When I was in college I had a friend, Scott, who I used to stay up
late into the night with and get philosophical. He was deeply
Christian but very open to anything, an excellent conversationalist
and very articulate.
A bit after I graduated I received an email from him with this quote:
"There are chords of the hearts of the most reckless which still
cannot be touched without emotion. Even with the utterly lost, to whom
life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest
can be made"
-Edgar Allan Poe "The Masque of Red Death"
It was in reference to a joke I had made about suicide. This email
spawned a long correspondence about the moral implications of suicide
jokes, it was a good discussion, one of my favorites. In then end we
reached a sort of conclusion and agreed to disagree without being
disagreeable. I was adamant about not blaming the straw that broke the
camel's back and he was firm in not seeing the worth of a cheap laugh
if it might be that last straw.
Some excerpts of his:
"If you ever had to deal with the pain of accepting an individual who
is close to you that has committed suicide you will realize that it is
no joking matter. everything, i mean everything, that was said
between the two of you is analyzed in a futile attempt to decipher why
anyone would do this."
"I still feel that while suicide takes a multitude of issues and
certainly can't be attributed to a joke, that joke can be the
proverbial "straw the breaks the camel's back", and thus a life is not
worth a cheap laugh, which will most likely be forgotten by the teller
and those who found it humorous."
Almost two months ago I received an email from him through our community forum.
"I'm sorry guys just forget about me
9th Mar 2008, 11:34
We're sitting at a Muslim burger place in Durban. Our father is
talking about his truth movement and how it's aim is to expose truth
about 9/11 -- basic conspiracy theory bullshit.
Before this he'd commented on Alfie's tattoos, "Who did your tats?"
"A friend of mine."
Alfie then brings up Tom's tattoo.
"I got this when I was thirteen." He pulls up his right sleeve to show
an eagle exactly like the one on my step dad's arm.
9th Mar 2008, 10:51
"Yes, I work in Maldives. All people, they are honeymooners.
I fuck many new wife. No, I don't care. If she a bitch, it's not my
problem. Especially if she have a bitch face. If she have a bitch face
I want to put a beer bottle in her ass, to the bottom."
9th Mar 2008, 10:21
Gita does these workshops for mothers, they don't expect the quick
foray into feminism and cultural gender studies.
Tribal customs: women not to masturbate -- no word for it save the
In class: "What kind of woman would do that? ...and how?"
Many have not seen their vaginas. African languages lack clinical
terms for penis and vagina, only expletives. Women should not enjoy
sex, dryness is correct to enhance male pleasure. Sex workers carry
herbs for dryness which increases chance of HIV transmission due to
Rampant rape -- women cannot say yes, only no --the debate of when no
means no. Women cannot initiate sex. African gender roles have moved
underground as western feminism takes ground.
9th Mar 2008, 10:14
One sunscreened arm each chewing biltong past Ubuntu and the Garden of
Eden, feeding baboons prohibited and four car double passing till we
finally reach Jeffrey's Bay
9th Mar 2008, 10:06
She asks me if I'm a student, I give her the standard spiel: finished
a few months ago with English, fixed computers for a few months, then
sold all my stuff and came to South Africa. What comes next is wide
She smiles, "Yes I have a daughter in school, She's studying Politics.
Right now she's taking a business course though. She wants to go to
Libya and work for the U.N."
I give the impressed face. Indeed I am.
"Yes, I don't know how she'll fair," the woman turns her head to
exhale the menthol smoke from her thin cigarette. "I mean, she grew up
a typical Afrikaner farm girl, servants everywhere. Never had to lift
a finger. 'Mkwana, could I have some tea?' and there was tea."
We laugh. Yes, typical Afrikaner farm girl. I think of my childhood,
no farm, certainly no servants.
She brushes at a billow of her blue dress with a manicured hand. "I
don't know why she wants to go to Libya, her German is quite good. She
picked it up quickly too."
"Mm, but she grew up with English and Afrikaans yea?"
"Yes, and one of the black languages as well."
9th Mar 2008, 10:01
9th Mar 2008, 09:39
Gita and the adorable Chia
9th Mar 2008, 09:35