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My cousin recently discovered Facebook. He adores it, in my respectful opinion far too much. He loves the new applications most. He sends messages, he “pokes” me incessantly and posts things on my wall. He throws sheep at me, he uses the force on me, he loaded the vampires application and “bites” me.

I’m waiting for the application that allows me to kill that sheep. I will load that one.

Put simply, he annoys the living hell out of me. I routinely ignore his requests and decline his invitations, but he doesn’t get the message. No sooner had I turned away his invitation to the “superwall” application – which enables friends with too much time on their hands too draw ladybirds all over your page – than I was thrown yet another sheep. I’m waiting for the application that allows me to kill that sheep. I will load that one.

One application I do have is the ‘honesty box’, which allows your friends and acquaintances to tell you exactly how they feel about you. Most of us are at least vaguely interested in what others secretly think of us, so if we can look past the insinuation that we can only tell our friends the truth when under cover of cyber darkness, this is a clever program. I shrugged off the implicit insult, loaded the application and now, a few months down the line, I have several bean-spilling messages in said box.

Editorial

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Stephen Simm is, firstly, a playwright. But he’s also a lot of other things. He’s a screenwriter, a satirist, a homeowner, a former soap opera writer and a devoted Johannesburger. Now, following the success of his debut novel Miss Kwa Kwa last year and with a second book due out before Christmas, he’s also one of the country’s most promising authors.

Do you see yourself as a political satirist?

I consider myself a satirist, yes, although I don't like to be limited to politics. I do, however, believe that the political is personal, so I'll satirize it as much as other things that influence daily life. 'Political satirist' sounds so serious, somehow - I'm just as happy writing about a cringe-worthy sexual encounter as a cringe-worthy politician...

Interview

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Ryan Cannell

Argentina may be recovering swiftly from the economic meltdown it suffered at the turn of the century, but it remains one of the few destinations where our Rands do rather well. Ryan Cannell spent most of his money on ice cream.

The taxi ride from the airport revealed a dark and magnificent city, with tightly-knit buildings crying with a dilapidated sadness, screaming of past glory, begging to be explored and appreciated.

Immediately, I was confronted with the anarchy of the traffic system. Lines in the road seemed to have been drawn to fool tourists; most Buenos Aires locals, or ‘porteños’ as they like to be called...

Travel

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Radiohead - In Rainbows
Matthew Freemantle

There are seamless gear changes throughout In Rainbows that suggest a band less interested in excluding than including us in their magic. There is no dud track, no excessively clever-messy moment and no angst-heavy sentiment... Read more


Bruce Springsteen
- Magic
Arthur Christopher

There are two Bruce Springsteens. There is the stonewashed jeans, open shirt, cowboy-boot-stomping, protesting Springsteen of old, and there’s the ponderous, weathered old uncle he’s become... Read more



The Hives
- The Black and White Album
Matthew Freemantle

When The Hives arrived five years ago, dressed in matching suits and armed with one of the year’s most memorable songs, Hate To Say I Told You So, they were welcomed as saviours of punk rock. Then it all went a bit quiet. Read more

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Arthur Christopher

It seems one can’t do something stupid anymore without someone recording it and posting it on YouTube. Some know this more acutely than others – George Bush springs to mind – but where it invades and pesters it also brings us access to a world of astonishing clips. Here are five you simply have to see.

Microsoft Office Values

Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant made their name with The Office. Here, Merchant poses as a Microsoft employee and interviews the insufferable David Brent on office values in a hilarious promotional video for the UK’s No.1 employer....

Global Warmings

Will Ferrell as George ‘Dubya’
Will Ferrell takes a dig at the comedy punching bag that is George “Dubya” Bush in this skit, which finds the president on his ranch taking a break from a game of Extreme Frisbee with “Condie” Rice and Dick Cheney and addressing the issue of “Global Warmings”.

Miss Teen USA

Miss South Carolina
When Miss South Carolina was asked to explain why a fifth of US citizens cannot point out their country on a map, only the most optimistic among us would have expected a riveting answer. But nobody, NOBODY, could have guessed it would be this bad. Prepare to cringe.

Ronaldinho goal

Ronaldinho
The picture is grainy and the commentary appears to be in some sort of Klingon/Algerian hybrid language, but the bizarre setting only adds to what is easily the most freakishly brilliant goal of the 21st century.

Richard Dawkins

What if you’re wrong?
World famous Atheist and rabble-rouser Richard Dawkins has had some thorny questions to answer in his time, more often than not by fuming Christians. Asked by a nervous student whether he might not after all be wrong, Dawkins comes into his own.

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Jeremy Stevens

Last month we pointed out South Africa’s less than enviable position on the so-called iPod Index, a rival economic indicator to the famed Big Mac Index, which assesses whether a currency is over or undervalued in the global context.

But if SA performed poorly there it is excelling elsewhere in the economic realm. This report from SouthAfrica.info provides an uplifting message about our standing as Africa’s economic powerhouse and one of the world’s most promising emerging markets. After the World Cup delirium, this kind of news enables us to keep celebrating.

Money

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The production of cheap toys in China for Western demand spoils our children and the process of making and transporting them hurts the environment. Short of suggesting that we confiscate our children’s GI Joes and Barbies and replace them with pieces of bamboo for whittling, Leonie Joubert suggests a more austere, and far greener, approach.

The problem is simple: We’re all too damn rich and it’s spoiling our kids – and our planet – absolutely rotten. This thought dragged itself through my addled end-of-day brain earlier this week while I was waiting for the traffic lights to change...

 Environment

 

 
 
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