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Its just not Cricket . . .

Sport

If you want to read the background to my views on cricket to start with maybe go read one or two of the articles here!

The truth is, in short, I didn’t always hate cricket but through the shocking, arrogant and unsportsmanlike way our team and management has continued to conduct themselves over the last decade, I do now, so when I saw this I couldn’t sit back and not have a go!

Now for those of you who don’t know Cricket South Africa has won less important things over the last 15 years than the Kenyan yachting team! They are rewarded financially very well (which I spose no matter how crap you are, you are still a national team and so justifies the money) while their administration is run almost as well as Somalian food stores.

So when Gerald Majola was paid double his annual salary as a ‘bonus’ by the Indians I start to get a little ‘Hansie style’ nervous. The fact that he didn’t declare it at all makes me EVEN MORE skeptical and when questioned on it he quickly gave the money back! What person have you EVER seen give a bonus back that was honestly deserved??

In short once again Cricket South Africa has embarrassed themselves by underwhelming the South African public who, believe it or not, are actually their customers!

My only sympathy goes to Gary Kirsten and his new coaching team who have to enter this chaos and try to put a trophy in a cabinet that makes Arsenals trophy count seem like Barcelona’s! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I hate South African cricket . . .

Sport

. . . It’s funny, I used to be a massive cricket supporter!

I used to be one of those kids who would watch every ball of a 5 day test when I was on holiday and whenever they would break for tea or drinks or lunch I’d go outside and PLAY cricket in the breaks pretending I was one of my heroes on the field.

But since Graeme Smith became captain I hung up my supporters bat and stopped watching cricket altogether. I always thought the reason was because I could not sit back and watch the great game thrown into a pit of arrogance, sloppiness and pitiful under achievement!

I have been cruel on South African cricket over the past few years both written (here are some samples 123) as well as verbally, and I stuck to my guns of not watching pretty much a single game since the podgy one took over.

But this world cup had me interested again, I started to watch again and realised that I missed SA cricket just a little. It may have to do with the fact that fat Kallis is slightly thinner, fat Boucher is gone and even Cheeseburger Smith has trimmed down and these combined with the influx of young hungry youngsters has made everyone ambitious for victory again . . .

. . . That was until Sunday afternoon!

I finally realised just why I despise South African cricket so much – it’s because they are losers!

When I was a kid I watched every single ball of the 1992 World Cup until I saw the below picture on my TV screen and spent the next week in my room crying at the cruel cricketing fates . . .

Then in 1999 again when we were cruising ahead and this happened . . .

As if the fact that we couldn’t win a trophy even if the games were FIXED wasn’t enough, it turned out – THE GAMES WERE FIXED (remember Hansies glory) !!

This was the beginning of the end for me! We stuffed up the following world cup hosted in our back yard and limped out of the West Indies! One of those two we even managed to mess up the calculations that THE COMPUTER TELLS YOU so we blocked when we should have run and exited!

Enough was enough and is enough! After Sunday when South Africa had crippled the English innings we took to the field in smug style of old and proceeded to throw away a game we had so far in the bag it was on the conveyer belt into the plane already!

I HATE SOUTH AFRICAN CRICKET for one reason and that because they made it too hard to support them (and I know how to support a bad team for a long time – I’m a LIONS supporter (ps on a side note the lions are so bad THEIR WEBSITE won’t even work)). South African cricket has been smug for the last time on my watch and broken my sporting heart once too often that it’s now finally over!

Who knows if this team will pull it together to win this world cup but as far as I’m concerned they don’t deserve to. Maybe one day ill find my way back to South African cricket when the arrogance is but a distant memory (if it ever is) but in the meantime . . .

All that’s left to say is COME ON INDIA!

3 Comments

And you wonder why we think cricket is a hobby?

Local is / is not lekker

So Shaq released an album and was mocked for it for the rest of his life and he is one of the biggest sporting superstars globally in one of the most watched sports worldwide (granted mainly by the yanks but still!). To be completely fair we think the abuse should have been far louder – DON’T YOU KNOW SPORTSMEN DON’T DO MUSIC! If you have a talent use it whichever way you want – for chicks (Tiger Woods!), for branding (Tiger Woods!), for money / sponsorships (TIGER WOODS!) and I won’t go on, but NEVER EVER use it to try bring out a music video!

Our world class hobbyists (thats code for South African cricketers) have decided that AB needs to lead them into the world of music and they have given new meaning to the saying ‘in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king’ – it may be that we only understand a small portion of the lyrics and I can only imagine I would have tears in my eyes if I knew the rest (thats tears of shame if you were curious)!

Never the less if you are interested in cricketer Afrikaans rock – this one’s for you!

AB de Villiers & Ampie du Preez – Maak Jou Drome Waar

3 Comments

United vs City and why sport is the greatest teacher of all . . .

Sport

I love sport, all kinds of sport, no matter how stupid, useless or irrelevant it may seem I love them all (well except South African cricket but that’s a whole other story). Each sport represents some kind of way for humans to excel, push themselves and achieve. It is the greatest teacher of life lessons of triumph, elation, heartache and so many more.

Tonight is one of those great moments in sport where everyone invested will be taught one of these lessons.

You see tonight, well actually at 3am my time, My Manchester United will play Manchester City in a football game that will most likely decide the destination of the Premier League trophy for another year.

The significance is special on so many levels. City have been very much in the shadow of United for decades until they were scooped up by an Abu Dhabi billionaire in his quest to play Football manager (as seems to be the trend) and they immediately used the open cheque book to buy a way to compete.

This year they may not have achieved their goals of European glory but they have certainly shown they are no longer merely Man United’s neighbors.

United on the other hand are the epitome of legacy, they have been at the top of English and sometimes world football for the past two decades and winning is not only expected but its engrained in every players brain when they pull on that shirt!

Tonight will be a great test of new spirit and its will to win and old hands trying to prove they are still on top.

Tonight out on that pitch you will see the desire to win like you seldom have the privilege of seeing and regardless of result it will be an epic clash. Either United will seal the title on the very home pitch of their biggest rivals and we will learn to celebrate and win with a level of humility or City will finally earn the chance to topple their generally patronizing neighbor and we will learn to accept pain and heartache of defeat with heads held high.

If you are a United fan the wounds will still be fresh of the last time we faced our rivals from the other side of town, home thrashings are not usually part of the United script!

I love sport for games like tonight because whichever way they go we will learn something and we will feel emotion on a level that we seldom can.

It’s always said with a clichéd snigger that ‘sport is the real winner’ but the truth is we are the ones who win, we are the ones who have the privilege of watching modern day gladiators do battle and thrive off the electrifying emotion they give us!

Sometimes you choose between right & right: The Dalai Lama was the wrong right!

Local is / is not lekker, The Soap Opera of Politics

I don’t often defend the South African government, in fact I think this is the first time I can remember (I did a search on the blog and found THESE – none of them positive) and so now I find myself in unfamiliar territory (and I’m pretty sure I’m going to seriously anger a few people) so here goes!

When I was young my dad gave me a book called “Defining Moments: When managers must choose between right and right”, although at the time I didn’t quite understand the concept but over the next 10 years I have made many painful decisions where both choices would have been the correct one, therefor they fall into this category.

South Africa’s decision regarding the Dalai Lamas visit was no different!

This was a defining moment and without doubt a choice between letting one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time come for another’s birthday, and to appease a global giant for our own economic salvation.

If you are confused here’s a quick summary. This is the Dalai Lama, he is essentially the spiritual leader of Tibet and the political leader in exile, if you will, with massive influence – he is HATED by the People’s Republic of China’s government. Overall he is an amazingly wise spiritual man who does nothing worse than promote peace, humanity and equality (although he is opposed to oral or anal sex – minus one point for that!) and his name is Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso

He was invited by The Arch Desmond Tutu to speak at a number of university’s and attend the Arch’s 80th birthday. A simple enough request although travelling to SA the DL needed a VISA – eish, problem!

The SA’n government basically delayed this request indefinitely until yesterday when the DL decided to cancel his trip as it was clear he was not welcome! He posted this statement on his website.

Why you ask, was the government so hell bent on keeping him out? Quite simply the Chinese Government told us to. Jacob Zuma said he wasnt sure why there was a problem, Kgalema Motlanthe said he would have gotten his VISA eventually (he said this after the trip had already been cancelled). That was a little like saying we would have won the cricket world cup if target=”_blank”>Allan Donald hadn’t f#@ked up that last run (the saying ‘no comments on the scoreboard’ comes to mind!).

The truth is the South African government had to make a call. Do we allow someone into the country who, if we are completely honest, can do nothing TANGIBLE for us as a nation at the risk of severely pissing off our biggest global customer, China? The answer ladies and gentlemen is simply NO. We cannot afford to lose ANY business let alone the world’s most dominant economic superpower (well they will be shortly) especially when they can buy what we are selling somewhere else.

If China were to turn its back on South Africa the economic ramifications would be catastrophic for an emerging nation with the problems we have, in fact it may be crippling. The answer here was as simple as inviting a street child to sleep in your local Woolworths at the risk of chasing off the rest of your customers (I’m not saying the DL is a street child before any of you get pissy!) but in that instance anyone of you would side with the retailer without a moment’s hesitation – so why when YOUR economic destiny falls in the balance do you all of a sudden climb onto your high horse?

I’m proud that, for once, our government made a tough, public decision for the benefit of us as a nation and if you think that this wasn’t the case – GROW UP! Sometimes in life we have to make tough calls, we can’t make everyone happy and we certainly can’t just make decisions that have massive consequences just because The Arch and the DL are nice people. A government is elected to make the best decisions of behalf of the people and this is, WITHOUT DOUBT, what they did!

I have profound respect for the Dalai Lama and I mean no disrespect to him in any way but unfortunately we as a country sometimes need to play the political game not for gain but sometimes just to survive. Was it handled wrong, absolutely! All the silence and bungling of government officials for months was pathetic and for that I am ashamed. Do I think it’s right to try criticize the DL like the article by Simon Allison in the Daily Maverick, absolutely not – the man is practically the Tibetan Nelson Mandela, but at the end of the day I’ll stand behind their decision in this defining moment, because it was the RIGHT RIGHT!

5 Comments

The assassination of integrity by the cowardly Mr Smith . . .

Sport

Let’s get a few things out the way here first!

Firstly I used to love cricket until it was spoiled for so many reasons i cant go into. I have now gone to the point where I have called it a HOBBY, wrote articles on why I HATE SOUTH AFRICAN CRICKET and lastly reveled in their choking AGAIN.

Secondly I don’t like calling someone a coward, I think attacks on integrity are the highest form of criticism you can give someone! I very rarely call people liars, cheats or cowards unless the evidence is overwhelming and I truly believe they are flawed (yes yes we are all humans and all flawed – god loves you all– WHATEVER!)

Lets look at this plainly . . .

Smith went to the world cup with his usual arrogance as we all expected and, judging from the abuse I got during this time, I was the only one who thought we would exit the way we always do!

After the world cup though something happened which I never thought I’d ever see – a national captain sending his team home to face the angry music and he disappeared into Europe for a ‘personal matter’ which turned out to be him proposing to his girlfriend!

Now don’t get me wrong, if you need to, take all the time you need to propose and start your life blah blah but when you desert your team-mates to do so it reaches a level of desertion I ever wanted to see from a  national leader.

Our national captain abandoned his people, his team and his country in its darkest time only to return and give a stuttering, stammering and pitiful apology that was clearly written by someone else. Not only that but he was so pathetic that he waited for the good news of Gary Kirsten entering the fold to mask the disgrace that he has brought to the game and to himself!

I CANNOT believe that South Africans can accept this kind of behavior and I hope the few of you that are left supporting and watching cricket make some serious noise to get rid of this fool as our captain before he brings anymore shame on an already pitiful cricketing outfit!

My South Africa . . .

Local is / is not lekker

I was recently sent this text written by Jonathen Jansen – I’m not entirely sure the context but I thought it an amazing note – have a read . . .

My South Africa is the working-class man who called from the airport to return my wallet without a cent missing. It is the white woman who put all three of her domestic worker’s children through the same school that her own child attended. It is the politician in one of our rural provinces, Mpumalanga, who returned his salary to the government as a statement that standing with the poor had to be more than just a few words. It is the teacher who worked after school hours every day during the public sector strike to ensure her children did not miss out on learning.

My South Africa is the first-year university student in Bloemfontein who took all the gifts she received for her birthday and donated them – with the permission of the givers – to a home for children in an Aids village. It is the people hurt by racist acts who find it in their hearts to publicly forgive the perpetrators. It is the group of farmers in Paarl who started a top school for the children of farm workers to ensure they got the best education possible while their parents toiled in the vineyards. It is the farmer’s wife in Viljoenskroon who created an education and training centre for the wives of farm labourers so that they could gain the advanced skills required to operate accredited early-learning centers for their own and other children.

My South Africa is that little white boy at a decent school in the Eastern Cape who decided to teach the black boys in the community to play cricket, and to fit them all out with the togs required to play the gentelman’s game. It is the two black street children in Durban, caught on camera, who put their spare change in the condensed milk tin of a white beggar. It is the Johannesburg pastor who opened up his church as a place of shelter for illegal immigrants. It is the Afrikaner woman from Boksburg who nailed the white guy who shot and killed one of South Africa’s greatest freedom fighters outside his home.

My South Africa is the man who went to prison for 27 years and came out embracing his captors, thereby releasing them from their impending misery. It is the activist priest who dived into a crowd of angry people to rescue a woman from a sure necklacing. It is the former police chief who fell to his knees to wash the feet of Mamelodi women whose sons disappeared on his watch; it is the women who forgave him in his act of contrition. It is the Cape Town university psychologist who interviewed the ‘Prime Evil’ in Pretoria Centre and came away with emotional attachment, even empathy, for the human being who did such terrible things under apartheid.

My South Africa is the quiet, dignified, determined township mother from Langa who straightened her back during the years of oppression and decided that her struggle was to raise decent children, insist that they learn, and ensure that they not succumb to bitterness or defeat in the face of overwhelming odds. It is the two young girls who walked 20kms to school everyday, even through their matric years, and passed well enough to be accepted into university studies. It is the student who takes on three jobs, during the evenings and on weekends, to find ways of paying for his university studies.

My South Africa is the teenager in a wheelchair who works in townships serving the poor. It is the pastor of a Kenilworth church whose parishioners were slaughtered, who visits the killers and asks them for forgiveness because he was a beneficiary of apartheid. It is the politician who resigns on conscientious grounds, giving up status and salary because of an objection in principle to a social policy of her political party. It is the young lawman who decides to dedicate his life to representing those who cannot afford to pay for legal services.

My South Africa is not the angry, corrupt, violent country those deeds fill the front pages of newspapers and the lead-in items on the seven-o’-clock news. It is the South Africa often unseen, yet powered by the remarkable lives of ordinary people. It is the citizens who keep the country together through millions of acts of daily kindness.


After I read it I sat for a while thinking about MY South Africa.

I started to realise quite quickly that I used to be this person – I used to have this exact same view of, no matter how much bad there was out there, there was enough light in places to keep out the dark.

The sad truth though, if I have to be honest with myself now, is I’m not that person anymore.

I try as hard as I can to see the good in this incredible place and I’m a massively proud ambassador whenever I have to give comment on this country because I believe we deserve as much good publicity as I can get.

Our family and our business have been responsible over the years for massive quantities of people coming to South Africa and experiencing the brilliance of its lands and its peoples because we always believed that we had it in us to become a great country we just needed to be seen and experienced, and I while I still believe that, I now feel a deep sense of doom more days than not.

I feel a concern that there is too much going wrong for the good to keep it at bay. There is too much corruption, crime and injustice for us to handle and at some point the system is going to break – or have to be broken!

The government is lazy, inefficient and riddled with cheats and liars stuffing their pockets and their family’s pockets as fast as they can before they get caught, of this there is no argument. Education and healthcare are crumbling and the police force is an embarrassment in its operation and its corruption.

The system does not work and my sadness is that by not acknowledging the bad and only seeing the good is like ignoring the symptoms of a disease until its too late.

THE SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK and this countries future is in jeopardy should it continue down this path. I hope, with all the might of a young boy who dreamed of being part of a nation that could contribute on a global scale, that I am wrong but something needs to be done! Someone needs to start fixing what we are breaking and put a stake in the ground to show we cannot slip anymore.

I fear we do not have someone like this and MY South Africa may only exist in my boyhood dreams!

 

5 Comments

The Proteas Zapirofied

Sport

@mspr1nt over at Paddlesweep wrote an article partly in response to one we’d written about the Proteas a little while ago and more so because they’re under attack by a large portion of the SA public.

His arguments are good and for cricket fans I think he makes some great points. I personally don’t really give much of a fcuk about the sport after Hansie betrayed me as a kid. I still can’t shake the idea that it’s more of a betting tool than a real sport. Regardless of how little I care, I still won’t call the team “chokers”. Zapiro can do it so much better than me…

Isn’t the saying a picture speaks 1000 words (@hershybru) . . .

Just plane funny :), Sport

After a week fo Hershy Bru (yeah this is actually his TWITTER handle) bashing (US INCLUDED ADMITTEDLY) mostly because he has behaved like a moron – i mean dude – what goes on tour STAYS on tour.

Lets be fair now – you are not a fking rockstar – you are just doing this because you want to sell books at the expense of your team mates now if you are happy with that then cool but i have stolen a perfect cartoon just for you . . .

. . . and if you know me you will know I actually couldn’t give a damn what happens to ANY South African cricketer (if you want the reasons click the link at the top) but what this genius has done has pushed the boundaries of team mates and camaraderie! When you are part of a team you have to be able to trust those men / women with anything ESPECIALLY at a national level and this absolute moron has gone and blabbed it all over the world.

In fact I’ve seen this kind of thing punished before and this punishment was for ONE transgression of the code – I shudder to think what  Hershy Bru would have to do to atone for his transgressions!

The punishment is from a movie called Mystery Alaska (very cool show but that’s beside the point) and I couldn’t find the actual clip from the movie but it goes something like this  EXCEPT out in the freezing Alaskan air, sliding across a massive lake on his ass and crashing into a pile of snow balls first (this version is a bit soft compared to the real one)

Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) new book – fail or epic fail? Or is he the best of a bad bunch?

Local is / is not lekker, Sport

One of our readers brought this to my attention today and i probably wouldnt have even noticed it for the following reasons.

I dislike South African cricketers (not the sport entirely) – i mean i dont think it fair for me to write this article with you all under the false pretense that i paint my face green and sit on the Wanderers grass cheering every run (although i did in my youth – well maybe not the grass – more like dark corners of the stadium – but the point is i wasnt always a hater)

So now thats out the way we have something fun to discuss and thats Herschelle Gibbs new book (which seems to be in the bargain bin already – i didnt put it there everyone deserves a fair chance!)

What makes it so interesting is he rather blatantly tells the truth like a drunk sportsman bragging to a hot girl at a bar (ala Lawrence Dallaglio cocaine story) – the funniest part is that he gives it a full go and then once hes done he realises he may have made the entire team look like a bunch of crack-head rabble and then tries to back track!

The best example is when he decides to tell the infamous story of the Proteas getting stoned in Antigua (claiming all the way along that it was a one time thing and didnt affect the tour etc – of course Hersch of course!)

The genius talks about how he kept asking where they could find Jamaicas finest and got someone to get a massive bag full and then the crowning moment (makes me think of every politician on earth!) he says “Pretty soon, we were finished. I mean, it was the first – and would be the only – time I ever smoked the stuff.”

Seriously dude – i mean if you are going to have a ‘tell all’ book – lets tell all! First time – REALLY? Last time – REALLY? I dont care just stop talking crap man!

Im not going to read the book ill be honest but if the rest of it (and there will be some juicy sh*t – match fixing / drunk driving / love children / prostitution / crack possession – okay we made some stuff up) is as stupid as the extract i just read via News 24 it will just confirm for me what i have always been pissed off with SA CRICKET about!

We have serious talent – but world beating, ass kicking talent – but we know it and therefor we let it get fat, lazy, drunk, stoned and the list goes on and on – the result – we are as cocky and arrogant as any team could be yet we havent won a major trophy for all of our ‘brilliance’! This genius’s book although i find it hysterical just shows how unprofessional this team has been for over a decade and if you want to know if they are still – why not do a body fat test on them and compare it to YOKOZUNA the Sumo wrestler and you may be shocked at what you find!

Heres Herchelles interview if you feel like it?

Now hopefully i will get a lot of abuse for this as i did for the Gareth Cliff article because people – by generalization - are the same, they choose something they like and dont listen to rational debate about it (you dont have to change your views but atleast consider the fking options).

For example there will be people fuming that i am abusing the Proteas but if the Springbok rugby team hadnt won a major trophy since we came out of the dark ages – we would have burnt this place down years ago – yet the cricketers coast along merrily doing all the fun things Herschelle so eloquently describes and we sit back and say well they’re a pretty good team – NO THEY ARE NOT and if all of you would stop saying that maybe they could get somewhere!

Let us not accept fat mediocrity any more please – im tired of having no trophies and being arrogant about it!

7 Comments

Be a Nigerian Soccer player?

Sport

PRESIDENT SUSPENDS THE NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM?

Now you may think it is funny that their presidents name is GOODLUCK JONATHEN – and yes it is – but what is even more funny is the fact that he has decided because their team is so crap they should not be allowed to play anyone for a while – so he has suspended them from competing!

How i wish Goodluck would come get involved in South African cricket :)

Read the full article?

Rock Out Bafana

Uncategorized

We posted a message from Jack Spanish the other day leading up to the epic game against France. Included in the mail were some words of inspiration for the team that had been written before the start of the tournament. Although they may not have made it through, I certainly believe they rocked out. And while I know we’re being bombarded with all things World Cup at the moment, there are parts of this message that may resonate with you in that game we call life.

Rock out

Rock out Bafana Bafana

Rock Out

Rock out like you’re a lion, and the world cup is the jungle

Rock out like you are seeing Table Mountain for the first time, and the sun is rising

Rock out like you’re dancing to the bones thrown by the witch doctors on the hilltops of Kwazulu Natal

Rock out like you Are the fires of Soweto

Rock out like you’re a Fundamentalist and a terrorist and just this time, in this place, you decide not to light that fuse, or plant that bomb, or drive that car – Rock out like life matters

Rock out like you’re a great white f*cking shark

Rock out like there is no tax

Rock out like the only thing standing between you and a legend, is another man from another place, wearing the same boots – Rock out like the stadiums were not expensive, and the crime is not so bad, and that other shit will have space again some time, but not now – Rock out like the Vuvuzela is a trumpet and you are blowing with the sweet lips of Hugh Masekela

Rock out like you are behind the cricket nets, and it is him or you, and peace or surrender is not an option

Rock out like you believe in that little part of the bottom of you, untouchable by critics, or statistics, or chequebooks, or names, that you too love this game – Rock out like it’s the 70’s and passes are abolished, and the world has changed, and the colour of a man’s skin is not a measure of his worth – Rock out like you’re driving the garden route, and the top is down, and Jay Z is talking about a Yankee cap, and you know all about African Bhambatha sh*t

Rock out like there was no Slavery

Rock out like jou ma se pus*

Rock out like you are the Atlantic, or Indian Ocean, or the Kruger National Park, or Sandton Square, or the local Shebeen, or the Drakensburg Mountains, or the Klein or Groot Karoo, or a herd of Buffalo on the charge, or a Highveld thunderstorm

Rock out like you’re a doctor, and everything you do heals Africa

Rock Out like it’s 1994

Rock out like you trekked a thousand miles through some of the harshest terrain known to mankind, because you thought that this land is a lekker place to live – Rock Out like the air is clean, the water is pure, the sand is white, the sea is warm, and you are one with the wave – Rock out like you are cooking on the open fire and the heavens are blue

Rock out like you’re drunk – on Klippies and Coke

Rock out like you are the Springboks

Rock out like you know it is about inches

Rock out like you are fighting the gunfire of the red people with nothing but your shield, and your spear, and your heart – Rock out like the beat of the drums is tuned to the movement of your feet

Rock out like you’re in love

Rock Out like you just found out the secrets of the universe

Rock out like you think that hosting the world cup is cool enough, but it would just be that little bit cooler, that little bit tastier if you won the whole f*cking thing

Rock out like this is your town, and this is your time, and this is your test, and there are no other chances, no other lives, and your footsteps now on the ground of the land you grew up on, are your last chance to echo throughout eternity

Rock out like this World Cup is the last gift you will ever be able to give to Nelson Mandela

Rock Out like You Believe

Rock Out like God came down and touched your shoes with his lips

Rock Out like you are an African

Rock out like the only word you know, or speak, or hear is Laduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuma

Rock Out like you are a South African

Rotterdam – Friday 11 June (10 hours until 2010)

Come on the Stormers!

Sport

They have little chance – let’s not beat around the bush. I would go so far as to say they have as much chance of winning a trophy this season as Bafana Bafana or South Africa’s cricket team, BUT they do have a little chance!

Some part of me always loves the underdog though, and especially in this case – they have played a hard, heart filled season and nothing would make me happier than seeing the Stormers kick some ass in Soweto on Saturday!

Dankie Wag

You’re doing it wrong: sport

Sport

I did a search for “the South African cricket team” and came across how not to do things in sport. There were also a number of ads for pies.

Other You’re doing it wrong topics are coming up.

Jack Spanish on the STM Tour – Part V

Uncategorized

If you have missed them so far – CATCH THE F**K UP MAN!

THE GUIDE

Jack Spanish on the STM Tour – Part I

Jack Spanish on the STM Tour – Part II

Jack Spanish on the STM Tour – Part III

Jack Spanish on the STM Tour – Part IV

*Financial Crisis*

Nothing brings you closer to financial crisis than Europe. Yes that Devil of desire came back with the force of a heroin addiction. If there is one thing that humanity has created with absolute perfection: it is a way to spend money. You can buy anything in Europe. I bought a new Ipod docking station – one for the road – shiny and black. I bought a new cell phone. I bought new clothes (Europe requires a different sense of style – brands were back). I bought a new bag with flashy blue designs to match my eyes (in Europe a backpack is not cool – not sure what I am going to do with it when I go to the desert). I bought food (smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches on different kinds of breads/steaks with onion rings, fries, and side salads/grilled baby chicken with mushroom sauce/3 pound coffees). I wasted money as if I was George W Bush going to war.

I also started thinking about the financial crisis because money is serious in Europe. I am living off the ill-gotten gains of investment banking, but they are not ‘such’ gains. I have no income you see, and even I realise that when you spend without getting anything back – somewhere along the line you get into sh*t. It seems to be something that the greatest moneymen of the world (the central banks) don’t seem to realise. The financial crisis is over from what I can understand – that is how they talk in Europe – and on the television. Bernanke said, ‘I was not going to be the fed chairman to preside over the world’s second great depression.’ Ego and the office of the fed seem principally to be a little like oil and water. Bernanke is the same dude that was cutting interest rates as if they were his birthday cake when the Dow was in the 13 000 to 14 000 zone. He did the only thing that he could to stimulate growth in the end: killed a few more trees and printed billions more money, and gave it away to those who caused the financial crisis (the banks) in the hope that some day he might get paid back.

I came across an interesting reading in the Old Testament on financial crisis: the story of Job. First of all I must point out that I am not religilous, but I do have a little bit too much time on my hands. I also believe there is wisdom in religion: all religion for that matter.

For those of you who don’t know the story, on a literal translation, Job had lots of wealth and lots of children, and was happy. Job was also a good man in God’s eyes – pious, but in the decent sense. In a test of faith, God (inspired by Satan: this is a literal translation so please don’t be angry religilous) removed all of Job’s wealth and killed his children and gave him boils. The test: would Job still believe in God if all these bad things happened to him. God and his angels went high – Satan went low. The community in which Job lived, including his wife, and a couple of wise men said he must have sinned and that he must confess his sins, or turn his back on God. Job spent hours and hours reflecting on what he had done, asking questions, getting to the depths of his feelings, and understanding his, what appeared to be ill fortune. To cut a long story short he came out at the end and said to everyone including God that he had done no wrong, so the fact that he had lost so much must purely be God’s will and if that was God’s will he openly accepted his fate. Basically: he would do it all again if he had to. In the end he calls to God to ask why this happened to him. He made peace with it but he lacked understanding. God answered Job – a little annoyed – and gives quite a beautiful speech (as God would) about how little humanity really knows when compared with the real secrets of the universe. It is quite humbling whatever your particular theory on God. It is around Job 40 and worth a read. God is angry with Job only because he asked for an explanation. Job apologises and the story ends with God restoring Job and gives him much more riches than before, much prettier daughters and lets him live longer. The writing (stylistically) in the end is inconsistent with all the other parts and if I were bolder I would assume that it was put in at a later stage by some religilous to make an argument that Job’s belief in God saw his riches restored, because it is better to have a God who will restore your material riches. God is particularly angry with Job’s friends who said the only reason for financial crisis, the deaths and the boils, was sin. We hear nothing about Satan in the end but he always loses bets with God.

For me it is not the result that is important, or the literal translation it is what we can get out of the story. The main lesson from this for me is that financial crisis or any crisis is a time of reflection – deep and meaningful reflection depending on the crisis. If we reflect deeply on this financial crisis, I think unlike Job we will not be able to be so convinced that we did no wrong (ie this was no bet between Satan and God – we were the masters of our own destruction). The resulting financial crisis was supposed to give us time to reflect, deeply and meaningfully about how we want to move forward as a species. Job spent days questioning, and evaluating himself in all respects. We did not. All our banks went bust. I must say that again – all our banks went bust. We seem to have started thinking that that is an ordinary everyday occurrence. What we were supposed to contemplate is what materialism brought out of this world; not in a witch-hunt fashion but in the fashion that is searching for a value system under which we would like to live for the next 100 years or longer. We were given a hint by the universe as to one of the things that might be causing humanity some trouble. Obviously things that were right yesterday might be wrong today: for truth is transient, but you don’t realize unless you reflect. I think maybe we were greedy. I think maybe we wanted more than we needed. I think maybe we sacrificed a part of the earth in order to feed our greed. I think maybe we did not share enough with those who could not eat. We caused this financial crisis, but we haven’t learnt – we did not even give ourselves a chance to reflect. Bernanke and the various central banks did that thing humans are famous for: a quick patch up job. You can’t blame them because the world was feeling very insecure and we all know how humans value security. In effect all they did was plug a very big hole with a whole lot of paper in what will go down in history as the greatest and most elaborate ponzi scheme known to mankind. This magic upturn of the market in the last couple of months is just a bunch of paper money being thrown into a system that still thinks it means something. I hope I am wrong because I love Hugo Boss and smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches as much as the next guy, but I don’t think I am. Spare a thought for Bernanke because he is going to look like a real c*nt when this is all over. It is not his fault – it is where history and all of us left him. The financial crisis is not over – not by a long shot. I am no bear because most of the time I cannot but think how magnificent humanity is, and we will eventually come through this learning the lessons that we need to learn, but the financial crisis is not over, and we need to all be prepared. I think our riches will be restored: but they will not be in the financial system that has been so tied to us in this age of materialism.

Other than thinking, I went to the Loveland Festival in Amsterdam – I enclose a little clip, which should be a lag. I took the ferry from Hoek Van Holden (Holland) to Harwich (England) and was stopped by customs on the way in. They were waiting for me. Apparently I fit the profile. I wanted to ask what kind of criminal a single white middle-aged skinhead unemployed metrosexual emo South African male would be: but I don’t think I want to know the answer to that one. I think it had something to do with my shiny new blue bag with patterns that matches my eyes. The Poms won the ashes while I was in the UK. I didn’t go to the game. It was a very big event. I am not sure why such a fuss was made out of a battle for mid table obscurity in world test cricket. As for SA rugby, I watched us play against Australia in the Bok Bar in Covent Garden in London. I can’t help feeling a little like a gushing bride every time I watch this team. I have waited so long for a Bok team to be totally dominant. I think we all need to take some time to bask in the brilliance of this team. They are definitely all men. Bismark is a little silly but I can forgive him for that. There seems to be a weird targeting down under of our scrum particularly John Smit. The commentators said it and the referee seemed to follow. They are going after our hero here – let it be noticed and let us not be fooled – they don’t have players, so psychology is their only weapon. The Boks have always been a little weak on psychology. Without Smit this team would be good: but it would not be perfect. Our captain is a legend and he is a brilliant player. Lets not fall into the usual trap of going after our heroes. I know I ask for a lot but I want 3 tri-nations and another World Cup from this team: they have the ability to get it for me and for all of you Bok supporters out there too.

SEE JACK @ LOVELAND

I am now off to Egypt to see the pyramids, dive, and finally spend time in the desert. I think I might even take in the Valley of the Kings. There is something about Egypt. I think it holds the secrets of the universe – maybe a little too close to its chest, but I will see if I can prise anything away from it.

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