Archive for September, 2008

I guess not!

September 26, 2008

Thabo is gone. Who knows where?

Pity Trevor and Manto stayed. What was all the consternation about? The people shall govern!

There were two newspaper snippets that I found good. One was a letter in Wednesday’s Argus about how this is an opportunity for ‘the people’ to show the politicians where the power should reside.

The other was an article in this morning’s Cape Times by Milton Shain saying that the party power lies with Mathews Phosa, Cyril Ramaphosa and Tokyo Sexwale, the very people who Thabo outed as coup conspirators! So was the paranoid power monger right after all:)?

A week is a long time in politics

September 15, 2008

I wonder if Thabo Mbeki will survive this week?

Ah well, we’ve had to put up with him for the past near-decade, so wot’s another little while?

He’s changed from a lame duck to a dead snake, according to Jacob Zuma. Alchemy? Political metamorphosis?

I’m sure these politicians are all nice guys up close, but from a distance, they sure raise a stink. The Human Condition, I suppose.

The rest of the golfing world pales in comparison with Tiger Woods…

September 12, 2008

haha!

On the rape of justice cartoon

September 9, 2008

If our rape statistics are to be believed, this crime is not an uncommon event in our country.

So why the fuss over Zapiro’s cartoon? I guess I was shocked because I had never seen a rape enacted in print. It also felt much more real than other cartoons that he has drawn. It is a new era for him.

And for us.

Joan Armatrading is a genius

September 8, 2008

I thought I’d better just say that.

Drop the Pilot.

The Shouting Stage.

Willow.

There is more.

I must have heard these songs a hundred times, but the penny only dropped on Friday on my way to work.

Funny how things work, hey? Our brains obviously have to connect things to understand them. No thought is an island.

Good Cop, Bad Cop: Democrats, Republicans

September 3, 2008

I saw Cedric this morning, walking Christmas around the streets of Observatory, where I went for a Cafe Latté at Mimi’s. We spoke of many things, me looking like an international playboy, as he put it, and him, well, you know Cedders…

Anyways, I mentioned how I managed to confuse the US Democratic Party 2008 presidential candidate with a certain golfer whose name starts with T. That was probably due to my inherent racism:) But more likely due to the fact that there are only two high profile black names in the news over there. Can you think of any others off the top of your head?

Cedric went on to say that the farce of the US political system is that there is all this posturing every few years, by characters who resemble the Good Cop, Bad Cop couple from all those movies and TV series. They have the same goal in mind: getting the suspect to submit to their interrogation, be it via soft sell or hard. And I guess behind the one-way mirror sits the Captain. In this case, the Captains of Industry, who control the whole political show.

Human Desire: What’s the Point(s)?

September 1, 2008

Wilko instigated this whole affair. He is a lanky fellow, with glasses and a cheerful attitude.  At breakfast one morning, he asked me how many Starwood Points I had. His guess was as good as mine, I replied. Ah, the nonchalance! The innocence! Prior to this, I had been receiving monthly emails from SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) for the past year or so, but not engaging with the contents.

It turns outs, upon closer inspection, that the emails contain updates of my accumulated points due to my stayovers at the Hotel Le Meridien, Stuttgart. A few days later I had the opportunity to discuss this with Whatshisname-from-the-US-via-Bulgaria-now-on-an-internship-in-Germany-during-his-MBA (believe me, this is easier than trying to remember his first name),

who told me that he had had to check-out during his months-long stay so that he could move
up to Gold Status. I was intrigued. I checked my mails again, and saw that I was merely a “Preferred Guest”: 8 Stays or 7 nights away from Gold Status.

I quickly checked with the Concierge whether I had to check out to upgrade and then check back in. He reckoned it was not necessary. I wondered, though, if I was missing out. What privileges might accrue to me if I reached the elevated levels of Gold, and then, onwards to Platinum?

I had, in other words, triggered my human desire for more! These previously pointless points, latent for a year at least, had suddenly acquired a deeper meaning. They had acquired a value. From then on, I became involved in ever more detailed discussions with the other consultants concerning this minutiae. What a wonderful scheme to occupy the minds of these highly intelligent people (Not quite The Glass Bead Game, but we’re headed there:).

We are privileged enough in having our client pay for our stays at the best hotel money can buy, but we additionally get to gather the points in our own names. That’s like having your cake and eating it, with extra ice-cream.

I heard stories of three week holidays in Barbados with “free” accommodation at a luxury hotel (‘paid’ with these SPG points). Wow! One can even trade these points for a round-the-world trip with the SPG partnering airline. Is there no end to the joy that only points can bring?

I naturally felt envy towards the others, and, I admit, a slight shade of shame, at my meagre rating of points. My mind feasted on fantasies of how I would get the necessary points and then, what I would do once I got them: stacks and stacks of points. In the end, perhaps nothing; perhaps all I wanted was the points. Or would the chase, as in so many cases, turn out to be more thrilling than the capture?

After a while, I began to hallucinate: endless stays at exotic locations; points falling like the snow I had first encountered only last year (one at a time, to be sure, but countless beyond measure, each one to be treasured); “It’s raining points, Hallelujah!” began to play at one ‘point’.

Aaagghh!!! I couldn’t get away from it, from them, my mind reeling from the effort of comprehending my life hanging by these points. The effect was somewhat allayed by the image of me swinging in a hammock, suspended by these same points nailed into the nearest coconut tree.

I had found a new purpose. I became determined to accumulate more. In short, I became human.

I even wondered, in an existential crisis over coffee, whether there was, in fact, A Point.

I leave the last word to the great Kafka who understood such things, a true visionary.
He wrote: “Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.”