Thursday, 25 September 2014

Baa Baa We Sheep, Have We Self-Thought?

How much do we really know about what goes on in other countries? For that matter, how much do we really know about what goes on in our own country, province, neighbourhood?

I have been having a quick catch up with a friend who is working in Hawaii and the topic of what was mostly in the news came up. For me, for along time, the local/national news was saturated with the Oscar trial. Heck, our satellite TV had a dedicated 24-hours-a-day channel just for the trial and all things related. For my friend, he said their news is more focused on ISIS/ISIL/IS. I had to ask him what that was! Now I may just be extremely uninformed but I had never heard of those acronyms before.

I was thinking about this whole news concept this morning, after dreaming about being able to buy mushrooms per 'room rather than as a pack (completely unrelated). Two big stories that reached my ears and/or eyes, in an international context, have been the Ebola outbreak, and the Russia/Ukraine fiasco. Since I don't trawl news sites, don't get regular updates and don't listen to the radio much, the stories have to be a big deal in order for me to know about them. However, I haven't heard anything about either of those in yonks. I saw a headline today that mentioned something about expecting 1 million Ebola cases by Jan 2015 unless something is done. And I have no idea what's happening with the Eurasian contingent.

There have been books and movies about how the governments use the news to tell you what they want you to know, rather than the truth. The truth is actually a tenuous thing. One would like to think of it in black-and-white, no-greyscale type of terms, but I don't think the truth ever is. There are facts, but the truth is an interpreted fact, and who you are, what you believe, what your preferences are all impact the way in which you interpret facts.

Moreover, the number of hoaxes going around these days is preposterous. Case in point, Emma Watson's UN speech and the backlash of 'Nude Photo Threats'. People were ardently believing that as FACT for at least a day, getting on their high horses and spouting their own outraged opinions. And then it turns out to be a hoax. Fact became fiction. Truth became trash.

Next time you see a headline, particularly those aimed at sensationalism, think about what you are reading/hearing. With all the doors that international connection and the Internet have opened for us, the worldly population seems more sheep-like than ever.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


I usually go to Pub Quiz on a Wednesday evening, but due to one thing and another, last night I ended up driving an hour inland to go to pub kareoke for a friend's pre-birthday celebration instead.

Some people are just awful, although they have lots of enthusiasm. I am starting to think I am close to being one of these. I was in the PMB Children's Choir for about three years back in the day, so you would assume I have some singing ability. However nowadays my singing is best kept in the car with the windows down. Pitchy. Very pitchy. And off-key. And just, bleugh. It's embarrassing.

The evening was fairly fun though. Got to sing my staple of The Time Warp with the birthday boy and some of his friends. Didn't get Columbia's squeaky voice right, but it's such a fun song to sing, who cares! I am not brave enough to sing solo. That's reserved for the car and potential happy-drunk bar nights.

On another note, I am USELESS with getting to know new people. After the initial meet and greet, nodding of heads or shaking of hands, I never know what to say. Last night I was meant to "meet" one of the birthday boy's friends - he has "plans" that we would "be good together". I basically didn't say a word to the guy, and we even sang a song together! I am such a wimp.

Monday, 1 September 2014

In sickness & in health

I would make a terrible medical doctor but I do have a morbid fascination with all the weird, disturbing, inexplicable ways that diseases affect us humans. Heck knows I have my fair share of "there is no cure, you just have to treat it symptomatically" bullshit in my life, which I hate, but doesn't make the weirdness of disease any less interesting.

However, I do detest being sick. Thankfully it doesn't happen that often, but when it does I am almost guaranteed to get something falling within the following boxes: skin something, throat something, or digestive system something. Since it now seems that I have eczema that will never go away, I guess I always have the skin-something box ticked.

Last week I caught a bug that's apparently going round and sparing the details, it is nasty. It had me having flashbacks to when I had Hepatitis A back in Cape Town. It's only now, almost a full week later, that I am starting to feel normal-ish again. Not totally so though. Eating is still a should-I-shouldn't-I think and queasiness is my constant companion, but I think being able to actually sleep a few hours straight has done me a world of good. Who knew antispasmodics could be so useful!

As always when I am very sick, particularly with DS-something, I had ugh moments when all I wanted was my mom. I think I will be 50 and sick and still just wanting my mom. It's a scary thought that one day she won't be around and that I might be that mom that a sick someone is wanting. Terrifying for me actually.

I do hate this eczema though - it was under more or less control and then of course my immune system took a nose dive and now it's in full force and making life even more miserable. The bastard.