Guy MacLeod of Plumstead – an inspiration

*subject to ongoing editing* 

Hi – I’m playing with old posts from the ballacorkish.net site.  You may have read this previously. Feel free to read it again though. Especially as Sunday approaches.

I’ve been busy and disinclined to write much on here of late. Until now.
My writer’s block has been lifted, cured, relieved if you will, by Guy MacLeod of Plumstead.

A little background for you readers outside the borders of this rainbow nation and its political soap-opera:The ruling party in SA is the African National Congress (ANC). The leader of the ANC – and therefore the President of the country – is Thabo Mbeki. Thabo took over from Nelson (yes – that Nelson) in 1999, then won the 2004 election. This means that he is constitutionally obliged to step down as President at the 2009 election.
So we need a new President, who will presumably also be the leader of the ANC.
With me so far? Good.
Enter Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma – JZ to his friends. And to his enemies.
JZ is deputy president of the ANC and was deputy president of the country until Thabo sacked him in 2005 over pending corruption charges (which are still pending). 6 months later, he was also accused of rape and was acquitted in a high-profile case, which was infamously supposed to have included his admission that he took a shower after sex to protect himself from HIV.
He has huge support from the left wing of the ANC, the ANC Youth League, the SA Communist Party and the Trade Unions. He also has a now trademark song which we get a rendition of at every gathering – Mshini Wam or “Bring Me My Machine Gun”.
Nice.
Finally – Thabo and JZ are going head to head in December for leadership of the ANC and therefore presumably, for the Presidency of the country in 2009. And it looks like JZ is going to win. And here’s where Guy MacLeod of Plumstead comes in. He wrote to the Cape Argus newspaper.
Judging by his name (always a dangerous thing to do), Guy is a whitey.
But while many whiteys are pretty terrified to the point of hysteria of the consequences of the seemingly inevitable JZ win:
“SA will be another Zimbabwe”
“He’ll rape us in a corrupt manner and then take a shower”
“We’re all going to die” etc etc.
Guy takes another view. A refreshing view. A view which has got me writing here again today.
He compares the male, black, alive, allegedly corrupt, bald, machine gun toting, HIV-naive Zulu with… Princess Diana. In case you’re not familiar with this “Princess Diana” figure*, she is female, white, blonde and British. Oh – and dead.
Take it away, Guy:

I would like to compare him most favourably with that wonderful other world celebrity [?!? – 6000] and people’s person (also often maligned) – the late Princess Diana. Lady Di “blotted her copybook” in many ways and she flouted convention but she never lost the common touch.

Guy – I never saw it before, but I think you may have hit upon something big. There are questions to be answered: Perhaps JZ is the reincarnation of Diana? Are we to expect him to stroke lepers and defuse landmines next? Could he even shed some light on what happened in that tunnel in Paris? Was he pregnant by Dodi Fayed at the time? And if so, did either of them shower after the act? Where did Prince Harry’s ginger hair come from?

Guy MacLeod of Plumstead, much like JZ and Princess Diana, you are an inspiration to us all.

*Unlike most of the upper class males in Britain

I know I haven’t been writing much

It’s all these bloody birthday parties I’ve been going to. *shrug*

More tomorrow, I promise. (Writing that is, not birthday parties…)

Back to the future (sort of)

I found a web-based version of HG Wells’ infamous Time Machine (thanks Ender) which has allowed me to relive certain moments of my life over the last 4 years. Sadly for you, it also means that I can let you relive them too, and thus the slow and tedious task of putting all that archived material together into a W3C compliant, user-friendly format has begun. Or at least, has been thought about being begun.

In other news, friend of 6000 miles, dear Manto, is rather ill. Her doctor suggests, among other problems that she is suffering from severe anaemia. I can sympathise – it’s the damn mosquitoes – at the moment, each night is like a bloody feeding frenzy. It’s my belief that they’re draining everyone in South Africa of blood and then they’re going to take over the world. Possibly. Either that or they’re in cahoots with the SA National Blood Transfusion Service.
Although saying that, I very much doubt that the opportunity to save Manto’s life would attract many more devotees to their cause.
Anyway, a quick count here indicates that I’m currently sporting 31 bites of various sizes. I itch.
It amazes me that I have any blood left.
While getting the link for the Manto story, I came across this little gem. Astounding.
If I didn’t know differently, I’d guess that story came out of South Africa – it’s typically bizarre enough: “sharpened kite strings”, indeed…

Finally, I was interviewed last week by a British journalist working for an emigration newspaper. They’re going to do a story about me and my experiences since I moved out to Cape Town.

No-one will believe a word of it.

Banner-tastic

I’m well used to people looking at me, shaking their heads, a pitying look in their eyes, telling me:
“You need help. Seriously.”
But as I go back to chatting to my tuberculosis bacteria, singing the Cookie Jar song and chasing lesbian mice around the lab (long story), I have to think that they don’t know what they’re on about. It would be hard to find a more balanced, more mentally stable microbiologist than myself. (Believe me, I’ve worked with a lot of microbiologists – they’re an odd breed).

When it came to updating my banner though, I was forced to admit that these people were right. I don’t have access to Photoshop and even if I did, I would have no idea how to use it. So even for the (apparently) relatively easy task of adding a Sheffield United badge and a picture of our dear Table Mountain onto each end of the title bar above, I had to turn to someone much more experienced (with Photoshop, not with microbiologists) (probably anyway).
Step forward Cloudgazer (presumably not his real name) (probably anyway).
I have no idea what he did, how he did it or how long it took him to do, but my banner is now a little more interesting than before. And a lot more interesting than what you’re reading now.

Anyway. The upshot of having a slightly more detailed banner is that now I think that this site is completely lovely. Since everything from last year disappeared in a cloud of 123-reg.co.uk incompetence, it’s nice to be up and running again.

The Lowdown

Just a quick update on the news from ballacorkish.net and from South Africa.


Let’s get the dull bit over first.
Great news! My new RSS feed is up and running. This one is via Feedburner, so it should be universally acceptable. To subscribe, just click this little icon: Click me for updates! and we’ll tell you each time the site is updated.
It really couldn’t be simpler. (Unless of course the icon clicked itself.)

I’ve also spent a lot of time streamlining the page, so it should load more quickly than before and it’s also properly coded for the first time in years. The other pages on the site (pictures, Nix’s page and Alex’s page) will be returning soon. We’ll let you know.Meanwhile, in South Africa, it’s summer. You can tell this by just looking at the beautiful weather during this football match in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening. You know that I don’t put YouTube clips on here unless they’re really worth it. Don’t miss this – it’s amazing. Finally, the most unjust criticism of the new Faithless album To All New Arrivals, which I think is just lovely, came from my wife, who I think is just lovely too. She described it as:

“Good, but a bit Faithlessy.”

Proof, if any were needed, that you really can’t win when it comes to women.