I voted for you. I’ve always voted for you and unless Josh Homme starts a political party, I’m likely to continue voting for you. However, despite the loyalty this implies, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my extreme disappointment at the upcoming implementation of new liquor laws making it illegal to purchase alcohol on a Sunday.
Not because of the inconvenience this is extremely likely to cause me.
Not because of the patronising implication that your constituents are so incapable of arresting their continuous alcohol consumption that you need to mandate what amounts to little other than a ‘sober day’.
Not because the choice of day suggests allegiance to an archaic morality.
No, I’m disappointed because you’re clearly under the impression that this tactic will have some kind of impact on the problems you’re attempting to address. If that’s the case, then I question not only your capacity for the critical thought necessary for making important decisions in general, but also your motives for making this one.
If rampant alcohol abuse is honestly what you were trying to address here, is there not perhaps something more meaningful and sustainable you could have done? Is this really the best idea you came up with? Surely there was SOMEONE attending the strategy session in which an adult policymaker suggested something this one-dimensional, this naive, this utterly, embarrassingly futile, who pointed out the well established notion that treating the most superficial symptom of something this complex will have no positive affect whatsoever. SURELY?!?
Which brings me to the point I’m trying to make. What were your real motives for this ridiculous law? A cynical observer could argue that perhaps this is an opponent you’re not TRULY willing to engage and that the effort to reward ratio involved in making such little effort was more tenable than attempting to REALLY make a difference.
This is the kind of sophomoric, ineffectual policymaking we’ve become accustomed to in South Africa, and the DA should stand for something better than that.
So get your shit together, because this law is a joke.
So the majority of the noise surrounding the FNB ‘You Can Help’ campaign seems to be focused on whether or not the message they broadcast is relevant and constructive for South Africa and whether or not they were justified in withdrawing it when the ANC started expressing their disappointment.
These are valid discussions. With our government becoming increasingly sensitive to criticism, and their response to such criticism becoming increasingly ham-fisted, it is crucial that we remain aware of the many ways important messages can be censored.
However, what I’ve not really heard anyone discuss is whether or not it’s appropriate for a commercial enterprise to take ANY such provocative stance for, let’s be honest, marketing purposes. There’s no logical association between FNB’s products and the social upheaval they’re so crudely trying to associate their logo with.
This is lifestyle branding at its cynical worst. This bank, an institution that makes the majority of their profits off interest we pay on our debt, are shamelessly co-opting the organic process of citizens acknowledging and expressing discontent through subversive behaviour, for no reason other than gaining access to a demographic they have had difficulty selling their products to in the past.
Here are two facts that may put this entire debacle into a different perspective:
FNB don’t give a shit. Not about you, not about me, not about any resident of SA. From the day a financial institution is founded until the day we are all vaporised by the exploding sun, a bank will care about nothing, not one single thing, that does not affect their bottom line.
A bank does not benefit from political and social unrest. If their economists and actuaries had found some ingenious method of exploiting such a scenario for profit, you can rest assured they would not have so efficiently yanked the campaign off the airwaves. FNB’s interests are to ‘engineer a better South Africa’ only to the extent that it will result in the more frequent lending of money to their clients.
Any messages that contradict these facts have a different agenda entirely and we are at a point in our awareness of such matters that we should start finding them immediately offensive. By focusing on the pressure applied by the ANC and the bank’s resultant capitulation we are giving credibility to the lies we are being told by an overly ambitious (and soon-to-be unemployed) marketing executive.
Please, let’s recognise this campaign, and all others like it, for the insults that they are.
“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
- Jim Rohn
I wish he’d at least acknowledge the subjectivity of the term ‘unusual’ here. I mean, it’s great advice and everything but means very little without at least providing an indication of what ‘unusual’ behaviour he expects will result in the rewards he mentions and what will result in imprisonment.
‘Unusual’ for a man who spends his time writing inspirational quotes on Twitter may be something like… eating an oyster or wearing a Christmas hat to work. For others, ‘unusual’ behaviour involves mescalin rampages and/or the apocalypse.
If I had to pull this blurry line into focus with some kind of logic, I’d suggest that you are veering into the territory of the unstable when you attempt ‘unusual’ behaviour that:
- is dependent on blood leaving your or someone else’s body
- you saw an animated mouse do to a cat
- someone rapped about in a song written before 1989
- involves summoning a creature you cannot see with your regular eyes
- requires more than two people to simultaneously fire guns
- requires one person to fire more than two guns simultaneously
I think this about covers it.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill
I know at some point this guy governed the fuck out of England and did a whole lot of other important shit, but I think he may be missing something here. He definitely knew a lot more about achieving success than I ever will so I am willing to have a reasonable debate about my viewpoint. However, I’m gonna go ahead and insist that I be taken seriously here. Because the one thing that I am confident my knowledge of trumps that of every person not living in a pipe, it’s motherfucking failure.
So, here’s my first point. I’ve always thought that success consists ENTIRELY of going from failure to non-failure. Going from failure to failure is something else. Something not awesome.
Secondly, I put it to Winston Churchill, or any other goddamn leader of the Allied nations who maintains a similar perspective on the matter, that one’s level of enthusiasm has almost no bearing on the likelihood of eventual success. I’ll bet that guy who went over Niagara Falls in a damn wine barrel had a smile on his face from waking up right to the moment his sternum caved in against a rock. That fucker was clicking his damn heels together on his way to the river, delighted at the certainty of the success and fame that would soon be his.
The only difference between these chirpy fools and those who fail while nurturing a realistic amount of skepticism is the level of hilarity with which their failures are remembered. Let’s face it, burning your arms off after gleefully facebooking about how you’re about to solve your neighbourhood’s energy problems will result in sympathy from those who benefit from you having arms. The rest of the world will be laughing their dicks off.
I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences.
- Les Brown
You know, there are days when the universe just gives you exactly what you need. Of course we gotta be realistic and acknowledge that there are also days when the universe gives you an ingrown toenail that necessitates an emergency fucking amputation, but I’m gonna go ahead and focus on the former for today.
This morning I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Which is another way of saying that my sonofabitch phantom limb kept me up all night and, as I stared at the sun rising from behind an unforgiving horizon, I found a familiar comfort in pondering the tender finality of death.
Needless to say, I was hungry for some direction. And God knows I didn’t have the energy to decipher some of the more vague offerings my digital mentors occasionally offer up. I turned on my phone and there from the screen flew this message like a golden goddamn eagle. It’s talons dripping with wisdom.
Please read it again. Do you see the wisdom talons?!? Advice like this gives me hope for myself and all of humankind. Read it AGAIN! Whoever this guy is, he gets straight to the point, doesn’t he? Identify the problems and remove them!
If I had direct access to this man’s wisdom I’d probably spend like a damn month quizzing him on HOW to do this. When I think about him telling me what I need to do, I get tremulous and ecstatic.
I really fucking wish he was here with me now.