Friend of a friend

The Smile is the “new” project of Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, so it’s fair to call it “Radiohead Lite”. Their latest release is the very enjoyable and Radiohead-esque Friend of a Friend. It’s made it onto my #2024 Spotify playlist. And it’s on their new album: Wall of Eyes.

It was also played by Nathan Shepherd sitting on for Chris Hawkins on Friday. And he mentioned that the video was worth a look.

So I looked.

I don’t know quite what to make of it, except to say that the little girl in the foreground from 1:32 is the perfect allegory for modern life.

Clearly, the audience isn’t the most receptive to the somewhat experimental sounds of Thom et al. but then what were they expecting?

One day, those kids will be able to say that they were in one of Thom Yorke’s videos. And that might mean something to some of them at some point in their lives.

But I don’t think any of them get it yet.

“You can only pick 5”

Another social media thing that I spotted. I usually dismiss these sort of things immediately and move on, because they always seem a bit juvenile and silly to me. Not that I have a problem with other people doing them: it’s just not for me.

But I did have to laugh at this one…

Wow. Only 5?!? They make these things so tough.

Let me tell you all right now:


What am I meant to do? Somehow guess as to how to fill in the remaining 3½ spaces? Donate them to someone that actually finds this a struggle? Watch less football and more TV? (No.)

Honestly, the people that think up these things clearly don’t understand the important things and real life.

I have no issue with “missing out” here. Each to their own, as I mentioned above. I wonder, will this prompt the same pouring of disbelief, revulsion and outrage as that time when I said that I don’t like films?

Probably not. I mean, after all, people on the internet are much more open to hearing and understanding other people’s different viewpoints these days, aren’t they?

Let’s go for a hike!

I touched on the fires rampaging through the Western Cape a few days ago. They’re still burning out of control, despite the best efforts of many hundreds of firefighters, landowners and other stakeholders. Two major ones I’m watching at the moment are the one at Die Dam, and the one between Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay.

Die Dam has been burning for 3 days now and has spread into two separate fires, one heading west towards Pearly Beach, and one heading east towards Rietfontein. The Suiderstrand group has been alive with chatter about this since it began, especially given the unfortunate incident in the village a few years back. And so I was a bit confused when one of the ladies on the group mentioned that she “could see smoke” from her house.

I mean, yes Margaret. We all can.
That’ll be the absolutely massive fire just up the coast that everyone – including you, Margaret! – has been talking about for the past 72 hours.

Give me strength.

But even Margaret wouldn’t be as daft as some people in the other fire. Sure, you have your “disaster tourists”, the ones who turn up and get in the way of the firefighters by trying to get photos to improve their social media clout, and they’re annoying.

But then there were also messages from the authorities asking people not to hike in the affected areas.

Seriously, who looks at scenes like this as they’re driving through:

And then continues to park in the village, which looks like this:

And then heads off into the veld that looks like this?

Simply adding to the number of people the firefighters have got to look out for or save.

How many poor decisions do you have to take, one after the other, to get to that point?

Really, who needs to be told not to wander into the big, out of control fire?

And yet…

It’s the walking equivalent of the camouflaged cyclists.

Darwin Award nominees, all of them.

Honestly. Let them burn.

Good news on literacy lavels

Ok, so this has been doing the rounds here for a while already, but I’ve just been tardy in getting it onto the blog for the rest of the world to see.

There’s clearly great news when it comes to the recent achievements of South African learners in their exams this year:

Sadly, the people doing the captions at SABC News aren’t the South African learners of this year, and that’s why they’ve spelled “levels” incorrectly.

Now there’s a serious point to make here: I certainly don’t ridicule people because they don’t speak English well. It’s very likely that, with 11 official languages, it’s not their first language.

However, in an organisation as large as SABC News, there will be someone whose first language is English, and there should also be someone whose responsibility it is to make sure that whatever goes on screen is spelled correctly.

And therefore, it’s absolutely fine to take the piss and laugh at this really unfortunate error.

Pixie help in the wind

I’m been an incredibly blowy day in Cape Town and the Western Cape. Sustained 60kph winds with gusts into the mid-80s. The Fire Danger Index was red for most everywhere, and that forecast has proven to be wholly accurate, with fires… well… most everywhere, as well.

I did see one guy “in the know” describe it as “a shit show”. Who am I to argue?

Of particular personal interest above, that one bottom right, which – although a long way from our little place at the Southern Tip – is threatening to head that way. [UPDATE: I’ve just heard that they’ve got it contained.] And also the big one right in the middle, just north-east of Paarl, which has been burning for 8 days now, right around the area where we stayed just before Christmas, including the Bains Kloof Pass, and has consumed an immense amount of land, and sadly, a good number of buildings.

I was trying to glue some stuff to some other stuff earlier, using volatile glue for gluing purposes, and some meths for cleaning purposes. Obviously, I tried to work outside: a well-ventilated area being important, but being on my own, and having no-one to hold the wood, the wind was actually ventilating too much, and playing havoc with my efforts. And so I had to go inside into my office. This was much better, because not only was everything not being blown around, but I was also suddenly joined by an army of helpful pixies who sang and danced as the work got done.

Wonderful stuff. And I really enjoyed the nap that inevitably followed, even if it was on the floor.

Anyway, the pixies might not have helped the firefighters, but the early arrival of the first rain in over two months might give them a hand. I’m back in my car park for the first time this year, and it’s actually rather wet. Ironically, they’re sprinkling water on the grass on the playing fields opposite me.

What’s coming from the sky is not exactly a deluge, but it’s certainly better than nothing, and it’s very welcome. Everywhere is… was… dirty and dusty. Cape Town needed a wash.

As I write, it’s raining heavily, the wind is still blowing and the sun is setting. Trash chickens being blown around in the bizarre sulphureous light, and… is that… is that another pixie?!?