Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Everyone’s perpetually searching for meaning in this indecipherable world. Some choose science, some love, others religion. I’ve chosen words.” D

Being a writer isn’t easy. You can read many of the extensive biographies compiled on the lives of those whose art affected people in certain ways, other than superficially. Kafka died overworked and penniless. Keats coughed himself to death. Virginia Woolf drowned herself. Shelley probably did too. Hunter S. Thompson blew his brains out. So did Hemingway, so did… You get the point. Many don’t see writing as a serious vocation, some to such an extent that at times I question whether I am in fact a writer or a drifter (a euphemism for ‘fuck-up’ used by the rest of society). It was funny listening to my parents give me a lecture the other day, telling me that they were proud of my achievements, and would be of my future, “which is questionable in any event”. I love that. My own parents having enough surety to tell me that their son’s future was “questionable”. It must be this writer thing.

I think about it often… it’s probably led to this uncertainty of the future and indifferent swagger in the path of the present. I’ve been a writer (or at least understood the world in a writerly way) for as long as I can remember.

Scribbling sonnets in sunlight outside my grandparents’ house, penning poetry in primary school, writing raps on the bus, painting pieces on city walls.

But writing can do only so much, the rest is up to you.

Sometimes I don’t feel like myself as others, most of the time I don’t feel like myself as myself. Maybe it’s this interminable quest to understand a world where words fail its majesty, maybe it’s all just bullshit and I’m thinking too hard. Either way, one thing’s for sure…

This world is too fucked-up to understand, too amazing to appreciate.

And yet within this boundless expanse where hopes and dreams, heartache and destiny, halos and devils, hedonism and decrepitude, hunger and drunkenness all recklessly intersect, meaning alludes us. We could go on searching, the haunting search for why we stand, not how or where, and we’d hardly make any progress, lying to ourselves that we’re almost there.

Existentialism aside, writing, in its endless uncertainty, presents us with the pieces of the puzzle. It’s just our job to put them together. I’m halfway there. Save a seat for me next to Tolkien.


Monday, April 16, 2007

A Vocal Warning on Global Warming


A Vocal Warning on Global Warming

In a society where global warming is on the average Joe Dope’s lips more often than Paris Hilton is (in the perfectly literal sense of the word) it becomes an extremely heated (excuse the terrible pun) topic of debate, and alarmingly so. Conservationists, meteorologists and Futurists have long been pointing toward this distressing trend, which has the agency to irrevocably change the manner in which humankind functions as a global society. The natural disasters such as the Boxing Day Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and European heatwave, as well as the horridly unnatural disasters such as the Iraqi War and Afghanistan invasions are but some of the highly noticeable consequences of a world dealing with its loss of resources, both naturally and unnaturally. (I’m taking it you understand the economically motivated reasons for the Iraqi War, such as the rich oil supply found in the area, when reading this.)

However, closer to home these effects are to be seen on a rapidly increasing basis. The freak tidal swells destroying much of the development along Durban’s pristine beaches is a devastating example. South Africans elsewhere have slowly become used to the power failures and blackouts affecting metropolitan areas on a regular basis. Sadly, but truly, Eskom is running out of much needed resources to fuel South Africa’s energy demand and this screws up our daily functioning, dependant as we are on electricity. With all the screw ups Eskom makes, you’d be surprised that it was a missing screw, at the Koeberg Nuclear Plant, which caused severe blackouts in the Cape Town metropolitan area. And tonight Eskom remained true to form with a blackout in my beloved hometown, taking with it the power and an unsaved 8 page essay in progress.

For Fucksakes!

But the darkness isn’t all that bad.

Outside the moonlight shines cool and pale against the slate tiles of my rooftop. The moonlight seems brighter than usual, casting its wings like death over the grassy expanse. A nice death. Like in your sleep, dreaming of the Shire.

Somehow, humanity’s future looks bright, if only because our past is so impenetrably dark.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Staying Up


Staying up (a haiku)

Worn taste of long nights,
draped across the day slowly
searching for something.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Construction complete


Construction complete

Following the spirit of the previous blog, as you may have noticed by now, Dclaim has undergone some aesthetic and technical, albeit minor, changes.

Other changes, in the pipeline, include guest writer spots and possibly an e-mail update notification thingamabobby.

So enjoy the revamped, renewed, reset Dclaim ready for your reading pleasure.

If Saddam digs it, so should you! By the way does anyone know where Saddam's gone? He hasn't been rsvp-ing for my tea parties lately, nor has he been replying to my e-mails.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Bon Voyage


Bon Voyage

"Anyone can write, only a select few choose to." D

Well, finally the New Year is upon us, upon us indeed. And along with the spirit of creation, revitalisation and all things new an update reticently worms its way onto the blog. An update? On Dclaim? The awed masses mutter in confusion, and the thousands of fans loyal to this blog light fireworks and do backflips under the new moon.

I think I smell espresso brewing.

As with all things related to humankind (kind? Can anyone tell me what the kind is doing there? Did we not learn from the Holocaust or Rwanda?) creation requires a certain amount of destruction. They chopped down trees to place that paper in your printer, belittled an old lady's dignity to manufacture that shirt you're wearing, and they most certainly slit a bull's throat to prepare that burger you were looking forward to eating for lunch. With that in mind, as 2007 blossomed to life under starry, firework-freckled skies, 2006 died. A quick, brutal death on the stroke of midnight. And along with it Harold Hunter, Saddam Hussein, France's World Cup hopes, the chance to once again hold hands with THAT pretty Australian girl, and good times with friends and family over bottles of wine and priceless photographs respectively. But as is the resilience of the human mind in the face of unalterable change, the experiences of yesterday linger onward penning the prologue of the present.

Lest we forget.

The past gave birth to the present. The present lies pregnant with the promise of tomorrow. It might sound cheesy now as 99% of your NY resolutions are by now broken and the monotony of routine has already begun to drag you down, but there's nothing like a horizon to look forward to.

Glowing sun cast over azure skies, dolphins flipping through white waves, and ripples of water murmuring about your boat endlessly.

So if you like haven't quite got the metaphor yet, you're the sailboat, the horizon is your goals achieved and dreams captured, and 2007 is the implacable stretch of water standing between the two.

Align your compass, draw up your sails, throw caution to the wind and venture forth.
But if you inadvertantly don't reach the horizon, the journey will most definitely be worth it.

Here's to new beginnings and new journeys, here's to 2007.