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Extra Virgin -  April 2010

It doesn't take much to be described as a "mad" these days. The guy at an office who wears socks with cartoon characters sewn onto them may well become known as "that mad guy in accounts". Insane is another word we use lightly. I recently heard someone describe what she just had eaten as "an insane breakfast". Were the eggs deranged? Did the toast need to be put in a straight jacket?

Naturally, the scene went on to be remixed by local DJs, and we've featured the pick of them in this month's Web section. Not to give too much away, but MC Hammer's involved. No, wait, please stay.

Newspapers at home have their moments, too. As I write this editorial I am glancing with disbelief towards a story on the front page of a major Cape Town daily with the headline, "He isn't hopping mad, he's bunny's best friend". What follows is a story about the world's only known rabbit whisperer. Once again for the people in the back, that's: RABBIT WHISPERER. Among several absurd lines in the story is the following: "After making a high-pitched squeak to get the rabbit's attention, he strokes it and gives it a gentle massage." Nuts.>

What has a rabbit whisperer got to do with anything apart from rabbits and whispering, you might ask? Not a great deal, but that story - like so many we read these days - makes the point that news has never needed to be more bizarre than today. We're bored with the normal; these days we respond to the ludicrous and the farcical. It is quite conceivable that most headlines in 2019 will be nothing more than the acronym OMFG followed by eighteen exclamation marks.

What do we do when everything gets a little crazy? Some people hammer mattresses to the walls, stay indoors and play backgammon against themselves - while we're on walls by the way, see the Home section for better ideas on decorating them - but not us. Instead, we interview Scarlett Johansson about playing Black Widow in Iron Man 2, which is out this month. Far more therapeutic.

In the Money section, we wonder whether there is in fact some method to the apparent madness of the strong Rand, while in the Environment column we ponder the madness of procrastination. I could finish by saying you'd be mad not to read on, but that would be weak and probably encourage you not to. So I won't.

Matthew Freemantle