The outrageous DA advert

“You’re on social media, 6000. Aren’t you outraged?”

I am getting a lot of people asking if I am upset over the DA TV advert which in which they – and I hope you’re sitting down for this – depicted the SA flag being burned.

Well, they actually depicted a poorly-done CGI SA flag being burned.
But same same, right?

Here’s the ad. I hope you’re ready.

Well, no. I’m not outraged, and I’m not outraged for many reasons.

First off, I don’t tend to get outraged about things anymore. You get to a stage in life when you realise that the energy you spend on being outraged is completely wasted. And the earlier you reach that stage in your life, the happier you will be. Sure, get irritated, annoyed, maybe even tinker with being briefly furious. But then drop it. Because expending more effort than that – especially publicly – on something you can’t change, makes you look like a buffoon.
So much bluster, so little outcome.

Of course, it’s really easy to be outraged on social media, where we can all hide behind our profile pictures and pseudonyms and tell people how what they must think. But that’s even more pointless. Honestly, who is really going to listen to some nasty words formed from pixels?

And right there is the second reason. This isn’t a burning flag. It’s just some pixels. And if you’re willing to say that those pixels are the same thing as burning a real flag, then you should really be able to understand that the “burning flag” (pixels) here is merely a metaphor for the state of the country should the ANC go into a coalition with the EFF and the MK after the election.
Is it an accurate metaphor? I don’t know, but that’s actually immaterial. The DA feel that it’s an accurate way to describe the consequences of that alliance, and this is their advert. And whether or not the advert is accurate or crap is also immaterial. The outrage here isn’t over the words or the sentiment. It’s all about the “burning flag”.

What it has done is fanned the flames (no pun intended) of the electoral fire (no pun intended).
Has it influenced anyone either way? Probably very few. But probably also both ways.
If it was meant to get people to watch it, it’s worked.
If it was meant to rile the ANC, it’s also worked.

That statement by Zizi Kodwa, Minster for Sports, Arts and Culture, there.
You may recognise him from such news stories as:


But oh no… someone did a nasty thing to the flag. Well, some pixels that looked like the flag.

How convenient.

Thirdly(?), It’s interesting to note that while there are several laws pertaining to the illegality of corruption in public office, there doesn’t appear to be anything saying whether you can or can’t burn the flag (which the DA didn’t do, anyway).
Here’s Government Notice No. 510 of 8th June 2001 (Gazette no 22356) (catchy title, catchy contents):

Nothing about burning there, but if you’re all about following the guidelines regarding our national symbols, then don’t forget that national rugby favourite Bryan Habana was heavily and publicly involved with breaking 15(d) so let’s not get carried away here.

The fourth thing is that outrage on social media is hugely selective. Polarised along racial, political, national, sports team or whatever other lines. Any opportunity to bash the other side is gleefully taken. People readily jump onto the bandwagon: there is comfort in numbers and camaraderie. There is admiration to be earned in being one of the people that was outraged at this or that thing that happened. But outrage is often also hypocritical. I’ve seen 100x more posts and tweets from people upset with the “burning flag” ad than I have over the actual footage of a government minister driving past shacks in his Mercedes G-Wagon, throwing ANC t-shirts onto the floor for poor people to pick up.

But do a bit of editing with a video of a flame and a CGI flag in Microsoft Moviemaker and… ah Jesus…

Of course, above all else, we should always remember that social media is not real life.
Much as Jessica’s life isn’t one constant beach holiday, no matter what her Facebook feed might suggest, nor is anyone going to grab their torches and pitchforks and head to the DA HQ over this.

Well, I say that. They might, but if they do, much like the letter above, it will all be as a cunning stunt by one of the other allegedly outraged parties to try and score some points.

I guess what I am saying here is not to rush to be outraged by anything – especially in this election season. They’re absolutely out to get your emotions and people are falling for it every single time.
You have nothing tangible to gain, and so much energy and effort to lose.
Rather focus on the bigger picture and don’t be distracted.
Look at the facts, examine the manifestos, check out the track records and consider the alternatives.

But don’t lose sleep over some pixels in an advert. Really.

Knife crime solved (but not stone/rock crime)

Incoming from one of our crime correspondents back in the UK, this:

Knifes should BANNED!!

Claire’s gone in hard there. No messing around. No hesitancy. No doubting her feelings. Some question over what might be her home language, but that’s really beside the point.

Knifes should BANNED!!

Given that this is an emotive subject and looking her upfront, overt statement, it’s unsurprising that others might choose to voice their own opinions on this subject. And Top Fan Sharon is right there, not even bothering with even basic punctuation, feeling that the words speak for themselves.

Yes I agree but how .

They’re the staple of every kitchen

Knifes are indeed the staple of every kitchen. Knifes and other utensils. And also food. But you never hear of anyone being stabbed to death with a spatula or a Asian-style pork belly with ginger and lemongrass, now do you? It’s clearly knifes that are the problem and that’s why knifes should BANNED!!

And, in theory, this somewhat draconian, but well-meaning plan, whilst making basic cooking and eating rather difficult, would likely eradicate knife crime pretty quickly. But the yoof of todayTM aren’t foolish. If they can’t stab you with a knife, they’ll just turn to other means of… er… “protection”, like spatulas stones / rocks ! . And as Sharon points out:

Can’t ban those.

Not like knifes.

The world is made up of stones / rocks ! and if we were to ban stones / rocks ! , then we’d have nothing to stand on. Banning stones / rocks ! makes the whole knifes should BANNED!! idea seem like a walk in the park. Although not Mortomley Park, obviously. The police cordons are still in place there.

The fact is that there is actually a really good law banning kids (or anyone else) in the UK from carrying knifes, and there has been since 1988, when MPs debated the motion “knifes should BANNED!!” in Parliament and came up with the Criminal Justice Act in response.

So knifes should BANNED!! albeit at the expense of the culinary arts. And with stones / rocks ! seemingly impossible to restrict or control. It looks like we might be losing the war on juvenile crime. Still, at least they chose to go down the stones / rocks ! route and they haven’t turned to firearms.

Or have they? How on earth (still here, made of of stones / rocks ! – can’t ban those) are we supposed to deal with that situation?

Claire’s back to sort us out:

yeah also gun!

I’m sorry, what? Pray explain, Dawn?

gun need banned

What? All of it?

Like under the extensive, far-reaching, oft-updated Firearms Act of 1968, you mean?

I think that what these erstwhile ladies are missing is the fact that actually knifes are BANNED!! and also gun – gun are banned, too. Also, stabbing and shooting people are banned. Even with a spatula.

It’s almost as if the people carrying the knifes and the gun, and doing the stabbing and shooting, don’t really care about what the law says that they can or can’t do.

Why, I’d wager that they’d even throw stones / rocks ! at each other (and probably everyone else, lol) if it was illegal.

It was worth a try, but it does seem that your well-meaning, poorly expressed, grammatically disastrous comments aren’t actually going to help.

Because, to be honest, all this nastiness actually comes down to the people.
But banning people is like stones / rocks ! –
can’t ban those!

The only thing that could actually make this situation any better is some legislation about social media.

Yes: Facebook should BANNED!!

“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?

Weather confusion

I’m seeing a lot of social media posts from local (SA) people who have chosen to head to Blighty for a Christmas or New Year break. And in so many of them, the caption is something along the lines of:

A quick shot of us all before the rain started again…


It’s another grey day in London…

Oh. I’m sorry. What exactly were you expecting from the UK in the middle of winter? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain?

This is, after all, a country which you regularly ridicule for ‘not having a summer’, and yet you’re irritated by the fact that it does winter things in winter? Weirdos.

Can I suggest that if you were looking for something warmer and drier, you used your Rands to go somewhere… well… warmer and drier?

More sunshine, but probably less Buckingham Palace.

Honestly though, moaning about the inclement UK weather in early January just makes you look daft. Rather head over there when the weather is better.

I think they have that planned for 2pm on July 23rd this year. But do check nearer the time.

There’s always Juan

As the biggest floods in living memory hit the Agulhas Plain…

…and farmers try desperately to save their livestock and livelihoods by appealing to the community to come out with small boats and help rescue drowning sheep…

Group member (in the truest sense of the word) Juan Otto shared this:

Basically translated:

“You counted them. Poor planning if you ask me (no-one did), [they] knew what was coming.”

In a world that needs far fewer Juan Ottos, don’t be a Juan Otto.

He might be thinking that it was poor planning. You might think the same. And you were both free to voice that opinion, but he chose to and you didn’t. Well done, you.

The bar here is so low that it’s a tripping hazard in hell, but great news: you’re not a twat.

A quick skim of Juan’s timeline reveals – aside from his cell phone number: oops! – the inevitable plaasmoorde links, a love of Steve Hofmeyr, Toyotas, guns and sea fishing, a deep hatred of Jacob Zuma (fair enough), a 2017 post claiming that the Russian nuclear deal had gone through (it never did), and an unhealthy obsession with sharing news of arrests for abalone poaching.
All with a lovely underlying theme of thinly veiled you-know-what.

Amazing. All the usual boxes ticked. I was shocked.

The fact that the warning was upped from a Level 6 to a Level 9 merely hours before the storm hit can’t have helped the farmers. Not that we should blame the meteorologists. These sorts of low pressure areas are volatile and unpredictable and their effects can be extremely localised.

As for the community, they apparently turned out in their numbers to help the two farms worst affected. I haven’t seen a count yet (which will likely upset Juan), but it seems like at least hundreds of animals were saved.

Well done, Struisbaai.
(Not you, Juan.)