Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Idler, Monday, July 2, 2018

Strange yet stirring


Say not the struggle nought availeth,

The labour and the wounds are vain,

The enemy faints not, nor faileth,

And as things have been they remain …


ARTHUR Hugh Clough could have been writing about Kings Park last Saturday. Has anyone ever seen such a rugby match before? The Lions camped in our 22 for most of the game. The scrums and the line-outs a disaster. But our fellows tackling, tackling, tackling like demons, keeping out the avalanche of tries that should have resulted.

And then the glorious break-out. As Arthur Hugh Clough would have put it:

Far back through creeks and inlets making,

Comes silent, flooding in, the main …

Yes, suddenly the scrums righted themselves. Magic tries from Andre Esterhuizen and Lwazi Mvovo; Rob du Preez with his kicking boots on.

And voila! A win for the Sharks against all the odds. Stirring is hardly the word.

Birds overhead

WHO else noticed an Egyptian goose flying over overhead just before the tide turned, flapping its wings furiously? Usually it's a pelican, but I've noticed birds overhead at Kings Park seem to bring our guys good luck.

But what are these birds doing out late at night? Maybe Gary Teichmann hires them.


FULL marks to the Zulu dancers/acrobats in the pre-match entertainment. That portly troupe leader would make a great front row forward.

Zero for the fellow who winds up the gramophone. The ear-splitting "music" gets ever more ghastly. Why is this inflicted on rugby crowds?


Thatcher thesis


INVESTMENT analyst Dr James Greener says in his latest grumpy newsletter that we have a textbook illustration of Margaret Thatcher's thesis that the problem with socialism is that governments eventually run out of other people's money.

"The much-revered minister Pravin Gordhan, who nevertheless is at heart a socialist, has admitted that he has run out of dosh and ideas with which to fix all the state-owned enterprises. So he called in the private bank bosses and asked for their advice (and of course money).

"Simultaneously other state luminaries have noted that President Cyril's overseas mission to drum up $100 billion for investment in South Africa might perhaps need a bit of local seed money to get moving and a figure of a tenth of the target is being wafted about for local private enterprise to drop into the slotted tin.

"The difficulty for all potential 'investors' is the evidence suggests that the return is not only zero but the capital as well is likely to disappear into the voracious maw of cadre lifestyle maintenance programmes".

Greener also notes that Zulu King Zwelithini is asking all Zulus to chip in R15 a head to help fund lawsuits to protect from the government what he sees as land belonging to the Zulu people.

"This donation suggestion has been trebled from the original fiver because the king has noted the iniquitous level of bank charges for cash deposits."



READER Buck Rogers disagrees with suggestions that plastics pollution in the oceans is "slowly killing the human race" because – as stated on British TV - plastics attract "bad chemicals" that enter the food chain.

"This is nonsense! The problem with plastic is it does not biodegrade because of its inertness, so plastic cannot attract anything. Providing they did not cause a blockage, micro-plastics, due to their inert nature, would pass through our systems unchanged causing no harm. Have any deaths in humans due to plastic poisoning been reported?-I don't think so."

He says it's a gross over-simplification to believe plastic can easily be replaced with paper.

"Plastic comes from oil that is pumped cheaply from the ground in massive quantities; paper comes from trees that require space and water. How many trees will we need to supplant our present plastic consumption? Water is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity as we breed ourselves to extinction; without water, no trees and no paper. We have a real problem."

Ah, but think of the visuals. Endless forest plantations compared with plastic garbage littering every estuary and beach.


THIS fellow boards a plane and finds himself sitting beside an elegant woman. She's wearing the most stunning diamond ring. He asks her about it.

"This is the Klopman diamond," she says. "It's beautiful but it comes with a terrible curse."

"What's the curse?"

"Mr Klopman."



Last word

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.

Mark Twain


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