Morne Harmse – sentence is passed

And the recriminations can now begin.

Morne Harmse, the schoolboy with the masks and the Samurai sword who killed a fellow pupil at his Krugersdorp School last year, was this week sentenced to an effective 20 years in prison.
And of course, there are those who think this is too lenient and those who think it is too harsh. Aren’t there always?

In sentencing someone for these sort of crimes, I believe, a number of different factors have to be taken into consideration by the judge: the degree of premeditation, the effects of the crime and perhaps most importantly, the underlying reasons that the incident took place. And on that, there is also considerable disagreement. The sensationalists went with Satanism and Slipknot, the more rational minds with the sorry mental state of a confused and misunderstood teenage boy.

The State – pandering to the masses – wheeled out Kobus Jonker, self-styled “expert” on “the occult”, who interviewed Harmse and gave testimony that although he (Harmse) had dabbled in “the occult”, there was little evidence to suggest that this was the cause of Harmse’s attack. Wrong coloured candles, apparently. Helpful stuff.

Jonker has a dubious reputation in South Africa, as Jacques Rousseau points out in The Star today and one can only hope that in sentencing, the judge completely disregarded the nonsense this “expert” gave the court.

Perhaps there would be more value in following the advice of The Times commenter ‘RSinangola’ on this issue:

Bring back corporal punishment at school and at home and there will be a more than 50% chance that this won’t happen again.

RSinangola  explains neither the  background nor the mathematical workings behind his theory, but since he has submitted them for publication in a national newspaper, I think we can rest assured that he has thoroughly tested his hypothesis.
And until someone comes up with a better plan, which may give us, say, “a more than 75% chance that this won’t happen again”, maybe we should take his comment on board and reinstitute corporal punishment forthwith.
Well done, that man.

Morten Harket 1959-2009

…and beyond, I hope. But at least I got your attention.

Yes, Morten Harket, lead singer of Norwegian synth-pop supergroup a-ha turns 50 today. And what better way to mark the occasion on 6000 miles… that the ground-breakingly brilliant video for their 1985 hit, Take on Me:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EXxMlIExpo 650 390]

Amazing to think that this was 24 years ago and that a-ha are still going strong, having just released their ninth studio album.  I don’t mind admitting that I’ve been a huge fan from those early days and still love their music today.

Happy Birthday, Morten.

The Killers tickets “sold out”

Golden Circle tickets for The Killers’ Jo’burg concert at the Coca-Cola Dome on Friday 4th December have sold out – barely two hours after officially going on sale. Recession? What recession?
However, at the time of writing, Golden Circle tickets for the Cape Town concert on the 6th at the Val de Vie Polo Estate are still available.

There are many reasons why this dichotomy exists. Perhaps the greater numbers of tickets available for a larger venue, less demand, financial concerns or – most likely –  the fact that most Capetonians haven’t actually got around to heading onto the Computicket website, because it’s Friday, dude and the weekend actually started last night.
Jo’burgers will have been up at 3 to avoid the traffic and, having arrived at work at 7, will have proceeded to buy their tickets immediately before doing that filing, writing those reports and sms’ing each other about how great it was to have a thunderstorm last night and did you see the clouds that looked like a spaceship and there was lightning and how summer is almost here with it’s lovelyrain and hail.
These things make them happy, which is not great, because everyone knows that a happy Jo’burger is annoying.

You can tickets via Computicket for both concerts. I notice that Computicket have now officially labeled the Cape Town gig as “Paarl”, which is technically more accurate. The Killers’ official website is sticking with “Cape Town”, though. Probably because Americans don’t even know where South Africa is (there’s a hint in the name, guys), let alone Paarl.

I have mine. I know others who have theirs. You’d surely be silly to miss out.

The Killers are coming!

As a follow up to our Are The Killers coming? post earlier this month, Big Concerts finally officially confirmed this morning that the concert was to go ahead as we reported, playing an outdoor gig at a beautiful wine estate deep in the picturesque Franschhoek valley and another at a large, poorly-ventilated warehouse next to some ugly mine dumps in Gauteng:

Multi-Award Winning, alternative rock band, The KILLERS, have announced their first ever South African tour, which commences on Friday 4th December 2009 at the Coca-Cola Dome Johannesburg and Sunday 6th December at Val De Vie Estate, Cape Town. The tour is presented by Heineken® and supported by regional radio stations 94.7 Highveld Stereo and 94.5 Kfm.

Honestly, that was the worst kept secret since it was “officially confirmed” that Julius Malema failed his Matric.

The Real Thing

This was going to be a post about the cricket, but even though England are spanking the Aussies (or maybe because of it), that would only entertain a small percentage of my viewing public.
Then it was going to be a Youtube music video quota post. But the song in question (which I saw on MTV earlier this evening) was horribly cheesy and was only saved by the (impressive) totty quotient in the video.
Unfortunately, that particular version of the video is not available on Youtube. Which is a good thing actually, because the song really was VERY cheesy and now I know to steer clear. You can guess, but you’ll never get it. And I’ll never tell.

But that did leave me with a bit of a quandry. Because I have to post something here.
So step forward, ex-Buckinghamshire bathroom fitting business owner, Antonio Carmine Di Bartolomeo.
That’s where I’ve always found my inspiration for blog posts previously, anyway (not to mention for those tough-to-tile areas).

Yes, you and I know him as Toni di Bart and this is his magnificent number one single The Real Thing from 1994, conjuring up memories of Madison’s nightclub in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on a Monday evening and a stinking hangover for 9 o’clock Biochemistry lectures on Tuesday morning. Which might explain why I hate Biochemistry so much. Or it could be that it’s a pointless, dull and irritating branch science which requires no skill whatsoever. Who knows?

The video above, as far as I remember, won the 1994 award for Best video with a floppy haired bloke wearing a suit made from some curtains filmed near the coast in a Mediterranean landscape. And remember that this was 1994, so the competition was probably tougher than you might initially imagine. I could listen to this song all night, interspersed with a bit of What Is Love? by Haddaway, UR The Best Thing by D:ream and Carry Me Home by Gloworm.

The Awesome One Hit Wonders of throwaway dance music. Happy Days.