meat


thanksgiving_turkey_2

My “liberal” credentials might take a bit of a beating here. But, what the hell, I am African… I can’t pull punches just to make people feel better about themselves. I have some beef with what we eat…

You know I don’t like Palin. She an empty head with lots of background noise. I’m not even going to go into that. Just have a look at a few of the things I’ve written about her to know I am not a fan. See the letter I wrote to Sarah, or how six degrees of separation makes her anti-American and not a maverick, or what I want in a Vice President. Oh, there are many more. But those will give you a sense of my dislike of the lipstick pig.

And here I am defending her. Dammit. I thought about it for a while… But I know I have to. It’s about meat you see. And I am a meatarian. Ooh… Not everyone likes that part of me. Mmm. A few nice tjops and a boerewors on the open fire… Mouth watering sh*t I tell you. Anyway. Go have a look at my views on eating meat. Unpopular? Maybe. Do I care? Hum… Sorry… Was that a question? I eat meat. Live with it.

What am I talking about? I am talking about the “turkey incident”. You know, the one with Sarah “Empty Head” Palin talking to the media while a guy is busy cutting the throat of a turkey in the background to drain the blood. And of course, kill the bird. Here is a link to that just in case you haven’t seen it yet. Do what I did… Turn off the sound and just watch the guy in the background. I really have no reason to hear her voice. She sounds just like a bunch of turkeys in any case. And about as predictable. Have you ever stood with a bunch of turkeys and made the turkey “kulu-kulu-kulu” sound? Yep, they all react the same way by singing it all back to you in unison. Just like Sarah and her gang of bigots. You push the button and she’ll sing it back… So predictable. Anyway… Here is the video.

It was all over the news. People were up in arms about her being so stupid to stand in front of the cameras while the guy is killing the bird in the background. How could she? Is she that stupid? Hum… Yes, this “bird” is that stupid but it has nothing to do with the bird in the background. I really don’t get what the fuss was about?

Are you shocked about the killing of the bird? WTF? How did you think that turkey got on your plate over Thanksgiving? Do you think they were massaged till they died a peaceful death? Or that they died of some natural cause?

Yep. They did die of a natural cause. Natural for a turkey in any case. They got slaughtered. And nicely packaged for your convenience. Ready to place your order for a 16 pound turkey and pick it up at Roche Brothers the day before Thanksgiving. And then you stick it in the oven for a few hours and… Wallah! Turkey time!

(Oh, we had a chicken on steroids for Thanksgiving. Eight pounds – the smallest one you could order. Hey, the butcher frowned at our un-American size turkey – even after we explained we are four very normal size people. Two kids and two grown ups. But that maple syrup did the trick. Nice and juicy! Thanks babe.)

Back to reality… The meat you eat were once little calves and chicks and little piggies and little baa baa white sheep. Yes, they were cute once. But now they are dinner. Or maybe just mashed up into a burger or something. Get used to it. The things we call meat were once alive. Now they are nicely done (medium rare as the chef said) and on our dinner plates. Live with it.

More importantly, own it.

I find it amazing that people were shocked at the video. I just can’t understand how people can think that food comes nicely packaged without any consequences. Meat doesn’t grow on trees. Their natural state isn’t wrapped in plastic and in cold storage. They don’t grow up from little 1 ounce steaks into the half-pounder you slap on the grill.

I don’t have a problem with what I eat. I slaughtered a few sheep in my time. And cattle for that matter. Plucked a few chickens. Even helped a turkey or two from their kulu-kulu state into my plate. That’s life. I am from Africa and had to go to the farm when there was a break from school. I’m glad I did it.

And I am happy that I slaughtered the sheep and cows and chickens and rabbits and deer or whatever else came my way from the farm or when we went hunting. We ate what we killed. It wasn’t for fun. It was for food and to control the numbers. Too many wild animals and the semi-desert area would turn into a desert area if we didn’t cull the animals and control the numbers. Like I said, it wasn’t for fun.

But I am still glad I knew what I ate. And I am glad that I could take ownership of what I ate. From the farm to my plate. I knew the animals and knew what they were for. We always looked after them and fed them. Gave them space to live and kept them healthy. But they weren’t there to be played with. We respected them and treated them well. And then we will slaughter them in the best and quickets way we can. Always with respect and acknowledgement that we owe them as much as what we own them. Because we knew that in the end we will eat them. And live.

My only problem now is that I don’t know where my meat comes from. I know about the force-feeding of turkeys and the steroids for juicy steaks and the transporting of sheep. I don’t like it. I don’t. But I have to make a choice. I either eat it and know what might have happened along the way or I should shut the f*ck up and go eat some celery.

Oh I try to be organic when I can afford it and when I can get it. I make sure I have as much information as possible. But I am not going to live in the clouds and think that there are no consequences. I know that there are some major sh*t going on in the US when it comes to the stuff they call meat. Those large commercial farms are not a pretty sight. But that happens when you want your steaks and you want your burgers. It’s as horrid as you can imagine and then some. Sh*t happens when we want to eat meat.

Know what you eat. Live with it. Don’t try and think you are all “eco-activist” by getting worked up about the turkey getting slaughtered. Those horrid pictures… That’s life. That’s how you get your food. Know it. Live with it. And then eat it.

I do. I’m not going to bullsh*t myself. I might be a disgusting bastard and barbaric African for eating meat, but I am not going to be a hypocrite. I know it. I live with it. And I eat it.

Don’t think your all organic green salad is that much better. Farming soya is killing the Amazon forest. And it tastes like crap. (No thanks, I’ve tried it many, many times in different ways. It always tastes shite.) What makes a plant so much worse than a cow? Just because it doesn’t have whiskers and a heartbeat?

It’s so stupid. People trying to humanize the animals we eat. Cows with glasses on? Yeah, it is funny… But it is also a piece of steak away from being on my plate. Chicken Little? Wait till he grows up. Babe? Mmm, wonder what the farmer did with him when he got old? Sorry, these animals don’t live the lives we are told on the telly or read in those nice bedtime stories. Those are stories, not life. I laugh at the stories of animals done so beautifully by Pixar and the Disney gang and I love Back To The Barnyard. But I also know that calling the main cow Otis doesn’t mean he won’t be eaten when the time comes.

You like cats or dogs? Guess what… The stuff you feed them? Used to be the crap left over after they cut the choice meat for us. Or the fish heads left over after we got our frozen bits cut into nice cubes. We eat meat. Or some of us do. And we should know what we eat and not be disgusted by how we get it. That is bigotry. Or at least hypocritical.

Thank God we don’t hear the broccoli scream as you snap the stem, dry freeze it before it is stuffed in a plastic bag and then dropped in boiled water or nuked by the microwave. Oh, those poor, poor broccoli. And the cute little peas. What did they ever do to you? Or do you wait for the carrot to die a natural death?

No. I am not going to eat roadkill. I know what I eat. Or at least as much as what I can know. I am not going to flinch when I see a picture of a dead animal getting slaughtered and packaged. I am going to look at it and then slap it on the grill.

I know it. I see it. I own it. I live with it. And I eat it.

Do you?

meat

You know, sometimes we needs loads of evidence to point to someone being Souf Efrikans. But sometimes one photo tells the story. Unfortunately for others, 3 photos are not only enough proof to show they are Souf Efrikan, but also enough to make sure they won’t ever get a visa to go anywhere else in the world.

Take today’s victim friend… He gave me 3 photos. Was he crazy? He could have given me one corner of one half a photo and I could have pointed it out to him. Hell… This guy is so Souf Efrikan that even Mandela calls him boet. I bet you he has the typical 1, 2, 3 of Souf Efrikans – 1 liter brandy, 2 liter Coke and 3 liter Ford. That’s Souf Efrikans for you. As easy as 1, 2, 3…

I give to you Koos Baardman (Chuck Beardman)… Oh, he thought he was Keven Bennet from Seattle, but we know he is Koos Baardman from Sonderwater (Withoutwater). But let me give you a bit of background on Koos…

Every year millions of Souf Efrikans go down to the Cape for a holiday. Those Vaalies, or as we call them, Klipkakkers (Hum… Rockshitters…) come down in their numbers. Getting away from the craziness of living up at high altitude. Only problem is that they are the crazy people and they all gather down at our place. And guess what happens? It’s the same crazy people doing the same crazy things – but just with a better view. Ja, bleddie Klipkakkers…

We have a few of the farmers coming down as well. Bringing their caravans, sheep and mother-in-law with them. That is also the order of importance. Koos does that. He is a farmer. He rents a place right next to the sea every year. Okay, what he defines right next to the sea. It’s about 5 miles in and right next to the sewerage plant. But that’s no problem. Five miles is just enough for the mother-in-law to go missing for the whole day. Or whole holiday. And the smell of the sewerage plant remind him of the kraal (enclosure for sheep and cattle) back home. He is from the land where men are men and sheep are scared…

So here we have Koos at his little place by the sea. Let’s see what evidence we can find. A bit of a tester today. Try to match the red arrows to the statement of his Souf Efrikan roots…

The afdak… (The lean-to) 

Every good Souf Efrikan has got one. An afdak. But not just any afdak. There are certain things that tells us this is a Souf Efrikan afdak…

Now, let’s match the arrows… Join the dots… Check the lines… You get what I mean?

1. A roof made of old blue overalls and stitched together by his lovely wife Ant Bettie. (Blue overalls are the standard outfit for farmers in Souf Efrika.)

2. Leg of blue overall still hanging down the side of the afdak.

3. Old school lawnmower for when the last sheep is on the braai but the grass still needs to be cut.

4. House at the back where mother-in-law is locked up at night. (Just to keep her away from the booze and boys.)

5. Window Aunt Bettie uses to shout instruction like, “Pulls up yor pents Koos. Duh hole nayburhood dusn’t neet to see yor builders cleavage.” (Proper accent included.)

6. Forest for feature braai wood. It used to come right up to his back door. Yes, Koos likes to braai. Often. And big.

7. Pipe to let the steam out from the “braai”. It isn’t really a braai. It is a home made mampoer factory. (Mampoer is the strongest drink ever made. And it is home brewed. Not to be used close to an open flame. But can be used as a paint stripper. Made from fruits. Any fruits. We Souf Efrikans aren’t too picky…)

And… Did you see the generator driven computer in the background? That’s to keep up with what’s going down with AA! Fox News for Africa. Unfiltered and unbiased… Hah!

The workshop…

But you would think the guy will stop there right? That he won’t give me any more reason to “show him the way”? He did…

1. The stick part of a broom used to poke the coals, chase the bloody dog who just grabbed the meat off the braai and also to flip the dog turds off the grass like a professional golfer. (Was once used to keep Ant Bettie away when Koos by “accident” had an “accident” in the kitchen sink after too much mampoer.)

2. A telly to watch the rugby and cricket on. This is cricket you see because no true contact sport for men will really have so much padding or wear helmets. The motto of rugby players… “Real men don’t wear helmets” and “it doesn’t hurt if you can stitch it back on”.

3. A coffee mug. Koos’s favorite coffee mug. He drinks everything from this mug. It says, I Love Mum. Not allowed to be washed, only rinsed, as Koos believes the residue of coffee, mampoer and braai sauce leaves a nice aftertaste. Also known to repel flies from the braai area. And cats won’t even crap close to it. (Currently has mampoer in it.)

4. Wooden fence to keep the noisy neighbors out. Especially the mother-in-law.

5. Bag of charcoal. Only to be used when wood runs out or when you need something hard to chuck at the dogs crapping on the lawn but you don’t really want to get up from the chair.

6. The “Mampoer Bucket”. Used for any type of residue left after making mampoer. From the leftover fruits to the brown and green stuff that grows at the top of the liquid or the yellow watery stuff that comes from you after consuming too much liquid. Once the bucket is filled… Used to kill ants and bees in the garden. And stop the dogs from crapping on the lawn. And makes a mean mix with some ice and a lemon. Not sliced. Called Souf Efrikan Cocktail.

7. Chair taken from the rubbish dump and welded together again by Koos. He made his whole dining room set this way…

8. Big bag of crisps hiding behind the chair. Ant Bettie doesn’t want him to eat so much crisps. But he needs his fix. Also used to store biltong when Ant Bettie isn’t looking. And spare beer.

9. Huge bowl of dip for the chips. Currently covered in tinfoil. Key ingredients… Onion, salt and the stuff from the mampoer bucket.

10. Grass where the dogs crap. No matter what you do there will always be fresh crap in the morning.

11. Big cooler / small paraffin fridge to keep the beers cold. Always stocked full. Because you never know when the “Big Wind” of ’78 might hit you again. That was when Ant Bettie made bean stew and forced Koos to sleep outside for a few days until his “Big Wind” passed. And passed completely.

12. Spare canister attached to braai / mampoer factory to hold extra cold beers while waiting for the mampoer / braai to be done.

13. Tools hanging from braai. These tools are proper antiques and the London Museum has offered Koos loads of money for this already. They want to use it as part of their Neanderthal display. But Koos said his dad gave it to him and he has fond memories of those tools. And he can show the scars on his butt to prove it.

Koos himself…

You think that is enough? How Souf Efrikan can he be? Much more…

 

1. Neck. Made for playing rugby. Take no prisoners! Real men play rugby and real men have real necks. Not rednecks.

2. Hair shaved for the holidays. Generally covered in big floppy farmer hat. Good to get a haircut once a year. Gets rid of all the things that live there. At least 3 previously unknown species was found by the Nobel prize winning group of scientists who make this yearly pilgrimage to what is known in scientific circles as “The Haircut”. (It is not known whether any of the new species will be able to survive outside the Koos habitat.)

3. Fence also used as spare wood for really big braais. It used to be 60 feet long. But then, Koos had a couple of really big braais since then.

4. The bakkie… Like every good farmer Oom Koos drives a bakkie that is diesel and the smoke it creates when you start it can be seen from space. Rumored to have led to the invasion of Iraq as the bakkie was seen as a WMD. But he drove it back to SA quickly once he filled his oil drum (now used as a braai / mampoer factory.) The US never suspected a thing. Oom Koos is good in that way. Or maybe Rummy was just bad in that way. And yes, when Oom Koos drives the bakkie it can also be heard from space.

5. The kraal where the sheep stay during the holiday. Barren because the sheep have eaten almost all the grass. Not a problem because Oom Koos have eaten almost all the sheep already. Yes, Oom Koos and Ant Bettie have been there on holiday for almost a week already.

6.  The towel used to wipe bloody hands when Koos slaughters the sheep. Also used to dry himself after a swim at the beach.

7. The path to freedom. Or at least to the outside toilet known as his “office”. That’s the right turn where he makes his number 2’s. Number 1 is done on the grass like all good Souf Efrikan men do. Koos turns left for his 1 and 2. 1 Liter brandy and 2 liter Coke. The shop is just around the corner. Oom Koos is known to be more inclined to go left than right. It’s a natural thing for him to lean towards the left.

8. Braai made from an oil drum. You know, the one he got in Iraq. He cut it in half and just welded a few spots together. High tech for a Souf Efrikan but then, he is known for his edgy attitudes towards braaing. He was once seen braaing chicken! What the hell is a salad doing on the fire? A question asked by the many onlookers. If it’s not red it’s not meat. If it’s not meat you can’t eat.

9. Rooster to place the meat on. The rooster (grill) is a key component of any braai. It leaves nice lines across the steaks. Best place to get a rooster is to cut one out of the frame of a grocery trolley. And it’s shiny too!

10. Battery backup for the mampoer factory. The clamp is used to charge the battery that runs the mampoer factory. At the moment not on as the braai and mampoer can’t be done at the same time. Koos generally empties the mampoer into his mug for “safe keeping” while he braais. No one knows how safe this really is. Not this close to an open fire in any case. Koos uses it instead of fire lighters. No, he doesn’t pour it over the coals. He just breathes over the coals. So strong that no matches are required either. The term “spontaneous combustion” was named after Koos and his fire lighting abilities.

11. Tongs used to grip the rooster. Koos is also known as an expert in grabbing thongs with his tongs. The screams of surprise and the horror when they see him can also be heard from space. Koos doesn’t mean anything with this. He just needs something to cover his hands when he grips the tongs. They get hot. Unlike the girls he gets his thongs from.

12. Meat and fish pot. Koos is famous for his daring braai techniques. You can see the pot where he mixed fish and chicken together. Men call him names because of this. Names like “traitor”, “Mr WTF” and “stupid doos”, but Koos doesn’t mind as he is a Renaissance man. Just don’t call him a maverick… Let me just clarify Koos being famous for this dishes. Infamous might be a better word for it. Eating this dish is not allowed under the Geneva Convention. It makes grown men cry. And get very, very sick. There is no known cure for this. Have you seen the movie Awakening? Now you know why…

13. A red arrow. I just threw an extra red arrow in there to make it look even more impressive. Honestly? I actually forgot why I had that other arrow in there. Or that one…

14. The chain. Some people think that Koos have dog chains around his neck. No, it isn’t. It’s his keys, tools (drillbits and screwdriver), earbud (he has used the same one since 1984. They always come clean after a rinse under hot water. Or after repeated use), tobacco for his pipe, his pipe, glasses and Swiss Army Knife. Oh, and a can of Bullybeef (Spam/Corned Beef) and a half-jack of mampoer. A man can never be too prepared. He hides it really, really well.

15. Boep. The paunch that you see is the pride of all Souf Efrikan men. Or like they would say, “I work-ad werry hart forr dis boep. U no how mutch beer I hed two drinked two get dis boep? Et leest wurf 40 bucks. Part off my retiremint plen.” A Souf Efrikan man without a boep is like having Italy not change their government every year. Or the English not lose against Souf Efrika in rugby or cricket. Or President Bush without a f*ck-up once a day. You know it is possible, but it ain’t gonna happen.

16. Rugby jersey. Every man in Souf Efrika must have a rugby jersey. You never wear it on the farm. But you also never take it off when you go on holiday. Including at night when you go to sleep. Alone. Outside. Also never washed. NEVER washed. Wash it and you could be deported and lose your citizenship. Another reason to sleep outside… The smell. Just ask Ant Bettie. Koos played rugby. He was a winger who played on the left. A left winger.

There you go! And who said that KB isn’t Souf Efrikan? Hell, he is more Souf Efrikan than me! Seattle is only where he visits for the duration of his lifetime. But Souf Efrikan he is…

Sorry Kev, but you asked for it…

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Who’s next? Come on… Don’t be afraid. I’ll be nice…

Open house! Send me your pictures showing me how Souf Efrikan you are. It doesn’t matter whether you are Souf Efrikan or not (See Note 2 at the bottom for some tips on being a Souf Efrikan). We just want to see if you have some of that lovely stubborn foolhardiness thickheaded approach to life we Souf Efrikans share. I’ll post it with my “analysis”. First one up, and an innocent victim… I mean contributor…

Skuttlefish emailed me a photo of him having a BBQ… Not with gas… And in the rain. I think that makes him almost South African. Trust me. This is the kind of foolishness… I mean dedication… that South Africans are known for. He has South African blood running through those veins. Whether he knows it or not. Whether he wants it or not!

But let’s dig a little bit deeper into how Souf Efrikan he is… We know the rain and no gas rules. But just how Souf Efrikan is he? My deep analysis…

1. He has no shoes on…

2. He has three quarter pants on with his keys and mobile phone tucked into his belt…

3. He has more tools for the braai (BBQ) than actual pieces of meat…

4. He is braaing ribs and not some sissy stuff like corn or chicken… (By the way, chicken is a salad according to Souf Efrikans.)

5. He is balancing a drink while holding an umbrella and poking the meat. (And who said men can’t multitask?)

That last one is the clincher. He is my brother. No! He is me! It could be a photo taken by my wife – I promise you that. So Souf Efrikan! Welcome to the club brother.

Now send me your photo or story and I’ll slot it into your special post. That a threat… I mean a promise. Come one – you know you have a little bit of Souf Efrikan in you. We all do. Loud and proud baby!

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Note to Skuttlefish: Thanks for being a braver man than me. I don’t think I would have given me a photo! Thank you boet. You made me realize just how similar we are – accents or not. Just people hey?

Note on being a Souf Efrikan: You don’t have to have a drink in your hand. It helps coping with being a Souf Efrikan, but it isn’t a prerequisite – at least not for the more secular Souf Efrikans. Just think of something that is slightly odd and not what is seen as “normal” behaviour. It could be anything. From too much sugar in your coffee to wearing your pants too high! Or making too much food when cooking “just in case”. To one of those crazy family gatherings. A fancy dress. A stupid hat you just don’t want to get rid of. That rusty pickup you drive. A silly photo taken on holiday or with the kids. You buried in sand. You almost drowning. Your mouth stuffed with food. That passport photo you want to burn. The dress your mother forced you to wear when you were six. Anything really. Anything that you look back on or your family looks at and goes – that’s just so silly. And so you. Souf Efrikans are pretty plain people. No airs. As straight as you can get. But willing to try anything for a laugh. I know there is a Souf Efrikan in you. Just get me a picture, tell me when/how/where it was taken and I will tell the story! But make sure some part of you are in the photo. I don’t need the face (in case you don’t want to show that), but I need something to rip off! Come on! You can do it!

Am I getting dated? I am sure I am going to lose track of how many I have done but I don’t think I will run out of news soon. Let’s have a look what has been cooking this week.

1. The pot calling the kettle…

President Bush decided to show some global leadership balls. On China. Calling them out on their human rights record. He is apparently not impressed. Good on you President Bush. Stand up against the (next) bully. Don’t let them push us around. Just please don’t invade them. We know how you get all worked up. This one might be a little bit to much for you to handle. Two big guys in the schoolyard getting ready for some “how’s your mother”? Nah. He won’t do much other than bitch a bit and then sit back and run in his Chinese made running shoes, watch Bill O’Reilly on his Chinese made television, and wave his Chinese made American flag. But there is another snag. Calling China out on their human rights record… Two words President Bush… Guantanamo Bay… Sorry, you lost your right to bitch about humans and their rights. Can’t have it both ways. No matter how big and strong you are.

2. I don’t give a flying…

You want a bag with that sir? That will be $15 thank you. Oh, you have two! Hand over another $25. We made you miss your flight and you need to change it? $150 please. Thirsty? A dollar for a cuppa Joe. As if you want to stay awake on this flight. You’ll have to pay for the movies in any case. But better to pay $5 to watch a movie I guess. Better than paying $7 for a blanket and a pillow. Next up? How much for a safety vets? We packed 5 – open bids start just after take-off. No wonder American airlines are going bankrupt. They offer nothing and charge you the world. And still can’t get you off the ground in time. Try this in Africa. Feeding people nothing and charging them for air… Here’s one I don’t get. Why is it that they charge per bag? Weight… It’s the weight that gets to them. Apparently the fuel costs are out of control and one way to save on fuel is by cutting down on the weight. Apparently, people still weigh more than the 400 tonne bloody airplane. Riiight… No, it’s true. They have a real obesity problem over here in the US. But what happens if I go on a diet? Can I get a discount? American airlines… Like the economy. Going down fast. At least the dollar lost value. Or else the airline greed might actually hurt. But not yet. So far it is only really stupid and funny. Their motto? I don’t give a flying…

3. I can’t recall, recall

We can’t afford to go to Disney yet (January maybe!), but we have found another way to entertain ourselves. We go to Whole Foods. It is just one amazing place for us Africans in America. The food so fresh they make Pamela Anderson blush and they use baby bottoms to wipe the apples because they are so delicate. Oh, Whole Foods. They have mist spraying over the fresh fruits and vegetables – it makes me feel as if I am on the farm or in the Amazon somewhere. And they have juices, cookies, hams and fruits to taste all over the place. We take the kids there on a Friday night. We call it “eating out”. I like to spoil my girls. Ah, Whole Foods – the amusement park for Africans. But they have a memory like a leaky watermelon those guys. They forgot to recall the bad meat. And then recalled that they had to recall. You see, they found E. Coli a few months ago from a company called Nebraska Beef. And it is not a Springsteen song. So all those “shops for the less privileged” like Costco and Stop & Shop (where we shop) had to make a huge recall of all the meat. But of course we knew Whole Foods wouldn’t be affected by it all. I mean really they feed their chickens organic Fairtrade corn with mint jelly and slaughter their cattle by massaging them slowly to death. And then it happened. Months later. Whole Foods had to recall the meat. Because they too bought from Nebraska Meat. But they recalled it months later. Only after they recalled that they bought meat from the same dude that Earl’s Meat Palace & Pet Shop bought his meat from. After it was already sold. Nice business plan Mr Mackey. It is at last off the shelf. But rest assured. It might have been E. Coli. But it was organic E. Coli.

How the E.Coli rumor started...

How the E.Coli rumor started...

4. Power less sharing

Crazy Uncle Bob and Tsvangirai are talking. Bah, humbug. Talking about ending the fight between the two of them that has been going on for months. Talking about sharing power. In some way. Sharing power. Was that a joke? Most of the country hasn’t had electricity for ages. Not since Mugabe needed it to keep his food warm and artificial heart pumping. And share what? There is nothing to share. Jack baby. Mugabe has already eaten the donkey and now wants to share the carcass? Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum doing the slow dance. Doing the slow dance to Power of Love or Careless Whisper? I think Bob was listening to I Got You Babe.

5. South Africa takes over England

I guess they had to do something. I mean really. They got their backsides kicked by the South Africans in cricket. Just a few months after getting their butts kicked in rugby. It’s a national pastime in South Africa. Beating the English in anything and everything. Ah, they thought they had the political one in the bag with Gordon Brown. Sorry dudes, our President Mbeki is pulling away in the lame-duck race. But back to the sports. So what do you think the Poms did after losing to us again? They appointed a South African as their captain. A guy who can’t make our team. He’s their best guy… And he is from Durban. It’s a bit like saying he’s from Texas. Minus the silly hats. But they are loud, have funny accents, like to talk about how great they are, but their leaders stink like Sue Ellen’s acting in Dallas. Hey, England! I have one for you. Why don’t you take Zuma? We won’t be able to beat that one.

6. China wins. Next year.

The US better take as many medals as they can at the Olympics in Beijing. Because China is about to take their lunch money. The US economy is going down the dumps. It’s slowing down faster than McCain without a cane first thing in the morning. Or me without coffee. Dropping faster than President Bush’s popularity. Yes. It is pretty bad. But here is the clincher. China will overtake America as the world’s largest producer of manufactured goods. Yes. China will push America off the top spot. A spot they have held for over 100 years. Will someone remember to switch off the lights when the last factory closes its door? The USA. Made in China.

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Hope to have better news next week. Yeah, right.

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Here we go again…

1. The world growing bigger?

The only problem is that not everything else is expanding with it. I know it is disturbing. But don’t worry. We are. Humans. And other planets. And animals. At least until we slaughter them and turn them into burgers and steaks. Even our measurements are expanding. And no, I don’t mean our waistlines. Okay. Not only our waistlines. Also our waste-lines. No idea what that means, but it sounded good when I wrote it. Anyway… I thought the world must be growing while our food and drinks stay the same size. Why? Because everything is getting smaller. Bought a salad the other day and realized that it is smaller than what I remembered from the last time I bought a salad. But then I had a closer look. Damnit. Can you believe it. Even salads are being reduced in size. No – not because of obesity. Rather because of profits. With “raw” materials and overheads going up they had to cut cost somewhere. Why not start with the portions they sell? No problem. Right? Well, I don’t have a problem with it. But it would have been nice of them to tell me. I felt a bit cheated. Dirty. And looking at the smaller packet made me feel all grown up and bigger than what I feel really comfortable with. I felt a bit like Alice for a minute. But, as you might know, I am not a big salad eater. So it didn’t faze me. But I lost it when I realized that they are doing it to beer! Bloody hell people! That’s a line you should never, ever cross. Do what you want with us, but leave our beer alone. You thought President Bush got all pissed at Iraq trying to kill his daddy. Don’t mess with an African and his beer. But they did. Selling us 14 ounce beers but passing it off as a 16 ounce beer! Sacrilege! But the trend continues. Cars are getting smaller. Which is a good thing. My ego can fit into a Mini. But those guys with the big trucks and girls with the big SUV’s. Not sure if their ego can fit into a Ford Focus. I mean really, they only just manage to squeeze into a Hummer. Yeah. The world is shrinking. No, you aren’t getting fat. It’s the clothes shrinking… We’ll all look like Lance Armstrong soon. Tights everywhere. Okay, maybe with two… hum… you know. Oh, I was lying about the salad. It is shrinking, but I am African. We don’t do salad. A good salad is anything not meaty – like chicken.

2. Getting ready to be arrested

I am off to China this weekend. But I’ll tell you about that later. Once I am back. Still waiting for my visa, but hopefully that will be sorted today. There is a reason why I use the name Angry African you know… Anyway. I have been talking to my IT guy about staying connected while I am over there. Apparently it won’t be a good idea to blog from there. Not only do they sometimes “relieve” you of the burden carrying your laptop around, but don’t like bloggers speaking out that much. Not much at all. You see, China, Burma, Iran and Egypt heads the list of countries arresting people because they blog about their political views. I am safe then I guess. I don’t do political views… What I write is nothing but an impartial view of the world and what is happening around us. So I should be safe. But many bloggers are not. 334 got arrested in Burma alone. But thanks to their “somewhat” restrictive government, these could not be verified. When you drop of the face of the earth… 

3. No workers, no problem

Biofuels are held up as either the answer to all our problems or the next disaster to hit us. I don’t have much of a view on this one. I think biofuels could be part of the solution (not the solution), but the current approach sucks. Using corn and sugar just don’t make sense. it pushes food prices right up and we cut down forests meant to protect us from emissions. Sounds like stupid economics to me. And Brazil has a huge problem. They are cutting down the Amazon rainforest faster than you can say “Hummer”. I mean really. 1,123 square kilometers were cut down in April alone… So Unica, the Brazilian ethanol lobby decided to go on the charm offensive. They invited a few journalist around to show them all the good stuff they are doing. Apart from the cutting down of trees that they forgot to mention, most of their ideas are just fine. Like going all mechanical in the cutting of the cane. Less pollution because they don’t have to burn them anymore. But there was something else that caught my eye. The reporter only mentions it as a “by the way”. But it struck me that Unico might still need some more PR training. Unico said that companies are going all mechanical on us because it addresses two challenges. One, the pollution. Check. Secondly, it will get rid of the cane-cutters and therefore also get rid of any labor problems and labor critics. Hum. Maybe you shouldn’t have mentioned that one. Keep spinning the “we chop down trees to be green” line. It’s not only more believable, it also makes the “little people” go away.

4. The two stooges

Tweedledum and Tweedledee are meeting as we speak. I mean Mbeki and Mugabe are meeting. In Zimbabwe. Not sure why. Maybe to discuss the weather. Or the latest fashion. Or what curtains to pick for their new houses. Or fining new and more spouses. Bloody idiots. Look. I have supported Mbeki through thick and thin. Defended him wherever I could. I even defended his initial position on HIV/Aids in South Africa. And justified his initial approach to the Zimbabwean crisis. But it has gone too far. People are dying in South Africa because of his idiotic HIV/Aids policies and lack of action. And people are dying in Zimbabwe because of a tyrant that has gone bonkers. Mbeki and his “quiet diplomacy” just sounds like “staying quiet”. Sorry you two idiots. Time’s up. You are not welcome anymore. Just take your stuff and go sit in the corner. And be quiet. We have a name for people like you. It starts with an “m”. “Moer-something” in Afrikaans and “Mother-something” in English. Just go. Don’t hang your curtains. Hang your heads in shame. Or just hang your heads.

5. McCain inspiring old white men in Europe

I don’t think so. Okay, maybe he does if you include the arms dealers. But other than that, McCain inspires people outside the US about as much as Osama Bin Laden inspires tolerance. yes, there might be one or two out there who would fall for them. But they are loonies and at the fringe. But Obama. Now that is another story. He isn’t even President (yet) and he is already inspiring people across the world. telling them to break out of their racial stereotype and that anything is possible. That you can do it – no matter where you come from. France is going through some tough times right now. Race is at the forefront of so many debates. And they have violence on the streets of Paris. Because people feel hopeless. That in the land of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. Well educated blacks have to compete with 15-year old white kids for a job at McDonald’s. Nothing wrong with working at McDonald’s. But when the color of your skin stoops you from aiming higher, then you have a problem. But all of a sudden Obama is making people talk about race in France. And what it means. And how it can be overcome. And how it can inspire people to continue to fight the good fight for equality. Real equality. Not just a French word. That is inspiring. That is Obama. McSame? Well, apparently the old people in France likes his comb-over. It is so provincial.

See ya later.

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You’ll walk into them on the streets of the world. Some might even be friends of yours. But they are out there. Everywhere. And they lie each and every day. You ask them a question. And they lie. Lie through their teeth. Oh, they’ll tell you it’s the truth. And you’ll believe them. Because it sounds so convincing. But I know their little secret. And I am telling.

Make no mistake. This isn’t about politics. This isn’t about race. This isn’t about the old South Africa or the new South Africa. It’s not about the flag. The anthem. Or even Madiba. This is something much more fundamental than that. It goes to the core of who we are. All of us. It’s what makes us South African. Oh, we will tell you it’s about being so proud of being South African. How we are one. Or not. How great we are. How unique we are. But that’s not it. Not even close.

Ask them what do they miss. What do they miss from South Africa. What do they really miss about home. No wait. That’s too wide and open. Too many things for them to lie about. Be a bit more specific. Here’s a few questions you can ask and the answers they will give you. I’ll give you the real answer behind the answer. Our little dirty secret.

Ask them what do they miss about South African sport. You’ll get a few answers. The men will narrow their eyes and go into a trance. The memories. You can see the memories in their expression. A little smile will develop. Maybe even a little chuckle. And then they’ll say, “Cricket”.

But it isn’t cricket. That’s just a game lasting five days and still no result guaranteed. Baseball minus the Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens steroid specials. Real men swing the willow. At Newlands. But that’s not it. That’s not what they miss. Not really.

They miss the boerewors rolls fresh of the skottel. Sitting under the Oaks and the boys having a boerie braai. The smell and smoke hanging thick in the air. You can hardly see the guys playing out on the field. But who cares. You don’t watch them in any case. It’s not as if Gary Kisten will all of a sudden become Kuiper and start hitting the ball all over the park. No. Gary is a boerie man and knows that the best way to get it right is take your time and stick to the basics. Oh, you might get some fancy dude with chipolatas or pure beef sausages. But that’s as unorthodox as Gogga bowling – like a frog in a blender. No. what they miss isn’t the cricket. What they miss is a boerie with Mrs Ball’s chutney. That’s what they really miss.

They might say they miss, “Rugby“. And they’ll say it with a deep voice and fire in their eyes. They’ll straighten up and tell you that rugby is a man’s game. A real man’s game. Not this American football made for wusses – part wimp and part pussy. With the pads and the protective gear. Haha. Silly boys. Can’t handle the punishment hey? No. That’s not what they really miss though. Not even a nice day at Newlands with the boytjies. Not even close.

What they really want is biltong and vodka injected oranges. Biltong. That nice prime beef dried to perfection with a bit of spicing. Just a little. And you slice it with your pocketknife. Into thin little slices while watching the manne play with the oval ball in the park. Jumping up and pointing your piece of biltong at the stupid ref who always favours the other side. The ref. Always on the side of the Blou Bulle – and us Province guys always suffer. But the biltong will only last for the first half. Because the second half needs something stronger. Some nice juicy cold vodka injected oranges. Lots of vodka. And you go through your bag of oranges as quickly as possible. Because the last few is meant for the ref. They make nice projectiles to chuck at the dude in yellow out there. Only problem is that by the time you decide to start chucking the oranges you struggle to focus on the dude on the field. And it’s much easier to hit the guy in light blue jersey just a few rows in front of you. The Blou Bulle dude. It makes a nice little splashing sound as it hits him just behind his bak ore. A scuffle ensue…

Or maybe the guy will say he really misses watching soccer. Most likely Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates. Yes, being an Amakhosi or The Happy People supporter is like having piles in South Africa. Every second asshole has got one. The mighty ones taking on one another. Families divided. But play they must. Of course it has to be at the FNB. 80,000 packed shoulder to shoulder on plastic bucket seats. But no. That’s not where they sit and watch. They are in the townships. All over the country. Back in Khayamandi in my hometown. The fires are burning and the televisions and radios blaring – all tuned in on the soccer. The big game. But that’s not really what they miss.

No. What they miss is the Castle Lager. Back in the shebeen with the boys. Drinking a quart. It slides down your throat. The nectar of God. The gift from Charles Glass. Man. Genius. Castle Lager. Not the wimpy water they call Bud over in the US. Or XXXX in Australia. No. Real beer. Real lager. Somewhat dry. Somewhat bitter. Never sweet. Aaah. Castle Lager. That’s what they miss.

But it’s not just sport. Ask them about the people. Ask them about their home. Ask them about the sea. And the mountain. And summer. And winter. Their family. They’ll just tell you more lies.

Oh, they miss the smell of the sea. The smell of the Indian Ocean or the Atlantic when they wake up. The rolling of the waves. The golden beaches of Durban. Or the white sands of Cape Town. But it’s all bull. They don’t really like the sticky, salty water. Or the sand always getting in your clothes – places where you really don’t want them to be. That’s not what they miss.

They miss the fish. Especially snoek. The debates that go on about the best way to braai a snoek – with some appelkoos jam or just a bit of lemon juice and butter. But always brushes regularly. And slice it open and braai the skin side first. Oh, the taste and smell of snoek on the braai. And then the snoek sammies the next day. That’s what they miss. Not the sea and the waves and the smells. It’s the snoek.

And it’s not the people. The smiling faces and loud talking. The fun-in-the-sun people. The moaning and the bitching. The languages and accents. The stories and jokes. The Rainbow Nation. A bit of everything. Land of plenty. Land of diversity. Land of people. Real people. And the bear hugs and waving in the streets. The firm handshakes and kisses hello. The greeting of people you don’t know but see on the streets. The wit and jokes. No. That’s not what they miss.

They miss the Simbachips and Coke and Sparletta flavours. You can find it in any store. Our streets food. Not made on the streets. Just made for the streets. Simba with the variety to match our people. Simba. Mmmm. Simba flavours. Chakalaka. Chutney. Smoked Beef. Mexican Chilli. Salt and Vinegar. And don’t forget the Nik Naks. Mmm. Simba. It Roarrswith flavour. So true. And they want their Coke made with cane sugar. Real coke. And Iron Brew. And Sparletta Sparberry and Creme Soda and Pine-Nut. The flavours of our nation. Something for everyone. And don’t forget the Stoney. Never forget the Stoney. That’s what they miss.

And it’s not the mountains they miss. Our beautiful Table Mountain. They’ll tell you they miss the mountain. Our mother mountain. And the tablecloth that goes with that. The little cloud hanging over the mountain. Ready for us to admire and stare at. The long walks on the slopes of the mountain. Walking along her beautiful curves and drinking from her stream. The picknicks on the slopes. But that’s not what we miss. No. Not at all.

What we miss is eating our Marmite sammies when we sit at our picnics. Nice thick slices of homemade bread with a thick layer of Flora or Rama. And an even thicker layer of Marmite. Good gooey Marmite. The real black gold. And not that stuff the Aussies use – Vegemite. That’s for vegetables. We want our Marmite to go with our picnic. Maybe one with Pecks- but that is really for a toastie breakfast or late night snack. And we want our Safari dried fruits when we walk the slopes. But not just any Safari dried fruits. No. It must be the squares. The sugar covered squares. I like the red ones. That’s what we really miss.

And we’ll tell you it’s all about our family. How we miss our family. Our family in our homes. Our blood. And our sisters and brothers. Mothers and fathers. And cousins and nephews. And neighbours and friends. Our family. The big family. The loud family. Getting together and sharing stories. Kids running around and climbing trees. And the laughing and hugging. An ou boethere and naai man there. The voices of our family. The love of our family. Bah! That’s not what we miss. No.

What we miss is the fire burning and the tjops on the braai. Not the family. They will eat our tjops. We’ll give them the putu and the potjie. Because we can make lots of that. Lots and lots. But the tjops. Those dear, dear tjops. With a splash of Marina braai salt. That we can’t share. Too valuable. It was made with love just for our arteries.

And we want our bobotie in winter and cheap ice-lollies in summer. And our Top Deck and Flake when we watch television. Our beskuit with crap coffee. Our koe(k)sisters with tea. Our LiquiFruit juice with breakfast. Next to our vetkoeke. Or pannekoeke.

See the lies we tell? We act all respectable. We make as if we are so sharp. With our cute, foreign accents. But we are shallow people. For us home is all about our food.

We are easy to seduce. Show us a piece of biltong and we will sell our souls. Give us a boerie and we’ll be loyal to the end. Promise us a packet of Simba and we are yours forever. But be warned. Never threaten our food. Take away our braai and the world will burn. Threaten our snoek and you will drown in your own pain. Dip our biskuit and we will unleash hell.

We are shallow people. We live for our food. And survive on the memories of smells and taste. We love our food. More than we love life itself. We are silly, silly people. Food makes us who we are. And we love our food.

And everything that goes with it.

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Do you find this helpful? The deep analysis? Haha! Here we go.

1. British Airways going all British

Okay. That is enough. No more PC please. I draw the line right here. I was okay with the “we don’t want to our children to compete” stupidity in the schools when I was there. Yes, my child couldn’t compete in sport because they did not want there to be winners and losers. Failure was out – now called deferred success. Puh-lease! I think it was because she was going to kick some Pom butt. And on and on they went with their stupid ideas of the state controlling everything. But they have stepped over the line now. Now they won’t serve meat on British Airways flights anymore because some people have religious issues with beef (of course pork is out the window as well). Hang on a bloody moment here. You serve me tofu and soya and I’ll show you a place where the sun don’t shine. I have serious religious and cultural problems with eating anything but meat. It’s in my blood and in my bones. I am African. We eat meat. I find it offensive that you will pander to others but ignore my religious requirements. You have the option of ordering specific food before you board your flight AND you offer two types of meals. Let them phone you and make arrangement. Don’t you remember? We don’t have phones in Africa… And there is a serious consequence for all others as well – the non-meat eating… hum… humans. Can you imagine what they are going to serve us now? Crap fish and chips or rubber eggs. I am changing to Air Namibia next time I fly to South Africa – they serve biltong bites. Really. I have standards. Squash me into a box in the middle seat. Make me wait in line for an hour or two. Provide me with bad service at ticketing. Strip search me in public. But take my meat away? Tell me, do you still serve salad – or what do you call it again? Hum, oh yes – chicken? BA – Beef Away.

2. Honey, I am right behind you 

So the Prius will bring out a new version in 2010. And the Volt will also hopefully make its debut. And now VW says they will bring their super fuel efficient 1L concept to the roads as well. 1L is metric for 1 liter per 100 km, or 1 gallon going a full 230 miles. Cool isn’t it? Huh… No… Not even close. Volkswagen is German for Nation Wagon. Say what? You can’t even fit the bloody dog in there – never mind a nation. Seating for two only. Could be romantic hey? Huh… No… The passenger sits behind the driver. I can now truly be a backseat driver. Thanks VW, but if this is your answer to fuel efficiency then at least give it a few skates for wheels to use in winter. This way we can us it as a toboggan when the snow and ice comes.

3. Doctor Watson I presume?

Those bloody Nigerians. So here we are. With Idang Alibi going on about how Dr Watson was right when he said Africans are more stupid than the whities. Or rather, that black people are, in his humble opinion, not as intelligent as white people. Nothing humble about that mate. He goes on and on about how they are more stupid because of the failed Africans states. And that all other states are just fine. Guess what? I got angry. So here is more longer than usual response.

He talks as if every African state is a failed state. And that all others are just fine. Just fine. Well sorry – the world isn’t black and white (no pun intended). So, North Korea is just fine I take it? And Bangladesh? And most of the old Soviet states? And Latin America that have loads of European blood running through their veins? It’s easy and intellectually lazy to do that. For every Lagos there is a Laos. Also, he forgets to mention those African states who are not failing and are stable and growing. Senegal anyone? Or Mozambique now that the Cold War affect is over. And Botswana that has a huge HIV/Aids problem but still manages to outgrow the majority of countries in the world. Too easy and lazy of him to write a piece of crap that shows his own intellect. Sorry brother, I am not you and neither are most of us thank you. Go back to university and go and study how to be a journalist. Africa do have a series of failed states. But it isn’t a black thing. There are too many other failed states to tell us it isn’t a “black thing”. And don’t forget Zambia. One of the least corrupt and violent countries in the world – and acknowledged as such. Had mostly good governments. Except before “Ma” and after Kenneth Kaunda – Chiluba didn’t play nice. But he wasn’t really Zambian. And never been in a war – inside or outside its borders. More Swiss than the Swiss. And still one of the poorest countries in the world. Why? Because this isn’t some “American Dream” where those who work hard will come out on top. Whether you are an individual or a country, the one thing we have learned over the last 100 years is that those who are poor will remain poor and with limited opportunities no matter where they live. Yes, you have exceptions, but the American Dream doesn’t work for most people. No matter how hard they work. The bridge between poor and rich is increasing each and every day. Whether you live in America or you are a country in Africa. Even with the high growth rates – how long do you think Mozambique and Botswana must grow before it will reach the “upper status”? Do the math – it doesn’t work. No matter how hard you try. And there is no lottery for states either. And neither can you win a bucket of common sense either.

4.  Heartland no brainchild

Like all good scientists Heartland took the brave step of publishing the names of all those scientists who support their claim that Climate Change is no biggie. I think they should have just kept their list and tell us they have 500 names and leave it at that. It is turning out to be as accurate as the WMD statements. And like President Bush supporters, the scientists on the list decided to take the rat route off the ship. It seems as if the 500 aren’t 500 at all. You see, many of the scientist on the list actually believe in Climate Change. Oops. Look guys, how can we trust you with real science if you can’t even count properly? Climate Change isn’t social science you know – it is real science. Get the social science bit right and then we can talk. It seems as if you count with your heart instead of your head. Good for Bush, but no good for science.

5. Hillary and Bob – BGFF

Nooo link needed here – It’s about Hillary C and Bob Mugabe. If you don’t know anything about them then… I don’t know – do a google search. And no BGFF does not stand for Best Guy/Girl Friends Forever. It means Bye Go Finally F-off. It’s time they both go. Hillary keeps on losing supporters faster than Bob is losing his marbles. And that says a lot. But Hillary is a bit like Bob here. Refusing to accept it is all over. The other guy won – just accept it and live with it. So I have a little plan. Why don’t you two go to on a nice little island retreat for two. Just you two lovebirds. Maybe Bikini Atoll or Christmas Island. Bikini because we should pay A Toll to see either of you in one. And Christmas Island because Hillary needs a few presents to make up for the money she blew at 3 am. Bob won’t have a problem with the radioactivity – he might just grow a brain. We all live in hope.

That’s all folks. Bye-bye all. Have a great weekend and see you on the other side. I promise to be lighter and brighter next time. It will be a fun week – I promise.

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