Big Issue Cover Fail

It’s been a while since we mentioned the pisspoor (but lovely at heart) SA version of Big Issue magazine (it was October 2017). That’s because my life is a better place without the Big Issue in it.

I have to ask about this month’s cover though:

I see no need for the Antarctic Peninsula(?*) to be exploited. I’m actually with Greenpeace on this one [audience gasps]. But despite this unusual alliance, I am still going to take exception with the Big Issue cover.

Q. Why don’t Polar Bears eat Penguins?
A. Because they can’t get the wrappers off.

Or because one inhabits the Arctic and the other, the Antarctic. They are literally poles apart. And yet this incorrect and profoundly misleading cover is being shown to impressionable kids at traffic lights and road junctions all over South Africa.

And then we wonder why the education system is broken here.

It’s only a matter of time until the Bunny Huggers start using it as part of a misinformation campaign, telling us how OMG! you can’t find a Polar Bear anywhere in Antarctica anymore and how we must give them lots of money before the penguins disappear too.

(I do know that the penguins are disappearing though.)


* is it really actually a peninsula though?

Bourbon Clear

We met, by chance, in the Spur at the Waterfront. Me and my kids, him and (some of) his. A brief conversation ensued; the usual pleasantries, some congratulations on the latest addition to his family just 8 weeks ago. And then he asked if we had been to see the Rainbow Warrior and were we aware that we could go on board? We hadn’t, and I wasn’t.
He and I agree on many things, but we fall on very different sides of the lentil curtain.

I was aware that she was in town, but Greenpeace really isn’t my scene. He understood, but remarked (sagely, I felt):

Try to ignore the lefty, liberal agenda and just see it as a ship.

Fair enough, we were running a little late already, but the kids love ships.

We left him to his (free range?) ribs and headed down towards the Table Bay Hotel where the Rainbow Warrior is docked.

That’s when we saw it: the Bourbon Clear. (We also saw the Rainbow Warrior, but the queue for indoctrination looked a little long and I thought I might get sent for re-education if I accidentally let slip my views on whaling) (or fracking) (or nuclear power) (or hippies).

But anyway, the Bourbon Clear – what a ship! Norwegian registered and helpfully described as an “Multi-Purpose Offshore Vessel”, it has a long, low, flat stern with a MASSIVE bulbous bow section, a good five or six storeys above the water line. Weird, but ever so cool.

Once home, I popped onto (we’ve talked about them before here), and got all the facts and figures. And then I saw this photo:

When it said “Multi-Purpose”, I (foolishly) imagined it meant transport, towing, fire-fighting (those impressive water jets were evident) and the like. I never thought it meant sunbathing. But what a little (88m long) suntrap they’ve got going on there, hidden away from the rest of the world by those 6m high gunwales. And if the skipper says it’s ok, then why the hell not?

It wasn’t particularly sunny in Cape Town today, but from our position on the quayside, we couldn’t see into the back of the Bourbon Clear and I’m now left wondering what we missed behind the walls of green metal. A football match? A crazy golf course? A field full of wild horses? A clown convention?

I’d like to imagine that anything can happen on-board the Bourbon Clear.

Playing with fire

Fox hunting, hare coursing, seal culling and bull fighting. A range of trendily unpopular pastimes which I actually don’t have a huge problem with. And before you stop reading in simulated and dramatic disgust, if you eat meat, if you wear leather – in fact, unless you’re a total  and absolute vegan – then you’re being hypocritical in wanting any bloodsport banned. Animals live, animals die.
I’m not saying that watching a greyhound taking down a hare is particularly pleasant to see. It certainly doesn’t ring my bell.
But if you find that equally unappealing, then you shouldn’t enjoy your bacon sandwich just because the chop chop squeal squeal goes on behind closed doors.

And just occasionally, nature gets one back – it might just be the bovine equivalent of a 90th minute goal when you’re already 5-0 down – but it’s still one back.

That same hypocrisy is running through the ranks of the greenies who are aghast at the extent of the damage caused by the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Again, an environmental disaster is not something I want to see – who does? – but unless those whining greenies are 100% self-sufficient, then they rely in some way on oil. So while their complaints that BP should (could?) have done more to prevent this from happening may be justified to some extent, their insistence that we should boycott BP because of the Deepwater Horizon incident is frankly laughable.

This could have happened to any oil company, anywhere in the world, at any time. Any company producing oil for everyone on the planet.
While watching Sky News earlier, the irony of the video taken from the Greenpeace plane flying over “Ground Zero” as they called it, wasn’t lost on me. While the commentary lamented (in a hugely annoying voice) that big business was ruining our oceans with its constant thirst for oil, I was left wondering if the plane they were in was powered by. Fresh air? Fairy dust? Or some fraction of the crude oil that was spilling out of the seabed below them? I wonder.

You’ve used more aircraft fuel than I have this year, Greenpeace, so stop trying to lecture me on the moral rights and wrongs of my drive to work. Bugger off.

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
And those greenies are full of shit.