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Archive for February, 2005

The Pope has hit the headlines again… this time because he underwent an emergency tracheotomy of the throat so that he could breathe. The Vatican reports that the frail 84 year old is in a stable condition at Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic. I am sure millions of praying Catholics worldwide breathed a sigh of relief upon receiving the welcome news.

Now I am happy that he was able to overcome the latest setback to his health. Yet I cannot help but wonder why are we trying so hard to keep this Holy Man alive and healthy here on earth? Surely he would be better off moving on to the next life so that he can spend an eternity with God, something he, unlike the rest of us sinful mortals, can be assured of? We are taught from an early age not to fear death as we are destined for something better and infinitely more rewarding when we finally get to be in the presence of our Heavenly Father. And here we are in a state of despair and mourning because the Pope could have died and he would finally fulfill his destiny and receive his just rewards.

The Pontiff has survived two attempts on his life, suffers from a myriad health troubles, including Parkinson’s disease. He has had an astonishing reign, one of the longest in Papal history — perhaps the time has come for him to call it a day and pass the rights to lead the Catholic Church on to someone else so that he can live out the rest of his days in peace and tranquility.

I read the following comment in a post made by a fellow blogger:
I think the Pope will croak next. I hope they shoot him off into space in a capsule so he can race L. Ron Hubbard and Gene Roddenberry to Pluto.

Does not exactly echo my sentiments, but funny nonetheless. 84 years old and no sex… now that is a good enough reason to croak!

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When I was 13 years old, my best mate James and I stole a packet of cigarettes from his father’s drawer. We hid in the garden shed behind their house, divided the packet of cigarettes into 2 equal piles, and proceeded to smoke all of them in one go.
I think I was about half way through my stash, when I began to hurl uncontrollably and so did James. I was sick for 3 days thereafter, and as far as I know, those were the first and last cigarettes I had ever smoked.
Thinking back, stealing the cigarettes, and trying to smoke the whole pack, was an incredibly stupid thing to do. But, as with most 13 year olds, doing incredibly stupid things is a way of life, and in our youthful innocence, we thought we were very brave and very grown up.
Hahaha… of all the many things we did back then, this one stands out as one (yeah there we many more) of the more memorable moments in our lives, and we laughed about it for years after.
James, seemingly got over his aversion to cigarettes, and by the time we were 18, he was a “full blown” smoker. Back then, I was the geek and he was the “cool kid”, so it makes sense that he would be the one who ended up smoking. Damn, those really were the good ol’ days!
This week my friend James tragically died of lung cancer… barely 30, and now he is gone forever. We had lost touch soon after we left school. James and his parents moved to another part of the country, and although we had sworn at the time stay close, we inevitably lost touch. Although I had not seen him in over ten years, his death came as a big shock to me, and I cannot help but wonder, whether it was that first pack of cigarettes that had put him onto the path that eventually led to his untimely death.
Perhaps it did not, but it is remarkable how one is able string together insignificant events, while trying to make sense of the loss of someone you were once close to. In fact, since receiving the news, I suddenly began to remember a lot of things, I thought I had completely forgotten. Yet after all these years, seemingly small and insignificant events, things we spoke about, did together as kids, and dreams we had growing up, all came rushing to the surface. Some good, some bad… some as clear as if they happened yesterday, while others appear to be nothing more than vague snippets.
I guess one can never truly leave one’s past behind. The memories are all there, neatly filed away in little compartments, just waiting to be accessed and relived again.
My buddy James will continue to live on for as long as I care to remember him and who he was… who I was.

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I pride myself on my ability to be open and honest and to do the right thing, even in the face of adversity.

Many times the only way to solve a problem is to confront it head-on, to cut the bullshit and get right to the point. Screw the 21st century PC crap, the ultra-sensitive approach and the side-dish of complimentary bullshit that accompanies every bit of criticism. We have become so good at skirting the issues that sometimes we forget that in doing so we are doing ourselves and the person we seemingly want to protect, a huge disservice.

And that is exactly what I did NOT do today when I was confronted (perhaps even accosted?) by an act of stupidity so profound, it can only be rivaled by the re-election of G’Dubya in 2004. And that, my friend, takes some doing!

To me, engaging in stupid behaviour does not necessarily mean that that person committing the act is stupid. In fact, many stupid-doers are, for all practical reasons, quite intelligent. Perhaps there is something in the very nature of their intelligence that predisposes them to doing stupid things, or perhaps the more intelligent one is, the more stupid one tends to act. Which could explain for instance why the world is in the mess it is in… merely because we rely on the “intelligent” people to tell us what to do… hehe. We generally tend to blame awful decisions on intentional perversity, astute mischievousness, megalomania, etc. They are there, all right; but any careful study of history, or current events, leads to the invariable conclusion that the single biggest source of terrible mistakes is sheer stupidity.

Even our educational institutions will not admit some students are in fact not as intelligent as their peers. Their policy is to regard all students as equal, despite obvious differences in intelligence and ability. The reduction of all to this level of mediocrity instills in people an unrealistic sense of whom they really are and what they are capable of. I am not saying we should discourage people from reaching their goals and being all that they can be… but when someone has done or is about to do something really stupid, we need to tell them so in no uncertain terms. Let the truth be known.

The most dangerous people in existence are people who think they are intelligent when in fact they are just plain stupid. It is one thing to be intelligent and act stupidly on the odd occasion, but quite another to be stupid and not knowing it. My solution… confront all forms of stupidity wherever and whenever you may encounter them even at the risk of appearing insensitive, politically incorrect and boorish. Who owe it to ourselves and to those we live with…. we even owe it to stupid poeple to make them aware fct that they are NOT the sharpest tools in the shed.

Now… let me get back to what I was doing before all of this started and finish the letter I’m writing to Thabo.

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This can only happen in Dubai!
Taking tennis to new heights – Absolutely amazing photos taken of Andre Agassi and Roger Federer playing tennis on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab hotel before the start of The Dubai Tennis Championships 2005, 21st February – 5th March 2005.

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Practise makes perfect

In classic authors we are often warned, there’s naught so savage as a ‘woman scorned’. Well, try a man who has been told that his bedside antics are as exicting as a wet nappy and you have yourself a “nuclear situation”. A mate of mine was told by his now ex girlfriend that he does get any stars in her “little black book of sexual experiences” and that he’d be better of playing by himself than with someone else. Ouch!! Ooch!! Ouch!!
I admit that there is deliberate intent behind her comment as the break up was particularly ugly, but can there be any bigger a blow to a man’s self-esteem than being told by a woman that he is a zero in the sack? Perhaps there is … but I cannot think of any right now.
Now any lesser man would cower in a dark mouldy corner and lick his wounds… but not this guy… no sir. He is hell-bent on revenge and on getting his own back. I personally would bang the next woman I meet… in order to get a second and perhaps even a third opinion.. but then again I’ve always believed that the odds get better (and more favourable) the more people you consult. I believe the words… “drawn and quartered” were used along with such phrases as “regret the day she was born” and “the only action she’ll ever get”. I can only imagine that life in my little circle of friends is going to become a lot more interesting in the next few weeks. Nothing like a good fight of trailer park proportions to spice up my dreary existence. I suppose I could tell him to give it a rest… move on and get back in the sack as soon as possible, but who am I to spoil the fun.

Moving to the entertainment scene, I see the official trailer of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has been released. The magnificent tale of the hapless hero, Arthur Dent, as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc is due for release on 29 April 2005.

Being an avid DA fan and having read all of his books, I am cautiously optimistic. As a rule film adaptations of epic novels never seem to live up to expectations, although Peter Jackson’s done well in bringing The Lord of The Rings to the big screen. Perhaps this will be another success story. The trailer seems suitably weird and wacky and the special effects do justice to what I dreamed up in my colourful imagination. Perhaps it will be ninth time lucky for the hardened DA fans…

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Bring it on Patty…

Love them or hate them… The Simpsons have for 16 years provided us with many hours of entertainment… ranging from the bizarre to the downright stupid.

So what’s next… may you ask? Well it seems The Simpsons has taken a swipe at the real world controversy of gay marriage by having its latest episode centre on a same-sex union.
MARGE’S chain-smoking sister Patty has come out as a lesbian in cult American TV show The Simpsons and marries Veronica” – a golf pro on the female tour.

The minister was none other than Homer himself who becme a minister on the Internet charging $200 a pop to conduct same sex weddings. You go… Homie! WOOHOO!

Now sit back and watch the conservatist right-wing fanatics crawl out of the sewer and cry foul. Says L Brent Bozell, president of the Parents Television Council, said: “At a time when the public mood is overwhelmingly against gay marriage, any show that promotes gay marriage is deliberately bucking the public mood.”

Not to be outdone, supporters of gay marriages welcomed the plot “It’s saying to those who demonise homosexuality, or what they call the homosexual agenda, anything from ‘Lighten up’ to ‘Get out of town'”, said Communications Professor Marty Kaplan.

Gotta love America!!

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Bitter-Sweet Seduction

It’s new… not free… yet so totally me
Yep it’s my IPod mp3 player
And I’m no longer the nay sayer


Yep, finally gave in to my carnal lust for gadgets and bought me one of those fancy schmancy “must have” mp3 players.
Dare I say it was “on special” and I scored a few bucks… oh how gullible I’ve become in the face of such privilege… succumbing to the sweet trappings of consumerism.
The initial euphoria with obtaining my new shiny toy was however short-lived as I struggled for hours with “setting it up”. I can think of a whole plethora of words that can substitute for the phrase “setting up”, but none of them would quite capture the amount of anger and resentment I felt towards Apple last night. The instruction booklet with the “easy to follow instructions” led me down a path which I can only describe as the mother load of all errors. The Apple Support Site, take note, is of no use when your brain is in a downward spiral of despair and techno agony. I can only liken this to the time I tried to have my car re-registered at the Johannesburg Licensing Department… times two thousand!
Anyway… moving on… finally with the help of my “bestest” geek buddy I managed to get the IPod going. I think we broke every rule of how NOT to setup the IPod…. and if truth be told, it never felt so good! So screw you Apple… instructions and rules are for sissies; obviously you have yet to come face to face with the ingenuity of the desperate man!

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