Friday, July 9, 2010

Dear The Editor

I opened my local newspaper yesterday afternoon, and found this letter to the editor. I typed it in here exactly as it appeared in the newspaper. In a rather pissed off state of mind I formulated a reply, which I sent to the editor.

“Myns insiens is die mens net ‘n robot van God. God skape die mens volgens Sy wil.

Voordat die mens gebore word, programmeer God hom om te dink, sê en te doen wat God wil hê dat hy moet dink, sê en doen deur sy hele lewe, sodat God se wil met hom vervul kan word. God plaas gedagtes in sy bewussyn soos liefde, honger, seks, ens.

Hierdie gedagtes vloei net in sy bewussyn in, sonder dat hy enige beheer daaroor het. Hy kan nie verhoed dat enige van sy gedagtes sy bewussyn binnekom nie. Hy tree dan op volgens hierdie gedagtes. Party mense reken dat die mens tog ‘n wil van sy eie het en kan besluit wat om met hierdie gedagtes te doen.

Dit is maar net weer ‘n ander gedagte wat sy bewussyn binnegekom het, sonder dat hy dit kon verhoed. ‘n Mens bid soms, maar jou gebed word nie verhoor nie, omdat dit waarvoor jy gebid het, nie is wat God wil hê nie. Dan bid jy weer en jou gebed word verhoor. Hoekom? Omdat dit waarvoor jy gebid het, is wat God wil hê.”
Piet, Lindhaven (e-pos)

To summarize Piet, no idea, action or thought you have is your own. Everything comes from God, no matter how fucked up it may seem.
Dear The Editor,

In response to Piet from Lindaven’s letter in the Roodepoort Record dated 9 July 2010, I have the following in response.

It is quite obvious from what Piet wrote that he is the kind of person that has made some bad choices in life and doesn’t want to take responsibility for them.

Piet postulates that man is a robot, created and programmed by God. What an absurd notion. Then he goes on to state that man does not have a free will, but that the idea of “free will” is another idea planted into our heads by God.

Piet’s idea is that we are nothing but puppets, having our strings pulled by The Almighty. If that is the case, then why are there still murders today? Hell, why was there a murder in Genesis. I mean really now. If God was in charge then, as He is supposedly now he could have stopped Cain murdering Abel.

If free will is not involved, then why in Joshua 24:15 does it say “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve...” The word I see there is choose, meaning free will, the one thing Piet from Lindhaven wishes to rid us off.

By that same argument, God himself decided that I should be an agnostic misanthrope. It was God’s will that I become a software analyst for a billion rand a year organization while Piet fits tyres at the local Supaquick.

I think that perhaps that is Piet’s biggest problem. Piet couldn’t hack the math, science and logic exercises to understand how computers work, besides sending e-mails obviously, and maybe finding some naughty pictures. It seems that Piet has a paltry grasp on the nature of the human animal.

Supposedly, according to the honourable and oh so clever Piet, when you pray and nothing happens it is because you were not praying according to God’s will. But, when what you pray for becomes reality, then that is what was God’s will. What is the use of praying then? If the Almighty God is going to perform according to His will, what is the use of man doing or saying anything? It is quite obvious that the God of Piet does whatever He, or She, wants.

And before Piet decides that I am an ignorant buffoon with no idea of the Holy Scriptures, let me say that I have a diploma in theology. Which, I can assure you, is more than some pastors have. I would’ve completed a degree by now if I didn’t wake up one day and realize how absurd the notion of another being controlling my life is.

I would advise the Piet to revise his thinking. I would further advise Piet to “man up”, take responsibilities for your actions. Do not, under any circumstances, pass the blame for your life sucking onto someone, or something, else.

Best Regards.

I Loathe Modern Buildings...

I hate townhouses, I really do. And flats, don’t get me started on flats.

I know some people have issues with townhouses and flats for the fact that one townhouse looks exactly like its neighbour. I can assure you that that is the least of my problems with townhouses. If I really have to think about it, I have a problem with any house built after the 1990s.

Getting back to the issue at hand. Yes, every townhouse in a complex looks exactly like the one before it. And exactly like the one after it. My biggest issue with buildings built after the 1990s is space, or lack thereof.

We have a flat that we rent for a few thousand a month, not including the liquids and sparks. That is for 80m², and a garage that locks.  In that 80m² we’ve got a lot of stuff piled in. Basically, enough space for us to have our shit all over the place and not trip over anything, except for the cat, but that was her own fault.

Now recently Herself & I went to look at another flat.  Advertised for a thousand more than what we’re paying now, but Herself talked it down by R500. Apparently this place is 85m². We looked and looked but couldn’t find the 5m². Besides not finding the 5m², it looked like another couple of square meters got lost somewhere.

We could comfortably fit all our stuff in there under one of two conditions. Either we put all our furniture in piles, or we sell three-quarters of it. Neither of those two conditions was ideal.

It is quite possible that my ideal house doesn’t exist, or it does exist just not in the area I want it to exist in. My ideal home would be like my parents house.

The Parental home was built in the early 1980s. Back when people had larger families than the norm today. Back when people still lived at home, not just a place to consume meals and catch up on sleep before rushing out to meet yet another deadline.

These days you can’t get a house really big enough. It’s big enough for sleeping and eating, and that’s about it. You can’t swing a cat in these modern houses. I could try, but I don’t think Her Royal Cattiness would appreciate being knocked about the head with a wall.

When I moved to Jozi 5 years ago, I had a bed, a chair and two folding tables. With each flat I moved into after that, my possessions have grown exponentially. Then I added Herself into the mix. Herself didn’t have too much in the way of furniture, but together we have acquired a few items. Now we’re quite attached to these purchases of ours and really don’t want to get rid of them in order to fit into a broom cupboard advertised as a “townhouse”.

So, the search for the perfect house, in the perfect location and at the lowest possible price continues. Hopefully, one of these days we’ll be successful. Who knows.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Things I've Learnt From My Neighbours

  1. Never close a door quietly. In fact, doors must be slammed shut with as much energy as you can muster. Preferably, for maximum effect all door slamming activities should be performed in the early hours of the morning.
  2.  Never, ever invite your friends into your flat for a coffee and a conversation. It is far better to have your conversations in the corridor outside your flat, and at a level that allows your neighbours to find out how it’s going with Piet’s divorce and Sibongile’s kidney stones.
  3. When having your friends over for a braai, you should under no circumstances use the designated braai area by the pool. For best results, put your braai right outside your front door. This will enable the maximum amount of smoke to infiltrate your neighbours’ apartments and for them to enjoy the atmosphere you are creating for your guests.
  4. If you have a cellphone that can play music, use it. Play the most obnoxious music you can find, loudly while strolling up and down the corridors. The effects can be maximised by having a simultaneous shouty conversation with your friend, who is happening to be standing right next to you at the time.
  5. During school holidays the best place for your children to play is in the corridors between the flats. Any of your neighbours that may be working from home will welcome the distraction that your screaming children bring.
  6. When parking your car, it is best not to try and get into the parking straight. Rather have a large part of your car sticking out of the parking in order to see which of your neighbours are alert when entering the premises.
  7. When leaving the parking area, try go as fast as possible. For your enjoyment the people walking to and from their cars will dance a little jig to avoid getting hit by you.

Bonus tips from the idiots at the bar across the road:

  1.  Music in the bar area is best enjoyed at air raid level. The people in the flats across the road absolutely love it when you make their fillings rattle.
  2. Always try and rev your souped up Corsa or Shiti Golf for as long as possible. We appreciate this show of masculinity and bow to your awesomeness. The same is true for any shithead on a motorbike.
  3. One word: Donuts. The ladies love donuts. We salute you... shithead!
  4. If, for any reason, the bar closes early and you feel like partying then by all means have your own party in the parking lot. We love Kurt Darren. Especially on repeat. And very especially at 6 o’clock in the morning of a public holiday. The only day we get to sleep in.