Sunday, November 1, 2009

Look, you’re about to die and I have no intention of rescuing you!

An issue which has forever been close to my heart is the inability of us as individuals to use self-initiative to succeed and instead blame past circumstances and seek pity from the rest.

It’s sad to see on a daily basis how much we, myself included, complain about almost every petite thing, attempting to gain some sort of pity from those around you. Yes, we all come from different backgrounds where some have been more privileged than others -but in what sense? Financial means?

You hear countless stories about how hardworking, determined individuals have succeeded against immense odds. And instead of serving as an inspiration, we dance to the typical tune of seeking every flaw within the individual while mocking the good that the person has done for themselves.

Personally, I feel that the greatest education you’ll ever get is the education you give yourself. With so many resources at our disposal and the tiny world that we’re living in, open doors are staring at us with GET YOUR ASS IN HERE written all over them.

I am a strong believer that if you’re not willing to sacrifice and go beyond what ‘they told you to do’, you won’t make any progress.
One cannot play the lotto every week, hoping to get your lucky break or drown your sorrows in a bottle for years because the guy next to you got the job, hoping that your life story will be documented and the whole the world will reach out to you in charitable embrace.

For the reality is, that nobody genuinely cares about your circumstance and they sure as hell are not going you to emancipate you from the dungeon of despair.

You have to do for you, quit complaining, and make it happen. The world IS yours for the taking.

And just by the way, trusting in the Lord makes a world of a difference as well. You should try it if you’re interested.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Number 42 IS PURPLE

On first glance, a bright cheerful image of two bears greets the idle visitor of this blog site. Holding hands, they look out towards a rainbow over on a psychedelic green horizon, immediately below, the perky face of one of the blogs regular contributors, Cath Cunningham, smiles wickedly back from the screen.

Well written, witty and informative, it is clear to see why this blog was one of the favorites at the blog awards, the attention to detail is almost as perfect as any collective of women can muster and the relevancy found in each article glares at one in the face like an angry bear. Their tongue-in-cheek attitude towards writing is done cleanly and without the rough edges found in other blogs that occupy space on (namely my own).

Personally, there is not one post that stands out above the rest, simply because to compare each one of these well educated writers would be unjust. Yet the flavours brought in by Cath, Mya and Michelle are as diverse as ice-cream stalls, but one cannot help but feel that two of the three authors were raised on a similar brand of psychoactive gymnastics as your truly.

That may make me a little biased towards their writing, hell, it may make me very biased towards their writing but its nothing that I am ashamed of. For a good laugh and a good time go check out their blog at

Friday, October 30, 2009

One Hour...

It dawned on me, something that could open up eyes in this Rhodes institute of privileged kids who know no other way of life.

My plan was to sit alongside that old barefooted hobo, who plays his guitar and stretches his vocal tracts day in and out along the kerbs of High Street.

I was a bit nervous initially as I suspected him to be reluctant to have a stranger sit along side him to experience the life from the ground up.

I did not expect a conversation due to the language barriers in existence, which was a pity as my plan was to extract some information that might have served as an inspirational stepping stone for me as a student who has done nothing but walk past this soloist on his way to Pick n Pay.

Friday Morning.

The street is in its usual casual state with everyone tending to their own business, not a sign of a friendly handshake or a warm embrace – not by anyone.

And there he sits. Under the tree, strumming away.

‘Molo Tata’ was all I could utter. He grins with droopy eyelids and I take a seat next to him.
Not long after, the eyes start staring my way and I experience what it is to be looked down upon by the masses. I attempt to catch my new friend’s lyrics and sing along, but I am too intrigued by the passion with which he delivers his melodies. This man is content with his circumstance, it is clear as day.

The hour I spent with my new friend was an experience that has humbled me even further and I actually felt so guilty when I got back to my res and found an expensive hoodie of mine lying on the floor alongside my bed.

Nonetheless, it was experience gained through experiencing.

Red Hot Number 42

My current semester at Rhodes University has allowed me to attend lectures on the global crisis with Professor Cobbing. It is a high flying course covering human history and what we have done wrong to end up in the state that we are currently experiencing (which, according to Cobbing, is a crisis). Professor Cobbing’s reason behind our state of flux is simply because no one cares anymore. Humans are too selfish and more inclined to put themselves first than to be bothered about society’s problems. The writers of The Number 42 is Purple, however, show a conscious understanding of the world. Their writing shows evidence of social awareness and a genuine concern with the current state of society.

These four women have viewed and reviewed worldly issues with a critical lens. They have provided readers with a student’s perspective on the world and have shown that humans are not entirely focused on themselves. The Number 42 is Purple has provided me with a little hope about the world we live in. Many people today are so engaged with their own trivial concerns that the human race has slowly turned into an autistic community. Connecting with each other through a networking site or over some technological device is a more natural occurrence than physical, face-to-face human contact.

The blogging topics range from climate change and twitter, to Obama and animal testing. The broad topics demonstrate an extensive understanding in the world and are well executed in their writing. The world needs to see more of The Number 42 is Purple if we are ever to have any hope of living beyond this crisis.

No real Culture, but a whole lot of vulture

I decided to do my review on Young Culture’s Emporium. The blog, orchestrated by four opinionated young women, presents a simplified interface with articles that state the point and eliminate irrelevance.

The blog title, however, does not coincide very much with the content presented. I would have expected that with a name such as young culture, there would have been more focus placed on growing youth trends in terms of fashion, cults, belief systems as well as young people who are excelling in media and other industries.

Regardless though, the articles proved to compensate for the lack of title-content integration with a diverse mix of posts, ranging from commentary on fresh AWB onslaught-in-the-making to hits at the verbosity of parliamentarians in court to a direct challenge at the first year journalism course which is proving nothing more than plain boring.

Due to the critical nature of this blog, it would perhaps have been appropriate to include a sideline widget on the blog such as a poll or statistical chart, which would compliment the articles well or perhaps a darker colour scheme to point out the critical element.

The use of images and video were creative and stood out amongst the simplified interface,

I particularly enjoyed the articles ‘Just a thought on Varsity life’ and ‘Doomed for failure by global expectation

One can tell that most posts have been well researched and hyperlinks are provided to substantiate this

This is a simple blog which secures the cash and disposes the trash, using imagery economically and making

it gets 7.5/10

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Sobriety Test

Grahamstown is well known for many things, but the student drinking culture most likely tops the list of the most famous or infamous qualities this fair town. I am not embarrassed to say that I have taken part in these activities with great enthusiasm and fervour. I have met a number of people, could tell a hundred stories and I have had a great deal of laughs along the way. This has been, however, all under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, I decided that I would spend a night out in Grahamstown with no trace of alcohol in my system.

The thought of going out sober was a daunting one. This is because, and maybe it is a sad fact, but going out in sober in Grahamstown is a little difficult seeing as there are numerous students wondering New Street in a drunk and disorderly fashion. This factor is somewhat off putting, because inebriated people do not have the same interests as those who are sober. For example, dancing on the tables at Union might be appealing to those who have had a few; whereas those who haven’t had a drop may not be able to muster the confidence to showcase their dancing abilities to the Rhodes student body. The reason for this would be that one’s inhibitions slowly fall away with the consumption of alcohol and the ability to acknowledge one’s appearance and behaviour disappears. Therefore, finding common ground with those who had been drinking made me a little reluctant to go out at all.

However, I had promised a mate that we were going to go out, even if it was in a sober state of mind. So we downed our Bioplus sachets and headed out. One of the issues I was going to have with this night of no alcohol was the weather. The wind was ice cold as we wandered down to Union. This is often ignored due to alcohols capacity to warm the blood. However, all was not lost as a lift was soon acquired.
Union was empty and for now, Sammy and I weren’t quite prepared to make fools of ourselves on the dance floor. So we sat and waited for Steph to arrive from Aquatics AGM. It must be noted that by the time she arrived at Union, Steph had already had copious amounts of free punch; which would mean that Sammy and I were in for an evening of a lot of work and effort.

I expected the night to be a rough one with lots of drunk people falling all over the place, which it invariably was, but I didn’t expect the night to be enjoyable. Wandering the Grahamstown streets, hitching lifts and having a number of drunk conversations was surprisingly entertaining. I am glad I ended up staying true to my word by allowing myself to see the Grahamstown night life without the drunken haze.
However, this is an experience not to be taken lightly. If you are a keen partier like myself who enjoys a bit of drink to get started on a night out, a sober night could be a risky move. It’s only when all the planets are in alignment, the moon is full and blue and that pig across road did fly, that you will enjoy a night out as a sober cobra in Grahamstown. And that night for me was last night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ah, the Beach, a Blog that has Nothing To Do With Journalism

Hmmm, crap. This is public and stupid. I guess that’s what attracted me to it. I finally let go of my inhibitions and did something my parents would openly frown upon.

I sat on a beach and busked.

The spell check immediately asked me if I meant basked. No. I meant busked. For those of you playing the home game; busking is when you and a mate grab a guitar and play it in public while singing bad renditions of popular songs. For some its all about putting out the hat and earning some loose change, for others, like us, it was just about the feeling of doing something daft in public (and hopefully attract the attentions of the pretty girls sitting near us on the beach).

The feelings were not those associated with the usual euphoric tremblings found when performing before an audience who actually paid to see you. Instead, this felt more intimate. We had been mellowing out so much throughout the day that the actual act of busking just seemed like the next logical step to the intake of alcohol and hubbly already permeating our systems.

My friend Zane, bless him, recorded most of the one song, and it shows just how relaxed we all were, my friend Darryn was so relaxed, he opted not to even stir from his sleep.

The real truth behind all of this, which need I add has nothing to do with journalism, was for a break. To get out of our varsity town and visit the coast for a guys-only getaway where women, and booze were the only topics of conversation (two of the four of us were in steady relationships, as for myself and Darryn, well we have no clue). I guess the act of busking was an embodiment of our sentiments for the weekend; not to care while throwing out whatever we felt like to the big bad world. It was the musical equivalent of farting in public.

The end of the song, not shown in the clip, was more of a tapering off of notes than a resounding musical finale, but that is what busking is… bullshitting your way through a piece of music to look good and hip. Yet in this instance we did not do it to look cool and feel smart, we just did it to improve on our already considerable state of happiness. In other words, it was the worlds most selfish busk.

I do hope that everyone can feel what we felt for those few seconds. The sense that anyone can be watching you there and then and you won’t be self conscious about it at all. It is really one of the most liberating moments I have ever experienced, and if I have my way, it wont be the last.