April 20, 2010

The Opening Monologue – Tuesday the 20th of April 2010

Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

This last week was one of true literary wonder. It seemed the events of a great novel were playing themselves out right here before us. There was something rotten in the state of South Africa due to SAMWU’s strike action, the monster was tamed as his master cracked the whip and the skies around the world darkened with ash as Icelandic volcanoes spewed forth a plume of travel-stopping air gunge.

And so, with the end times fast approaching, let’s knock this one out and head for the bomb-shelters and commuter lounges.

Who knew that when the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse decided to hold a dress-rehearsal they’d choose Iceland? Well, if this week was anything to go by, then the Mayan clock was off by about 2 years and 8 months. This was of little consolation to thousands of commuters worldwide who were left stranded by the ash clouds that spread across the planet. The ash is so prevalent that NATO jet fighters have found glass in their engines, the heat turning the ash into clear evidence.

However, though commercial planes were grounded, the entrepreneurial spirit was in full flight as various nations filled their hotels, bars and restaurants with stranded travellers. In an attempt to assuage the sting of staying put, Iceland offered those left holding their bags a free dip in the geothermal heated pools around their nation.

Some of you might find this a bit odd and a wee bit sinister: They’ve already blackened the skies and now they’re offering you the opportunity to simmer in a stew pot? I say nay, nay!

And to all the passengers that seem to believe the fantasy that the world actually revolves around them, that foreign countries are there to service their needs alone and that the airlines are deliberately inconveniencing you by not taking off, do me a favour: Watch the opening scene of Lost and tell me if that looks like fun.

In unconfirmed reports, Al-Qaeda terror attacks worldwide have slowed down. Apparently they realised that with these long delays, their luggage won’t last the flight.

Speaking of deflated hopes, it seems the ANC has finally been roused from its Laudanum-like slumber and cracked its whip at our dear old Designated Distraction Man, DDM himself, Julius Malema. No more lofty ideals for him. No sir.

Not for at least another 20 minutes.

Yes indeed, it seems that all that was necessary to get DDM into trouble was for him to repeatedly ignore the ANC. Naughty Julius, no biscuit!

So is one to assume then that pissing on everyone else’s opinion was just the icing on a large pound cake of poo?


But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe when his hearing comes around, the ANC will take into account Julius’ sterling record (let me finish) being the ruling party’s designated distraction and forget the whole thing.

But they wouldn’t do that would they? I’m sure a stern punishment will be handed down.

I can dream can’t I?

At the very least, they could tell him to just keep to the script. As we all know, every song and dance routine needs a well-written through line otherwise how does one keep track of the money? Besides, you can’t just make this stuff up as you go. You get into trouble… isn’t that right Julius?

And trouble is exactly what ANC Treasurer Mathews Phosa is causing. He has openly accused fellow ANC leaders of lying and being clueless about business.

Welcome to the party Mr. Phosa.

This comes from Chancellor House’s maybe yes, maybe no stance on their withdrawal of their stake in Hitachi Power Africa, a move which would see them losing out on making R1 billion off the construction of Eskom’s new power stations. What got Phosa really riled up was how Chancellor House Chairman Popo Molefe said to him that they’re severing connections with Hitachi only to deny those same statements later in the press.

So tell me Mr. Phosa, what part of the term “Government” didn’t you understand?

Remember, the term “Government” is derived from two old Latin words. “Governa” meaning “a new spin” and “mentus”meaning “on an old lie”.

This latest flaming comes on the heels of MPs referring to Nersa – the National Energy Regulator of SA – as a “toothless wonder” It would seem that MPs too have just realised that sometimes, entities of the powers that be simply go through the motions. It’s a little unsettling that elected officials are only realising this now. That was a long nap gentlemen.

Sticking with old liars, Jackie Selebi and Glen Agliotti seemed to have had their stories straight at the start of the trial but have now adopted a new game called “Prison Doesn’t Match My Tie”.

All that can be discerned is that they certainly lied about something somewhere but like deja vu, every time they try to recall the events, they fade away into memory. Kinda like the truth, huh guys?

According to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCCSA) saying something is gay is fine as long as you mean that it is “uncool, stupid or objectionable”. This came after a Tuks FM listener complained about a DJ running a segment called “Gay or Okay” where bad things were labelled as gay. The DJ, Konstant De Vos, argued that the usage was fine because the listeners were usually voting about the behaviour of politicians or whether popped collars on pink golf shirts was gay.

It’s gay by the way. And you’re a douchebag if you do it.

The commission agreed with Vos too. Yay for freedom of speech… or something. In a way it does make a weird kind of sense.

For example, Robert Mugabe and Julius Malema are gay. See? It’s all so much clearer.

Something else to file under bizarre, Eugene Terre’Blanche has apologised for tarring and feathering the late Professor Floors van Jaarsveld in 1979 – the act that cemented the AWB as a group with no sense of humour. Van Jaarsveld’s family has seen the gesture as far too little, way too late. There’s just no pleasing some people. Maybe if we got an Ouija board the lads could do it face to face… so to speak.

But everyone can relax, there’s no zombie ET. He apologised for the incident in his soon to be published memoirs. The book which was completed a mere four months before his murder offers new insights into the man that fell from so high. Apparently there are chapters on proper horse-riding; how to make prison shanks and a guideline on hiring farm labourers. The book is due out next month.

And finally… You can’t go anywhere nowadays without stomping on some litter. Even the Himalayas need a clean now and then. And for the first time ever, a clean-up team will brave the “death zone” of Mt. Everest to do just that. The “death zone” – so named because of its lack of oxygen and treacherous terrain – is home to some 2000kgs of rubbish stretching all the way back to the first ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953.

Till now the refuse wasn’t a problem but global warming has melted large parts of the snow making the Himalayan landfill visible. How embarrassing. On the creepy side, three corpses of long dead climbers have also been located. One of them, a Swiss climber that died in 2008 is to be collected and cremated.

“We’ll bring down the body of a Swiss climber who died in the mountain in 2008 and cremate it below the base camp for which we have got the family’s consent.”

So if I understand the logic here, he froze to death so now you’re going to warm him up. A lot. Overkill much? On the upside, should they fail to retrieve and cremate the body, they can simply leave an urn out for a few days and give the family that instead. Where’s the harm in that? Besides it’ll bringing new meaning to the phrase “My urn runeth over”.

This concludes this week’s edition of The Opening Monologue. See you next week and remember, you haven’t heard it all till you’ve heard The Last Say On Sunday.