Category Archives: Ramblings

A collection of ramblings on various subjects.

Heads Up, Venue Owners in South Africa

Hi there, I play in a band, and I have a large, ugly bone to pick with venue owners in South Africa. Before I get started, let me clarify: this isn’t directed at any one venue owner in particular, but rather as a general warning to the state of the industry in SA – sparked by a number of incidents that I have heard of in the past. Okay, so lets get started.

  • First things first: if you want a DJ, hire a DJ. If you want a band, hire a band. If you want both, hire both; but don’t – for the love of God – hire a band and expect them to supply in-between set  ambience. That’s the venue’s issue. Do you hire a DJ and ask them to play in a band as well?  No. If you’re confused as to the difference between a band and a DJ, then you shouldn’t be running a venue in the first place. Go back to fishing.
  • Don’t try underpay us. We don’t care if the bar didn’t make enough money; that isn’t our problem. The bar is yours, the band is ours. If you hire a band at a fixed rate, be prepared to pay it. If you’re going to tell us afterwards that we are only getting half-pay, you are being completely unreasonable. If you tell us during our set, know that we will only play half a set.
  • Following from the previous point, if you are going to undercut us at the end of the night, we’d rather have a door deal, where we get paid according to money made from entrance charges. That way, if we don’t attract enough people to your venue, we don’t get paid. But don’t negotiate a set fee, and then tell us that there weren’t enough people attending. That’s not our problem.
  • Yes, playing music is a passion and a hobby, but for some/most of us it’s a job too. Don’t act like you’re doing us a favour by “letting” us play at your venue. We are like any other working professional; maybe we don’t have degrees or qualifications (some of us do) to prove it, but what we do requires dedication, hard work and, possibly the most tedious job in the world: dealing with you.
  • Don’t hire two acoustic guitarists if you’re expecting a trance party. It’s Tuesday night for God’s sake.
  • No matter how many times you tell us I don’t want to be unfair / I’m not using you guys / I’m not trying to be a bad guy, the bottom line is, if you are not upholding the initial agreement – YOU ARE BEING A BASTARD.
  • Contrary to popular belief, we are not stupid. We may not be rocket scientists but we can perform basic addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. Translation: we know if you’re undercutting us.
  • Don’t be skimp; we have expenses. We don’t just evaporate out of your venue when we’ve finished, only to apparate back a week later, all smiles and pansies. We carry large, heavy equipment, deal with advanced electronics and are kept awake until all hours of the night in an effort to entertain YOU and YOUR guests.

To the bands out there. Don’t be fools. Use a contract. A simple booking agreement contract will prevent these things from ever happening to you. Without one, you will be left enraged, powerless… and broke. If you want a booking agreement template and don’t know where to find one, you can download the template I use HERE. Go well, and thanks for listening.

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The Question? The Answer: The Truth

-Lourens Loki Corleone

So, brothers and sisters, we find ourselves in a very interesting time for local music.

For a long period of its existence, South Africa was cut off from the outside world and locally produced entertainment had to adhere to old-fashioned values and sentiments.

So, when the veil lifted we seemed to make a grab for every shred of international culture we could. We were hungry for something new, something fresh.

In the span of just a few years we lost a lot of who we are in the raging torrent of outside influences. Every 20- or thirty-something woman wanted to be Carrie from Sex & the City, every teenage girl wanted to be Britney or Amy Lee, every boy wanted to be Bam Margera or James Hepburn and the men…well, the men just kept watching rugby religiously like nothing has changed.

By the time we hit the 2000’s, we were slaves to what the world wants us to be. Not that we lost our culture…no, not at all. We saw the acceptance of the world as a act of rebellion against the older, more conservative generation.

Then, something strange happened. The older generation, maybe remembering their own youth, started accepting the strangeness and chaos that seem to define our generation, and we didn’t like it one bit. No Sir.

What do you do to liberate yourselves and at the same time manage to shock a generation that has been battered and bruised by the times so much, they are numb and blind to your constant changing “scene”?

My theory is this: The truth.

We have rejected big parts of our own culture for so long, that it has become the next big step in defining who we are while still being foreign enough to keep the generation gap intact. Why we (subconsciously) feel the need for this is a whole different debate, of course.

Instead of burying ourselves deep in foreign culture, it seems as though we realised that just showing our true colours would be enough to shake the foundations we love to taunt so much.

Why not scratch the stereotypes wide open? Why not speak the truth about the world our generation finds itself in? Not only can we all relate, but we can finally free ourselves from our self-imposed cultural shackles that hold us back as a people and as a country.

So, what is the secret behind this revelation?

Like many things in this world, it all starts with music. Pioneers like Die Antwoord have shocked us all by telling us exactly what we want to hear: The truth.

Singing and rapping about their own experiences seem to cultural barriers as we all have the same hopes, the same dreams and the same country we call home.

This started a tidalwave that is still going strong, even spawning collaborations with other established local artists, so I suggest looking at these videos. It speaks much louder than I could ever explain:

Die Antwoord – Enter The Ninja (dirty version)

Die Heuwels Fantasties feat. Jack Parow – Die Vraagstuk


Jack Parow – Cooler As Ekke

All I know is, “never seen zef so fre$h”!

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Don’t Shoot The Instant Messenger

I wrote this article a while ago on one of my other blogs, and decided to repost it here today. I feel it is appropriate once again, what with all the bad press MXit has been getting, and the decision taken on MXit’s behalf to release a press-release stating they will take this defamation no further. Good for them I say. Here we go…

“Teen sells nude pics on MXit”.

This is the headline catching all the attention on various news websites and blogs around the internet.

http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2475507,00.html

BANG.

http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2009/02/teen-13-sells-pics-of-herself-on-mxit.html

BANG.

http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/

BANG. RELOAD.

It seems to me that false accusations, inaccurate ‘facts’ and willful ignorance is fast becoming the new black. The fact that the media and press would take a story like this and blame it almost directly on an Instant Messaging service is a modern day version of the old Shakespearian sentiment: Don’t shoot the messenger.

For those who haven’t checked out the above links yet, in a nutshell, a 13-year old girl met a deranged stranger on MXit and ended up selling nude photographs of herself for R170 (+- $17) a shot.
Naturally, it is not the girl’s fault, nor the pedophilic geriatric’s. It most certainly isn’t the parent’s fault! Definitely not. How could it possibly be when they weren’t involved at all (which is most likely the problem).


It is, in fact, MXit’s fault.

How dare they allow instant text messages to be sent between users for next to no cost?! How dare they provide an easy and cost-effective way of communicating?! How can they even consider using this mobile platform to bring educational possibilities to those who can’t afford traditional school?!
They (MXit) most certainly must be the devil himself, reincarnated as a Mobile Social-Networking Medium.

Now, the girl (apparently) hadn’t told the man where she lived. But he found out anyway. To explain this, the press are saying he had contacts in the mobile-phone industry, namely: MXit.
Pathetic if you ask me.
Do they honestly believe that a 13-year old girl who has just been busted for selling nude pictures of herself is going to tell the 100% truth to her parents and the world? They are living in a seperate universe if they do. Let us keep in mind that this girl did agree to take the photos, nude photos at that, and then tried to hide the evidence from her parents by hastily deleting messages and who-knows-what-else from her mobile phone. I’m fairly sure she is capable of lying too. Anyway, let’s not point fingers just yet.

When the Press-horses finally take the blinders off from the sides of their eyes, maybe they will realize that coming up with articles like this is detrimental to global consciousness to say the least. People are not meant to be made to think this way. You can’t blame a car for a car accident. Car’s don’t kill people (unless you believe Stephen King writes non-fiction). People kill people.

MXit doesn’t negotiate with underage minors. Sick men with no lives do.
How does one avoid this?
Don’t talk to sick men with no lives.

I know that. You know that. The 13-year old girl knew that. The man knew that. The parents knew that.

Take away people’s top medium of communication and we’ll have a lot bigger problems on our hands than underage pornography. MXit has an estimated 12 million users. That would, inevitably, mean a large amount of angry people with no way to speak to each other. And yes, maybe the crime rate would decrease, but only minimally so and for a small amount of time, because let’s face it, if people are going to commit a crime, they are going to commit a crime, MXit or no MXit.

So don’t shoot the instant messenger.

Find the source, and shoot that instead.

Out.

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Shout Out to Obama

I have to make this one quick as there is precious little time…

Shout Out to Obama

Mobile Social Network giants, MXit, and also my employers (hell yeah) have taken the next step it seems.

MXit users throughout Africa will be able to send Barack Obama a message via MXit. Simply compete the questionnaire found at MXit’s Tradepost entering your name, city, country and comment. Barack Obama will then receive your MXit message. This will only be available for 24 hours starting at 6pm (GMT +2).

This initiative is a collaboration between MXit and the American Embassy to promote the Obama visit from the 10th to the 11 July to Ghana. Contact Obama? Yes we can!

Thanks to: Rafiq Phillips for that info 🙂

Download MXit NOW at:

So right now everyone is going crazy. Facebook, MXit and Twitter, and I for one am interested as to what questions people are going to ask Mr President.

Lets wait and see shall we? Expect an update SOON.

Later.

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Michael Jackson – The King of Pop

Michael Jackson
August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

Well, I decided to do a Michael Jackson article today; would you consider this selling out? Probably, but nevertheless, it will be good for site traffic, considering no one can shut their digital mouths about MJ’s death at the moment.

The King of Pop’s death was just too monumental for everyone to handle. It truly effected everyone in a way that they had never known before. Every morning they would awaken and go about their daily routines; take kids to school, go to work, eat lunch, pick up kids, drink vodka…
But now everything would change. Because Michael Jackson had died.

Oh no wait, that’s not right. Everybody’s fine. No one panic! We’re all going to be okay. MJ IS dead, but it hardly effects us at all.
The news that Michael Jackson had unfortunately suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on June 25th 2009 spread like wildfire; people were literally going mental. I, for one, was sitting quietly at home sipping on some warm tea when I was presented with the breaking news.
My first reaction was to tell my housemate, Lourens. Dude, Michael Jackson’s dead! Done. Okay, now let’s mess around.

Insensitive I know, but life can’t be serious all the time. Sometimes we have to look at the things that make people most depressed, most sad, and laugh at them. It reminds us that we are human. Plus… I mean… come on. The guy was scary lookin’!

Michael Jackson is DeadUghhh.

Yeah, so rumour has it, this is how things went down:
On June 25, 2009, Jackson collapsed at his rented mansion at 100 North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. Pending confirmation from toxicology reports, he was allegedly administered Demerol shortly before he stopped breathing.
Attempts at resuscitating him by his personal physician were unsuccessful. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics received a 911 call at 12:22PM, and arrived three minutes and seventeen seconds later at Jackson’s location (take note SAPD and Co, THIS is how it’s done!).
He was reportedly not breathing and CPR was performed. Resuscitation efforts continued both en route to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and for an hour further after arriving at approximately 1:13 p.m. (20:13 UTC).
He was noted already to have been in cardiac arrest by the paramedics who attended his house. Jackson was pronounced dead at approximately 2:25 p.m. local time (21:25 UTC).

So that’s the story so far. Since then we have been hearing Michael Jackson’s Greatest Hits (which everyone had “magically” forgotten they like for 20 years) on the radio 24/7 (literally) and new stories (even vaguely) regarding his death have been popping up all over the interwebs. I even found one, on WordPress no less, that stated that the whole paedophilia thing was a hoax and that the kid was forced by his dad to accuse Michael Jackson of “beating it” just to get money. Something like $22 mil or something ridiculous.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, why do human kind celebrate death to such a degree. He’s dead. Acknowledge it and let him rest in peace. He did some great things in his time, and some not-so-great things too. What’s done is done. We can all sit back and joke about it if we want, or we can sit at home and cry or be angry.

But joking is a lot more fun.


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The Twitter Bug is Here it Appears

Are you on Twitter? And if not, why aren’t you? Do you not know what it is? Because if you don’t, it’s only a matter of time before you do. I’m not just saying this. Remember a year or two back, when someone said to you: “Hey, are you on Facebook?”…
Yeah… this is one of those things.

Twitter

Twitter has recently exploded all over the world; and even in our own humble South Africa, we have noticed it’s effects.

Twitter basically took what made social-networking so popular, streamlined it, dumbed it down a bit and put it out there. For first time users, utilizing Twitter is troublesome, if not confusing, because of it’s inherant simplicity. Users are so used to MySpace and Facebook and the plethora of other social-networking applications out there that they have grown accustomed to going through hours upon hours of profile customization, inviting friends and writing/commenting on people’s walls.

When presented with Twitter, the average social-junky is met with thoughts such as: this is boring. There’s not much TO this and why is my profile picture so small?

I know this, because these were my exact thoughts when first introduced to the concept.

But after using Twitter for a few months, I’m beginning to see the bigger picture as far as generating traffic, social-sharing,  hype-building and I’d go as far as to say viral marketing goes.
These objectives (if you could call them that), in my opinion, are what the essence of Twitter is all about.

I’ve heard many the educated-professional can (verb) Twitter as a useless utility that will die out in a year or less, and while the latter part of that statement may be true (we have yet to see) the former is most certainly mislead. Twitter may be a portal for porn-spammers to obtain some keen clientel, it may be a simple utility to keep fans in touch with their favorite Twittering celebrities, it may be a lot of things, but itah definitely is NOT “useless”.

People tend to look at the smaller picture when they think of Twitter. They think: meh. This is Facebook minus everything except the statuses.
But upon further inspection, one will notice a few major differences between Twitter and other social-networking mediums. For one, Twitter doesn’t categorize by zone. That is to say, when you join Twitter, yeah, you have the option to input your timezone, but that’s about it…
Right from the start, you have access to the ENTIRE Twitter database. Bang. Oprah, Ashton, Britney, Paris, you name it, Twitter’s got it, even if it’s not the real person (but a lot of them are).

Another feature (or should I say ‘skillfully introduced lack of feature’) is the ability to follow just about ANYONE you want with just a click. There is no waiting period between ‘invites’. You click follow, and you are immediately in touch with chosen user’s updates. Search. Follow. Connect. It really is that easy.

Screenshot

Now combine these above two features and you will easily understand just WHY Twitter is making the world so much smaller. The rate at which we are connecting with each other has just drastically been sped up. I’m not referring only to people following and perhaps, if they’re lucky, conversing with their favourite celebrity; there is so much more to do with it. Weather broadcasts, advertising, promo’s, marketing, networking, dating (yeah, that even) and more. The opportunities are literally endless.

Or… I could be wrong and Twitter could be surpassed by a newer, better idea in a year or so, and go on to die a long painful death akin to the likes of MySpace a few years back.

We’ll have to wait and see.

I’m on Twitter.

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Surrounded By Educated Street-Toughs

crime

I just had to get this out in the open.
Something I heard the other day made me slightly disturbed. It shocked me to be honest, and I’ve been thinking of what it could mean ever since I first heard about it.

Let me start by saying this:

If you were a tourist, or even just someone seeing South Africa from an outsider’s perspective, do you look at this country and immediately think: ‘Third world country’?

I ask this because of a belief I had, that was recently squashed under the giant heel of something we like to call: reality.

Here is the story.
A friend of mine was walking down Long Street in Cape Town a few weeks ago; it was broad daylight and everything seemed to be in order. Until, upon turning a corner, he was met witha knife to the side and hushed, yet harsh orders, telling him to empty his pockets.
That’s right. A mugging took place. In broad daylight, in one of the busiest streets in Cape Town. But this is not uncommon. This kind of thing happens all the time, and is not accepted, yet it is expected. It’s what happened during this experience that puzzled me.
The attacker emptied the pockets of said friend, and when enquiring as to what was in his other pocket (he already had secured the mobile phone and contents of the wallet) he was told it just contained cigarettes or something similar to avoid further prying… Unfortunately, while removing the cigarettes from his pocket to prove to the mugger that he wasn’t lying, he let slip an earphone out of his pocket. The earphone was attached to an iPod. Naturally.

  • Phone (Check)
  • Money (Check)
  • iPod (Check)

So the mugger had obtained all that was possible. I suppose he could now say he’d had a productive day. But the story doesn’t end here.
Realizing the troubles he would have to go through to get a new phone, not to mention the mission it would be to contact evreyone and give them a new number, my friend decided to brave asking the attacker a serious favor.

Friend: I’m sorry, but could I maybe have my sim-card? From the cellphone?

Hmmm… Here is where things get interesting. The reply he recieved from this street-tough was this:

Mugger: Fuck you. Get a sim-swap.

Excuse me? (Cough-cough) Sorry, I just choked on my values. Sim-swap you say? Care to explain? What is this sim-swap? DO YOU WORK FOR VODACOM???
No. ‘Tis the sad truth my friends…

This proves one thing. Most people are not stealing to survive, they are stealing to steal. Because they can. Because it’s just an easier way out. That person has something that I want, therefore, I will take it from them – by force if needed – because I’m pretty sure that I deserve it as much (if not more) than they do.

Ah! The whole concept (if you can call it that) behind stealing is just so primative it makes me sick. Yet these people stealing things and mugging people; they know about sim-swaps? What is going on???
You would think that poverty in South Africa has reached an all time high. With very little job opportunities, it’s harder to obtain an education, and therefore, harder to progress in the work world, resulting in leading a mediocre life in a township or urban settlement. This leads to a life of crime and stealing to survive…

No. While the above statement may still ring true, this is (sadly) not the case most times.

People who turn to crime aren’t starved, desperate, jobless vagrants that have to keep on their toes to survive in the dog-eat-dog world of the streets. Not all the time.
People who commit crimes are often educated individuals who do bad things for one main reason, and that reason is: because they can.

They know they can, and they don’t feel bad about it. They want something, and they are not going to stop until they get it, even if it means stabbing someone and leaving them to bleed in an alley. They honestly don’t care.

You see, people have this picture in their head of crime. They see it like it’s happening below them. It’s NOT happening below you, it’s happening all around you. Below, left, right and also, above. Even South Africa’s (and indeed, many other countries) government is corrupt. What kind of example is that? If you are going to commit a crime, why not do it properly and take the time to plan it so that you don’t get caught.
This is always an idea to keep in mind if you’re thinking of trying out FOR PRESIDENT.

People underestimate South Africa. It has a lot of potential, but we don’t utilize it. We need to start something new. This is a new generation. A generation where white guys meet black girls on MXit, marry them, and have Asian babies.
We are all starting to become united under one flag. It may not be an official flag, but soon enough this generation will have the authority to make it official.

But there is one thing standing in the way of that happening. And that is stupidity. Stupidity meaning: lack of forsight, laziness, thoughtlessness, lack of compassion, lack of morals and lack of education. And unfortunately the solution to this isn’t clear. There is no set-in-stone way around this, we will just have to tough it out and learn from our mistakes. Eventually we will come right.

As for my friend… well… he was devestated about the loss of his iPod and phone, so he broke into a house and killed an entire family and took their belongings.

it ain't crime until you're caught

It ain’t a crime until you’re caught 😉

Later!

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