I was just about to write another blogpost raving and salivating and drooling SA-positively around the chops about the World Cup when I got a call on my red telephone, er, make that the iPhone with the Julius Malema Hotline app.
Yes, it was his reasonably new but fast-ageing public relations apparatchik Hugh Mangazi. “Fred,” he said, “drop everything, Julius wants you to put out another press release.”
“But,” said I, “he’s off the front pages. Everything’s gone quiet. He’s even been quiet. As far as I know, he hasn’t even given his neighbour in Sandton a bollocking about playing his Handel’s Messiah too loudly.”
“Yes, but he’s just found out that Time magazine put him on their list of Top 100 Morons of 2010 and he’s foaming at the mouth. He’s just kicked in his 100″ Plasma flatscreen and that’s the third one this month. Please, you must publish something for me to calm him down. Remember, he’s promised to give you one of his solid gold Rolexes once you’ve published 100 press releases!”
“Oh OK, Hugh, send it over bru,” I said, resigning myself to further abuse on facebook from members of groups called Vierkleur and I Bet I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Want Julius Malema Deported To Venuezuela To Become The Face For Ay Caramba’s New Baby Nappy Radio Advertising Campaign.
Here you go…
Oops, wrong pic!
From the desk of Hugh Mangazi, official public relations office for Mr Julius Malema, President of the ANC Youth League – May 5, 2010.
“I, Julius Sello Malema, wish to make it very clear, if you haven’t been paying attention, that I’ve been very quiet for 13 days now. Because of the troublemaking by media agents for those with an imperialist agenda, I’ve had to face the indignity of being the subject of a disciplinary hearing conducted by my own party, the same party which I will one day lead into a brave new future.
But, at present, i have nothing to say on this matter. Except for ‘You bastards, I know where you live!’
What I wish to address today is the slur on my good name by another imperialist media organisation, namely Time Magazine. My staff brought it to my attention this morning, as I breakfasted, that this American elitist establishment organ had put me on some reactionary list of the most uninfluential people in the world for 2010!
Uninfluential! These agents know nothing. What have they got in their trouser? If they had any courage and came to speak to my people across this land, they would find out how influential I am! How the majority of South Africans aspire to be me! How they hang on to my words of inspiration! How everybody wants to touch me when I go out!
These bastards with their “only white is right” tendency sit in their big buildings in New York and make judgement on my character without even knowing the power that I have! I feel I must respond to the rubbish that they wrote about me…
Julius Malema President of South Africa’s African National Congress Youth League
Malema is just like Joe Biden — if instead of innocuous, silly slip-ups, Biden delivered violent, racist, misogynist rants. It got so bad, he’s been censured by his party and convicted of hate speech. So he just said violent things about the party.
Misognynist?! I must say right here and now that I do not approve of sexual deviancy. I will be suing them for saying this! And who is this Joe Biden anyway? Then I discover the sort of people that have been put alongside my name on this disgraceful list. They might be Morons but I wish to state that I am not a Moron. I have no affiliation to any religion. Morons might, like me, fancy a bit of polygamy but this is where the similarity ends. I will be suing Time for this too. Bloody agents!
I see H1N1 is on the list. They think they’re really funny, these people, putting a Star Wars robot on the same list as me. And a muppet called Grover! And the American president’s dog is put on my list! I won’t have a dog touching me on my list!
I have already got Malema, Malema and Malema, my legal firm, on to this. Time Magazine will pay for reducing the President of the African National Congress Youth League to a laughing stock. And then I can buy the new Lamborghini. Yay!”
* Time Magazine’s full list of the 100 Least Influential People of 2010 may be viewed by clicking on this link. Good night!
I’m a great fan of architecture and Buddhism so it’s a rare and total coolness when these two passions are unified as one.
I love the diversity of the many unique figures of Buddha. And, apart from the sumptuous Chrysler building in New York, I’m mostly underwhelmed by skyscraper structures.
So it was with much fervour that I fell upon a website featuring the tallest Buddhas on our planet. This is overwhelmedness on a stratospheric scale.
Cast your gaze on the Spring Temple Buddha in Henan, China – at 428 feet (128m) the tallest Buddha built anywhere in the world…
Mmmmmmmmm. So this is the biggest Buddha but it's not my fave. I think that the Chinese, if they were going to that much trouble and expense, could have got a tad more creative with this baby...
Still, it’s fairly large, isn’t it? It’s only 104 feet taller than New York’s iconic Statue of Liberty. Breathe deeply and drink that in. And a whopping 290 feet taller than Rio’s Christo Redentor statue. To put this into context for my Pretoria viewers, the Spring Temple Buddha is 413 feet and three inches taller than Bulls and Springbok lock Bakkies Botha. Bliksemness, it would be pretty handy to have in a lineout, wouldn’t it? Ja, it would. But I don’t scheme the Chinese would accept a transfer offer, hey.
Just when you thought this story couldn’t get any taller, it does. Work is under way to erect a Buddha that, and best you adopt the lotus position, close your eyes and clear your mind for this one, will be 500 feet (152m) tall. Yowzerness, i hear you say? Well you might. India is plotting this one, to be named Maitreya Buddha and constructed at Uttar Pradesh.
And, yes, dear Hatpeople, I have procured for you the artists impression of what this will look like. Meditate on this…
The biggest it will be but, and I don't mean to be less than magnanimous here, it's a right shocker, isn't it? Not the best...
No, it isn’t. Biggest always isn’t best. Bit too much Bollywood bling going on for me. OK. Before I ruin any good karma, let’s move swiftly on to my favourite of the tallest Buddhas of the world. At a mere 233 feet, the Leshan Giant Buddha in China doesn’t quite stand up to its billing and only weighs in at No 11 among the biggest of the world’s Buddhas. No worries, mate. I love it. Living in bliss as I do in the dense coastal bush of Umdloti, South Africa, I have developed quite a rustic vibe, a bit agricultural even. So this baby is right up my ravine. And he is. Right up a ravine. Check him out…
See what I mean? Right up a ravine. And rustic. And rough-hewn. Just how I like my Buddhas to be. High, handsome and, well, a figure one can look up to. With me?
Of course you are. I’m calling him Rocky. A rocky Buddha gathers much moss. I dig that. Do you? And I love his rustic energy. I want to go to visit Rocky and sit before him and just meditate for ever. And then come home to Umdloti, campaign to become mayor and decree that a Buddha just like Rocky and at least equally as big be carved into the hill overlooking our spirited, if not all that spiritual, little idyll on the Indian Ocean. This would put ‘Hloti well on the map. And give us an icon far more iconic than that flat-topped hill over which my beloved Capetonian brothers and sisters get so spiritual. Not that I’m into oneupmanship. That wouldn’t be at all Buddhist, would it?
Look. I might be new to blogging (just 14 weeks in the game). And I might be a total stranger to the intricacies of the internet. Indeed, I’m still trying to work out what pingbacks, analytics and plug-ins are. No pork. I’m groping around in a worldwidewebbed wonderland here. And having too much of fun.
But here’s a thing. This blog’s Google Analytics, whatever they are, show that the searchwords that bring the seventh highest number of visitors to South Africa’s only “medically diagnosed SA-positive” website are, cough, splutter, “Genevieve Morton naked”. Are you with me here? Yes. After, quite understandably, “Fred Hatman”, “proudly South African”, “Umdloti”, “world’s best blogger”, “unicycle” and, er, “world’s biggest liar about being the world’s best blogger” comes “Genevieve Morton naked”. What’s that all about?
OK, so I’ve mentioned Gen on my blog a few times. I would. She’s a close friend and confidante. And she raises even Umdloti’s temperature when she takes her permanently reserved suite at Hatman Mansions and lies around my rimpool in that white bikini she likes to wear. And my staff very much like her to wear.
But have I posted any naked pictures of her on this blog? No. This is, to all intents and purposes, a family blog. Even if I do have naked photographs, and I do, I wouldn’t share them with the world, would I? No. That’s quite correct. I wouldn’t. So stop searching for pictures of Gen naked on here, OK? It’s not nice.
We at Hatman Mansions are humungously proud Durbanites and, over the years, have been completely chuffed to see Durbs-on-Sea give the world… er, um, *cough*… come on, Durbspeople, help me here! Right. Thanks. OK. Apparently we have given the world such global luminaries as legendary surfer Shaun Tomson… legendary surfer Shaun Tomson and, erm, legendary surfer Shaun… hang on, that e-mail clearly came from a surfer friend with a fixation on our Golden Boy of the Gunston 500 and the Bay of Plenty.
Got to love Google. Shaun Pollock (cricket), Papwa Sewgolum (golf), Sibusiso Zuma (football) and… how’s that for political correctness? Please notice how I inadvertently included people of Zulu, Indian and European descent in my list? So proud of myself. Hang on, they’re all sportsmen. And, wait, they’re all men!
That won’t do. Right, let me find somebody who’s not a sportsman… um… a politician, perhaps? I give up. Doctor Michael Sutcliffe? Oh, he’s a man. Cripes. Entertainment? Got it! Leeanda Reddy. Leeanda who? Shame on you! She’s the ridiculously talented star of soapie Isidingo and a one-woman hub of deliciousness. And female and of Indian origin. I’m very pleased with the way things are going. Aren’t you?
Well, you would be if I got to the point. Focus, Fred (it’s ADHD Awareness Day). Bunny chow. A uniquely Durban fast food favourite. Arrived in New York. Yes, New York. Big time. Durban does New York. I like the sound of that. First, please take a butchers at this very exciting photograph…
A door? Yes, but no ordinary door. This is the door to the new Saffers restaurant on New York's East Side... and check out the writing on the door! They serve bunny chow... and boerewors... and "mili pap" (they mean mieliepap), slap chips (French fries), biltong and ostrich. Lekker, hey?
Saffers is a new joint obviously run by South Africans and you can read a bit more about it right here. Before you do that, I need to, er, fill in New Yorkers on what exactly constitutes a bunny chow. Before they all rush to book (apparently the Saffers waiting-list already boasts the names of Robert de Niro, Beyonce, Woody Allen, Britney Spears, Megan Fox, Kanye West, Genevieve Morton and a bloke named Barack Obama).
Right. Well. It’s half a loaf of white bread (not necessarily organic or preservative-free) which is hollowed out before the most tasty and ass-on-fire hot curry is poured inside. Don’t worry. We eat it all the time in Durban. Especially after the consumption of 23 beers. In fact, bunny chow is a proven pre-bedtime antidote to 25 beers but I wouldn’t want to be irresponsible and endorse the drinking of that much alcohol.
All of my culinary expert friends in EnWhySee (that’s just the way I roll, please deal with it) say that the bunny chow is the new burger. And, cue a Durbs bhangra tune blaring out of a black VW Golf, here it is…
A bunny chow. A fancy one... hey, that's not half a loaf of bread. Lightweights!
That bunny has clearly been adapted for foreign munchers. Quadruple the amount of bread, take away the poncy rabbit food next to it and you almost have an idea of the truly legendary Durban bunny chow. What’s that? You would like a recipe to give to your husband (god, I’m so metrosexual)? Fine. Here you go…
UPDATE: The World Wildlife Fund have distanced themselves from the TV ad (below), strongly condemning the making and subsequent broadcasting of it and blaming it on an independent agency linked to the Brazilian WWF. See their statement. I’m fine with that. I still think it drives home a powerful message to we who inhabit the planet. But that’s just me. What does everybody else think? Fred Hatman.
Is this just a tad insensitive… or does it make a humungously powerful point?
Note: To play without interruption, press “Pause”, allow vid to fully buffer and then press “Play”.
I’m going to stick my red hat above the parapet, refuse to duck… and shout it out from the rooftop: “The WWF ad is brave, timely and makes a humungously powerful point.”
I know, I know. You can barely contain your excitement over the above headline. Understandable. But let me explain. I am thrilled that my good mate, Robert Burck (aka The Naked Cowboy) has relented and agreed to run for Mayor of New York City. He’ll be much warmer in The Mayoral Chambers. Don’t know if you’ve happened across Bob strumming his gee-tar in Times Square but he wears only Superman-like Y-fronts (in satin white)… even in sub-zero temperatures. “Aahm doin Snow Patrol today, dude,” he’d say to me on one of our trans-hemispherical phone calls.
Here’s Bob (on Snow Patrol)…
No lunchbox bulge in that weather
Check? I wasn’t porking you. He’s one tough guy, is our Naked Cowboy.
So why not? An almost buck-naked, tattooed, over-muscled busker run for New Yoik Mayor, I mean. Look at Durban. We’ve got Obed Mhlaba as Mayor (correctly prononunced as “mare” not “maya”). What does he do? Apart from occasionally kick a ball around with poor streetkids whenever a big soccer match hits town. He best exercise his kicking leg before the 2010 World Cup, don’t you think?
And perhaps we’d take him more seriously if he borrowed Doctor Mike’s banjo and strummed up some maskanda for us at Friday lunch-time. Naked. Hang on. An image just knocked loudly on head and I’ve slammed the door shut. No. Anyway, if you think I’m borrowing a line from Mercury columnist Greg “I want your job, Obed” Arde, it’s fine. He’s also a mate. And. like all of you, I want Greg installed as Mayor of Durban. Immediately.
Then there’s Boris Johnson. He’s Mayor of London. And a total nutter. As was Ken Livingstone before him (“Red” Ken’s sole passion was collecting newts. No pork. Google him.). Boris? Well, I worked with him at the Daily Telegraph and all I remember of the larger-than-life Dennis-the-Menace look-a-like is the time he went on holiday and left a large fish in his office fridge. Which would have been fine except he then switched the fridge off and naffed off to, erm, Lesbos for two weeks. It took the Torygraph staff nearly two weeks to pinpoint the source of the piscean stench. Not nice.
So there’s a long history of total prats running for mayoral office. And that’s why I’ll walk. Unlike Bob, Obed and Boris, I think even prats should maintain some dignity. So relax. No “The Naked Blogger” as Mayor of Umdloti.