Monthly Archives: May 2012

Flash Fiction

I lived inside this very dark hole. It was in the rocks along the beach. A damp, dark and hard hole that became my home like a shell, almost cocooning me, that I would be able to transform after inhabiting it. I didn’t always live in this hole. I kinda went out and found it for myself. A hiding place even. But life would push it to more than a place of malevolent solace, a temple for the release of pent up angst. Life would have a very different blueprint when it constructed that temporary home. And temporary it was.

My village is at the top of a very green hill that overlooks the ocean which seems to constantly shimmer an intense blue with the most brilliant while lines of foam from the crashing waves since The Storm. Everything is much better since The Storm actually. The hills green thicket became more lush and plush, inviting you to roll around in it, gazing up at the sky. But The Storm was more than just a storm. It was as if the gods were fueled with rage and they split the sky open, decorating it with bright fire and hard ice and cracking the earth beneath us with a terrifying rumble. The crack split our village in two. And that’s where it all started to go a rye. That is where the the world just split in two.

The village has been my home since I could remember. A bunch of neatly clumped thatched homes, all huddled together on a hilltop with a dirt road down the middle of the village towards the sea. My home was at the End of that road. It was the perfect home. I feel the energy of the centre of the village all the while staring out at the ocean without another hut to block the view. The hut was by no means the best. In fact it was one of the oldest ones there but it had enough room for me to tend to my two passions. On one side my home opened onto an established garden. Beautiful, lush and constantly in fruition and all it required was my time, patience and love. On the other of my home was the only library in the village. Books where so hard to come by but all that could be found in the village was there. And it was my world of knowledge.

The morning of The Storm, it was clear that it was going to storm, I frantically ran around from side to side making sure that I secured both sides as best I could. I wanted both sides so I worked my ass off to try keep both sides and the weather put up quite a battle. She roared and rumbled, flashed some light and blew a blizzard but my tenacity to have it all proved far stronger and the weather began to retreat as she realized she had been defeated. But had she? Or was that all part of her plan?

The earth turned soft from the rain and ice. All around us became extremely fragile and any movement caused a shift in the ground beneath our feet. Suddenly the ground rumbled and in a flash the floor began to tear, ripping right down the middle of the village, down the street and through the middle of my home. It all happened so quickly that I did not think about which side to jump to. Which side needed me. And I fell.

when I woke up everything I knew was in absolute mayhem. Everything I knew was split in two. And slowly the village will follow suite.

I couldn’t. I couldn’t choose which side to be on so I retreated to the hole, in the rocks. The cold, hard and damp spot I use to come to for some quiet somber time where I could also let off some steam. The place I use to come to think, and judge. And I have been living in my hole since The Storm.

Today I want to come out of my hole. Today I want to stop living in this dark, damp and hard place I created for myself. And today is the first day I will leave…

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Am I a racist?

With The Spear still making headlines, I find it hard not to tilt my head back and yawn. Seriously. I get the news worthy note last week but isn’t it over – if only in news headlines? Now I am left reading articles where the gallery and citi press are left to apologise for showing the painting to the public, to us. Come on, where is you backbone? Is it really remorse or is it regret? Is there a difference? In my opinion, remorse in when one feels ones actions were wrong. Regret relies heavily on the feeling derived from the outcome of some actions. So in this case I tend to believe that the decision to remove it is based on regret, from the fear of what came after the painting.

So last week it was this “racist” painting. After this came up two article, “I am racist” and “We are not all racist”. And Before all of this it was a model who lacked vocabulary that brought racism to headlines. And I can go on….

But it’s the word that poses the biggest personal question: Am I Racist? And what point does being a white man in South Africa immediately predisposition me, due in large part to a history I had no part in, to be branded with such a dusty old word, and when does it become true?

I won’t even entertain the idea for too long. Is it because I had a black boyfriend? Dated a coloured man? Kissed an indian one wonderful new years eve? No, it’s because the idea is old school, in other words being racist is like wearing a jacket with giant shoulder pads – it’s so over twenty years ago. It’s just not cool.

In my own personal capacity I have always looked at myself as an equal opportunity offender, I don’t see race, sex, age or creed… I see conquest. People are people, the rest is only a state of mind. Change the way you see the world and the people in it and maybe the world, and the people in it, will see you differently too.

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To Mothers with Love

I woke up this morning with the realization that mothers day is tomorrow and I am yet to think of an appropriate way to thank her. God knows the all too familiar relationship a homo has with his mother, and although this may be a stereotype, in my case it is not.
Mid afternoon creeped on in and I realized that I need to better understand what it is about my mother I really love as apposed to the mere fact that she gave birth to me almost thirty years ago.

I have not actually been around my mother for some time, in fact it feels close to a year for so many reasons. Arriving in kwazulu natal airport, King Skaka, it was a breath of fresh air however, as fresh as the air may have been it is a familiar one. And so many happy thoughts ran through my mind as the onset of familial nostalgia starts to take route. the two hour shuttle to my mothers home was the perfect opportunity to seize the pisceans gift for imagination.

By the time I arrive in her town I am elated to see her and rekindle the youth that is so far behind me. And it was only a few minutes before the reason for my undoubted affection for her starts to become prevalent.

She is by far the coolest mother. She is so rad and in the most conservative way.

The night was warm and the ocean was murmuring it’s soft somber song, I was standing with a glass of red – so smooth I barely remember the name – and some soft jams were twirling out of the speakers. We chatted about work and the future. My dad. But most importantly we spoke of men. I have a mother cool enough who sits through my stories of dating disasters and self inflicted broken heart syndrome, and all the while providing enough advice to keep my heart from turning bitter.

So in the end I figure the perfect gift would be to show her how awesome I think she is…
Creating a meal that she would love – For all the times she fed me…
Mixing cocktails she can’t refuse – to keep her as jovial as she has kept me…
Make as many jokes to make her as happy as she makes me…
And writing her something to read that sums up the awe I feel before her.

Here’s to all the mothers… Happy happy for today and everyday…

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It’s Just a Word… Right?

special invite for racist model

– this is what I read as I drove down Louis Botha in Johannesburg and my immediate reaction is to ask myself “Is this in fact news worthy material?”

The story began as – none other than – a tweet. A model tweeted something with a word one should never use and not only for the mere fact that it’s sloppy, demeaning and poor English but because it’s really offensive. Then it comes out that the man she in fact tweeted about spat in her face, and i was shocked that these are two adults in South Africa. One white, one black and now everyone must pick a side…? I think not, when what we really are talking about here are two really uncivilized, uneducated and moronic people.

So now what South African news deems interesting is to turn these two seemingly retarded individuals into a debate over racism. The basis that racism stems from idiots is paramount in this example. I mean, if a man can spit in a woman’s face and still call himself a man then what has our society come to? Similarly, if a woman can sit back, digest the events and decide that the best course of action is to hop onto social networks and drench an entire race with disdain is plausible and commendable then something has to be said about what we all deem acceptable behaviour.

So basically I don’t have time for the individuals in question, I don’t agree with either ones behaviour and I refuse to base it on race. Stupidity is stupidity.

The real point I would like to make is about the word. How is it possible to make a word illegal? Surely by doing so you have simply given the word more power than it ever had before. Why does law have to dictate our behaviour? Does one honesty have to be told that a derogatory word should not be used? And mainly because it reflects badly on the speaker. I, for one, judge poor English… Silently. If you use the word, I will automatically assume you are uneducated or lack perspective, your choice, either way my interest is lost and no sentence will ever be able to regain my interest. So why use the word?

Similarly, ” moffie” and “faggot” are words that flew around, admittedly, more frequently in the past than it does today and why…?
Why have these words never been made illegal?
Must I remind people of Ward 22 in the apartheid regime?
But I would never want a word like that to become such a taboo in terms of the law. I would work my best at trying to alter the word, so if I were to hear it with people from a person I would make an uncomfortable laugh at it. People are susceptible to social cues and slowly everyone learns that “moffie” just ain’t cool, nor is it clever. Try a better one… I dare you.

In the end it’s just a word and we as people give these words power. And locally, as South Africans, we allow the words to take the form they do. “Kaffir” is still a feared word which is where the mistake lies. A word should never be feared, it gives the word way too much power when all it is at the end of the day is a bunch of letters together that make out a sound. Take the power back. and challenge those users of the word to better define what is there understanding of the word in question.

And after all that, I realize, I am talking about a model here, since when was thinking ever a prerequisite? So maybe the news will focus on more important issues… And then the next street pole comes around the corner…

Zuma in R1.3mil wedding debt

… Now that’s a hell of a lot more interesting, don’t you think?

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Workers Day

With a total of over twelve million foreigners landing in south Africa in 2011 and a recorded one point two million people in January of this year, one is left to wonder why one celebrates a day like workers day when our unemployment rate has steadily increased over the last ten years to almost thirty percent.

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Reading a newspaper, the ruling party would like you commemorate the memories of past south Africans who had lost their lives in the struggle for equal rights for workers. They will have you believe today is about those brave souls who fought the oppressors and, against all odds, went on to create unions, some of the largest in Africa. But how can one turn their heads away from the beggars on the street and not think about the millions of people who are without work. That’s almost fourteen million people without something to do come tomorrow morning. What of them?
Well, with an expected fifteen million foreigners coming to our land this year, surely there is a way to grab there attention? Surely they have some extra cash they don’t mind blowing on something worth the experience.

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Let’s look at the obvious. Cape Town is renowned for many things. The arts and culture, the nature and natural beauty, the vibes, sun and beaches. And the night life is just another attraction point. So why would the City of Cape Town be making it so difficult for clubs and pubs to run their establishments? I get that these places are not usually run by people who portray the strongest pillar of morality in our society, but with the strict rules and lack of assistance from provincial or national level does not help the honest man make an honest living from a somewhat less than honest business. But since the birth of Jesus, man has had brothels and pubs. We are a lascivious bunch when the lights go down. So would their – the governments – help not boost employment? People are needed to run these places. Not machines, but people.

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South Africa, with it’s huge wide open spaces of land. Why do we not have a hemp land. A town that grows hemp. Hemp for material to make clothes and super strong rope. To make canvass. Hell it is even more indestructible than other Construction products such as medium density fiber board, oriented strand board, and even beams, studs and posts. Because of hemp’s long fibers, the products will be stronger and/or lighter than those made from wood. So why all the huge forests that require machines to operate, not an entire village? Not to mention that hemp oil can be used in an engine, why are we not exploring this more? Why leave it for first world countries?
I get that this is a fairly poor country but with one of the richest soils in natural minerals in the world I don’t see why? Maybe those FAT cats at Arora can help explain the poverty. Names like Zuma and Mandela might prove to have some of the answers as to why some of our wealthy gold mines have been reduced to dirt and rubble? Now, the east rand mines are something I grew up very close to. I saw it grow and sustain itself in terms of constant employment for many years yet I saw it’s demise within three.
So what is workers day in a place with so few people who work?
How is one suppose to connect with a holiday that seems entirely contrived?
Maybe the ostentatious President could take a step away from his fourth honeymoon, fat and corrupt nephew and lavish life style to answer some of the more pertinent question I, as a south African, would like to have answered…?

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