Monday, June 29, 2009

Fifa Confed Final and Bronze Match

This weekend was thrown into an array of continuous media reports about MJ and hastily arranged musical tributes on every existing music channel available. So little attention was handed to the presiding football tournament and much else after the untimely death. Life goes on. The news stations are finally beginning to acknowledge. South Africa failed to complete Spain's humiliation by denying them 3rd place when they allowed their excitement to distract them from defense. Letting the opposing side equalise and take the match into extra time where Spain managed to concede a goal and claim back an ounce of their dignity. Disappointing. Brazil took the cup as was predicted. Though many would've savoured watching the underdogs show the world that miracles are very much a reality. Next time boys. Nice try however.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fifa Confed Cup!! USA vs Spain; Brazil vs South Africa

What an incredible match this was. I could hardly contain my elation when two days ago the US defeated the European champions Spain 2-0. Nicely done boys. The American boys have humbled a team that seemed very complacent going into a match with the Americans. Yesterday's match was slow-paced and boring. Hardly enough to hold my attention but it was obvious Brazil would take it. This has been a very interesting tournament. Full of suprises. The final will be fantastic.

My Fallen Soldier: Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson: 29/08/1958 - 25/06/2009

What a mournful day.

The musical genius that has blessed generations of people with timeless and uniquely beautiful music over the past 40 years. Michael, the King of Pop is no more. A real icon. His presence and influence in modern music is so ubiquitous he will forever be immortalised by the legacy he left behind. His music has played a large role in my own life. I've appreciated his songs since I was a little girl. For every song he released, there is a part of my life that I can link up a recollection with. 'Thriller' is still the highest grossing album of all time. As a child, I would get home from pre-school and watch a VHS I owned of some of the videos from the album. His diabolical yellow eyes kind of scared me so I would run out of the room sometimes. But I knew the dance routine well. Like many others that idolised Michael.

I would sit on the patio with my late grandmother and tell her that I wanted to "marry" Michael. I was a four-year old girl infatuated with Michael! By 'marry" I had no clue what I was talking about but I knew I loved him. In the early 90's, it was Bad and Dangerous albums that had me in a frenzy. It was sheer hypnosis with every new video that was released and the songs - listened to them non-stop. It was incredible.

And you know what...I'm still trying to master this routine. My affection for it just resurfaced.

Michael jumped onto the new jack swing bandwagon at the turn of the nineties with Dangerous. There was production from Teddy Riley on numerous tracks, videos with three of the most well-known black supermodels of the day - Naomi, Iman and Tyra. The alternative MJ (Jordan of course), Kriss Kross, Heavy D all made their presence known in Jam. Aside from Kid 'n Play, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Nickolodeon I can't think of anything other form of entertainment that encapsulates what the early nineties were all about in my mind.

Michael was a masterful lyricist. He really put this on display in much of the album. Great piece of work. What else can I say. A song with the kind of groove and kick combined together with a socially-responsible message make a song like Jam rare. Remember the Time had such commendable choreography - traces of this single routine's influence are almost omnipotent in contemporary hip-hop, jazz, funk dances.

And how they did this lean is still a mystery to me. I used to think it was some kind of glue they'd placed on the soles of the dancers and Michael's shoes. They were specially-designed somehow. Sure someone on the net has an explanation...lo and behold

I would try to moonwalk, learn all the lyrics, listen to his songs over and over again.

In the 1995, The Earth Song and Stranger in Moscow were songs I loved. I listen to the latter when solitude creeps in and a kindred musical voice is what I'm scouting for. The words I hear Richard Ashcroft of Brit alt-rock group, The Verve, in the heartbreaking and soul-transcending ballad Bittersweet Symphony come to mind: "I need to hear some sounds that recognise the pain in me, yeah"

Now everytime I hear that song I'll think of how Michael must have felt in his latter days. He told his friend Uri Geller, "I am a very lonely man". That saddens me even more than his death. That even with all the fame, accolades and global adoration he was a man alone in the world in his mind. It's sad to lose such a musical genius. I hoped to get the chance to see him live during his final concert dates in the UK. But that won't be. His music lives on. In my heart, soul and mind. Michael, my fallen soldier. Rest in peace. Your music made me the person I am today. "I love yooooou!" awwww, Michael I salute you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fifa Confed Cup: USA vs Egypt

What as pleasant suprise! Egypt is out of this and the ones to send them home were the guys most seem to have written off. It wasn't just a lucky victory either, they got three in which means they concentrated. It was nice to see the Italians serve up some eye-candy too but they're on their way home so that's that. Looking forward to seeing what happens in the next round of matches. The semi-finals.

Fifa Confed Cup: USA vs Egypt

What as pleasant suprise! Egypt is out of this and the ones to send them home were the guys most seem to have written off. It wasn't just a lucky victory either, they got three in which means they concentrated. It was nice to see the Italians serve up some eye-candy too but they're on their way home so that's that. Looking forward to seeing what happens in the next round of matches. The semi-finals.

Fifa Confed Cup: Brazil vs Italy

Thank you. This is precisely what the pompous Italians needed. They've been destroyed. Two sets in a row. Love it when so-called World Champions go down. Brazil puts on a stellar performance as usual. They're through to the next round.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Where is our Vote?

With the Supreme Leader releasing a statement today that the vote was 'definitive', it's clear that justice will not soon be served to the Iranian people. A blank check was even written out to the Iranian defense force to encourage its attempts to quell protests. Protests obviously justified by the fact that the nation's votes have been disconsidered. Why else would they take to the streets. The word theocracy may just as well be a synonym for dictatorship. That a vote can be rigged and thereafter defended by the so-named Supreme Leader is simply a way of disguising authoritarian control. International press have been banned from entering the country for direct reports, Iranian civilians are being assaulted, shot at, teargassed and humiliated in the name of wanting freedom of choice.

Fifa Confed Cup: New Zealand vs Iraq

A zero draw certifying New Zealand their first tournament point. They were so glad they even celebrated...over a draw. Wow. No comment. Hehe. Life is rough like this.

Fifa Confed Cup: Spain vs South Africa

Beloved South Africans shall be weeping over their beer cans and ashtrays tonight. They're through to the next round though. Courtesy of New Zealand's dismal play throughout the competition so far.

Fifa Confed Cup: USA vs Brazil

Clobbered. At least it's not as bad as what New Zealand were put through. Brazil made the American side almost seem pathetic. Although they surely aren't. Not managing to concede a single goal was quite a shame. This side needs alot of strenghtening.

Fifa Confed Cup: Egypt vs Italy

Oh my the Italians have been shown. This just happens to be the first time Italy have been devoured by an African country in a Fifa tournament. Good! The so-called world champions have been trampled. Not to mention humbled.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fifa Confed Cup USA vs Italy

Current world champs Italy win as expected. Good play from American boys. Just wasn't enough to beat them unfortunately. Too busy watching 'Top Model' though missed much of the match.

Fifa Confed Cup: Brazil vs Egypt

This outcome was predicted. Fairly boring boring match. Especially for an opening. Sepp Blatter brought attention to the fact that the turnout was low. Well maybe that'll encourage the tournament organisers to lower the prices of tickets. Hopefully.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Madonna Finally Given Mercy

Well, good for her. Her wish was granted. The Malawian court has ruled in her favour and allowed her to adopt the little girl Chifundo. A great thing too. For all kinds of reasons, people have expressed their opposition to celeb-adoption. They prefer children to remain in their countries of origin where they can stay close and in-touch with their ethnic heritage. Yes, let them know their heritage and continue to reside in poverty. It may sound materialistic. But rather they grow up in comfort knowing that whatever they wish to do and become as adults will not be entirely difficult owed to their newfound privilege. This is where I stand up and support decisions to adopt. Madonna is a mother herself, even though the media slanders her to no end, she may very well be a sincere and loving individual with her adopted kids best intentions at heart. All in all, I'm glad Mercy has been given a family. In this case, it's not just a family in itself but a chance at life she wouldn't have had otherwise.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Xenophobes Still At It

South Africans are back to their xenophobic expressions of loathing, again! Outside a cathedral in central Jo'burg which is now crowded due to a displacement of Zimbabwean foreigners within the city, a sewage truck decided to "accidentally" spray large amounts of filthy water on the Zimbabweans whilst they sat out in the street during the day. The truck drove past as it did so and from the accounts of the involved, the liquid (whatever it was) smelt horrendous. It couldn't have been good. It was obviously a prank. A way of humiliating these people who have done no harm.

When will South Africans quit it with the hatred of foreigners? The Confederations Cup is this month. Let's see how they'll handle that influx of foreigners

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Africa" in the American Mind

This is prevalent in almost every single reference to the African continent voiced from the mouth of an American regardless of their race. They seem to experience trouble in speaking of Africa in terms of its constituent countries. This seems petty, no I take that back. There is nothing petty about it. They have no trouble remembering or pronouncing countries in Europe such as France, Germany and England. Doubtless, they find it easy to mention exact countries in South America - the most popular, for them, being Brazil. The land of small bikinis, low-cost plastic surgery, sexy women freely available to foereign men for sex, warm weather and pretty beach fronts all year round.

Ah, but Africa. Poor, impoverished, hungry, war-torn Africa. One unified clump of a continent. So uniform, it's as though the countries themselves are states such as the fifty-two that America recognises as part of the United STATES of America. Is this where the confusion lies? They somehow draw parralels between America and Africa. No, it can't be. Surely they know it is a continent.

On Macon D's stuff that white people like blog, he gave me a hint as to what could perhaps be the reasoning behind this perpetual mistaking:

Craig had just returned from working with the Peace Corps in . . . I was about to write "Africa," but in light of yesterday's post, I'm going to resist that lazy American tendency, and work my brain a few seconds longer to come up with the specific country. . . okay, I remember. He'd been working in Benin.

Ah, so I get it now. Apathy. That's all it is. Their lazy to either remember or pronounce or find out what country is being spoken of in every case. I know Oprah does it all the time. Whether it is to come across as intelligible enough for her audiences or she simply has a hard time letting go of the apathy that hinders Americans (and others in the world for that matter) from being particular about Africa and it's constituent nations. When referring to ongoings at her Leadership Academy which she knows very well is in South Africa, she simply spoke of her "school in Africa". Oh, Oprah. This is where you let me down, lady! It all sounds perfect just perfect until you start going on about taking trips to Africa and the animals in Africa. (sigh)

Anyhow. Let them see their own mistakes and rightfully administer corrections. Because I don't really care about American ignorance anyway (despite the fact that I'm ranting about it). Life is full of contradictions that way.

"Why?" one may ask.

Probably it is a manifestation of the highly romanticized idea propagated in Western mainstream media about the jungles of Africa, the animals and safari one can enjoy on arrival in the Motherland. Alot of them often arrive in Africa hoping to see the animals right away not realising that in the presence of civilization, animals must be kept in captivity or enclosed behind strategically-placed fencing as is the case with the Kruger National Park and many others around the continent.

I clearly recall being handed a colouring book on a commercial airline as a kis (think it was British Airways, can't really rememeber) and it contained colour-in pictures of kids from all around the world expressing their respectic heritages, cultures and traditions through their dress. Each setting clearly conveyed which country was represented by each image. Netherlands was a young Dutch girl wearing clogs and standing in front of a windmill, Australia was a boy playing with a boomerang in the outback with a kangaroo somewhere in the vicinity. Then it came to Africa (sigh) and lo and behold we had the typical jungle setting. An Africa boy wearing a Madiba-style shirt and safari hat. Foliage hanging over with a giraffe and lion in his background. I was, naturally, a little confused. This isn't Africa I thought. Not the Africa I knew personally. Too young to know of course the stereotypes applied when it comes to Westerner's view of those from foreign countries.

Perhaps its also the fact that for an American tongue many of Africa's countries are difficult to prounounce. Again that comes down to apathy. How can a things such a mental laziness be acceptable at all?

Try harder!