I was in a celebratory mood last night. Smith and the boys had thumped the Aussies in what must surely be the greatest test victory in our cricketing history. Having run out of Moet, I decided to watch a bit of TV.
I happened across an episode of “Come dine with me South Africa”. Within a few minutes, my mood changed from jubilance to despair. There is nothing wrong with the program itself – my despair was the result of seeing the hapless contestants not only making complete fools out of themselves but putting it out there on the airwaves for everyone to see.
If I was Mickey Arthur, I would show Michael Clarke and the rest of the Aussie cricket team an episode from this show. It won’t take away the humiliation of having lost the test series but it will certainly make them feel a lot better about being Australian (and not a bunch of backwards South Africans bickering around a dinner table).
If the contestants on the show are anything to go by then our nation is shallower than any Kardashian, more ignorant than Paris Hilton, as entertaining as a gold fish on valium and as tolerant of different cultures and heritage as a hardened extremist stroking his beard in a cave in Afghanistan.
It is as embarrassing to watch as watching Dean Elgar bat in Perth (sorry Dean. He is a good cricketer and I hope that he gets another chance).
I shall avoid watching “Come dine with me South Africa” as fastidiously as good taste avoids Lady Gaga. I had to (quickly) find a highlights package of the cricket to restore my faith.
And that is when I happened upon the new FNB advertisement, the one with the candidate from “Boer soek ‘n vrou”, something or other Jordaan, letting us know that he is the big boss of FNB. It left me cold.
Granted, the advertisement is a marginal improvement on their previous effort. (The one where the the Michael Moll look alike and no doubt part time serial killer (it’s the demonic smile) “branch manager” swoons around the family with too many kids, telling us how all the relatives can get a piece of their old man’s money and then making us believe that the old man is happy about it.)
I don’t want to know that some sheep farmer from the Karoo, who looks too young to even remember the emerging markets crisis of 1998, is the head of a major financial institution. “Afrikaner boy does good” is not the tag line I want for my bank. I want old. I want wisdom. I want a Ben Burnanke or Mervyn King type with steel-rimmed reading glasses and more lines in his face than on a chart of the Rand Dollar exchange rate since 1971.
I want to see a stodgy old guy, with grey skin and wispy white hair in charge of my money. If my banker has tickets for a rock concert, I don’t want to bank there. Perhaps that is unfair, since Mr Jordaan doesn’t strike me as someone who would have tickets for a rock concert (Kurt Darren or Karen Zoid seem more likely choices).
If I didn’t know any better I would have thought it was 1982 and the advertisement was for Volkskas. Try again FNB (does that stand for “First National emBarrassment” I wonder?)
Back to the highlights package then…