Death’s a blast. Go on try it, why don’t ya?

There are two radio adverts that I listen to every day while on my way to work, and I chuckle every time I hear them. And that’s not because they are amusing; but because they are so damn presumptuous about what people want or need.

Both are adverts for government agencies; one for the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) and the other for the public broadcaster, The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Both exhort the public to shell out money for something that no sane person would ordinarily pay for. Both these agencies invite you to become an unwilling partner in what can only be described as a monstrous fraud scheme with the sole aim of aiding and abetting gross incompetence in the case of the SABC and legalised extortion in the case of SANRAL.

While the SABC tries to persuade you to pay your TV licence because apparently it’s the right thing to do, SANRAL on the other hand tries to convince you that the new roads they’re building is going to be so great for everyone (including the environment), you should gladly pay the exorbitant toll fees they’re proposing.

The SABC offers all of 3 television channels spewing forth some of the most pathetic rubbish, masquerading as entertainment, and probably just one decent radio channel. To top that they have some of the most incompetent people in management, and are constantly plagued by management upheavals, in-fighting and gross mismanagement of public funds. While SANRAL does offer some decent roads, the toll fees they’re asking of around 50 cents a kilometer is pure extortion. Why are we paying taxes and ridiculously inflated surcharges on petrol prices anyway? Shouldn’t that pay for the construction of roads? Or is that revenue just to keep our fat-arsed politicians forever pigging at the trough?

I wonder how the ad agencies who came up with those advertising gems approached their task? Being asked to come up with adverts for the SABC and SANRAL must surely be tantamount to getting a contract from a funeral parlour to dolly up their macabre service offerings which can only go along the lines of hurry up and die, our services are tuned for your demise, or our services are to die for.

Surely, the SABC and SANRAL don’t seriously think that we are all going to get a warm happy feeling after listening to those pathetic adverts and are going to pay with a smile? But then again, where government is involved, unadulterated stupidity is a given.

The Power of Prayer Part 3: Surgery before bended knee

I heard about a woman this morning, who was given three days to live by the doctors. That was four days ago. Everyone she knows (who is religious that is) has apparently been praying feverishly for her to get better.

This morning those who know her are claiming a victory for prayer because she has survived one day more than the doctors gave her. I know that it must be a great relief for her family and friends, and as much as I hope that she will defy the prognosis and hang onto life for as long as possible, my rational self tells me that it is unlikely. The doctors are invariably correct in their prognosis when it comes to terminal illness, even if they are not accurate to within days of predicting life expectancy.

Unfortunately for all her family and friends whose anguish has been temporarily assuaged, their belief that prayer had anything to do with it, is hugely misplaced. I suppose one can’t really blame them for grasping onto any straw that presents itself, given their religious inclinations. I know that when the inevitable does eventually occur, they will forget about the prayer vigils and ascribe it to either god’s mercy in ending suffering, or conclude nonchalantly that “it was her time to go.” Such is the flexibility of religious piety.

I also read this afternoon that Ray McCauley, founder and chief pastor of the Rhema Church in South Africa, had heart surgery yesterday. Not surprisingly the church leadership “asks the Christian community and other faith communities to pray for his speedy recovery.” Luckily sanity prevailed when Ray chose surgery, rather than leave it to the faith community to pray him out of trouble. Off course, his recovery will be speedy, since science made it possible, but the faith community will claim a victory for prayer; such is the nature of religious opportunism.

I am sure that Ray will return to the pulpit after recovering, decrying the evils of science, while punting the power of prayer and faith. For him at least all will be well for some time to come; not so for the poor women who was given a few days to live…

Oh my followers, please protect me!!!

Oh, the sorry state of the supernatural world. Once again, the gods and prophets are begging for protection from their very own creation, not in person, but through their earthly clerical representatives and die-hard supporters.

The latest cry for protection against the creative minds of the supposedly created, emanated after a South African cartoonist caricatured the prophet of a certain religion as a patient of a psychologist, bemoaning the lack of humor evident in his followers. In keeping with the suppression of free thought and expression, I have carefully avoided mentioning the religion, the prophet and the cartoonist because certain religions would have us believe that such immense greatness cannot be described in mere words, let alone graphically.

The interesting thing about this latest pathetic attempt to stifle freedom of thought and expression is that the clerics of this particular religion lost the urgent interdict they brought against the Mail & Gaurdian newspaper, to prevent it from publishing the cartoon. The interesting part is not that the clerics lost the application in the High Court, but that the presiding judge was of the same religious persuasion as the applicants. It’s rather ironic that one of this particular god’s own, ruled against his prophet’s vanity.

It’s high time that religious zealots lightened up and realized that their gods and prophets are not immune to criticism. All-powerful, all-mighty deities and prophets should not have to rely on mere worship-fodder for protection. Those fabled lightning bolts from the sky must be put into operation immediately, to prevent the unnecessary carnage and collateral damage from man-made bombs and other weapons of destruction [used by the self-appointed protectors of the apparently impotent gods]. It is the divine thing to do.

The truth is, the gods and prophets do not need protection from the people; the people need protection from the gods and prophets, and the clerics…especially the clerics.

Wouldn’t you like to fly before you die?

A debate I’m having with a commenter on one of my blog posts has got me thinking about the nature of inquiry. Is it possible to simply stop inquiring when you believe you have found the right answer, and is it desirable?

When does one stop inquiring about stuff? When the answer makes you feel comfortable, or satisfies a need? What if someone comes along with a different answer or shows you another way? Would you shrug it off, because you’re quite happy with what you have found already? Is comfort better than the disquiet of being doubtful? Would you rather shoot yourself up with some drug because it makes you feel safely exhilarated, or would you rather experience the natural thrill of sky-diving. Both is probably going to kill you, but wouldn’t you rather fly, before you die?

Remember when as a child you constantly peppered your parents and others with those why questions? Why is it when you grow up, you stop asking why? Why do you settle for easy answers? Is it possible that a child understands the nature of inquiry better than an adult?

M, the young [I assume] and no doubt bright women who stirred up all these questions, posed the following:

I’m puzzled by the fact that if a discovery or inquiry leads to anything other than Christianity, it is accepted and applauded. If the road of inquiry ends at the cross of Christ, it is argued that you need to keep searching until you find the truth..Here’s the big question. What does one do “IF” this is the truth…

What I’m curious about is her starting point of inquiry? Did her questioning take her through a gamut of scientific literature, before she settled for the answers provided in the realm of the supernatural, or did she start at the bottom end of the supernatural and settle for the most pleasing or needs-satisfying version? Just a question mind you, not an allegation.

When it comes to inquiry, I would rather have ten different scientific suppositions about something, which leads me to more inquiry, than have one neat, comforting, but supernatural explanation, that stops all enquiry because it relies on the authority of someone you can never question. The end to questioning whether it be self-inflicted for comfort, or enforced through coercion and fear, pronounces the death of human intelligence. When inquiry stops, you might as well be dead.

Boobquake 2: The cleric strikes back

Remember that Iranian cleric who proclaimed that women who dress immodestly, causes earthquakes? Well, the “scientific” response to that ludicrous claim which last month enfolded as the Boobquake phenomenon, surely put paid to that insult to human intelligence.

However, our tool of a cleric, Kazem Sedighi is not taking that slap-in-the-face lying down. Nope; seems he’s been in earnest consultation with his maker, and has hit his critics with this astounding revelation about why god has not whipped up more earthquakes and other mayhem on the apparently immoral Western world:

God allows some of those who “provoke His wrath” to continue sinning “so that they (eventually) go to the bottom of Hell

So take note you wicked women who insist on showing off your delightful bodies; god is holding back his punishment on you for now. He’s waiting for you to show more cleavage, and then he’s going to give you what fer.

Now while the creator has been holding out on the promised punishment for immodesty, he’s certainly not holding out on letting loose stupid religious cretins such as Sedighi, on the world.

Back to school for Malema. Bwahahaha!!!

I don’t understand why there is all this rage following the announcement of the outcome of the Julius Malema disciplinary hearing.

Why did anyone seriously think that the ANC would punish one of its own? Where have you all been for the last few years? Are you not aware that the ANC rewards failure, incompetence, ignorance, mismanagement, and off course mild indiscretions such as those perpetrated by Julius Malema. Why would you believe that the whole disciplinary process was going to be anything but a sham; window-dressing for media consumption?

I’m actually surprized that Malema was punished as harshly as he was. Being requested to attend anger management classes, make a public apology, pay a R10 000 fine, and attend political school must be really harsh on him. The last punishment alone must be excruciatingly painful for Malema, considering his widely publicized performance in school, especially the GG in Woodwork. Imagine having to be sent back to attend the very school you had a hand in starting, and publically opening.

Surely they got the anger management bit all wrong? Malema is not angry, he’s just arrogant; arrogance management classes would have been more appropriate. And for someone used to shooting off his mouth, having to make a public apology must be quite awful. I can only imagine the turmoil he must be going through.

I am feeling truly sorry for my favorite dumb-ass. Okay, I am lying, I’m actually feeling sorry for the poor people of this country who have yet again had the wool pulled over their eyes.

But I am savouring the punishments;  it’s so fucking hysterical…

Oh! Screw it!

I was about to write about the African Nationalising Corporation (ANC) and how they are liberating you of your hard earned money,  but then I realized how depressing that is, and canned the idea.

Instead I decided to focus on something happier, but this has been a really dreary Monday, right into the evening. The weather looked so promising in the morning, but then it got hot. I hate hot.

Then I found out that the Opposition Parties think that President Jacob Zuma is an abject failure. They say he’s out of his depth. Some compare him to Sarah Palin, and say he’s weak and clueless. That’s not something to gloat over; its quite alarming that Zuma is regarded with such low esteem, one year into his term of ruining the country…eh! I meant running the country!

But it’s so fucking hilarious that people think of Zuma as a clueless bimbo. It’s made my Monday…

What talent, and the music….

Kseniya Simonova? Yeah, doesn’t ring a bell, does it? This mighty talented young women hails from the Ukraine, and that’s probably why she is relatively unknown.

But my! oh! my! what talent! Sand animation? I’ll bet not too many people have that particular talent. On the attached YouTube video she paints the sad history of her country in sand, with some really beautiful, but sad music for accompaniment.

I particularly enjoyed that Apocalyptica rendition of the Metallica hit, Nothing Else Matters, at the end, which is a personal favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy as I and more than 14 million other people no doubt did.

Something stinks in South Africa, and it’s not Lolly Jackson’s dead body

I’ve been following two recent events with some interest; not because they’re particularly riveting, but because they reveal a stark contrast in the competence of the Police in two different countries.

On Saturday, 01 May, a potential car bombing in New York’s Times Square was foiled because of an alert street vendor and the work of the Police. Follow-up detective work eventually led to the arrest on 04 May, of a Pakistani man who was within minutes of escaping. But thanks to the brilliant detective work of the New York Police, the suspect was apprehended on board a flight ready to take off. He apparently confessed soon after being arrested. A nice neat, happy ending, in little more than 3 days.

On Monday, 03 May, notorious strip club owner, Lolly Jackson was gunned down in a house in Edenvale, South Africa. The killer apparently called the head of Crime Intelligence, Joey Mabasa to report the shooting on the same night. Speculation about why the killer, an alleged drug dealer and police informant had the number of a senior police officer so readily available, is not important for now; although it may well be at a later stage. What’s important and somewhat nauseating is why the police have still not managed 2 days later, to apprehend a self-confessed killer, who is apparently well-known to them, and driving the victims car around.

Indications are that the police are clueless as to the killer’s whereabouts, and it’s likely they will remain clueless for some time to come. I don’t believe South Africans are too surprised though at the apparent incompetence of the police. It’s all too familiar.

Something really stinks in this whole saga, and it’s not coming from the body of that rotten scoundrel, Lolly Jackson. No, this smell is rather familiar; we get a whiff of it every time a crime is committed in South Africa, and we find the police either unwilling or unable to do something about it.

It’s a national disgrace.

Religious and Political Tyranny Against Press Freedom

I wonder how many people realized that today, 03 May 2010 was World Press Freedom Day. I remember catching a glance at an article about it in an online journal, over the weekend, but did not bother to investigate, until tonight.

The article that caught my attention referred to an organization which champions press freedom, known as Reporters Without Borders; an organization I had not heard of before. As an ardent advocate of free speech and freedom of the press, I consider myself suitably chastised for my ignorance.

Today they released a list of 40 predators of the press; people and organizations that routinely stifle press freedom by means of censorship, harassment, imprisonment, and even kidnapping, torture and murder of journalists. The most startling feature of this list is that it is made up almost entirely of political and religious leaders. More disturbing however is that one religion in particular features very strongly; in fact almost exclusively.

There are also some interesting demographics, with the Middle East (near and far) having by far the most number of freedom-hating dirt-bags on the list, followed closely behind by Africa. Then comes the Far East and China, Central America, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Here is the full list, filtered from the Reporters Sans Frontieres website in no order of significance:

Middle Eastern (including former Soviet Union)

  1. Afghanistan – Mullah Mohammad Omar
  2. Saudi Arabia – Abdallah ibn Al-Saud
  3. Azerbaijan – Ilham Aliev
  4. Iran – Ali Khamenei
  5. Iran – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
  6. Israel – Israel Defence Forces
  7. Kazakhstan – Nursultan Nazarbayev
  8. Uzbekistan – Islam Karimov
  9. Palestinian territories – Armed wing of Hamas
  10. Palestinian territories – The Palestinian Authority’s security forces
  11. Turkmenistan – Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov
  12. Yemen – Ali Abdallah Saleh
  13. Syria – Bashar Al-Assad


  1. Swaziland – King Mswati III
  2. Zimbabwe – Robert Mugabe
  3. Rwanda – Paul Kagame
  4. Equatorial Guinea – Teodoro Obiang Nguema
  5. Nigeria – Ogbonna Onovo
  6. Gambia – Yahya Jammeh
  7. Somalia – Al-Shabaab and Hizb-Al-Islam
  8. Eritrea – Issaias Afeworki
  9. Libya – Muammar Gaddafi
  10. Tunisia – Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali

Far East, China and Sub Continent

  1. Burma – Than Shwe
  2. China – Hu Jintao
  3. North Korea – Kim Jong-il
  4. Laos – Choummaly Sayasone
  5. Nepal – Nepalese armed groups
  6. Philippines – Private militias
  7. Sri Lanka – Gotabhaya Rajapakse
  8. Vietnam – Nong Duc Manh

Central America, Mexico and Caribbean

  1. Colombia – FARC
  2. Colombia – “Black Eagles”
  3. Cuba – Raúl Castro
  4. Mexico – Sinaloa, Gulf and Juárez cartels


  1. Belarus – Alexander Lukashenko
  2. Spain – ETA
  3. Italy – Organized crime
  4. Russia – Ramzan Kadyrov
  5. Russia – Vladimir Putin

So, there you have a collection of truly despicable human beings and organizations. The Reporters Sans Frontieres website has a write-up on each of these stains on humanity, and I advise reading about each one of them.

On a slightly less depressing note, South Africa has tried valiantly to produce a press-fiend in the shape of Julius Malema, but I think he does have some way to go to match this infamous list. He’s more a source of comedy than villainy.