Called it

Remember this post from last week, expressing disbelief and dismay at the alleged plans to spend R22 million on a Big Flag?

The Government said:

This has the potential to unite people as it becomes a symbol of unity and common identity.
The project is envisaged to contribute towards nation-building and social cohesion. 

And I said:

Well, guess what happened?

This week, pisspoor Minister (apologies for the tautology) Nathi Mthethwa launched the Big Plan for a Big Flag, and the nation – all built and socially cohesed – turned around together as one and told him to Tsek.

Now, having “taken note of public discourse” (which was basically a collection of suggestions, generally ending with the word “off”) and:

In upholding these ethos and the inalienable rights of citizens to be heard, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture has directed his department to review the process related to the Monumental Flag in its totality.

Now, this is actually a Good Thing. It is very unusual for a Minister or any member of government to actually give a toss what the public think. And that’s because those ministers and members of government are safe, privileged and untouchable. They don’t have to listen, because there are no consequences whatsoever for them not listening.

So Mthethwa apparently hearing the er… “discourse”, and actually having some sort of reaction – albeit merely “reviewing the process” at this point – is to be applauded.

The real acid tests come when: 1. there is a reasonable outcome to the review – and that doesn’t necessarily mean that the project is dropped: maybe they find private sponsorship for it, for example; 2. the next time something like this crosses Nathi’s desk, he remembers this situation and says “no” before it goes any further; and 3. any other Minister looks at this situation and Mthethwa’s reaction, and chooses to listen to the public regarding their feelings on any given project or idea as well.

Optimistic people may think that this could be a watershed moment.
The realists amongst us have already drunk half our glass and we’re ordering a brandy chaser to deal with the inevitable disappointment.

Frauke is a nutter

On this post from the local radio station for elderly people, Cape Talk, discussing the need to get rid of invasive alien plants from the country…

… I spotted this comment, by one Frauke Wagner. Because obviously the alien invasive plants aren’t the issue here. The issue here is… er… [checks notes]… this:

Weather manipulation and gas like artificial fog is what is making people sick and this combined with 5G is killing all trees, insects and nature, contaminates all water sources.

Frauke even includes a picture of the “gas like artificial fog” with her post:

…and it actually does look quite like fog, which I suppose is one of the requisites for any good artificial fog. I didn’t really take any of her comment seriously though, until she lobbed in the word “GENOCIDE” in CAPITALS. The rest of it is clearly rubbish, but we all know that when someone writes something in CAPTIALS on social media, then it must be true.

FACT.

Quite how Frauke accesses Facebook to upload her truth bombs is a little confusing, given her stance on mobile phone radiation. And she does have a mobile phone, because she’s refused to let Standard Bank access her phone camera to scan a QR code to log in to her account. That’s obviously got nothing to do with security though, says our erstwhile heroine. Because using any QR code for anything can only be linked to one thing…

…we all know what that means…..jab passport.

Yeah. Well, when Standard Bank requires your “jab passport” to allow you to log into you bank account, you can come and laugh at me for being “so gullible and mainstream”. In the meantime though (i.e. actually forever), I’m going to take the piss out of you for being a paranoid nutcase.

And a very quick dive into the Facebook profile reveals a couple of photos from George and Mossel Bay:

“They busy spraying again”, says Chemtrail authority and general loser Bahia Fredericks, “it is accuring now”, conveniently ignoring the fact that both these locations are directly on the flight path from Gqeberha to Cape Town.

And again, the usual “chemtrails” BS before the important bit in CAPITALS:

HELL NO YOU NOT GOING TO WIN DEMONIC GOVERMENT

wut?

But who is doing the spraying?

No, Sanjay. In what way does it even come close to “making sense”?
It really doesn’t.

But if it is the Air Force that’s doing this (which it isn’t and they’re not), are they doing from their local base – Ysterplaat AFB next to Century City?
Yes, says pitifully misguided looney-toon, Liyana:

But no, says local aircraft aficionado and complete fantasist, Brennan:

For the record: The minimum takeoff and landing distance at sea level (like Ysterplaat is) for a fully laden Boeing 737-800 is 1510 metres. Ysterplaat’s runway is 1585m. So actually, he’s wrong.

I was also shocked. People of this sort are usually so factually accurate.

These people walk among us. They have the same rights as you do. Their vote counts as much as your vote, but they are loonies. Once again, I am renewing my calls for a Big Wallâ„¢ to be erected between the Southern Suburbs and the Deep South of Cape Town where the majority of these people reside: a formalisation of the Lentil Curtain.
And why not take the opportunity to brick up Century City while we’re at it? You can’t be too safe.

Cyclists: why are they hiding?

Autumn has well and truly set in to Cape Town now. Leaves everywhere, that chilly breeze around every corner and sunset before 6pm each evening (5:56pm today, and it’ll only ever get as early as 5:44pm).

So why, oh why, oh why are the local cyclists doing their level best to blend into the roads and surrounds? Seriously, what has to be going through your mind to pop out for a ride along Rhodes Drive – the notoriously narrow and twisty road up the side of the mountain – wearing dark green and black lycra?

Yeah, I do understand that black is supposed to be slimming, but there’s only so much that it can do in the face of those 6 Castle Lites you down each evening. A bridge too far for Monsieur DuPont, I’m afraid.

Rhodes Drive is a very popular cycle route. And with good reason: it’s a good test for the legs, it’s recently resurfaced, and it’s just up the road from the posher suburbs of the city. The only thing it’s missing is any traffic lights to ignore, but otherwise, as far as cyclists go, it’s got the lot. But it also runs along the eastern side of the mountain, and so it loses the sun even earlier, and much of it is tree-lined, so it loses even more light, more quickly. And yet you MAMILs think it’s a good idea to try and camouflage yourself and see how many motorists you can pick off on a culpable homicide charge.

Is there maybe a thing on Strava for that?

Note that I am in no way suggesting that cyclists should be knocked off their bikes: of course not. But there has to be some sort of natural selection in this world, and you, puffing and sweating your way up towards Constantia Nek after sunset, in your freebie, khaki Nedbank Private Wealth cycling top you got from that golf day, is pretty much lining you up for – at the very least – a glancing blow.

Being a cyclist is unfairly dangerous enough without you trying to make it worse for yourselves. It’s not like there aren’t things like bright, reflective attire and – and please hear me out here – “lights” [crowd gasps] that you could adorn yourself and your two-wheeled machine with, in order to make yourselves a little more visible. And it’s not like the money isn’t there. You forked out (no pun intended) close on six figures for your bike, but you can’t afford a set of lights to stop you being killed while you’re using it?

Priorities? Skewed, mate.

Lights and shiny clothes would be a good thing at any time and in any place. But when heading out onto an twisting unlit, tree-lined road at dusk, they would almost seem completely sensible.

But, no. None of them choose to do it. Which says a lot about cyclists, I suppose.

So yes, while I absolutely recognise that all road users must share the road, it looks like us drivers will have to continue to share it with idiots. And pretty much invisible ones at that.

Flagpole

I’m still not completely convinced that this isn’t a late April Fools joke.

Because while in a country with no money, massive social and economic issues, no electricity, widespread poverty and rampant unemployment, it doesn’t seem like making a joke about the government spending R22,000,000 on a big flag would be particularly amusing, it’s also exactly the sort of thing that the government would actually do.

And that wouldn’t be funny either.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I see all the arguments they’ve made:

The flag, as the brand image of the country, needs to be highly recognised by the citizens.
This has the potential to unite people as it becomes a symbol of unity and common identity.
The project is envisaged to contribute towards nation-building and social cohesion. 

But I would say that about 100% of the citizens already recognise the flag. And I’d also say that our shared experiences of things like loadshedding and unchecked government corruption are more likely to unite us and be a symbol of our common identity than this project. And that being the case, I’m sure that the spending of this R22 million will absolutely encourage nation-building and social cohesion, as the citizenry come together as one to ask the burning question:

What the actual fuck are you doing spending R22 million on a flag?
Just. Stop.

So is this whole story just a joke? I don’t get it. At all.

Next week, South Africa spends R49million on a giant hamster.
(I just made that up, so it’s probably not going to happen.) (Probably.)

An easy opportunity to use a gif that was already in my media library

Yesterday (well, just before midnight on the day before yesterday, if we’re being precise), the government issued an extension of sorts to the temporary amendment that it had previously made last month regarding the wearing of masks in public places.

This made a lot of those people very annoyed, but it was actually a good diversion for them to avoid talking about the USA exceeding 1,000,000 (one million) Covid deaths. And even that is a wild underestimation, according to many sources. Just like the flu, they said. But it’s really not.

Anyway, aside from the sleight of hand, the only other bit of good news for those people was that the press release about the extension seemed to suggest that students would no longer have to wear masks in schools. This didn’t make any sense – especially along the other guidelines that were in the same gazette – but since when has this (or any) government ever made any sense?

Anyway, that was the situation until the early afternoon, when someone at the Department of Health finally woke up and realised that there had been an error, and told the country that actually, students would have to wear masks in their classrooms after all.

Wow. The metaphorical cat was placed right among the allegorical pigeons with that announcement.

And lo, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But it was this hysterical tweet that stood out for me:

Because obviously, I immediately thought of this gif:

And though I have no idea what about the appearance of the individual who came out with those question above, my mind will now always associate them with Helen Lovejoy.

Look, the fact is that anyone can go to their local police station and lay a charge against the Department of Health if they wish. So why leave it for someone else, since you clearly feel so upset? Why wouldn’t you go and do it yourself if you think a crime has been committed? For that to go much further though, that Department needs to have broken some sort of law, which in this case would be… would be… er… “being a bit vague in a late night press release”?

Oh my. Proper Death Row, Throw Away The Key Stuff there.

In the meantime, masks remain for indoor spaces, schools or otherwise, and the numbers – probably affected by two public holidays and a long weekend and Covid fatigue, as mentioned here:

– continue to rise:

Ventilate, vaccinate, mask up, stay safe. And won’t somebody please think of the children?

Thanks.