Saturday, November 22, 2014

What's missing in modern music

Louis Armstrong has captured so many hearts with this beautiful song. His low, rumbling voice perfectly suited to the mood being set. The words and emotions are equally powerful yet the real magic for me is the character of the man. Just watch this video...

Character is a trait that most modern musicians lack. Sure they have incredible vocal talent, killer looks, platinum album sales and hoards of mindless teenage fans. It's all a bunch of 'A' grade crap if all those things come without that most fundamental of all desirable human traits, to have a personality. Case in point...

John Legend... he is really just an empty vessel channelling commercial manure in the right direction to cash in on album sales from image conscious girls. I can't even watch the whole 4 minute video without dozing off from the lack of life in his performace. I'm pretty sure his manager is standing at the edge of the stage with a "smile now" sign he picks up as a reminder every 15 seconds. Bleugh!

Don't dispair masses, not all new millennium musicians are trash, if you look hard enough some successful bands have Ooodles of personality (feel free to link me up to your favourite post Y2K 'musicians with personality' in the comments or on this thread in FB).

I leave you with my nomination:

Monday, March 31, 2014

Formula Z z z ...

Says an F1 journalist>>> "The cars are much quieter than before. There is no argument about that. But was the old engine sound particularly enjoyable?" (

Let me analyse the above statement in my humble opinion as a Formula 1 fan.

Question: How many racing events do you see with 4 wheeled cars lapping a track?
Answer: Roughly 3854 per month (okay I made this up, but my point stands).

So what makes F1 stand out from the crowd? Some would argue that you are watching the pinnacle of motorsport with the most advanced technology. Sure, as a fan I like to read about the tech and appreciate the bragging rights behind being the most advanced and blah blah blah... Something still bothered me after watching the first two races in the season though.

It wasn’t loud enough.

I find myself in a rather strange situation where I am annoyed at me for being so shallow. I always thought I was someone who appreciated attention to detail and subtleties. Now, after getting just that, I am left bored and unentertained. I miss the noise, it was exciting, unique and just plain mad. I wish had a little gnome to follow Bernie Ecclestone around. I’d call him Dobby, and I would give Dobby a universal remote control with which to mute Bernie’s TV every time he tries to watch something. I’d totally give Dobby a sock if he did that till the day Bernie died. Mute! No sound for you Mr Ecclestone. Mute again!!

I NEEED excitement. I want to see a bunch of 50 million dollar cars smashing into each other, cartwheeling off the track and into some trees leaving a trail of destruction and a really big fire somewhere, Anywhere! Back in the refuelling days fires were common, I fondly recall instances where entire fuel hoses and a couple of men holding them were dragged down the pit lane in a ball of fire because a twitching driver had too much caffeine before the race. RIP refuelling. I fondly recall engines exploding on the last lap of a race covering the track in a mixture of fire smoke and oil. So far the only problems hybrid engines have had are software related. SOFTWARE! Watching a live broadcast of a software issue is pathetic, the car just stops and won’t go till some tekkie in the pits plugs in his laptop. Drivers can’t even floor it anymore! For crying out loud! It’s a friggin RACE!

This weekend I praised Lewis Hamilton for having a perfect weekend (pole position, lead the whole race and stand at the top of the podium at the end) but at the back of my mind I thought “jeepers he should be crowned as winner of the most boring race in the field too”. I read an article in which Lewis Hamilton describes how challenging it is for the drivers with the new rules. 

Okay, I thought, challenging = exciting >>therefore>> races will be more fun, right.



The crux of Hamilton’s argument is that it is more difficult for the drivers because they have to do some maths while driving to make sure they use only a specified amount of fuel over the duration of the race (100 litres). If you get the math wrong you will go very fast, beat almost everyone and celebrate on the podium with some bubbly shortly before FIA officials in black suits take all your points and your trophy away (hey, at least you won some memories and entertained your home crowd Mr Riccardo). Hamilton then goes through details about how tough fuel saving strategies are and how one has to “lift and coast” to the corners to make your fuel ration last till the checkered flag (see the rest of this diplomatic article on ). In any case it is great that drivers are challenged but what about the fans? I do not tune in to a live race to see cars ‘lifting and coasting’. I wish Bernie would retire already so Ross Brawn can come back to fill his shoes and make F1 fans happy again.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Opposable thumb Thursday

Ever wondered what it would be like to be an animal? Well, SURPRISE! Under scientific classification you (a human) fall under the great Kingdom that is 'Animalia'. Also included in this category are earthworms, mosquitoes, whales and pretty much everything that moves which isn't a virus, plant or weather.

I've done it again, I've gone and killed off my whole big idea by destroying the opening line. Oh well, let's pretend that becoming an animal meant that you lost your human abilities which were not used by other animal species. What would you consider to be your most valuable ability? 

Talking? Imagine our world without verbal communication. Social interaction would probably be reduced to a smile and a wave. People would become solitary and reclusive. 

What about intellect? If we all had the mind of Mitt Romney and the people who voted for him (booyah!) we'd probably be happy, living in a sort of dumbfounded bliss. Ignorant of the world and its real issues but also shunned and avoided by everyone and everything...

I could go on, instead I will focus on what I consider to be one of our most valued abilities, "Effective use of opposable thumbs". You see I have just spent the last 24 hours living with limited use of both my thumbs. Yesterday morning I tore a piece of my right thumb-nail off with a modified cheese grater and sliced the tip off my left thumb off with a knife in a freak citrus accident. Since then my life has been unbelievably difficult!
Us humans built our world with thumbs and FOR thumbs. Not only is it difficult for me to perform mundane everyday activities like writing, preparing food and eating but it's also nearly impossible to operate our most basic machinery! Try opening a tap or buttoning up a shirt without your thumbs. At one point today I was on the verge of strangling an innocent bag of peanuts in a failed attempt to get at the contents (picture Homer Simpson grabbing Bart 'Why you Little...'). Thankfully I realised that I had a pair of scissors in my desk to help save the day.

In any case this post is my effort to bring to everyones attention, that marvel of the human body, the opposable thumb. Always respect and take care of your thumbs good readers.

PS: Have you ever tried using a pair of scissors without your thumbs? I'm afraid to announce
 "peanut bag-1; EEbEE-0"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beware the nut factory

This really got to me:

I bought a pack of peri-peri cashews from a local supermarket yesterday and made the unfortunate mistake of reading the packaging. Here's what it said>>>

"Nestled in the fertile valley of the Langeberg Mountains and refreshed by the waters of the Keisie and Kingna Rivers, lies the idyllic town of Montagu. It is here, in the this abundant green haven, that we've packed the tastiest dried fruits and nuts and brought them to you to enjoy time and again."

While reading that little story my imagination was taken on a journey through these amazing mountains, diving into cool clear mountain streams and... hay wait a sec, did they say "It is here that... we've packed the tastiest dried..."???

I must investigate, why would they say 'packed' when they could use awesome words like harvested, plucked, nurtured... that single word threw me off. So I picked up the packet and examined it more carefully before I noticed the horrific truth. There in font size 2 next to the bar code at the bottom corner of the pack "PRODUCT OF TANZANIA / VIETNAM"!


Deceiving Bastards! You've described the idyllic and pristine location of your FACTORY. The depot in Montagu where all the trucks carrying imported goods (from third world, war stricken, human rights abuser, child labour driven countries...) which arrive for repackaging and distribution in South Africa! An even bigger slap in the face is the fact that they confess they are running an industrial operation in such a naturally beautiful "haven". Why not stick your factory in a designated area within a city? It's rather suspicious... I could go on, instead I suggest printing this label:

"Chugging smoke and pollutants into the fertile valley of the Langeberg Mountains and poisoning the fresh waters of the Keisie and Kingna Rivers, lies our Nut packaging factory. It is here, in the this abundant green haven, that we've decided to build our evil empire by importing the tastiest dried fruits and nuts and selling them to you at ridiculously high prices to fund our weapons of mass destruction project."

So there...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

So what’s the deal with donkey and dragon?

I always thought the makers of Shrek went a step too far when they thought it would be a good idea for donkey to get it on with dragon. Reptiles and mammals, eggs and fur, massive and tiny no No NO that will never do. People say all babies are cute but the mutant spawn created by the pairing of a donkey and dragon are most definitely not. Every time I see them I find myself waiting for the scene to end. You may be thinking “Geez EEbEE take it easy, it’s just a fantasy movie getting some laughs. Give it a break!” after listening to my initial rant. Bear with me, there is a point to all of this…


…and here it is!>>> I honestly think that some things should be left alone and not turned into a cheap love story. The good writers know when to stop; J.R.R. Tolkien for example, didn’t see a need for a Mrs Gollum! So many good stories/episodes/series have been utterly ruined by these canned bean romances.

Harry Potter, I don’t care which girl Harry hooks up with and how they struggle to admit they love each other because they are young and innocent… just friggin point your wand at random shit and say funny made up words that make them spontaneously combust. Okay, that isn’t a riveting plot but it would sure as hell make for more interesting reading than Harry blushing and running away every time he sees a girl he likes!

The Big Bang Theory was the biggest let down. Here was a show that got laughs the clever way in season 1 and half of season 2. After that it just became a soapy about tactics nerds use to get laid. Currently I would estimate that around 95 percent of the humour is the same old “…that’s what she said” crap you can find on Hanging with Mr Cooper. They even found Sheldon Cooper a ‘girlfriend’! WTF! He was the only reason I still watched the show and now he too has a cheap, meaningless and humorless relationship with a secondary character.

House and Cuddy should never have hooked up in the first place. The episodes they are together are too wet to be classified as part of the series. For the first time since the series began, Wilson was funnier than House! Save the background love story for Dr Chase (sp?) isn’t that what the guy is for?

(I could easily go on but each new example urges me to delete everything on my hard drive.)

Seeing as I consider myself a fair guy, I will now dispense advice on how to rectify the cheap love story disease plaguing television of today (only assholes complain all the time without suggesting a solution).>>> I realise that writers are put under tremendous pressure to produce shows that are interesting, original, funny… and that after 15 episodes their imaginations are exhausted. Instead of turning towards the path of soppyness I implore them to watch some Japanese anime. There is something about those manga/anime dudes, they have the formula for a great show. Just the right proportions of humour, violence…romance to keep you glued to the show. I’m not one for soppy love stories (would you have guessed?) but anime has showed me that there is a time and a place for everything. Aweful, uninspired writers should get off their lazy arses and stop taking advantage of loyal fans. They should learn how to keep ratings up by providing good quality shows as opposed to milking inappropriate themes and getting away with it because walkover fans simply want to get their weekly fix of series X for routine sake. Screw that!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Supermarket Detective Agency

There I was, minding my own business in the local supermarket. I grabbed a trolley, you know, one of those miniature ones designed to carry baskets for lazy people who refuse to use basket handles… in any case I proceeded in my usual manner, making my way to household cleaners (before shelf food items and then finally fridge/freezer items… if you don’t do this you are weird, so there). I should mention that things were not going so well for me this day as I had accumulated quite a lot of common cold symptoms. To be more specific; groggy voice, coughing and sputtering, red droopy eyes and a snotty nose to top it all off (just keep that wonderful image of me in your mind for now).

Back to the story, I had already placed an item or two into my trolley before I decided to make a quick trolley-less dash into a crowded isle to pick up some soap. I legged it through the masses of smelly obese ladies buying beauty products to the soap section hauled a couple bars of Protex into my arms and legged it back through the ambulating wall of lard. When I emerged (unscathed) I was greeted by an empty space where my trolley once stood.


What…? Where could it…? WHO TOOK IT!?

It had only been a few seconds, a half minute at the most. The rational thing to do would be to go back to the trolley section fetch another one, reselect taken items and get over it. Alas, my mind was not of a rational state at the time and my thoughts followed this path instead:

“The Bastard! I don’t want to have to get another trolley! Why should I? I distinctly remember putting a green basket at the top and a black one at the bottom, I can find this trolley snatcher and get my vehicle back! They can’t have gone very far and they will only have gathered a few items (if any) in the interim.”

I scan my surrounding through red eyes (how about that one…) before:

“There! Old lady pushing identical trolley with few items at 3 o’clock!”

I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t even think twice before walking up to her and asking her to return my trolley. I tried to sound friendly but my voice let me down and I ended up growling out a statement punctuated falsely by involuntary coughing.

“So *cough-cough* You’re the *cough* lady who *sputter-cough* took my *swallow phlegm* trolley!” I said, trying to smile after her eyes greeted me with some confusion and a bit of fear I guess.

“No.” says the old lady softly “I got mine from the front, but you can take one of my baskets. I’m checking out now”

I coughed my way though an apology before humbly (or at least as humble as a deranged coughing, snotty, psycho with a trolley fetish can possibly appear) accepting the offer and taking an unused basket from her. As I walked away, thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed, I spotted ANOTHER trolley that looked exactly like mine. Like an eagle fixing its gaze on potential prey from a distance, I locked onto to the trolleys driver (pusher?). An unattractive pudgy middle aged woman seemed a likely suspect for trolley theft as dastardly as had befallen me, especially so as she was wearing clothes that were at least 2-3 sizes too small for her (YUCK!). Only someone too lazy to carefully select proper clothes sizes so they can be comfortable would stoop so low as to steal someone else’s trolley to save a few measly seconds at the trolley stand!

I homed in on her and said “Hey! You took my *cough-cough* trolley, I was using that.” I was so sure! She looked at me, shook her head and said “No, I got this from the front”. Deflated, I apologized and decided to give up.

So, so sure… she MUST have been lying.