Jack in the box

Armand Van Helden did a track in 1999 entitled “You Don’t Know Me”…had this playing in my head this morning.

Got me a thinking.

How is it that we formulate opinions on individuals based on minimum, often hear-say, information we’ve gathered.

A few weeks ago, I watched an episode of “So What” on Etv. Two individuals who have come into the public eye a lot of late is Kenny Kunene, dubbed “Sushi” for his antics with the seafood+naked women trick and Gayton McKenzie. Before seeing this show, or this episode in particular, the media had sought to paint me a picture of who these ‘cats’ were and how they operated…high-flying, flash lifestyling…very affluent. The kinda people we aspire to be like, as human-beings [without the tender controversy of course]. The moment my perception did a 180 is when Gayton and Kenny visit Gayton’s mother…of course G speaks about the material things he had since bought his mother, after becoming financially strong…that wasn’t it though. They pull up and his mum is cooking, what to most would seem a very simple meal, some dumplings and meat…but the appreciation and enjoyment these two “high-flyers” got from this, will stick with me.

You see, that reminds me, that human beings have personalities. It reminds me that no matter what i learn from the media or from what others’ say about certain members’ of society, until I’ve actually taken time to personally build a relationship with the said individual, i really can’t know who they are…and even after doing that, I still may not fully know.

Another rather ‘in your face’ example is canines. I live in the Southern Suburbs, predominantly coloured community. If you ask most people what their perception of a Staffordshire bull-terrier or Pitbull terrier is, they’d claim this animal is vicious and unsuitable as a pet. This too was my perception…until i walked my dags at Constantia Nek. If anything, my mini pinscher was the one to grab all those ‘characteristics’, while the dogs we came across were rather respectable and even friendly.

Then there’s me. Some of you know me from Plumstead High School…a rowdy little upstart, who loved taking the mick at any given occasion. Others know me from the music scene…you think: outspoken, extroverted, lively, blow …some of you are my family…you know me more intimately, or do you.

Of course, often, perceptions are created by actions or statements. This is fair. However, to ‘box’ people based solely on this, especially with limited exposure to their persona is a bit ‘out of line’ I’d say.

Could it be said, that we form opinions [negative] of others, so that we can divert from our own flaws?

Many of you have a perception of Julius Malema. A negative perception. This based on what you’ve heard…what he has said at times…how you think he lives his life. I love Juju…i love that he loves [deep] house music. I love that he hosted one of the masters of this sound in Louie Vega…i love that he makes wearing a beret, trendy…that suit i don’t love. In saying this, i don’t really have an opinion on him. He says a few outlandish things, but so do i…i do outrageous things too…things many would disassociate themselves with me, for.

People are people. We have the ability to change too.  What you know about someone today, may not be relevant tomorrow…learn to know them, before you even consider claiming to…also a great time to learn to know you…as I attempt to learn to know me.

Boxing makes you look a box.

 

 

 

 

Life as we know it

Sunday….

For me a day of early wake ups, possibly a visit to the building we refer to as church…then sunday lunch at the ‘rents. Afternoons’ of rest and maybe a game of football on the telly.

We all have our Sunday routines.

Today, for a rather known footballer, it wasn’t just another Sunday. In fact, he would not get to do m-any of the things he usually did. Whatever it was that had gotten the better of him mentally, resulted in him choosing that he needed to end his time on this planet.

Did he know this a week, a month, a year ago? I don’t know…

Its at times like these when The Beautiful Game takes second place to the realisation that we cannot for a moment take for granted our existence. Tomorrow is just that, tomorrow.

Personally i often am at fault of overlooking the ‘normalities’ of the every day existence. It’s so easy to, especially when we have [what would seem] way more important things to attend to.

Often we overlook our sanity…until we are sane no more…rational no more…loving life no more.

The irony of this post is that yesterday i challenged myself and you, the reader to seek out an enjoyable life, one of satisfaction rather than mundane.

Today, we get wind of a former footballer, then national team manager, finding that life was too much and ending it. You see, from the outside, i’d imagine being a pro footballer is a heap of fun. Goodness, i love football more than most things and would love to get paid for knocking that pigs’ bladder around.

That is my perception.

We do this, right. We assume by having a look at social status, material gains and thereby forming a ‘socially accepted’ opinion on an individual…often that ‘they have it all together’

It’s how we’ve been programmed, how we think we understand life…life as we know it.

As a result we overlook the simple instances of LIFE, real life…

Life isn’t as we know it…it could be high-time we get [a] life.

Respect to all those affected by the death of Gary Speed. Football remembers an EPL stalwart.

Free blind mice?

See how they run…yes me too.

Running this rat race, despite us being mice, because rats are quite big and intimidating, while mice are timid and, well, scared…we hardly think twice..just running. Sometimes no direction really…chasing the next pay cheque. Long past a sense of enjoyment or passion for what we’re doing. A mundane activity of note.

Reasons may include history…a history of being marginalised…a history of having no ‘bread winner’ in the family, forcing us to do things, we sometimes refer to as jobs or ridiculously claim are careers, so that we can ‘make ends meet’

Are we fair on ourselves in doing this? Don’t misunderstand me, or do…i realise there are bills to pay, mouths to feed, Nike air Jordan to buy…but this daily grind is slowly killing us…slowly…successfully…we put in half-hearted showings, just so we’re covering our “list of to do’s” to keep our employers satisfied.

It’s a vicious cycle. Half-hearted efforts, dissatisfaction, often claims of over-working and under-paying blah blah…ja.

Current economic climate means things are even tougher…we’re doing this 9-5 jobs often without much passion…without much conviction…without much success really…until we reach the 25th, buy things, pay things and then we’re at it again…and so it goes

So how then do I find what I’m looking for [not even U2 have]…is this my plight? Are we being punished and therefore need to run these limited lives…or maybe it’s the government’s fault? The previous government…surely!

A lot of what we decide today determine’s how tomorrow turns out. In all honesty I’m in this ‘conundrum’ of life right now…

Possibly it’s because we’re a ‘quick fix’ generation…we don’t like it we move on…we change…only to find that the change has just resulted in another cycle.

The rat race annoys me. The irony or vicious play on words is that we end up being trapped…so we’ve long since lost our freedom, yet we have the freedom to choose to be free…choose to live.

Of course this choice may affect many areas of your life and/or rather cause for adjustments…cause you to re-strategize, however, this may [or allow me to say should] result in a happiness unrivalled by the 5minute smile of a big pay cheque.

Thoughts become things.

 

 

More or less…less is more

Enough.

What does this word actually mean? Personally, in a few aspects of my life, I find that enough is never enough…so what then is enough?

Apparently less is more, or is it?

C9ine – Chasing pretty much sums it up…chasing chasing, a song so amazing…sometimes’ I’m chasing more than a song. Bought an Alfa Romeo MiTo, great little thing…12months later the Giulietta seemed so much more the italian drive to have. Can i afford it? No…do i want it, of course yes.

We’ve become such a materialistic bunch. Me in particular. I love good clothing, can never have enough [good] music…Beats by Dr Dre headphones at R3999,00 seems about the right price to pay for a set of sound-in-your-ears, right?

Our parents were a lot more frugal, a lot more industrious with the little bit they had at their disposal. One pair of shoes, maybe two if you were the ‘church going type’ was sufficient.

Now it’s all about quantity…the more you have, the  higher up the societal hierarchy you’ll find yourself. If you can combine quantity AND quality, you’re as my mum would say “in the pound seats”…Why though? Is it that important to fit in? This question I pose with that ‘four fingers back at me’ vibe going on.

Of course it’s great to have quality things. I for one would always purchase a pair of 7FAM denims over pair of levi’s for example, but do we really need to be competing on what we own, where we frequent?

Something that really interests [the calmest word i could find] me, is parents buying toddlers name-brand items. What sort of precedent are we setting here? How then will they appreciate things if we’re handing it out before they can even spell encyclopedia?!?

One of my saddest ‘nag purchases’ [daddy, yoh man daddy, i really really think this is the shoe i need for my matric ball] are a pair of knee-high New Rock boots. Cost price R2,400.00, which “my never-settle-for-the-price-tagged” dad got reduced to R2,000.00…I’ve worn them about 5times, if that. They’re in my cupboard and I’d probably land R500bucks, if that, for them today

Thing is…we do this. We buy impulsively. Based on hype…what the public will say…aargh, don’t worry about the price, we’ll sort that out eventually.

It’s a crippling decision. Often leads to us becoming lesser people. Worrying about how we’ll spread our funds. How we’ll cover all the costs…no chance of us impacting anyone elses’ life as we barely able to do the basics in our own.

Of course this activity isn’t relevant to all. There are of you out there who are very good with your finances. That’s magik [with a K] *wink*

Festivities are coming on thick and fast…big days as we’d often refer to them as…choose your battles wisely.

Less IS more…it means more too.

More sanity. More true happiness. More to do when you really need to do it.

 

Chooseday

So it’s been a rather interesting week for the ruling party, the media, bandwagon lovers and even for Goths.

The Brothers’ Streep took the opportunity to compose another sharp piece of work as well. How did this affect me?

Not in the least to be honest. I chose to wear blue on Tuesday, maybe i was a day behind…maybe i don’t care…

I love how us humans find any and every opportunity to point a finger at another human being. I find that we do this especially if we perceive them to be in a position of superiority or power and will stop at nothing to see their demise.

This was a post i did in response, had it up on Facebook and Twitter

“Take a drive to some of the most desolate areas around Cape Town (South Africa). Look at those, who daily need to scrape together a meal. You’ll then realise that #BlackTuesday is an everyday event for some. This, is the kind of ‘secrets’ we need to be sharing and acting on”

There are a number of other areas we are not addressing as South Africans. We do not address poverty on a personal level. We do not address racism! Just this week I had two experiences of hearing racist remarks, and said in an almost ‘normal’ tone…

Of course these issues stem mainly from our past afflictions, based on the colour of our skin. We haven’t made a choice to fight this…a choice to right this wrong permanently…a choice to choose day rather than night.

I’ve heard some seriously ridiculous claims this week

People claiming the ANC coming into power was never good for this country. So lets just forget the stalwarts who gave their lives [literally] for the freedom we enjoy today and focus our attention on those in power now.

“The passing of this secrecy bill is worse than apartheid” Seriously?! You telling me, us not knowing what’s happening within the leadership of this country is worse than being marginalised, worse than being beaten, worse than being murdered

“The government has taken away our freedom today” Really? I’d really like some examples of how these individuals feel ‘captive’ as a result of not having carte blanche on state issues?!

Gosh, of course i don’t necessarily agree with the pocket-lining antics of some of the leadership in this country. It’s counter-productive…its selfish and narrow-minded and and and…that being said, for me to point at them at any given opportunity is rather ‘rich’ considering, I’m hardly faultless in my lifestyle.

I’ve also heard the “if government isn’t doing anything about it, neither can we” approach. Are we then dispelling the ‘all men are created equal’ notion and choosing to put other human-beings on a pedestal based on social status, wealth et al…thus marginalising ourselves and saying we are incapable of bringing about change?

I choose to disagree.

I choose to live my life.

I choose to focus on being a better human being and not lose focus by choosing to see others’ faults and therefore overlook my own.

Choose.

 

 

 

 

 

Music sounds better with you

Deep. Soulful. Progressive…with a tinge of techno.

These are the sounds I most enjoy.  I’ve been fortunate to see Louie Vega and Kevin Saunderson live this year. Two pioneers of the house/techno genre.

Louie played in a rather intimate venue called Cielo in the Meat Packing District of New York. Wooden dance floor…a  500 strong crowd all loving his mastery. Referred to as the dj’s dj…he really is industrious behind those decks. You know if you have another legend in Todd Terry, just observing, you’ve got it together. This is Mr Vega. His 4hr set is a journey. Something not many dj’s have mastered. Taking us through the different sub-genres of house music and getting the crowd to eat out of his hand. It was immense.

The tune of the night for me was Agev Munsen & Roland Clark – The Thing About Deep, such an epic track. The crowd was literally bouncing for this monster.

I’m giving it stick front and centre and i glance at another clubber…and with hand gestures pay homage to the master Vega. Pretty much a hand gesture…no time to talk, just get down!

Then, we share a quick word and the lad says to me, “you’re from South Africa?! Right”…the rest is history. His name is Themba Mbedu. Agent’esque guy for Soulistic Music [for events in NYC]…the likes of BlackCoffee, Culoe de Song, Sai&Ribatone et al. This is the key moment for me.

Where’s this going? …music unites. I aint talking about the pill munching effects of hugs, rubs and tiger balm. I’m referring to the unity a specific sound creates. When you’re loving the sound so much, getting down to it and you glance over and see another 100+ people doing the same thing. There’s a connection.

I find this happening quite often at intimate events. Cape Town is quite popular for these…small crowds, modest settings, but some quality sounds.

Of course you can pose at one of the more ‘uppity’ establishments around…have a jig to the latest electro sounds and leave for home, empty. This is not my idea of a good night though.

Forget the drinks specials, the lazer light shows, the dancing girls…even the increased sound [drawcards]…check the dj list! This is what will determine your level of enjoyment.

Summer’s ahead. Choose your battles wisely. Avoid deceased rodents…most importantly enjoy the music.

Its, That thing about deep…

In my jeans?

This morning I wake up wondering, what is true religion?

Now some may respond by saying that true religion are those denims you can get in Woodstock for R650 CASH! That’s not entirely what i had in mind though.

Us humans have this warped idea of what religion OR RATHER relationship with God should be. Your appearance, what you wear…where you go…sometimes even your choice of english.

Then, once you get to going to this building some of us call church, you need to be saying the right kind of phrases to fit in…doing holy things so that you are perceived to be ‘right with God’

What happened to being real…being honest…free to say that I don’t have it all together, i’m actually really kak at life some times and this is why I actually believe in A Higher Power [God], because He has it all together, not me.

Yoh [an expression we use when there isn’t a word], at some points i really don’t feel like i want to be in a building with other ‘more blessed than stressed’ human-beings. Before i even enter i feel judged. Judged cos i have art on my arm…judged because I listen to certain genre’s of music outside of the spectrum…judged because I’m real, and full of faults.

If I, who believe in Jesus Christ and him being God’s son and dying so that we may have life, feel this way…what about the people who don’t subscribe to this viewpoint?

This is a contentious issue and would strike up hours of debate with the ‘who’s who’ of Jesus followers. I cannot be arsed to have this discussion with them, solely because it would mean I’m answerable to humans, when we aren’t.

So where to from here? Ha, caught out…i cannot tell you the answer to this. You’re not accountable to me. I’d suggest maybe speaking to your higher power [God] and being real and honest…afterall he does know the 4-1-1 before we even dial in.

True religion is only true when I am true…i am honest…i am real.