Archive for December, 2012

[Names have been changed in order to protect the people those names belong to (and myself) from humiliation, environmentalists and Beliebers]

If you live within our Universe, you might be aware that there are scientific laws which govern this previously-mentioned Universe. These staggering statements sum up the entire physical state of being in a smattering of words and an equation of symbols – it’s almost impossible to comprehend the unseen power contained within these wonky squiggles. Yet most, if not all, of these laws can be broken. Newton’s Laws, for example, become inappropriate for use at very small scales, very high speeds or very strong gravitational fields. Einstein and Bohr argued over the correct interpretation of the Uncertainty Principle – Einstein said “I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the universe” to which Bohr responded “Einstein, don’t tell God what to do.” I, however, have fallen victim many a time – as have most of you, no doubt – to the one Universal Law that cannot be broken, beaten, smashed or roundhouse-kicked into a gutter. I refer, dear readers, to Murphy’s Law.

[I don’t refer to the later Murphy’s Law and the Goonie Goo Goo Principle regarding the existence of Bigfeet, of course. If you got that line, firstly give yourself a pat on the back and go buy yourself a Rolex or something – you deserve it. Secondly, you are fucking awesome. Thirdly, please tell me – either in the comment section or via email or singing telegram or smoke signals or whatever. I need to know that people like you actually exist.]

Murphy’s Law states that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Being MiB, Murphy’s Law and I have a relationship not unlike a sexual predator and a playground. And so, on my very first night in res at the YLC, every-fucking-thing went wrong. So SO wrong. Here’s the breakdown:

20:00 –  SAIIA staff person-in-charge Deseado informs the group at large that all delegates should revise their position papers (condensed research documents explaining their respective perspective on the topics) to prepare for Tuesday’s negotiations.

20:01 –  I come to terms with the fact that my position paper is non-existent. I also come to terms with the fact that it was due the previous Tuesday.

20:05 – I start to feel slightly panicked. I have just read over my perspective and have no idea what the fuck I should do. My respective perspective is “Regional Bodies (Americas and Europe)” regarding education. I stare at it like a teenager witnessing his first pair of tits, despondently wishing that the ink would magically morph itself into breasts. It doesn’t.

20:06 – I remember that the SAIIA staff have offered to help delegates with “anything they require”. Despite sounding suspiciously like a Bordello’s, I decide to keep the wisecracks to myself, stop being such a smartass and do something to avoid looking like a total idiot on Tuesday.

20:08 – All the staff have left and are nowhere to be found. I feel slightly nauseated at this point.

20:20 – I finally find a staff member, Didi. She is awesome and she informs me of everything that I need to research in order to produce a position paper of quality. She also tells me that she will read over my paper in the morning if I give it to her before breakfast. I am relieved. So relieved that I decide to leave the position paper for later and immerse myself in the welcome activities.

22:10 – After almost two hours of playing social games, introducing myself to strangers and still not making friends, I trudge back up to my room. Socializing sucks. At least my group won the UN quiz – the three girls in my group won bath salts as prizes and I was offered a choice between bath salts and a self-help book. Mentally deciding that I would rather take an earbud to the urethra than choose bath salts (the earbud thing could actually turn out to be fun depending on who does it, really), I choose the lesser of the two evils and take the self-help book.

22:11 – There is no Wi-Fi in the res room. No problem – this is where an iPhone and setting up a Personal Hotspot comes in handy. At least Steve Jobs did one thing right in his lifetime. I smile.

22:12 –  My airtime balance is R0.86 – again, not a problem. With FNB, I can recharge my airtime balance directly from my bank account. I buy R275 airtime. Still smiling.

22:13 – I receive an SMS reading “Delay in processing recharge request. You will be notified via SMS once completed.” I stop smiling.

22:14 – Obviously stunned by this revelation, I try again. Same message.

22:16 – Now I’m just being retarded because I buy another R55 airtime.

22:20 – I refuse to be defeated. I decide to call my dad and ask him to transfer me airtime – maybe it’s just FNB that’s fucking up. “How can we help you?” my big black ass.

22:21 – I remember that I have no airtime. I send 17 Please Call Me’s to my parents and pray that they haven’t yet gone to bed like old people. See, old people are truly the root of all problems.

22:26 – Success!!! My mum calls me. I explain my dilemma. She laughs.

22:27 – Still laughing.

22:28 – Still. Fucking. Laughing.

22:30 – Laughing stops. She agrees to send through airtime. I wait anxiously.

22:40 – No airtime has come through. She calls and says that Vodacom has been experiencing difficulty with the recharging service since 20:00. I am speechless.

23:00 – I sit dazed in front of my laptop. ‘Well, shitballs,’ I say out loud. One tends to hope that one’s words before writing a paper that will be presented as part of a UN Declaration will be more poetic than “well, shitballs”, but there you have it.

23:05 – I decide that my only option is to wait until Vodacom’s recharging service comes back online and write my position paper then. I plug my laptop and cellphone in to charge and connect my hard drive. Might as well watch a movie in the meantime. The Dark Knight, here I come.

23:20 – The electricity goes out. Fuck, fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

23:25 – The electricity comes back on. I decide to not mess with the laptop’s battery and switch off the movie. I move onto the bed and pick up the self-help book. The title is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers.” I snort and open to a random page.

23:26 – The words “PROCRASTINATE LESS – LEAVE NO MESS” are emblazoned in bold black ink across the page. I throw the book across the room into the bin – 3 points.

23:45 – No news from Vodacom yet. I decide to set my phone alarm in half-hour increments throughout the night to check when the airtime comes through.

00:30 – No news.

01:30 – I slept through the last alarm. Still no news.

02:15 – Woke up suddenly. Still no news. Decide to play Super Hexagon until the next alarm.

02:25 – Halle-fucking-lujah!!! Good news: Vodacom is back online. Bad news: I now have somewhere in the region of R800 airtime. I decide to celebrate by rewarding myself with an hour-and-a-half of uninterrupted sleep.

04:00 – I get up and begin researching and writing the position paper. Being an aficionado of words and research, I fly through it. Man, I think, why didn’t I do this last week Tuesday?

05:00 – The paper is done. I email it to Didi and get back into bed.

07:30 – At breakfast, which is horrendous, Didi tells me that my position paper is A-OK and that in fact it wasn’t even really necessary to write one up, as long as I knew enough to write an opening statement.  I choke on the cat piss they are trying to pass off as orange juice and everybody looks at me as if I am clinically retarded. What a funny story, right? I know – it’s fucking hilarious.

© 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved


It has recently come to my attention that the state of humanity is in dire straits. Hell, it’s gotten so bad that it might even be in dire gays, bordering on the verge of dire furries. Personally, I blame the old people. Our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, and let’s even throw in our great-grandparents’ generation for good measure. After all, they were the ones that gave us the Obamas and Osamas and global warming and forced conforming and nuclear powers and acid showers and Clintons with hard-ons as well as genocide, homicide, regicide, elephanticide and all those other nice words that end in -cide. The most that our generation can be blamed for is a renewed interest in vampire-boning and the death of culture. But at least we aren’t killing off the fucking whales, right? Yes, it’s been said many times before and hopefully will not be said by my Russo-Spanish-Indian kids, but our parents’ generation has failed us. The onus has fallen on us, the so-called Millennials, to sucker-punch the Alzheimer-riddled captains of old out the way and seize the helm of the (leader)ship – see what I did there? – and steer us safe and true towards that bright but ever-furthering horizon on these ever-rising waters.

This topic came to mind as I recently spent a week at WITS University attending the first ever South African Institute of International Affairs Young Leaders Conference, which besides being a mouthful was an incredibly stimulating experience. Much happened this past week, both in terms of progress in the real world and progress in MiB’s world – also, this has given me some material to write about. People have been nagging me to write for an eternity, and while my general adage has been “Apathy kills, but I don’t care,” I think it’s time to put finger to keyboard once more.

And so, I arrived at the YLC with a positive mindset and less apathy than usual, hoping to be part of something bigger and better and hopefully less useless than the current people in charge of the world. Also, I was looking to impress and give a genuine attempt to becoming more socially integrated because if you know me, then you’ll know that I don’t generally play well with others and if you don’t know me – welcome to the blog. Stay the hell away from me. Sorry – reflex.

The first thing I did was eat a rather disgusting dinner. There’s no kind way to put it – res food blows. In my opinion, mass produced food should be reserved for refugee and concentration camps. The second thing we did was introduce and tell the group at large something interesting about ourselves. Now, being a badass writer and whatnot, I thought that I should come up with something witty and cool to say that would instantly make me likable, despite my loathing of the word “likable”. Also, I thought this would be a great time to promote the blog. So when my turn arrived, I stood up suavely, waited for all eyes to settle upon me and said, in a cool baritone:

“Hey – my name is MiB. I’m a writer – writing is my passion. Some of my most celebrated pieces include short stories, one-act plays and grocery lists…”

Nobody laughed. At all. In fact, some crickets decided that this would be the perfect time to play Beethoven’s 9th fucking symphony. Well, thought I, this is going to be one hell of a week.

© 2012-2013 All Rights Reserved