It may get hairy…

Posts tagged ‘plea’

It’s not a case of black vs. white

I’m not sure why I woke up thinking about this, but I am sure that this will probably result in negative feedback, that being said, this is something I’ve been meaning to write for a while. I have no intention of offending anyone and if I have, I hope you’ll understand that it wasn’t meant.

I grew up in this wonderful country and I was raised to treat everyone as equals, regardless of religion, culture, sexuality or race. Colour has never been an issue for me and it took me a long time to realise what an issue it was for everyone else. South Africa has come an incredibly long way and I, for one, am proud of us as a nation. We’ve kicked anarchy in the head and so what if we’re stuck with cretins running our country – push ’em out and move on. We’ve dealt with a lot worse.

However*, there is one thing that I’m struggling to deal with – how we as South Africans have started to deal with race. I was once taught that it’s not politically correct to refer to ‘blacks’ and ‘whites,’ but rather black or white people. We are not a colour nor an adjective. We are all people, we just happen to come in different shades. Having said that, I’ve always believed that talking about issues helps us solve them. I remember an interesting comment from a colleague in the UK who visited SA: “I have never heard a nation talk about race quite as much as in South Africa.” It was an interesting observation, but I think it’s healthy. Our history is based on race issues. We (I use that term loosely) fought apartheid and won, as much as the Germans have the Holocaust to deal with, our cross to bear is race-related. Talking about it, joking about it and bitching about it is our nation’s form of therapy.

However, what was once an open platform now seems to have one of those terrible signs that we used to see everywhere, with one change: “Geen Blankes.** It seems as though white people are no longer allowed to voice our opinions on race-related issues and/or South Africa’s political state. I’ve always spoken openly about political issues and race (and sexuality and religion…etc.) and while I’m well aware that I’m not black and that I haven’t suffered, I am African and I live here too. Don’t take away my right to speak.

While in University, I had a wonderful ‘diverse’ group of friends and we all felt free to say whatever we wanted and joke about everything. Just as someone will tease me for being ginger, I was teased about being white and alternatively, I teased my friends about being black. It was an open, honest environment – we made light of our history. When I started at Uni, there was one person who made a drastic change in my life, without even knowing. My friend Nonny rocked up and my door and decided to introduce me to everyone. Long story short, I got to know a lot of people in a very short time and found they actually liked me. I went from an insecure, shy and moody post-adolescent to a confident woman…and a lot of it is thanks to a girl I used to mission around arm-in-arm with, calling her my fashion-accessory, making light of a current fad of preppy white students, making ‘friends’ with a black student (it was strange, but it was definitely a thing for a while). My friends were my friends not in spite of our differences, but because we could make light of them.

Before you go off at me, I’m not advocating that everyone goes around slinging racial slurs, but I do think we’ve taken a little step backwards. I would like to be able to have an open discussion that mentions race.  For Pete’s sake, I was chatting about my cat and actually stopped myself from saying ‘black,’ in fear of offending someone. I know this is my problem, but it’s something that I think a lot of white South Africans feel these days. We even fall short when describing a person. Imagine this: A man forgets his change at Checkers. The cashier is a white woman, about my age (still under 30, thank you!), she asks her friend to run after him and give him the change, but I can almost guarantee you that when she describes him, she’ll say he’s tall, with a small nose and brown eyes. The poor sod would have disappeared changeless before she mentions that he’s a black guy wearing a checkered shirt. I want to be able to mention race without people assuming I mean anything negative towards that race. I am not racist. I have never been and I never will. By mentioning someone’s race, I am not showing that I have ill-will towards them, I’m mentioning it because it helps me get whatever point I need to across, even if it’s something as simple as returning change.

If we write a political statement, say on Facebook, we’re swamped with angry, sometimes violent, comments about how we don’t have a right to say these things. Yet, we live in this country too. I’ve never felt as separate from my black friends, even those I consider family, as I do lately. I don’t believe I have the right talk about politics or race anymore.

I generally don’t do politics… it’s not my thing and I couldn’t be arsed. This kind of post is definitely a first for me, but it’s my way of saying I love my country. I love my country so much so that it hurts. Unlike others, I have a British passport, I can bugger off to another continent if I so please. I don’t. I’m a first generation South African. My family chose to live here. My parents loved this country so much so that they moved back to SA right in the middle of what they thought was about to be a civil war. My grandfather was taken to that terrible seventh floor, where they used to make you bungee jump sans cable (obviously, as he turns 84 on Sunday, they couldn’t prove that he was helping out a Chinese couple, as they suspected and which he was). My folks were at every ‘Free Mandela’ thing in the UK that they could get to, wearing hats and sunglasses, as they knew that the SA government was watching and recording faces, so they could stop them coming back into the country. I was born here, 10kms from where Shaka was, out of love for this country.

I have the ability to drop everything today and move. I could go live on the dol and stare at people’s shoes on the tube in a second. But*** I don’t want to. I chose this country. If that doesn’t make me African, what does?

All I’m saying, is that it should no longer be a case of black vs white, but Africans vs our pathetic government.

*Those that heard my rampage on sentences starting with a conjunction, this is my poetic license. It applies to *** too. 

**After much Googling, I still can’t find the spelling, so I hope this is right. 

 

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Return of the Grammar Nazi

After scrolling through some related sites, I came across this. I don’t think it needs any explanation. Suffice to say, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably been there.

 

 

 

Gallery

15 Grammar Goofs and the Urge to Maim

This is the first time I’m reblogging another’s infographic. A friend found it on StumbleUpon and I just had to steal it.

As most of you know, I’m a bit of a Grammar Nazi. It’s not something I’m proud of, as I tend to insult people or patronise them unintentionally. It’s not purposeful, it’s more a of a …tick. I can’t help it.

I have a long list of pet peeves, including dolphins, touchy-feely people,  maggots and men who spend more time on their hair than I do. The below 15 Grammar Goofs are well up there, but I also find my blood starts to boil when I see grammatical errors in corporate documents, emails or marketing material.

We all have some form of spell check on our emails; for God’s sake, even Hotmail has a our friendly little ABC (tick) button. How can we allow emails to go out to clients that are riddled with, not only grammatical errors such as the below, but smiley faces (punch me now), exclamation marks (really?) and (God forbid) quotes. You may need someone to tell you each day that obstacles are there to be overcome or that you’ll regret more the things you didn’t do, than those you did, but your clients don’t.

Personally, it makes me want to punch you in the face.

Wouldn’t you just love to respond to these people and show them the error of their ways? It’s my daily wish, but sadly, I’d have no money, as I’d spend all day correcting emails. On a side note: If there are any errors in this post, after I’ve pressed the button and read it through, it’s because I have a new keyboard, with an overly sensitive mouse that likes to type in random places.

May I burn in Grammar Nazi hell for all time.

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly

Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

WWYD

I’ve just Ctrl +A deleted a terribly boring post (count yourself lucky) and now I’m going to write a semi-decent one, but I want input (and please, actual input this time).

What makes you happy?

This is not a rhetorical question, I really do want your input.

I know we’re all different in our own separate ways, but I’ve just been watching a terribly cliche film, Eat, Pray, Love. Those that know me, know that I’m pretty much none of those things. I’m not an eater (although I may look the part), I’m certainly not a prayer* and…well…let’s just say it’s been a while.

Whilst many of the concepts I either disagreed or slightly agreed on, the film made me happy…which was a problem. It made me happy because of the sense of peace and stillness I felt when I thought about travelling, about walking the streets of Rome (bucket listed) or Strasbourg (most beautiful place I’ve ever seen), or drinking and partying in Prague…or even just the sweet sense of freedom as for the first time in my life I walked to the Tescos in Leytonstone and no one on this bloody planet knew where I was.

The problem lies in the fact that my happiness is the new, it’s the brief (not briefs), the solitude and the stranger. It’s change, it’s the awe of new surroundings and drinking wine at a cheap cafe. The problem is, one can’t simply continue changing. It’s expensive, for one thing, it’s also unhealthy…. and I can’t move without The Guns. So how do I balance the two? The need for stability, love and a family vs. the wonderful anonymity of travelling and the only peace I’ve ever known?

I have lots of time to contemplate how to achieve my happiness. I can’t move for a while, as my family needs me, so I’ll wade through the bog that is my life, lose weight and find my way to happiness.

But in the meantime, answer me – What would YOU do?

*See what I did there? Ps. I have disobeyed many grammatical rules in this blog. May the Grammar Nazis, like myself, have mercy on me.

To be, or not to be… a slug

For the last few months, I’ve been sinking into a melancholic abyss. I get lethargic and fatter – couch potato takes on a new meaning as I gorge on potatoes. Alright, in all honesty, I’ve been eating really well and just continuously gaining pounds. Now, don’t give me the exercise lecture, been there, done that – it didn’t help either and yes, I did it for a significantly long period of time.

Anyway, this combined with my total lack of motivation has made me akin to a rather large, rather red, slug. So imagine this slug can’t find a way out of its slugness and sits at its laptop, day in, day out, feeling increasingly sorry for itself. Until one day, it communes with a non-slug that it really doesn’t like and all of a sudden the slug is filled with anger and a desire to not be slug-like, so that it can compete with the non-slug and show the non-slug it is so much better than it and is, in fact, a butterfly… or some equivalent happy, bright, non-slug like thing.

So, it is with this burst of motivation, anger and jealousy driving me on that I start upon my journey to salvation. My first step towards freedom, self-love and all that gushy stuff. This drive of non-slug-like envy raises me up to do what I have to do! To take my first step into the future that is mine to hold and so today, I took this first step. I grabbed my future by the balls and told it ‘I am the captain of my fate!’ And so today….

I did the dishes.

Now, I’d like a round of applause and someone to come do my laundry – there’s quite a lot.

What if…

Here it comes again. Serious time, sorry okes. Let’s just hope this one doesn’t come with any repercussions. To any who read this, this isn’t a message, I promise, there are no hard feelings, I do understand, more than you can imagine and I don’t mind discussing it, this is just something that needs to be let out to the cyberverse: 

What if something terrible happened to you? Something terrible happens to you, you deal with it. You pick yourself up, brush yourself off, go through the stages and move on. Easier said than done, but what if you can’t deal with it? What if you have to keep quiet to prevent others from hurting? What if, you can’t move on?

What if people forgot something terrible happened to you?

Words have meaning and sometimes those meanings are thrust upon us like fists in the night. Hypothetically: You know someone who was murdered – after you find out, you’ll never use the word without understanding the connotations. You don’t flippantly say ‘I could murder a hotdog,’ because now murder means so much more to you. If you are relating a movie, a news story or anything involving the word ‘murder,’ where you have to use it, the word becomes heavy. You can’t help but pause before it, or rush through it. In the mere fact of trying to say the word without inflection, you bring attention to it. The word now has impact and saying it loosely becomes impossible.

What if people you loved and who loved you, used a word like that flippantly…forgetting it’s impact on you. Forgetting that something terrible happened to you.

What if you’re watching a movie, and, as thrillers do, they draw a ‘murder’ out, painstakingly driving what happened back into your skull? You sit there, willing your face not to give you away. You don’t blink, you don’t move, you keep your eyes on the screen and you beg your actions not to reveal the anguish you’re feeling. You know eyes are on you, checking to see if it affects you. You will yourself to forget, just for that moment, so you don’t bring the terror back into the room with you.

What if you turn around afterwards, to find no one watching you, but sipping tea quietly, or joking about the football? What if no one was watching you, caring about its effect on you? What if they forgot?

Not being able to talk, or missing a few steps in the process, like acceptance and memory, means that it doesn’t go away. You can’t pick yourself up and move on, as much as you try. It sits there, like a festering wound in the back of your mind and heart, reopening itself when the ‘word’ is mentioned. You move forward, but not on. You do every day tasks, you laugh, you love, you live, but it’s there, like an anchor to the past. Never letting you forget.

So how can others?

Speechless…

Whilst I know that I shouldn’t post a one/two liner, I couldn’t help but update you on a search term that my recent post attracted, warranting a outloud ‘Oh, dear Lord!’ from me, first thing in the morning:

 

“Enter my orifice.”

I have little else to say…

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