Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Idler, Monday, Se[tember 10, 2018

Looks at the



GOOD news and bad news. The good news: the Sharks are still in the hunt for the Currie Cup play-offs. The bad news: the Boks play the All Blacks next week.

To deal first with the Brisbane debacle, this was an extraordinary game. It ended on a pulsating note with the Boks storming the Aussie line for the try that could have given them victory, but was not to be.

It began with the first of two Aussie tries that were not just soft, they were gift-wrapped – kicking away possession when two of our threequarters were committed to a maul; then that absurd overthrow at a line-out practically on our line, that went to the Aussie backs. That is a firing-squad offence. Hoo-boy!

The Pumas game at Kings Park was played in freezing drizzle. Lots of open play, lots of action and I think the score slightly flattered us. But, as the great Boy Louw used to say: "Looks at the scoreboard, man!"

I hied me afterwards to the Irish tavern in Florida Road for something against the cold, and there made the acquaintance of the Goddess of War, a most comely barmaid whose movements in pouring a scotch are pure ballet.

Rugby, beauty and ballet in one evening. Plus scotch. I count it a plus.


·       RUCTIONS in the US threaten to go right off the Richter Scale.

The book by veteran investigative reporter Bob Woodward – Fear: Trump in the White House – gets launched this week. In it, members of the president's team are quoted in the most damaging terms, one describing Trump's understanding as being like that of a fifth or sixth grader.

But even this has been eclipsed by an unsigned article in the New York Times – attributed to a senior official in Trump's team – which says much the same.

A White House hunt is on for the culprit and, intriguingly, Vice-President Mike Pence has had to deny responsibility. The piece uses the unusual word "lodestar" – meaning a star that leads or guides – which is archaic and seldom used, except in Mike Pence speeches. He uses it all the time.

Could the vice-president really be responsible? Or has a mischief-maker been fiendishly clever?

Write all this into a soap opera script and it would be rejected as too far-fetched, over the top.



·       INVESTMENT analyst Dr James Greener describes our declining currency as "the runt". In his latest grumpy newsletter, he says that buying currency last week you would have paid over R20 for the British pound and R16 for the US dollar.

"Our runt has lost about 15% of its value since the government started to mutter loudly that stealing its citizens' fixed assets made great sense to them. These simple but shocking numbers should be all any intelligent and aware member of the South African government needs to see that their efforts at running the country are seriously misguided.

"Sadly, most of them have a blind spot in this direction, blinkered as they are from all evidence by communist ideology and a conviction that the nation's woes are somehow still the result of a malicious intent of a tiny fraction of the population."




HOW do you tell if an Irishman is present at a cockfight?

He enters a duck.

How do you tell if a Pole is present?

He puts money on the duck.

How do you tell if an Italian is present?

The duck wins.


Last word

Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.

Gore Vidal

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