Does Your Life Suck?

26 02 09

I have found something to write about (Benny, I shall update you on neighbourly developments in a later post).

I received an email from Wits inviting all those interested to attend a lecture by Prof David Benatar, of the University of Cape Town. He is to present a seminar in philosophy at Wits on 15 March entitled “Why your life is so much worse than you think.”

Why my life is so much WORSE than I think.

Hmmm, I think a trip to the licensing department or a simple glance at my bank account might convince me of this argument, but let’s consider exactly why I might want to sit through a lecture convincing me, by means of explanations of desire-fulfillment theories, the ‘Pollyanna Principle’ and others, that my life TRULY DOES SUCK.

I would want to attend such a lecture because:

-I’d run out of pins to stick in my eyes.

– I’d finished watching a 10-hour tv marathon of The War at Home and had not successfully lost my entire life force.

– My kitten’s litter tray had become self-cleaning.

– Keino Kammies was no longer presenting a show on 702.

The synopsis of the lecture explains that for hedonists, Benatar will “show that most lives contain many more negative (and neutral) mental states than positive ones (even though our psychology precludes our seeing this.)”

Apparently our desires are not fulfilled as often as we think and desiring only truly ends with death.

Uplifting, no?


Some Strange Things…

24 02 09

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1. What the freaking hell is this, and why would anyone buy it? Perhaps wolf cubs and kittens have this much pubic, underarm and leg hair, but I’ve yet to meet a human baby this hirsute. Thank Buddha!

 

 

2.  The Democratic Alliance has laid criminal charges against the ANC for distributing a fake DA pamphlet at a school last week. The DA says an ANC candidate in an upcoming by-election, Jaenette Mahlangu, distributed the pamphlet to students which portrayed the party as racist, claiming that the DA wants to bring back the days of ‘permits’, in order to fight the ‘Swart Gevaar’ (Black Danger). The pamphlet apparently ends with the words ‘Warning: Do not show this pamphlet to your maids and garden boys … we need their votes’.

3. I was handed a flyer at a traffic light the other day urging me to make use of ‘Sheik Kasiim’ to solve all the problems that might be afflicting me. Sheik Kasiim is obviously multitalented – he can:

– “Remove black spots in your hand that keeps taking your money away.”

– “Guarantee that you are loved and trusted by your colleagues, husband, wife, in-laws, friends, etc.”

– “Get you married to that lover of your life in a short time and seal up your marriage with eternal love and happiness.”

– “Bring you to see your enemies and make demands on them using a mirror.”

The marvellous thing is that the Sheik doesn’t discriminate. The flyer clearly mentions that ‘all whites, blacks, coloured, etc.’ are welcome. I would like to know who exactly ‘etc’ comprises in this sentence.

Damn, is it only Tuesday?


A Day in the Life of Julius Malema

20 02 09

ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema, has again been busy shooting his mouth off. Please find attached a postulation of an average day in Malema’s life:

9:00 – Awakens and realises it wasn’t just a wonderful dream…he really IS friends with ANC president, Jacob Zuma.

9:01 – Wonders why he had to apologise to the education minister with the fake accent.

9:02 – Sets reminder on cellphone to ask deputy ANC Youth League Leader, Floyd, exactly where Timbuktu is, and if he should take up the offer by a fellow ANC member to pay for an airticket there for Malema to stay until after the April elections.

9:03 – Wonders if women in Timbuktu are as confused about rape as they are in South Africa.

9:04 – Smiles to himself as he brushes his teeth about how most of the opposition political parties consider him a ‘hero’ to their cause because of what he says and does.

9:05- Thinks about how hard it would have been to be a Member of Parliament, and how much more time he’ll have now to carry on being a youth until he turns 35 in 2016.

9:06 – Considers how uncalled for comments were by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of opposition political party, the IFP, that Malema was “…no more than an ill-bred brat whose behaviour is not only un-African, but crude by the standards of any culture in the world.”

9:07 – Wonders why on earth opposition political party, Cope, would suggest that he undergoes therapy.

9:08 –  While eating breakfast, ponders if there are any women who would stay with him for breakfast after sex.

9:09 – Gets in a huff about how unfair it is that he isn’t allowed to break electoral laws banning election campaigning at schools during school hours, and wonders how difficult it would be to lower the voting age to six years old.

9:10 – Jumps back into bed and sleeps for the rest of the day.

Note to readers: it is entirely possible that any references to ‘thinking’, ‘wondering’, ‘pondering’ and ‘considering’ on the part of Malema, may be implausable, owing to the fact that these verbs imply some sort of inward look at his own behaviour, and very little has demonstrated that he has this capacity. Please bear this in mind. Thank you.


Being Batty

17 02 09

In the past two weeks, there have been two bats found living in my office. This is less of a surprise to me that it should have been – it merely proves that I work in an office full of The Undead. I think you all know this by now. However, in case you are not convinced, let me illustrate by means of just a couple of examples today, just why I find it difficult to believe that most of my colleauges are human:

1) One colleague stares at her computer muttering “blah blah blah” to herself repeatedly. Often she plays with her hair while doing this. Most recently, she turned to me and instead of saying anything meaningful, just carried on muttering “blah blah blah… .” Or at least is SOUNDED like “blah blah blah.” One never really can tell with this woman. I am certain she learnt to speak at the Rain Man school of language.

2) My boss who sits 10 metres away from me phones me while we both sit at our respective desks. To ensure that I can’t actually speak to him face-to-face instead, he makes sure he has his back to me while he talks into the receiver.

In terms of what it symbolises, the bat does fit in here. However, in reality, it does not belong at all because it is quite cute, unobtrusive, pretty polite, and does not seem hell bent on making my daily grind as tiresome as possible. Thus I like the bat and I hope it stays. The bat has become my favourite colleague. Now to find a name for it….


Tips For Trevor

11 02 09

 

This afternoon, South Africa’s Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel, will table his 2009/2010 Budget in Parliament. This will be his 13th such presentation, and fairly recently he began incorporating a little feature satisfyingly named ‘Tips for Trevor’. The ‘tips’ are pearls from the public about what they believe Trevor should consider when formulating his plans about how the government’s money should be disbursed.

The country largely loves Trevor. He has attained ‘demigod’, if not ‘saviour’ status for his handling of the country’s finances since we became a democracy almost 15 years ago. Owing to this lauded prowess, I have a few problems that I would be most grateful if Trevor would handle.

Dear Trevor

1. My new kitten, although adorable, stinks and is accident-prone. Our first weekend spent together cost me R1500, after she fall off my balcony into my friend and neighbour, H’s, garden. She has since recovered, it seems, but I can’t quite get used to the stink created by this beastie’s pooh and urine. It is eye-watering. Trevor, how do I make my cat less stinky and costly? And don’t tell me to keep my balcony doors closed – YOU try living with that smell with no cross-breeze.

2. My washing and the weather are at odds with each other. Every week, my jeans are washed. And every week, the rain falls and falls, leaving my jeans smelling like they’d been dumped on the floor of a teenage boy’s darkened cupboard, soaking wet, and left for a month. Last week I was forced to wear formal pinstripe pants to work, as a result of having no casual pants, prompting my colleagues to wonder what I was up to (pyjama’s are barely considered to be too casual where I work, Trevor.)

3. My neighbours – the Kids – have begun harassing me to buy tickets for their primary school’s raffle for something or another (it had better not be for a hamper, Trevor – the last hamper I won was filled with ‘goodies’ the church threw away after even the Alcoholics Anonymous groups wouldn’t touch them.) Money is tight, Trevor – see point 1. How do I tell the Kids to fuck off without appearing cheap?

Your urgent attention regarding these matters is most appreciated. I await your call this evening.


Rules of Our Roads

09 02 09

There is a delightful story doing the rounds on the news wires which looks at the possible questions that could be included in a driver’s licence test in China. Of some 800 possibities, 100 make it to print for any one test. Drawn from the article, here are a few of the possibilities that you might encounter if you were to be tested for a Chinese licence: 

If someone’s intestines are protruding from an open abdominal wound, should you:

A. Put them back in place;

B. Do nothing; or,

C. Cover them with some kind of container and fasten it around the body?

Answer: C. 

 

What should a driver do when he needs to spit while driving?

A. Spit through the window.

B. Spit into a piece of waste paper, then put it into a garbage can.

C. Spit on the floor of the vehicle.

Answer: B

 Whilst operating my automobile in a work-ward direction last week, I happened upon a snippet of information being broadcast via my vehicle’s wireless. Apparently South Africa’s driving instruction regulations, K53, officially encourage new drivers to drive in the middle lane of highways. Why this is, is unclear. Perhaps it is to further infuriate people who can’t quite drive at the mandatory 300km/h necessary to join that special club that is the right-hand lane?  

Perhaps K53 needs a rethink, China-style. I am sure we S.A drivers could all suggest a list of questions prospective drivers should be able to answer in a test. For example:

 1. You’ve just whizzed through a red traffic light at 80km/h. You nearly collided with a car legitimately navigating the intersection. Do you:

A)     Apologise to the driver

B)    Zap the driver and put foot

C)    Pull over and threaten the driver with an AK 47.

Answer: B – If you’re in a hurry to get to the bar, or C – if you have time to spare because you’re going to work.

  1. A 16-seater minibus taxi  – with only 24 occupants, therefore not quite at capacity – swerves into your lane, clipping the side of your newly panel-beaten car. Do you:

A)     Drive on, shouting “CALM BLUE OCEAN!!!!!!!!” repeatedly to yourself in the most soothing screech you can manage.

B)    Call your loved ones to say goodbye and how much you loved them, and explain that you are about to a try flag the taxi driver down in order to have a rational conversation about what to do about your damaged vehicle.

C)    Open fire on the driver and occupants of the taxi with the gun you keep in your cubby hole/glove compartment.

Answer: All of the above – the opportunities for all three options will present themselves daily, so don’t limit yourself to just one option. 

  1. You’re driving along a main thoroughfare. On the left are four potholes in the road, each the size of a hula hoop. To the right is a cordoned-off section of road filled with chattering workmen leaning into oncoming traffic. Do you:

A)     Slow down, indicate well in time and wait for a break in traffic to merge gently with the flow?

B)    Hurtle over into the next lane without warning while checking your cubby hole for your gun and zapping the person who narrowly avoids slamming into you?

C)    Drive into the crater-sized potholes or into the workmen, with no chance of compensation by the municipality for the damage caused to your car as a result of the potholes?

Answer. B…like DUH!!!! 

  1. You’re driving along at an average pace for an S.A driver – 100km/h in a 60km/h zone. You notice in the rapidly decreasing distance, a person ambling across four lanes of heavy traffic. Do you: 

A)     Slow down in order to ensure that the jaywalker gets safely to the other side?

B)    Speed up so that the loping pedestrian can feel the power of the breeze and hear the sonic boom created by you as you break the sound barrier when you pass him/her?

C)    Curse out the window at the moron pedestrian while you drive into a pothole?

 Answer: B or C. Usually C.

 

See how easy it should be to become a licenced South African driver?


You’re Fired for B-ing Negative

02 02 09

In case racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, xenophobia etc etc hasn’t provided enough opportunity to the human race for bigotry, a story out of Japan has shown that there is room for one more divisive grouping to stake its claim: blood type-ism.

It appears that the Japanese believe one’s blood group determines one’s personality so conclusively that one’s life fluid can be used to exclude people from jobs and potential romantic partners.

According to an article I found on Sapa, “ In the year just ended, four of Japan’s top 10 best-sellers were about how blood type determines personality, according to Japan’s largest book distributor, Tohan Co”. The series has combined sales of well over five million copies to date.

Apparently blood type features in a Nintendo DS game and on ‘lucky
bags’ of women’s accessories tailored to blood type and sold at Tokyo’s
Printemps department store.

Matchmaking agencies provide blood-type compatibility tests, children at some nursery schools are divided up by blood type and despite repeated warnings, many employers apparently are continuing to ask blood types at job interviews.

So! For all of you wondering what you are really like as people, here are the answers:

Type A – sensitive perfectionists but overanxious.

Type B – cheerful but eccentric and selfish.

Type O – curious, generous but stubborn.

Type AB – arty but mysterious and unpredictable.

I am concerned, however, that the Rhesus factor is not taken into account when assessing people according to blood type. I mean, seriously, just think how many more books and other marketing, money-making opportunities could result?

Would a person with B-negative blood still be considered cheerful? Would it really be a wonder if an A-negative person were overanxious? These questions could only be answered in another series of blood books. I look forward to being measured according to my blood type. Almost as great as being judged worthy or unworthy because of my boobs.