Take me to Pleasure Town….oh, we’re going there!

Last night San Diego’s finest anchorman, Ron Burgundy of the famed Channel Four News Team announced (while playing the jazz flute) that there will be a sequel to Anchorman…and it will be aptly named Anchorman 2.

“As of 09:00 Mountain time, Paramount Pictures and myself, Ronald Joseph Aaron Burgundy, have come to terms to a sequel to Anchorman,” he said.

Don’t know about you but I can’t wait. Let’s hope there’s another fight scene…trident and all.

Stay classy, Johannesburg…?

Check the video out:

Racist smasist

“There is not a lot of mixing,” said Nokwanda Khanyile, 21, a business student from Durban. “The coloreds stick to themselves. The whites, too.”    ̶  By LYDIA POLGREEN, taken from New York Times.

 

So I have only recently (and by recently I mean 5 minutes ago) caught wind of the whole #capetownisracist vs #capetownisawesome* saga, which I will admit left me feeling very white and middle class as I generally like to keep updated on what’s going on around me, not only in South Africa but the world, something that sadly not very many middle class South Africans…or maybe human beings like to do…yes people there are a reason these stereotypes exist, and by Thor I will abuse them even if it is just to annoy some of you.

 *Just an aside…and I feel like this article may be full of them (was that just an aside to an aside), is that surely a better retort to #capetownisracist would have been #capetownisnotracist? You might as well of used #Cape Town admits it’s racist but gee wiz it’sawesome.

So about 7minutes ago now I was sitting in front of my computer, which is so old I might as well be sending out smoke signals to all of you, reading an article titled: In Cape Town, Many Black South Africans Feel Unwelcome . The article summed up rather well what the whole debate or controversy around Cape Town is at the moment rather well.

Basically a bunch of stupid people, that live in an amazing city that have found yet another thing to complain about.

BUT WAIT…step away from the comment button otherwise known as the ‘waste my time with stupid comments button’ …unless you agree with me then comment away. Okay let me stop screwing around.

Now I’m not saying that there aren’t racists in Cape Town, because let’s face it there are, we live in South Africa people, we made hating on people because of their colour the law, obviously there are going to be some racists hanging around clutching onto their old flags not having left their houses since 1994 in case ‘the blacks’ get them, and likewise there are still some racists clutching onto their MK uniforms…which have somehow morphed into ANCYL t-shirts screaming: Dubul ibhunu aka Shoot the Boer. Yes, I’m being dramatic but you get my point right?

There are racists, here…there…everywhere. I’m not pretending to know much about what the exact politics of Cape Town are and I’m sure there are some major issues, but really now, the article which is probably going to be seen by thousands of international readers paints South Africa in a really awful light and what’s more it doesn’t actually talk to those people who live outside of thecity centre and its mountainside inner suburbs, in the distant townships on the Cape Flats’. Interview a person in the Cape Flats get their views then I will listen, get what the actual sentiment is from the people who are actually affected then I will listen.

What’s more is that the spatial issues are highlighted as racial issues not only in the article but in the context of the whole argument. People are not bound to certain areas because of race but because of economic constraints and past relocation’s by the shitty shitty Apartheid government.

That brings me to another point, birds of a feather flock together. The feather could be race, culture, religion, choice of music, choice of political parties, for flips sake it could be choice of hair colour. But people who are similar stick together, perhaps its a defence mechanism or just because they like people who are similar to them. That’s a fact.

Those of you who attended WITS University can attest to this. The majority of Indians sat on the library lawn steps, Black students hung out in the Matrix, White students hung out on the lawns, Asian students hung out in the computer labs (bad joke?) and everyone used to hang out on the Great Hall steps. It’s not like there was racial tension, not like there weren’t for example Indian people sitting on the lawn. It’s just what happens, for whatever reason it’s what happens I don’t think it makes anyone racist!

Do we as South Africans not get confused between misunderstanding or not knowing ‘the other’ as racism because it is so prevalent in our history?

If the inner city of Cape Town is racist then surely the Cape Flats can be seen as racist to, as I’m sure if a skinny jean clad UCT student waltzed through there they would feel unwelcome?  According to the criteria set out in parts of the article the whole world is racist because people who are different feel unwelcome all the time. Is Tiger Tiger in Fourways racist? Because the times I have been there (and left with me ears bleeding and ready to set fire to the next girl who said OMG while drinking a bottle of Spin) I have felt very unwelcome, but that’s because I’m different not because I’m white.

Perhaps I’m just an idealist but I really don’t see this as a race issue, more of a people are retarded and bitchy issue.

 

 

Jozi you’re alright

So as you all know I love my larger than life city Johannesburg, found this awesome film made by a group of visiting filmmakers. If you didn’t already love Johannesburg already I suggest you start! Heres another recent post on Joburg you may be interested in reading What Burger King and the Internet a have in common

Check the video out:

Open Letter to Jason Russel of Invisible Children Inc on KONY2012

I don’t usually re-blog or re-post but this open letter is just too fantastic:

By Amber Ha

Dear Jason Russell,

After being bombarded with your KONY 2012 crusade, I have no choice but to respond to your highly inaccurate, offensive, and harmful propaganda.  I realized I had to respond in hopes of stopping you before you cause more violence and deaths to the Acholi people (Northern Ugandans), the very people you are claiming to protect.

Firstly, I would like to question your timing of this KONY 2012 crusade in Uganda when most of the violence from Joseph Kony and the LRA (The Lord’s Resistance Army) has subsided in Uganda in the past 5 years. The LRA has moved onto neighboring countries like the DRC and Southern Sudan. Why are you not urging action in the countries he is currently in? Why are you worried about Kony all of a sudden when Ugandans are not at this present moment?

This grossly illogical timing and statements on your website such as “Click here to buy your KONY 2012 products” makes me believe that the timing has more to do with your commercial interests than humanitarian interests. With the upcoming U.S. presidential elections and the waning interest in Invisible Children, it seems to be perfect timing to start a crusade. I also must add at this point how much it personally disgusts me the way in which you have commercialized a conflict in which thousands of people have died.

Secondly, I would like to address the highly inaccurate content of your video. Your video did not leave the viewer any more knowledgeable about the conflict in Uganda, but only emotionally assaulted. I could not help but notice how conveniently one-sided the “explanation” in your video was. There was absolutely no mention of the role of the Ugandan government and military in the conflict. Let alone the role of the U.S. government and military.  The only information given is “KONY MUST BE STOPPED.”

I would like to inform you that stopping Kony would not end the conflict. (It is correctly pronounced “Kohn” by the way). This conflict is deeply embedded in Uganda’s history that neither starts nor ends with Kony. Therefore, your solution to the problem is flawed. There is no way to know the solution, without full knowledge of the problem itself.  We must act on knowledge, not emotions.

Joseph Kony formed the LRA in retaliation to the brutality of President Museveni (from the south) committing mass atrocities on the Acholi people (from the north) when President Museveni came to power in 1986. This follows a long history of Ugandan politics that can be traced back to pre-colonial times.  The conflict must be contextualized within this history. (If you want to have this proper knowledge, I suggest you start by working with scholars, not celebrities).  President Museveni is still in power and in his reign of 26 years he has arguably killed as many, if not more Acholi people, than Joseph Kony. Why is President Museveni not demonized, let alone mentioned? I would like to give you more credit than just ignorance. I have three guesses. One is that Invisible Children has close ties with the Ugandan government and military, which it has been accused of many times. Second, is that you are willing to fight Kony, but not the U.S. Government, which openly supports President Museveni. Third, is that Invisible Children feels the need to reduce the conflict to better commercialize it.

This brings me to my third issue, the highly offensive nature of your video. Firstly, it is offensive to your viewer. The scene with your “explanation” of the conflict to your toddler son suggests that the viewers have the mental capacity of a toddler and can only handle information given in such a reductionist manner. I would like to think American teenagers and young adults (which is clearly your target audience) are smarter than your toddler son. I would hope that we are able to realize that it is not a “Star Wars” game with aliens and robots in some far off galaxy as your son suggests, but a real world conflict with real world people in Uganda. This is a real life conflict with real life consequences.

Secondly, and more importantly, it is offensive to Ugandans. The very name “Invisible Children” is offensive. You claim you make the invisible, visible. The statements, “We have seen these kids.” and “No one knew about these kids.” are part of your slogan. You seem to be strongly hinting that you somehow have validated and found these kids and their struggles.

Whether you see them or not, they were always there. Your having seen the kids does not validate their existence in any shape or form or bring it any more significance. You say “no one” knew about the kids. What about the kids themselves? What about the families of the kids who were killed and abducted? Are they “no one?” Are they not human?

These children are not invisible, you are making them invisible by silencing, dehumanizing, marketing, and invalidating them.

Last year I went to Gulu, Uganda, where Invisible Children is based, and interviewed over 50 locals.  Every single person questioned Invisible Children’s legitimacy and intention. Every single person. If anything, it seemed the people saw Invisible Children as a bigger threat than Joseph Kony at the time. Why is it the very people you are trying to “help” feel more offense than relief with your aid?

“They come here to make money and use us.”

“It makes us feel terrible to be presented as being so stupid and helpless.”

These are direct quotes. This was the sentiment of the majority of the people that I interviewed in varying degrees. I definitely didn’t see or hear these voices or opinions in your video. If you are to be “saving” the Acholi people, the very least you can be doing is holding yourself accountable to them and actually listening to what they have to say.

This offensive, inaccurate misconstruction of Ugandans and the conflict makes me wonder what and whom this is really about. It seems that you feel very good about yourself being a savior, a Luke Skywalker of sorts, and same with the girl in your video who passionately states, “This is what defines us”. Therefore, I can’t help but wonder if Invisible Children is more about defining the American do-gooders (and making them feel good), rather than the Ugandans; profiteering the American military and corporations (which Invisible Children is officially and legally) than the conflict.

Lastly, I would like to address the harmful nature of your propaganda. I believe your actions will actually bring back the fighting in Northern Uganda. You are not asking for peace, but violence. The fighting has stopped in the past 5 years and the Acholi are finally enjoying some peace.  You will be inviting the LRA and the fighting back into Uganda and disturbing this peace. The last time Invisible Children got politically involved and began lobbying it actually caused more violence and deaths. I beg you not to do it again.

If you open your eyes and see the actions of the Ugandan government and the U.S. government, you will see why.  Why is it that suddenly in October of 2011 when there has been relative peace in Uganda for 4 years, President Obama decided to send troops into Uganda? Why is it that the U.S. military is so involved with AFRICOM, which has been pervading African countries, including Uganda? Why is it that U.S. has been traced to creating the very weapons that has been used in the violence?  The U.S. is entering Uganda and other countries in Africa not to stop violence, but to create a new battlefield.

In your video you urge that the first course of action is that the Ugandan military needs American military and weapons. You are giving weapons to the very people who were killing the Acholi people in the first place. You are helping to open the grounds for America to make Uganda into a battlefield in which it can profit and gain power. Please recognize this is all part of a bigger military movement, not a humanitarian movement. This will cause deaths, not save lives. This will be causing more harm, than good.

You end your video with saying, “I will stop at nothing”.  If nothing else, will you not stop for the lives of the Acholi people? Haven’t enough Acholi people suffered in the violence between the LRA and the Ugandan government? Our alliance should not be with the U.S. government or the Ugandan military or the LRA, but the Acholi people.  There is a Ugandan saying that goes, “The grass will always suffer when two elephants fight.” Isn’t it time we let the grass grow?

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Amber Ha

Greenside stops sucking…a little less

I don’t like Gin, what I do like is going to Gin…well at least now I do.

I think those of us who have been going to Greenside since…well let’s just say a very long time, can agree that it has turned into somewhat of a trap for boets and highly strung girls parading around on the sidewalk wearing unreasonably high shoes and cocktail dresses.

Now first things first why would you attempt to walk around the incredibly uneven pavement in 6inch heals? It’s more bizarre than someone joining the KONY2012 cause. I have actually made it into a sport watching these young girls (because no woman would make that mistake), and betting on how far they can walk before slipping or tripping up on a jagged piece of concrete.

They generally travel in packs of three or more and then attempt to look relaxed as they sit at Mamma’s Shebeen looking more out of place than Julius Malema at an ANC meeting, with splinters from the worn out furniture up their ass, which further attributes to the ‘I literally have a stick up my ass look’, that is more noticeable than their YDE bought cocktail dress that is exactly the same as their BFFs’ who is trailing behind trying to mask a twisted ankle and a scraped knee dealt out by the ever vengeful pothole just before Bob Rocks. Yes you know the one I’m talking about.

Even Bob Rocks has turned from an Indie ‘hidey hole’…into just a hole. I went there for a drink last week where I was assaulted by a teenager wearing the thickest chain I have ever seen, accompanied by the entire earth’s supply of gel in his hair, which I have to admit, is pretty impressive.

Where hipsters once lined the walls skulking about their really bad choice to go through with getting that bowl shaped haircut, were now exact replicas of those awful Bratz dolls in what I presume were there ‘Disco Feva’ outfits. Needless to say it sucked listening to The Black Eyed Peas while being judged for my flat shoes and disheveled hair.

Defeated I joined my friends at Gin, expecting the usual dub-step crazed crowd guarding the bar making it harder to get to than Mordor on a bad day. What was usually a struggle which included grasping onto the hands of my friends screaming share the load and having to fight a pissed off Nazgûl just to reach the toilet turned into a pleasant 14 second walk, where I got my drink after a minute or two of waiting and what’s more service with a smile!

Still a little sceptical and trying to guide my friend who had been present for the half price cocktails a few hours earlier and had drunken more than her fair share my ears were graced with the sound of The Pixies and then RHCP and then about an hour of straight up rock and flipping roll. What’s more is that every Tue night they are hosting an Indie night and in their words “The Good Old Days are Back Again”…it sure seems like it.

See all the details for the event here: The Good Old Days are Back Again.

Why Joseph Kony is better than you.

Hey all you guys up there on your high horse!

Get down; come chill out with Kony and myself.

A good friend of mine recently tweeted asking: “Do you think so many people would have died in the Holocaust, Cambodia, etc. if the internet and social media was being used, like today?” When I read this Tweet I felt a swell of irrational anger, probably spurred on by me 3rd Red Bull of the day. What made me even angrier is how many people dared to ask this question.

How dare you ask this?

Just an aside, people are assuming that the world was not aware of the above mentioned incidents. The world knew about them, take Rwanda for instance the world knew about it but failed to give a shit. We as human beings should be ashamed that we have the tools now more than ever before yet still we only ‘play’ that we are doing something about the problems of the world. Is this not worse?

Do you really think watching a video such as the Kony 2012 video that has gone viral will do anything?  How many of you watched it  from the comfort of your home and office pushed share, tweeted or made a Facebook status about it then waddled over to your TV wearing your Che Guevara t-shirt and forgot all about it because you did your bit by pushing share. You clicked a mouse you didn’t do anything, don’t dare pat yourself on the back, you really don’t deserve it.

Rhino poaching, yet another widespread issue especially for South Africans. Sure you watched the video of the guy telling you how much killing rhinos sucks and you clicked share (I admit I shared it too), and you hear everyday how many more rhinos have been killed. “Ag shame man, those poor rhinos,” has probably been said an infinite number of times, yet nothing changes.

At least the little Chinese man with erectile disfunction is doing something about it, and Joseph Kony who we can all agree seems to be a bigger douche bag than George Bush Junior is doing what he must believe rather strongly in, even if it is just for power and greed.

If there were more people like Kony in this world it would be a better place.

Now before you get your knickers in a knot I’m not saying everyone should start raping and stealing children to make them child soldiers. It’s just not realistic for everyone to become war lords and there are definitely not enough children for each person to have their own little army. What I am saying is obviously these people believe so strongly in something that they are willing to actually do something about it.

Imagine how the world could change if just half the world was willing to stop thinking that pushing like or share was actually doing something to help anyone, because I hate to burst your bubble but its not.

We aren’t doing shit. Joseph Kony is the one winning here and you know what he deserves too because unlike us he is willing to fight for whatever the flip he is fighting for.

….having said that like this post if you agree.

 

Was Apartheid really that bad…uh are you serious?

On occasion I have had the privilege of receiving some rather obtuse emails from a man I imagine to be the reincarnation of Eugene Terre ‘Blanche.

The last email I received had the subject: “Was Apartheid really that bad?” Ummm are you really that dense you impertinent asshole?

This email was in response to my post on Bantu Education and the Daily Sun, which anyone with half a brain cell has nothing to do with race and is rather humorous if I do say so myself. And you know what I do say so! It’s funny and the other 750 odd people who read it also say so.

The email argued how education under the Apartheid government was way better than it is now, and sure I can see that in some aspects I will give you that much ‘Eugene’ , but and this is a big but (much like the butt of the high horse you are about to fall off) it was under APARTHEID. Children were being taught to read and write sure, but it was under APARTHEID.

I’m not going to sit and argue each little meaningless point you made because quite frankly in this story you get murdered by your farm workers…a little harsh perhaps well so was Apartheid, but that wasn’t that bad right so I’m sure you can deal.

You my friend are an embarrassment to the human race, if you don’t agree with what I write don’t read it, look at that that freedom of speech and the freedom to choose, two fun little things that you couldn’t have enjoyed under your beloved Apartheid.