Move to rename Table Mountain

“In a move that will be welcomed by many people who have been praying about this issue for years”, a group of prominent Capetonian furniture makers have met with the Western Cape Provincial Geographical Names Committee (WCPGNC) on Friday May 30, and proposed the renaming of the Table Mountain.

Table Mountain is clearly not a good name for the mountain which, together with Devil’s Peak, towers above Cape Town. Nor has it always been the name chosen for the geological feature. A map dated somewhere around the 1660s indicates that the peak was known as The Flat Rock, while in the 1700s, it was known by the Afrikaner population as Die Aambeeld or The Anvil. Because it looks a bit like an anvil, see?

Tony Balding of the South Africa Association of Cabinet Makers (SAACM) stated:

Obviously, Table Mountain is poor choice of name for the Mountain. It only shares one feature with a table: the flat top. There are no legs, which make up at least half the interesting bits of a table, and it’s giving our customers a false impression of what to they’re going to get when they order a table from one of our members. Many of them fully expect their commissioned project to be made of sandstone on a partially eroded granite basement, whereas we tend to work in wood or metal.
In addition, many of our customers expect our products to last for hundreds of millions of years and have a cable car from the floor to the top of their table. And don’t even get me started on the whole size issue.
It’s frankly creating unrealistic expectations and all because of the utterly terrible moniker given to it by some unimaginative and quite possibly short-sighted Dutchman.
It needs a new name and we won’t stop until it gets one.

This is merely the formalisation of a campaign which has been going on for many years. Previously, carpenters have climbed Table Mountain carrying a selection of exquisitely-crafted dining chairs and walnut sideboards in an effort to publicise their campaign and seek guidance from whoever would listen. There is a record of a letter being sent to President Thabo Mbeki in 2001, requesting a name change, but rumour has it that he refused to acknowledge the plea as a means of getting back at the local cabinetmaking community after he trapped his finger in a wardrobe in the mid-90s.

If the SAACM campaign does manage to gain some degree of traction, however, it will also give hope to the Christian community of Cape Town who, having rather too much spare time on their hands after 1994, given that they were no longer having to help prop up Apartheid, decided that Devil’s Peak was a bit of a rubbish name for… er… Devil’s Peak.

Many prominent members of their community have now got together and sidelined some of the money which could have been used to feed hungry children in order to petition the Provincial Government into changing the name of the kilometre high rock which has, for centuries, apparently cursed the inhabitants of the Mother City.

A spokeswoman for the group said:

The thing is that Capetonians don’t know just how great life could be if we renamed Devil’s Peak and removed the demonic possession which has hung over the city since the mountain was named. If we can get it renamed to Dove’s Peak, then everything would be instantly sorted out: there would be no more poverty, no more crime, no more meltdowns from Helen Zille on Twitter – even the South Easter wouldn’t ruin our springtime any more. If we can get it done before next April, then One Direction might even cancel their concert.
It will just be rainbows and sunshine and unicorns for all once this pointy lump is rid of its demonic name.

When it was pointed out that Johannesburg suffered many of the same problems as Cape Town, yet doesn’t have a mountain named after Beelzebub on its doorstep, the spokeswoman responded:

Yes, but that is a city of sin. God is omnipotent, yes, but I think we need to understand that even He has limits.

Posted in response this this “news” story, detailing how “a group of prominent Cape Town Christians” want to change the name of Devil’s Peak.

Because that’s absolutely the worst thing facing the Cape Town community at the moment, obviously.

Credibility issues

As Sarah Britten penned an article documenting Helen Zille’s slow but steady meltdown on Twitter and with political commentator Eusebius McKaiser even suggesting:

For its own sake, the DA might need a new leader.

suddenly the rug has been smartly pulled from beneath DA supporters’ feet, as their previously solid and reliable leader seems almost to be suffering some sort of breakdown, resulting in her, her party’s and her supporters’ credibility being eroded; the sage advice of arguing only with logic and not emotion seemingly forgotten.

But while the own goals of opposition politicians are important in our democracy, there are bigger problems involving credibility facing our country. Hot Cross Buns.

Yep – Woolworths (and as we’ve said before, this isn’t the same Woolworths as went bust in the UK, this is the SA equivalent of M&S) are out and about offending christians again. But after their previous capitulation on the decision to remove loss making christian magazines from their shelves back in 2010 (a decision which resulted, incidentally, in a loss of credibility for the store), “surprisingly” this time it’s the christians who have lost the plot. This just a couple of weeks after their “Jesus is alive/Jesus is dead” car crash of an argument over the Red Bull ad.

Because today, christian people (not all christian people, it should be said, but some very vocal christian people) are ever so upset about there being a Halaal marking on Woolworths’ Hot Cross Buns.

And yes, they’re really annoyed:

I hate woolworths… How can you do that to the Christians, I hope that God will have mercy on you. And dnt be surprised if your shops run bankrupt.. I will pray to my living God and you will see what he is capable of!

Let’s pop back and review that threat in a few weeks, months or years, shall we? Because while your bloke upstairs is allegedly both omnipresent and omnipotent, Woolies do sell awfully nice chocolate brownies, very decent fresh fruit and veg, and have a huge selection of quality clothing as well. With their latest results indicating a turnover up 11.4%, profits up 26.8% (despite not selling very many christian magazines) and total assets of R9,218,000,000, it seems unlikely that they’ll go under any time soon.

But with several people up in arms over some seasonal bakery products, who knows what the future may hold?

Even the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference spokesperson Chris Townsend said “people were overreacting and needed to be more understanding”:

Hot cross buns are only a symbol, and not a central tenet of Christianity. There are a lot more weighty issues to deal with in SA than a few ‘hot cross Christians’

However, for me, it’s just another nail in the coffin as far as christian credibility is concerned. And to be honest, we’re running out of space on the lid now. When members of a religion (or any other group) display such stupid, irrational (shock) and intolerant behaviour, there comes a point when society will simply stop listening.

And if they want their reasonable and sensible suggestions to be considered in the future, just like dear Helen, someone needs to tell them to pipe down before that moment comes.

UPDATE: Here’s some opinion from Georgina Guedes. You may recall that I also agreed with her thoughts here back in 2007.

UPDATE 2: Oh dear – there’s precedent! Tesco in the UK has lost market share, profit and has been infested by mice (twice) – all “since supporting Gay Pride“.

UPDATE 3: Hayibo’s response is brilliant.

UPDATE 4: This is also worth a read for a different perspective on this.

ASA ruling against Red Bull – those complaints in full

I really don’t want to get into this, but I absolutely had to share the complaints against the Red Bull “Jesus walks on water ad” (you can watch it here), as submitted to the SA ASA.

It’s comedy gold!

The complainant submitted, in essence, that:

  • The commercial is offensive as it makes a mockery of Jesus Christ by portraying Him in a blasphemous manner. Peripheral arguments to the allegation of offence relate to the fact that the commercial implies that the miracle of Jesus walking on water was all a sham.
  • Christians believe that Jesus Christ is alive and sitting at the right hand of God and as such His express permission should have been obtained before being featured in the commercial (in accordance with certain provisions of the Code).
  • The advertiser should apologise publicly and should be fined as well to indicate the level of offence caused.
  • Creates a bad example for children.
  • Its misleading as it creates an impression that the product existed during the time that Jesus Christ lived.

Yes, the first point initially suggesting that Jesus’ walking on water was not a sham, the second point then actually argues that Red Bull should have got Jesus’ “express permission” before featuring him (“Him” – whatever) in an advertisement.

How would one go about doing that? Presumably via your local church? Or through “Healing” Pastor Chris? Surely a verbal agreement would not be enough – some form of documentation would have to be signed by both parties. How many Christians have got Jesus’ autograph? None? Why on earth not?

And then point five? “…it creates an impression that the product existed during the time that Jesus Christ lived”?

Well, in point two, you just told us he (“He”) is still alive, so what’s with using the past participle? And if he (“He”) is still alive and I can buy a Red Bull (and I can), then the product does exist during the time that Jesus Christ lived… lives… lived… oh… whatever.

Contradiction much?

I do agree with point four though. Stepping out of fishing boats into the Sea of Galilee and expecting to be able to walk on water does set a very bad example for children by suggesting that people can walk on water.

They can’t, that’s all a sham.