Monthly Archives: May 2012

Michael Jackson – Freak Out

All right. I confess. I never liked Michael Jackson. Even at his height, during the 80s, I thought he was an over-rated freak. The sparkly glove, the red jacket, the permed hair, the crotch grabbing, the nasal ‘he-hee’s – I just didn’t get it. He could definitely dance (especially backwards) but his singing left me cold and his songs were either simplistic ditties about a pet rat or over-produced anthems featuring a disjointed montage of shrieks and platitudes. Continue reading

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Dropped calls drive me mental

Is it just me or are the cellular networks dropping a lot more calls than usual? In the past, the occasional dropped call was a nuisance but, all things considered, not a problem. After all, the mere fact that we could phone a friend while driving down the highway at a 100km an hour was remarkable in itself.

However, lately, the cellular networks seem to be resting on their considerably overstuffed laurels. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I am currently experiencing a dropped call rate of about 1 in 3 and that is simply not acceptable. And it’s not just a problem with my phone. It seems that everywhere I go, I hear the constant refrain, ‘Can you hear me? Can you hear me now? How about now?’ Continue reading

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Jessie Duarte loses the plot

My jaw literally dropped open when I heard Jessie Duarte’s recent outburst to a member of the press. Briefly, and from the perspective of an external listener, the context is as follows: a journalist for The Times was interviewing Ms. Duarte about the ANC’s online activities. At first, things were going OK. Then, JD started fishing for a fight and asked The Times reporter to hurry up and get to the point – which she already knew had to be negative, because The Times is that kind of paper. She was acting like a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Continue reading

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A pizza the action

I just got back from Cape Town and, once again, I am amazed by how utterly alien the place is. It truly is another country down there; cut off from the rest of Africa by a range of jagged mountains and coated with a thick layer of smug.

OK, I get it. The city is a couple of hundred years older than Joburg or Durban and the streets have a tangible sense of history that money simply cannot buy. The landscape is also pretty remarkable. You can’t help but be overwhelmed by the beauty of its steep slopes, open seas and that bloody Mountain with a cloud on top. Continue reading

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Post-electile Dysfunction

Newscasters of the world rejoice! The election is over. Obama has won and the months of relentless news coverage can now FINALLY stop.

Yes, after nearly two years of endless ramblings by political pundits, the Great American Election Spectacular has closed. And what a saga it has been… Continue reading

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Unconventional Conventionists

A new political party has been born! Mazal tov! Now all we need is a name.

While I maintain a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude towards their policies, I welcome the new political entity and hope that it will diversify national politics without making the whole system unmanageable. Having a greater number of smaller parties prevents the abuse of power, which is great, but coalition governments are usually complicated and often fragile. Continue reading

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Don’t mess with Manuel – he’s from Barcelona

Remember Manuel, the wonderfully inept Spanish waiter from the classic series, Fawlty Towers? Of course you do. Well, Andrew Sachs, the actor who played Manuel, is back in the public eye after years of low-key voice-over work and he’s apparently more popular than ever. In fact, he’s at the centre of a major rumpus that is threatening to engulf the BBC and two of its most popular presenters.

The whole mess started on Saturday night when comedian Russell Brand and nebulous ‘media personality’ Jonathan Ross were doing their weekly ‘no-holds-barred’ radio show. With hours of air-time to fill and very little material with which to fill it, the two decided to call up Sachs who was supposed to appear on the show but had cancelled for some reason. Continue reading

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I love my Prius!

I’ve been driving my Prius for about six months now, and I have come to a conclusion about this hybrid vehicle: it’s fantastic.

For those who don’t know, the Prius uses two powertrains: a 1.5 litre petrol engine and an electric motor that is driven by a battery. The on-board computer switches seamlessly and automatically between these two motors, so the driver has nothing to do but steer the car and apply the brakes when necessary. The car does not need to be plugged into the mains as the battery is charged by the energy created through braking and coasting during normal driving. Continue reading

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It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to

Well, Terror Lekota is certainly living up to his name, and good for him. It’s said he won his fearsome moniker when he was a youthful soccer player, and his recent actions show that it’s no idle boast. Since the ouster of Mbeki, he’s taken to the field with a vengeance and all I can say is, ‘Go Terror!’

Now I’m not about to throw my weight behind his campaign to ‘divorce’ the ANC and form a breakaway party. It’s still too early in the game to make a call about the viability and vision of his new team. I also don’t know whether he is motivated by ideology, principles, ambition, greed or a combination of all four. But I do admire his courage in tackling the almighty ANC and wish him well in his endeavours. Continue reading

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Shrugging off the markets

Are you ready for another week of lunacy with those wacky Wall Street brokers? I am! Normally I couldn’t give a toss about the financial markets, but now it’s become a real cliffhanger. What’s going to happen next? Where’s the bottom? Will the incentives work? Is there going to be a depression? Has America gone socialist? Will Britain have to buy Iceland? Who knows?

Well, I freely admit that I know next to nothing about the stock market. It’s not my thing. But what really freaks me out about this whole story is that nobody else seems to know what the hell’s going on either. Every banker, broker and TV newsreader in the world must have sore shoulders from shrugging ‘I don’t know’ to each other. Continue reading

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