Tag Archives: 2014

My letter to Telkom

2 Dec

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Dear Telkom
This is just a quick note to say how much I abhor you.
I realise that, due to your seemingly infinite stupidity you might not understand the word abhor. Well, let me help you out with that…
Abhor: to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion; detest utterly; loathe; abominate.

Basically what it boils down to, is that I think you are almost like cancer, except for (I am glad to say) there IS hope for cancer sufferers.

“Why” would be a question you would very well have asked by now, had you not been a blithering idiot. I would then proceed to tell you exactly why.
I went in to a Telkom shop to relocate my line. See, I figured that actually going to you might make things a bit smoother. Eliminate one link in the chain of possible fuck ups.
What do you do? Make me call the Telkom help-line (help line, hahaha) from in-store.
Why the fuck do you even have staff in store, or for that matter, stores at all??

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Much to my surprise, I will gallantly admit, the call made was not complete torture. Without out too much brain damage I managed to convey to your seemingly semi-coherent phone-talker that I would like to relocate.
Procedures were followed, details were detailed and arrangements were made. Even some queries with regards to costing options and such relevant to the service I require (which, btw, is internet) happened.
After the call, I was happy. One less thing on my already swamped mind (if you have ever moved, you’ll know what I am talking about). On Tuesday (which is now today) Telkom will send me a tech dude to connect my line and make me internetactive again.
I even got an sms with a larney reference number and everything.

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Now Telkom, the slightly sharper pencils in the packet would have gotten where I am going to with this rant by now. Don’t worry, I’ll spell it our for you (just as soon as you wipe the drool off your chin.. There you go):
YOU FUCKED UP… AGAIN!

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Not only did today go by without any sign of your promised visitor, but when I called to enquire as to his whereabouts, I was told so many different stories that it could be published by Tolkien (don’t worry, I know you won’t get that reference).
First, there was no record of my relocation request. Then suddenly there was a record of my call, but nobody knew why.
Then, all of a sudden your one system said that yes, my line is to be relocated. But, and your helpline oxygen waster was very adamant about this, relocation is impossible BECAUSE THERE IS NO ADSL COVERAGE IN MY NEW AREA??! And all I have to do is understand that the other system did not agree with it and it must have been broken and… Blah blah blah.

Look, you need to understand one thing (and I realise it is difficult, but do try): I do not give a singly flying fuck about your internal workings (using the term working very loosely).
For all that I care you could have 17 tiny fairies running on treadmills while being milked for magical internet juice. I don’t give a fuck.
How you work is your problem. When your highly incompetent helpline operator started to try and explain why I am not getting the service I am paying you pathetic bunch of morons for, I just gave up.

And see, thus is the nature of your company. You make people give up. You, dear Telkom, are dream destroyers. You are nasty bullies on the play-ground of life.
You are the embodiment of everything that is wrong with this wonderful country of ours, and I passionately despise you with every part of my being.

I could go ahead and explain to you how and why and how much of an inconvenience this is. I could even ask you to refund me the money I now have to pay in order for me to get replacement internet. But you won’t give a shit. You never do.
I simply wrote this to vent my frustration.

May your empire burn to the ground amidst no tears whatsoever from me, or the countless others you have screwed over.

Sincerely, FUCK YOU

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How one kid saved the day… and South Africa’s future!

25 Nov

I was fuming.

To understand what I am about to tell you, allow me to set the scene:

Kentucky_Fried_Chicken-pictreHungry. That was my primary emotion when I drove to KFC to buy myself and Martha (my household manager (you might call her a domestic worker (screw you, she manages my household and I am going to miss her dearly when I move))) some lunch.

Now, hungry -as far as emotions go- is a very basic, raw and primal urge. It leaves a lot of space for the modern man to experience other feelings and such too. It is important to note, that all these emotions that may be added on top of hungry, are still influenced by hungry, and are therefore going to have a much more pre-homo erectus feel to it. Basically, don’t expect any political correctness, undue niceness or unwarranted patience when cave man me go food find.

neanderthalCave-me bashed through the cement jungle on tar-laid paths to enter the common feeding ground where the chickens are harvested (or whatever it is that they do to turn our feathered friends into deliciousness). When suddenly, a wild asshole appears! Then another, and another.
By the time I turned my tamed bakkie into the drive-thru, I was swamped by creatures of slightly varying age, roughly between squeaky-voice and first beard all the way up to “If I studied harder I wouldn’t be sharing a classroom with my kids”.

The marauding pack of wild teenagers were loud, obnoxious, dirty and callous.  The noise I could handle, cave-me was a kid too (and kinda still is). It was the utter disregard for anything but themselves and the devices of varying technology held in their hands that got me. Empty packets were discarded along with (in my mind) empty futures on the ground. Then it happened. The proverbial excrement was flung accurately in the general direction of the hypothetical cooling apparatus, and struck mid spin.

Two of these careless wild beasts stomped around, shouting at each other (seeing as both had headphones stuffed too far up their ear canals, probably damaging whatever bit of grey matter they have so far developed), and promptly stomped a bit more, right in front of my now visibly frightened bakkie. She (my bakkie, not one of the mammals) let out a warning, a scream, a hoot if you will. The intention was to draw the attention of the strays, so as to avoid killing them.

Their reaction was not what one would expect from a subspecies whose life had just been saved by the kindness of an evolved being. No sudden jumps to get out of the way, no sheepish grins (which up until about 10 years ago was the universal indicator of admitting that you, the lesser being, screwed up). Nothing.
Nothing, except a dirty glance from the one beast, and then… gaze still fixed on its communication device, it did it. An arm lifted, hand visibly straining to be torn away from the piece of technology. From the balled fist, palm-area facing upward, extended a long, ugly middle finger.

go-back-guys-its-a-trapCave-me went wild. Cave-me jumped out and cracked skulls. Cave-me rampaged around, obliterating whatever specimens of these barely post-primordial-ooze individuals cave-me could find.
Luckily, cave-me was still held tight by Bakkie. Strapped in until modern-me got the overhand and started making decisions.

The rest of my hunt went well, and as I left behind me the herd of untamed future-destroyers, I could not help but wonder why we even bother.

Why do we bother to “leave a better South Africa”?
Why do we bother to educate, train and inspire?
Why do we bother to even think positively about our country, and indeed the world’s future?

Pushing a WheelchairThen I turned left, and saw a young man, of the same age and school as the previous miscreants, voluntarily running across the street to aid an older gentleman in a wheelchair. He helped the man to safely cross the street, and as I turned the next corner, my rear-view mirror showed the gratitude on the man’s face as the kid pushed him along the side-walk.

That is why we bother, and that why we must never stop.

———-

Note: I am moving house on the 1st of December. Martha’s travel arrangements unfortunately make that she can’t manage my new living space. If you, or anyone you know, need a trustworthy assistant in the house, and you live in/around the general Moot area in Pretoria, South Africa, please get in touch.

Oppikoppi 2014 – The Baas Awards

11 Aug

Oppikoppi CrowdOppikoppi is over, and before the last of the dust is coughed from your dusty lungs, allow me to present to you my version of a post-Oppikoppi post…

I present to you *insert drum roll here*
The Oppikoppi 2014 Baas Awards

I will attempt to dish out some awards based on what I experienced at the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s most renown (notorious?) music festival. I am, in spite of evidence to the contrary, a mere human. Therefore I did miss some elements, and some awesome ones at that.
Enough of the blah blah, here… have some awards:

Oppikoppi Wesley'ss Dome - A fan's PerspectiveStage
Wesley’s Dome

Visually attractive, best sound, best managed stage and well-kept terrain in front of the stage. Although my favourite stage at the festival will always be the small stage at the top bar, the dome takes the award for best stage not only because it was the main main stage, but simply because everything was awesome *insert Lego movie reference here*

 

Oppikoppi BraaiBoyFood
BraaiBoy
Call me biassed, but my mates BraaiBoy and Borries deserve this award for a few reasons. It was the first time they had the stall at the festival, and they were constantly busy. I heard from several random people that the free pork crackling with Jimmy’s Sauce they had there, saved lives. The pulled pork burgers, babbelas breakfast and BraaiBoy boeries proved to be a firm crowd favourite.

 

Oppikoppi Texty Benches Texty BenchesNew Feature
Texty Benches
Every year, the ridiculously creative folks at Hilltop introduce some funky new little feature. This year a trojan horse infiltrated District 9, gods and goddesses were dressed up and much, much more. But my award goes to those benches that looked like bus-stops, with awesome quotes written on them. Not only did they provide much needed seating for weary travellers, but also great conversation pieces.

 

Tom not at OppikoppiCraziest Person
Tom da Silva

The Australian dude with dreadlocks and snake-experience was everywhere. And batshit crazy. From his experiences with dubious elements, to doing the Naked Run and everything else, this is one crazy mofo. I mean, when 3 random people (including some people who worked in the production office) tell you that this was the craziest of crazy, you believe them. When I bumped into him at KFC afterwards, he proved to be a real nice dude. Still, insane.

 

Oppikoppi Bar staffBar
Windhoek Bar

Quick service, cold beer, good seating, well placed (could sit there and experience the action on the Wesley’s Dome stage, or just pop around to Skellum) and overall a good festival bar experience.
Kudo’s to the guys from Aandklas who ran it so well…

 

 

 

 

 

Now, let’s get to the only thing that really matters. The Music.

Oppikoppi BandoleroCollaboration
Bandolero
Musicians play together, that’s what they do. These guys just took it to the next level. Andé Kriel (Black Cat Bones), Gareth Wilson & Tammy Wilson (Southern Gypsy Queen), Jaco Mans (Die See), Albert Frost, Chris TunderVolt (Black Cat Bones, Boargazm), David Beretta Owens (Lithium), Chris Kreef (yes, the Kreef hotel guy), Jonathan Peyper, Greg & Dave Georgiades… Can you say ohmyfuckthatisinsaneWOW!?
Quite a few collabs happened at Koppi. Special mention has to go to Dan Patlansky and Albert Frost, as well as the early morning surprise by Valiant Swart, Albert Frost, Schalk Joubert, Vernon Swart & Simon Orange and the Wolfmother dude (see William Welfare’s video here).

 

Stoker while cleanerNew Discovery
Stoker

Before Oppikoppi, Gareth Wilson told me to keep an eye out for these guys.. and boy, was he right!? They absolutely blew my mind. Energetic, fresh, professional and musically exceptional. These guys will go far.
Special mention has to go to The Sextons. I really liked their tunes (and they laughed when I made the obligatory “ton of sex” joke, so they’re nice too).

 

Oppikoppi Jonathan PeyperFresh Talent
Jonathan Peyper
Not to be confused with the new discovery award, which goes to a band/artist I saw for the first time, this award goes to the fresh talent that impressed me most. Jonathan is an extremely diverse, young, super talented and driven artist. His amazing vocals are second only to his insane guitar skills. This guy plays the electric the way it’s supposed to be done: With feel.
If you need a reason to like me more, take my suggestion to heart and go see one of his shows.

 

Conrad Jamneck of  The Fake Leather Blues BandParty Band
Fake Leather Blues
By no means does this award mean that they are just a cover band doing feel-good songs. Fake Leather is a seriously brilliant ensemble of seriously talented musicians making seriously awesome music… they just happen to be seriously hilarious too, and this makes for a seriously enjoyable experience. From front-man Conrad Jamneck’s costumes, quips and shenanigans through to the electric chemistry between the entire band, this is the full band package. If it’s a party you’re after, look no further.

 

Squeal long agoGlorious Return
Squeal
To celebrate the 20th birthday of Oppikoppi, they blessed us by bringing  back (from the dead, one is tempted to say) a few of the bands who made a massive splash all those years ago. Springbok Nude Girls and Urban Creep also did a good job of kicking you hard in the nostalgias, but Squeal managed to knock you unconscious, and wake you up somewhere in the early 90’s.

 

Sarah BlaskoFrom the overseas
Sarah Blasko
*gasp* Shock and horror… surprise! I did not pick Wolfmother (who I thoroughly enjoyed).
After a LOT of thinking, a few drinks, and some more thinking, I decided that Sarah earns this award. Wolfmother rocked my world, Rival Sons has one the best front-men in the world (too bad the rest of the band bored me), Willy Mason was right up there but my personal experience made that I couldn’t hear/see/enjoy his show as much as I would have liked to.
Sarah was just the perfect artist for the perfect moment, and she is bloody brilliant. She is so good musically, that I don’t even have to mention her exquisite beauty. And she digs good poetry.
Now if I could only teach her how to make braai-broodjies…

 

Van Coke Kartel at Oppikoppi.  Photo by Sean BrandThe obvious South African Band
Van Coke Kartel
This category is for the well-known big guns. Other strong contenders for this award included the likes of Bittereinder, Taxi Violence etc. You know, the guys who always in all the awards. It just so happens that Francois-and-co outperformed them all. They threw in some brand spanking new tunes, and rocked the well-known hits. 

 

The ultimate award
Man as Machine
This category ignores the obvious bands (see above) to focus on the horde of other awesome bands/artists that are sometimes overlooked, yet are all brilliant and just need that push to make it big. Bands like Boargazm, Nomadic Orchestra, Jonathan Peyper, Fake Leather Blues and more were considered.
Man as Machine absolutely deserve this. Not only did they kick several sorts of ass during their show, but their constant and seemingly unstoppable growth of the last few years proves that they are to be taken seriously. In my mind, they are one hit-song away from being the next BIG band in South Africa.
Take a look at Man as Machine’s latest music video:

 

There you go. Do you agree with me, or would you dish out the awards to other players?
Also, did I miss any award categories?
Let me know, and while you’re at it, be a sweetie and let these bands know that I owe them all high 5’s.

Oppikoppi Sparta Oppikoppi No Dust Oppikoppi Faces Oppikoppi Friends make Everything Accessable

Thank you Hilltop, Oppikoppi, vendors, bands, friends, randoms, gorgeous ladies, cleaning staff and everyone involved in making my festival experience awesome. I trust you all enjoyed it too. Except the cleaners, I can’t imagine how you could possibly enjoy it… but we love you.

 

(Photo Credit: I took all these pictures. As in, I took them directly from Oppikoppi’s Facebook page. I also raided the bands’ own Facebook pages. Go check it out, there’s a lot more. If you see any pics that you think I should not be allowed to put on here, suck it up. It’s on the internet… hehe!)

Oppikoppi Can be awesome

 

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