Monday, August 27, 2007

Concerning Alliances

The Task : Take any three Video Game characters, and form the ultimate group.

Limitations: Characters have to be video game characters first, then part of some other media type - so Lara Croft is allowed, but Spawn isn't.

Group One -
Snake from MGS 3
Kratos from God of War
King Bowser from Super Mario 64

Group Two -
Ken from Street Fighter 2
Lara from Tomb Raider Legend
Dante from Devil May Cry 3


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Concerning Labour

No No, this isn’t another MJ alimony post – luckily those have been scarce as of late (cross fingers) but rather about how the migrant workers in the gulf region are being screwed over. The Gulf region,or as I prefer to call it – the ‘Yaa Ayoohal Arab region’ (woe to the Arab region) is currently seeing an exponential growth in investment. Because of the oil, there is tons of money being pumped in, so now we have ski resorts in Dubai, Waterworlds in Sharjah, brothels in Syria (a guy can dream cant he) I’ve got no problem with the stupid Arabs building all this shit – I mean, its their land and money after all (Ive got a problem with the development in the hijaaz though, but that’s a post on its own – would the prophet (pbuh) stay at Zam Zam Towers?)

Marx spoke at length about the extraction of labour in modern society, and while he was sloshed most of the time, he still remains a really influential chap (Gandhi done right). What he meant by ‘extraction of labour’ was that when you buy a commodity like a jersey or a vibrator or whatever, we admire the product but fail to see the work that’s been put into it. Now imagine all that work … times a thousand! Over ten million Asian (read Indians) migrants are in the gulf region right now, working in the most squalid conditions, and all for what? Five U.S Dollars a day. As I said before, build your skyscrapers in the desert and all that, ship a bunch of coolies in to build them for you if you like, but give them a decent wage at least. Many of the workers aren't even paid for months on end, and there's nothing they can do as their passports are taken from them, and they have no money to return home. We're supposed to be the best example for mankind - someone give me something to be optimistic about.
Pay the worker his wage before his sweat dries - Narrated in Ibn Majah, #2443

Friday, August 17, 2007

Concerning Gandhi

If you guys have been following my chatbox for the past few days, you would have noticed that we have become 'Gandhi-files' or maybe ghandi-phobic in my case. Whatever our opinions are regarding this chap, i daresay he has put a smile on a few of the concerning mj readers faces. Taking a cue from Waseems 'What Would Ghandi do', I thought, wouldn't it be funny (albeit a little lame) to have Gandhi themed movie titles (okay, maybe very lame). The great One and Organ Harvester threw in some really great ones - passion of Gandhi - loved that! so here goes - feel free to add to the list - Ive found that it works better for movies that have longer titles
You, me and Gandhi
Saving private Gandhi
Passion of Gandhi
Bend it like Gandhi
Lock stock and Gandhi
Gandhi's angels
Kingdom of Gandhi
Teenage mutant ninja Gandhi
Kiss kiss bang Gandhi
When Gandhi met sally
You’ve got Gandhi
The Gandhi code
One night in Gandhi
The good, the bad and the Gandhi
To Gandhi with love
Gandhi of the Caribbean
Me, Myself and Gandhi
LOTR - The Return of Gandhi
Tenacious Gandhi and the pick of destiny
Gandhi Returns

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Concerning Damage Control

I caught the Bourne Ultimatum last night. The Rating indicated Sex and Language... There was no S, no L - just a lot of V. A good show - better than the second and on more with the first - how many movies can you say that about? No really - I'm trying to think about it. Well police Academy 3 was better than 2 - but it wasn't a trilogy so I don't think it counts.

Anyway - many of you might know that Edgars are now in bed with Ster Kinekor, so that means no more R16 movies at Pavilion. The marketing department tells us that its in our interests as now we have twice the amount of cinemas to go - quite a good offer, but what those bastards don't tell us is that now you can only buy two tickets at half price, as opposed to Nu metro where you could buy four. MJ feels cheated. Also - what happens to the four SK movie cards i have - do they become redundant?

Nu Metros PR people put the following poster up - it says ' Thankfully now you don't need a card when you go to the movies'. It sounds great for those who never had a card before, but I'm not feeling very selfless right now - i love pavilion. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. Now if only Musgrave had a decent halal place, then I wouldnt mind.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Concerning Degrees

My viva Pi├▒ata garden is growing beautifully, and is ample proof that if you invest a lot of time into something, eventually it will be the coolness of your eyes. (Please note that this does not always work for relationships or for baking chocolate ├ęclairs, as mj found out last Saturday)

I just got a new baboon as a resident, and like most new acquisitions, I tried feeding it to my crocodile, but I think Mj might have spoilt his favourite pet, as the bloody reptile refuses to eat anything but swans and beavers. (A beaver is a terrible thing to waste) the investment of time brings me to today’s post – the current state of South Africa’s tertiary institutions.

As Universities start to resemble assembly lines more than institutes of higher education, we need to step back and contemplate on whether this initiative is beneficial to the country. While I cannot comment adequately on the Engineering department (suffice to say they’ve got their own shit to worry about with all the plagiarized theses and what not. And lets not forget the Commerce faculty and the hiccup they’ve had with the MBA accreditation)

The problem with reform in post apartheid South Africa is that you have to constantly be politically correct- but as laudable as that is – it will not help us gain a foothold in global academia – if I was to suggest a compulsory English Competency test, someone might say that I’m racist – but just as you can’t drive legally without a license, I believe that you shouldn’t be studying at a ENGLISH medium university without being able to understand English – and no – this is not a swipe at Black students only – but anyone whose English isn’t up to scratch (anon haters on QL’s blog included) Secondly – the structures are in place to help one if they need it (writing place, academic writing modules etc) but many people do not exploit them at all.

Students who enroll for a media degree, need to be told from day one that it will not guarantee them a job in the industry unless they willing to work hard and get experience. I feel it’s really easy to scrape a pass, most University students could (media studies) but it’s substantially harder to excel in it. Start freelancing, get involved in some internship programme, get down on your knees, write for magazines, newspapers whatever, and just build a portfolio so you have something to show prospective employers. You’re not just competing with other grads in your department, but also people from other institutes, and technikons. Oh yeah – stop dissing people who have diplomas – its this shitty ‘Indian mother’ mentality which tells us that degrees are worth more than diplomas – most people I know who have graduated with a diploma in advertising work better in industry than their degree counterparts.
MJ and Marc (the advertising lecturer) are starting an initiative on campus soon that will get media student’s real briefs to work with, from real clients. I’m gonna attract the clients by offering them dirt cheap rates (the remuneration will be some food items or something) but at least this way we can get the students to build a portfolio so that they can compete with tech grads when looking for a job. If anyone is keen to help out or if you would like some advertising done for your company, keep me in mind. I want to get this thing off the ground within the next two months) To my friends in the industry - get us to do your research etc.

I had a dream that I was dipping Marie biscuits in my tea. I think this is what it meant

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Concerning Issues

I hired Children of Men on Saturday. A fascinating movie, set in a dystopic post apocalyptic (say that ten times) England. In a way very similar to V for vendetta, but without the walking GHD advert. What caught my attention in both movies though was the place of Islam in that epoch. In both movies, Islam was seen as a major threat to society by the Antagonists, and therefore had to be eradicated. Do not misunderstand me - the films themselves were favourable to Islam, but herein lies the problem - Do we as Muslims encourage films that reference our religion, or do we rescind to the traditional three B Solution (as i like to call it) Boycott, Burn, Ban.

Has our inability to be self-reflective in some way prolonged a reformation that is so badly needed. I think about how we handled the cartoon crisis last year?

Do you blame the cartoonists for illustrating the Prophet (peace be upon him) based on how Muslims are viewed in modern times?
We have offered nothing in terms of technological or medical advancement in the past five hundred years( we tend to gaze lovingly at the tenth century when we ruled Spain, and invented the three course meal and what not) but what have we done for humanity lately. Islamic Ethics do not feature alongside Kant, Mill and Nietzsche. The only recent contribution i can think of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, whose microeconomics initiative is helping to eradicate poverty.

Someone remind me again, why were boycotting the Sunday Times? I remember when i was heading up the Media portfolio for SAHRO, last year, and the question of the boycott came about - and one gentleman stood up and said "The Sunday Times needs to be boycotted because its run by the Jews". No its not, i said - its run by a Black Empowerment group, and besides, they haven't showed the caricatures - M & G, and the Cape Argus did, and that too, it wasn't done out of solidarity with the Jyllands-Posten or anything - they were just reporting on a global event". I saw the cartoons. Yes, i was slightly offended by them (not to the extend of going pyro - does that make me less of a Muslim?), but the difference lay in my choice of wanting to see them or not - we have a choice - you can choose to see them or you can choose not to - either way, its not gonna go away. It'll be like what etv does in their Sunday News slot - if they show the score of the delayed soccer game, they warn the public and tell them to look away if they don't want to see the score.
We're becoming a bunch of isolationist elitist jackasses with no clear leadership, no sense of unity, and hardly a scrap of nationalism whatsoever. We have no one to take the place of our struggle heroes like Umar, Kathrada, Meer, Mattera etc. If a Muslim engages in Politics, we immediately stone him ( I might not agree with everything that Rafeek Shah does, but i do respect the man for getting into politics) While the ANC Youth league might placate on behalf of the Palestinian, the hegemonic state apparatus still deals with Israel. Don't get me wrong, I'm a card carrying member, but facts are facts. The same goes for people who say that by me drinking coke, i'm supporting Israel, but are brimming with pride when they tell other equally naive people that their kids work for KPMG and other auditing houses. Have a look at this piece of research concerning the economic impact of Coca-Cola system on South Africa, and then tell me how I'm drinking the blood of the Palestinian. You can then leave a comment telling me that it has nothing to do with Israel, but is all about boycotting American products. But you would encounter another problem as Blogger (this blogs host site) is an American product developed by Pyra Labs. How do you pick and choose what you boycott and what you don't. Hmm...

Concerning Suits 2

You can't help buying the album, for the song. Only to realise that your expectations have been crushed as you attempt to salvage something that you'd only put on your mp3 player if its a bloody 80 gig ipod and you ran out of things to fill it with. It happened to me this weekend, when MJ purchased a 'Best of The Proclaimers' CD. I love 'I'm gonna be (500 miles) and I expected the rest of their stuff to sound remotely familiar, I mean - the evanescence and Zain Bhikha stuff i bought all sound the same.

MJ bought a suit last week, Ive always wanted one, and i figured sooner or later I'd need it, as i venture into some corporate whorehouse, or i actually attend a wedding where i'm the best man (missed two of those so far). Ended up mixing and matching from a bunch of shops. This shit is expensive as hell - i suppose its like the difference between a watch and a time-piece - serves the same function, but one costs a lot more.

Suits are rather impractical though - There are hardly any benefits for them, you cant play soccer while wearing them, forget about wearing a suit to a braai - all they are really good for is to make you feel more suave and upper class than you really are.