Uber Tales 30

Uber Dumb

I drive myself dumb and I have proof of it. An article I recently read online, so it must be true, states: “The 93,000 people who drove more than two to three hours a day typically had lower brainpower at the start of the study, which kept on declining throughout, at a faster rate than those who did little or no driving.”

I concur heartily and you, dear reader, will probably do too just on the basis of my output (or lack thereof) on this here fine blog. I drive 10 hours a day. My days, weeks and months pass by in a single blur of driving, drinking a bit too much and sleeping without so much as a single idea crossing my mind. My mind is solely occupied with chasing a buck. It is a dreadful state of affairs.

I sell cheese on Sundays to counter the dumbness. I don’t sell any old cheese, I sell fresh Noah’s cheese. Maaretjie makes them. I sell them alongside my erstwhile muse Jax who is busy with her crossword puzzle.

I become a cheesy actor saying lines like: “You wanna taste my cheese. I know you wanna ‘cause I’m psychic in that way.” How damn cheesy can you get? I love it and I sell cheese.

I talk about ‘your boring feta versus my soaring salaté’ and often use Tom Waits’ line from Step right up, “It turns your sandwich into a banquet”. I use rhyme: “Now the string cheese, you unstring with your fingers in a therapeutic way and then, when you feel like Zen, a ball like that, fills a bowl like this with sheer snacking bliss.”

When I say I sell cheese, I mean it and when I say Uber is driving me dumb, I mean it too.

At night I fall asleep with me being the blue dot on the Uber app’s home screen, except I’m brown for some reason. In the mornings, I almost always wake up with the same dream. I get an Uber call and my finger reaches to accept it. Then I tell myself: “You can’t take that call, we’re still in bed.” Then I wake up.

Further proof, if further proof is needed, that too much driving drives you dumb, is the behaviour of the thugs posing as ‘metered’ taxis. They mostly have driven all their lives and it shows in their reaction to the advent of Uber. Apart from pissing off the remaining idiots (retired drivers?) who would still consider using them, they’re fighting a battle that cannot possibly be won and they must know it. It’s like pissing into Hurricane Irma. Yet, they fight on, dumbly.

Talking about dumbness and Hurricane Irma, reportedly the fiercest in recorded history, it must take a special kind of dumb to ignore the fact of climate change. As to what is driving it, I’m too dumb to say, but what is clear, is that it’s happening with all sorts of new bad records being recorded. The worst drought in history in the Western Cape is a case in point.

I must venture that climate change is human driven, if only by our sheer numbers. Seven billion and every day a new bunch of drivers-to-be are born. I have no records to support my assertion that young Donald Drumpf, as he was once known, must have been a keen driver. Now he is trying to drive the world to war. Yes, driving makes you dumb.

I wish the evil marketing ‘geniuses’ who brought us dumbing down would now clever up. We can do with a bit of clever.

 

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Chuckv

September 11th

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Uber Tales (29)

Uber Right

“Sometimes,” I tell Vince on Nuno’s stoep, “I feel as if the universe itself is conspiring to make my life a misery.” He gives a dry and laugh: “Yes, of the seven billion people down here, the universe is picking on Chuck by stealing or breaking his phone. It’s a tough life being Chuck.”

I prefer sitting at Nuno’s these days. It’s quieter, the chairs are softer and I can still converse with the denizens of the Xai on whom I now look down, literally, and sometimes figuratively too.

I don’t hold much truck with the universe influencing my daily existence. I’m to it the ant underfoot, the particle within the particle that can explain the nothingness. Still sometimes I long for anything that can explain the rise of the Zuptas. Their Icarian fall is inevitable, yet they foul my skies with their filthy wings of lies. I, like you, live in the now and they’re fucking up my now, right now. They should be punished for that alone. And harshly.

Many children could have been taught, many drainpipes bought, cancers fought, but it all came to naught as the Zupta’s sought to steal every last cent with no sense of ever being caught. The failed Motion of No Confidence in the Lying, Stealing, Dancing, Laughing, Fucking #1 may have been a disguised blessing as I’ve already pointed out five years ago when I wrote a blog entitled Bring on Five More Years of Zuma http://chuckv.co.za/bring-on-five-more-years-of-zuma/#.WYsurNN95yw. My argument then was, and still is, that Zuma will rid us of ‘Liberation Movement’ politics sooner than the 30-odd years it usually take for such movements to implode and then he and the Zuptas will be caught. That day can’t come soon enough now. I hope I’m right.

Reading the writing on the wall right…

But back to the universe and I. The ‘improve yourself’ course on which H (Eish!) sent me told me that the universe applauds action not thoughts. I firmly believe if you do the right things right the outcome would be alright and fuck the universe and the Zuptas. Yesterday I walk into the Post Office with a determined step. I’m there to renew my license disk. It’s the right thing to do two weeks before it expires. It’s action too. I do it at the Post Office because their system can’t ‘see’ my traffic fines, right? Wrong. I have two outstanding fines. I go and pay them. “Some fucking applause,” I think.

My certificate comes out with the instruction that I have to get a new roadworthy certificate. This is unheard of. I sigh and go to the testing station. All of this costs money. Lots of it and doing the admin brings none in. I sigh. My car fails the roadworthy. I sigh again. Fortunately it isn’t big budget items needing to be replaced. I fix some light bulbs and replace the wiper blades, but still, all the money I thought I had saved (the right thing) by living frugally, making my own food and letting other people pay for my drinks just evaporate.

I sigh. I keep the trip switches of my sanity up by assuring Myself that good things can also happen unexpectedly and that it isn’t only bad shit that comes from the blind side. He gives a dry and hollow laugh. “Yeah Chuck, you just keep on doing the right things right and the outcome will be alright … like the ANC, right?” Before I can think of an apt retort, the universe applauds my action of writing with a trip call, or was it the action of lighting a smoke. One would never know.

Meanwhile, my friend Charli died of a heart attack after attending her first book launch, Fanie’s Hierdie Huis. Her doctor wanted to admit her to hospital, Charli wanted to attend the book launch. Who was right?

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Chuckv

August 9th

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Uber Tales (28)

Uber likes and dislikes

I dislike men man-sitting on my passenger seat. I cannot understand why they do not move their knees after I’ve touched them with my first gearshift. Do they like my touch? I can’t say, but it means I have to draw my hand into a claw to change gears. This irritates me. It’s somewhat different with women, except the really fat ones who bulge over the edge of the seat. “Uh,” I say inwardly every time my hand brushes their flowing thighs.

I like enthusiastic passengers because I know they will give me a 5-star rating. I also like to get a surly person to smile or laugh for the same reason. I like 5-star ratings despite the fact that one of Uber’s developers from San Francisco told me the ratings mean nothing on the upside. They are only a punitive tool. Nevertheless, I like my high rating and always strive to raise it. “I do it for myself and not for you,” I tell my passengers.

The sight of miles and miles of cluster homes is a delight. It’s uber Uber territory. “This is as good as it gets,” I tell myself when we stop in a shady spot among these. They have wishful, evocative names like San Marino, Villa Palerma, Palm Springs, Sunrise Boulevard, Hampton Court, Greenfield Parks, Panorama Estates and so on. I think the inhabitants of such yuppie ghettos are mostly happy, but I cannot be sure enough to say so.

I hate missing trips due to technological malfunctions of my phone such as the one Esther gave me. This happens often enough to make me resentful. My Uber and Taxify apps don’t like each other on this phone. When I am on the one, I often miss a trip on the other because I get no alert from the one I’m not looking at directly. That means I have to be alert at all times.

I can’t afford to read my friend Faan’s (his nom de plume is Kleinboer, but I think he’s big) new book Hierdie Huis (This House). I really enjoy the book. It is sure to win big literary awards, but instead I must sit and watch my fucking phone like a hawk. I would rather just read the book and switch off the fucking apps, but I can’t afford that either. It is stupid and I detest stupid. On quiet days missing a trip redoubles my resentment.

Where could that trip have taken me? But no, I’ll never know.

I am not fond of having to make decisions about where best to station myself. It’s best that the trips do that on my behalf. I sometimes like to think things happen for a reason other than them just happening randomly. I know they don’t but I sometimes I do like to think it:

Did I lose my cellphone so that Esther could give me one that didn’t work so well with the Uber and Taxify apps leading to many missed trips which made me worry about money and which I then could swap for Laura’s and cause havoc in her and Ryk’s lives when it fucked out completely? No I lost my cellphone because I was drunk.

What sequence of trips led the Uber guy who got set alight in Pretoria and died to exactly that spot, at exactly that time? A random one, I can assure you.

I do not like drop-offs in crappy areas. Crappy areas lead to crappier areas where all spots are shady. I like to sit in shady spots but not in shady areas where there is often very little shade.

Worrying about money annoys me and spoils my appetite. “The people of Krugersdorp do not take Ubers,” I tell myself, knowing it is not true. Eleven missed trips tell the story. I eat only a third of my six-minute cheese, egg and steak roll I make myself every day. It becomes three meals.

It’s food porn. You can time making it by the length of time anyone can watch a porn movie before coming or going: Six minutes.

I love the smell of wood smoke in the air: Joburg’s winter nights. That is how my city smells. In spring there is jasmine thick in the air. It is incontestably there in your every nostril. In summer some braai somewhere makes me smile. Autumn comes in colours everywhere here. I love this city.

The resentment and bile rising in me when I think of what the Singing, Laughing, Stealing, Dancing, Fucking #1 and his band of stealing assholes are doing to my South Africa is beyond the descriptive powers of my words. I hate, revile, detest … How can anyone describe a filthy thief stealing the hopes and dreams of his whole country? I can’t.

I love getting trips and I just got one now. It’s a man man-sitting on his way to Wanderers Taxi Rank in the Joburg CBD, one of the he worst drop-offs in the city.

He has problems of his own. They are much worse than mine. He has to take a long distance taxi out of there. I just have to get back to Rosebank Gautrain. Twenty bucks is a big deal to him, he says laughingly and I believe him as he takes his broken old suitcase to a hostel some place in Limpopo. His wound has perhaps healed, Tom, and mine is a mere scratch and no match.

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Chuckv

July 20th

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Uber Tales (27)

My Uber SA

“The reason,’ I tell my new muse, Jax, ‘I can’t write at the moment, is that I’m swimming against a tsunami of shit hitting my South Africa.” She’s not amused. “Then there’s also the cat Patat jumping onto my lap continuously and preening over my keyboard as soon as an inkling of an idea forms,” I add, knowing she likes cats.

Of course I don’t tell her this. I tell myself that in my head as I stroke the Patat while it walks over my keyboard while I try to conjure up a positive about the state of the country on Jax’s instruction. A tough call.

I sit in the Xai with Jax. It’s a Sunday night a year ago and the place is fairly empty. This is strange because the national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, are playing somebody. I can’t remember who because I’m not watching as is nobody else. Not even Eddie, the sports crazy manager and soccer mad waiters. I ask Eddie about the disdainful disinterest and he says: “Bah! Bafana! Who cares?” The stands are also empty.

The Zupta sock-puppet who acted as MINISTER OF SPORT (I’MaVIP) is on TV saying something about TRANSFORMATION (his capitalisations) of rugby and cricket, two very successful codes. I pay little heed. I wonder about soccer, our national sport. Why is that transformed into our national disgrace? Why does the so-called minister not go on about TRANSFORMATION of soccer? The answer jumping to the lips is that it is already shit and clearly needs no further transformation by the minister.

That SELF-IMPORTANT FUCKER (my capitalisation) is now in charge of law enforcement. May Kurt Vonnegut’s apathetic and indifferent god help us all, but as you know, he won’t. So, I’m once again forced to put a positive spin on this ball of shit created by the ANC. Mbulula is but one of the many balls of shit created by the MERDOMASTER©™®© (my caps) Jacob Jackshit Zuma himself.

The late Suna Venter said one must never write anything when angry. The problem here is that whenever I think of our shit state government I GET FUCKING ANGRY! Sorry about that, let’s move to positive spin territory.

Jax and I sit in the Xai on a Saturday and the place is packed. This is not strange because there’s a rugby Test between SA and France on TV. Central to the crowd is a boisterous and vocal group of friends. They’re mainly young black guys with a sprinkling of coloureds, a whitey and a girl or two. They loudly praise and criticise the players by name and not by colour.

After the match, which the Springboks won convincingly for a series whitewash, they notice the portrait of me by Elsabe de Klerk on the wall and ask for a photo op. I gladly oblige, but when I tell them that Elsabe may or may not be FW’s niece, the one guy fakes choking and a mate does a joking Heimlich manoeuver on him. The fictional cause of his near death, he says after it has been removed, was the memory of apartheid. We all laugh at that.

This is My South Africa at its best. I always tell people in my car that Melville is what South Africa and the world should aspire to. It is a happy and inclusive place where all races, genders and ages mix freely and happily. The only people who would not be welcome here would be Victoria Geoghegan and any representative of Bell Pottinger. Why can’t it be like that elsewhere? I honestly do not know why. The barbaric stupidity of racism, I suppose. Yes, racism is indeed a barbaric and stupid impulse, but I digress.

I drive people around and drop many of them off in the parking lots of bustling malls. SA is apparently the country with the most shopping malls per capita and I can well believe it. There’s one wherever you go and they’re all bustling. I remark this to my Uber passengers and say: “When I see this, I think ‘junk status, my ass’.” They like that. We may well have a junk president and a junk government, but the country is fine. Take my word for it.

Talking about our junk president, I wonder if there will ever be a street or a square named after him? Who would want to do that once he is in jail where he belongs? Does he ever think of his legacy? Clearly not. What will it be? A statue of a giant turd may well be the answer. That will finally give the people something to laugh about when thinking of the Laughing, Stealing, Fucking, Looting, Dancing Ex#1.

 

 

 

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Chuckv

July 10th

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Uber Tales 26

Uber Clarity in Clarens

The shadows fall where they should. The mountains, stark, carve the clear blue sky as only bleak, brown, half-burnt, wintery mountains can: “Here wind, take some dust off my topsoil; here water take some of my rock; here fire burn my sides, but next year as you blink, I’ll stand here still.”

So, the blank page stares back at my blank mind again. Once more, who will blink first? The smokes smoked, the words unwritten? I now have an official muse, Jax. I phone her for inspiration: Voicemail. She is playing squash and that idea is quashed and not squashed, as so many people seem to think it is. “I just had my speeding fine squashed by my friend who is a prosecutor,” they used to tell me in the days when these matters still weren’t dealt with ‘lunch money’ on the streets.

Turning favours for friends is not new here or elsewhere and neither are small or big bribes to get out of tight spots, but when your friends park illegally on the whole country and speed off with billions in illegal money and buy you a plot in Dubai, I think one should draw a line. I really do.

I sit at what seems to be an unoccupied house on Bowling Ave, Gallo Manor. A man in his forties was shot in a ‘suspected hijacking’ not far from here today. Bowling Ave used to be a good pickup point, but as Yogi Bear once said: “The future ain’t what it used to be.” The dead man’s future is no more and the market is overtraded with the entry and rapid expansion of Taxify. My earlier successful strategy of sitting under shady trees in leafy suburbs no longer seems to work. Taxify sends you the nearest driver, no matter what your or his rating is. It looks like this:

I have to rethink all of this and more. I need to get out of it in order to get back into it, I tell myself. He agrees. Jax and I go to Clarens. That’s far out. It’s a bustling little tourist town on any weekend, but on Youth Day it makes me feel old with all the hustle. It looks like Taxify on a bad day. Having been out of a relationship for so long and now being in one also need consideration.

I do an experiment. I drive ‘out’ on Beyers Naude first thing in the morning instead of ‘in’ towards Rosebank Gautrain. My reasoning is that driving out while everybody else is going in, I’m sure to get a paid-for trip back in, or better still, a paid-for trip further out.

My experiment works. Instead of doing those pesky 2.5km trips around Rosebank, where one is no longer even assured of getting two of the peskies in an hour these days, I work the outskirts.

In the outskirts, I get strange requests such as transporting a Weber braai; an electricity recharge voucher (which I first have to buy); a flower arrangement; cakes of various shapes and sizes; a six-pack of beers; industrial floor insulation or something that looks like it; a small scuffed box; a book by an unknown author; a used envelope with seemingly nothing inside and what have you else.

Those are my favourite trips.

I don’t have to talk to the objects while smoking in my car and I can have fun imaging why somebody would pay R174 to have a plain white, frequently fingered, envelope transported across town in an Uber? It is stapled closed, not for the first time… Holding it up against the stark winter light from a shady spot, reveals no contents, neither does it bear a name or address. “Shady shit,” I say to myself. I hand it in at a smart hotel in Sandton and get out.

I do do pickups in Sandton CBD these days again. Taxify is forcing my hand, but since the roadworks are mostly complete, the traffic is not so bad. I still do not hang around in Sandton, but I remain online in there while I drive out to Rosebank. Trips are hard to come by once you’re ‘in’.

My muse, Jax, says I should write to get in. She doesn’t say it in so many words, but she puts it out there. I sigh and light a smoke to blow against the blank screen. Zuma must out.

This morning I drive out and get a trip to Keyes Ave. This is almost ‘in’ Rosebank Gautrain. Should I drive in or out? I drive out and get another trip to Keyes Ave. I still find my knack for scoring those little ‘doubles’ uncanny, but the same question remains: In or out? I drive out again and get a trip to Rosebank Gautrain. I wonder if it’s a sign? I shake my head violently to expel the superstitious nonsense.

The signs are there for all to see: The world is fixing for a fight. The ‘Black Hand’ that killed the stupid Franz Ferdinand is called ‘terrorism’ now. Now, before you get your tits or whatever else in a knot, just go and read your history, stupid. Yes, history tells its own story of weak leaders needing a good fight to prove that they can ‘lead’ the world out of recession or depression into something worse. We’ve got plenty of weak and ignorant ‘leaders’ wanting that same thing right now. They must all be forced out. But enough of all the in and out stuff.

I think of these and other things as I sit on the back stoep of the Ko-operasie in Clarens of which I can heartily recommend the traditional dish of ‘skilpadjies’ (lamb liver in netvet). I see the shadows fall across the mountains carving into the clear blue skies, the yellow poplars reaching up into the same and it all becomes clear to me. “Clarity in Clarens,” I tell Jax. “You should write about it,” says my muse. “Yes,” I say, “It has become clear to me that I should be where I am, no matter where it is.” I lean over and kiss her.

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Chuckv

June 22nd

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Uber Tales (24)

An Uber Love

I stop on a quiet street, a cul-de-sac, but as soon as I touch it they come: One child having lonely fun; two tarts teasing along; three boys chasing a bee; four fat maidens farting a song; five fierce females fixing for a fight; six silly shepherds selling sheep; seven Sicilians looking lost; a car guard; eight girls running as if they’re late; nine nannies pushing prams and ten tannies to boot. I kid you not, sirs and mams. As soon as I touch my dick to have a piss on that quiet cul-de-sac, they all come. They all come to see me pee. I swear.

I suspect I’m feeling like our beloved president. I can’t do anything in contravention of even a city bylaw or somebody is likely to see that shit. It is a good thing, but still I need an honest piss at some stage and now more frequently with age and cold. I’m waiting for you and the hold cannot hold. I take it out and there you are.

So far I’ve just taken the piss to break my blogger’s block.

Jax, in her newfound role as my muse, says I should write from the heart about what love means to me. I go and have a glass of wine with Bert to discuss the matter. We drink several glasses and I say something profound about love. Bert says I should write it down lest I forget it. We drink more wine and I forget. Now I regret.

Love…

Love then. It comes suddenly. It turns a five-year friendship into something more, a light touch into an expression of itself, a look into light, light into laugh. Yes, love indeed changes everything. It changes you and I into us. This time is no different, yet it is completely different. It smacks of being the real thing. No whitewater rush, rather a river that flows where it knows it must, calm and clear, now and here.

I pick up a French couple in Melville and they buy me lunch at Wandie’s Place in Soweto where the food is good. I ask them about love. Claude has been married six times and Joelle never. They’re not married. They’re both retired and they ‘only do the good things’ together. They don’t even live together. They’re clearly fond of each other. Is that the love that endures? Each to his or her own and only the good things together? I don’t think so. I’m vaguely disappointed.

Claude asks me if I ever pick up interesting characters. I say no, I only pick up business people, busy with their things on their phones. Claude tells me he has beaten cancer of the worst kind by signing all indemnities for experimental cancer treatment and refusing all removals of organs affected. He says: “I told them: ‘I want to be able to stand up and piss. I want to eat and I want to fuck. If you remove anything preventing that, I’m not interested.”

I see some couples together for a long time are often at each other’s throats, yet, they endure. Is that love? I see others seemly resigned to the fact of their togetherness like a cul-de-sac they can never leave. I see those who are seemingly happy and the next week they leave each other.

I struggle with this because I’m not in love. I love. It is as strange and sweet as a new river flowing through a city street and opening life’s cul-de-sacs and a bridge over all of that. I love you Jax. And it is astonishing. I do not begin sentences with an ‘And’, but for  you I do. For now.

 

 

 

 

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Chuckv

June 8th

Uncategorized

ZumaMUSTFall

The black doctor of a white accountant who fucked up his knuckles and his coloured lawyer’s jaw or vice versa. I mean the coloured lawyer could’ve been the doctor’s patient, either with a sore hand or jaw, told me the other day that Zuma is a goner.

Work on your writing, Jax says. Easier said than done, I think, but here I am saying the Singing, Dancing, Stealing, Laughing, Fucking #1 is a goner (again), repeating what the black doctor told me about what happened when the accountant the coloured lawyer and what they all agreed upon when the Indian nurse poured oil, spirits and libations on the troubled waters and peace returned to the land, if not immediately to the hurt hand of whoever struck the blow or who received it on the jaw. I have to concentrate on my driving and couldn’t give the story, however compelling, my full attention.

They all agreed on just one thing: Surely this time the centre cannot hold as new fronts open against the SDSLF#1 and his band of palookas every single day? We all know that this is Zuma’s endgame, but forget about his stranglehold on the ANC (don’t forget that he is in fact strangling that organisation to death) and look at the ‘army’ he has at his disposal and who is arrayed against him as we go into the final round.

If ever a man has decided to march into a last battle that may well see him ending up spending his last days in jail if he loses, Zuma could not have chosen a worse set of ‘generals’ if he tried. Foremost among these is ANCWL leader Bathebile “I’m not drunk and manyana skeletons” Dlamini. Need I say more? Yes, I’ll add Sassa and social grants and the picture of rank criminal incompetence is complete. I would not share a luxury hotel with her and to have her in the same ‘trench’ as I in my last battle, would scare the shit out of me.

Then there’s Colin ‘Oros’ Maine, the middle-aged ‘youth’ ‘leader’. I can see I’m going to run out of inverted commas long before this piece is done. These people are usually the very antithesis of what their nomenclature describes them as. I mean Oros as ‘leader’ or ‘youth’? Oh, come on, be serious.

The so-called ‘Premier League’ is comprised of the ‘leaders’ of the poorest performing provinces. That already tells you something about their ‘calibre’ as people. If they weren’t such disasters as premiers they would’ve been jokes, but this ain’t funny.

Sorry, I quickly slipped out to go and buy more inverted commas because my work here is not done.

Let’s now look at the ‘spearhead’ of the Save Zuma campaign, his ‘ex’-wife. Could he have chosen a more blunt and dull instrument? Methinks not. Besides who in his or her right mind will vote for more ‘Zuma’? That ‘brand’ stinks to high heaven and with each passing day the smell gets worse and reaches further into Zuma’s heartland as was witnessed by him being booed off stage in ‘Premier’ Ace Magashule’s Free State on Worker’s Day. You gotta love that.

Before I look at the vast army arrayed against Zuma, let me tell you about a not insignificant event that happened on 11 or 12 April. The Daily Sun’s front page was devoted to the launch of the Save SA campaign. The People’s Paper with its deep reach into Zuma’s core rural support base went political and anti-Zuma in one move. Think about it and you’ll see it’s not insignificant.

So who is against Zuma? The cities are. This was amply demonstrated in the ‘racist’ (see what I mean with the inverted commas) marches against the wannabe tyrant. People from all races, religions, ages and social standings took time off to go and show their immense displeasure at that buffoon and his cronies across the country. As I’m writing this Clarens is marching against the wannabe tyrant. Clarens!

The Shembe are! There about three to six million of them depending on whom you ask. Once again a significant number from the rural heartland that Zuma claims to own. Coloured lawyers, black doctors, white accountants, Indian nurses, ordinary workers as in Cosatu and you and I are. Everybody, but his close cronies are. In short, everybody is against the filthy fucktard and his incompetent cohorts fucking up our land.

I can go on about the best and the brightest of the country coming out every day to lambast the bastard, but suffice it to say that the law is against Zuma. The Constitution wants to be rid of him and slowly but surely it will prevail. We should make sure it does.

 

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Chuckv

May 10th

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Uber Tales (24)

Uber Joburg

Cloudless blue skies soothe the eyes through trees of green and gold.

Rusty reds and deeper greens compete to complete the scene.

Everywhere!

Maroons, marooned in between.

Oh what beauty to behold!

The serene air.

Not hot nor cold.

Now, I know every leaf is mine.

Every day sees you and I under

the falling brown blue sky of leaves and…

I lie.

It sees me alone. Knowing.

Knowing autumn in all its dying.

I live here now.

I live in junk status as I always had.

I live here in the beauty of luxury cars growing short leafy wings.

And my heart sings despite my stolen phone.

PS: I took pictures of all the splendour but they are all on my stolen phone, so I’ll use this stolen one.

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Chuckv

May 1st

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Uber Tales (23)

Uber Existence

I open a new blank page. The road opens up. I open a beer. I roll into the Free State where the hills roll on forever or at least as far as I can see. It’s still a bit flat here, but I know where I’m going. I think, but I’m not there yet. I have to write, but I have nothing to say.

For now I can just see what I see. I sit in Clarens and this is what I see: Happy couples laughing; men straining at the leash to enter a bar and just sit there and stare, like me; women dragging them into the next arty or crafty shop; fat men driving fatter 4x4s; friends drinking; children playing; rich cars parking; a Ford Kuga! (I haven’t seen one of those for a while); tired couples; blue skies with cool fleecy clouds; more fat people; ugly people; a mother and daughter whose ankles are begging for genetic modification; a sexy girl alone with the bragging sons of self-made men; a woman who could’ve been attractive but for her slumpy posture; boeps, oh my goodness, boeps, enormous boeps on men and women alike; a war memorial on the village green; the village green; trees of green; mountains, majestic mountains; my waitress … no, I can’t see my waitress; a black man shaking an orange drink; motorcycles seeking to impress noisily; same with some cars quietly cruising by. I see a Saturday in Clarens and I smile.

On Danie’s farm I see a giant oak tree; palmiet waving white against the blue sky; more majestic mountains; a quilt of maize and sunflower fields; surreal sandstone outcrops like Mount Ararat on Danie’s farm. I’m happy. The turtledoves are still calling my friend Mathabo. I breathe in I breathe out. It feels as if it’s for the first time in years. The Laughing, Stealing, Singing, Dancing, Looting, Fucking No 1 may well be fucking up the country, but I’m happy here and now under this giant oak tree with the bees buzzing and a distant sheep bleating. Fat cows are grazing. I see a perfect autumn afternoon in the Free State.

It was a long battle I thought to be here, breathing. Breathing freely. A battle I thought with one hand tied behind my back, it felt. One does not beat poverty easily, trust me. Things are more expensive for those without money. That’s a fact. Now I have money enough to sit under this tree and breathe, but I still have nothing to say. This bothers me in a kind of existential crisis way.

On the stoep of Nuno’s I see Melville still hesitating between the sordid and the splendid as it always does. I stole the essence of that line from some Frenchman writing about Paris. He is called Michel Deon and the novel is Les Gens de la Nuit (The People of the Night). At first I thought I couldn’t remember the author or the book, then I remembered the title and Google did the rest.

Now, hands attached to people of all races race through the air, gesticulating ideas too complex for words alone. I sit alone with no words or ideas to express. My hands are still like my mind.

I see my friends Clive and Laura. They want me to join them, but I don’t like the company they keep. I can be a cunt in that way. Across the street at Hell’s Kitchen a pretty blonde smokes a cigarette. I need a muse, but she’s too skinny, not to mention too young. Hipsters in beards and black glasses stare who knows where from the Hell’s side. This country is going to hell in a hand basket, they say.

There must be a reason I didn’t buy my sister’s illegal handgun and shoot myself in the head. It is not without bitterness that I write this, but if I had it now, I would’ve shifted like Robbie Burns’ cow. Joburg is beautiful in autumn, I realise every day. I roll on.

Photo

Chuckv

April 16th

Uncategorized

Zupta is bigger than the ANC …

I published this on 9 April 2014. Yes, that was three years ago. The ANC has yet to prove me wrong. This week is a good one to do so.

As my good readers would know by now, I don’t often make forays into political analysis and with good reason. Much of what I would have wanted to say, mostly has been said already by a number of erudite observers and if I don’t have anything new to add, I hold my peace. I’m not here to bore my readers with a regurgitation of commonly known political ‘wisdom’.

However, I ‘ve been hearing the phrase ‘the ANC is bigger than Zuma’ far too often from my black countrymen of late. It beggars believe, but they seem to believe it. Or, at the very least, they sincerely want to believe it. It would allow them to vote for the Singing, Dancing, Lying, Laughing, Stealing, Fucking #1 with a clear conscience against their better instincts.

I have bad news for them. If the ANC was bigger than the SDLLFS#1 they would never have made him president with the more than 700 criminal and corruption charges that were pending against him before he became prez. No they didn’t because those charges were ‘political’. But that was only the beginning of the ANC proving that Zuma was bigger than them.

What ensued was a soiled scandal- and blunder-ridden presidency that stumbled from one crisis into the next, like a drunk man at an accident scene. Nevertheless, when the ANC had the chance of ridding themselves of what by then already had become an obvious liability and outright embarrassment, not only to them, but for the whole country, they didn’t.

Instead they endorsed him overwhelmingly at their 2012 Manguang conference. Go figure. In the meantime, they had sufficient reason to fire him outright. His Merdos Touch (everything he touches turns to shit) is the stuff of legend. From Shabir Shaik and the arms deal to Zuptagate and Nkandla and many stinky places in between, the man seems to be going out of his way to embarrass the ANC. Yet, they’re sticking with their boy. The Zuptas are bigger than the country. GO Zupta, go now.

Why? You may well ask. At best… no there is no ‘at best’. The only conclusion one can make is the ‘at worst’ one. That is, the ANC is inherently and completely as corrupt as their poster boy and they like what he is doing. To say that the ANC is bigger than Zuma is akin to saying Zanu-PF is bigger than Bob Mugabe and I fear that we’re heading that way if we don’t stop the rot this election.

My advice to a young black woman at the Xai last night was that if you can’t vote for anyone then at least vote against Zuma and his corrupt ANC. So put your trifling excuses aside and vote DA. It’s not perfect but it’s the best out there.

Photo

Chuckv

April 2nd

Uncategorized
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