Archive for July, 2014

[So this is Ramadan, and what have we done? Another month over, and a new one near begun… Fear not, random citizen, I’m not about to go all ISIS John Lennon on your ass – but in lieu of recent world events that rank right next to Gary Busey on the batshit crazy scale, I think that humanity can collectively agree that “What have we done?” is a pretty damn good question to be asking ourselves right now. Between Malaysian Airlines tragically losing not only another plane but also a motherfucking tanker to hijackers and another plane crashing in Taiwan just today, it’s been a pretty terrible week for Asian transport in general. ISIS have stepped up the insanity by expelling the entire Christian population of Mosul in Iraq and Transformers 4 grossed over $890 million, which I think is the final kick in the nuts for humanity’s collective conscience against evil. But even that doesn’t compare to the injustice currently being carried out in Gaza. Mercilessly killing over 400 civilians, many of whom are women and children, and then excusing your actions by blabbering “human shields” and “rockets” over and over again like some spastic record player ranks right up there with Catfishing and War Crimes on the scale of “Shitty Things to do to your Fellow Human Being”. Thus, I decided to write a piece combining the two things weighing most heavily on my mind – namely food and the crisis in Gaza – the product of which I humbly present to you. Enjoy]

 

Recipes for Democrazy

Israeli Falafel

[“Adopted” as the official national dish of Israel, just like the “adoption” of everything else Palestinian]

 

Drink serving suggestion: Tears of Palestinian orphans. Alternatively, grape juice.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup dried chickpeas

1 large onion, chopped.

2 cloves of garlic, also chopped.

3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, you guessed it, chopped.

2 tablespoons flour, unchopped.

1 teaspoon coriander.

1 teaspoon cumin.

Self-righteous attitude.

Fallacious arguments.

Oil for frying.

 

Preparation:

  1. Place the dried chickpeas in a bowl and cover them with cold water. Allow to soak overnight. In the meantime, proceed with your usual nightly activities, such as watching Gaza get bombed.
  2. Drain the chickpeas, place in a pan with fresh water and bring to a boil.
  3. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then simmer on low heat for about an hour, after which drain and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Mistime everything and repeat steps 1-3.
  5. I know you forgot to buy the cumin but that’s ok.
  6. Combine the chickpeas, chopped garlic, chopped onion and chopped parsley in a medium bowl. Add some of your unchopped flour to this concoction. Don’t worry how much. Cooking is an intuitive skill. See the flour. Feel the flour. Be the flour.
  7. Come up with a satisfactory excuse for when your significant other walks in on you “being flour”.
  8. Mash the chickpeas, ensuring to mix the ingredients together. You want the result to be a thick paste. You can also combine the ingredients in a food processor, but only if you haven’t been banned from electric kitchen appliances like yours truly. I once started a kitchen fire whilst trying to make toast, but that’s another story [SEE: Recipes for Democrazy, French Toast in a Toaster]
  9. You were supposed to add the coriander in with everything else before mashing. Fuck. My bad, guys. Throw the coriander away.
  10. Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping-pong ball. Flatten slightly.
  11. Notice that three of your handmade chickpea balls have gone missing.
  12. Go absolutely ballistic. Blame your neighbours for stealing your balls then invade their home. Arrest and/or shoot the man of the house. “Accidentally” murder/maim his wife and kids for good measure. Blame the “collateral” damage on the man for using his family as human shields, then bomb the house [recipes for explosives not included in this cookbook, see: Recipes for Revolution, also by me]
  13. Have your cronies at the local news agency spin the story. Proclaim that you did it in the name of God’s falafel if you must. Bring up Anti-Semitism if asked for comment. Then go back home.
  14. Realize that you had actually miscounted the number of balls you had originally made and that they are all there.
  15. Shrug.
  16. Heat some oil in a large pan.
  17. Fry the first batch of falafel in the oil.
  18. Burn the first batch of falafel in the oil.
  19. Fry the second batch of falafel in the oil, taking care to NOT burn it this time. Maybe if you time yourself frying it, for like 2-3 minutes, that would help. The falafel should be golden brown on the outside once fried.
  20. Remove your falafel from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on a serving plate.
  21. Season with salt, pepper and self-righteousness to taste.
  22. Add some hot sauce or hummus to your falafel balls or place them in a pita, I don’t really give a shit.
  23. Garnish with those weird plant things that you always find on restaurant dishes (not listed in ingredients)
  24. Serve hot, making sure to eat your falafel in plain sight of your neighbours’ mourning family.

 

And there you have it!

Be sure to check back for the next instalment in the Recipes for Democracy series, South African Boerewors (own firepool required) followed by A Single Peanut from Ethiopia.

 

[This piece was inspired by a post on cracked.com by Dan O’ Brien, and the falafel recipes were sourced from here and here. Just to be crystal clear: I do not condone any form of discrimination against any human being whatsoever, whether that discrimination takes the form of anti-Semitism or Islamophobia or homophobia or any –ism or –phobia that involves the subjugation of some human beings under other human beings.  I am vehemently anti-the-Israeli-government because of its oppressive apartheid policies against the people of Palestine as well as its ruthless brutality against the Gazan civilians, the same way I am anti-ISIS or anti-Saudi or anti-any-human-rights-violators. Follow me on Twitter @MibHatesUsAll for more amazing recipes and follow @AliAbunimah or @RemRoum for updates on the crisis in Gaza. Also follow @BDSsouthafrica for details on how you can contribute to the Palestinian struggle and if you are a student at WITS, come through tomorrow to the Library Lawns on East Campus at 13:15 to assist in painting an enormous banner as a show of solidarity.  

Finally, I have some closing words on the situation in Gaza: The images of children lying broken and battered on the beach and streets of Gaza, of mothers screaming and fathers sobbing silently over tiny bodies drowning in white sheets, and of utter carnage – uncaring, unceasing, unnecessary – speak a thousand words of pain, of misery, of man at his lowest form.  There’s no going back after this. If any good has come out of this latest saga of brutality perpetrated by the Israeli government, it’s that people – not governments, but common people – around the world have united to take a stand against the atrocities being committed in Gaza. From the streets of Seoul to the pavements of Paris to the cobblestones of Istanbul to the bridges of Jozi, we have come together as one to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians. And it won’t end after the IDF’s bloodlust in Gaza is temporarily sated. Eyes have been opened. Hearts have bled compassion. If we as the global community allow Israel to return to its status quo of daily oppression, we have lost. The tipping point has been reached. Injustice will be conquered. This is the beginning of the end]

 

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The Hollow People

Posted: July 2, 2014 in MiB Hates Us All

[So, I recently succumbed to immense and intense pressure from my peers (both imaginary and real) and downloaded Instagram. I’m not proud of it. I don’t intend on using it for anything other than lamenting the fact that we have the entire history of human knowledge in the palm of our hands and as a collective species we have chosen to use that technology to take selfies – and also to watch Snoop Dogg’s fucking insane Instagram videos. I’m a masochist like that. Anyway, what follows is a short story I wrote inspired by Instagram, its users and the general sad state of affairs in which we find ourselves during these dark and dismal days. It’s different to my usual style of writing, but not inferior in any sense, for there is no such thing as my lesser work – enjoy]

She was a twenty-something gym-addict free-soul flower-child, a trivial figure in a trifling world. She would often stop not only to smell the roses but to Instagram them too. She had led what most would call a privileged life, peppered with ponies and parties and princess-like things. She was beautiful in the way advertisements are beautiful – airbrushed and filtered layers coating a photoshopped personality at her core. She could make up her face but not her mind. If you asked her what her hopes and dreams were, she would say something along the lines of the typical white picket fence dream interspersed with the word “bae” and then #RelationshipGoals.

He was a twenty-something part-time model that could best be described as a child in a man’s body. He cared for nothing and everything at the same time; he was noble in thought yet weak in action. The sides of his head were shaved and he had a combover that was parted so sharply, one would think that his barber’s name was Moses. It was, by the way. He frequented a hair salon in the middle of Braamfontein under the guise of seeming more in tune with urban vibes. He was neither handsome nor beautiful and in fact looked like something that fell off the outside of a church, but his practised charm and oft-rehearsed lines easily seduced the drunk and the damned. His pastimes included seeing and being seen at premier events, scouring GoodReads for deep, dark and mysterious quotes to tweet and getting laid and getting paid.

They met on a park bench one fine summer’s day when she asked him for a light.

He looked up at her, momentarily startled from his intense gazing at his Twitter timeline as he feverishly refreshed it in the hopes that somebody would retweet his latest offering to the Twitterverse. He acquiesced to her polite request, of course, because denying someone the use of your lighter ranks up there with the Holocaust and broadcasted BBM messages on the list of dickish things to do. He watched her intently as she lit her cigarette, transfixed by her elegant extensions and her made-up face and the manner in which she lit it which was clearly based on an Angelina Jolie character in some long-forgotten movie. His thumb never stopped its downward flicking as he drank in her artificial beauty.

She sat down on the park bench next to him and flashed him a smile that was neither rare nor particularly well-done, for that matter. He returned it with a pre-programmed smirk reserved for photoshoots and parties and picking up potential.

“Hey there, stranger,” she said. “Hey yourself,” he replied.

They sat and spoke of mediocre things like the weather and celebrities and the meaning of life.

“You know, the Native Americans believe that a part of your soul is lost every time a photo is taken of you,” he said to her, parroting something he had just read on Twitter between his frantic fingering as she took a selfie.

“Maybe I don’t have any more soul left to lose,” she replied esoterically, as she took a sip of her Vitamin Water.

And then something happened.

A moment passed between them as they both stared into the other’s eyes and felt a yearning to scream into the other’s soul. To bleed out through the cracks in the cold porcelain walls they had constructed around their cores. To suddenly grab hold of the other’s shoulders and rebel with a rebel yell of “I fucking love you!” or “I fucking hate you!” or to ask forbidden thing such as “Tell me something that makes you cry?” or “Would you go back and change your worst and best decisions if it would lead to a different yet unknown reality?”. One moment they were impenetrable, invincible, untouchable. The next, their hearts were somehow beating outside their chests, exposed to the elements. A moment passed between them that was raw and real, a moment of bright hot ashes amongst the musty dust, a moment in which they shone like magnificent meteors amongst the sleepy plastic planets, like photons exploding in a shower of yellow blazes-

A moment so real, it was surreal.

It passed, of course, as moments are wont to do, and they left each other shortly afterwards, unsure of what had happened.

Later that night she would post a cryptic Facebook status detailing her experience in words that didn’t quite fit and then wait for the litany of likes to flood in.

Later that night he would tweet the lyrics of a song, possibly the Beatles but probably Drake, relating somewhat to his experience, his thumb constantly flicking downwards, never leaving the screen.

 

[So there you have it. Mucho appreciato to @SeriFairy for her stellar and rigorous editing work on not only this piece, but all of my previous work she has edited. Head over to her blog at overthewoods.wordpress.com to check out some of her writing. Follow me on Twitter @MibHatesUsAll. Don’t follow me on Instagram @MibHatesUsAll. Like mibhatesusall.com on Facebook for updates on my writing. Friend me on Facebook and I will post an ad on Gumtree for discounted One Direction tickets with your contact details. Try me, motherfuckers]