Chris Roper

Days of whine and poseurs

2009-03-18 11:35

Chris Roper

Sometimes, I just can't understand my fellow South Africans. I was reading Dave Moseley's News24 weekly column yesterday, and noticed two very strange comments.

The first one is from Eduardo, who writes, "I just can't figure out who is less funny on a regular basis, you or Chris Roper."

The second if from Ruby, who writes "What a waste, mindless ramblings sometimes entertain me, but this one is just even more boring than Roper's hogwash.. any News24 moderators watching this?"

I just can't understand these people. Why do they read our columns if they hate our senses of humour so much?

Well, I can understand why they'd read Dave's - I myself spent many a week waiting for salacious insider information from him about his predilection for orgies with women dressed in army uniforms, before I realised that I was thinking of Max Mosley.

But surely after a while, as a reader, you realise that you absolutely hate the way a writer thinks, and you stop reading him? Why would you come back week after week and torture yourself?

A lot of haters

The only conclusions I can draw are that South Africans are sado-masochists, and that they really have nothing better to do with their time than whine. It's an interesting insight into our national psyche (well, one of our national psyches - we're nothing if not a schizophrenic nation), and it's kind of depressing.

It means that a lot of us are haters, rather than lovers, to quote the great Henry Rollins. We prefer being whiney babies, always ready to complain about things, always ready to blame someone else for our own shortcomings. At least this explains where the DA gets all its votes from. ("The DA - Vote to Whine!" as their posters have it.)

That someone like Eduardo actually reads Dave and I on a "regular basis", even though he thinks we're unfunny, is mindboggling to me. (As is his inability to figure out the blindingly obvious answer to his question, but leaving that aside for the moment.)

And as for Ruby - what does she mean by "any News24 moderators watching this?" What is this urge that South Africans have to appeal to a higher power to take care of their problems for them?

Ruby, News24 moderators (we call them sub-editors - these are columns, not user generated content) aren't actually trained in the arcane art of making sure that everything is Ruby-perfect before it's allowed to be on the interweb. The whole world doesn't revolve around looking after you. If you don't like a columnist - and this is going to strike you as a shocking solution - simply stop reading him! It's called taking responsibility for your own life.

But the sad truth is that people like Eduardo and Ruby thrive on mindless complaining. I say mindless, because neither of them actually offers any intelligent reason as to why they find our columns "mindless" and "boring".

For some South Africans, it's enough to just complain. No need to justify the complaints - I know my rights!

Logic stick

This is why our poor Home Affairs Department is urging South Africans to let people around them know whether they're alive or not. As local government minister Richard Baloyi told a press conference recently, "We really call upon citizens to confirm your alive status."

Overseas readers will find this hard to believe, but the urge to complain is so strong in South Africans, that they continue whining after they've died, creating a race of Zombie Whiners, if you will.

It's almost impossible to tell whether a person is a Zombie Whiner, or merely a live person with a slack jaw, vacant eyes, a faint stench and a predilection for complaining mindlessly about columnists. There are certain tests you can run, but on the whole, it's probably safer to just bludgeon them over the head with a small logic stick.

Hmm. I notice that I've just devoted an entire column to whining about people who whine. Man, I love being a South African.

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