Pigs, politicians, PETA and pilgrims
By Max Dylan Lazarus
It’s been a wonderfully introspective week in our beautiful country. It just seems to me that all South Africans spent the last few days looking inwards, assessing themselves, their identities and their relationships with one another. It started with the jarring national crisis of SA’s loss to Japan in the World Cup on Saturday (subsequently filling up every church on Sunday), followed by religious holidays with those of the Jewish faith repenting on Yom Kippur while the Muslim community enjoyed post Eid-feast Itis naps. Finally we reached peak SMH, with the oh so blind development of the #IAmStellenbosch Facebook page, leading us to believe that if the children truly are our future, well then we’re pretty damn screwed. Let’s look at what else happened in the week that was
Politicians Fu**ing Pigs
Why did this have to happen on Sunday night? The world learned that David Cameron allegedly put his penis into a dead pig back in his raucous Bullingdon Club days (between allegedly demolishing restaurants and allegedly setting fire to bank notes in front of homeless people). Twitter went wild, the media got lost in uncertainty trying to figure out how to report such a story, it came, it went, and now almost a week later I have nothing new to cover here. Huge doubts remain over whether he did or did not actually make love to a ham, but what we are pretty damn certain of is that a huge proportion of Britain’s leaders, including Cameron, have been part of this little horrific Camp Tigerclaw f***boy club, and with what we know about it there is a distinct possibility that the prime minister did in fact streak some bacon. Let us however, not be hypocrites. By all accounts the prime minister deserves due criticism if these allegations prove to be true, but until that point perhaps we should all come forward and admit to our own transgressions (I am clearly still in Yom Kippur mode). I for one have had many a romantic rendezvous with Woolworths’ microwave Sheppard’s Pies. At least now I can rest easy knowing that despite this revelation, my political aspirations remain on track.
A terrible event occurred this week, when over 700 pilgrims were killed in a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, several miles east of Mecca. The numbers keep increasing, and in the aftermath the blame game has commenced in full force. Organisers (obviously) claim that now is not the time for an inquisition, as the focus should be on assisting the dead and injured. Many people, including pilgrims, the Iranian government, and others, blame Saudi Organisers, while certain Saudi organisers have ridiculously gone so far as to blame the actual gigantic throng of people hosted by the nation for doing this to themselves. It’s a total travesty, made even more horrible by just how avoidable it is with even the tiniest amount of proper organisation and preparation. But as is the nature of disasters involving religion (see TB Joshua church collapse), you can expect apologies, more apologies, and references to this somehow being “part of the plan”. We wait in hope for the message that all South African pilgrims are safely accounted for.
Das Auto Disaster
Deceit, deception and diesel: a Volkswagen story. The biggest corporate scandal of the last decade came to the world’s attention this week, as it became clear that VW had installed a small detection devices into all of its diesel engines manufactured in the period between 2009 and 2015, which according to the New York Times “knew when a car was being tested for emissions and artificially lowered emissions of smog-causing pollutant.” So while the brand has pretended to be one of the most technologically forward, environmentally conscious car manufacturers around, each VW has been polluting the atmosphere at an estimated 40-times the legislated limit. Immorality incorporated, amiright? So what does this mean for VW? Well in the US you can expect every one of these cars to be recalled in the near future. That’s about half a million vehicles. VW will be fined up to $37,500 for each car, adding up to a total of around $18 billion. And this is just the beginning – the amount of people who will take the company to court is simply unbelievable. Call me naïve, but I expected more from VW – I mean, this is a company that shook off its association as Adolph Hitler’s best. Well so much for that.
The PETA-patter of stupid feet
Let me make it perfectly clear that I am pretty damn animal-obsessed. I absolutely love animals, to a level that is pretty silly. I can’t think of a much better way to spend my time than to go through all of David Attenborough’s catalogue of wildlife videos, from start to finish. My Instagram account is pretty much exclusively animal accounts, from adorable puppies to weird rare tapirs. My idea of a great day out is to just go and see animals in the wild. Did you know echidnas have 4 penises? ANIMALS ARE AMAZING! There is an important distinction that needs to be made though, and that’s between loving animals, and being a total utter psychopath. If you’re a member of PETA, then I’m afraid you’re part of the latter, and you’re partially responsible for why the terrorists want us dead. This week PETA took photographer David J. Slater to court, claiming that he has been unfairly benefitting financially from the now-famous selfie taken on his camera by a curious crested black macaque. Just to understand the rationale here, PETA are suggesting that this man is exploiting a wild monkey by profiting from a photo he is very much responsible for. Slater has responded saying "I am obviously bemused at PETA's stunt but also angry as well as sad. This makes animal welfare charities look bad which saddens me, deflecting away from the animals and onto stunts like this."
All About The Basic Living Wage
Remember that unbelievably awful skinny-shaming song “All About the Bass” sung by whatshername in that nasally horrible voice – the one that was on radio 24/7 for about 6 months around the start of 2015? The one that ruined families, and made babies cry, just by being so unbelievably awful? Do you remember it? Well the writer of that hit is in the news this week as we learnt just how unfair the music industry actually is. How much money do you reckon a songwriter earns for a song that becomes a number one hit in 78 countries and accumulates over 178 million streams online: 10 thousand dollars at least, right? 100 thousand isn’t out of the question either. You know what, there’s so much money in music that it isn’t out of the question that the writer struck gold and became a millionaire I guess? Well guess again, because Kevin Kadish has come out and informed the world that for his bonafide super-hit he earned a total of $5,600. That’s it: a total pittance. This has come to the fore as Congress in America grapple with some bills that should distribute earnings more equitably to benefit songwriters and not just producers and performers. Here’s hoping it all pans out.
Thanks for reading! Here’s to another exciting and interesting week.