Archive for October, 2005

I find this downright disturbing. Nope… disturbing is too tame a word for this. This is fucked-up.

They may remind you of another famous pair of singers, the Olsen Twins, and the girls say they like that. But unlike the Olsens, who built a media empire on their fun-loving, squeaky-clean image, Lamb and Lynx are cultivating a much darker persona. They are white nationalists and use their talents to preach a message of hate.

It is heartbreaking that parents would use their children to further their own hateful racist beliefs. Beliefs they have been nurtured on since birth and teaches them to see Nazi Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy Fuhrer as a “man of peace who wouldn’t give up.”

The Hanging Stranger (formerly Intern Andy) says it better than I can. Pop over to his blog for his unique take on events.
More here.


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He’s on a roll!

You want to see a senior marketer go ballistic on a grey Thursday morning in Johannesburg? Dare to criticize the copy of the new ad campaign he is proposing.
Why the peanut asked me for my opinion in the first place is beyond me, because it seems he did not want it anyway.
The funniest thing about giving him my perspective is that he felt the need to vehemently defend his and force it down my throat as if I had agreed to perform fellatio. (Spare me the downright embarrassment!) .
Most people I know, simply do not appreciate an opinion radically different to their own. I don’t, at least not when the option to disagree with me is not an option at all. Or perhaps it had to do with the questions I asked, “Is that not misleading to the consumer?” What exactly do you mean by the phrase… “, “Can you substantiate that claim?”
There is simply no real integrity left in the marketing industry anymore. Greed has taken care of that. Ok… perhaps that is a sweeping generalisation, if ever there was one, but I am using it in the context of this morning’s incident.
The ability to utter words or use a keyboard to type words on a computer screen does not make one intelligent. Hell, my 5 year old niece can do that too, and although her ideas can put a smile on my face, they still remain nothing more than the cute little notions of a 5 year old. Capice!? If our thoughts and opinions cannot hold up to a little criticism, then how sound was the reasoning behind it in the first place?
Of course; I am the biggest hypocrite of them all. When it comes to this profession, I can and I will… LIE. I too succumb to the pressures of big business. Increase market share, increase volume share, increase net revenue, increase gross margin, increase, increase, fucking increase! I know what it is like to bend the rules, to reserve the use of certain words and images and play on their ambiguity when the occasion calls for it. I know how to navigate the ether between right and and wrong and how to stay just inside the boundaries.
However, I’d like to think that I am not entirely without a backbone; that I have managed to evolve beyond the single-celled amoeba. When something is blatantly misleading and used entirely out of context, I would like to believe that there is enough integrity and honesty left in me to do the right thing.
I do not mince my words, and regardless of what is going on in behind the scenes, there is no excuse for lies and poor execution.
I am on a bridge-burning spree it seems. I have a few torches left in the bottom drawer of my desk, if you’d care to join me.
I feel like torching the playground!

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I would never have thought myself capable of blackmailing someone into doing what I want them to do. Let me rephrase that, blackmail is not something I would normally resort to in order to get someone to do what I want.
I will threaten, manipulate, play political games and may even throw the odd tantrum. I have also been known to beg and plead like there is no tomorrow, but never have I used blackmail in order to get what I want.
Until today. I am walking down the corridor at work today and I notice a whole group of people standing at the departmental secretary’s work station. They are all giggles and smiles. Not one for being left on the outside, I decide to join in and get to the bottom what is going on.
It appears the official photographs of the conference have arrived and everyone was having a good laugh, reliving the 3 days we spent out there in the bush. There are lots of laughter and squeals of delight and exclamations of, “do you remember that?”, and, “oh, look at so-and-so”, and then there are the other “look at so-and-so”, if you know what I mean.
The boss pulls me one side and hands me a photograph telling me, “It would be a shame if this one should fall into the wrong hands”
With a puzzled look I take the photograph from him and lo and behold there is a close-up of the stewardess and I kissing. I think I went weak in the knees just looking at it. Hundreds of little rabid monkeys start running around in my head, trying to put together what my next move should be and what would happen if this photograph should ever come into the wrong hands. What is the fucking intention with calling me aside? Guilt is a hard currency and I do deal well in financial matters of the heart.
Now I have told the gf about the kiss, but I have played it down for the innocent gesture it was. This photograph however paints a different story and it does not look good for me. It looks extremely intimate. I know they say the camera never lies, but whoever said that had no idea what camera angles, lighting and a close-up can do. It takes things out of perspective and I do not like it when things are out of perspective.
I thank him for the picture and point out that if it is not too much to ask, I would like to have the digital master destroyed as well.
He looks puzzled and laughs. He says he does not think it is necessary. It will stay between the two of us. I tell him that I think perhaps he misunderstands what I am trying to say. I want the picture destroyed.
At this point the rabid monkeys in my head stop running around and things come to a screeching halt. For all I know he may have been joking with me. My gut tells me never trust a man who cheats on his own wife and I decide that the time has come to play hard-ball. I am not in the mood to kiss anyone’s ass nor am I going to explain my motives. At which point I take a deep breath and become extremely calm. I play my ace and say to him,
“Look, we all have skeletons in the closet. To me it is this picture and to you it is JN and your early morning get-togethers. Let’s just be grown up about all this and agree to not to do anything harsh, shall we?”
The boss went white and for a moment there I thought he was going to have a heart attack.
He: “I see. How long have you known?”
Me: “Long enough to have ruined your life months ago if I had wanted to”
He: “What guarantees do I have you won’t use this against me in the future”
Me: “None…. But if you honestly think that once I leave here, I am going to look back over my shoulder wondering what you are up to, you have a seriously overestimated your usefulness in my life”.
He: “Ok… so it’s agreed”
Me: “Yes, it is”
And just like that, there goes my reputation as a good guy and I become a sleaze-ball. I honestly thought I had reached a point in my life where nothing I do now could possibly top some of the antics I got up to in my younger days.

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I am weasel

There is a limit to the abuse any man can take. Really there is! Trust me.
Take last night for instance. The usual suspects and I decide to go out for a few drinks.
[Quick aside: what is it about a Thursday night that makes you want to go out, drink too much and feel like shit the next day at work? Why not just wait for Friday night?]
Anyway, I digress. So there we are in this kick-ass bar and it is pumping like it’s the freaking Fourth of July. And we were having a good time. Beers and shots are flowing freely, like it should on a night when we really should be at home.
A cute girl walks by our table and as she does so, one of my buds (The Grinch) leans in and he calls her over. He chats to her and it is obvious that the intention is to pick her up. Anyway, he has no luck and as she walks away her gives her a nickname, just loud enough for us to hear. He shakes his head from side in a somewhat oriental fashion and says, “Ciao to you too, Miz Tumbleweed”. I thought it was hilarious! Ok, maybe not! I don’t get out much these days. But have a few drinks and I promise you it will be funny.
Anyway, let’s get back to the bar and the why we will never be allowed to go back there again.
We decide to move to the back of the bar and play a couple games of pool. Things are pretty rowdy and jovial around the tables, when this one guy starts taking gibes at the Grinch. You know nasty little childish comments loud enough for his friends to hear who then has a good laugh. He is either a friend of Miz Tumbleweed or her boyfriend.
Now the Grinch is a big guy, over 1.8m, large (think rugby player large) and not the kinda guy one messes with. The other guy, Weasel, is about the about half his size, but he has the biggest mouth south of the friggin’ Equator. He’s like your neighbour’s pesky Maltese poodle, yapping away non-stop on a day that you have your worst hangover… ever.
Every friggin’ opportunity he gets, he’s in the Grinch’s face. Mocking him, making snide remarks, taunting him. Basically, he’s an asshole and he’s behaving even worse. A few of the others and I pull him aside a few time and tell him to let it go for his own good… but no such luck. Obviously old weasel has had a few drinks and he is now the bravest human on the planet and he basically tells us to fuck off. He’s got balls bigger than Superman’s and Batman’s put together. Alrighty, then… not a good image!
A few rounds of pool and a good couple beers later, he saunters over to the Grinch, pokes him in the chest and says something nasty about his mother. The Grinch walks around him and carries on playing his game. The little guy, offended by the brush off, walks up the Grinch and pokes him in the chest… yet again. Oh boy!
The Grinch punches the guy in the face… one single friggin punch! The little guy gets it right between the eyes. He keels over like Charlie Chaplin in silent movie and he hits the floor really hard. And he is out… just like that! He does not even move! Deep down in my chest I stifle a proud, Yay, Grinch”. Come on… the weasel came begging for it!
Of course the friggin bar goes silent and comes to a standstill. Miz Tumbleweed comes running over and now she gets in on the action. Screaming and shouting abuse and trying to revive the weasel from his untimely nap.
The manager and the friggin bouncers also make their way across the bar and everything turns into a one big hullabaloo.
In the end we leave and the manager politely implies that we should not come around there again. Dammit! So much for a fun night at the bar.
Isn’t it always the case though, the smallest guy will always, and I mean always, have the most bravado. Especially after a few drinks and even more so when there is a girl involved. And why in God’s name do they always take on the biggest guy in the group? Do they suffer from a David-vs-Goliath syndrome?

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Sunday’s sermon was – Forgive Your Enemies.
Toward the end of the service, the Minister asked,
“How many of you have forgiven your enemies?”
80 percent held up their hands.

The Minister then repeated his question.
All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.
“Mrs. Jones?” ; “Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?”
“I don’t have any.” She replied, smiling sweetly.
“Mrs. Jones, That is very unusual. How old are you?”
“Ninety-Eight.” She replied.
“Oh Mrs. Jones. Would you please come down to the front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world.”

The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said:
“I outlived the Bitches.”

[That’s the way to do it grandma! High five!!]

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I’ve been tagged 5 times(!) in the past 3 months and have NOT taken up the challenge on any one of them. I apologise to all those ppl who actually thought I am good at this sort of thing. This makes me a bit of a spoil sport, don’t you think? So in order to redeem myself, I have decided to take up Andrea’s challenge to disclose 20 random things about myself and tagging as many ppl as the time (in minutes) it took me to complete this. In no particular order;

1. When I was in kindergarten, I slapped my teacher because she wanted to kiss me on my birthday.
2. I once got lost in a supermarket and screamed like a banshee until my mother came to find me.
3. I once hid in the girl’s change-room at school so I could see them getting undress.
4. My favourite drink is Vodka Martini.
5. I rode a camel when I visited the pyramids in Egypt and could not walk properly for a dull day afterwards.
6. I have never been hospitalized.
7. My mom’s entire ladies tea club saw me naked when I was 18. (Do NOT even ask! I mean it!)
8. I can drink an entire can of Coca Cola in less than 10 seconds.
9. I hate spinach.
10. I threw up all over date at my Matric dance.
11. I love my Playstation and have over 50 games.
12. I sang the solo in ‘Oliver Twist’ when I was in primary school .
13. I cannot stand to hear Celine Dion sing!
14. I worked behind the bar at a strip club to earn extra money when I was at university.
15. The first time I got drunk, I was 13 years old.
16. I once fell out of a tree and landed in a river and nearly drowned.
17. I was a prefect in high school. (How’s that one for you?)
18. I am a hyperactive adult.
19. I parachuted out of an aeroplane in my second year at university.
20. I have a killer smile.

My tags: (and no pressure guys)
Total waste (Revenge, mate. You threatened to send viruses to my home pc)
Buddess (Call it curiosity?)
IITQ ( I know you are going to hate doing this… all in good spirit)
Michelle (I want a few surpises!)
Moni (You are the latest person to stumble onto my blog)

Terri, Del, Lucy, Ekapa, KN, cec1del, Omid, PB… I am letting you off the hook (this time)

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My girlfriend has one of those fancy hand-held Braun multi-mixers. You know the one with all the attachments that allows you to use it for all kinds of things around the kitchen. Quite a nifty piece of equipment, I would say. I haven’t actually used it, but she says it is nifty, so I believe her. Actually she does not allow me to go near it, so I watch from a distance while she does all of those crafty things with it. Whipping and slicing and dicing and chopping and grinding, etc. I am so getting one for myself!
Anyway, the damn thing broke and no longer working. So I offered to look at it for her. I mean, what are boyfriends if they can’t do things for the women in their lives? Plus, taking things apart, fixing it and putting it back together is bloody macho, if you ask me. If I were a girl, I would want a guy who knows his way around appliances. Like MacGyver and all the other friggin‘ guys who walk around in overalls and carry big toolboxes with all sorts of tools and shit in them. A real man’s kind of man!

ME: Do you want me to take a look at it for you? It may be something small and it may only take a minute.
GF: Honey, does that mean you are going to… well, open it up?
ME: Ya well, I kinda have to see what’s inside, you know. How else am I going to see what is wrong with it? No more than a quick look-see. For all you know it may just be a loose wire.
GF (sounding kinda nervous): Uh… you know what? I just remembered. (lotsa giggles). It is still under guarantee. Yeah, I only bought it a few months ago. Perhaps I should take it back to shop and let them have a look at it. Wouldn’t want that guarantee to go to waste, would we now?! (more giggles)
ME(disappointed): Oh ok… if you say so. Where’d you buy it?
GF: At Boardmans. The one at the mall… close to the optometrist.
ME: Oh good! Well, I drive past the mall every morning on my way to work. I can drop it off for you. It’s no big deal; I’ll drop it off at customer services.
GF: Thanks… so nice of you. Lemme get you the guarantee and the till invoice. (Kisses me on the forehead).

I leave her place soon after and take the doomed appliance with me. As soon as I get home, I think to myself, “What if I could actually fix it?” There is no harm in taking a eensy-weensy look inside. I’ll keep all the screws and pieces together and put it back together exactly the way it was. Every hook, pin, screw, nut, bolt, gear, spring, bushing, staple, clip, clamp, strap and wire.
So, I take out my tool kit and open the little bugger up. “Hehehe… who’s you daddy now?” I mean, really, what is a guy to do? On the drive home , it was just sitting there next to me in the car… calling out to me in that seductive nymph-like voice,

“Oh please, take me apart? You can fix me up, you know you can. I don’t want to go back to that awful shop”.

How could I say no? I had to do the honourable thing… see what’s inside. Besides, just think how happy the gf would be if I brought back to her the next night. Like new.
It is now in a million little pieces at my house. I tried to put it together again, but when I was done, there were a couple a screws left over and I did not know where they were supposed to go. Also, there is a distinct sound, kind of like the sound a coin makes when falls onto the floor, when you give it a slight jiggle. I know it is not supposed to do that. Dammit, they don’t make things like they used to.
So tonight, straight after work, I am going to the shop to buy her a new one. I have already phoned ahead and they have the same model in the exact colour. I am so lucky! I may even buy one for myself.
Yeah, and best I don’t mention the whole taking-the-appliance-apart episode to her. She would never understand. I’ll just put in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash… quietly.
Still I can’t help thinking what an achievement it would have been had I been able to fix it up and put it all together. Given my track record, I would probably never experience a moment so sublime this side of eternity. (Sigh)
[Haloscan (grrr…) is on the blink and you may not be able to make any comments.]

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