Shinola

A lot of good people
Pushing on through the rain
Painting whimsical rainbows
With impossible pain

Searching for salvation
Searching for love
Searching for a safe place to dream

A lot of bad people
Killing joy for money
Killing peace for kicks
Pissing on batteries in the name
Of righteous indignation

I got a whole suitcase full of madness
Demons and monsters instead of brain cells
I got more pain in my bugged out head
Than any one man should have to bear

But just for today
I’m going to get myself quietly shitfaced
And keep trying to devise
The spaced out alchemical algorithm

That will convert all this excess emotion
Small oil tankers of pain
Freight trains packed full of anger
Convert all this shit to Shinola
And keep polishing the blues

golly

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On The 8th Day God Created Yamaha

P1020066

It’s been a very strange day. Strange even for me. I’ve been counting down my remaining days at my current job for about 3 years and got down to five. Then things got weird. After a combination of diplomacy, swearing and filing cabinet punching it was decided that I could fuck off immediately.

Which is all for the good because I got to find a canopy for my bakkie, sell my guitar and meet Bennie.

And yes this does relate somewhat to the picture above – don’t rush me.

Bennie answered my Gumtree ad for my never used Cort guitar. What I liked about Bennie was his habit of ending the brief SMS’s and chats with the words ‘Be Blessed.’ I’m an absolute sucker for random acts of kindness. Just hearing it cheered me up.

So I kinda blew off the other poncy Bryanston contender for the adoption of my much loved (and never used) guitar and arranged to meet Bennie at 4.

OK well here’s the bloody connection already!

Bennie is a member of the Christian Motorcycle association http://www.cmasa.org.za/About.aspx

And a nicer guy you could not hope to meet. If I wasn’t Jewish I would have signed up immediately. Hell (sic.) would even have gone and bought a bike again. And we had a lovely little chat about Jesus and forgiveness and old Yamaha XJ series bikes.

I was quite apologetic and explained that my old mum would have issues. Not with the bike side – she bought me my first two motorbikes – but with the Jesus bit. Only thing I could do worse than that would be to tell her I have a Muslim girlfriend. (No mom I don’t – it’s hypothetical!)

But he did leave me with a very funky leather jacket pocket sized bible. I liked reading about the translation challenges but after a couple of hundred words about who begat who I kinda lost interest in the main story.

Then I, after thinking that the http://punktorah.org/about-punktorah/ guys were pretty cool, then reading that their discount online conversion drive may not be sanctioned by the authorities, decided to search for Jewish Motorcycle Associations.

And found the picture above.

So you see it is all effen connected – just don’t rush me!

Mushroom Steak Royale

Mushroom Steak Royale

I made the above bite for a friend. He loved how as he was eating it the director added some special effects. So he shouted for a camera. My friend that is. Because nothing is real if it isn’t posted.

I just like blood and bright colors so I played along.

Then he got very excited about product placement – and ransacked the room for Red Bull, Bic, Black Label and Mushroom Flavoured Dark Soy Sauce. I never did discover who and how we were going to bill. My idea of product placement is – sit the fuck down and eat the steak before it gets cold 🙂

The whole scene, for no good reason, got me thinking about life as product placement in an existential space. That is largely mental and solipsistic. Until social media turns every egomaniac into a fearless broadcaster of deep and meaningful shit.

elbowtoe_urinal_unurth

Episode 2 to follow – need to place some nice ice cold Zamalek strategically in my belly.

Teffilin Power

Let me state right here, at the outset, that I am in no way anti-religious, anti-semitic, or anti-tradition. I also have no quarrel with the Chabad organization, it’s practices or motivations. It’s just that it has, through its ingenious marketing, claimed my attention.

I think that, to some extent, religion has always involved an element of marketing. I happen to be looking at religion and marketing from a Jewish perspective for the simple reason that I am Jewish. Had I been born Christian I may well have been discussing the growth of charismatic mega-churches. Or, if I were born a Hindu or Buddhist, I may have been discussing  the popularization and re-packaging of all manner of eastern religions.

Tefillin Power

My first exposure to Chabad was when I went to visit a service provider in order to discuss additions to our bespoke software. It was, if a remember correctly, on a Friday morning. After the discussions I was asked if I would like to put on Teffilin. I think it was mentioned that it would be a Mitzvah – both for me and for the person facilitating the ritual. I may have been swayed by the offer of a post mitzvah whiskey.

Well, being somewhat fond of whiskey and in no way averse to Mitzvahs (good deeds) I said, after a moment’s confusions caused by the incongruity of the event, OK sure, why not. It was some months after this that I began noticing billboards around Johannesburg advertising ‘Tefillin Power’.

I just have one question. Who would choose to engage in a somewhat lengthy religious practice on the basis of an advert? Actually I have another question – what, in G-d’s name – would the Goyim (non-jews) make of it all.

Anyway – moving swiftly on from Whisky to Marijuana – a few weeks ago a Chabad ‘marketer’ arrived at our office to facilitate the above mentioned mitzvah en masse  as it were. We were enthusiastically encouraged by our quite persuasive boss to participate. The Chabadnik looked quite hippyish – probably due to the beard and the glow of spiritual high – and my eyes were drawn, as they are want to do, to the large roll of Rizlas placed with strategic nonchalance on the table next to the Tefillin bag. (See picture above)

Would I be offered a joint after putting on the Teffilin and saying the Shema?

Unfortunately I had, in my eagerness, let my eyes deceive me. They were a special type of Rilzla – Rabbi Rizlas – and were issued, not by the local 7 Eleven but by the Chabad anti addiction division.

I felt suitably embarrassed and wished I hadn’t said ‘cool’ quite so enthusiastically (and aloud).

Anyway – it gets my Most Effective Religious Marketing Award.

So, Billy Graham, put that in your pipe and smoke it 🙂