Rants

Milestones

milestone

Over this past week or so, I’ve achieved some major milestones with my blog. Milestones I never thought that I’d achieve when I started this blog 2 years back. I am no internet marketing guru, I really don’t know how to do any proper blog promoting to get major traffic. I try little things here and there, like visiting and commenting on other blogs, submitting my posts to Stumble Upon for random traffic, submitting my blog to different blog aggregators such as myScoop and Amatomu and recently have even created my very own Facebook page

Firstly, out of nowhere I have over 11000 views in the past week, with 4184 this past Sunday, for a total of  33000 all time views. I just happened to blog about a rather popular person, that at the time was buzzing on the web, Barrack Obama. That and a bit of luck.

Before this though, I had managed to keep my blog going at 50-100 visits a day and a growing number of subscribers, which is more than enough to make it worthwhile!

Next milestone, my blog has also managed to make it to the top 25 of SA Topsites, which is a ranking tool for South African sites to compare traffic. Other sites in the top 25 include Cars.co.za and The Moviesite. (Slowly dropped to 28 today)

Lastly, This is officially my 100th post (excluding 1 automated post from WordPress)

Anyway, I’m happy, so I just had to share that… For all the milestones I’ve achieved and for much more than those, I would like to extend a very big thank you to everyone who has ever, still does and might never again read my blog. An even bigger thanks to all my friends (and writer friends) who, if for no other reason than a bit of guilt, or out of duty, push me along and give me a reason to blog. An a special thanks to my awesome fiance, who puts up with all my blogging and talk about blogging. You all rock!


Why Doesn’t MTV Play Music Videos Anymore?

MTV

I heard the sound clip of this today on 5fm and just hosed myself. Before I carry on though:

Please Note: This video is not real… it is a spoof.

You’d think that’s logical right, seems more than enough people that commented didn’t actually realise this.

Anyway, I just think it’s damn funny. Although, being born in 1981, it hit a bit too close to home…

Reading through the comments though, there was one that I thought was brilliant, from Kahandran: From 2:25-3:10, he does not blink once!


The World Is F***ed #7: Woolworths: A Follow Up

Just over a month back, I blogged about the Woolworths racism saga and how I felt that we can’t blame Woolworths for the BEE policies they need to follow.

Yesterday a Facebook group, which I happen to follow, shared my blogpost on their page and I happened to come across it this morning. There were also some comments on the original post, which I replied to, but there are some comments from the facebook post that I wish to address.

Before I begin, let me just state three things:

  • I think Woolworths are wrong in what they are doing, still doing, but the “boycott of Woolies” has been pretty ineffective as far as I’m concerned. Not that it has been much of a boycott, people involved could have spent the energy on more relevant & important things, but it’s easy to basically do nothing else but avoid one particular shop and call it “taking action”
  • I don’t think BEE is an effective means of redressing the mistakes of the past. Any policy which is related to giving preference to one race over another will always be met with criticism and even fear. Almost 20 years on and BEE has done anything that wouldn’t have naturally happened anyway in my opinion. If anything BEE has only made a very small minority of the African population much richer and the majority even worse off.
  • At no stage did I say I like agree with Woolies, the ANC or BEE. But laying the blame on one company is never going to solve the problem. So Woolies close their doors, then what, do you think that is going to change things? If anything it’s just more ammunition for the ANC to use against white people.

Now as for the comments, Let me address each one individually:

Comment 1:

I don’t even know where to start with this comment. The grammar and punctuation alone get me tingling, and not in a good way.

Well Richard, I am definitely not saying you should sit back and eat it up, if it something you feel strongly about, by all means do what you feel that you need to do about something you feel strongly about.

We are not the only country in the world where discrimination occurs, that isn’t to say it doesn’t happen, yes racial discrimination is happening, but that isn’t the only type of discrimination. What about gender and caste discrimination in India, Saudi Arabia and other countries? What about religious discrimination all around the world. Even when it comes to race, I really doubt we are the worst.

You want to protest, fine, but a quiet boycott by maybe a few thousand white people is barely a start, it’s almost insignificant.

Comment 2:

Dear Melanie, thank you for your condolences, but they are however unnecessary and unwanted. From your comment I could assume that you are a narrow-minded fascist bigot, but I cannot know that, so I won’t call you that. The Moral? Don’t make assumptions, simple. In response: If I were brainless, I would not have an opinion, even if it is different to yours. Pinko? I am hardly sympathetic to our socialist government, apathetic maybe, but not sympathetic. My time is spent better on other things. As for Liberal, yes possibly, I consider myself very open minded, so I’ll give you that one…

Comment 3:

Hardly… From the end of August, after an initial drop of R400 which was at its lowest on the 10th of September, it has now gone R200 beyond what it was at the end of August (http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/WHL:SJ)

Comment 4:

No-one ever said that life was easy. I don’t agree with what Woolworths did, and never will, but I do think peoples reactions and consequent reactions are misdirected.

Comment 5:

I agreed with you until your last sentence. “Whities” are definitely too lazy when it comes to standing up for what is right. And when they do something it is generally something insignificant. Like saying you’ll never shop at Woolies…

Comment 6:

Don’t hold you breathe…

Comment 7:

Oh Lord, again with grammar and punctuation… Asskissing, uncomfortable? Hardly, and as for liberal, like I said, possibly, because I do consider myself open minded.

Comment 8-10

I thought I’d group these together, since they’re the only comments I agree with.

The majority definitely love the victim mentality and until everyone stops blaming one another, there is no hope for us as a country.

Mockracy is definitely the right description.

Comment 11:

I have no comment…


The World Is F***ed #6: I Blame Woolworths, No Wait…

ww_logoAs a South African, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you have probably heard about the Woolworths “racist” scandal earlier this week bought to light by internet marketer, Justin Harrison, who followed up a  few days later with another post. No surprise it made news, after all didn’t SAA just go through the same saga?

If you are still not sure what I am going on about here are some links to what is happening:

Woolworth refutes accusations of racism, disables wall

Woolworths denies racism claim

Viva Woolworths! Viva!

Questions over Woolworths whistleblower

Whites against Woolworths: doth they protest too much?

There are probably many more but these should give you an idea

While as a white South African male, my initial reaction was to throw my arms in the air and scream bloody murder, as many did, after reading some alternative views and letting the dust settle, I find that I can’t really blame them at all.

So who do we blame? The ANC? Aren’t they are just trying to correct the imbalances of the apartheid era, the imbalance which has still not been corrected, despite close to 20 years of being free of apartheid? Well that is debatable since their policies have only seemed to benefit a very small majority of their followers, but that is something else altogether.

So do we blame white people? Can we blame the children of the post-apartheid era, like myself, who were too young to know what was happening? So do we blame our parents? After all they did nothing while the National Party ruled the country and implemented apartheid policies. They should have put their lives on the line, they should have done more, right? While it went on for far too long, the entire world also did nothing really, so can we blame them?

Maybe we should blame the Germans and countless other supremist goverments for giving our apartheid government ideas? Or maybe we should blame the Dutch and/or British settlers for coming to this country and taking it away from the indigenous people, the Zulus, the Xhosa, the San, et al? Not really, much like the Romans did for them, they bought a little bit of civilisation to the region.

Maybe we should blame the Romans for bringing the first hints of civilisation to what is now Britain & Netherlands or the Celtic or Germanic tribes for settling there in the first place? No?

What I’m trying to say is that history is exactly that, history. If we are going to just try to point fingers and play the blame game, nothing constructive will come of it, people will get angry and say stupid things which will piss off other people who will say more stupid things.

Lets say, hypothetically, as a white male in SA, you were looking through a newspaper for a job and you saw a job that you wanted to apply for. At the end it tells you, preference is given to BEE candidates or to disabled black women. Of course you think to yourself, “Fuck I hate this BEE crap!” or whatever else you may think, but is your next step to now launch a boycott against this company, or do you move on and try again?

The only thing that Woolworths did wrong was the way that they worded their job post really, and of course the way they handled the PR nightmare they bought on themselves, but I think after initially going into a flat spin, they have managed to correct their mistake, and isn’t that what we wanted?

Personally, I went to Woolies yesterday and bought some chicken they had on special. And next time I feel like some smoked snoek pate, I will go again.


The World is F***ed #5: A Comparison of Food & Petrol Price Increases in South Africa

5 year trends

Yesterday I read an article on the BBC website that got my mind spinning. The article is about how the UK Office of Fair Trade (OFT) has decided to launch a study into the high price of fuel. In the UK the price for petrol and diesel went up 38% & 43% respectively from June 2007 to June 2012. There are other factors they are investigating, but the bit that got me thinking was their citizens being upset about the 38-43% increase (Read the article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19489908)

This past month our petrol prices went up to their highest ever levels. A litre of 95 octane petrol now costs R11.97 inland and R11.62 along the coast.

Since June 2007, our petrol prices locally have gone up by a massive 59% for 95 octane unleaded and 65% for diesel! The chart below shows us in a bit more detail how the prices have risen and fallen over the past 5 years. In 2008 you may recall that oil prices rose dramatically, reaching a record $147 during July and then dropping to around $40 in December. However despite the oil price being lower than at it’s peak, we are paying R2 more a litre.

Fuel Price

Fuel vs Oil prices (June 2007 – Sept 2012)

Looking at food prices isn’t much better. I chose six random food products that I felt were quite common among all income groups, being: 1l Full cream milk sachet, loaf brown bread, 1kg whole fresh chicken, 1kg beef chuck, sunflower oil & 1kg carrots.

The increases ranged from 30% (chicken) to a massive 104% (Sunflower oil).

Food Price

Food Prices from June 2007 to Jun 2012

Separately, however, these didn’t make much sense, so I went to a bit of effort and created a weighted average between fuel, food and oil prices and compared them to the trend over the years and this is when it made more sense

If you look at the below chart, you will see red, green and blue solid lines indicating the movement of fuel, food and oil over the 5 year period, while the dotted lines indicate the trend created by this movement.

The purple line (X) is based on year on year inflation over this period, in other words what price increases should look like.

5 year trends

Trend of price increases over 5 years

But what do you notice if you compare the 3 trends and the solid purple line? This clearly indicates that fuel, and by comparison food, since SA relies on transport via our road networks, follow the trend of oil prices rather than the actual inflation rates given by government, which granted takes into account much more than I have: house prices, car prices, etc.

I’m no expert in matters like this so if anyone out there can give me a better explanation I will gladly accept it, but as if climate change wasn’t reason enough for us as a species to move away from oil and fossil fuels as a source of fuel and energy, then surely this should be  even more reason?

EDIT:

The sources for all the above prices and rates are:

Petrol Prices: http://www.aa.co.za/

Food Prices: http://www.namc.co.za/

Oil Prices: http://www.investis.com/

Inflation Rate: http://www.liberta.co.za


Posts of Randomness #4: Gullible Much??


ImageDuring the day today I have seen several websites, blogs, legit news sites and even quite a few of my friends on Facebook commenting and/or reposting a photo of a dog fight arena with Heineken banners on the both sides (see photo to the right).

Firstly, let me just say that I love our furry friends, and that I do what I can, when I can. I definitely do not like, support or in anyway condone dog fighting. Also, I don’t even drink Heineken, I don’t hate it, but rarely drink it.

To get back to the point, there are a bunch of idiots out there, including some of my Facebook friends, who decided to jump to the seriously illogical conclusion that Heineken was sponsoring dog-fighting…. srsly??

You don’t think that it could just be a Heineken outlet of some type, a bar, a club or random venue, and that Heineken were not aware of the fact that the venue was used for dog-fights? No, because everything on the internet is true and people don’t use Photoshop to edit photos. Whatever the source of the photo and how legit the photo is, I am pretty damn sure that the least likely option is that Heineken are sponsoring the dog-fight. I’m sure they would have made sure that their branding was removed

Regardless of all my thoughts on the matter, at the end of the day Heineken did release a statement on their website:

Images are circulating on a number of websites showing what appears to be an illegal dogfight with Heineken banners (placed upside down) clearly visible. HEINEKEN is shocked and disappointed by this image. HEINEKEN is not and would never knowingly be associated with illegal activities, including those involving cruelty to animals. This is a gross misrepresentation of our brand and our legal team is now investigating the source of the picture and will take the necessary measures. We ask anyone with information regarding this picture such as the source, or the venue where it has been taken to contact us.

A simple Google search would have revealed this for anyone that had seen the photo and was wondering if Heineken would do something like this.

 


Stealth Mode Enabled…

tooth fairy

Operation Tooth Fairy – Stealth mode Enabled……….
Enter Room………. 
Ninja Mode Activated……….
Retrieve First Tooth from Under Pillow………
Return Tooth Casket to Under Pillow, with the Reward…..
Exit Room……….
*Phew* 
Safe……

When reading this the other day on Facebook, it gave me that fuzzy feeling in my stomach, that one that is usually accompanied by an “Aww!”

To put it in perspective, my friend’s sister’s eldest daughter lost her first tooth and mommy had to engage Tooth-Fairy mode.

I just couldn’t help but share…


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