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December 2014

Those who can, do. Those who won’t, bitch

If there’s one sure thing in life (apart from death, taxes and that the verdommde ANC will definitely keep their hold on power no matter how sleg they are and how much they steal!), it’s this: There will always be something to whine about. It’s too hot, it’s too cold, too far, too heavy, too expensive… Too whatever. And that’s the cue for Seffrica’s favourite pastime – bitching. Not actually doing anything about [insert problem of the day here] is the default setting, and endlessly chucking rocks from the sidelines without necessarily stirring one’s hindquarters to perhaps consider being part of the solution instead of part of the problem is not only a human disease, it’s also the national pastime.
A newspaper is not just a purveyor of news, opinion and pop culture, it’s also sounding board for ordinary people to bang on about what’s bothering them. You name it, we hear it – real, imagined, fascinating, stupid, shocking, funny, crazy – the lot. From aggrieved old biddies, pedantic nit-pickers, obscene crazies, megalomaniacal adventurers, shameless self-promoters and just plain, old-fashioned, bog-standard nutters – sooner or later, they get hold of the embattled folks who drive the local rag and…bitch!

Don’t get me wrong, yer ol’ faithful Curmudgeon is a connoisseur of crying, a monolith of moaning and a bastion of bleating – someone’s got to do it. After all, the average shlub

just thinks (whilst crying into his beer) about saying what your favourite grumpy old sod actually says. The difference is, I have (epochs ago, in the Triassic period) located all those pesky “social norm” filters installed as standard kit in my brain by the “oh gosh, what will people think/say” parents/treachers/preachers brigade and other assorted do-goodniks, thrown them out and liberated the (small) echoing chambers of my cerebellum to allow myself to think - instead of following a sheep-like, socially acceptable, scripted agenda. The other side of the double-edged whinge sword is that, as a mensch, one realises that bitching carries with it the implicit obligation (moral, if nothing else) to, after having indulged in a good, long, heartfelt moan, actually do something real and practical about whatever you were banging on about.

So, that being said… Here’s the punchline – finally. (glad you could make it) There are lots of problems. Flapping your gums about ‘em might make you feel better – and simultaneously bore the bejesus out of your audience - but it ain’t gonna make one iota of difference if you don’t hoist your cranky bod into a (semi) (watch those knuckles) upright position and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! One man (or woman, I’m an equal-opportunity offender) can make a difference. Ask Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher and Madiba.

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