Sunday, 1 April 2007

Random rants blah

Krizz asked me via SMS from Germany this week why I'm not blogging. I wanted to respond and say: "Krizz, who last posted something on 27 November... 2006. Ahem." Too late now, it seems :-) (see below). I sincerely hoped you passed the German test, dude, after sitting around in bars the evening before... I can of course blame Blogger, which does not want to accept my posts via the web anymore... grrrrrr.


I had the opportunity to write down some thoughts earlier this week at Joburg airport. The place was chockers, and I had five hours of Nothingness to convert into something productive. It didn't happen, but I did write some thoughts down. I thought to myself, why not at least rant a little? That's the easiest thing to do isn't there? Complain complain complain. Just listen to people in shopping queues, airport lounges, smoking on the corporate sidewalks of South Africa, phoning in to late night talk radio...


[That-reminds-me-Interlude: I listened to a chat segment on RadioSonderGrense on my way to the airport about "tienerswangerskappe en seksvoorligting" and all I wished for was a more secular, more realistic discussion...I loved the tannie who kept on talking about "Die Kondoom" like people who say "The Gay," "The Moslem" etc. like they are talking about some alien lifeform.)


Where was I? Oh yes, my favourite species of complainer: the person in the slow moving Post Office/ Home Affairs/ bank queue that turns around and in a eerie, conspirational manner says: "Of course this is the NEW South Africa." Wink wink.


I have not lost it in one of those situations. Not yet.


To get to the point. Let me join in. Let me complain a bit. Here's a list of things I jotted down:

  • The Nokia N80 is the worst phone ever. It's my 5th Nokia and it might be the one that makes me switch. No battery life, so the supposedly wonderful features are useless because they never get used if I want to make it through one day of phone calls. Slow as a slow-mo. Dumb for a smartphone. Lots of little irritating bits which I won't even mention. It's been 6 months of hell.
  • I cannot find a case for my 4G iPod anymore. It's two and a half years old. Apple Store people look at me like I'm a freak. The Internet offers little solace (if I don't want slime-green socks).
  • I cannot find diff bearings for my 1973 Fiat. Plan B was replace the whole diff/ axle, but the mechanic went on holiday without telling me. Time to buy a new car. Time to move into the 80's.
  • I don't want to hear your conversation about "it's an opportunity" across 25 meters of airport lounge floor!!! You! Over there!

I always forget the important ones. The one's about how people drive, myopic politicians and losing to Australia. But it's a start. And easy.

Mike Adler's view on administration

Op my pa se lessenaar was n bordjie wat gelees het: "n Deurmekaar Lessenaar is die Merk van n Genie." In daai geval is ek die slimste ou in ons departement. Met dit as agtergrond, hier is iets deur Mike Adler wat ek nogal geniet het:

As every Australian Academic knows all too well, there are three things that we are supposed to do, Research, Administration and Teaching, of which the most rewarding financially is administration. We used to promote has-beens to do administrative chores and to increase their pay to compensate for the loss of prestige that goes with being a drudge. The laws of supply and demand have ensured that drudges now have the prestige, and the power to order things the way that drudges like them. My position on administrative chores is that I do what the Mathematics Department requires no matter how much valuable time it wastes on bizarre and pointless ritual designed only to placate meddling bureaucrats with an inadequate grasp of their own ineptitude. At the same time I point out the folly of it, vehemently. The only alternative is to join the bastards, which would leave me too full of self-disgust to function.
There are some honest administrators around who have come to it from honourable motives. I have met three, and there may be others. Two of them even have a sense of humour. They are usually very well organised but not very creative. Well, if everybody was like me the world would fall apart over the weekend, and an honest administrator who really works for the public good is a jewel to be treasured. We look at each other through the bars, each wondering which side is the zoo. I am prepared to admit that I need them, I can only hope they feel the same way about me. I doubt if those in Canberra do.
By contrast, what I think of the blinkered reptilian scum who get their jollies by working their way into politics in pursuit of status, prestige and the joys of pushing other people around, should not be put on a website which may be read by the young and innocent. To the blinkered reptilian scum I say: `Beware. Do not mess with me, or I will eat your eggs'.

The quote comes from here.