Thursday, December 29, 2011

Superbly cool!

Anyone who uses the term 'super cool' is usually anything but... IMHO...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Boom-Boom Blogging!

It is a momentous occasion... This is a first for me.

I though that after my previous blog – where I lamented the death of Steve Jobs – I should lighten the mood a little...

I am, as I type, doing business. Blogging on the go, or rather, blogging while 'going'. Or even 'blogging on the bog'. Yup, you heard me. I am blogging and making boom-boom! Why? Because I can! The joys of mobile computing!

Anyway, gotta go... so to speak.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Farewell to a legend

R.I.P. Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011). Thanks for all the memories, and making our lives better. May we all keep 'thinking different' forever.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Soccer fever? I'm cured!

Thank you Diego Maradona… You cured me of the affliction known as soccer (or 'football')…

When I was a teenager I used to follow the FA results, and was a mild Manchester United fan, and used to enjoy Arsenal as well. This was before I actually know where and what Manchester really was: an ugly industrial city in the Midlands. I had no scope of reference.

In 1990 (or was it '91?) I visited my sister in Namibia on a brief holiday. The Soccer World Cup was on, and Diego Maradona was the star of the entire cup. He was short, stocky and dribbled like a madman – dribbled the ball, that is. I was watching a game – Argentina against some or other country – and Maradona was dribbling away at the ball. He had already left whoever the defender was far behind when… Diego takes the biggest dive EVER! He thought that the defender was still following him, but there was no-one near him! That moment altered my view of soccer irrevocably.

I only realised then that soccer players used deception and dishonesty to get the referee to award penalties. How I had overlooked that before I have no idea, but I guess that because Maradona was so prominent during that time I couldn't miss his attempted foul. But that was it. The beautiful game had lost its lustre in an instant. For the first time I saw footballers for what they really were: gifted athletes who were more motivated by money than anything else – overpaid egomaniacs with few moral values. I am generalising, of course, but that's how I've viewed all footballers ever since.

I've harboured a similar view towards professional golfers as well. I think it's an outrage what they get paid to clobber a ball around a fairway. When you consider the impact they have on the world (aside from the environmental impact – they fly everywhere) compared to, say, a nurse in an emergence ward. Golfers are in it for the money, and their remuneration in disproportionate to the impact they have on humanity and the world. But that's another rant for another day…

With the FIFA World Cup kicking off tomorrow I still fail to feel the least bit excited. How can I? To me the whole thing feels like a sham, with a few individuals making millions, and the great unwashed masses pay for it. I may sound like an absolute elitist pig, but I view soccer as a game 'for the masses', the great unwashed, the low. To me even rugby is more cerebral than soccer. Rugby is more technical, more enjoyable to watch, more honest. Soccer is a gentleman's game played by hooligans, rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen… or whatever.

I came across this article today, and it sums up my feeling towards the World Cup. It is by Chris McEvoy. Some may view it as cynical and unpatriotic, but I view it as cynical and realist. Please don't sue me for quoting, Chris! I am omitting some of your piece – the bits about your school days – but the rest is quoted verbatim:

"Because I care so little about the football that I still call it soccer, I’m at a bit of a loss for a column subject this week.

Sure, I could always whine like a whitey about it, but I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t support the sporting event that has transformed my neighbourhood into a nightmare.

Actually, I’m all for it. Really, I am – at least in principle. I hope the stadia, hotels, restaurants and bars across the country are filled like sardine cans with visitors, packing oodles of their yummy foreign money. I also hope that they have a safe and fantastic time before they bugger off back to whatever godforsaken hole they come from. And although I wouldn’t bet one five cents on it, I hope Bafana Bufoona don’t get slaughtered like eleven plumped-up bunny rabbits, frozen in the headlights of an oncoming Transformer.

But that’s where it ends. My support for the World Cup is much like my attitude to voting. I feel it’s my civic duty to be positive - but this doesn’t mean I’m going to wear a stupid hat, buy a cheap-ass car flag that disintegrates in a light breeze or even consider attempting the über-embarrassing diski dance, which, like the Macarena that came before it, seems to exist simply to make fools out of everyone.

It’s fitting that the meme has been dubbed 'World Cup fever'. It’s a cultural contagion, passed on through advertising and peer pressure to create a pandemic among susceptible sheeple. Symptoms include spending disposable income on football-related junk, talking to everyone within earshot about the football – the equivalent of an infectious sneeze, in this analogy – and publically ostracising anyone with a resistant immune system. Commerce is the carrier, contaminating anyone with cash without necessarily being infected themselves. Business-folk don’t have to be overwhelmed with national pride to sell everything from mirror socks to shitty ringtones. In fact, it probably helps if they’re not.

And don’t think for a second that this is the first time an ultimately irrelevant pastime has turned us into a nation of zombies. Although to a far lesser extent, we’ve been through exactly the same process with Rugby World Cup fever, Cricket World Cup fever, Olympic bid fever, and who can forget Rainbow Nation fever, the most far-reaching delusion in the country’s political history? Sure, it’s all great fun while it lasts, so we might as well make the most of it, but that’s no reason to convince ourselves that this current 'fever' is anything other than the same shit in a different box, or – even worse – that any of it actually matters. The only goal in this game is to make as much money as possible off our drunken visitors before they leave on a wake of their own garbage and vomit.

Too negative? I’m sensing an impending public ostracism from the infected, which makes me feel a bit like one of the characters trapped in the cottage in 'Night of The Living Dead' (the original, of course – I look much better in black-and-white).

So now you know where I’m coming from. But anyone still angry at me for my anti-football sentiments, be assured that this too, like all the other feverish waves that came before it, shall pass. Have a cookie. I promise, by the time you're done eating it, you'll feel right as rain."

– Please see for the full article…

Long story short: I don't do the mass hysteria thing, I'll be pleased if Bafana Bafana beat anyone, I'll even watch some of the games on TV, but that's it… If there's rugby on at the same time as a soccer match (or even if there's Formula 1 on at the same time as a soccer match) you can be sure that I won't be watching the soccer. I am old enough to decide for myself, I won't be TOLD what to like by anyone… Besides, if I wanted to watch people diving I'd be watching one of the Cousteau people in a documentary on the Discovery Channel.

Go Bokke!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The sad lady in the traffic…

I know I'm a big old softie… That was confirmed again this morning when I was driving to work. I was going south on the M1 towards Joburg, between Grayston and Corlett drives, when I happened to glance to my left. There was a girl in a black BMW 120i, and she was sobbing. Big, heaving sobs. She was obviously very upset. She tried to keep it together, but she kept bursting into tears. She was of Oriental persuasion, she looked Japanese I think. Sitting there in the traffic I felt very sorry for this girl. There she was, every inch the professional in her business attire and car, but looking so vulnerable and distraught. I wished that I could just pull her over, give her a big hug and tell her that it would be okay. I don't know what it is that has upset her, but I imagine that at the moment, for her it seems huge and insurmountable. To you, lady in the BMW, whoever you are, I pray that you get over this issue in your life, that it will pass quickly, and that you come on the other side stronger and wiser.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My first TV ad!

Funny how things work out sometimes…

I completed my first commercial for TV last night. How did this come about? It has always been a goal of mine to get into audio work for TV, advertising, documentaries and movies. In October 2009 I did some freelance design work at an advertising agency called Indigo Branding, filling in for my business partner Karien. Incidentally it was also the creative director Johannes Swanepoel's notice month. Jo is a very talented and creative guy, and I hope the person Indigo employed in his stead can fill his shoes.

Jo went off and joined NeoAfrica, a black-owned company dabbling in everything from publishing to advertising to sponsorships. Before Jo left Indigo I mentioned that my brother Erik is an very good 3D animator. Within two months of starting at NeoAfrica Jo actually contacted Erik to do an animation for some promotion. Erik must have done a good job because last week he got another assignment: to do a 15 second animation for NeoAfrica. They later changed the brief, extending the video to 30 seconds and announcing that it is going to be featured on some of the SuperSport channels on local satellite TV provider DSTv.

Erik realised that he would need decent audio effects for a thirty second spot, but because of time constraints he will not be able to do a voice-over. He then approached me to do the background audio, seeing as I have an audio studio at home. He supplied a low-resolution video clip, and I did the audio in three hours, composing a little jingle for them in the process, because it would have seemed very bland with only drones and swooshes. The little melody is an African-sounding ethnic piece and it worked like a charm. The client was happy end Erik and I did the final timing tweaks in about half an hour and voila! Done!

The collaboration went smoothly, and the job was delivered on time. What more can one want? I think that Erik and I can actually be a potent combination creatively. We're very much alike in our personalities, and like to do our jobs with attention to detail and offering added value to our clients. time will tell, but I really enjoyed this opportunity. It might be the start of something big…

Funny how things work out…

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Televangelists not in it for the money? Riiiiight…

Hi Mazzie!

I think that these ''televangelists' are a bunch of money-grubbing frauds that steal millions of dollars from their congregations. They are con artists that serve the 'great god Mammon – money'. They let their 'flock' think that they can buy their salvation through 'tithes' and 'contributions'. They 'prey' (not 'pray') on millions of the most vulnerable people in society, earning billions in the process.

Think about it:
1 x 'sermon' (read: 'show')
x ±15000 people (remember that the Joel Osteens and Joice Meyers of the world have congregations of an average of 15000 people)
x average 'tithe' in America: US$120.00
= US$2,250,000.00
x 2 'sermons' per day on a Sunday
= US$4,500,000.00

Not bad for two one-hour shows!
x 4 Sundays per month
= US$18,000,000.00

Some months have FIVE Sundays
x 5 Sundays per month
= US$22,500,000.00
x 52 Sundays in a year
= US$235,000,000.00

Who on earth earns US$234.000,000.00 per year? Televangelists! Praaaaaaaise JESUS!!

Guys like Benny Hinn holds 'three-minute prayer sessions' during his sermons at a minimum of US $1000 'per prayer'! Jesus never charged a penny… Have you ever seen a poor televangelist? Remember that Jesus said that it would be easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of God. While there are true good believers and preachers out there that do very good work in the name of Jesus, millions of people whose judgement are blinded by the 'shows' put on by  televangelists, and are misled and robbed blind.

I am not convinced that anyone earning US$234,000,000.00 per year is not doing it for the money…

Did you stop and research why these televangelists are being taken off the air? They are being investigated for – you guessed it – FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES! That usually means: defaulting on taxes, fraud, theft, embezzlement, money laundering and so on. Even Jesus encouraged ordinary citizens to pay their taxes, remember? This is not an attempt by Satan to get 'God off the television', it is televangelists (probably tempted by greed – and Satan – that have done this.

Keep your eyes (and minds) open, people…

Check out some of these websites:

Words that happen to rhyme with televangelist (some are quite appropriate): blacklist, cabbalist, necrophilist, nihilist, populist, materialist, diabolist, kabbalist, verbalist, clericalist, vocalist, sectionalist, congregationalist, representationalist, sensationalist, emotionalist, papalist, monopolist, oligopolist, amoralist, moralist, oralist, controversialist, mentalist, capitalist, recitalist, revivalist, hedonist, con-artist (okay, the last one is actually two words, but wholly apropos)