January 19, 2014 in Current Affairs

The biggest component of South Africa’s Gross National Product – and undoubtedly the Grossest -  is crime.  It permeates society, from corruption at all levels of government from the presidency down, to businesses following increasingly unethical practices, to the rampant drug dealing and crimes of extreme violence committed frequently while under the influence of these drugs.

In a climate where not even the rules of the road have any effective enforcement, it is no wonder that the country has become the happy hunting ground of international criminals, who add their efforts to those of the thriving local lawbreaking community – and very often take charge of them, in a bizarre new form of colonialism.

The result of ever-increasing news of embezzlement, theft, violence and general mayhem has been a sort of immunisation process whereby they are taken as normal and just shrugged off.  It is accepted that the police are corrupt, inefficient, or overworked to the extent of inadequacy, and that the judiciary are there to undo any successes they may have with catching criminals by releasing them again for no apparent reason (the actual reason probably being bribes). 

Every now and again a community which has had more than enough boils over and tenderises, shreds or incinerates a perpetrator – which evinces shocked horror from the authorities but no remedial action.  Mostly, however, society is growing to accept the situation as normal and people simply retreat into ‘I’m all right, Jack,’ mode – until they aren’t.  Then their squeals go unheard, and the only option for victims of all races is to look for a Perth to pack for.

If you look at the situation quite dispassionately, it is utterly chronic, and on the brink of total anarchy.  How many other world crime hotspots, or even war zones, have quite the same numbers of victims?

Can anything be done about it?

Of course; but only if the climate of apathy and acceptance is swept aside.  Hopefully, there are still sufficient law abiding folk remaining to overcome the criminal element if they decide as one that enough is enough, and all put individual effort into the war.  This scenario is, alas, about as likely as water flowing uphill.  Still, one can dream.

 © Colonialist January 2014 (blogs24)

Widgets sorted out

August 16, 2013 in blogging tips, Composition, Journal, Writing

I thought I might as well update my widgets here, whether anyone is looking or not. So now the links to players and from books work. For some reason I can’t embed a player on the site, but that may be the fault of the widget – MyMusicStream seem to be fiddling around with things.

When transferring widgets from another blog, it appears to be essential to paste the HTML to ‘new post’ and copy it from there into the widget box rather than trying to put it straight into the latter.


July 19, 2013 in humour, Nonsense rhyme, Really Awful Rhyme, Wordplay

Kate Shrewsday went and blogged about the Canons of Westminster being deprived of Hyde Park by Henry VIII, so she takes the blame for this:

 Red canon flip

The Canon he was playing round;
Got Bishops up in arms
For lots and lots of girls, they found,
Kept falling for his charms. 

Those Bishops had a meeting and
They called the lad to task:
‘To stop it, you must understand
Is not too much to ask? 

‘The congregation isn’t there
For Canons to seduce;
It is bad form, we do declare,
This sexual abuse!’ 

The Canon, though, had got to like
His totting up of scores,
And so he sent them on their bike,
And also said, ‘Up yours!’ 

The Bishops then got very cross
When by these words inspired,
So raged, ‘Indeed, you’ll be no loss,
And, forthwith, you are fired!’ 

‘Oh really?’ said this naughty man,
‘Well, I am going to sue;
I’ll make you broke; I know I can -
This action you will rue!’ 

And sad to say that, as his word,
He was indeed as good;
Cleaned out, they squealed, ‘This is absurd!
We didn’t think he could!’ 

So this will clearly demonstrate
That you can but aspire
A lot of damage to create,
Loose Canons, if you fire.

And a re-working in rhyme of the old classic:

 Red canon

For queens who have a baby,
They fire a salute,
And for princesses, maybe,
Some guns they also shoot;
But if a nun should have one, though,
The situation’s dire;
They do not shoot a gun; oh no -
A Canon’s what they fire! 

© Colonialist July 2013 (WordPress/blogs24)


June 7, 2013 in blogging tips, Really Awful Rhyme, Wordplay

To use ‘Contact us’ on this site

Is certainly not very bright –

The act of a loon!

Effectiveness that it will give

Equates with the use of a sieve

Instead of a spoon;

I’m sure a baboon

Could get things a great deal more right.


My message went into a void;

For an age nothing much could be hoid;

Just silence, instead;

Eventually one has come back:

Of sense having serious lack –

‘Deleted’, it said;

‘Without being read’;

No wonder one gets most annoyed!


© Colonialist June 2013 (

A DEL-icate Dish, Really Awful

February 8, 2013 in Food, humour, Nonsense rhyme, Really Awful Rhyme

Frikkadel (meatball)

Frikkadel (meatball)

 Adele was a bit of a freak;
One thing she did do well:
To make a meatball was her treek;
She called it Freak Adele.

Wors (or Boerewors – farmers sausage)

And when she got up every morn
She’d make a sausage course;
And out of this habit there was born,
‘To go from bed to wors.’

Koeksuster (cook sister) sweet confection.

Koeksuster (cook sister) sweet confection.

Her siblings all fail to survive -
The plaits of them are neat;
Fried, dunked in syrup, they derive
A koeksuster sweet treat.

 © February 2013 Colonialist (WordPress/Blogs24)


January 31, 2013 in Current Affairs, humour, Really Awful Rhyme

How to make trains run on time.

Commuters in Umlazi get

Put under lots of strains,

And to express displeasure set

Alight offending trains.


A bunch of this lot’s breth’ren stole

Some cable from the track

Which sends the signals up the pole

Until it gets put back.


The manual system that is used,

When current there is none,

Seems rather to have been abused -

For practice there was none.


And thus two trains met nose to nose,

With something of a crunch:

Collision which quite clearly shows

Some brains were out to lunch.


The blockages upon the line

Caused other trains to run

Extremely late; commuters whine

That waiting is no fun.


And so, they threw some rocks at trains -

Quite logical to do;

Much better than if one complains,

And exercises, too!


This didn’t seem to do the trick,

So next they did aspire 

To show, of waiting, they were sick,

By setting trains on fire.


In Africa,  if horse won’t go

Because it has a fetter,

You simply kill it with one blow

To get it going better.

 © January 2013 Colonialist (WordPress/Blogs24)


January 29, 2013 in Journal, Writing

  Harmony has posted a series of drawings by Trevor Romain vividly depicting some of the things one might remember from growing up many years ago in the suburbs of Johannesburg and ‘The Witwatersrand’.

The Doll House


  The one above includes a place which holds a special place in our hearts.  The Doll House.  This was a scene of visits when driven there by parents, and later over a number of years it saw us in all the stages of growing up from teenage to young adulthood. 

  It was there that I passed out after having been dared to do a ‘boat race’ or ‘down-down’ on half a bottle of whiskey after many other drinks at a work party.  Fortunately my girlfriend, after wondering if the corpse would ever be revived, and how she could drive my sports car home when her feet wouldn’t even reach the pedals, recognised a cousin’s boyfriend as a late visitor to the roadhouse. 

  He was also far gone, but sobered up immediately when he saw me.   He drove me home in my car while girlfriend drove his.  Then I was marched up and down outside before being injected into the front door.   I woke up the next morning with no memory of the party or its aftermath and a hangover from hell.  I didn’t touch a drink for a good couple of years after that!

Surprisingly, that girlfriend didn’t dump me, and the Doll House saw many more visits from us over the years of our courtship and engagement.

  In due course, when we were visiting it as newlyweds, all we had to do was draw up and a minute or so afterwards two Cokes, in glasses for dipping, and three ‘Frozen Dolly’ ice creams, would be delivered to our window.  I would be dipping two-handed.  One Frozen Dolly would be slurped by me and the other held over my shoulder where our Siamese, Thai, would be sitting on the backrest telling me loudly to get a move on with it.

  I can imagine the howls of protest at the thought of feeding a cat Coke and ice cream, but he loved it as passionately as we did, and showed no signs of not thriving.   He went everywhere with us, and he gave me the inspiration for my character Tabika’s dog-riding exploits when he rode a notorious cat-killing German Shepherd, who had escaped from confinement and come looking for trouble, all the way down the road, digging pins energetically into its back and hindquarters.  The dog was so petrified it left a trail of … ahem!   

  After that Thai would often sit on the gatepost, head moving from side to side as he hopefully looked for any more dogs to chase or ride.

  Anyway, a less pleasant memory of the Doll House was when we ran our budget too tight, and I went to work in the kitchen for a while wearing glassless spectacles and a false moustache – my employers frowned on moonlighting.   It was extremely hard work, and without the tips enjoyed by the front line staff was poorly paid. 

  Nevertheless I look back on that roadhouse with great fondness.

  Thanks for the inspiration, Harmony!

 © January 2013 Colonialist (WordPress/Letterdash)


January 26, 2013 in Current Affairs, Really Awful Rhyme

Again regarding the First National Bank ads featuring youth giving their ideals for the future, it appears the bank has been repeating apologies.  What an idiotic reaction from all sides.  The government lost a wonderful opportunity of saying that they were taking note of all the perceptions and ideals of these inspiring young people, with a view to addressing the issues raised.  The bank and agency lost an opportunity for putting the stupid politicians in their places by vigorously defending the rights of the youth to have expressed their views, unscripted as they insist they were.


‘Everything in our garden is quite lovely  -

It’s treachery to say that it is not,

And also it is quite the board above-ly,

No nasty little secrets have we got.


‘To say that traffic safety is appalling,

Or that the transport system is a mess,

Is simply unacceptable and galling,

Demanding that the error you confess.


‘That youth believe there is a lot of crime here

Is just a bunch of most malicious lies!’

Thus ANC go into tantrum-time here,

Demanding that the bank apologise.


And though the garden has more weeds than flowers,

And looks as though unmade is every bed,

One must conform to views of ruling powers,

And say that it is beautiful instead?


Apologies should not have been forthcoming

Regarding youth perspective clearly said,  

And in response to ANC tantrum-ing,

They should have been invited to drop dead.


© January 2013 Colonialist (WordPress/Blogs24)


January 22, 2013 in Current Affairs

The ruling African National Congress in its various forms has reacted to an ad campaign by First National Bank in South Africa with what is tantamount to an admission of guilt on all counts.  They ‘protest overmuch’.

In response, the Bank has withdrawn the ‘prosecution’.

This is what the drama unfolding at present amounts to.  The campaign was based on a First National Bank ‘You Can Help Campaign’ where youth set out their aspirations for the future.  Inevitably, in so doing they highlighted some of the things wrong at present – crime, violence, corruption, and lack of incentive for all groups together to drive the economy. 

The ANC, clearly reacting out of a guilt complex, has launched into streams of utterly empty-headed rhetoric condemning the campaign and demanding apologies.

Unfortunately First National Bank, obviously looking nervously at its lucrative government accounts, has cravenly backed down and withdrawn most of the ads.  This, even though it is clear that the accusations of an attack against the government are ludicrous.  The youth who spoke out were merely reflecting the shortcomings and ideals as they see them in the present context, and if this led to implications of criticism of the ruling regime who is to blame?

The quality of debate from pro-government sources is typified by the following gem, quoted as being from a person with a number of degrees related to education, ‘… said it was insulting for a child to be seen reading a script insulting an elder’.  Insulting is insulting?  How remarkable.  Especially if it isn’t, but merely points out known conditions.

Furthermore, East Coast Radio reports, ‘The ANC said the bank should not use children to make political statements in a manner disrespectful to elders that disregarded sacrifices made in the 18 years of democratic government.’  Again, characteristic outdated ‘Struggle’ or revolution thinking.  When are they going to realise that it is the here and now that matters, and that if ‘Struggle’ heroes cannot perform in it, they need to stand aside instead of feeling that they are owed leadership positions?  Respect must be earned, and does not come automatically with greater age.

A final, typical gem:  ‘The South African Communist Party strongly condemns this action as highly irresponsible, reckless and unbecoming of any institution calling itself a bank,’  Utterly empty rhetoric, without any logic or substance.  Of course, that is in common with Politicalese the world over, but still.

The only ones who come out of this with considerable credit are the youth who expressed these ideals.  The examples still on YouTube are well worth viewing. 

© January 2013 Colonialist (WordPress/Blogs24)


January 19, 2013 in humour, Nonsense rhyme, Really Awful Rhyme, Wordplay, Writing

It can be extremely vexic

When I tend to be lysdexic -

If you ask for Pentas seeds

I may bring you centipedes.


Should you say the chores need doing,

You would find the doors I’m chewing

And if asked to warm a fish,

 I might simply form a wish.


You would find I’d bought a wattle

When the list said water bottle;

And if told, ‘You!  Listen here!’

I’d respond with hiss and leer.


If you wanted scones, well battered,

All you’d get is bones, well scattered;

And, instead of eating grapes,

You would find me greeting apes.


Don’t ask me for stunt that’s cunning –

The response might send your running;

Also, not to fry a tart

While inside; it isn’t smart! 


She gets food; I see her nanny …

Hang on!  This is getting ban-ny!  

I must back off quite a bit,

Lest I get to shuck or fit.

© January 2013 Colonialist (WordPress/Blogs24)