Thatcher and the man candle

I recently discovered the marketing genius of man candles. I’m thrilled that there is finally a provision for an entire gender that has always wanted to buy them but didn’t want to look ridiculous with luscious lavender or calming chamomile in their shopping trolley. I personally love being ridiculous so I’ve never had a problem with buying any kind of candles. But the amount of times a man in cowboy boots, greasy overalls or idling in his bakkie in the parking lot has asked me for advice on where to get such items – well I can’t even tell you.

Absurd stories fill our headlines daily. I guess that in this era of information-overload and bullshit-saturation, it’s a welcome rebound from the death toll, fraud, corruption, education and politician-fiascos we have to roll our eyes at daily.


Margaret Thatcher died today. I was too young to grasp very much about her reign but – from what I do know and have seen since – I think our country could do with a politician who has enough cerebral capacity to know what he/she is talking about while exacting zero tolerance on the bandwagon brigade of blue lights, parties, jets, houses (“compounds”) and more wives than you can (literally) shake your stick at. Margaret Thatcher was consistent and true to her word, and if that incited an uprising, well at least people felt compelled to react. We have sadly reached the global status quo of ambivalent shoulder-shrugging. We too readily throw our hands up with a mumbled ah well… but we’ll demand to see the manager of Woolies when there’s a spelling error on the makeshift notice at the pie section. We are odd indeed…

Here’s another ridiculous headline from today: “Couple hold teen prostitute hostage for 2 days.” This happened in the Cape where they held her hostage for a sex orgy that lasted, well… for two days. The list of what is wrong with the world when a teenager has to resort to prostitution is a very long one, never mind the pond-scum that creates a demand for such a service.

From one teen to another, Justin Bieber has a new haircut. This left me unable to sit still because I religiously model my hairstyle on Justin Bieber’s and was just thinking I could do with a change. Ergo… This breaking news was higher on the list than a new HIV three-in-one pill with fewer side effects for the people taking it and a therapy that would cut monthly costs per patient from R150 to as little as R89 per month. We are a peculiar audience, aren’t we?


Looking for something with more heart? Matt Silver-Vallance took Pixar’s Up to heart and filled enough balloons with helium to fly from Robben Island to Cape Town. Why would he do such a thing? To raise R10million for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

What a champ! I bet he’s not even slightly perturbed by the candles he buys or what Justin Bieber’s hair looks like. I’ve never actually seen him shopping for candles, but if we can’t get Maggie back, maybe Silver-Vallance is keen for a bout of politics?


© Dylan Balkind

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