Oh. I understand.

I suspect this is what you say to children who insist that they have been playing with their invisible friends at the bottom of the garden. (If they say they have been playing with fairies, the response might be “oh, that is nice” before you give them a thorough beating.)

It follows then, that this is the appropriate response when a guy declares that “Arsene Wenger is GOD” (sic on the caps). The conversation on Facebook went a little like this:

Alan: on top of the world with The Arsenal!

Michael: Here we go, here we go. Please God dont let Cesc get injured or sold do Barcelona

Betty: Michael you know 1) there is no god and 2) if there was, she’d never interfere with the trading of soccer players… right?

Michael: Arsene Wenger is GOD

…to which, of course, I replied: “Oh. I understand.”

So now I know that Arsene Wenger is a French football manager who has managed Arsenal for the past 14-odd years. I know quite a few Arsenal supporters, but did not guess the religious fervour of their support for, well, a football team.

As one does, I googled pictures of Arsene and I thought they were very amusing. I can see why he be god. He really has a good face for the part.

Que diable sont-ils là-bas?

Quick update, and things that go bump in the early morning hours

Some might have noticed that I found the Obama video sans the sarky comments from middle America, and I posted it. Funny thing was (and really only funny because it is one-in-the-morning, I am only halfway done with my essay, I am already 1000 words over my top-end limit and I have not even TOUCHED the ‘visibility’ thing yet… you know what I mean?) that when I found it, it had an odd caption on the bottom this time. It said, “Is Jesus God?” And then up popped a link to a website where one could follow this debate if it were not one-in-the-morning and one was not otherwise engaged.

It took me a little time to weigh “Obama is an asshole” against “Is Jesus God?” Really. I had to think about it, and my brain has been working very hard, so it took longer than usual. In the end I gambled on God, and, sure enough, once I re-posted the clip the pop-up thingie disappeared. But I thought I should share that little one-in-the-morning story.

I am going back to ‘visibility’ now.

(Nothing really goes bump at this time of the morning in Killarney on a Thursday.)

Oh yes. If you go to the Seattle/Vida/Lulu and you order an Obama, what are you asking for? A black Americano. (Well, I think it is funny, and not only at one-in-the-morning.)

These Americans are crazy

You  know, seriously, I just don’t think we have ANY idea, here in South Africa, how demented  conservative Americans really are.  I am not saying that we do not have very interesting groups of our own, like Cosatu, who went marching on Tito  this week demanding a 200 to 300-point rate cut, for example, but still. If Cosatu ran seminars on how dangerous it is to get into debt in the first place, and had weekly workshops (on Saturdays, cutting into shopping time, perhaps) on how to avoid those ubiquitous lay-bye offers flashing in the display windows of furniture salesrooms everywhere, then we could talk. But no, the quick fix is what they are after. Add to this the time they plan to spend marching on Helen Zille… they are ALREADY never at fucking work and they haven’t even started striking yet. At this rate, who is going to notice when they do?

But I digress.

Even here,  gay people can happily get married, despite lengthy consultation with the religious leaders of various religions and denominations (ASIDE: is anybody else also amused by the fact that “denomination” is a term mainly associated with religion and money?)  during the Civil Union Bill hearings, who all argued furiously against the constitutional rights of gay people, I am sure. To this day I do not understand the reason for this consultation, and I get very angry when I think about that, so I am moving along right away.

President JZ has made his feelings on gays quite clear… same-sex marriages are a disgrace to the nation and to God, he said, and homosexuals inspired such revulsion in him that if they merely stood in front him, he would be forced to knock them out. His feelings might have changed since he became president, just like the fact that he is no longer guilty enough of corruption to be charged.

Most South Africans think that gay people are not human, or at least not human enough to enjoy the human rights enshrined in our constitution. (I base this fantastic generalisation on the fact that an alarming proportion of South Africans attend one church or another and that church goers are famously outraged at homosexuals being openly homosexual. It’s okay if they are around, but they should not impress their same-sex desires on anybody else in the congregation and they should definitely not become priests. If you add to this number all the white people in, say, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Vryheid. Ermelo, Wolmeranstad, Rustenburg and Potchefstroom who sleep in on a Sunday, it would probably give you a convincing majority). Nonetheless, in South Africa gay people enjoy the same rights that badly dressed and flabby heterosexuals do. There are out-of-the-closet homosexuals in important positions in government and in the judiciary. They can get married and adopt children.

But not in California. In spite of Alec Baldwin’s wonderfully complex and convincing blog[1] for the Huffington Post, homosexuals cannot get married. They could get married last year. And those marriages are legal, still. But new ones are not.

Does this make sense to anybody? At all? The Onion’s take on it is so radical I am not sure it is funny. Because the senselessness of  it is so close to the bone. CONSERVATIVES WARN QUICK SEX CHANGE ONLY BARRIER BETWEEN GAYS, MARRIAGE, the headline says. In its classic CNN style, the report interviews the “Missouri congressman” who co-authored legislation to close the so-called “gay marriage loop-hole”. The legislation deals with the possibility that homosexuals could simply have “gender reassignment surgery” in order to  make it legal for them to get married. Really. Go see it. It’s not much more absurd than the actual events. If Goscinny and Uderzo had Asterix and Obelix in America, Obelix would have said… “these Americans  are crazy!”

But then I guess they did vote Dubya into office… twice. What does one expect?


[1] I am just kidding. But I am pleased with Alec’s piece, it shows that his heart is in the right place. And I completely understand and forgive the gaffe about the Filipino mail-order bride. He was clearly trying not to offend the Russians, and put his right foot in it, instead.

On writing #3: Nothing to say

I am going through an alarming phase in which I have nothing to say. This did not worry me over the weekend, as I was in the company of friends and, apparently, 27 bottles of wine. And then, when I got back on Monday, I could string a sentence or two together about recycling these very friends that had such a terrible influence on me.  

But yesterday, nothing, and today… nothing. (I think there was a column written by a columnist once about writing about not knowing what to write about. I feel like that person right now.)

I received a blog award, The Honest Scrapper, from Extranjera. (Thanks a lot.)


I am honoured because I think she writes a kick-ass blog, and she is prolific as hell. I wonder where all the great sentences that land up on her page come from, there are so many of them, and she is Finnish to boot. Not that this means anything beyond that she seems to be writing in a second language and that she likes to drink a lot. (She says she does.) I once had dinner with a client who came to shoot an Ericsson commercial in Cape Town. The crew represented the whole Scandinavian peninsula. The producer and director were Swedes, the DOP Norwegian and the steadicam operator was Finnish. They were unanimous on the fact that the Fins drank the most. And that they liked to drink a lot.

But back to the Honest Scrapper, and the problem of having nothing to say.

It is one of those awards where you have to do the work after the honour has been bestowed on you and then pass it along. Like a chain letter in the old days, but better, as it is designed to attract attention to your blog and spread the love at the same time. I suspect it also gives folk something to write about on days when they have absolutely nothing to say. Lots of  people out there really like to write about themselves. Sometimes I do too.

But today, this week, this month, I feel that I may not deserve the award. I tried to write “ten honest things” about myself, but failed. It is not that I cannot put ten things down on a page, it is just that once they are down, they seem of little consequence, and lacking in both wit and gravitas. And if so… who the hell cares?

There were only two items that amused me about myself:

1. I am a BIG Neil Diamond fan. Indra can scoff all he likes, but when the news of a new album hit the stands, I was not even a little surprised. I knew it would be coming.

2. I am a TERRIBLE food snob. It starts with making your own stock. If you do not make your own stock, please do not tick the “Cooking – I LOVE it!” box in the “more about yourself” page of your Dating Buzz profile. Do NOT describe yourself as a good cook. No, really. That, for me, it’s as damning as posting a picture from ten years ago when you were twenty kilo’s lighter. I know it’s pathetic. But a girl has to have at least one standard she is not prepared to lower during a hormonal surge of some kind or the other.

I just thought of another one:

3. My mother thinks that a return to faith in God and prayer will make my life better. I think giving up coffee, alcohol, flour, dairy and sugar will make my life better. If you had to choose, which one would YOU say is the narrow path?

But moving along.  I am also not sure who I would send this to. The initial instruction was “7 cool people” but has been whittled down to “seven five”. It does not help much. Considering the trauma I experienced in trying to be honest about myself, I hesitate to pass on the award, I must admit.

If it is about connecting, and sharing, I must recommend the Hispanic Fanatic very highly . He writes beautifully, and is funny, and engages critically and intelligently with the world he lives in. And he gets on really well with his mother. And Hardspear. I love his blog. (Where the hell have you been?) And then PW and Sons. There something about that one…

This funk I am in may be the result of trying to give up coffee for a whole day this week. I forwent its pleasures on Tuesday, and did pretty well. But on Wednesday I passed via the Chef on my way to work and today I cannot wait to get to Seattle. RIGHT NOW, I am thinking of taking my blog there.

I also started doing a round of Surya Namaskar in the mornings, and cultivating a routine. I thought that falling out of bed and heading for the computer in my pyjamas with an espresso, and staying there, was not an adult way of working at home. Now I get up, stretch, shower, have vegetable juice and THEN sit down, fully dressed and washed, like at a real job. The jury is out on that one.

I have moved my office around and thrown out the months-old newspapers. It is clean, sparkling, and conducive to work.

Still – nothing.

I print and read my preparation for class, I think about working on the tabloid essay. I have figured out that, if I proposed an argument at the beginning of the essay and failed to make it (which I did) I should not rewrite the entire thing, I should change the proposal to fit the argument that I DID make. That is a much easier task, but has not inspired me to action.

In fact, I get a headache just thinking about it. I feel trapped in procrastination, and I am not sure how I am going to get out of it. I think the salute to the sun is a good start, and I think I am going to stick with it for a while. That and the vegetable juice.

And keep on writing. Even when I have absolutely nothing to say.