Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Are you a smalltown boy?

Ever listen to a song often and suddenly listen to the lyrics and realise what it is about?

The Bronski Beat was a bit of a one-hit-wonder with "Smalltown Boy." It was more famous for Jimmy Somerville who sang in a range including a distinctive falsetto and went on to the Communards.

Smalltown Boy is one of my favorite eighties songs. It strikes me that the lyrics talk to some of my past and perhaps many bloggers out there.

You leave in the morning
With everything you own
In a little black case
Alone on a platform
The wind and the rain
On a sad and lonely face

Mother will never understand
Why you had to leave
But the answers you seek
Will never be found at home
The love that you need
Will never be found at home

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away.
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away.

Pushed around and kicked around
Always a lonely boy
You were the one
That they’d talk about around town
As they put you down

And as hard as they would try
They’d hurt to make you cry
But you never cried to them
Just to your soul
No you never cried to them
Just to your soul

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away.
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away.

Cry , boy, cry...

You leave in the morning
With everything you own
In a little black case
Alone on a platform
The wind and the rain
On a sad and lonely face

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away.
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away.

Monday, December 05, 2005

One of the greatest acts of SA sporting patriotism ever?

Roland Schoeman has turned down Quatar's R20m offer to swim for them at the next Olympics.

In my previous post I mentioned that I would fully understand his decision if he had accepted the offer.

His statement makes him the hero of legendary proportions:

Schoeman pledges loyalty to SA
05/12/2005 12:19 - (SA)

From News24.com

Johannesburg - Swimming sensation Roland Schoeman has rejected a multi-million dollar offer from the Gulf state of Qatar and opted to continue swimming for South Africa.

"After serious and thorough consideration I have decided to stand by my initial decision not to swim for Qatar.

"I have given instructions that the negotiations following the second approach from Qatar to swim for them should not be pursued any further," said Schoeman through a statement read by Swimming South Africa (SSA) president Jace Naidoo in Johannesburg on Monday.

Qatar, known for offering athletes lucrative packages to become adopted citizens, had approached Schoeman earlier this year but the Pretoria swimmer declined.

Last month Qatar made another offer which would have certainly inflated Schoeman's bank account and there were fears from SSA that Schoeman would take the offer considering how Schoeman has been in the past about the lack of financial reward in the sport.

Schoeman made it clear, though, that no amount of money would make him change his nationality and that taking the Qatar offer would have been a short term gain.

"The stability and democracy we (South Africa) have attained thus far has not been founded on pursuing short term gains.

"It has been based on a willingness to seek long term solutions to promote the well being of all the people of South Africa. I believe that this should be true for me as well.

"While I am significantly poorer today than I could have been, I feel tremendously blessed that it is Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika that will be played if I win a gold medal," Schoeman's statement read.

Naidoo praised Schoeman for his patriotism also giving an indication that Schoeman could possibly be the man to lead the South African swimming contingent to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia next year.

"Throughout this entire saga, Roland has acted in forthright and honest manner and with integrity towards Swimming South Africa. For this he must be commended.

"We now look forward to building on the recent success of Athens 2004 and the World Championships this year and preparing for Commonwealth Games," Naidoo said.

Truly inspirational.


Why I said ‘no’ to millions from Qatar - I’m just a proud South African, writes ROLAND SCHOEMAN of his decision to reject a deal to swim for the oil-rich Arab state. It would have meant big money — but he wants to go on swimming for SA

Is it the turn of the nice guys?

Triumph: Jim Furyk poses with his trophy after winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. Picture: AFP
I'm a nice guy. This can be a problem.

For example girls say they "just want a nice guy." Meanwhile, many girls just want to tame a bad boy.

So I love it when nice guys win. And I loved it when Jim Furyk won at the Nedbank Golf Challenge yesterday. Furyk became known as Gentleman Jim after he disqualified himself here in 2001 for what seemed something very trivial, cleaning and placing his ball twice (allowed on the US PGA Tour) in the same spot instead of just once (the rule on the European Tour and here in 2001).

The infringement didn't give him any advantage to speak of, and he only realised his mistake once he had signed his card. Instead of a penalty he had to be disqualified. “Rules are rules,” he said at the time. Unlike most, Furyk did not pack his bags and leave but instead played on as a marker in the tournament to ensure that his fellow-competitors would not be compromised by his absence.

Photo: SuperSport
I made an oft-travelled pilgrimage to Sun City on Sunday to follow the golf. I had picked Furyk as my man to win on Friday, and after following the early pairing of Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia for the first nine holes and a quick lunch, I then fell back to follow the Furyk and Donald two-ball. It certainly was up-and-down with Furyk bogeying twice - no more down than when he bogeyed the 18th - a putt that would have given him an outright victory. By this time I had retired to the public hospitality tent. The 18th green was packed, and I was exceptionally out of it after the heat of the day.

The four-way play-off was about as riveting as you get in golf. I was over the moon for Furyk when he chipped in to win. A victory for nice guys and gentleman.

The eighth green at the Gary Player country club - rated by Ernie Els as one of the finest holes in golf

New headlines:

Furyk holds nerve to win
'Gentleman Jim' finally wins at Sun City
Furyk wins dramatic playoff
‘Gentleman Jim’ gets his reward
Furyk has "good reason" to return

Watch the video of Jim Furyk's final round - and the swing commentator David Ferherty once likened to "an octopus falling out of a tree" - click play to begin streaming (video courtesy of the Nedbank Golf Challenge website):

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Postscript: IITQ must have been in many TV shots on Sunday. He was right there next to Furyk during the drama of the 14th when Gentleman Jim's ball got buried in the bush. Did you see him?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Is that your nose growing Mr Zuma?

So apparently Mr Zuma has admitted he had sex with the woman claiming she was raped - but it was consensual.

Is he serious? He claims they were involved in an ongoing sexual relationship.

The woman claiming rape is a know HIV+ anti-aids activist. This woman sent her underwear in for semen tests. Which presumably means there was unprotected sex.

Mr Zuma, do you expect us to believe that you regularly had unprotected sex with a person known to be HIV positive? It seems far more likely that you lost control...

Would you take a public servant hostage?

I'm not sure I'd have the guts to, but I certainly understand this guy.

Imagine being poor. You fight your way to getting your matric (school-leaver's exam). Probably studying by candlelight, going to the library because you can't afford books. Studying in your third language. You look forward to getting a job. Repaying your parent's pride and hard work at scraping together money to get you through school.

And then you apply for your identification document. Again getting tour little money together to pay for ID photos. You queue for five hours at a home affairs office. You wait and months later, you get the document - and it has your name spelt wrong.

In the mean time, you have a job offer, but you cannot be hired because you have no proof of identification.

You reappply for identification - and wait two years. Often queuing at the home affairs office - again for over five hours at a time. Each time to be told your ID is not ready.

Is it any wonder this guy snapped, taking a home affairs manager hostage with a toy gun?

I hope a judge dismisses this and lets the guy go. Under South Africa's Public Finance and Management Act, civil servants can be held personally accountable for poor management. Maybe it is time somebody did lay a charge against the minister of home affairs.