Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I once met a boy; blonde, blue eyed and tall and a complete nerd if ever there were.
Perturbed he was not by this branding of term for he saw not the insult, to be sure.

To tag him as such…Mixed Martial Arts, LAN’S and stuff, studying BSc Honours in Computer Science at UCT.
If that’s not enough add this to the cut; Senior National Federation colours in gaming, DOTA PC.

He’s Pro DOTA he’ll tell you, as proud as can be as though this sets him ahead of the rest.
It’s his arrogance that annoys you, the complete irritation that perhaps in fact, he really is the best.

You’ll think to yourself; oh big deal, it’s sad he considers that cool.
But ultimately the joke is on you, in a new age digital world you’re the fool.

Then this little bug who you’re attempting to squash will ask what it is that makes you Pro.
What will kill you the most is the fact that, well, sadly you don’t even know.

It’s this nerd, comfortable with himself, who makes sense of the world and soon will have you reflecting.
And it’s him one day, at the end of the road, who has the world at his feet just waiting…
For anything he might pass our way; technological advancements the core of this story,
we are his pets, his puppets, while he sits and reaps the world’s glory.

If I were the boss...

I recently read an incredibly interesting take on our choices in life and who it is in the world that monitors and subsequently 'allows' these decisions. It is a concept taken from an all together fantastic read, the Cluetrain Manifesto, based on the idea of what we do and who it is that provides us with the necessary ‘permission’ to participate in these new areas of life.

Christopher Locke was once asked who it was that gave him permission to read a selection of books he had just bought. A simple question put forth, stating quite frankly what Locke believes is assumed by so many; ‘that official authorization is required to learn new things’. It was this question that brought on his deliverance of self ‘blanket permission: to be curious, to learn, to speak, to write’.

Locke went above the assumed ‘required authorization’ and provided himself with exactly what so many of us wait for; senior ranking consent. If I were the boss…well, that’s just it. I am the boss. I am the boss of myself, my life and all that surrounds me and I too give myself ‘blanket permission: to be curious, to learn, to speak, to write’, ‘to be human’, fearless and alive.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Social bubble wrap

Out and about, the queen bee felt fabulously accepted; It mattered little that she was paying by the hour for her crowd of socialites.

Have you ever stopped to consider what it is you are doing in life and why? Along with most South African’s currently feeling the financial pinch, I find myself wondering about what it is we need, want and wish for…and who it is that determines, defines and scrutinizes these points of our very existence. More importantly, have we lost sight of what is in fact needed and what is not?

What percentage of a person’s life is spent pursuing items of wealth and at what point do we become driven by brands and belongings? We work, to earn, to acquire. ‘I must have’, ‘I can’t do without’, ‘I’m only socially acceptable if I own’ are small-minded insights into what a person is really made of. Perhaps these questions form the thin protective barrier between what is safety in numbers in society and what is individually recognizable. What an interesting day the world would make if we all stood, naked for a day, represented by only what we are and not by what we have.

Stuff. Societies bubble wrap. Let’s overcome our expensive bias, classifying wealth as our ultimate goal. There is more to life, it’s just harder to identify when not having it slung at us from all angles of what is 'social acceptance' designed by the marketing powers that be.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Two people walk out of a building and into a story

You walk down a narrow passage; cream walls and grotesque grey-beige carpeting. The place is completely dull. Your mood suits; exhausted and washed out. Head for the unwelcoming grey shaft that is the lift, the metal contraption that is to, rattling heavily, relocate you from floor seventeen to ground level.

Some contrast here; old red carpeting now a faded orange, mirrored walls, linoleum clad floors and ceiling. Edgy lighting. Doors close - made it. Doors falter, rethinking their choice, then open widely to allow another traveler safe passage to the building entrance. A slight nod to the newcomer, a failed greeting attempt on your part as an awkward silence settles from your side.

‘Truly detest this place’, your new accomplice mutters. ‘Are you a resident or just visiting for the experience that is our much loved building?’
You shrug in response, not making eye contact. You’ve lived here for two years.
‘Myself, I’ve been here four years. Not too bad I guess, roof over my head and all. See the paper this morning? Cricket scores are looking good. I think South Africa are going to give us a win for the weekend. You smile politely in response. You hate cricket. You hate sports. You hate everything.

'Got a minute to grab some coffee before work, thank the heavens. Great little place around the corner from here called Nania’s. If you get there, ask for Nancy, she makes her coffee with love. Serves great biscotti alongside it too. Caffeine sets me up for the day, you know how it is’. Hasty wink. ‘Oh well, grueling Monday here we come’. Smiles all round.


‘Well, it’s been nice meeting you. Have a good day.’ A barely uttered ‘sure’ in reply as the now free passenger makes his way to the door.
Look around you; the same cream and beige as before. Cobalt blue boxes to the left; best check for post.

The revolving entrance slows to allow you out. You squint at the sunlight outside, miserable at the thought of having left your sunglasses behind. You step through the doors, one foot hitting the hard concrete sidewalk of town. Another day, another dollar.

Two people walk out of a building and into a story. That story is life; consider carefully how you choose to live yours.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

L33t 5pk

In alleviating his discomfort, the old wise owl expelled gas; burping out the letters of the alphabet no longer recognised by today's youth...

What’s that you just said? LOL? Oh sorry, did you mean LOL or ROFL? Nope, still wrong aren’t I? It’s actually ROFLMAO. 00p5!

How could I not know what ROFLMAO meant? Well gee, sorry that I can still string a sentence together. What’s that? Chips on my shoulder? Uhr, nope sorry can’t say that I do. Heaven forbid I develop an inferiority 5ynth complex because I take the time to spell my words out correctly. Oh gee, I can’t be accepted by the online community then? 0(_)cH!

Stupid me for being ignorant to a ‘worldwide revolution’ of texting that is overwriting and fast replacing the English language. Yes, I do see the point of it online. It is the spilling over of l33t speak into everyday usage that is worrying. Guess my skillz are juz not so UTS. Thanks for the heads up – I’ll make sure not to fall behind.
W0(_)ldn’7 that be 4 d!sa*?

Designer PR

Every now and again you come across something truly mystifying; something that gets your heart racing wildly, air passages closing, palms sweating…and a huge stretch of pearly whites spreading from ear to ear. The experience is fanatical, allowing you to look within yourself, tickling the dark corners of your soul left dead and decrepit from so much of ‘the same’ flung out by advertisers, marketers and public relations professionals.

But what is this thing that has your tongue tied, your emotions wild and your head spiraling? What grips hold of you and has you gravitating in this way?

The answer is passion and also, experience. It is different for everyone, with each person moved by something all their own. Public Relations is about an experience. It is about a feeling, a relationship built and developed through hard work and new, original and dynamic business ideas. To break away from the ordinary, we can no longer be satisfied with ‘out-of-the-box’ public relations strategies as these ideas are already exhausted and out-dated.

Passion and design is what is essential to survive and thrive in the current economic climate felt so severely around the world. It is relevant in every area of business and particularly in Public Relations. Same old same old is no longer enough and what is to come from a challenging environment can only include new passions, new experiences, all of new design yet drawn from raw and basic human emotion and experience. Put yourself in your work. Public Relations is out, Designer Public Relations is now essential.

The lambs knew that merely resting would get them little attention. A strategic seating arrangement on the other hand...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Is polygamy a feminist issue?

Polygamy • n. the practice of having more than one wife or husband at the same time - Oxford Dictionary

Perhaps a more apt definition as seen by society both in the past and in the present would read something like this: ‘one man, many wives’. Highly unlikely that one would think ‘one woman, many husbands’. So yes, polygamy is a feminist issue, ultimately displaying inequality between men and women. It is a controversial topic, attracting attention on all scales of social consideration. Strictly considering whether it is a feminist issue, let’s start by looking at what feminism stands for, for what it promotes. It is the liberation of women, a social movement that strives to achieve gender equality. Ah…my point exactly.

In polygamous marriages, women are ranked according to what stage they are married into a polygamous marriage, with the first wife taking preference over all other wives. The first wife has a certain ‘entitlement’ to what and who is brought into to the family, how much time is spent with the ‘shared’ husband by collection of wives and so on and so forth.

Through generations of polygamous society, woman entering into polygamous marriages do so through religious and cultural beliefs. Thus views of the topic will differ, however the principle issue of feminism remains the same. We assume that the women entering into these marriages do so knowingly of what such a marriage represents but in truth, what it represents is different across cultures and religions. Polygamy is a feminist issue as women marrying into polygamous marriages are limited to what they may or may not do in the ‘family’ and, to a certain extent, with their lives. It is a fairly ‘brain washed’ mentality that woman today who are both smart and educated enter into a polygamous marriage based on religious and cultural principles.

The feminist issue of polygamy may also be seen in the suppression of women in a male dominant relationship. In most cases, particularly in South Africa, polygamous marriages are often entered into for the status of the male and for the ‘life of his name’, to be carried throughout generations to come. It is also perceived as an indication of wealth and opulence.

I do understand that apparent on all levels of such a marriage includes a person’s freedom of choice; Choice of self, culture and religion.
‘Personal choice’ – there is no ‘correct’ form of marriage. We are a global society now open to both a customary and cultural marriage as well as same-sex marriages, why discriminate against polygamy?
‘Cultural practices’ – there can be no judgment in its entirety of one’s culture, particularly in a country (like ours) where we are loving, living and working across cultures everyday.
‘Religious choice’ – religiously based, there are far worse things inflicted by religion such as self sacrifice Al-Qaeda and abortion however, not everything religiously motivated is a bad thing.

Yet polygamy as a feminist issue is more than this. That it is socially unacceptable for a woman to take on more than one husband, to father children by more than one man, to be the breadwinner of a household through ability and ambition, is a feminist issue. Polygamous marriages encompass a number of feminist issues, with a core saluting all that is a sexist and outdated way of thinking. So yes, while polygamy is a moral, cultural and religious issue it is also a feminist issue.

Polygamy will only cease to be a feminist issue when society amends their way of thinking, or supports Polyandry. Get back to me when that happens.

While bathing in her newlywed glow, the bride pondered her decision of taking on yet another husband...