Saturday, April 24, 2010

telephone ft. beyonce

lady gaga and beyonce collaborate in addictive tarantino retrospective video.
gaga doesn't fail to shock and disgust, but is equally as enchanting. beyonce looks slightly ridiculous though.
this video has created a lot of hype. it's more the video than the song, which pretty much sucks, but with such an edgy set of something dangerous and maybe a little outrageous, coupled with a teaspoon of murder, lust, transvestism and misandry to make this a hot serving of thriller/spiller/boundary-pushing/
meat-eating/appetite-whetting/irreputable/racy-stacy/badass hot pot.

also, lots of wise words from our two heroines.

'you know what they say. if you gonna kill a cow, you gotta make a burger.'

'you know, trust is like a mirror. you can fix it if its broke.
but you can still see the crack in that motherfucker's reflection...'

Thursday, April 22, 2010

to think it all started with jazz...

the original definition of hipster


1. (slang/rare): a follower of hot jazz in the 1940s.

2. a kind of low-waisted trousers that sit on one's hips.

contemporary definition:

'effortless cool' and the 'fetishizing' of the authentic aesthetic.

one of the things that annoys me about being at UCT is the presence of carnivourous pigeons, which are often cannibalistic and never fly away when you try to catch them.

my feet have also been marred by a permanent sandal tan.

also, spot the albino pigeon on campus and exclaim 'it's the dove of the holy spirit here to redeem us all' and look like an idiot in front of all of those interesting people on the Steps of Heaven.

"hello my name's oliver and i'm a dubaholic."

London, early 2000s.

a new and grimy genre of electronic music emerges from the filth and ludacris of london's drum and bass backstreets. it is distinguished by its UK garage roots and 2-step rhythm, with emphasis on bass and progressively 'dark' signature.
tempo of about 140 beats per minute.
heavily shuffled or syncopated.
rhymn propelled by bassline rather than percussive trait.
critiques of the genre: the 'filthier' 'dirtier' or 'grimier' the sound, the better the track.

contributions to the genre

[]georgina cook
[]horsepower productions

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


hierachies are to be found meshed into the delicacies of living, in day-to-day existence, interactions and encounters.

a hierachy is power or authority based. it is display of one's uppance on the other. it is the proof od superiority over the subordinate.

it may be called intraspecial dominance, or pecking order in both animals and humans. amazing, i think, how like we are with animals. we could almost be stripped of our clothing, dignity and language and become grungy beasts.

we are inclined as humans to boast of our achievements, whether it be blatant of underhanded. we may boast of our conquests or material wealth, children, spouse(s), mistresses, academic wit and drinking habits.

eventually, we have exclusion. each tier of the social hierachy is seperated by either submission or arrogance. and in the centre, mean neutrality.
either or any way, we cannot escape hierachical order, be it in family, business, education or government. there will always be someone higher than you are. there will always be a bank trying to rob you. and rob you blind. there will always be the media overloading you with torrents of information. there will always be a bouncer at a club. there will always be the undeniable truth that it's not what you know but who you know.

and there will always be silly people like me who constantly swim upstream, refusing to be breakfast for those ravenous tycoons, power hungry monarchs and religious fanatic who tries to make me the subject of their power-surging rampage, tying my down with red tape and force-feeding me capitalist soup with a silver spoon.

if you are vehemently critical of such hierachies, pick one or more of the following:

[]critical theorist

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spier Contemporary 2010

This year’s Spier Contemporary Exhibition, which markets itself as the largest biennale in South Africa, proved to be an engaging and thought-provoking visit. For the eager art-lover with an appreciation for creative commentary the Exhibition offers a wealth of perspective and of course, the expected controversy.
The exhibition’s curators sifted through more than 2 700 entries countrywide to conclude with the final collection of 132 artworks by a range of 101 hopeful artists. The exhibition provides a platform for artists to show new individual pieces which collectively make up a fine measure of the South African experience.

The Exhibition is currently open at the City Hall, a suitable venue for the housing of a retrospective commentary like this one, considering our country’s social history. Wandering through its lofty halls I came across art pieces that shocked, dismayed and engaged with their viewers. For me, there were moments of alarm, reactions of awe and wonder, even a gasp or wide-eyed stare. Much of the time I had to look closer to see exactly what the art piece was. ‘The Dreamcatcher,’ an enormous webbed magnifying glass that clung to the wall like a giant net was actually made up of thousands of condoms, as I realised after taking a good look. Once I’d considered its accompanying title and brief description I had a moment of enlightenment. There is always more to an art piece than meets the first glance.

Viewing an exhibition like Spier Contemporary is a very personal and introspective experience. At times I found it somewhat disturbing, as much of the art comments on violence and political unrest. However, there were some more light-hearted pieces, such as an entire collection dedicated to the Fifa 2010 World Cup. I enjoyed the experimentation with genre, the engagement with race, gender and class. My last encounter with contemporary art was at the Spier Contemporary Exhibition of 2007/08, which was held at the Spier Wine Estate. Comparably, this year’s exhibit has progressed according to current events and context of the past two years. There was of course the inevitable apartheid and post-apartheid commentary - themes that I find are becoming a little stale in modern South African art.

I was interested in the innovative use of media and installation. Pieces that combined found objects with video media particularly stood out for me. One artists set about combining a small room, a microphone and a camera. The audience walks into the actual installation, appearing on the screen and becoming integrated into the art piece.

It was as if I was alone with the artists, their voices resonating from their silent art pieces and telling stories about the trepidations, histories, ironies and humour of South Africa. Art has always been at liberty to provoke debate, particularly in a modern context. Some audiences may find that the Exhibition’s pieces are too concentrated on the artists themselves, not accessible enough for a general viewing scope and perhaps even narcissistic. I found personally that the preoccupation with the self and even the slight arrogance of modern artists today was evident in some of the pieces on exhibit. It may be tricky for the general public who do not have a sound artistic knowledge to relate to some of them. I found that the undercurrent messages that some artists presented were slightly elitist. By perhaps deliberately obscuring their work with gravity and complex ideas they are in fact excluding their audiences. Despite the inaccessibility of certain pieces, the Spier Contemporary Exhibition without a doubt offered a multi-dimensional, gutsy look at our country’s past, present and future.

Entrance to the Exhibition is free of charge and it is open seven days a week from 10am till 6pm, including public holidays, until 14 May.




A polar bear prowls the ice in tundra wasteland. drums begin to rally.
the carnivourous beast shakes out her fur.
'how scandinavian of me,' she says and stands on her hind legs.
she transforms before our eyes.
the form of a human woman, bald, stands before us. she carries a tall spear in her left hand. she is immune to the bitter chill of the snowy wildnerness. her eyes are husky-blue and cold. she has one mind.
she is going hunting.


the difference between art and the aesthetic

the aesthetic is the nature and appreciation of art.
art is the conscious act of arranging.

art may be purely representation. it may be only that which it is, pretty as a picture. but art is more than appreciation of beauty. i've seen some ugly art. i've seen downright repulsive art too. art is an activity of diverse range. it is a philosophy manifesting in literature, visual display and music.
art as mimesis has roots in the philosophy of aristotle as a vehicle of creative expression and construction of visual representation using formal elements.

i believe that art is basic human instinct.

here's what else:

art can be found.
art can be made.
art can be political.
art can be imagined.
art may be sexual or asexual.
art can be mathematical.
art is judgement and dispute.
art may be rational but also Romantic.
it can be for its own sake. or yours. or mine.

art is the raw pulse.
it is God's axis.

art is what is left

when the world is at its edge, the tides peeling away at the crust of the earth, when lightning bolts pierce the dry hardened soil and ignorant armies clash by night, what is left is...

woman scorned, man has been overthrown. the monarch, usurped by demon.
there will be anarchy if there is no...

on the very fringes of social order, when there is nothing left but earth and humidity and the tangible. human is a state of clamourous being, adam cannot reach the hand of God. when the end has come for intimacy there is nothing left but


Performance by Joseph Beuys, 1978 : Everyone an artist — On the way to the libertarian form of the social organism.

Monday, April 19, 2010

birthday requests

a dressing gown with my initials embroidered on the collar
a pair of pixie ankle boots
tickets to the pink flamingo cult cinema and an occasion to dress up for the bioscope.
a polka-dot umbrella
a lappytoppy.
some mocha java for my coffee machine, rounded and warm.
chilli poppers at deez.
a steak out.
the house that jack built.
a train ride.
ba ba black sheep
some fish food for elvis
a set of cool retro headphones so i can walk around campus using them as ear muffs that play music too.
a pamper session at a spa with mani/pedi
kristen stewart's stupid head on a platter
all round A's for my exams
julius malema's babies.
a fish eye camera.
a pickwick's milkshake (make that a double)
a dive with a shark
a long-awaited opportunity to slap someone in the face.
a published work.
perfection and anarchy.
books and lots.
a choc and chilli mojito at arnold's
a great big hearty laugh.
a croissant from l'alliance francais
the elixir of life
self-actualization and achievement of 'happyness'

cafe du destin

"regarde! le cafe des deux moulins! le cafe d'amelie poulin.'

so the red beret and me entered the warm indoors of the celebrated cafe. this was in the heart of montmatre on a chilly winter's day. this cafe, mentioned in a post last year or so, is the fabulous setting of amelie poulin's supposed destiny. it is stage ground of many a fascinating meeting, a quick glance over the top of a menu, a fleeting smile across the room and, as she passes, 'un cafe, s'il vous plait.'
it is the bistro terminal of amelie's blooming destiny. i could almost hear yann tiersen's piano in the background, infused in the steaming coffee and the clatter of utensils.
i sat in one of the booths and glanced around me. she'd been here. amelie poulin herself. little wise french child, girl-server, good-doer, pebble-skipper with a cheeky smile, almost knowing. like the mona lisa, but naughty. and not frozen in a picture frame. amelie is alive and well.

the writing on the wall.

evidence of protest found on wall of the den of indie scum itself. someone dared to declare themselves INFINITELY awesome. whoever this insolent perpetrator is, he or she has found reason to be awesome beyond the annoying streams of flash-pics by celebrity (and not so celebrated) party paps and captured moments of iniquity and triple cigs. Yes, alas, the scalliwag has denied those paps of their lewd intentions - to hold up an accusing mirror to those waiting in line to be awesome. those who aspire to haunt the halls of assembly and evol in true interesting fashion, attempting to be an epiphany to all wannabe indie kids who also want to wear cool hats and smoke american brands.
this naughty bastard has dared to challenge the elevated heights of urban elitism.

yes. you will ALWAYS be awesome.

toilet cubicle, ladies bathroom at the assembly.

may the writing never fade.

who's that girl anyway?

self portrait of a girl in hat, 2010.


girl in hat/smirking.

in hat again. golly, she likes that hat.

spaces for work and leisure

spaces for work and leisure

the space in which one works and takes leisure is very important when considering the context of one's work.
Dickens wrote in smoky, billowy london during mechanized reform of the industrial revolution.
The Bronte sisters migrated their works up North, where they could pursue Romantic notions in the peace and quiet of the countryside.

Jane Austen, humourously picking at social structures of the 1800s, wrote about sensibility. Love, in truth. Love in such a time of cogs and steam engines and wars of independance. And such a universal truth at that. And then we speak of the expectations of an honourable marriage, and such implications of finance and security that go with one of those.

If I were to write about something of my own time, well, I could closely resemble Austen's sentiments about love and all that. Love exists today as it existed then. There's just more ways of being in love, I guess. And we have the internet, which means we have sitcoms and pornography and dating sites and all hours chat rooms. Love is in existence, but in distilled forms. Distorted forms also. But how do we say 'I love you' and mean it? Better, how do we say 'I love you too' when the former is presented to you, (often very abruptly and unwelcomingly). And what if you are the unfortunate one who loves and is not returned?

If I were to write something I think i'd have to have a good view. There would need to be good lighting in the room and ample ventilation so that the air can circulate. I would need fresh air so that I could think crisply, and not have to breathe in the staleness of last minute's thought. There would be coffee, lots. There would be silence, much. There would be heavy breath-taking. There would be many words in mid-air, sailing around in the atmosphere. I would be able to use any and every word at my pleasure without having to ask. I would also know the meaning of each one. Lastly, there would be time. Endless time. Time without a finite. Exponential time, with no deadline or prospect of death. Time would never limit itself by a strike or tick. I would have infinite time and not a trace of boredom or tragedy or hunger.


can't hear nothin'. can't hear you. I'm busy biting off as much as I can possibly chew.

big ol mouth that lies.


would you be so kind as to move over and let me sit down?
would you oblige and hold open the door?
chew with your mouth closed.
let me pass and not walk straight into me.

you like to hold me over the fire, don't you?
just wanna watch me squirm.
feel it, it burns.

i'm running in circles
i'm circling the sun.

create something and then throw it on the fire.
it's easy once you know how it's done.
once crossed, twice blessed and you know you're a liar.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Word.

I'd like your Word for it.
Once I have your Word I have all reason to expect the truth.
Your Word is good, and the truth.

say anything

this week

i arrive at campus before 8am. i have an hour to spare, so i cross the plaza and float towards the library where i can be alone with the books.
it is easy to lose oneself somewhere between the quiet tenacity of french literatures, the overly analytical critiques of shakespeare's works (which cover a whole aisle of shelves, by the way) and into the dreamy depths of the classics.
i am glad to be alone with the books. i am delighted by the bound and printed selves of authors past and present. i want to bind myself like they. i glide through the landscapes of modern thought, over precipices of self-denial, into the collection of the extraordinaries. i search for peace.

i prick my searching fingers as i arrange a flush of roses. they have thorns. these draw small beads of blood from my skin. i disregard.

breathing heavily, i dig my nails into the ground.
your intentions, those got pretty ugly
your opinions, for which i do not care.
don't have to thank me/thank me.
would you just be frank with me?

why must i be second-last?
why must i be second-last?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


toward a revelation today: of whims of old manhattan, my dreams of ella's new york, the subway charms , breezy fire escapes, baby's broadway, a big city's glamour that can never spoil.

oh, new york! abundant hub of number'd avenues

for now, i have these:

my piano.
my sheet music.
lady gaga music videos
a jog around the block, leaving me almost as breathless as you.
pumpin' speakers
freshly ground coffee
wet hair
debates over postmodernism
'a godless shakespeare'
barney stinson's catchphrases.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

earthy beings

There aren't enough down-to-earth people around.

I think we are going about with our heads in the clouds, colliding into each other at random.

If I were to choose any one of the neo-platonic elements of the self, I would choose to be earth. the savage, soily grit of the dust i was made from. clay between my hands, formed and moulded then baked hard by sun.

The Tempest

I would not be airy Ariel with his hypnotic music. Not gentle, placid, obeying Miranda, nor imperial Prospero. I'd be Caliban. The half-fish, deformed slave, stolen from his power and made a savage beast. a cur, a dog, a pitiful creature. the vegetative symbol of the earth. the most humble. the most unlikely of heroes, organic and crude but without pretense.

the mind's whispy savagery

how about a nice foamy dollop of philosophy for this evening.

in my extensive (and noble/keen/extra credit) readings around the subject of Shakespeare and Colonialism, Shakespeare's Women, The Godless Shakespeare, &etc. I discovered some new discourses that the great Bard himself has so slyly slipped into his masterpieces. I was in the library reading up on The Tempest, one of his last and best-loved plays. Quite a breather from blood and gore and severed hands of Titus Andronicus.

According to some critic or other (won't bore you with names and credentials) the on of the primary discourses of The Tempest is that of religion, order and spirituality.
On the other hand (haha), and from the holy biased perspective of an (almost certainly) atheist critic, Shakespeare's account of Titus Andronicus was 'godless' and 'anti-Catholic.' This is because, mirroring a classical Greek myth, Tamora unknowningly eats the flesh of her own sons cooked in a pie by Titus in an act of revenge. At the Banquet, presumably a parody of The Last Supper, there is partaking in cannibalism, and mention of blood-drinking. This mirrors the Holy Communion, thus a comment on the nature of Catholic rites. After all, the play is about rites and rituals, but also the disintegration of the State.

Comparably, another critic linked The Tempest to the philosophy of neo-platonism. In simple, uninvolved form the theory says this:

Man's element is made up of three primary organs: digestive organs, brain and heart
Mind - imagination, memory, intellect. [brain]
Soul - the airy essence of spirituality and dreams. [heart]
Body - the 'vegetative,' the elementary, fundamental, earthy being. [digestive organs]

In The Tempest, neo-platonism goes something like this:

Ariel is the 'airy spirit,' the soul of man.
Caliban is the element of man. the savage, earth-made rogue.
Prospero is the mind of man, the learned magician and ruler.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

a leper in the library

the library is a labyrinth, coursed with hidden stairwells, archives, broody basements, over-hangs of academia and under-places that have never seen sunlight.

in my tentative ventures through these hallowed halls i have been sure to tread carefully. the guardians of the library's prized collections do not take kindly to clumsy footfalls. they look up and glare at me as my feet echo in the scholarly silence of bent-over heads and frantic pen strikes.

in dark and confidential places hide the voices of centuries of thinkers. bearded men who devised the workings of social order, affronted women who insisted they were human too. bards and poets and playwrights who wrote for love and loved to write,
and the critics who remarked.

held hostage in the great tunnels of the mind. asleep between the bookshelves, lost somewhere between the classics and metaphysical. trying to find the exit but adrift and consumed by the ten-hundred folded theories. as i slip between the bookshelves I am pursued by some terrible monster. the beast that lives deep in the basement and feeds off the yellowing pages of ancient volumes. it is the underground fiend that seeks to slink up from behind and rob me of my purpose.

Monday, April 5, 2010

this is all i have right now.

in other news,

an unidentified object just fell through the ceiling onto aimee-jo's desk, spilling over her half-finished cup of coffee and making a substantial hole above her head. she found herself covered in coffee (moderately warm but not hot, thank goodness) bits of plaster and insulation, inflated classic rock experiments and songs of eric clapton. i was writing late at night when a revelation struck.

it was the rock yearbook of 1982, two years after the assasination of Lennon in New York City. it fell through my ceiling and landed with a monstrous Clash.
did you know that a method of testing if spaghetti is cooked is to throw it on the ceiling and see if it sticks to it briefly before falling back down.

well, didcha?

sickle for my harvest, hammer for my doom.

mind is dislocated/slowly disintegrating.

i start things but never finish. i finish things but wish i hadn't.
i say i'll do it,
but i don't.

appetite is thwarted/ legs and arms numb.

jealous to sick/sick with envy.

pain in my forehead where they drove a hammer
right through.

trying to be poetic but end up sounding foolish.
trying to write a poem but only reciting prose.
no rhymn or jingle or barotone. just a tingle in my toes.

'you're not looking hard enough. look harder!'
'you're trying too hard. try softer.'
'you're closing up. get closer.'
'you're a plain disaster.'

as disjointed as this post, so disjointed is my head.
i pile wreckage upon wreckage, fumbling for some comfort and order , but i cut my hands on jagged scraps of distrust.

by default i have nothing.

i am dry and parched, as my parchment blank and pen poised
whereby clashing armies fill my ears with noise.

the face of a genius

yoko & john

for an Era that wasn't known to be a romantic one, this photograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono touches a nerve.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

another irish poem.

Like Heaney I am digging.

in Ireland, either a potato farmer or solider, with a spade or gun respectively
but i have a pen,

And I am digging.

I am digging a hole in the ground, turning the soil, uprooting roots that go down for miles. roots in the ground, in the earth that pulse with the life of the tree above.

I am digging, delving. greedily. deep.

Holes dug out with cravesome appetite. my territory marked in the soil,
where worms burrow.
where worms writhe.
worms in the dirty earth.

seeds sown my own
put in ground, to swell, grow
excavate my soul
whereby i am hollowed out,
buried here on ancient dune
dusty regions of of rock and ruin.


Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.

Seamus Heaney

resurrection sunday

my family is Irish, so it is not surprising that they are equally as Catholic. when i was a baby i was christened in the Catholic tradition. Baptised in water at the front of the church and offered as a seal of new birth.

although the remnants of the old Irish roots still attend mass the younger generations are what we call 'lapsing Catholics,' or latent and non-practicing.
however, on Easter Sunday we are all expected to attend Easter Vigil at Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and to be reminded of what Easter is really about. And no, it's not about trance parties, bunnies and reckless driving.

parishioners cross themselves at the nave. there is a reading from the gospel. the priest leads the mass in poorly participated hymns and flicks holy water over our heads with a branch of some kind. he reminds us that we are 'living the resurrection of christ.'

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, He has risen!” (Luke: 24:5)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

i just wanna be a famous so bad

'hey everyone. i am the girl who got tequila poured down her throat and appeared on cobrasnake.
i love myself. and i want you to, too.'


Steve Aoki is known for drinking Grey Goose vodka while DJing and pouring it into the gaping mouths of young women in the audience.

aoki in the house

amazing how people behave for the camera. they were normal just now when i saw them ostanding outside in the queue. I shrug.

billy idol

white wedding

Hey little sister what have you done
Hey little sister who's the only one
I've been away for so long
I've been away for so long
I let you go for so long

It's a nice day to start again
It's a nice day for a white wedding
It's a nice day to start again.

Take me back home
There is nothin' fair in this world
There is nothin' safe in this world
And there's nothin' sure in this world
And there's nothin' pure in this world
Look for something left in this world
Start again
Come on

safe as a house

tuck: when do you feel safest eliza?

eliza: hey, tuck.

tuck: well, do you?

eliza: i am as safe as the distance from the beach. as safe as when you wait for the traffic light to change to green, and you cross the road. i am as safe as a good walk home, but not at night. safe as being indoors when it's thundering outside. safe from the outside but not from myself.

tuck: i like to think i am safest and soundest when i am alone, about to fall asleep in bed between my sheets. wrapped up and chilled between my sheets, then warmed by the heavy sleep that slips my body into fetal position, weighing my eyelids and then poof! it takes me. and i am safe.

eliza: life is never a safe bet. you don't get safe bets in life. like when decisions and love and the Truth. those are never safe. romance is never safe.

tuck: i avoid romance.

eliza: now that's playing it safe. i like to think that's just same old. but you've got a point, tuck.

i amn't

eavan boland reduces the 'i'

the combination of a psycho-revelation and biography in a symbiotic relationship appears in boland's poetry, while understanding the function of 'i' as limitation of the self and thus, enables the understanding of others.

boland's aesthetic acknowledges the futitility of art, the damage done by misrepresentation

the negating of the self-affirmative: i amn't (i am + i am not): the exile, the negation, the positivity, the dislocation, the gap in her identity.

she is Chardin's woman, the younger sitting of his eighteenth century portraiture. she looks on as he paints a folly of herself, as if the light of the late summer afternoon is deviating from the mirror and framing her, the subject. her seperation from herself is part of the poem's discourse. she is experiencing an edge of narcissism coupled with the aesthetic of self-representation, and the disapproval of art as a contrived excuse of 'making do'

losing my religion

upon the altar, lay, and rest your head

rest your head in your religion

unfrock your Father

defy your mother

i've walked these halls.

these empty halls. hallelujah.

there was a time when i needed proof,

my faith was trod, palms aloof

remove my shoes and wash

my weary feet

these feet,

have traversed this desert for days

in this unforgiving scorch of midday sun

region of mine disownment

where the vultures make circles in the sky

and lizards flee the heat.
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