Lifestyle

“Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf”?

The Twilight Saga - New Moon Before we left South Africa for our Australian holiday, I was aware that I would be missing the midnight screening of the latest cinematic instalment of the Twilight Saga: New Moon. An event that I was not only looking forward to but one that  I had made partial plans for with friends and family. I will not beat around the bush, I was bummed about it. Not only would I miss the midnight premiere but I would also be unable to share the experience with those closest to me. However, that all changed once I stepped foot in the land down under.

Heroes and Villains: Escaping Reality

Super Hero - Superman WW2 Have you ever wondered what life would have been like if Superheroes and Villains actually existed? For the most part, all we can do is ponder the infinite possibilities, often courtesy of video games, books, television, movies and, most importantly, our very own imagination.

Agan Harahap, a photographer and illustrator from Jakarta, Indonesia, has taken the concept of Superheroes and brought them into a pseudo-reality. By incorporating infamous characters into iconic World War II photographs, Harahap  has managed to blur the lines between fiction and truth. In so doing, he has managed to merge the fantastically impossible with our past physical existence, in order to create  a Superhero adorned alternate reality.

Harahap’s latest collection, aptly titled ‘Super Hero’, consists of memorable political and wartime scenes from the mid-20th century, but with one difference: the inclusion of notable Superheroes (or Villains?). This extraordinary combination is a true juxtaposition in effect.

With respect to the current global economic crisis, Harahap’s work could not come at a more fortuitous time. Coincidentally, the advent of the Superhero, according to Douglas Hyde (2009), was largely spurred on by the Great Depression and the start of World War II. As a result, comic books and superheroes were said to offer an ‘escapist form of entertainment’, where people could “go into a fantasy world where all the ills of the world were righted by these larger-than-life heroes” (Erin Clancy, 2009).

Subsequently, audiences at large are once again returning to the warm embrace of costumed Superheroes, with movies based on comic books generally becoming box office leaders. This trend, the resurgence of the popularity of Superheroes, may be a reflection of the current global economic crises. Clancy would agree citing “the comic book superhero came out of a context in which the political, social and economic realties were a little tough and we can certainly relate to those realities now in our own day” (2009).

Superheroes are back people and they are stronger than ever!

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

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Monash South Africa Cultural Day

Monash University South Africa - C Block Yesterday Monash held a cultural day. A day in which students from various nations and nationalities may come together as one and explore the contrasts between differing cultures.

One of the major attractions of the day, was the pitting of the different faculties and administrative departments against one another in a cook off. A ‘potjie kos’ cook off, to be precise. Being an Alumni and a part of the South African charter of the Monash University Alumni Volunteer Committee, I was naturally a part of their team.

Unfortunately we did not win the ‘cook-off’. Even so our ‘smoked beef with a touch of apricot’ potjie was a ‘raving success’. Mainly because you had to be stark raving mad to eat it. Mind you, I did have two servings of the stuff.

Smoked beef, with a touch of apricot, potjie Sadly we managed to burn our potjie and drop Blitz into it (fire lighters), hence the ‘smoked’ reference. We did attempt to salvage the meal with a helpful dollop, or three, of apricot jam. Although the jam did help, ever so slightly, there was no real way to lessen the burnt taste before the judges came around.

Thankfully, the judges were very graceful and were kind enough to not pull their faces when they tasted our dish as well as to label it as ‘nice’ – as in, it smells good, looks good but tastes off (synonymous with the descriptor ‘cute’).

All in all it was a fantastic day. One filled with side splitting laughter and the exuberant showing of latent talents.  It was also especially good to mingle with the Alumni crew and to see how our University has grown over the last several years.

For pictures from the event, check out the following album:

By the way if you are wondering about the traffic ‘green’ leggings, our theme was ‘Spring Yellow’. Thus each member of the Alumni Volunteer Committee had to spruce up their Alumni shirts with a yellow item of some kind. Hence my yellow shorts. Additionally, the girls continue to maintain that their ‘green’ leggings, are in fact ‘yellow’. Needless to say, the Fashion Police had a field day!

Ultimately, I truly am proud to be a Monash Alumni and look forward to participating in many more University inspired events. Furthermore, I am heartily looking forward to continuing my Masters studies in Australia from early next year. It is going to be so much fun!

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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‘Au Revoir’… Matey

This morning I went to the airport to bid farewell to my cousin and his family who have immigrated to Sydney, Australia.

This is not the first time that they have immigrated. As a matter of fact it is the second time. The first time they went to Dubai, where they lived for about three to four years before returning to South Africa. However, they always knew that Dubai would only be a temporary change. Going to Australia on the other hand, is an entirely different scenario. For this time they have immigrated in an attempt to begin a completely new life.

As a result, a farewell was held for my cousin and his family on Sunday 13th September 2009 at Gilooly’s Farm. You may have a look some of the pictures in the album below.

Saying goodbye is never easy. This time around though, I knew that I would be seeing them soon, thus delaying any emotional responses to their subsequent departure. Nevertheless, it still was not easy to have said ‘goodbye’. So this is for you, my cousins.

Rihanna – Final Goodbye

I know that my time is coming. For those who do not know, my family and myself have been thinking about immigrating for many years now. Unfortunately, we have not taken any ‘permanent’ measures to ensure a way of immigration. However, my plan has always been to complete one year of my Masters studies in South Africa and the final year in Australia. As a result, and should everything go as planned, I will leave for Australia by March of 2010 (next year). I will most likely post about this, in more detail, at a later stage. So… do not be a stranger!

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Jewish Advantage (or The Upper Palatte ingests: Faff)

The Upper Palatte ingests: Faff For those still not in the know, The Upper Palatte is a group created to get ‘friends’ together, at least once a month, to try out new places to eat thus broadening our palate sensations – whether it may be a trendy bistro at a five star hotel or an  undiscovered earthy ethnic eatery. Members of The Upper Palatte are affectionately referred to as Upper Crusters. An Upper Cruster is a member of The Upper Palatte and consequently a part of The Upper Crust (TUC), which is the title given to the body of individuals who belong to The Upper Palatte.

On Saturday 22nd August 2009, The Upper Palatte (TUP) was finally able to regroup, after a lengthy four month hiatus, courtesy of my broken arm. This marks the third ‘eat’ since the inception of The Upper Palatte. The venue was Faff, which offers modern European cuisine, with a “sexed up neighbourhood fare” and is located just off Norwood’s bustling Grant Avenue in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, or better yet, fortunately, only three Upper Crusters were able to attend The Upper Palatte’s third meet.

Faff certainly offered quite a unique experience…