Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fat Bastard on Benmore

11th Street, Benmore: Summer dusk, January's seen its ass; rooftop garden's; African sunset; pavement potholes; Fat Bastard chardonnay; partner with & in Kawayi Sushi Bar; barefoot boys & leg hairs in cross-legged sushi enclave; Japanese mini flag & dusty, plastic pastel twolips; tipsy but not tart.
Three months, to the day, since last here. Just as long is our togetherness. Happy togetherness; universe willing forever togetherness.
Good night & gud luk!

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Friday, January 29, 2010

What J.D. Salinger Taught Me about Literary Use of the F-Word

Posted by Roy Peter Clark on Poynter Online Writing Tools:

When I first heard of the death of reclusive author J.D. Salinger, who was 91, the news reminded me of the first time I used the F-word.
The year was 1956. I was 8 years old. One of the Masterson brothers told me a joke, and he thought it was so funny I ran home to tell my mother. She didn't laugh and made me repeat it to my father. Things did not go well.
I know exactly where I first encountered the F-word in print. I was a freshman in high school, and the book was called "The Catcher in the Rye," a work still on many banned-books lists, not just because of the F-word. I now own six copies of the book, including my high school edition in which I underlined each use of the F-word and other obscenities.
I consider "Catcher" a true gift from Salinger, a literary legacy I can still savor, in spite of my subsequent disillusionment with the author's eccentric isolationism, disdain for his readers, and weird attraction to girls a fraction of his age.
Salinger used the F-word in a perfect literary context for me at that time of my first reading, about 1963. During his pilgrimage around New York City, young Holden Caulfield bumps into the word as graffiti in the stairwell of his little sister's school and again in the Egyptian tombs of the Museum of Natural History.

Want to read more:
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East meets West

Jozi's HEARTland: Steffen (his pic) and I wolfed down a shared pizza and two enamel bowls of 'slap' chips last night while waiting for Zimbabwean writer-in-exile ("The Road to Lindele"), Ike Dube, to join us. Creative, passionate juices were flowing all round. We happily mopped them up with the Highlands Herald... old fashioned newsprint still has some uses.

Gibbous Moon celebrations ... Greatness Shines!

My friend, Cape Town based journalist Andrew October, wrote this morning: "I guess that just being awake... and indeed alive... to watch the setting Wolf Moon over the Atlantic Ocean is reason enough to share this with the world. The Gibbous Moon in grey was photographed two nights ago at 75%, while the orange setting Gibbous Moon was captured this morning at 04H50 from Clifton (both handheld). The Moon will reach its maximun fullness tomorrow morning at 08H18.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jozi sunset & dope smoking All Star intellectuals

Ko'spotong (grab & run munchies; Kitchen Open till 01:30am!!!) Newtown (Johannesburg): Viewing dusk through a Carling Black Label, I'm still chuckling at the call I received this afternoon from the local municipality's legal department. Emakhazeni Local Municipality's Daniel Mkhonza called to let me know that they will be consulting attorneys tomorrow about the fact that, in the last issue of Highlands Herald, I published who the new youth manager at the municipality was going to be.
"Surely it's part of correct journalistic practice to verify information that you have obtained," he said to me.
In an incredulous tone: "Information, for one, about a new youth manager, and secondly not even second hand, but straight from the apparent new youth manager's mouth. I smell a story brewing!"
Ha-ha! But no mention from the municipality, of course, about the councillor I publicly accused of corruption. Then again, maybe I've got my priorities wrong.
Either way it's a cool, almost autumnal evening, in Gauteng province.

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J.D. Salinger, Author of 'The Catcher in the Rye,' Is Dead at 91

New York Times: J.D. Salinger, Author of 'The Catcher in the Rye,' Is Dead at 91
J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most
important American writer to emerge since World War II but
who then turned his back on success and adulation, has died
in Cornish, N.H., where he lived in seclusion for more than
50 years, his son told The Associated Press. He was 91.
Mr. Salinger's literary reputation rests on a slender but
enormously influential body of published work: the novel "The
Catcher in the Rye," the collection "Nine Stories" and two
compilations, each with two long stories about the fictional
Glass family: "Franny and Zooey" and "Raise High the Roof
Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction."
Read More:

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Monday, January 25, 2010


Perfect blackout. Laptop battery dead, mobile soon flat. Not a light on in the entire town. The last of the awful, noisy generators died a while ago.
Pouring rain.
An insect snaps, crackles and pops in its last flame.
Pouring rain.
Perfect peace.
When last did I go to sleep in perfect peace, quiet and absolute darkness?
The worst, rowdiest storm of the summer took out the electricity at about 15hOO.
Karneels, a well-known but not respected nor loved stray cat noisily marks his territory outside, despite the rain. It's no use chucking a bucket of water over him tonight.

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Rusted, but happy heart

Mine's a vastly uncomplicated and wonderfully uncertain life compared to exactly three years ago, when I purchased this house in Waterval Boven.
I'm also a simpler, somewhat quieter and humbler human being.
I also have many more lines around my eyes. I never ever thought I would write these words, but I have to admit that I quite like them.
Compared to the sterile loft space I owned in the city, this is a real home I live in now.
For example this rusted, barbed wire heart I bought on the side of the road in Belfast on Friday is quite at home here in the kitchen. And the floorboards have been repaired; there were big holes in the floor from termites. Some of the old tiles came off the wall with the repairs - what an opportunity to paint the surface!
I wish you could see the meals coming out of this kitchen, prepared by an incredible heart that's anything but rusty. A very generous and kind heart too.
Just had the largest thunderstorm of the summer rage through here. Rain flooded the garden, the river, and also came in under the back door and - unusually - through the kitchen windows.
Right now it's coffee time.
On that note, I've asked that He put His yoke on me so that I can be less busy, also to have my pace slowed down to a pace unlinked to the world. I do believe that my prayer is being answered.
I've also asked for more travel opportunities. Patiently I wait...

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Mthethwa: 'A friend of a criminal is a criminal'

Mail & Guardian: "We are of the view that a friend of a criminal is a criminal," said Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa on Thursday afternoon in Pretoria after the ministry announced that the police have arrested one of the suspects who threatened to rob and kill Soccer World Cup tourists on last week.
Click here for the rest of the story.

Charges against French journalist dropped

Mail & Guardian this morning: Charges against French journalist Sophie Bouillon and her boyfriend were dropped on Thursday morning, after her story of alleged police brutality in Johannesburg caused a stir in the media.
Speaking to the Mail & Guardian on Thursday, Bouillon alleged the "nonsensical attack" on her and her boyfriend by Johannesburg metro police officers had been informed by xenophobic prejudice.
Click here for the rest of the story.

Subpoena against 'infringes media freedom'

Mail & Guardian: Issuing a subpoena against eNews to identify criminals interviewed on air about their plans to target the Soccer World Cup infringed media freedom and freedom of speech, the South African Press Council said on Thursday.
"The police, using laws that existed under apartheid, are seeking to circumvent the journalists' right to report without fear and the public's right to know by issuing this subpoena," said council vice-chairperson Bewyn Petersen in a letter published in Business Day.
He was responding to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's move to subpoena two eNews journalists to reveal the identity of the men who made their criminal intentions known in an interview aired last Friday.
A source linked to the story has since committed suicide.
"When the story broke I found myself hoping that would resist the pressure from the police ... I am dismayed that I have not seen anyone in government, including the opposition, oppose this action.
"If the police are successful, it may prevent journalists from having access to similar situations in the future and may even endanger their lives. Should this happen, we will lose one of our most fundamental rights -- the right to know - and it is our right to decide for ourselves," Petersen said. has declined, on legal advice, to say how it plans to respond to the subpoenas to reveal its sources. Its news editor, Ben Said, and reporter Mpho Lakaje have to appear in court on Monday if they fail to comply.
The channel said on Tuesday that a man found dead in Soweto was a go-between who had put the reporters in touch with the self-confessed criminals who were interviewed.
It implied in a statement that only he had known their true identities.
Click here for the rest of the story.

French journo 'brutalised' by metro cops

The Mail & Guardian reported on Thursday: South African police are investigating a case of police brutality aimed at an award winning French journalist, after her ordeal made headlines in France.
Sophie Bouillon alleges that she and her Zimbabwean boyfriend, Tendai, were pepper sprayed and manhandled by Johannesburg metro police on Friday night after being stopped in downtown Johannesburg. The couple was arrested and held overnight at the Hillbrow police station, before being released on Saturday morning.
They will appear in court on Thursday morning on charges of driving without a valid drivers license, interfering in an arrest and resisting arrest, but Bouillon is confident that the charges will be dismissed.
Her damning account, which she at first only emailed to friends, was picked up by the French media this week and appeared in French daily Liberation among others on Monday. It has been well read by the French public, some who were outraged by the "level of violence" in South Africa. Her friends had also posted her version on Facebook.
The latest incident for South Africa follows the so-called "Kill-a-tourist-day" incident where a British actress Victoria Smurfit, who starred in Ballykissangel, told the Irish Mail on Sunday she "came within inches of death" when a gunman opened fire on her taxi while holidaying in Cape Town. The 35-year-old actress claimed the attack was likely to have been a gang initiation ceremony dubbed 'Kill a Tourist Day', but South African police denied this. The article also appeared in the UK's Daily Mail.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

To the flame

Tonight I'm a lonely moth contemplating winter. It's far away, but not that far away. The first light doesn't wake me up that early anymore; the brilliant December wide-eyed glare has passed with the midway mark. The sun is headed north to wake up the daffodil bulbs, to seek pure white skins.
I'm sitting in my underwear on the couch outside, just one dim light on and a moonlit, moody glow behind some angry cloud.
Crickets, lots of crickets, frogs up close. Mosquitoes, but not so bad this year..they got nailed by last year's bitter winter. Hooray.
Yeah I know: I've not blogged for almost 2 months now; sorry for me.
I need a holiday. I've taken, I'm taking strain. But it's good. For the first time in years I'm truly challenged; challenged where I want to be challenged.
[As I typed those words I heard an owl hooting somewhere close by, in the veld behind my home; calling my name. It sent a moonlight-gentle shiver down my spine and into my gut.]
Best of all I'm writing, almost hang-up free.
Also, most unexpectedly, and from an egoless perspective I'd never dreamed of, a prayer has been answered. I find myself at the cutting edge of journalism (very few, close ones only, will know - truly - what I mean).
In gratitude I go down on one knee... .

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