Ask a medium

Not me. I’m very much an XL (careful now).

I have been to Rome without feeling nauseous though.

“Forced to goad a rhinoceros to make it angry enough to fight”

There’s a line I never thought I’d read. However, given that there are several (or more) rhinoceroses in SA, also:

We’re all laughing at this, right?
Well, just remember that, while it may seem hugely amusing that Jenny is making a living from this sort of nonsense, and that Catherine actually believes that what Jenny says is true, both these ladies have exactly the same democratic rights as you or I or anyone else. Their voice counts every little bit as much as yours. And you can only begin to guess how they use it.

They walk among us (although probably some distance from zoos and important historical monuments).

The World Cup win

I’ve been quite surprised at the online reaction to England’s Cricket World Cup win last night. So many calls that Stokes’ inadvertent extra boundary shouldn’t have counted, or should have counted for less (fewer?); so many people saying that the final outcome being decided by the number of boundaries in the game was “unfair” or “too arbitrary”.

Allow me a couple of points, if you will.

Firstly, it’s fine to be irrational, as long as you know you’re being irrational. Sport brings out the irrational side in a lot of people, and yesterday’s game encouraged it even more simply because it was so spectacular, so topsy-turvy, so big: and so damn close. The fact that it was played in such great spirit and with such gracious sportsmanship only adds to the emotion, and to the belief that neither side deserved to lose: that they should have simply declared it a draw (which is clearly hugely irrational, but it’s ok, because I know that I’m doing it).

Secondly, it’s really not “unfair” or “arbitrary” to decide a game in any given manner, just so long as the participants are aware of the rules ahead of time. It would be ridiculous to get to a tie at the end of the Super Over and then choosing a method to decide the winner. I’m sure that no-one could have believed that it would ever come down to how many boundaries each team had scored, but since there was a chance that it might, maybe Kane Williamson (yes, lovely guy) should have rallied his team to score more boundaries. Mind you, since this is kind of the aim of the batting side in cricket generally, I’m not sure why they weren’t trying to do this anyway.

It’s unfair (and irrational) to cherry pick the method of deciding the game only once one gets to the stage where one has to. But still, people thought they’d give it a go. Some other suggestions to decide the game might have been: using the result in the round robin matches (England would have won), the overall net run rate (England would have won), relative positions in the ten team league (England would have won), wickets lost in the Super Over (England would have won), overall boundaries scored in the tournament (England would have won).

But those all seem to have been ignored, with many people seeming to have settled on the number of wickets lost in the 50-over final, which conveniently would have meant that New Zealand took the match, and with it, the World Cup. Of course, it we’d all known about that up front, presumably both captains would likely have encouraged their side to try and lose fewer wickets (which is – again – pretty standard stuff unless you’re raking in some dollars in from some dodgy bookmakers).

Of course, it simply comes down to anti-England sentiment. Which is why we have to hear about all the different original nationalities of the players every time we play.

Everyone: England should accept more immigrants and put them in positions of responsibility.
ECB does it.
Everyone: Not like that.

And which, of course, is rather irrational.

But we’ve covered that already, haven’t we?

So here’s a photo of the World Cup winning team, full of diversity (except that they’re all men, obviously), who scored more boundaries than their opposition yesterday.

Well done, boys!

We’re back

Well… that was a wonderful family adventure. I’ll try to find time before my next trip (Tuesday) to organise some thoughts on the places we stayed, ate and visited but generally, they were really great, we met some lovely people and we had some amazing experiences.

I’ve not really had a chance to have a good look at the photos, but my first impression is that there is nothing remarkable in there. Not that this was a ‘togging trip, but that’s still a little disappointing.

QUICK BREAK HERE AS ENGLAND WIN THE CRICKET WORLD CUP.
My fok, Marelize. That was amazing.

Today has been all about those little jobs that stack up when you are away for a while. Some plumbing, some electrics, some washing, and sorting the kids out ready for school tomorrow. It’s all done, we’re all ready, and the last whirlwind week sadly seems an age ago already.

More tomorrow, maybe some photos (although maybe not), and maybe even some exciting live blogging of the ironing as I get ready for an eye-wateringly early flight on Tuesday morning.

I know you can hardly wait.

Dead cat

You either love him or you hate him: the current marmite of UK politics is PM-contender Boris Johnson. But this isn’t supposed to be the preamble to a post which will divide my readership, it’s merely a means to share this quote he made in 2013, and which is back in the news:

When you are in trouble, diversionary tactics can be a useful way of escaping immediate censure. In politics is almost routine, because all you need is a suitably foolish audience (and god knows that the voting public are pretty much that).

Recent (just before the general election) local case in point:

JOHANNESBURG – The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has weighed in on Tuesday afternoon’s altercation between eNCA journalist Samkele Maseko and African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.

The ANC’s integrity committee is set to look at the processes around candidate lists.

Duarte revealed this in a post-NEC meeting briefing earlier on Tuesday.

The move follows reports that the ANC’s candidate lists have been tampered with.

Serious stuff. This is basically who gets to sit in Parliament for the next 5 years if the ANC get enough votes (which they were obviously always going to). And it seems like the process may have been interfered with?

Not good.

Remember this line?

Let us suppose you are losing an argument. The facts are overwhelmingly against you, and the more people focus on the reality, the worse it is for you and your case.

Jessie remembered.

What happened next was that poison dwarf Duarte flung a dead cat onto the table – and the eager reporters present were… well… perfectly outraged, alarmed, disgusted.

But the rest of the briefing on what the ANC’s top decision-making body had discussed was overshadowed by Duarte’s public altercation with a journalist.

During a briefing with reporters at Luthuli House, Duarte described Maseko as arrogant, saying he thought of himself as “lord of the media” instead of the mere journalist that he is.

And the newspapers were full of that instead of whether or not the candidate lists of the ruling party had been compromised.

Thing is, anyone with half a brain will see directly through your flimsy tactic and completely ignore it, so Duarte was clever with her perceived “attack” on Maseko: playing for a defensive, emotional response from his colleagues present. And getting it. Because was the ANC candidate list unduly influenced from within the party? Well, we’ll never know, because the rest of the briefing (and consequently the rest of the reports about the briefing) was only about what Jessie said to Samkele.

Canny woman. Clever move. Brilliant politics.

Boris would be very proud.

Danny Daycare

Danny MacAskill (see 6000 passim) takes his friends’ daughter out for a spin around Scotland. Brilliant.

There’s also a really cool “behind the scenes” video here.

I mean, Daisy was easy to work with; Danny was a challenge, really.

Good, silly fun. Definitely worth 4 minutes of your Sunday.