Cecilia's Blog

25 March 2014

My thoughts on the #nomakeupselfie phenomenon

Filed under: current affairs — Cecilia @ 20:05
Tags: , , ,

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I feel that this saying applies to the #nomakeupselfie trend that seems to have flooded social networks lately. The original idea behind the trend, I am led to believe, was good and honourable. It is always good to support a charitable cause, and what is more honourable than supporting cancer research? However, I am disappointed to see that the original idea has morphed into just another narcissistic trend and that the masses have all jumped onto this bandwagon without stopping to ask themselves what the real point of this whole exercise is.

It irks me that it took the vain act of a selfie to raise money. It is supposed to be a makeup-free selfie, but based on some of the photos I have seen it seems to me that mascara and eyeliner does not count as makeup. In some cases it looks like lipgloss also isn’t regarded as makeup, but maybe the girls just licked their lips to get that glossy sheen. (What do I know anyway.)

I’m digressing.

The point is — what about the many who annually contribute to charities quietly out of their own accord? Suddenly, unless you post a #nomakeupselfie and put it out there for all to see, proudly proclaiming that this is for “a good cause”, your donations or time volunteered to charities just doesn’t count and is nonchalantly ignored by society. (Not the charities. I am sure they are eternally grateful to those who have regular debit orders going off.)

Is that what we have become? Really?! Does it take something this shallow — SELFIES, for goodness’ sake! —  to raise money?

In the end, I suppose, if it raises funds and helps cash-strapped charities, then it’s all good. That is, after all, the ultimate objective. But I am just really disappointed in my fellow human being to discover that it takes something like a virus of #nomakeupselfies to raise funds.

That reminds me. Girls — you’re supposed to donate money to a charity when you post your #nomakeupselfie. Unless you’re a celebrity, it is highly unlikely that your random picture of yourself on the internet will raise money for anyone.

P.S. Of course I’m generalising. There are some girls out there who have put their faces sans any trace of makeup on social media and have attached their proofs of payment to a charity. Good on you! But you should still be contributing to charities anyway… and not make this a once-off thing that is coupled with a selfie.

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9 April 2010

‘n Oop brief aan my regse, Afrikaner “maatjies” (en ander briewe ook)

Filed under: current affairs — Cecilia @ 12:32
Tags: , , , ,

Beste Koos*

Toe jou e-pos met die titel, “Land grabs RSA!” in my inbox beland het, het ek eers gedink dat dit ‘n grappie is wat nou net hier aangekom het. Aangesien dinge deesdae maar rof gaan by die werk en ek maar min grappies per e-pos kry, het ek toe moeite gedoen om te dubbel-kliek op dié enetjie. Ek het ‘n oulike, effens sarkastiese storietjie verwag. Amper iets in die lyn van Hayibo se “artikels”. (Terloops – my gunsteling een op die Hayibo webwerf is tans hierdie een…)

Toe nou nie. In plaas van oulike humor, moes ek toe sinnetjies lees soos “We need to unite in prayer and stand up against the evil forces of darkness that has built a house of lies and inequity and will not refrain from murder, theft, rape and whatever the Lord has condemned. The more absurd, the more acceptable!”

Dit was klaar erg genoeg, maar jou e-pos gaan toe aan: “What is happening right now in South Africa is a fulfilment of prophecies of the last century – even to the date and time of 2010!!!! (Black racist regime, 3 farm murders each week, ET’s brutal murder by a so-called youth, land grabs, finally this year we will see a full-scale extermination attempt of all non-black people in Southern Africa).”

Teen die tyd het my koffie my begin naar maak. Maar ek lees toe verder:

“Pray that the ANC’s racist regime will come to a fall and be replaced with a man of God as leader of our country. Pray that we will get help from God and also from civilised nations. Pray that God’s will be done!”

Toe haal jy die volgende versies uit die Bybel uit aan:

Matthew 6:13 – “And let us not be put to the test, but keep us safe from the Evil One.”

2 Thessalonians 3:1 – “For the rest, my brothers, let there be prayer for us that the word of the Lord may go forward with increasing glory, even as it goes with you;”

2 Chronicles 20:15 – “And he said, Give ear, O Judah, and you people of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat: the Lord says to you, Have no fear and do not be troubled on account of this great army; for the fight is not yours but God’s.”

en hierdie ene was in geel ge-highlight, so ek neem aan dit was die belangrikste gedeelte:

2 Thessalonians 3:2 – “And that we may be made free from foolish and evil men; for not all have faith.”

Nadat jy jou brief met “God bless” afgesluit het, het jy toe ‘n berig uit The Zimbabwe Mail in geplak; ‘n berig wat ek reeds die naweek op die internet gelees het en reeds witwarm met my internetmaatjies bespreek het.

Nou goed.

Ek was woedend. Ek kon aan die warmte in my gesig voel dat ek rooi gegloei het soos ‘n kooltjie op ‘n braai. Gelukkig, net op daardie oomblik, bel my baas toe en sê “Meeting. Now. In my office,” so toe verlaat ek my liewe MacBook en gaan vergader in my baas se kantoor in die gang af. Dis eers nou, meer as 8 ure later, terwyl ek op die trein sit en cappuccino drink terwyl my e-pos aflaai (te danke aan die gratis wi-fi wat ek op my treintjie kry), dat ek kalm genoeg is om jou ontstellende briefie mooi te beantwoord.

Aangesien ek nie ‘n Christen is nie, en ook nie in ‘n Christen familie grootgeword het nie, moes ek ‘n klomp goed Google. Dankie tog vir Google! Google weet alles, is orals, en beantwoord altyd al my vrae! (Wag bietjie, beteken dit dan dat Google ‘n geloof is?) Nêrens in die Bybel kon ek enige verwysing kry na die “prophecy” wat voorspel dat Eugene Terreblanche in 2010 vermoor gaan word nie. Ek moes toe vir Google vra om eerder Nostradamus se voorspellings na te slaan, maar selfs dié soektog het vir my ‘n “Error, not found” boodskappie gegee. Ek het ook niks gekry toe ek die woorde “black racist regime + prophecy + 2010” vir Google gegee het nie. Die woorde “full-scale extermination + non-blacks + 2010” het my ‘n verwysing gegee na ‘n PDF met die titel “Odors and Air Pollutants 2010”, maar ek dink nie dis wat jy bedoel het nie.

So na watter “prophecy” verwys jy? Want dit lyk nie vir my of enige sulke voorspellings in die Bybel, of selfs in Nostradamus se skrywes voorkom nie. Ek het selfs ‘n kans gevat en vir Google gevra om te kyk wat het Siener van Rensburg oor die saak te sê, maar daar het ek ook nie eintlik antwoorde gekry nie. Ek sien hy het wel iets gesê soos “The era from 1994 until the death of Nelson Mandela will be the era in which the Afrikaners lose their power in parliament, get persecuted, murdered and alienated from their roots.” Maar net daarna het Siener gesê “… but also very big trouble will be upon the Earth, and as a result many European refugees will flee to South Africa.” Nou wat nou? Nou is ek eers deurmekaar!

Toe, omdat ek glad nie die Bybel ken nie, vra ek bietjie vir Google om te verduidelik wat God te sê het oor verkragting, moord en diefstal. Sjoe. Dit het my ‘n rukkie gevat om deur alles te lees. Klink my God is nogal bloeddorstig by tye. Hy moedig verkragtig aan (Judges 21:10-24; Numbers 31:7-18; Deuteronomy 20:10-14) of hy straf die arme vrou wat verkrag is nog verder (Deuteronomy 22:28-29; Deuteronomy 22:23-24). Ek sien hy sê mens is geregtig om meer terug te steel as wat van jou gesteel is (Exodus 22:1-8) en, as ek daardie “’n oog vir ‘n oog” -ding reg verstaan, dan beteken dit mens mag terugmoor indien iemand lede van jou familie en/of vriendekring vermoor het. So wat nou? Jy het in jou briefie geskryf, “The more absurd, the more acceptable!” Inderdaad, ja!

So nee wat. Ek het nog nooit geloof of voorspellings of voodoo of toordoktery verstaan nie, so ek gaan dit eerder los vir die slim mense wat dit wel verstaan. Maar wat ek tog verstaan, is die verbasende invloed wat slegte joernalistiek op die gemiddelde ou het. Mens hoef net te luister na die hoeveelheid mense wat gereeld Carte Blanche aanhaal, om te besef dat die gemiddelde ou nie met ‘n skeptiese of vraende houding na enige joernalistiek kyk nie (onthou jy die belaglike goed wat hulle destyds kwytgeraak het oor die PBMR? En die mense het dit geglo!). Die artikel wat jy aangehaal het is ongelukkig ‘n voorbeeld van Mugabe en die Zanu-PF se media propaganda. Ek en ‘n handjievol van my internetmaatjies het dit onmiddelik vermoed toe die artikel op die internet gepubliseer is. Kort daarna was hierdie artikel, wat dit bevestig, gepubliseer. Ek sien dat selfs ou Max du Preez in hierdie berig impliseer dat mens dit ook maar met ‘n knippie sout moet lees en versigtig moet wees vir knee-jerk reaksies.

En dit is juis wat my so erg onstel het van jou e-pos. Ek het meer insig van iemand soos jy verwag. Natuurlik het Suid-Afrika probleme. Natuurlik is Julius Malema besig om droog te maak en ongelukkig kon ET se moord nie op ‘n slegter tyd gebeur het nie. Maar die situasie is glad nie so erg soos wat jy dit laat klink nie. Gautrainkonstruksie gaan nog aan en dit gaan baie goed met hulle (vra my, of gaan kyk gerus na my foto’s op Facebook van toe ek die Gautrain ouens ontmoet het en op die Gautrain gery het). Ontwikkeling in die land gaan voort, en daar is aanhoudend buitelandse beleggers wat wil kom besigheid doen hier (vra my – ek het juis vanoggend ‘n vergadering met Duitsers gehad). En het jy al foto’s gesien van die sokkerstadiums wat ons ou landjie gebou het? Dink jy dit sou in ‘n land soos die Congo kon gebeur het? Irak? Noord-Korea?

So asseblief, moenie so ‘n bohaai opskop sonder om dinge in perspektief te plaas nie. So ‘n negatiewe uitbarsting wat aan ‘n hele klomp mense gestuur word (wat nie hier in ons ou landjie sit om dit eerstehands te ervaar nie) skep geheel en al die verkeerde indruk. En glo dit of nie, dit is sulke uitbarstings wat ons SKA bod tot moer en gone beduiwel. Dit gee vir die Australiërs ammunisie om teen ons arme Suid-Afrikaners te gebruik, en ongelukkig het die buitelanders nie altyd die insig wat ons het om te besef dat die situasie nie eers die helfte so erg is soos wat dit klink nie.

So weereens, asseblief. Ons ou SKA kantoortjie probeer om vir Australië te wen, en sulke uitbarstings werk net teen ons (wat nou nog van Malema se belaglike uitbarstings?). As jy dink die SKA moet liewers Australië toe gaan, goed. Gaan dan voort met sulke ekstreme e-pos boodskappies. Haal my dan net asseblief van die verspreidingslysie af. Aan die ander kant, as jy dink iets soos die SKA moet wel Suid-Afrika toe kom, dink asseblief twee keer voor jy sulke boodskappies uitstuur.

Groete uit Johannesburg,

Cecilia

SKA ingenieur en Suid-Afrikaanse “Desktop Activist”.

***

Beste Ma,

Ek’s jammer. Ek weet jy het my geleer “Antwoord ‘n dwaas nie na sy sotheid nie,” maar soms sukkel ek nog so bietjie met daai enetjie. Sorrie.

Moerse dankie vir die tuisgebakte piesangbrood. Ek is mal oor die rosyntjies daarin! Stuur nog!!

Liefies,

xxx

***

Geagte Dr. Baas,

Kan ek ekstra verlof kry? Volgens Siener van Rensburg gaan die SKA Suid-Afrika toe kom. Kyk, hier staan dit: “…the borders of South Africa will extend beyond Zimbabwe and Namibia.” Sien jy? Ons gaan dit kry. En hy het niks gesien oor Australië nie. Dus dink ek dat ek maar bietjie ekstra verlof kan kry, of hoe?

Groete,

Cecilia

.

.

.

.

*nie sy regte naam nie.

24 March 2010

SpeakZA – South African Bloggers for a Free Press

Filed under: current affairs — Cecilia @ 13:17
Tags: , , ,

It is never a good day when ordinary citizens, like you are me,  are threatened or harassed. It is an especially bad day when those citizens are journalists, and when they are being harassed for doing what they get paid to do – report to their readers on what is happening in our world. And when threats of removing those journalists’ rights to report on what they’ve discovered (or uncovered) are made, then “just another really bad day” becomes a day that cannot be simply dismissed with a “How many days till it’s Friday?” shrug. Instead it becomes a day when everyone must take a step back and realise the implications of these threats. So here is my attempt to rationalise the latest developments in the South African media, and to try and understand the implications:

Sub-Proof One:

[1.1] – Mathematicians use numbers. Musicians use notes. Journalists use words.

[1.2] – Good mathematicians use numbers within defined parameters. Creative mathematicians manipulate numbers and push boundaries that have never been pushed before. True mathematical brilliance is reached when there are no boundaries, no limits, no confines, no restrictions. The beauty, the elegance, the uncovered secrets of the mathematical world can be reached when there is total freedom to roam around as one pleases in the mathematical world.

[1.3] – If [1.2] is true of mathematicians who use numbers, then, by implication from [1.1], the same must be true of journalists who use words in the journalistic world: secrets (beautiful or otherwise) can only be uncovered if there is total freedom.

-end of Sub-Proof One-

Sub-Proof Two:

[2.1] – South Africa’s Constitution grants everyone the Right to Freedom of Speech (yes, with capital letters).

[2.2] – The ANC is currently South Africa’s ruling/governing party.

[2.3] – The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) is directly affiliated with the ANC.

[2.4] – If the ANCYL threatens to undermine everyone’s Right to Freedom of Speech, then, by [2.3], [2.2] and [2.1], the ANCYL is directly contravening South Africa’s Constitution.

-end of Sub-Proof Two-

Final Proof:

[F.1] –  From [1.3], journalists need freedom in order to do brilliant work.

[F.2] – From [2.4], South Africa’s Right to Freedom of Speech is under threat by the ANCYL.

[F.3] – If journalists’ Right to Freedom of Speech is compromised by threats from the ANCYL, then journalists will no longer be able to do the brilliant work we have come to expect from them.

Corollary to [F.3] – If journalists’ Right to Freedom of Speech is compromised, then the whole of South Africa’s Right to Freedom of Speech is compromised.

-end-

The ‘Corollary to [F.3]’ shows that the implications are serious. And, as a South African citizen, I am strongly against any threats of this kind. So, like others before me, I encourage South Africans to take a stand and protest against this potential violation of our Constitutional Rights. Go blog about it. Go tweet about it (hashtag #SpeakZA). Go put it on Facebook. Go e-mail it. Just don’t keep quiet.

***

Confused?

This is where it all started:

Last week, shocking revelations concerning the activities of the ANC Youth League spokesperson Nyiko Floyd Shivambu came to the fore. According to a letter published in various news outlets, a complaint was laid by 19 political journalists with the Secretary General of the ANC, against Shivambu. This complaint letter detailed attempts by Shivambu to leak a dossier to certain journalists, purporting to expose the money laundering practices of Dumisani Lubisi, a journalist at the City Press. The letter also detailed the intimidation that followed when these journalists refused to publish these revelations.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the reprisals against journalists by Shivambu. His actions constitute a blatant attack on media freedom and a grave infringement on Constitutional rights. It is a disturbing step towards dictatorial rule in South Africa. We call on the ANC and the ANC Youth League to distance themselves from the actions of Shivambu. The media have, time and again, been a vital democratic safeguard by exposing the actions of individuals who have abused their positions of power for personal and political gain.

The press have played a vital role in the liberation struggle, operating under difficult and often dangerous conditions to document some of the most crucial moments in the struggle against apartheid. It is therefore distressing to note that certain people within the ruling party are willing to maliciously target journalists by invading their privacy and threatening their colleagues in a bid to silence them in their legitimate work.

We also note the breathtaking hubris displayed by Shivambu and the ANC Youth League President Julius Malema in their response to the letter of complaint. Shivambu and Malema clearly have no respect for the media and the rights afforded to the media by the Constitution of South Africa. Such a response serves only to reinforce the position that the motive for leaking the so-called dossier was not a legitimate concern, but a insolent effort to intimidate and bully a journalist who had exposed embarrassing information about the Youth League President.

We urge the ANC as a whole to reaffirm its commitment to media freedom and other Constitutional rights we enjoy as a country.


Bloggers who support this online protest:

http://thoughtleader.co.za/siphohlongwane
http://rwrant.co.za
http://www.dewberry.co.za
http://vocfm.co.za/blogs/munadia/
http://vocfm.co.za/blogs/shafiqmorton/
http://blogs.news24.com/needpoint
http://capetowngirl.co.za
http://thoughtleader.co.za/sentletsediakanyo
http://thoughtleader.co.za/davidjsmith
http://letterdash.com/one-eye-only
http://boyuninterrupted.blogspot.com
http://amandasevasti.com
http://blog.empyrean.co.za/
http://letterdash.com/brencro
http://6000.co.za
http://chrisroper.co.za
http://pieftw.com
http://hamishpillay.wordpress.com
http://memoirs4kimya.blogspot.com
http://thoughtleader.co.za/azadessa
http://watkykjy.co.za
http://fredhatman.co.za
http://thelifeanddeathchronicles.blogspot.com/
http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/common-dialogue/
http://www.clivesimpkins.blogs.com/
http://mashadutoit.wordpress.com
http://nicharalambous.com
http://sarocks.co.za
http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/stompies/
http://helenmoffett.book.co.za/blog/
http://01universe.blogspot.com
http://groundwork.worpress.com
http://iwrotethisforyou.me
http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za
http://attentiontodetail.wordpress.com
http://blogs.women24.com/editor
http://www.missmillib.blogspot.com
http://snowgoose.co.za
http://dreamfoundry.co.za
http://www.vanoodle.blogspot.com
http://www.exmi.co.za
http://cat-dubai.blogspot.com
http://alistairfairweather.com
http://www.zanedickens.com
http://www.nickhuntdavis.com
http://guysa.blogspot.com
http://book.co.za
http://baldy.co.za
http://skinnylaminx.com
http://blogs.african-writing.com/zukiswa
http://www.mielie.wordpress.com
http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/gatherer/
http://thoughtleader.co.za/sarahbritten
http://stii.co.za
http://blogs.news24.com/FSB_AP
http://twistedkoeksuster.blogspot.com
http://whensmokegetsinyoureyes.blogspot.com/
http://trinklebean.wordpress.com
http://commentry.wordpress.com/
http://matthewbuckland.com
http://blogs.news24.com/colour-me-fran
http://gormendizer.co.za

And yours truly.

Be sure to check out the Facebook Group SpeakZA for more up to date info. And, of course, #SpeakZA on Twitter.

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