- Part 2

Dolphin Unfriendly

Sometimes life is sad...

There’s a town in Japan called Taiji where every year thousands of dolphins are herded into a closed bay. Some are abducted to spend the rest of their lives performing tricks in aquariums across the globe for the entertainment of stupid people. Those that don’t make the cut, get cut. They’re taken into a cove and brutally stabbed to death. The water turns from blue to red while injured animals try in vain to escape. Instead of a path to the open ocean they’re met with nets, boats, harpoons and ultimately a slow and painful death. This was the horror that the documentary, The Cove, was based on.

The dolphins end up being a source of meat for many people and in the process a source a huge amounts of mercury. Poison. I have no sympathy for these people. What’s also odd, and perhaps linked to the fact that mercury causes brain damage is the view that dolphins are a pest because they eat large amounts of fish, depleting fish stocks for human consumption. They’re dolphins for fuck’s sake! – they eat fish in what should be a balanced ecosystem. We are the ones depleting fish stocks.

The reason for this post is that tomorrow, the beginning of September, is when this barbaric event begins. It makes me angry and I’m not sure what I can do about it. You may feel the same way, so get angry, make a noise, donate, volunteer if you can, but do something. I hope that one day we can look back at this as one of those absurd things people used to do. Not because there aren’t anymore dolphins but because there’s a greater empathy for all life.

Join the awareness on Facebook or follow on Twitter

Joburg’s Golden Circle

Local is / is not lekker

Joburg has an area that’s sometimes referred to as the Golden Circle. I’m not sure if this is a commonly used term but it’s basically the heart of the city that’s surrounded by the M2, N1 and N3 (or is it the M1? In which case I’m out of the circle). As one ventures out of this area, the number trees declines in direct proportion to average IQ of the area’s inhabitants. Ok, that’s not true, and a bit harsh, but I have a serious dislike of the typical Tuscan/Balinese inspired SummerCON developments that tend to blanket the landscape.

It’s clear that there are many others who share this view about the Golden Circle. They may call it the Shooter Curtain, but the sentiment is the same. This from here:

There’s a divide in Joburg. Quite a big one, in fact. I’d become aware of it some months ago, but it was only the other day when a friend of mine, formerly resident in Sunninghill, now in Craighall Park, celebrated the fact that he’d managed to escape the deadening ennui that characterises much of the north in Joburg.

The Shooter Curtain, he called it. Just like the Boerewors Curtain, but with tequila. Beyond it is a land of sales managers in chinos and theme pubs and those thatched Summercon developments, the ones with lofts and parking spots and names like “Serengeti”. It’s where people with names like Craig and Wayne who work in IT – Ah tee – get trashed and boast about it the next day, hence the name. Where variations on Long Island Iced Tea are listed in the cocktail menus in Newscafe. Where chicks from the East Rand – there be dragons; people from Sandton never venture there unless it’s to catch a plane – hang out with the hopes of catching a consultant or an investment banker.

The Shooter Curtain is an allegorical divide but it can generally be traced alongside the highway that loops around Joburg, dividing the older city from newer developments. Its heart lies in suburbs like Fourways and Sunninghill, though it can be extended further north to Centurion and west to the vast, awful swathes of soulless development that stretch from Featherbrooke to Northgate.

In my experience the actual physical divide between those who dwell behind the Shooter Curtain and those who would never venture beyond it is the Hyde Park Shopping Centre, specifically the bar at the Southern Sun hotel. People from the older Joburg suburbs will go there to have a drink and view the BEE types on their phones, as will those who live in thatched lofts with 1.5 bathrooms and 2 parking spaces. So far and no further though. I know people who think that Rosebank is terrifyingly far south and wouldn’t dream of going there lest they, I don’t know, encounter an emperor penguin or something. On the other hand, there are the people who are just as adamant they will never set foot in what another friend of mine calls the Northern Wastelands.

Some people (like me) routinely step over the line, so I’ll pretend I fit in with the impossibly cool people at The Office in Greenside as easily as I’ll pretend to fit in with the aggressively mainstream Bryanston types at the Baron on Main.

Still, I can see that the difference is stark. It’s not just geographical, of course: it’s a mindset too. People who live before the Shooter Curtain furnish their homes with Nguni cowhides and Eames chairs (mind you, Sevens sold a perfectly good Chinese knockoff of the Eames lounger at a fraction of the cost of the replica a while back; I bought one for the ex and it’s one of the few pieces of furniture he sent to Australia). Beyond it is a land of 42 inch LED TVs and jetskis, bring and braais and uncritical thinking, if any thinking takes place at all.

Beyond the Shooter Curtain it’s Hooters and Billy the Bums and Montecasino. Before it’s 44 Stanley Avenue and Tokyo Star. It’s drinking coffee while squashed on a pavement inhaling petrol fumes. It’s gentrification and art galleries. Beyond the Shooter Curtain it’s Tuscan. Before the Shooter Curtain it’s African eclectic. Beyond the Shooter Curtain it’s shopping malls and value marts; before the Shooter Curtain the smell of pee in the streets of Melville. Beyond the Shooter Curtain, it’s GTis and double cabs; before it, Vespas and walking the dogs in the street in a community that isn’t gated. Beyond the Shooter Curtain there’s acres of parking; before it, no effing parking to be found anywhere on a Wednesday night, even if the suburb is called Parkhurst. Beyond, it’s Nickelback; before, Youssou N’dour. KFC, organic; Edgars, Big Blue, and so on.

Of course, there are people on either side of the Shooter Curtain who don’t conform to the stereotypes of either Pleasantville or Poser Town. One can live in one and be a resident, in spirit, of the other. But for the most part the divide holds firm, and the people on either side are perfectly happy where they are.

Round of Patrón for everyone.

Thanks Dyl


Photos. Old and new.

The arts

When I was a kid, in fact all the way until adulthood, cameras were things that only really came out for special occasions. This all changed when things went digital. I remember getting a digital camera for my 21st birthday and at the time it was one of the first in my circle of friends and family. In a short space of time however they were commonplace and and with this change in photography came a shift in the number of photographic memories we were able to generate. If I consider the number of pictures my parents have from their twenties versus what the average twenty something has today, the difference is immense. Probably tens vs. thousands.

The reason I was thinking about this, in a somewhat round-about way I suppose, was because of these pictures taken by Irina Werning. The project is called back to the future and it’s effectively the recreation of photos of childhood pictures. Same setting, same clothes, different age.

Check out the rest.

Thursday’s Threesome

Beauty Beauty Everywhere . . .

How dem apples?

Not many words today. Click the pic.

Sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday!

Drink cool be cool!

BACARDI are planning a roll out of nationwide events as part of their new ‘Together’ campaign, encouraging us to ‘get out and get together’.

To kick-start their live campaign, BACARDI will be bringing together a collective of local artists from Johannesburg and Cape Town to create a unique once-off BACARDI concept party in their city.

This first show will take place at a secret venue in Cape Town early next month. BACARDI have enlisted the diverse talents of Cape Town visual artist Daniel Ting Chong, chef Kobus van der Merwe and synth-scratch DJ Sibot for the event, to create the first bespoke BACARDI experience in SA.

BACARDI have been hosting ‘Better Together’ parties for over 100 years, and whilst this may be a one-off exclusive gig, it’s just the start of BACARDI’s ‘Together’ campaign. More events are planned nationwide to bring the party to everyone.

Check out their Facebook page for more…

And while you’re here, check out the ad for the campaign.

Thursday’s Threesome

Beauty Beauty Everywhere . . .

You may look at this picture and wonder what the hell those things are and what they have to do with Thursday’s Threesome. The answer is rather simple – they’re ink wells and while maybe not everybody’s idea of attractive, this week’s TT is all about the ink.

Hot or not? Click to see.

The (in)significance of being.

High Flying!

If you think you’re important, perhaps you should think again…

I’m not entirely sure what my view on this is. While by default we’re the most significant things in our own reality, and while we have the ability to be hugely influential in the lives of those around us, our communities, countries or even the planet, in the bigger scheme of things what does this actually mean?

US debt in pictures


I’m sure you’ve heard something about the levels of debt that the USA’s in at the moment. I’m sure you’ve heard some pretty big numbers being mentioned – one’s that are probably a little difficult to comprehend. Well, the old saying that pictures tell a thousand words may help to put it into perspective and in this case it’s pictures of stacks of dollah.

A good old $100 bill

$10 000

$1 million – doesn’t look like that much, does it?

$100 million

$1 billion

$1 trillion – the US borrowed 1.7 times this in 2010 to run itself

$15 trillion – the amount of debt the government could be in by the end of the year

$114.5 trillion – the amount of money the US doesn’t have to fund the Medicare, Medicare Prescription Drug Program,
Social Security, Military and civil servant pensions.

I’m not really clued up on these issues so haven’t really commented but fcuk, that’s a lot of money! With the amount of shit going on across the globe at the moment I think we could be in for some tough times ahead.

From here.

Thursday’s Threesome

Beauty Beauty Everywhere . . .

I’m not entirely sure I get this cartoon. It could be the haze that’s still hanging after Le Tour, but I think it’s more just a case of it being a crap cartoon. Be that as it may, this week’s Thursday’s Threesome is in tribute to the beauty that is the female (although I suppose all Thursday’s Threesomes are) – after a golf tour with 12 guys, a few birdies and a hell of a lot of binge drinking I caught a glimpse of the permanent chaos that would ensue without the influence of the fairer sex.

Thanks to all the guys on tour for the temporary chaos.

Coca-Cola. Activated.

Advertising Genius!

You may have noticed that we’re quite big on activations here at STM. As much as you may think, “Bleh, it’s just advertising”, the fact of the matter is we can’t really escape ads. They’re everywhere and as such end up playing a rather large part of our lives, whether we like it or not, or whether consciously or not. So wouldn’t you rather be exposed to some real creativity that’s essentially fun? And in so doing reinforce that we don’t want the crap that’s been forced on us from all sides for decades.

This is a great Peruvian activation that highlights a couple of things for me. Firstly it shows that you don’t always need to speak the language to get the message. The other is that people are generally good (ironically I had to find out that part of the message by using Google Translate – I’ll post the translation after the video).

All the people who saw the wallet returned it 70%

- that’s right, 70% of the time it happens every time!

I want to go on holiday to a Norwegian prison


There’s an island that lies in the tranquil clear waters off the Norwegian coast, just South of Oslo. It’s an island filled with trees and surrounded by a pebbled beach. Pathways wind through the forests, linking up bungalows, tennis courts, a football pitch, library, spa and cinema.

The inhabitants of Bastoy spend their mornings doing some work and their afternoons walking, fishing, playing sport or simply relaxing in a sauna. Sounds like a place I wouldn’t want to leave. Well the guys on the island don’t – you see they’re in a prison. There may not be any cells, or bars, or guards carrying weapons, but some pretty hardcore prisoners serve out their sentences on this “paradise”. And the kicker? It has the lowest rate of re-offense in Europe. To put in perspective the average European re-offending rate is between 70 – 75%. At Bastoy it’s only 16%.

That dude’s a murderer

Their “holiday retreat”. The whole thing sounds like a holiday!

You gave him a knife? Clearly the only shanks here are of the lamb variety.

You can read the full story here – it’s really quite interesting and makes you question the role of prison systems. Is punishment more important than rehabilitation? If you remove the emotion from the debate, is reintroducing someone into society as a productive member not a better outcome then keeping them locked up at the taxpayer’s expense?

While I do think there’s merit in the concept, there are certainly cases where punishment seems like the better option. The horrendous bombing and shooting that happened in Norway last week is a case in point. It also highlighted another strange thing about the Norwegian penal code. Under their law, a crazed extremist, right-wing, religious fundamentalist (that’s a whole mouthful of horrible!) who blew up a building and then single handedly shot and killed over ninety kids (ironically also on an island) would be subject to a maximum sentence of 21 years. They’re now considering trying Anders Behring Breivik for crimes against humanity as the sentence is longer. But still only 30 years. W.T.F??!?!??!?!

Cape Town… minimised.

Local is / is not lekker

Depending on how old you are you may remember Micro Machines, which were definitely some of my favourite child hood toys. I saw this video the other day and it was the first memory that came to mind. I’d imagine if you were to build the ultimate micro machine set up using one of the coolest cities as a blue print it would look something like this.

Beautiful tilt shift photography by Tim Henny:

Thursday’s Threesome

Beauty Beauty Everywhere . . .

Crouch, touch, pause, engage. We may have just finished the Super 15 but the rugby season is far from over. This week’s threesome is a little something dedicated to the Springboks before their encounter on Saturday. While I’m not convinced that the *ahem*… results will be quite what’s reflected in the scene below, it would be nice.

I promise that the picture after the click doesn’t contain any graphic images of an animal nature or otherwise.


Cheesekids Mandela Day

Local is / is not lekker

With Mandela Day coming up, what will you be doing as your 67 minute contribution? It may have been difficult in the past to get involved, but this is no longer the case. Thanks to Cheesekids, you can do your part for a great cause.

Nelson Mandela Day is coming up on July 18. This internationally celebrated day is all about you and me giving 67 minutes of our time towards a humane act, kind deed or service to humanity.

Cheesekids (a youth-mobilisation organisation with nearly 4,000 volunteers) is marking Mandela Day by enabling 6,700 South African’s to DO 67 minutes of community service across 3 cities (Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban) on Sunday 17th July 2011 between 8:30am – 4:30pm.

In Johannesburg, the day will close with an After-Party concert at the Johannesburg rally-point featuring artists the likes of HHP, AKA, JR, Khuli Chana, Nothende, Ihashi Elimhlope, Jozi and many more from 4.30pm onwards.

Registering to attend is simple and thanks to their partners, specifically Old Mutual, it’s free. Would-be attendees go to www.cheesekids.org.za and follow these simple 5-step instructions to register.

In each city, bus shuttles will take registered attendees to community service projects of their choice when they arrive at the rally point. The projects include beautifying schools, cleaning homes, building and painting schools, gardening, cooking, playing with kids, vocational guidance, a sports clinic and blood donation drives – spread across 12 townships in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban.

All projects and rally points will be unveiled after registrations close on Saturday 16th July @ 12pm. To ensure optimal crowd control, a maximum of 5,500 volunteers will be hosted in Johannesburg, 800 in Cape Town and 400 in Durban.

As it is a Sunday, children are welcome in all cities, as all events are child-friendly. Food and beverages, ablution facilities and celebrity hosts will be on hand at all rally points throughout the day.

As the 2010 Cheesekids Mandela Day event with 2,000 volunteers proved, it’s a great way to spend a day, making friends and making a difference in a co-ordinated and yet ultimately relaxed and entertaining day.


Monday’s Menage a Trois

Beauty Beauty Everywhere . . .

You may wonder what a bird, a flower and a berry have in common. In this case it’s simply that they’re all blue, and being a cold Monday morning we feel it’s quite apt. Whereas in the past we’ve brought you the threesome towards the end of the week, we thought we’d cheer up the start of the week with something a little warmer.

Yes, yes, it’s still Sunday evening but the bulk of you will only see it on Monday. And when the Carte Blanche music is playing in the background it may as well be Monday

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