Monday, 28 May 2012

No More Vampires!

It has suddenly come to my attention that lately I have been consuming excessive amounts of vampire-related media.   Now I know that vampires are "so-hot-right-now" – I don’t live under a rock – but I have never succumbed to the hype that has so many teenage girls whipped into an Edward-Cullen-like frenzy.   To be honest, I had to watch the first two ‘Twilight’ films over a time span of about a week because I couldn’t sit through Bella’s blank expression all in one go (I gave up on the third).   And as for ‘True Blood’, a few episodes of that proved that vampire porn was not for me thank you very much.   But recently I have been watching a series, reading a book, and have watched a movie without fully comprehending that they are all about vampires.   And the fact that I have turned into a 14 year-old girl (next thing you know, I’ll be blogging about Justin Bieber!).

I guess it all began when a friend of mine gave me the series ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and I, having nothing else to watch, decided to see what all of the fuss was about.   Whilst I was sceptical at first, the show surprised me and I was unwittingly drawn in by the oh-so-good-looking cast members (where do they find these people?) and the story’s relative accuracy to vampire mythology (in other words: none of the vampires sparkle in sunlight).   About a week later a classmate, intent on proving me wrong about the awfulness of “Twilight”, gave me her copy of the first book insisting that it is so much better than the movie.   Now although I am pretty sure that adverts for hernia cream are better than the movie, I decided to take the challenge and have started reading all about the heart-wrenching torment of Edward and Bella.   Whilst still watching gorgeous people sucking blood in ‘The Vampire Diaries’.   And lastly, on Friday night I went to the movies full of anticipation for Tim Burton’s latest film “Dark Shadows”, which also just so happens to be about a vampire (note to all, the movie was terrible – do not watch it!).

So it is fair to say that I have had a vampire overload of late and I am honestly starting to get a bit irritated by the fact that nobody ever dies, not even the humans.   Call me conventional, but I like to know that when a person’s neck gets snapped, he will not wake up regardless of if he is wearing some magical ring that protects him from a vampire attack.   And likewise, if a girl gets crushed by a moving vehicle, she shouldn’t be able to wake up (looking perfectly made-up I might add) merely because she has ingested some of her boyfriend’s supernatural vampire blood!   And what’s with this whole eternal love thing, huh?   These characters are all in high-school so chances are their relationship won’t last longer than 6 months.   So who cares if he’s going to live forever and you’re not?   It’s not worth turning into a vampire and giving birth to some weird mixed-breed baby for!   What kind of example are we setting here?!

Thus I have decided that, despite the fact that the vampires are all ridiculously gorgeous (if you don’t believe me, watch ‘The Vampire Diaries’), I just don’t think that I can handle any more of this blood-sucking, supernatural lifestyle.   Unless of course Heath Ledger turns out to be immortal and makes me his bride.   Then I may just have to reconsider.          

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

No Love For UNHATE Campaign

I’m sure many of you have seen the images for the Benetton UNHATE Campaign.   For those of you who haven’t, let me enlighten you.   Sponsored by the Italian fashion firm Benetton, the campaign was launched in November 2011, and was aimed at promoting “a culture of un-hate” by using the universal symbol of love: a kiss.   Digitally manipulated images were produced that depict world leaders (who are viewed as adversaries) in such a way that they appear to be kissing: 

 Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China                           President of the USA

Chancellor of Germany                                                                     President of France

Supreme Leader of North Korea                                                 President of South Korea

President of the Palestinian National Authority                               Prime Minister of Israel

Pope                                                                              Sheikh of the Al-Azhar Mosque 

The campaign came under attack by the Vatican as a result of the above image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, and Benetton was forced to remove the image shortly after it was released.   The Vatican argued that the image showed "a grave lack of respect for the Pope" and that it was "damaging not only to the dignity of the pope and the Catholic Church but also to the feelings of believers".   

It was announced yesterday that Benetton has agreed to donate an unspecified sum of money to the Catholic Church in an attempt to halt legal action.   The offending image was removed from the campaign, and Benetton has made efforts to ensure that it is not replicated by third parties.   The Vatican views this donation as a "moral victory", however the campaign has raised questions regarding the church's response to the image.

What do you think?  

Monday, 7 May 2012

Violation by Virgin Mobile Employee

In March I went to the Virgin Mobile store in Canal Walk, Cape Town to get my Blackberry set up with BIS etc.   I was helped by a man named Shogun, who configured my phone and sorted out the other issues that I had.   My phone has been working perfectly, so I hadn’t thought much more about that day until I received an sms from an unknown number a few weeks ago.   The message invited me to a braai, but as I did not recognise the number, I replied and said that I wasn’t sure who was contacting me.   A few days later, I received another sms from the same number, saying that it was Shogun -“the guy from Virgin Mobile”.   This means that Shogun looked up my cell phone number on Virgin Mobile’s records, and accessed my personal details so that he could ask me out!

I was extremely uncomfortable about the situation, especially since Shogun could get hold of my address and other information, so I told a friend of mine what had happened.   He said that this wasn’t the first time that he had heard this sort of story, and that a girl in his class also received flirtatious smses from a person who worked at Virgin Mobile.   When I heard that, I decided that I had to do something about it, and I sent an e-mail to Customer Care last night.   Today, I received an e-mail from Virgin Mobile saying that they are taking the matter very seriously, and that it has been sent to management.

I’ll keep everybody posted regarding what happens next, but I just thought it was important that people are made aware that this sort of thing is happening – at least in Cape Town.   It is completely unprofessional and a total invasion of privacy, and I sincerely hope that Virgin Mobile investigates the matter further.