Meaning, madness and shite TV


“A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“Have you ever fallen into a mental space where even the slightest detail seems excruciatingly overburdened with meaning?”

That’s just the typical jargon riddled silliness that I’d come to expect from my friend and sometime persecutor Umberto Vlok (aka Big Jim)

But, being of a sensible disposition, especially since the course of electro shock therapy that I got at half pice in Panama, I felt obliged to nudge Big Jim back towards a semblance of sanity.

“Ja, nee, ou maat – it happened once when I confused the dosage of my valium, thorazine and TicTacs – think it was those blerry TicTacs that done it!”

“But have you never thought that we are surrounded by meaning, tips, intimations of a world that actually makes sense?”

“Ummmm not really – not since arriving on this planet. I once believed in fate but my pot smoking lesbian neighbors cured me of that.”

Anyway we rambled on in a similar vein for some time before the tannie at the next table intervened.

“Jislaaik maar julle twee kan sommer lekker kak praat – why don’t you go home and watch the Rugby like good Safricans!” (Geez you two can talk a lot of crap …….)

I did go home but instead of the Rugby decided to watch a particular episode of Only Fools and Horses for the 17th time certain that I’d missed something important the other 16 times. But my mind had started drifting to matters of deep and dark significance –

  1. Isn’t it better to die living than it is to live dying?
  2. If I do cut my ear off would I be better able to sell my series of 213 portraits of my favorite toothbrush?
  3. I better find my life’s work soon – before I get fired from my day job
  4. Why did the lady at the till give me that look?

I was starting to panic – had Umberto infected my brain with some evil nanovirus? What if I really am supposed to make a difference in my job, save the company, save the world, invent a new and improved toilet seat?

I reached frantically for the remote, which was sinisterly just out of reach,  and started flicking manically through the channels in desperate need of solace and salvation.

Shit – no Top Gear, Masterchef, American Restoration – shit not even Storage Wars.

I was beginning to sweat – my mouth was dry and my stomach filled with wasps (much worse than butterflies).

Then in that last terrible moment before falling into the abyss I had an epiphany – I didn’t need to go mad. I could regain control. I was flooded with a feeling of pure joy as I took my steel capped safety boot off and threw it with all my might at the TV.

Woooooohooooo – fuck DSTV, I’m bigger than that. I’ll go play in the hills and valleys and shopping centres. I had found FAITH. I was bigger than TV.

When the nice men came to take me away they gave me a nice big injection and just as I was drifting off the man tightening the straps said:

“Don’t worry Bru – there’s a TV right above your bed!”



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