’s less about the sport than the politics behind it.

Do we HONESTLY believe that he wanted to throw up on the jersey? No. It’s a figure of speech to convey how he felt.

Should he of said it? Hell no. but it made a damn good story.

Is rugby run by a bunch of good old boys at the top (I am staying away from quoting Watson directly here…) who inevitably control the game? Who are we kidding? Of course it is! To be honest the same can be said for soccer in this country. Dutchman, Welshman or Chinamen, it’s big business and there will be those who want to get their hands on the cash and control it as tightly as they can – it’s a legacy sport and certain people feel they own it and won’t give that up for anything. The only thing he is guilty of in this case is attacking that stranglehold in public – however to get it out in the open where else do you do it?

Returning to my first point Watson is damned whatever he does – we will never love him because he attacked something we love and live by. That game we watch on a Saturday – get passionate about, scream at the ref for. However very few of us are involved behind the scenes. Very few of us know the truth and doubt we ever will. We just want to see a game being played and a team that wins. We don’t want to know about the dirt behind emblem or the fact that it’s run by an old boys club. We just want to see the side lift the trophy at the end of the day and anyone who distracts or detracts from that will be vilified and attacked – be it Watson or the Ref on the day.

I challenge anyone to look at their lives and their jobs and say that they are completely happy with the corporation that they work for. That there aren’t niggles in the system – stuff we would love to change and shout out about. Make no mistake rugby as a business is no different.

Watson sadly, in the eyes of the media, had no leg to stand on from the start. Whatever he said would get shouted down. We would find a reason to hate him even if he hadn’t offered us one on a silver platter. Largely the media’s fault and somewhat his fathers, he hasn’t chosen his battles well in the press – but I doubt that was ever his intention.

Isn’t it funny though, that when Herschelle Gibbs's is dropped from the side for breaking curfew or arrested for allegedly driving drunk, we just shake our head and say, “oh well that’s just Hersch, what do you expect from the bugger – what a character!”. But when it somebody we are trained to hate via the press, we immediately request nothing less than a roasting at the stake and nothing less ban from the sport. Had Watson been an anti-hero like Gibbs, Botham or Warne maybe we would have cut him slack and actually listened to what he was saying. Read between the lines as it were. He obviously had something to say.

At least it looked like he wanted to play, albeit he had an odd way of expressing it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Code Of Man and his Friend.

The "Buddy System" is critical but it comes with rules...

1: Under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.

2: It is OK for a man to cry ONLY under the following circumstances:
(a) When a heroic dog dies to save its master.
(b) The moment Angelina Jolie starts unbuttoning her blouse.
(c) After wrecking your boss's car.
(d) When she is using her teeth.

3: Any man who brings a camera to a stag night may be legally killed and
eaten by his friends.

4: If you've known a guy for more than 24 hours, his sister is off limits
forever unless you actually marry her.

5: Moaning about the brand of free beer in a buddy's fridge is forbidden.
However complain at will if the temperature is unsuitable.

6: No man shall ever be required to buy a birthday present for another man.
In fact, even remembering your buddy's birthday is strictly optional. At
that point, you must celebrate at a strip bar of the birthday boy's choice.

7: In the mini-bus, the strongest bladder determines pit stops, not the

8: When stumbling upon other guy watching a sporting event, you may ask the
score of the game in progress, but you may never ask who's playing.

9: You may fart in front of a woman only after you have brought her to
climax. If you trap her head under the covers for the purpose of flatulent
entertainment (commonly known as a Dutch oven), she's officially your

10: It is permissible to drink a fruity alcohol drink only when you're
sunning on a tropical beach ... and it's delivered by a topless model and
only when it's free.

11: Only in situations of moral and/or physical peril are you allowed to
kick another guy in the nuts.

12: Unless you're in prison, never fight naked.

13: Friends don't let friends wear Speedos. Ever. Issue closed.

14: If a man's fly is down, that's his problem, you didn't see anything.

15: Women who claim they 'love to watch sports' must be treated as spies
until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and the ability to drink as
much as the other sports watchers.

16: A man in the company of a hot, suggestively dressed woman must remain
sober enough to fight.

17: Never hesitate to reach for the last beer or the last slice of pizza,
but not both, that's just greedy.

21: Never allow a telephone conversation with a woman to go on longer than
you are able to have sex with her. Keep a stopwatch by the phone. Hang up if

22: The morning after you and a girl who was formerly 'just a friend' have
carnal, drunken monkey sex. The fact that you're feeling weird and guilty is
no reason for you not to nail each other again before the discussion occurs
about what a big mistake it was.

23: It is acceptable for you to drive her car. It is not acceptable for her
to drive yours.

24: Thou shall not buy a car in the colors of brown, pink, lime green,
orange or sky blue.

25: The girl who replies to the question 'What do you want for Christmas?'
with 'If you loved me, you'd know what I want!' gets an Xbox 360.
End of story.

26: There is no reason for guys to watch Ice Skating or Men's Gymnastics.

27: We've all heard about people having guts or balls. But do you really
know the difference between them? In an effort to keep you informed, the
definition of each is listed below:

'GUTS' is arriving home late after a night out with the guys, being
assaulted by your wife with a broom, and having the guts to say, 'are you
still cleaning or are you flying somewhere?'

'BALLS' is coming home late after a night out with the guys smelling of
perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your Wife squarely on
the ass and having the balls to say, 'You're next fatty!'

I hope this clears up any confusion,
The International Council of Man Laws.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

There is a reason why Communism failed. It required that you lied constantly.

and the results are in...

I am looking for one article, scrap of paper…maybe even a misheard quote where the ruling party says, “oh yes! We did make a mistake there..terribly sorry about that”. Instead all I hear is denialism. Of course we didn’t do that. Of course people are not leaving the party. Of course Mbeki will support the party in the upcoming elections. Naturally we did not deviate from the freedom charter.

Its endless. Surely a modern day party should realize that it is allowed to have faults. Make mistakes and own up to them. It’s all part of growing and learning. Instead of constantly denying wrong-doings, consistently sounding like communist spin-doctor’s from the 60’s and 70’s start owning up to some mistakes here and there.

Trust me when I say people will start liking you more. This constant rant and denial against a possible failing of anything in the party is getting to the point where I will not be surprised if we start blaming colonial rule, the UK and USA for the failing of service delivery of the catering at the next slap up dinner / get-together.

Can we all just grow up and move the hell on? The majority of South African citizens want to see action. Some want houses, some want better safety and some just want to see their elected officials grow the f*ck up and start doing their jobs instead of finding every excuse to blame someone / something else for their job not been done.

If you are sitting at lunch, racking up huge bills at the tax payers expense while your portfolio is to deliver a better life to the people you serve and you can’t understand why the populous are asking questions of you, then you sir / madam are as bad as the last government.

Denial and blame are the weapons of old politics and the downfall of old rule. We as a country are better than that.

It’s not about race, getting one over on your perceived enemies or seeing how much wealth you can grab before your time in the sun is over.
It’s about making a difference – the difference that so many people (including yourselves) fought and died for.

Now grow up and f*cking start working.

Monday, October 27, 2008

NCA - turned it wasn't so bad for us...

Sunset on banking vultures...

NCA (National Credit Act). We moaned like drains when it came in but man are we happy about it now.

The credit party that the banks were having had to end at some point – if I think back to this time last year, I was seemingly offered every way of taking credit, I and they could think of. New car? Hundreds of thousands available via my bond…why not take a vacation and charge it? If they thought they could appeal to your sense of “easy come-easy go” they pounced on it. I actually turned down a credit card with 100k limit…what the hell? I could have nipped out and picked up a car with one easy swipe – no questions asked!

Let’s be honest, the banks probably knew quite well that by the time the NCA came into full force the party would be winding up. They went into full “sell, sell, sell!” mode to off load as much credit as they could before, legally, they would hamstrung to do so. They flooded the market with easy schemes and easy dreams. What they probably didn’t see was the Credit Tsunami that came via the States and Europe. Make as much as you can now out of those who we won’t be able to hit later and we will be smiling for a longtime, they perhaps thought.

Mmm…then came a worldwide market meltdown and here we sit. They extended cash at an unbelievable rate and now those who took it are now under huge pressure to pay it back – and it’s only going to get worse. What happened to the banks being the ones you could trust with your money. Places of safety for your hard earned cash? They rip us off, give advice that financially suits them and charge you for every move you make. Sadly there is little choice but to keep your money in the bank but it irks me to know that while it is sitting there, they are finding ways to erode it for me. If you stuck R1000 in the bank right now and left it for a year, I am damn certain that despite any interest added you would be a few Rand down by the end of 12 months. Charges for having an account…charges for adding money, charges for internet access to statements, atm charges…the list is practically endless.

The NCA perhaps came in a little late but I think saved us more than we know. Had the banks not been reigned in we could still be in the midst of there “get out of jail free” mentality (free at x amount of interest over x amount of years – no questions asked).

While it makes it harder to access cash at the same time it is a built-in protection scheme that saves us from ourselves.

I actually hope the banks suffer – we have one of the highest charges for banking in the world, a monopoly of 4 institutions and rip-off mentality that exists throughout the entire industry. Banks should be making money for you and I by investing that cash properly. Not building on profit by charging us to use our money.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hansie Whinehouse

"Amy goes for Hansie's tried and tested reasoning. Excepted I believed Hansie"

Who would have thought it – Amy Crackhouse and Hansie Cronje have far more in common than I first thought.

Both were obviously very talented people; I deliberately use the past tense here as I think Amy has shown nothing of late that shows there is any talent remaining in her skeletal frame. And both made a lot of money from their chosen professions. But the single greatest link that binds these two together is that Amy is now claiming that “the devil makes her do it” too!

I have completley lost respect for this women. Bleeding heart liberals may now start throwing eggs at me and say that I have no sympathy and to be honest they would be right. I have zero sympathy for her. For instance, as seen in the press today, while attempting to lay tracks for her next album…

“Amy, 25, only managed to play a repetitive tune using two notes on her £3 000 ($5 279) guitar and eventually became so frustrated she smashed up the instrument and began screeching that Satan was giving her drugs. “

Tell me how one should be sympathetic to a person that continuously abuses drugs and fails to keep concert commitments? Has screaming matches with her fans in the streets and moans that the devil is her dealer?

She had it all at her feet. Huge success, an adoring public and parents that obviously care for her and only want the best. And how does this little skinny-assed excuse for a bee-hive repay her folks and fans? By continuing to act out like a 2 year old with a used syringe and dealer on speed dial.

Her excuse that the devil made her do it is so poor it is frightening. There are plenty of pop stars out there that manage to live a great life, be successful and handle themselves in public without too much of a problem. This attention seeking brat however believes appearing on stage and ranting on about her incarcerated “husband” is the reason people paid good money to see her.

Sadly she has become more of a sideshow at the funfair than the decent singer and entertainer she once set out to be. I wrote a similar article on Britney last year when she was at her worst. She has made a comeback second to none and it’s great to see. But there is a difference here. We expected Britney to return – it was really just a matter of when. I am very afraid to say that with Whinehouse I see very little chance of that happening.

While I believed Hansie and understood where he was coming from, I am sad to say I don’t believe Whinehouse. She still believes it is everybody else’s problem and carries a woe-is-me attitude. It’s not everybody else’s problem though is it.

It’s yours and you need to see that.

Wags, Swags and SA soccer

Smash a Bently and stumble around drunk for crying out loud!

England coach Fabio Capello recently banned the wags entourage from travelling with the players to games abroad. His reasoning was that players were been distracted by the circus that tends to accompany the likes of Posh, Cole and the rest.

I am not sure why but thankfully we seem to escape the WAGS scenario with Bafana Bafana and other sports here. Yes their wives and girlfriends travel with the team I am sure. But the media hype that surrounds the comings and goings of UK players and their shopaholic-swipe happy other halves, seems to have largely escaped the press clippings in SA when it comes to our own.

Maybe it’s because (a) Bafana have not won anything significant for a while or (b) we just don’t care too much for the circus.

Let’s analyze the two.

Firstly by comparison the England Team has won nothing of late either worth texting home about either. Their trophy cabinet currently looks like a Zimbabwe Pick ‘n Pay, so it cannot be the lack of silverware that lets the SWags (South African Wags) fly below the radar here at home. Although many don’t realize, SA soccer stars in top teams make a pretty penny and are not shy about showing it off. Remember the majority of SA’s finest are not from privileged backgrounds and very often remain living in their communities, where they are quite rightly unadulterated heroes.

Given that you are getting anywhere from 25k through to 100k a month plus bonuses, you are suddenly thrust into the world of cash, hangers-on and wanting to have some fun. So where are the pics of our guys stumbling out of clubs? Trashing a Bentley or two and then throwing a punch at a pap?

I will tell you. They don’t exist. SA’s culture of paparazzi and celebrity adoration and stalking is practically non-existent. We are far more concerned with Aaron Mokoena’s (when home) form, than we are his girlfriend/wife’s shopping habits. SA cricketers are dating or married to some of the most sexiest women alive but we rarely concern ourselves with their fashion sense and hair-do’s.

SA is a nation that just does not do local celebrity, sport or otherwise. Why is it when we see Posh and Becks in Heat we drool and ah, but when we see Lee Anne Liebenberg shopping at LV we mock? Both pictures were more than likely planted by publicists. Both shots were there to push the celeb status of the person and managed very carefully.

I have to go with (B). We just don’t care for the local circus. It’s the same reason we tend to support glory clubs in the UK – the reason Real, Man United and Chelsea have some of the most lucrative merchandise businesses in the world. We look beyond our borders for entertainment and gloss – don’t get me wrong. We support our teams to the death here but we aren’t interested in the side shows.

It would seem that it’s a good thing for SA. International gloss and gossip is fine but when it comes too actually what happens on the pitch we are not blinded by the flashbulbs.

Now if we could just start winning we would have an unbeatable pres clipping.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Ferns up against the Roses...the Garden of Rugby.

The All Blacks first look at options for a new logo...

I am beginning to think that maybe just getting rid of the Springbok emblem is the way to go. Defeatist? I am not so sure.

Like many things that involve politics, you can argue as much as you want with the system but ultimately “the system” will get its way. When the “system” introduces an idea into the public space, “the system” has generally already made up its mind. Read, “Let’s just talk about the Scorpions…”, “Perhaps Zuma would make a better President…” and “May I suggest honorable members that we pretend AIDS does not exist…oh look a potato, that will help…”.

At the heart of the matter the Springboks will always be the Springboks. The Kiwis play with a leaf emblem (you thought the Protea was a touch feminine?), yet we never hear Bladen exalting the Tries of the Silver Ferns! We rarely here cries of “go the Red Roses” at Twickenham and I sincerely doubt we will here “Go Proteas Go!” The Boks will always be the Boks regardless of what they wear. As Naas Botha pointed out – he never played for the jersey, he played for his country. Just as the national soccer side will forever be Bafana Bafana, so will our Rugby side be, colloquially, the Springbok.

This is not an article that pushes to end the springbok emblem but rather a suggestion. If the powers at be want it gone, it will pretty much happen. We have learnt this. Idiotic suggestions that Bafana Bafana should then carry at least 8 white members in its side, shows ignorance. Whites are a minority in this country – a just important part of the population as any other but still a minority. Cries of “We made this place what it is” also should fall on deaf ears and rightly so. Look what we made and look at what we did…just look.

Most whites stand around and tut-tut at the Springbok emblem being challenged. For years along with many other team sports in SA, whites were the only ones allowed to play. Damn right there will be people a little aggrieved.

Objectively the commercial brand of the Springbok does carry weight – but only because we have a winning team with 2 World Cups under their belts. Trust me , were we a side that lost continuously, it wouldn’t matter what the side was called. Commercially it would be a non-entity. No disrespect to soccer but let’s be honest, when you lose game after game, who cares what you’re called…we don’t even want to know you.

We have a strong player base of all colors in this country – just look at Craven week and our under-21 teams. Then ask yourself where these players go? Why do we see younger brothers of older players coming up through the ranks continuously. Yes they are damn good but they also know people, coaches, mangers and those in administration. Like any business it’s not what you know…

There is a very strong argument for players been lost in the system when they do not have the backing, the ear or the family footing within what is generally regarded as an old boys club in Rugby.

I am not saying that the system is or isn’t built on nepotism and protectionism. I am just saying that we need to look objectively at the facts and remove as much of the emotion as possible from both sides – who cares what Danie Craven said – he is not running things anymore and with al ldue respect in this case he was wrong. Perhaps in the next World Cup it will see the Red Roses up against the Silver Ferns in the semis…the Protea’s up against whatever the Wallabies national flora is, but if we are there and we are winning this argument will be long forgotten.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cant believe I am saying this...

When's Lukes Tape coming out? "What's On Luke?"

Ok this is going be the oddest call I have ever made.

While I don’t agree with Luke Watsons comments that have come to light over the weekend, I do think we should hold off on passing judgment until the truth (in whatever form) is revealed. There is no doubt that on the face of it Watsons comments were out of order, private or not. When you represent a brand no matter how much you dislike it – bad mouthing it in a semi-public environment is not on.

However, it is quite clear that like the rest of the country at this time, there is a lot of politicking going on in rugby and it has to be said that whoever released these comments to the press may have the “other” sides agenda to push. The press has become a tremendous and powerful weapon in this country, where rumor and hearsay can do huge damage very quickly. His comments were obviously released for a reason – there is no doubt that our reaction is exactly what was wanted. Our emotions are being played on here and we have to be cautious of overreacting in a way that makes us look like puppets. There are always two sides and anything Watson says that is remotely catalytic will make headlines.

Of course we are up in arms – its inflammatory stuff! But let’s just wait and hear from the Watson camp.

I am not a fan of his – I do believe that the Watsons may hold too much of a sway in rugby circles and are possibly fighting a fight that goes beyond equality and representation in rugby. It would not be a big step to believe that there are very personal issues involved in these regular spats.

However for a change lets all take a deep a breath and not get sucked into media hype. I work in it and I know. What is hype today makes cash today however there will be a new headline tomorrow to make new cash.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Springbok by any other name...

Even the Flytrap would be more "vicious" as an emblem

I take issue with removing the Springbok emblem from the rugby side. While I get where some are coming from, that it represents a bad part of our history, it’s also represents a very unifying part of our more modern history. The Rugby World Cup has been won twice since democracy was installed into our lives with the Springbok emblem leading the way.

If we have to resort to using other national symbols such as the Protea we are just changing things for the sake of doing so.

And what the hell is the Protea anyway? Yes it’s indigenous to our shores but it’s not a sports emblem! We are a nation of the Big 5! We have the choice of some of the greatest predators known to man living in our backyard and we opt for flora?

It also has to be said that as a brand the Springboks are a huge commodity to this nation – it acts as an ambassador for this country and brings in cash.

Changing the emblem now will just be someone’s small-minded brain’s way of saying “I told you so”…

Grow up.

The Springboks are more representative of this country than any other sports team out there achieving at international level.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Writers sun block....


Not sure what to put up here today…Thursdays are very much like a Tuesday. Its an inbetween day…it’s not a Monday (start of the week so has its place). It’s not a Wednesday (middle of the week and a mid-week breather) and it’s in no ways a Friday (considered by many as the only day worth living).

An ex-colleague of mine in the newsroom used to hate Tuesdays. Nothing happens on a Tuesday. All the weekends’ sports results are out. Any major developments normally happen later in the week and any celeb news worth noting from the weekend has already been filtered through the web. It’s a nothing day. Regularly my ex-colleague would be heard crying out for a bomb to go off in some politically unstable country just to create some news worthy content…

So here we sit – Thursday (the Tuesday of Thursdays to be honest) with nothing much to write…although we have a few paragraphs down now so I will stop while the going is good.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Another question…

Not mine...but similar

Where did the saying “sleeps like a baby” originate?

I have one. It doesn’t.

Next time someone says he sleeps like a baby, my retort will be a quick, “what…you sleep for 5 minutes then cry?”

I love him still though.

I have a question…

I'm with ugly...

Where did we get the saying “he is no oil painting”?

It is supposed to infer that the subject is not good-looking…perhaps on the weaker side of average. I went and looked at oil paintings on Google Images just now. I couldn’t find any good-looking people in any of them…even Botticelli’s women are a little frumpy looking...very womanly but certainly "no oil paintings".

I think we should retire the saying – maybe find a more modern example. “She is no Fashion TV”…perhaps.

Thoughts welcome.

If you go down to the gym today...

Summer looms...

I have started the ubiquitous summer diet and fitness regime. I do it consciously or un-so every year, and every year ask myself the same question – when did I let myself go so much, that I now only have a few months (in Cape Town at any rate) until summer is here?

I don’t remember the point each year where I say to myself – it’s okay to have that beer…go on, have desert, you deserve it. But it must have happened. It always does.

It seems I am not the only one. Hundreds of keen dieters and fitness bunnies are coming out of their winter burrows and heading for the treadmills, slimming drinks and power plates in search of perpetual summer beauty, if only for a month or so.

All this effort for a few days on the beach looking good. Perhaps next year I shall be stricter and say no. But I doubt it.

See you at the gym – this year and next.

Will a new party make a difference?

The splits...

I am struggling with news that a possible new party will be formed from a breakaway faction of the ANC.
The reason I struggle with this, is because the “breakaway group” is made up of those who didn’t get their way at Polokwane. They are also mostly politicians that have had 14 good years to prove themselves and didn’t.

So what do we ultimately end up with? A group of politicians who fought their way into the government by dubious politicking, up against a group of politicians who were ousted; who didn’t want to leave but did nothing while they were their anyway and are now forming a new party to get back in.

I can’t wait!

Nothing one can say here has not been said before. The government that is elected by the populous, is also the government that rules my life and yours. Even if you didn’t vote for them, they are still by default “your government” – as part of a country that feels the government may have put themselves before the general public, I get the feeling that we are on a ride right now where we can’t get off and we have no say or control of what is going on up in the engine room. Even if you are the most staunchest of ANC members, right now your say, according to the Government, means very little.

I read a great quote the other day and sadly don’t remember it verbatim, but it went something along the lines of “when the few at the front of the crowd are complaining loudly, it is very difficult to hear the whispers of the masses behind them”. (if you can point me in the right direction as to where I heard this please shout!)

Government is elected by the people – it’s there for the people – not the few that occupy it.

America should do the math.

Truly, who are the yanks really voting for here?

Given that John McCain is in his 70’s with little hope of seeing through a first term as president, let alone a chance at shooting for second, Republican America is basically hoping like hell that Sarah Palin is going to be the woman who bails the US of A out of several quagmires they currently find themselves drowning in, over the next decade.

Its honest politics - to really get your teeth stuck into America, you have to see yourself through two terms. The first term is spent getting to grips with having to tell people that, actually the tax breaks you promised in your election campaign were complete bullshit, and the second term is spent reaping the rewards of those broken promises and paying back the people who put you in power in the first place – and don’t for a minute think I am suggesting the electorate here.

McCain has the chips stacked against him in even making the first four years, as brilliantly pointed out here by my former colleague Nic Marias (Marais) -

McCain’s inevitable senile dementia and / or death in the next 8 years, means that Palin moves on up from the pretty dreary no-mans land of VP (where lets face it she can’t do too much harm) right into the Monica Lewinsky’s old haunt in the Oval Office. This gun toting, bikini clad imbecile who currently runs America’s biggest ice-lolly (that’s Alaska. Ice and oil cash…lolly) will end up ruling the world, in one way or another.

The States has already proven itself as an equal opportunities employer; how else could Bush get the job had it not been? But to head down the road of possible Republican rule (ruin) for yet another 8 years breaks my heart.

From sub prime to sub-primal, it is time that those who voted for Bush (twice?) and are now thinking that the chick in the bikini with the hunting rifle can do a better job, to breath oxygen and think straight.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I love travel - it has to be one of my favourite things to do.

Below is a recent article on

BTW talking of trvel - Cape Town is in a stunning summer mood today. It's on days like these we need to remind ourselves that this is why we love living here. Despite the niggles of political life, nothing beats a beautiful day in Cape Town.

Have a great day - I intend to!

Viv Pitt.

Am I the only one to stop and think…”Vivienne? What sort of a name is Vivienne?”

I am of course referring to Brad and Angie’s latest bout of baby making / adopting and their newborn twins Knox and Vivienne.

Something about the name just gives me no hope for the child; which is surprising given the alternatives it may have faced. Pax, Maddox and Shiloh shall never be normal names by any stretch of the imagination, but by celebrity standards they are the names, we as a Heat and People reading public, have come to expect.

In the heady world of Hollywood’s, “who-can-name-your-child-the-daftest-competition”, Vivienne comes in at a very low and pedestrian “Normal”. In fact it’s a name that we may have considered in the age of the baby-boomers to be okay, but have now tossed out, due to the fact that not only can you not name a baby “Vivienne”, but also that the name is so boring its beige; it’s on the wrong end of normal.

The Vivienne’s of the world will no doubt now all standup and tell me what a fine name it is, what it means and quote all the other famous Vivienne’s that made the world a safer place. No doubt too their husbands, probably named Boris, Heathcliffe or Rupert will also add to their war cry, but I am sorry; nothing doing. And don’t try and tell me that Richard is a beige name either. It’s a cheap argument and one that doesn’t wash – if you were planning to go that route you may be missing my point. I wasn’t, after all, born into the exotic world of Brangelina.

And it’s not that it just doesn’t work for a baby in the modern age. In a world where her contemporaries are named Tyger-lily, Apple and Harlow, Vivienne weighs in as decidedly non-celeb. Her brothers and sisters all have names with fascinating meanings or end with an X. Both ooze serious amounts of cool; now and later, when they are in high school. Baby Viv, I am sad to say, will never be able to live up to the same level of edginess.

She will be known as Viv Pitt. Her siblings however will be known in a way that we have come to know certain celebrities with only one name. Madonna, Cher and Seal to name a few. When, in the future, we talk of Pax, Maddox or Knox, no additional names will be necessary.

Ask yourself. In 10 years time if you tell someone you saw Vivienne shopping on Rodeo Drive, what will be their first reaction be?

“Oh wow, that’s so cool” or “Vivienne who?”

Just tell them Knox’s sister. The recognition will be instantaneous. And here I rest my case. Calling her Vivienne sets her apart and for the wrong reasons. It’s too normal for a celebrity child and to boring for a commoner. It lacks the identity she will need to survive in the world she has been born into.

The Change of life...

I try and avoid sounding and acting like a new father.

Nothing used to annoy me more than the newly-parented forcing pictures of their offspring on me, along with tales of lack of sleep and baby vomit.

I realize now however, and with more than just a modicum of respect, just how hard this can be. I now find myself whipping out my cell phone and showing random people pictures of my son, telling them how much nappies cost and the pitfalls of various brands.

It’s very hard to be normal when 4 plus KG’s of your own doing arrives into your life. You do become a gibbering idiot from lack of sleep, you do tend to make the conversation around children and you certainly find yourself spending more time around people who have kids so that you can talk about them, guilt free.

Prior to becoming a parent I had no clue what it was like to be dealing with babies. A case in point was just after friends of ours had given birth. The wife and I decided to go and visit them post-hospital and pay homage to latest edition in the way those without children can only do; arriving as we used too, without calling and without notice. You know the way. Just pop in. I remember feeling quite affronted when we were told quite politely that this wasn’t a good time and perhaps we should call ahead next time.

What happened to our friends? Who were these haggard people who had taken over their bodies and were now letting us know in no uncertain terms we were persona non grata at this particular time.

As hindsight is 20-20 I can only feel for them. Knowing what I do now, to have visitors arrive unannounced in the middle of a newborn screaming fit, or 5 minutes after you have just put them down is mentally devastating. The outside world ceases to exist when you have a newborn and its intrusion into your newfound sleepless reality is a harsh and severe invasion.

It’s not just your friends that tend disappear for while too. Your ability to think rationally goes too, it’s given that your brain will become mush. One of the strangest parts of the whole process is finding yourself having conversations you never thought possible. Conversations that begin, ”Won’t you just lookup yellow pooh on the net…” or “…is that pee on the mat or did he throw up?”

Conversation that in any other stage of your life would seem so far fetched but now presents itself as very normal.

You are told, by those who have trod the path before you that it does get better. They give it you in varying degrees and stages, as if to soften the blow.

First you hear it’s only the initial 4 weeks that are the hardest. Then it’s the first 3 months. After that it’s only when the have finished teething that life begins. There seems to be no end to the “your-almost-there” encouragement, and no end insight to the time when you actually arrive.

In truth, deep down you know you never will arrive. It’s not a journey that is intended to have a destination.

No doubt the talk of various color pooh’s, the pro’s and con’s of 4-wheel prams over 3-wheelers and just which pediatrician should be charging you the earth, will blend into the next stage of schools, universities and tales of teenage dysfunction.

Life as we know it has ceased to exist but a new one has taken it’s place. Not a bad one either – just one that requires a little adjusting.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

These are the days of her life...

I have been watching the Britney thing go down recently. It’s funny how we all have an opinion on this girl, yet none of us know her. I cany help feeling sorry for her though – these idiots she has trailing her truly will be the death of her.

The woman cannot even drive around a normal suburb without been followed by a paparazzi pack of hounds. Flashing bulbs and intrusive video lenses through her car window…these money hungry fools pretending to be her friend and asking her how she is doing, all the while waiting for her to go ballistic so they can sell the pictures.

I can only equate our fascination to watching Formula One – while who wins is important, the crashes and possibility of death always makes the watching that more exiting. As the public we are partly to blame…we are after all voyeurs here and we all secretly, or not so secretly, enjoy seeing the suffering of others – especially when they were once high flying idols. Possibly it makes us feel better – we always knew they were no better than us after all.

Sadly though the more I watch the Britney saga unfold the more I feel sorry for this woman. There is no one there that she can trust – possible through a drug induced haze she is being led by people with ulterior motives; people on board for the ride on the gravy train that is Britney Express.

Will I stop speaking about her on air? Making jokes at her expense? I don’t know.

While she is in the public eye and I do feel sorry for her, something inside me feels she does know better than this – as drug induced as her life seems to be there has to be some semblance of trying to control things from her side – she still knows right from wrong but chooses not to act on it.

She is a grown woman with relatively few hardships in her life other than the ones she has brought unto herself. She is successful, talented and has two adorable kids…who screwed it up? Some guy taking snaps or the chick with the kids, the cash and the coke habit?