Every day the world wakes up to
another slew of hysterical headlines trying to convince the common man
that somewhere a part of the sky is falling. Alongside these literary
thrills features all the advice you’ll ever need … about anything!
tone of editorials has become predictably dramatic and distressing and
are often nothing more than embellishments of whispered rumours—exactly
the sort of enterprise one expects from the media and copycat writers
desperate to secure some public following.
For those prone to
misunderstanding and taking offense, I am not claiming that journalists
and editors should not convey real tragedies and tangible threats with
the requisite level of adverbial colouring that does such stories
justice, but must every single hiccup in the employment statistics, or
squabble in parliament, or teenage pregnancy necessarily serve to blow
the trumpets signaling Armageddon?
There are days when I still
force myself to read the news, but for the most part, I take to reading
history books—some, centuries old—to keep up with modern times. And this
is entirely possible because all the drama, angst, and upheaval we see
today have already done their rounds—numerous times—in the past.
rather than listen to or read the thumb-sucked opinion of some
journalist or columnist who had a brainstorming session with his/her
drinking pals the night before (regarding the dire state of the global
economy, of course), I dismiss many such contributions on the basis that
these modern-day prophets of the printing-press don’t actually know
what the hell they are talking about! Getting one of these ‘columnists’
to thumb a few pages through a proper book containing facts is near
impossible—because they take to scandals, clichés, lunch-time politics,
and housewife wisdom like moths take to candlelight.
these offending individuals—a few of them featuring on this very
site—but the list would be too long … and mentioning any one of the
offenders by name would but simply nudge them towards another
over-a-cup-of-tea-and-a-sandwich discussion with a colleague, before
discharging a 2,500-word retort in their own defense the next morning.
Some people truly feel it is not just their right but also their duty to
disseminate their ignorance regarding everything around them, but they
do so at the cognitive detriment of their readers.
history has demonstrated, such problems will often get a lot worse
before they get any better. And things have gotten worse—much worse! By
far the most insulting blocks of text now filling up the (web)pages of
the nearest THE INDEPENDENT are the numerous self-help articles
frequently authored by teenage wannabe writers who enjoy nepotistic
advantage by way of their mother’s or father’s position as the editor
for the regional gazette.
You are in for a literary treat as
these channelers of the obvious tell you all the things they think you
didn’t know about starting your own business, saving up for your
retirement, giving birth to your first set of twins, and baking the
perfect Black Forest cake!
And just when we (well, those of us
who eventually get bored with the same) had finally had enough of these
contrived and vapid self-help articles, some genius went and introduced
the ‘grocery list’ article as the solution! OH JOY! Instead of just one
tip about how to raise your son to be feminist suck-up, you can now
learn…………………… hold on …………………. wait for it ……………… THE 10 SECRETS TO RAISING YOUR MAN CHILD TO BE A WUSS!
me the demented scenes of Japanese porn stars shoving live eels up
their butts over this nonsense any day of the week! My belief in
professional integrity would be much less wrecked from seeing some
Japanese porn actress prolapse in a puddle of wriggling eels than
reading the 10 things I never knew about David Hasselhoff or revisiting the 7 most adorable sitcom characters from the 70s!
is the very thing those illiterate old hermits in the hills of yore
tried to warn us would happen if society did not band together and
resist the information age! Now look at what rampant literacy and
endless volumes of information have reduced the world to.
only intellectual currency one has to barter with is one’s own opinion,
then one is already well on one’s way to being a journalist or a
columnist—the very foot soldiers that help exact the media’s war on the
intellectual sovereignty of society.
The common man/woman may
not entirely appreciate what it is that I am trying to achieve with all
my finger pointing in this article, but be glad that some writers are
still willing to defend your intelligence and remind you that those in
the media are talking to you in a tone befitting a person with severe
cognitive impairment. Unless you really are an idiot and revel in that
fact, you’d best to write to your favourite paper and remind the
writers/journalists there that you too know how to pay rent, save up for
your retirement, and raise your children to adulthood.
before us managed just fine without being exposed to all this ‘advice’
from ‘experts,’ and on a daily basis, at that. So take a moment to
remind the media that you (a) don’t wear intellectual diapers, and (b)
surely don’t need someone from the media to change them for you, either.
was a time long ago when being able to write was the mark of an
educated mind. But as literacy has now been a viral reality in much of
society for more than a century, we must move beyond the idea that the
occasional flair for writing elects and opinion worth listening to.
to those of you writers and journalists who must—for paycheck’s
sake—construct these dreaded grocery-list and self-help articles, I
implore you to showcase something original and practical for a change!
You know, really be of use to your fellow man (for once). How about—and
this is just my personal recommendation—trying some of the following:
1. The 5 Kamasutra positions to avoid when you have heart problems
2. The 7 spicy foods that ruin anal sex for you and your partner
3. Drinking on an empty stomach – the 7 mixes of death
4. The 4 most effective ways to escape the embrace of that 3AM ass cramp
5. The 8 best websites for watching FREE porn
6. The 6 sex toys to avoid when you both are drunk
7. The 3 things never to call the Greek at the corner cafe
you want to keep it regional or local, in which case you want to focus
on one piece of advice and cover it thoroughly. For example,
1. How to psych up for your first HIV test when you have reason to expect a fail
2. How to give your boss ultimate pleasure for the ultimate raise or promotion
3. Office politics for the office saint – the art of blending in
4. How to avoid getting bliksemd when drinking with Afrikaans people
5. The DIY abortion kit no teenage girl should be without!
Then you may wish to diversify and give us some advice from true domain experts. Something like,
1. The metropolitan slut’s guide to the streets of Jo’burg
2. The hijacker’s handbook for surviving his day job
3. Convicted Ponzi scheme tycoon talks investment for the elderly
4. Advice from a serial rapist – how to walk away from rape with your insides intact
5. A Daspoorter’s confession: how my mother is also my sister
6. Retrenched white IT expert shares his secrets for avoiding the ombudsman
7. Armed robber shows how to live in style with no job and no income!
if you do have the opportunity to interview distinguished individuals
in society, keep the Q&A session within their field of
expertise—however limited that may be. Some examples,
1. Don’t invite a psychiatrist or therapist to talk about the economy
2. Stop asking physicists questions about god, religion, or spirituality
3. Following from point 2, refrain from engaging preachers and religious figures on scientific matters
4. And, for god’s sake, don’t discuss political and social issues with celebrities and movie stars! (rather ask them what fake blood tastes like)
Finally, try your best not to go all oxymoronic on us, will you? For example,
1. “It’s ok to shake hands with black people,” admits recluse white supremacist
2. McDonalds manager says “Chinese are evil” for eating dog meat
3. Renowned South African hunter calls for end to Japan’s annual whaling season
4. 40-year-old virgin talks sexual rampancy in society – (the very essence of irony this one is)
5. And finally, Catholic priest declares child rape a ‘crime against humanity’
at this finished article, I stand convicted of having done the very
thing predicted by such great writers as Christopher Hitchens: “You
cannot banish this specter by invoking it.” And I fear I have done
exactly that, becoming possessed by the very demon that I set out to
Oh well. I guess I’ve now earned the right to ask you to…
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