complimentary copy issue 39 / winter 2015
my life, my coffee
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‘Things that go “bump” in the night should not really give one a fright. It’s the hole in each ear that lets in the fear. That, and the absence of light!’ goes a poem by Spike Milligan, and we couldn’t agree more. So, banish bad thoughts, and colour your world a little brighter with our winter issue. Meet the team behind our delightfully demented fairy-tale cover. Hi! We are: Flick Visual Foundry By day: We take boring and difficultto-understand information and put our spin on it. This always involves a picture of some kind and it always involves a story. By night: We’re all uniquely alternative. From beer drinkers, teetotallers and gamers to accordion players, we are a diverse bunch, but what brings us together is visual communication. Tell us a bit about the cover. Well, we got our super-talented designer Nicole to illustrate it. We decided to just let her live out her wildest dreams and do what she felt ‘looks rad’.
If you ask me, I think deep down inside this is a self-portrait. Is a picture really worth a thousand words? Well, that is how the saying goes. We do visual communication, from interactive presentations and infographics through to video. Video is our favourite tool, though – it’s been calculated that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. That’s insane for someone who is trying to explain something that is complex. More than that,
though, pictures are a language that everyone speaks and everyone can understand. So what’s your company’s genre? We are from an advertising background but we realised that as people become more and more time-poor, there was a massive need to explain complex things simply, so that’s the space we occupy. We are not a production company and we are not an agency, we are a specialist company. Is the devil in the detail or is it all about
the bigger picture? Everything in life is about the big picture but you can’t fulfil it without dealing with the details. To cut a long story short, you’d like to be remembered for… Making a difference. If you could be one kind of beer, which one would you be and why? I think Flick is a Porter – dark and rich with complex flavours. Nicole, on the other hand is not a beer, she’s a cider. And finally, any famous last words? If you’re going to drink a beer (or a cider), make it craft. Find out more at: www.teamflick.co.za ★
04 my life 08 over the top 12 things that go bump in the write 16 colour me fashionable 20 objects of my affection 24 of safety and sensibility 28 the perils of being a best white 31 revived, returned and revisited 32 breaking beard
editor delené van der lugt: email@example.com | designer ryan manning | copy editor wendy maritz | content director susan newham-blake advertising chantal rodriques: firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 (0)21 481 3521 and elna coetzer: email@example.com or +27 (0)21 488 5906 ad sales coordinator blossom ngesi | vida e caffè Darren, Grant,Tracy, Lauren and Meagan www.vidaecaffe.com Find us online:
Find vida online:
The Publishing Partnership (Pty) Ltd. Executive Directors: Mark Beare and John Morkel. Address: PO Box 15054, Vlaeberg 8018, +27 (0)21 424 3517, www.tppsa.co.za. Copyright: The Publishing Partnership (Pty) Ltd 2015. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without prior permission of the editor. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of vida e caffè, the editorial director, the publisher or the agents. Although every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of its contents, the information published is for information purposes only and cannot be relied on as the opinion of an expert. vida e caffè, the publisher or the editor cannot be held responsible for any omission or errors or any misfortune, injury or damages that may arise therefrom.
NEW NISSAN JUKE. TESTED TO THRILL
You feel the hair on the back of your neck begin to stand. Your eyes sharpen as your pupils dilate. Your heart begins to race. You’re in the new, bold Nissan Juke. Your online world travels with you, thanks to NissanConnect, and the confident, responsive range of engines lets you know that this isn’t just a drive; it’s a thrill. Available in 1.2 DIG-T, 1.5dCi and 1.6 DIG-T engines.
WEARING YOUR ART ON YOUR SHOE What do you get when you marry Andy Warhol’s distinct vision with the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star? Sneaker perfection, that’s what. The new collection features the iconic Campbell’s soup can imagery on footwear for men and women and is exclusive to Sportscene. See www.converse-sa.co.za for more.
Hi, my name is: Lourens Loux Gebhardt, but you can call me Loux. I am: A dream chaser who loves figures (the ones you audit) and fashion. You could call my style: Sophisticated punk – it’s a mix of vintage and class. My style icon is: Lino Ieluzzi, the flamboyant owner of Italian tailoring house Al Bazar in Milan. I love the vida brand because: It brightens up my day. I cannot start a day without good coffee. I first started blogging: About four years ago. You can find me at www.louxthevintageguru.tumblr.com or @louxthevintageguru on Instagram. On weekends you’ll find me: Driving around the city looking for mood-board inspirations for my designs or having coffee at the vida in The Grove Mall. If I could attend any fashion gathering it would be: Milan or New York Fashion Week. Has social media changed the way we look at fashion? It’s changed the way we dress immensely. In the past we didn’t know what trendsetters in New York and Paris were wearing or how to put an outfit together. Now you can access that information instantly. Any advice for other fashion bloggers? Remain focused, chase your dreams, do what you love and let’s continue inspiring others through our blogs. four
IMAGES: TONY’S HOUSE (LOUX)
THE VINTAGE GURU OF NAMIBIA During the past few years, one particular fashion designer, stylist and all-round sartorially savvy dude has been making waves with his blog and fashion collabs, which inspire the art of elegant dressing. We caught up with vida Namibia’s latest brand ambassador…
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HAPPINESS IS… HOT CHOCOLATE Try our new range of hot chocolate flavours, a great addition to the delicious chocolate quente. These yummy new flavours – toasted marshmallow, cherry and amaretto – are sure to warm you up this winter!
FAR OUT Formerly one half of the avant-garde dance duo Gazelle, local producer and performer Nick Matthews has now embarked on a sonic journey that sees his onstage persona DJ InviZAble joining with The Champions of the Sonarverse. These unusual suspects are on a quest to unite people from all walks of life through music. Their sound celebrates diverse cultures, and blends their unique, futuristic aesthetic with storytelling – a project that they wish to see translated into short films and graphic novels.
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WAKE UP, SMELL THE COFFEE… And win a vida hamper worth R1 000 for doing it! Send us your best #morningswithvida pic by tweeting it to our @vidaecaffe account or posting it on Instagram and tagging @vidaecaffe_official and you could win. Who said it’s not worth getting out of bed on a cold wintery morning? The closing date for entries is 31 August 2015.
Hi, I am: DJ InviZAble and I embody the sono-chip called N1c, a weapon that was designed to amplify the waves of resonance and become the spirit of unity. Who are the Champions of the Sonarverse? A group of intergalactic super musos. The group’s powers: DJ InviZAble is armed with a sonic-frequency keytar and is summoned by the powerful Sangoma, a sonarversal medium. Computer General is skilled in sound frequency combat and trains the Champions. Shadow, with metal in his veins, is DJ InviZAble’s alter ego. Sephooko is a shape-shifting owl creature and, lastly, we have the power-crazed dictator Admiral Anarchy who has enslaved the people on planet Xi with his sonic mind control. Our genre: Is a crossover sound with electronic, African, funk and rock elements, woven together to create what we call ‘Xi-Fi’. Our mission: To free the sonarverse of its imperialistic oppressors. If the group do not succeed, the people of Xi and, indeed, the entire sonarverse face the destruction of their planets through the greed and gain of Anarchy. We realise that this power struggle is a universal theme that people of all nations face. We want to show people of this world that music can overcome any divisions and imbalances that society faces, even if it’s just for that moment. Our performances in three words: From. Outer. Space. Where can we find you? Details of all upcoming performance battles are listed on www.invizable.co.za
IMAGES: CREATOGRAPHYLABS (VIDA INSTAGRAM); KIRSTY GILHAM (DJ INVIZABLE). TEXT: CHISANGA MUKUKA
NOTED We think there’s still something to be said for taking the time to pen your thoughts – whether it’s your feelings in a journal, a thank you to someone or an invitation to get the party started. So, if your stationery stash is looking a bit hungover, look no further than the Party Bunch & Co. The designs are created using watercolour paint, gouache, ink or Adobe Illustrator and all the paper is FSC approved, says Jozelle du Plessis, owner and party person in chief. Find them at www.partybunchco.com
With pictures like these Hong Kong photographer Andrew Tso has attracted 6 300 followers on Flickr.
h, rus n a g urb scalin w e e st n f a vils ar highe o e ch â€™s ng ear dared world posti r s i In nial nd the the len e of ings a s for rs. l i m om e e ld s bui e selfi follow gt u m re rL ing ext ador an de rers. o v xpl ter Pie the e s lore p x e
SY ANDREW TSO
unobstructed view is magical and worth all the associated risks.’ In some parts of the world it seems rooftoppers are forgiven their trespassing. But in February, Tom and two friends were arrested for allegedly breaking in to the observation deck of a Toronto building. And in the UK, for instance, rooftoppers can’t even post their pics online without getting into trouble. Last October, the On The Roof troupe climbed the uncompleted 632 metres of the Shanghai Tower, hijacked the signal to an enormous LED screen on another building and showed a video of their stunt with the message ‘What’s Up Hong Kong’ and their logo. That seems like nothing more than a gag, but rooftopping has also been used to make more serious statements. A daring Russian known as Mustang Wanted has used it for political protest, painting the Soviet star on a Moscow building in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. Rooftopping is controversial, but the disapproval doesn’t seem to be about people risking life and limb for kicks. It is more about the fact that these outlaw Instagrammers, as they’ve also been called, break rules. Some might say we live vicariously through their antics. Rooftopping also provides us with a thrilling view of the cities we live in and always see from the same perspectives. The new wave of rooftoppers might be going too far, though. Canadian photographer Neil Ta thinks so and gave it up last year. ‘Something changed fundamentally when it became less about just going up and having a good time with friends and more about who can take the photo of the other person in the most precarious situation,’ he wrote on his blog. ‘Danger sells. There was a market for our images and whoever had the most “vertigo-inducing” photo reigned supreme.’ Rooftopping can be art, protest or adventure. But it is nearly always risky – and the risks should be weighed before you try it. For the moment, though, a spectacular shot of your feet (or a friend’s) dangling over an edge, high above the world can make you famous.★
IMAGE: COURTESY OF PALLADIUM BOOTS
t takes all kinds to view the world and the Instagram generation is constantly finding new ways of doing it. Urban exploration is one of them – a subculture of people who go off, camera in hand, into the dark corners of cities, getting into places that are off limits to capture unique perspectives of their environment. Urban exploration has been around for decades and keeps dropping new sub-subcultures that push even harder and go even further. A relatively recent one is rooftopping. The term was coined by Jeff Chapman in his 2005 book Access All Areas: A User’s Guide to the Art of Urban Exploration. While urban explorers zoom in on details, rooftoppers go the other way. They climb buildings to shoot stomachchurning photographs and videos of the landscape down below. Many of the climbs involve bending or breaking rules and part of the thrill is dodging guards or getting past security. Then there is the rush of getting to the top without gear or protection, stepping out and getting a view that was previously for authorised personnel only. Russian photographer Vitaliy Raskalov and friends call themselves On The Roof and have climbed buildings in more than 50 countries. Once they get to the top, they strike poses over edges or balance on towers and cranes, shooting videos that have become hugely popular online. Fearless adrenalin addicts like them are everywhere – Vitaliy says he has met some from Canada, the Ukraine, France, Australia, Cape Town, Hong Kong and London. The trending ones get sponsorships from companies such as Nike, Nissan, Canon, Reebok, Adidas and Mercedes. Vitaliy gets contracts from big brands. Humza Deas, a New York teen specialising in climbing bridges, sells his prints for $250 each. Canadian Tom Ryaboi shot to viral fame in 2011 with a pic he called ‘I’ll Make Ya Famous’, which shows the feet of his friend Jennifer Tse dangling over the edge of a Toronto skyscraper. Within 24 hours his image had attracted 25 000 views on Flickr and the next morning he had interview requests from around the world. ‘As much as I love taking, sharing and looking at photos taken from rooftops, it is not the only thing up there,’ he wrote on his blog. ‘There is a sense of freedom that cannot be described. Feeling the city from an
Things that go
While hunting for story ideas and researching obscure facts, authors can sometimes have bizarre experiences, as Mandy J Watson discovers.
rite what you know. That’s always the sage advice handed down to writers tackling a new project, but when you play in the speculative-fiction and crime genres, you’re likely to head into territory you know nothing about. Ideas can come from anywhere, as you’re about to discover, but even the most bizarre ones need to be backed up with research. Sometimes an idea can form from something as simple as driving down the road and taking in the ephemeral sights. ‘I often joke that South African tabloids are the biggest speculative-fiction publications in the country,’ says Charlie Human, whose second novel, Kill Baxter, continues the adventures of 16-year-old Baxter Zevcenko, a young man who becomes immersed in South Africa’s seedy underworld of zombies, tokoloshes, and shape shifters, and ends up at a magical training school. ‘“Tokoloshe twerking for my husband”, “Priest fights fire demons”, “Satan goes to school” – these are all real headlines, all great seeds for stories. ‘Apocalypse Now Now and Kill Baxter draw directly from this vast pool of urban myth, taking old South African mythologies and mashing them together with new urban legends,’ he says. ‘They’re a tribute to the bizarre fiction of our tabloids, revelling in the weirdest the Daily Voice and Die Son have to offer and trying to outdo them.’ Yet, for other authors, something may sit in
their brains for decades before suddenly finding a place in a book. Take, for example, the following words, which were spoken more than 25 years ago by a man at the Fort England Psychiatric Hospital outside Grahamstown whose hallucinations were very real to him: ‘There’s a chain you can’t see running from my stomach to the bellies of all my brothers and sisters on other continents. We are all connected by this chain. But there is also a shark. He lives in my stomach and chews on the chain. You can hear him if you want.’ ‘These words – spoken with great conviction – prompted nine years of university study on two continents, a lifelong fascination for psychopathology, as well as my novel The Unsaid,’ says Richard de Nooy, who grew up in Johannesburg and now lives in Amsterdam. The Unsaid is a psychological thriller whose protagonist, a journalist who specialises in reporting from war zones and conflicts, is locked up in a psychiatric ward for evaluation after violently attacking people in a bar. Here, as he becomes immersed with thieves, rapists and murderers, we begin to wonder about his mental state and grasp on reality. ‘We writers are continually doing research, long before we know what we’re going to write,’ says Richard. ‘As David Grossman put it in Her Body Knows: “Telling secrets to a writer is like embracing a pickpocket.”’
fans absolutely adore but they all require fact checking. ‘Let’s face it: writing is a job where you sit alone in a room like a hermit mouse, laptop burning into your crotch until you have a manuscript,’ Hawa says. ‘So, it’s exciting to break up the monotony with research. The Lazarus Effect featured a mummified body in a drain so I spent quite some time climbing into filthy sewage pipes and learning what a “culvert” was. I also enjoy doing autopsies any chance I get – cause of death and suspicious circumstances take on new meanings when your investigative tool is an actual corpse. One of the deaths in my new book The Score is a reimagining of an interesting case I worked on at the pathologist’s office when I lived in Botswana. The death was ruled accidental but it was fun twisting and remoulding the situation to one that fitted the plot.’ Lauren Beukes is another author who is known for doing meticulous research all over the planet (it’s partly her fault for setting her stories in cities on the other side of the world), and frequently has to set up excursions with fixers to find specific information and take reference photographs. ‘When I went to Detroit on a second research trip for my novel Broken Monsters, I hired Robert-David Jones, the hip young artist who’d showed me around the last time, to play tour guide,’ she says. ‘He’d previously taken me urban exploring in evocative abandoned places, to underground art events and backyard barbeques and Santeria shops. This time he was waiting to pick me up at the airport in a big black van – the kind serial killers use. I tried to laugh it off. “Nice murder wagon!” I said as I hopped in, frantically calculating exactly how well I knew this guy anyway. ‘“It’s not a murder wagon,” he said. “It’s a hearse. I borrowed it from my neighbours who run a family funeral home. Sorry I was late, they had to drop off a dead old lady 20 minutes ago.”’ ★
IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES
The trick was turning the very pleasant week we enjoyed into a horrifying and traumatising experience for our poor protagonists.
Although life experiences are often very useful for a writer to pillage for stories, sometimes they still have to venture out in person to find answers to questions. ‘Normally I would just sit at my desk and consult the Internet, past experience and my imagination but, this year, Sarah and I decided to meet in Paris for a few days to find locations and scenes for our fifth S.L. Grey novel, which sees two unprepared tourists from Cape Town visit Paris in February,’ says Louis Greenberg, who collaborates with Sarah Lotz on a series of utterly chilling horror novels under the pseudonym S.L. Grey (the first of which was The Mall in 2011). ‘We found a flat that would be the ideal spot to rent for our holidaying protagonists and visited a waxworks museum, which of course could be rendered very creepily, and felt first-hand how cold the weather can be there in February. The trick was turning the very pleasant week we enjoyed into a horrifying and traumatising experience for our poor protagonists.’ He enjoyed the experience so much that he did it again: ‘I did similar site reconnaissance in Kingston upon Thames for my new solo novel, drifting around learning the streets from my agoraphobic protagonist’s compulsive perspective and finding and photographing buildings and locations for the novel’s scenes. Now I’m addicted to location scouting and hope to do it again for upcoming novels, budget allowing.’ Authors don’t always have to travel far and wide to do research but they do often have to step out of their comfort zones to find answers to key bits of information. Hawa Golakai is from Liberia but spent over a decade in Cape Town, where she trained and worked as a medical researcher in immunology. Her first novel, The Lazarus Effect, is set in Cape Town and is the story of an investigative journalist who has visions of a teenage girl that she begins to research under the pretext of working on a story. Hawa’s background enables her to pepper the plot with scientific nuggets that crime-fiction
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FASHIONABLE During the past few months, many of Amazon’s top sellers haven’t been all epic fantasy and erotic romance; they’ve been colouring-in or activity books targeted at adults. And there’s something for every doodler – from rogue butterflies and curious squirrels in the bestselling Secret Garden to Will Smith in Colour Me Good ’90s. The adult colouring-in book seems to be riding a wave of nostalgia, its popularity probably due to a desire to do something unplugged or, perhaps, in stressful times we all just need to take time to stop and smell the khokis. So, pick up a pen and colour your millennial happy and check out Illustrations: Moray Rhoda some of our fashion favourites for the season at the same time…
WATCH THIS SPACE
Left to right: Neff Bandit, R349, Neff Duece Slime, R449, Neff Daily Sucker, R449, all from luksbrands.co.za; Ladies watch, R2 695, Guess; Bamf watch; R5 999, Diesel sixteen
From top: Rain boot, R899, Havaianas; Lace-up boot, R499 and Casual boot, R599, Queue Shoes; Andy Warhol high-top sneaker, R1 049,95, Converse; Onitsuka Tiger Gel-Lyte sneaker, R1 399, Jordan Footwear
Clockwise from top: Landoh long shirt, R1 999, G-Star RAW; Pallabrouse LC Palladium boots, R1 350; Biker jacket, R1 399, Sissy-Boy; Type C ultrahigh jeans, R2 799, G-Star RAW; Trench coat, R1 399, Sissy-Boy eighteen
Stockists: G-Star RAW: 021 418 9000; Converse: Available from Sportscene – Sandton, Gateway, Canal Walk; Havaianas: 021 425 2521; Jordan Footwear: 021 590 7000; luksbrands.co.za: 011 262 0399; Palladium boots: 011 444 2270
From the sublime to the quirky to the slightly odd – one person’s once-off purchase is another’s obsession. Zanele Kumalo takes a look at a few curious local collections.
ome people collect items such as pop-art paintings and first-edition novels, others seek novelties and curiosities such as clothes pegs. We can all understand the motivation behind investing in a Warhol or a Basquiat (did I just hear ka-ching, ka-ching?), but the plastic pinchers that keep your laundry from blowing away? The phrase that’s more likely to come to mind there is ‘kray kray’. But as Dr Randy O. Frost, a professor of psychology at Smith College in the US, wrote in a New York Times article, entitled ‘When Collecting Becomes Hoarding’, ‘a passion for collecting is a healthy outlet and an activity that keeps people connected to the world around them’. ★ TO HAVE AND TO HOLD Cape Town-based Mike Bruton designs science centres and museums by day, but nurtures an interest in simple technologies and how they have evolved over time and in different cultures. He has a collection of over 600 different clothes pegs from around the world – made from plastic, wood, wire, metal, stone, bone, seed pods, and so on, and in all sorts of colours. He finds it fascinating that ‘clothes pegs come in many different designs in order to achieve the same main objective – to keep clothes on the line. New ways of making clothes pegs are being developed continuously as new materials become available and new crimping mechanisms are devised. They are classic examples of human innovation and have been in use by indigenous people for thousands of years, such as those made from dried plant seeds.’ His largest clothes peg is 30cm and the smallest is 3mm. ‘The oldest is a medieval
peg made by the Vikings in Sweden and the second oldest is a 19th-century cloven wooden peg from rural England. I also have dried-seed pegs used by the Khoisan in northern Botswana and by the Aborigines in Australia, and bone pegs from Iceland.’ When he travels abroad, he takes a bag of new pegs with him and then wanders around the suburbs of foreign cities swopping new pegs for old, local ones. ‘Mediterranean countries are good hunting grounds as the locals hang up their washing over the street,’ he explains. ‘Most people are fascinated by the hobby and some have even sent me pegs from abroad, but the most prized one of all is probably a peg hewn from a solid piece of marble.’ ★ TRASH OR TREASURE Laurence Hamburger, a commercial film director based in Joburg, admits that although he’s probably obsessive by nature, it’s the innate fear of things being forgotten or forsaken by a world that seems happy to dispose of everything that drives him to collect news posters. Yep, those sometimes hilarious, other times heartbreaking bulletin boards tied to street poles you might encounter more than once at a robot or stop street, depending on the traffic situation. A collection was published a few years ago called Frozen Chicken Train Wreck. It sold out last year and will be reissued in time for the sequel, More Textbook Lies, in October this year. It will contain new posters he has collected since the first book, as well as contributions from other collectors. He says, ‘I like objects that carry a narrative…’ As a History student, he became aware of the relevance of pop-culture artefacts – comics, toys and posters – as historical indicators of a period in time. He felt the need to salvage the South African news headline posters that were being discarded every day and started collecting them seven years ago with a book or some other kind of curatorial medium in mind.
He chooses ones that carry a layered meaning, are witty – using word play particular to South Africa – or represent the times we’re living in quite pertinently, and in so doing preserve something that may come to have historical significance in the future. Hamburger once drove around Joburg in the middle of winter for two hours looking for a specific poster. He couldn’t remember where he’d seen it but had to find it somehow, managing to both break up and make up with his girlfriend during the journey. ★ THE THRILL OF THE CHASE Dusan Milanovic has turned collecting into a day job. He’s an autograph dealer in Gauteng who locates, sources, and authenticates autographs, and he’s been at it since the 80s. For him, it’s about nostalgia, what it means to own something few others would, and the quest of finding that elusive item. Once he drove to Standerton from Joburg and back on the same day (a four-hour trip), just to view a presidential autograph collection. Joburg-based TV and media personality Maps Maponyane will travel much further to feed his obsession for retro watches. He has a more than 10-strong Casio watch collection consisting of retro classic pieces still in working order. He says, ‘I have an old-school analogue piece – the strap is brown crocodile leather, it has a gold frame and a white dial. I travelled to Turkey to track it down.’ He enjoys the oldschool classic feel they give as accessories and admits that he lacks a bit of self-control when it comes to purchasing fashion items. When he’s not collecting watches, he loves hats, old hook umbrellas and limited-edition All Stars sneakers. ‘I suppose all of my collections are sartorial – things I can wear and use on a regular basis. I enjoy fashion a lot.’ Capetonian sneakerhead Hayden Manuel also has no problem catching a long-haul flight to get his hands on a new acquisition. He works as a social media and content strategist twenty-one
‘I think the most extreme legal thing I’ve done for my sneaker obsession was going to Tokyo this year for two weeks of sneaker-hunting’. with financial gain – it is an emotionally driven action, often with people collecting objects they can connect with positively and emotionally at particular times in their lives’. And before it starts to sound as if collecting is a guys-only club, I feel I must include a confession. I once had a sort of Martha Stewart inclination for teapots – enamel, ceramic, porcelain, bamboo, stainless steel, etc. I might have had around 20 at one stage. I find the ritual of tea drinking more suited to my temperament than this whole business of running-with-coffee-cup-in-hand urgency, but other than that, there was no real motivation for it. Teapots are just really pretty. After once trapping one too many guests in the kitchen during a festive cocktail or dinner party, always with a few shamefully punchline-free anecdotes about the collection, I quickly gave up the pursuit as a sincere apology to them all.
Anthea Pokroy’s collection definitely makes for more entertaining dinner conversation. She collects gingers. Yes, as a self-proclaimed ‘Ginger Collector’, the artist who lives in Joburg collects redheads through pictures documenting their ‘gingerness’. According to a video talk posted on nicework.co.za, she’s even created a ‘Ginger Manifesto’ that encourages gingers to have children with one another to keep the ginger gene pool pure. So far, she has thousands of portrait photos from around the world in her database. It’s her way of highlighting the legitimacy of the ‘community’, which still gets ridiculed today. She collects gingers as a way to fight against their discrimination and accompanying stereotypes. Over a period of two-and-half years, she took over five hundred photos of redheaded men, women and children, locally and internationally. And the collection is growing as people learn about her from word of mouth and contact her to be ‘collected’ too. A ginger herself, what intrigued her was ‘an appreciation of the unique and romantic colour palette of a redhead’. And it was a way to connect with herself and others and to explore systems of inclusion and separation. She spent many hours sourcing the gingers for her collection – she stalked people in bars, shops, clubs, doctors’ rooms, shops and on the street. She once spotted someone while driving, pulled over, jumped out and approached them to take part. Anthea’s also made a trip to Breda, in the Netherlands for Redhead Day to gather more subjects. Her collection is certainly keeping people connected to the world around them.★
IMAGES: SUPPLIED, SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
for some of the biggest brands in South Africa. He says he’s one of those guys that really doesn’t like a lot of things but when he does find something he likes, he tends to develop a ‘ride or die’ mentality. He calls it the ‘Pursuit of Freshness’. ‘It’s a Cape Flats thing. We always look at what shoes people are wearing, so you can’t come out here “weak” if you want to be taken seriously.’ He’s been curating his collection since he was a kid. ‘I’ve sourced rare pairs from all over the world, especially older models from the late ’90s, which I couldn’t get when I was a kid.’ ‘I think the most extreme legal thing I’ve done for my sneaker obsession was going to Tokyo this year for two weeks of sneaker-hunting. If you’re into sneakers and streetwear, Tokyo is the place to go. I had heard of some mythical vintage stores with crazy stock rooms; there weren’t even many pictures of them online but I decided to go anyway. I think I had a buying average of nearly three pairs a day over two weekends because I found these rare vintage gems all over. I went stupid! Good thing I developed a taste for noodles ‘cause that’s pretty much all I can eat for the next six months.’ His passion and knowledge is paying off in other ways too. It’s led to a great, long-term, multifaceted relationship with Nike, which is very rare for a non-athlete. He’s also worked on projects with other sneaker brands, which is a dream come true for him. A streetwear label ‘They Know’ developed with business partner Paul Ward sold out within hours of launching and with no marketing. I asked him to count how many pairs he owns. ‘I’m not sure of the exact number but I have a few pairs of the rare Air Yeezys that go for between R30 000 and R50 000 a pair.’ Who said that collecting sneakers couldn’t become as lucrative as collecting art? Quoted in The Telegraph in an article called ‘Why Do We Love To Collect?’ psychologist Dr Rebecca Spelman says that ‘for most of us, being a collector has nothing to do
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Available on CD at all good music stores. Se l e ct t i t l e s ava i l a bl e o n v i ny l A u g u s t 2 01 5 .
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The Hustle is dark, dirty and it’s damn fast. Neil Gardiner takes us on a crazy night-time adventure. still evening – the streets and the air recently scrubbed by a thunderstorm. In downtown Johannesburg, wedged between the intelligentsia of Wits and the heaving ghetto blocks of Hillbrow, a congregation of 50 or so cyclists waits. It’s not the Lycra-wearing mobile advertising billboard crowd of pro peloton riding R50m worth of carbon fibre, although there are some. And it’s not fixie-hipsters with waxed ‘taches and horn-rimmed glasses mended by Elastoplast, although there are some. A Lycra boy jiggles his legs, primed, energy pent up like the steam in a locomotive. A tatted-up lady in a three-quarter length onesie checks that her wheel nuts are tight. Like the punters, there’s a vast cross section of machinery. Composite Tour de France replicas, 1980s steel classics, mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes (road bikes with off-road tyres, smaller gears and beefier brakes)
and track bikes, (which have only one fixed gear and no brakes at all – the only way to slow it down is to pedal slower, or push back). ‘Guys, thanks for coming. There’s a neutral zone till after we cross Jan Smuts. The racing is fast, but please stick with others for safety. Remember, this is Joburg – a red light doesn’t mean the cars will stop.’ Melvin Neale, the honcho organiser, always makes a cursory speech regarding housekeeping. Some half listen to this weekly announcement in case there’s any new information – most have been here before. The few that haven’t are tucked under the wing of someone who has. ‘Please point out obstructions and potholes in the road to others – it’s dark.’ Neale ends with a perfectly contextualized suffix: ‘And have fun!’ A homemade air cannon fires off an empty cola bottle to send them off. Within seconds, the bunch is sprinting as fast as it can go. The few at the front push hard – only around 12 are capable and willing to risk it all for a spot on the leaderboard. In unison, the pack leans deep into the first corner, stops pedalling at the last possibly millisecond before gouging shoes into the tarmac. They brush past the apex, then
wrench the bikes upright to get back on the power again, ASAP. It’s an elegant string of riders – a perfect line, defined by the forces of aerodynamics and physics. The skill of MotoGP riders, the nerve of base jumpers and the power of two horses (riders can churn out up to 1600W in a sprint) combined. Johannesburg city centre at night. High speeds. Skinny tyres. Traffic. No brakes. Each of these individually would spell danger. The sum of which could define a pure form of insanity, but totally justifiable. It’s the Jozi Hustle – a 25km urban nighttime bike race that’s as terrifying as it is magnetic. It’s barely legal, and would surely be monitored more closely, if the police didn’t have other priorities.
Johannesburg city centre at night. High speeds. Skinny tyres. Traffic. No brakes. Each of these individually would spell danger.
Why!? Well, it’s a valid question. The participants have so much to lose. They’re mostly middle-class folk with families and colleagues who depend on them. What is it about that irresistible urge, that fascination with surfing the fine line between a thrill and potentially catastrophic misfortune? There can only be a complex answer to this, the essence of which still lies shrouded, deep
bend perfectly positioned in the line of riders. A rider at the front fancies his chances of holding a go-for-broke effort to the finish line. Cobbett knows this is not possible. A second before it’s too late, Cobbett swings out of the bunch’s slipstream and breaks into an all-out sprint – 20 pedal strokes of agony to the line. Another T-shirt to add to his collection. Back to the question ‘Why?’. The world has
‘We started it because we loved biking in an urban environment, interacting with the city and the cars. Plus night-time adds another dimension to the experience.’ in the mysteries of the human psyche. Are our lives today so insulated from any real risk that we’re irresistibly drawn to the raw-edged possibility of injury or death? Why would we rather forget our suburban comforts and seek out danger? It’s not for the cash. The winner earns only a branded cap or T-shirt. Founder Melvin Neale is a successful attorney. Co-founder Greg Gamble (his real name) is a highly regarded furniture designer. The two own Hunter Cycling. Now incarnated as a bike shop in Mellville, it began as just the race’s central meeting point in Braamfontein. ‘We started it because we loved biking in an urban environment, interacting with the city and the cars. Plus night-time adds another dimension to the experience.’ Regular winner Julius Cobbett knows these streets – and this race – well. Cycle racing is all about that – craft and bluff often winning over brute force. Cobbett rounds the penultimate
always been a dangerous place, right from when we became skilled at navigating the risks to garner fresh deer carcasses to feed the clan each fortnight. Today, if we don’t have it in our modern daily lives, we’ll seek it out. We’re pre-programmed for peril, so we simply have to answer the call. We surf in dangerous waters, ski on vertiginous slopes and ride the Jozi Hustle to claim back our verve. Another regular, Floh Thiele, recalls, ‘Every week, at the end of the race, there are riders bragging about how close they came to a devastating crash. It adds an extra camaraderie to it all.’ Our simplistic theory goes a long way to explaining the race’s lore and lure. We crave danger – that small pocket of consciousness where our senses are heightened, our focus narrows to tunnel vision and we feel hyperalive. For proof, search ‘Jozi Hustle GoPro’ on YouTube.★
hustle &flow Journalist Julius Cobbett is the winningest rider in the event’s three-year history.
The rider who comes last takes the DFL floating trophy – a bare rim, to which each holder attaches something new: rubber duck, binoculars, handlebars, compass, sex toy… Amazingly, only two minor traffic accidents have occurred, involving: 1. A photographer’s motorbike. 2. An intoxicated pedestrian. There have, however, been a number of crashes involving just the riders.
Contestants may ride any type of bike they like. Many regulars aim to ride a different one each week.
2015/07/01 11:09 AM
The Perils of
BEING a BEST WHITE
In this extract from her book, Best White and Other Anxious Delusions, Rebecca Davis discusses the… erm, plight of young white South Africans.
was bartending at a remote hotel in the Scottish Highlands once when I served a Scot who was intrigued to learn where I came from. As he got drunker, he insisted on ordering beers in his finest parody of a white South African accent. When he finally slapped down his money to pay and leave, he leant forward and said, meaningfully: ‘Thanks, hey … kaffir!’ Then he drunkenly sauntered out, leaving me frozen with horror. I spent hours agonising over that interaction. Was he just confused about the meaning of ‘kaffir’? Did he think it was some cheerful term of endearment employed by South Africans generally,
equivalent to how the Brits use ‘mate’? Did he imagine South Africans of all stripes walking into a bar and greeting each other with a jovial ‘Howzit, kaffir?’ I don’t think so. Neither do I believe that he intended it in the Arabic sense of ‘infidel’, before anyone helpfully suggests that. I imagine that he learnt the word from white South Africans overseas, since it’s not a very well-known epithet beyond our borders. Of course, if he was aware of the meaning of the word, it was bizarre that he would address me with it as a white person. Then again, this was the Scottish Highlands. It wasn’t as if there were any black people around to use it on. It is no
exaggeration to say that some of the locals – who eked out meagre livings as fishermen or small-scale farmers – had encountered black people only a few times in their lives. The last time a black person had been seen in the village was more than five years before. It was a visit that was the stuff of legends because the local alcoholic, Darren, had merrily asked him when he intended to wash his face. Rather than trying to make a cutting point to the racist white South African serving up his drinks, I think my drunken bar patron used ‘kaffir’ as a farewell salutation because he was clumsily trying to signal some form of racist comradeship with me. A kind of covert solidarity: that he knew
the in-language of my people and shared its values. Sometimes perspective is best attained at a distance. And the results of seeing yourself as the world sees you frequently aren’t pretty. Then again, the rest of the world often doesn’t have a leg to stand on. That drunk dude liked his assumption that I was a racist, white South African. I’ve heard of white South Africans travelling overseas during apartheid, and being taken aside by people who whispered something along the lines of: ‘Good job there, what you’re doing back home. Keep it up.’ While there were many people overseas who firmly supported the anti-apartheid movement, there were also tons who thought apartheid sounded like a pretty solid plan. We know now from released FBI cables that when Nelson Mandela first toured the United States after his release from prison, there were death threats phoned in to every city he visited. And not all of them were made by South Africans phoning longdistance from a crackly tickey-box. But for sections of the international community who are not diehard racists, the descriptor ‘white South African’ does not, realistically speaking, always glow with feel-good vibes. Even with all the white South Africans who supported apartheid miraculously having disappeared overnight 20 years ago, as if the Rapture happened in 1994 and it turned out God only really liked racists. Notwithstanding my drunk Scottish barfly, it is my experience that when people hear ‘I am a white South African’, their automatic impulse is often not to clap you on the shoulder and hand you a foamy beer, the way they might if you’d said ‘I am a bobsledding Jamaican’. To many sections of the local and global population, ‘white South African’ is still synonymous with cartoonish evil and a penchant for khaki: sepia TV footage of heavily moustached men in too-short shorts barking orders at downtrodden black people. Like it or not, the lingering reputation of white South Africans is not ‘hardworking people who pay their taxes and are quite good at swimming’.
To many sections of the local and global population, ‘white South African’ is still synonymous with cartoonish evil and a penchant for khaki: sepia TV footage of heavily moustached men in tooshort shorts barking orders at downtrodden black people.
It is ‘people who created and sustained a society that systematically stripped black people of their personhood’. Is this fair? These days there is a growing resentment among young white South Africans who have been lumped into this unflattering tribe. They remain on the wrong side of a history they weren’t even alive for. It wasn’t them who did all those horrible things to blacks. It wasn’t me, for God’s sake. I never asked a black person for their pass book, or stripped them of property rights, or herded them into Bantustans, or even voted for the people who did do that stuff. Other than visibly and magnificently prospering from a political system that oppressed them for centuries, the most demeaning thing I have knowingly done to a black person is force my friend Osiame to dance with me after too much wine at a dinner party. But the pesky thing about history is that you can’t just take it off and hang it up like a coat. Most white South Africans have jobs. Their unemployment rate is around 5%. That is sweet. That’s like Iceland, which only has about 500 000 people in it to start with. It is as if Oprah made white South Africa and put a job under 95% of the studio audience’s seats. You get a job and you get a job and you get a job! And when you get that job, on average you’re paid higher than pretty much anyone else in the country – four times higher, according to recent statistics. You’re more likely to be well educated. You’ll live longer. If you are born a white South African, by virtually every standard internationally, you are winning in life’s lottery. That’s the plus side of being a white South African. The downside is that you walk around carrying the burden of being one of history’s baddies on your back. And sometimes it feels crushing, but then you can always go for a swim in your giant money-pool to console yourself. We’re like cautionary characters in a fairy tale with a sledgehammer moral about trading your soul for gold.
I don’t personally have any gold, I should clarify, just so nobody wastes time with me when the revolution comes. You should go straight to number 15 in my block of flats, because I think they have some Le Creuset casserole dishes. I’m not rich at all and neither are a lot of the white South Africans I know. We’re only rich when compared with most of the South African population, which isn’t a currency you can buy salmon with at Woolies. But the reason we’re richer isn’t because we’re more clever and more hard working. It’s because for centuries people who looked like us oppressed the hell out of people who didn’t look like us. We’ve never had to compete on a level playing field, and we still don’t, because we’re still dragging apartheid behind us like a zombie corpse. Legendary investor Warren Buffett said that one of the reasons for his success was that he only had to compete against half the population. He meant that for much of his career, women’s entry into business was either formally or informally blocked. White South Africans have only had to compete against 8% of the population for a significant portion of their history. Whenever white South Africans express unease about this state of affairs on an online platform, there is always a white person in the comments who sneers: ‘Well if you feel so bad about it, you should quit your job so that a black person can have it.’ I can never think of a good response to that because, despite the fact that the commenter is self-evidently a mega-twat, part of me thinks they might be right. I don’t want to give up my job, obviously – partly because I think I’m quite good at it and mainly because I’m not constitutionally cut out for a life on the street. I would definitely develop a galloping tik addiction within days. Speaking frankly, I also don’t see why I should
have to be the one to give up my job. If we’re going to make a list, surely it should be topped by all the ex-National Party politicians who somehow became ANC members of parliament during the transition to democracy while the rest of us were distracted with not killing each other? What is one to do? The philosopher Samantha Vice took a stab at this thorny question a few years ago, and her suggestion – which I am grotesquely over-simplifying – was essentially that white people in South Africa should ‘cultivate humility and silence’. I see the merits of this, I really do, but as someone who is quite chatty I struggle with it. Then Desmond Tutu really set the cat among the pigeons by proposing that white South Africans should pay a ‘white tax’, to which many white people responded with fury that they already paid a ‘white tax’ called ‘tax’. It’s cute how many white people genuinely believe they are the only ones who pay tax, as if whenever anyone else gets to the Shoprite till, the checkout lady presses a secret button marked ‘No VAT for darkies’. The way a lot of young white South Africans I know deal with their existential plight, other than by drinking heavily, is by becoming Best Whites. Everyone knows a Best White. Here is a short field guide to spotting one in the wild. 1) Best Whites are in an imaginary competition with everyone else in their blighted race. The competition is, in crude terms, a kind of antiracism pageant. If you win it, when you arrive at the Pearly Gates and are greeted by a black God, She will say: ‘Congratulations. All those other whites were quite racist, but you are the very opposite of racist.’ 2) Best Whites compete aggressively to spot and publically denounce white racism. Best Whites prefer the most racist possible interpretation
of other white people’s words, so their racism detectors are perpetually pinging. 3) Best Whites will start a conversation about white privilege within five minutes of meeting a black person in order to firmly establish the ideological gulf that separates them from bad whites. 4) Best Whites may, at one stage or another, have flirted with an Africa tattoo. 5) If the Best White is male, he may exhibit a compulsion to address black males in the service industry as ‘brother’. 6) Best Whites will casually mention their parents’ Struggle credentials to car guards. 7) Best Whites claim they went to schools that were interracial from the time of Jan van Riebeeck. It should be understood that there is a vast difference between Best Whites (capitals) and actual best whites. In the latter category see: Bram Fischer, Helen Suzman, George Bizos, Beyers Naudé, Johnny Clegg, Neil Tovey. I have strong Best White tendencies. I’m pretty sure that, on balance, it is better to be a Best White than an outspoken racist, but there is no denying that Best Whites can be exceedingly irritating. I also suspect that being a Best White is in itself quite racist, because the elaborate performance of anti-racism to black people that it demands is tailored to the race of the hearer. Best Whites operate under the assumption that black people love nothing more than a sympathetic white ear into which they can pour their lived experiences of racism. In a generation’s time, maybe being a Best White will seem as outdated and irrelevant a performance as someone who arrives at work on Rollerblades. Until then, you’ll find us checking our privilege. And then checking to make sure everyone’s noticed. ★
REBECCA DAVIS is an award-winning journalist whose writing appears in The Daily Maverick and other South African publications, including a weekly column on TV for the Sunday Times. Her Twitter bio @becsplanb – ’30-something writer, dreamer, lover, lemur, thinker, talker, reader, stalker’ – pretty much says it all. Her book is available from all good bookstores for R250 (RRP).
By Evan Milton Perhaps it happens every half-decade, or maybe it’s always there but suddenly more noticeable at the five-year mark – art and artists dipping into the origins of their oeuvres, creating tributes and paying homage to those who inspired them, or releasing works that are a return to form. There’s a subtle zeitgeist at work when the Star Wars franchise is rolling out another instalment 38 years later; when movie screens are filled with characters like Iron Man or Black Widow that started as teenage comic books, and when top-selling new Hollywood series are adaptations of older ones, like House of Cards (originally set in Britain’s post-Thatcherite realpolitik), or Homeland (which started life as an Israeli TV show). Heck, even the Shades of Grey and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo boilerplates are churning out mid-decade iterations. Happily, the world of music can also yield gems when old seams are revisited. Take Drake, dropping a surprise retail mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which loses the overproduced commercialism to see him freestyling like the best. Chamber rockers Muse are probably at their peak with Drones, and even electronica’s enfant terrible Aphex Twin made good with this year’s Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments after last year’s lukewarm Syro. Björk’s ninth full-length album, Vulnicura is her most lush and soul-searching yet, and even D’Angelo is back with Black Messiah, which is every bit as good as the groundbreaking Voodoo. The year’s most groundbreaking album so far, a three-hour jazz epic from Kamasi Washington, the saxophonist who hipped up Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, is studiously and intentionally a revisiting of the jazz genius John Coltrane’s idiom in a modern context. Even Flying Lotus, the much-heralded danger-man of the drum ‘n bass scene, has an album out that’s confronting the oldest of musical themes: confronting one’s own mortality.★ GIORGIO MORODER DÊJA-VU You know him from Daft Punk’s 2013 hit ‘Giorgio By Moroder’; the Scarface soundtrack, the ’80s and ’90s hits he produced for Donna Summer, David Bowie and Cher, and the cheesy love theme from Top Gun. He’s 75 and billed as the godfather of electronic dance. After the Daft Punk collab, production and remix offers flooded in. Instead, the synth-pop pioneer made an album. Vocalists include Sia, Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears doing ‘Tom’s Diner’. Stand-out tracks are the string-section driven anthem ‘Don’t Let Go’ and the dance-floor winner ‘Diamonds’, voiced by Ugandandescended house diva-ette Charli XCX. VARIOUS NINA REVISITED: A TRIBUTE TO NINA SIMONE Nina Simone, the embattled singer and civil rights activist, inspired artists as diverse as Miriam Makeba and John Legend, and put her jazzy spell on a new audience with ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’. This album accompanies a new Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? and features long-standing Simone supporter Lauryn Hill (‘Feeling Good’); rising R & B star Jazmine Sullivan (‘Baltimore’); jazz luminary Gregory Porter (‘Sinnerman’); hip-hop royalty Mary J. Blige (‘Misunderstood’); Usher (‘My Baby’); Common with Lalah Hathaway (‘YG&B’); as well as Nina’s daughter, Lisa (‘I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl’). FELIX LABAND DEAF SAFARI A decade after the Pietermaritzburg-born electronic wunderkind shot up the international charts, he’s back with another album elocuting the South African psyche. It’s brighter than some previous works, but every bit as edgy – and whimsical. How can anyone blend melancholic keyboard refrains, introspective clarinet, samples of socio-political speech-mongering and kwaito-house? Laband has inspired two generations of beatmakers and his long-anticipated return more than delivers. Even better: Laband is one of those rare studio producers who plays live sets using the original multitracks, rather than just dropping beats. See him live, or head to iTunes. Collectors will want the 2-LP vinyl set. SUFJAN STEVENS CARRIE & LOWELL Long before the hipsters adopted nu-folk, there was Sufjan Stevens. There have been experiments with electro-acoustics, orchestral suites and the transformation of his seminal album, Illinois into DJ Tor’s Illinoize. On Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan is at his most bare, sparse and personal, clothing introspection and revelation in songs of aching beauty. This isn’t Sufjan the conceptualist or mythologist, but a deeply personal work titled for the mother who left him when he was ‘three, maybe four’ and the stepfather who tried to raise him. The ghosts in the room are manifest in the ghost in his voice, and this is by far his best work. thirty-one
BEARD hither the beard? That’s ‘whither’, not ‘wither’. By saying ‘whither’ I don’t mean that beards should wither, although they should, and most of them look like they already have – it’s just an old-fashioned way of asking what’s next for the beard. The beard is a victim of its own success. Just a few years ago, the only bearded fellows were gay men, polar explorers, wizards and Saddam Hussein when they dragged him out of that bunker. Beards had such a low social status that people looked at those photos and thought, ‘Shame, look at him with that straggly mound of face-fuzz. That’s what comes of being a homicidal dictator.’ Nowadays, they’d say, ‘Tsk, dig old Saddam with the cool facial topiary. You’d think he’d have bigger things to worry about than looking sharp.’ You don’t need me to tell you about beards – it’s a festival of face fungus out there. Everywhere you look, there’s some young chap who looks like he smeared the lower part of his face with wood glue then fell into a bowl of cornflakes or pencil shavings. Personally, I don’t mind them. I’m of that age when you start to get jealous of youngsters
with their porcelain cheeks and elastic skins. Let ‘em hide their best assets under a bush, I say. By the time the fad passes and they shave it off, they’ll be looking as wretched and raddled as the rest of us. I’m also not one of those whiners who complains that beards harbour germs. Of course beards harbour germs. Everything harbours germs. Unless you’re submerged in a tub of surgical spirits or free-floating in the Coalsack Nebula, you’re currently covered in germs, even the bits of you that aren’t beardy. It’s conceivable that a beard might be slightly more germy than the rest of you, but only if you’ve used your beard for an especially germorific activity, like sweeping a stable or wiping a butt. Anyway, even if beards did attract germs, they’d be a useful corrective in today’s overly fastidious, hand-sanitising, no-playing-in-the-dirt world. If there weren’t germ-sources around, all tomorrow’s children would be wheezing, airintolerant, hyperallergic little Woody Allens. We’d have to bus bearded chaps into primary schools and force the kids to finger their faces, just to try toughen up their immune systems. But you have to wonder about the future of beards. They’ve been so popular lately that it’s hard to imagine a variety that hasn’t been used
and exhausted. On the ironic streets of Cape Town and Braamfontein you can see Castro beards and George Michael beards and Professor Calculus beards. You can see beards woven with flowers, beards shaped like dolphin tails and pineapples and spaceships. But what’s next? The problem with being ironic is that, unlike real creativity, it has a shelf life. Once you run out of things to quote, there’s nothing left. Then what? The end of beards? A beardocalypse? Have beards made this dramatic comeback from extinction only to die out before our eyes? It’s like bringing back the dinosaurs, then watching them all eat each other. But no! Wait! There’s still one more frontier of irony for the beard to explore! Bearded ladies used to be very popular in the olden days of carnival sideshows, and a gal-beard would be everything the dedicated hipster could crave: it’s inconvenient, it’s old-timey, it’s artisanal, it will probably come in small batches. Surely it can’t be long before some committed hipsterette figures out a way to sprout some women-whiskers. Maybe some brave celebrity will lead the way. I have my money on Khloé Kardashian. ★
Follicly challenged Darrel Bristow–Bovey ponders if we’ll ever reach peak beard-ou?
The new album from Mumford & Sons Wilder Mind
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