You’re so vain, you probably think this post is about you.

Whatisgrunge

Back in the 90’s I was truly convinced I was cool. My hair was parted straight down the middle as if by Moses himself. My fringe dangled somewhere around my upper lip, low enough to keep up my delusions of cool, but high enough not to get me 6 bloody marks laid across my arse by my vindictive principle.  I had also discovered the wonderful world of masturbation and girls started to scare the shit outa me. One day I made the mistake of walking into my grandfather’s house, wearing a T-shirt that would comfortably fit Forest Whitaker and jeans so baggy I couldn’t wear them on a windy day. With my ear still half swollen from a botched piercing, he looked me up and down and said:

“You look like a fucking idiot you know that?”

Well he said it in Afrikaans which is much worse. And he was a pastor, so he didn’t actually swear. Ok, so I’m paraphrasing but it was traumatic for me because I’d been listening to Nirvana and I was borderline suicidal at the time.  Problem was, he was right. I did look like an idiot, but I was so busy fighting off sporadic erections and “the establishment” that I didn’t see it. Old people knew shit. Why didn’t we listen?

untitledThat brings me to 2016. Today’s brand of youth is a self-praising, internet troll who takes 7 kinds of medication with regular visits to a therapist to figure out why he cries during hair commercials. These ADHD arseholes walk around with torn jeans (holy shit, we haven’t seen that trend before) and shirts so thin they disintegrate in the wash. What happened to acne? Did we cure that shit?  I feel like today’s kids don’t get it anymore? Some of the more intellectually gifted take to LinkedIn and Facebook to brand themselves as CEO’s of their own events companies. Eeeergggh!! No you’re not! Sending out a Facebook invite for a party at your mom’s house doesn’t make you an event planner you fucking cake. If you had to roll the youth of today up into one person they would probably be Jofrrey Baratheon.

Selfie-Stick-South-Korea-global-ban.jpgEvery twinkle-toed cupcake wants to be a blogger or a lifestyle coach because the internet told them this is a job now. They fight for their right to be unique individuals…while they fight to get to the ‘50% off’ rack at Cotton On. Then there’s the selfie. I tried taking a selfie once but the shot came out with such breathtaking clarity that I cried myself to sleep. It’s like watching your favourite classic on a full HD TV. Just don’t.  Look, I get it. You and your girlfriend find yourselves in a beautiful setting with no other humans around. Hey look, I have a long arm and a foreword facing camera on my phone. Let’s remember this moment forever. Ding ding ding, you win! Sitting on your bed like a lonely idiot, trying to take a selfie while you stare out the window as if you’re deep in thought, doesn’t make you look like a photographer and model. It makes you look like a vain assclown staring at your room cupboards. In fact you probably think this post is about you.

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Yes yes, I know every generation has their own flaws and yes I’m being a little harsh on our sensitive friends, but what good is tradition if you don’t pass it on to the youngens. So allow me to tell you what my grandfather once told me when I thought I knew everything…and I quote.

“Stop taking photos of yourself you fucking camel toe!”

I’m paraphrasing again.

 

 

Durban ya o’l sack-a-shit

Like the red-headed step-child in a large family of degenerates, Durban is the forgotten & neglected city of SA that often has to square up to the likes of Cape Town, with its snob-like metropolitan ego & immovable landmark that has kept stoners and hikers gobsmacked since 1652. 

Being a Durbanite & ex Capetonian, I find Johannesburg about as appealing as crusty snot. It’s flatter than Ashley Olsen’s chest, dryer than English humour & the altitude is so harsh on my now smoke-free lungs that I often have to stop & catch my breath after a early morning stumble to the toilet. I couldn’t care less about your Maboneng precinct and your goddam urban regeneration. You can’t swim in your Maboneng can you? No, you need an ocean. Keep your yap shut.

Cape Town! You beautiful tart. I’m such a hypocrite. Cape Town is so ridiculously beautiful. But that just isn’t enough is it? This is where Durban really stands out for me. It’s shit. But we like it. It’s broken, faded, segregated, but at the same time it isn’t. It’s a place of contrast. We don’t care how famous you think you are, in Durban you’re just like everyone else…unless you play for the Sharks, in which case you might get a beer & a “howzit”…but that’s about it. International acts ignore us altogether since Robbie Williams bombed here back in 2000-&-no-one-cares. We moan, we bitch, but we have the best weather on the planet. We have potholes, crumbling infrastructure, but we know how to relax. We relax so much that you’ll be lucky to find anyone working on a Friday. Hell if someone’s a government employee you’ll be lucky to find them working any day of the week. But… Durban is kiff. 

Like your favorite pair of jeans. It just fits. So here’s a few snaps I took over a few months in celebration of Durban.

   
                                        
               

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

10 points for Griffindor

I’m not a very tolerant person, even less so when it involves stupidity. I can be reasonable though. Like for instance if you were inbred or born in Pinetown I’d forgive you for doing things like tattooing a Chow Mein recipe on your neck, or walking around with oily hands to give the impression that you have a job. But today was not one of those days…

So I popped into a coffee shop that will remain nameless (Fego, Glenore Center, Aubrey Drive, Glenashley, Durban, KZN, SouthAfrica), so that I could watch the rugby. It just so happens that they also served coffee. Now just to clarify, I spent 10 years in hospitality so I try to be really nice to waiters, not only because they get treated like shit by everyone, but also because they will spit in your toasted sarmie. I made my intentions clear from the very start.
“Can you please put the rugby game on?”
Simple enough request right? The waiter replied “Ok I’ll check” and then continued to stare at me. This unexpected non-reaction threw me slightly and left me wondering if I had mumbled my words, so I repeated myself. “Game. Rugby. Can you change the channel?”

I could quite literally see into the void that was this waiter’s skull, as my words went in through his ear, bounced around in there like a marble in an empty can of baked beans, and then ejected through the other. He kept staring at me and slowly but surely formed an awkward smile. So I tried again.
“No seriously, if I can’t watch the rugby, then I’m going elsewhere”

Suddenly skippy here comes alive, sums up ever last morsel of waiter training he has received in his life, and says to me “Is that a threat?” I lean in towards him and give him my best “Dafuq did you just say!?” look. The urge to stab him with a bottle of HP sauce was, at this point, quite overwhelming but I kept my cool because after all, we’ve all been where he is. Sorta. I explained to him with violent sign language and broken English that I will take my goddamn money elsewhere if I cannot enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the rugby. It’s not a threat, it’s a fucking fact! In a stroke of genius and in record time Jabulani here changes the TV from cricket to football and then looks at me with a smirk “Look no rugby.” I said “Channel 201!” He changes it to 301, looks at me and again says “No rugby.” He’s still alive this guy, believe it or not.

I walked over to him, looked him in the eyes and said “TWOOOOOOOO, OOOOOHHHHHH, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN” (201)
As if by fucking magic, the rugby appears! Completely and utterly exhausted I sat down and enjoyed the game. By the end when the bill came, “swoosh” in comes Jabulani again. “Who do you support?” I said “The Chiefs…”
Fearing that I may just have made a connection with this guy that would have drawn me into a prolonged discussion about local football, I quickly followed up with “…not Kaizer Chiefs.”

…He looked at the TV and more confusion followed.

Good Heavens

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Jesus. I must have done something wrong in my past life to be punished like this.

From the age of “old enough to remember” I was dragged to the loudest, most liberal church in Cape Town,  by the lobes of my ears. Oh I partook alright. I sang the songs, prayed the prayers, and studied the good book. I listened to the sermons, engaged in the deeper meaning of religion and by jehovah’s testicles, I was a good Christian.

…and then science.

My Facebook account is pointless. As if its not annoying enough that I am forced to see the insides of some pregnant woman’s uterus in various stages of expansion, I now see that most of the people I’m supposedly friends with are amping it up on the Jesus stuff. I’m usually quite tolerant of people’s religious persuasion, but lately I have been left asking myself this question.

How is it possible for any rational, forward thinking human being to still believe in such an archaic thing such as a god?

GASP!! HORROR!! Did he just say that!!?? Calm yourself ok, I’m not trying to start yet another Christians vs Atheist debate that will likely end up in both sides calling the other idiots, but come on… Are religious folk honestly still going to cover their ears and go “nananananananananana, I CANT HEAR YOU!!” every time someone presents them with rational thought!?  Are we still believing that the Universe was created by a god, JUST FOR US, in 7 days.

Us human beings are a rather untrustworthy bunch of twats. If I tell you I paid you, you immediately check your bank account. If I tell you its clear to turn right at the intersection, you check anyway. If I told you there was a planet in our solar system made completely out of jelly-beans, you’d check first…wouldn’t you?  So then tell me, why is it that the existence of a god is the ONLY thing in the Universe we accept as “real” without any proof. And don’t come at me with your ‘Faith’ bullshit. The concept of faith in religion is something our forefathers were sold in order to shut them the hell up because they were asking too many questions. When something great happens, everyone thanks god. When people die, they blame the Devil. Even better, sometimes they blame God but say it was “his” will and that he works in “mysterious ways”.  Really?!

I truly struggle to take anyone seriously when they are so blindly fanatical about religion. It actually saddens me because I feel that I have lost the ability to have a rational conversation with them. Surely, with the enormous strides we as a human race have made in the field of science, and with the infinite amount of information we now have at our disposal, there cannot be any doubt that the basis of religion, in that there is a god (or many gods for some), is an impossibility. I just find it ridiculous how we leave nothing to chance, yet we put our trust in something that exists only in our minds.

This is something I struggle with. I have no doubt that this can be argued either way…as it has been for centuries. So spare me in the comments section please, I’ve heard it all before. You have your opinion, and i have mine.

Oh to be deaf

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I am completely aware that I may in fact just be getting older, and that I’m now probably “that guy”, but I would like to categorically state that I think 90% of all new music that is aimed at the 14-21 your old market, IS SO SHIT THAT I WISH I WAS DEAF!!

No less than a year ago I was a 5FM fan. I would defend this radio station to the death if need be. I would put that shit on, bob my head and give the world the finger no matter what they thought. Now i cannot sit through 5 minutes of the playlist, and even less when their so called “star” Poppy opens her goddam mouth. Her voice sounds like someone is forcing wet shit through a siv and her tone of voice changes just about as often as Karl Lagerfeld changes his outfits.  There comes a point where being “current” becomes annoying, which again happens about 3 seconds into her show. She’s “totes” the “ish”, which in the world of morons means she’s Totally the Shit. Personally I think our local radio DJ’s are taking the public for complete fools. Just like the ruling ANC and their voters, the listeners are too stupid to realize that they are in fact listening to over-produced horse shit that is directly marketed and created for the impressionable idiots that cannot yet form an independent thought about music.

If anyone tells me that Beyonce (See Anele: Former 5fm DJ) is a great artist, I hope that you do the human race a favour and have your reproductive organs rendered unusable. She used to sing gospel music!! Now she sings about riding dick and ruling the world!  Nicky Minaj?? Please kill yourself.

Trevor out!

Things I wish I told my dad before he passed

PaMy Father was no saint, but he was the best man I knew.

It was always difficult for me to truly understand what actually defines a normal parent/child relationship because, well, I never had what most people would call a normal upbringing. What’s normal? Well having two parents that live under the same roof would be a good start. My mother was my mother, but I never so much as uttered the words “I love you” until I was probably 27. She was just not that kind of woman, but this came as no surprise since she had already raised my brother and sister to the ages of 13 and 15 respectively, without the help of any man, before I came kicking and screaming into this word rather unexpectedly. My parents fought a bitter custody battle over me before I could even learn to walk, the result of which pretty much set the trend for a long distance relationship with my father that, even now, is difficult to put into words. He understood me…but I understood him better.

#1. I’m not stupid.

My dad had an affair with someone who ended his second marriage. I knew. He knew. The whole world knew…but we never spoke about it. I was 12 when I suspected something was off and I now regret never challenging him on the subject. In his memoirs my dad referred to this other woman but steered clear of accepting any wrongdoing. He was my dad, but he was wrong. To have heard him say these words would have meant the world to me. Just so that I know he understood that he was accountable for his own actions. So that I could learn lessons from him about being honourable and truthful. He thought I was too young to understand, but I understood very well how it had destroyed his then second wife, and how that had changed my life forever. I’m not stupid.

#2. I owe you everything.

To err is to be human. I don’t know who said that or even if I spelled “err” correctly, but then again academics was never my strong suit. In fact English is not even my first language. My dad and I spent countless hours playing any kind of sport that involved a ball. Often we would simply toss a ball at each other for hours and hours until it was so dark we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces, only to get up at the crack of dawn, even on frosty winter mornings when you couldn’t even feel your toes, to commence tossing whatever ball we could lay our hands on. I owe all of my sporting achievements to him, and thankfully there were quite a few of them. We watched many rugby games at various stadiums in South Africa, including Newlands, Loftus, Ellis Park and the Shark Tank. Later on in life we had rather healthy rivalry when the Sharks (my team) and the Stormers (his team) would play each other. He challenged me constantly. Coaching me, guiding me and testing me. Not a day would go by where he wouldn’t take me somewhere to whack the shit out of either a cricket ball, tennis ball or golf ball. He wouldn’t take it easy on me either, and losing to him at something was just a lesson I needed to learn. Of course I would try harder and harder to beat him at something and when such a moment came it was certainly not because he let me win. Yup, I owe you everything.

#3. Thank you for all the good times

Thankfully my dad was not the kind of man who would sit on his backside and let his life pass him by. Whenever I would visit him during school holidays, we would pack the car and start on whatever adventure was waiting for us on the open road. It was due to his adventurous spirit that I got to see every corner of South Africa. Not a single province was left unexplored including the desolate Northern Cape and its quaint towns, where you would find all the residence loudly socializing at the local pub from Monday to Saturday, and loudly praising the lord in church on Sunday. He would often simply take the less traveled road and when I asked ‘where are we going now?’ he would simply say ‘well lets see where this road takes us’. The Cape peninsula was a firm favourite and we would often just stop on the slopes of signal hill or table mountain to unpack the thermos flask and snacks. A picnic was an adventure for me when I was 5, because once I had wolfed down my sandwiches I was free to run around like a bloody wild thing, throwing rocks (not at people), inspecting the burrows of all sorts of 8 legged thingamajigs and collecting random things like sun-faded coke cans or pine cones. Yes, that’s rigth…sun-faded coke cans. The Kruger nation park saw our caravan stuck in some seriously thick mud at Satara camp, and at Skukuza camp a full-grown male lion simply strolled up to our front door and left massive paw prints in the gravel for us to find in the morning. It’s rather disturbing when you see a qualified game ranger scratch his head in disbelief. So dad, thank you for all the good times.

Pa2There isn’t much I regret about my relationship with my dad, and this probably made his passing a little less traumatic. Only a little. I wish he came and watched some of my rugby games because the one and only time he managed to do so, I played the best game of my life, but I knew that if he could be there, he would. I wish that I had made more of an effort to visit him in Johannesburg when I had the means to, but I knew he understood that it wasn’t always easy for me to travel up there from Durban, especially with the demands of my job. He was well-loved, very musical and always the life of any social event.

I truly feel that I was blessed to have had him as my dad. He was my source of information on any subject, my shoulder to cry on, my therapist, my marriage counselor and my buddy. And he knows what an enormous hole he has left in all our lives.

RIP Andre van Zijl – 21 April 2014

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