And now the other side…

After this from yesterday, an overtly politically biased, but timely reminder that a snapshot is exactly that: merely an image of a single moment in time which might not be representative of the mood and feeling of the rest of that particular day.


Some interesting photographs here, which the writer feels were deliberately ignored by the “conservative news outlets”, who apparently “manufactured a controversy about an AFP photo of President Barack Obama shooting a selfie with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt”.

My answer – while accepting that yes, it was a snapshot, a single moment (see above) – if you don’t want news outlets to make a meal out of the US President (and others) taking a selfie at a memorial ceremony, then maybe the US President (and others) shouldn’t be taking a selfie at a memorial ceremony. Don’t give them the ammunition in the first place.


“Selfie-gate: Why do Cameron and Obama feel the need to behave like idiots?”

Aside from the rubbish commentary and scandalous supposition around Michelle Obama’s alleged jealousy in that picture from the Nelson Mandela Memorial Ceremony at the FNB Stadium yesterday, something else irked me about the whole situation with Obama, Cameron and Ms Thorning-Schmidt. Something bigger. And I’m not alone: Iain Martin feels the same way.

David Cameron is a well brought up son of the English shires. He knows, I suspect, not to talk too loudly in church, not to help himself to the claret when invited to a dinner party and not to be rude to waiters or waitresses. He can be a bit presumptuous and thoughtless with his own MPs, which may one day have consequences. But that aside, he knows how to behave.

So why did a grinning Prime Minister today lean in to be in a “selfie” with President Obama and the leader of Denmark? She’s Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law, by the way. A dignified Michelle Obama looked straight ahead and refused to indulge in such ridiculous teenage antics at what, after all, was a memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

He’s right. It was juvenile behaviour, it was undignified, disrespectful and wholly inappropriate.


There will be those who would say that Mandela would have loved their spontaneity, their smiles and the indication that they are human, after all. Others may argue that the whole ceremony was a bit of a shambles anyway, so what difference does it make?

Neither of these is any sort of excuse though. The point is that these individuals were representing their respective countries at one of the biggest single events we’ve ever seen. These are adults. Elected individuals in positions of responsibility and power. And they’re not at a cocktail party, are they? I couldn’t believe it, and neither could Iain:

What on earth is going on? Why do world leaders now behave like this? And at a memorial service?

Perhaps it is just that the current generation – my generation – is so appallingly spoiled that basic notions of decorum have been shot to pieces. The materialistic search for self-gratification trumps all. Why let a fuddy-duddy thing like manners get in the way of a social media opportunity, where we can put ourselves at the centre of everything, clowning around like muppets watching a Lady Gaga concert, grinning at the camera and then tweeting the results?

The worst bit of the whole thing is that the rest of the ceremony was so appalling that now this “Selfie-gate” is the only thing the world is talking about from yesterday. South Africans are talking about JZ being roundly booed (like he cares what the public think), but that’s of little interest outside these borders. And so rather than recalling a celebration in memory of a great man, yesterday will be remembered mostly for Dave, Helle and Barrack grinning into a cellphone camera.

Look, even I’m at it.

The sadness is that Cameron is good abroad. I for one have never looked at images of him on a trip and felt embarrassed or baffled by his behaviour… But I saw that selfie picture and my response was simple and from the gut: what the hell do you think you’re doing man? Whatever it is stop it.

Yes. Exactly. What an embarrassment.

Margaret Thatcher advised PW Botha to release Mandela in 1985

Here’s interesting.

From Guido Fawkes (via Brian Micklethwait), this:

The myth that Thatcher (and her admirers) supported apartheid is one of the core beliefs of the Comrade Blimpish left. Charles Moore touched on it in The Telegraph this morning. It is a false charge and Nelson Mandela himself was in no doubt – saying of Margaret Thatcher in July 1990 only a few months after his release: “She is an enemy of apartheid… We have much to thank her for.”

We all know that the allegation that Thatcher referred to Mandela as a terrorist was incorrect, although yes, she did once refer to the ANC’s threat to specifically target British interests in South Africa as being “typical of a terrorist organisation.”
And while many people also gleefully shared the:

Anyone who thinks the ANC is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land.

quote when she popped her clogs in April, she didn’t say that either. It was actually Bernard Ingram, a member of her government, sure, but not her.

Here’s a excerpt from the (now declassified) letter sent from Wor Maggie to then President PW Botha in October 1985:


“I continue to believe, as I have said to you before, that the release of Nelson Mandela would have more impact that almost any single action you could undertake.”

The rest of the letter also makes fascinating reading.

HISTORY! It’s not quite as cool as SCIENCE!

Sloppy lolly recipe

I clicked through on this because it sounded like a good idea for summer for the kids. It’s a healthy summer lolly recipe from local supermarket Pick n Pay. But it’s left my OCD senses tingling.



Where to begin? Well:
  1. The picture: Read the recipe. They’re not going to look anything like that, are they? They’re going to be yoghurt pot shaped, aren’t they?
  2. Prep time “Less [sic] than 30 minutes”. Really? Sure, it’s going to take 20 seconds to peel the lids off and stick a spoon in them. But then it’s going to be a few hours before they’ve frozen. Unless you have some liquid nitrogen to hand. Do you?
  3. Serves 4? But there are six. Dividing two of them up is going to be difficult and messy and will probably add significantly to the already incorrect prep time.
  4. Is it ‘yoghurt’ or ‘yogurt’? Actually, either is acceptable and I don’t really mind, but please just settle on one.
  5. “6 lolly stick”? Plurals, anyone?
  6. “Buy all the products featured in this recipe from our online shop now” – There are only two ingredients: yoghurt (yogurt?) and lolly sticks. And you don’t sell lolly sticks.

No biggies, I know. But this is just sloppy. Much like a yoghurt (yogurt?) after “less [sic] than 30 minutes” in the freezer. It really looks like it was rushed out, and they really could have done a whole lot better because it’s really not that complicated, now is it?

That said, they do sound like a pretty good idea, so I’m definitely going to give them a go over the holidays.