(Not) A SMAC in the Face #60: Braking Brad

Normally SMAC’s contribution to the world is a combination of being irreverent, zany, cynical and acerbic, and so the overarching title, A SMAC in the Face, is appropriate. 

But just to prove that SMAC can also be nice, normal and straightforward, this SMAC is a tribute to an up-and-coming SA sports star and all-round nice guy, Brad Binder.  He has been living on the edge in that insane sport of motorbike racing at the highest level where his uncompromising approach to cornering naturally led to the title – Braking Brad.  Hopefully it will also lead to a world title soon.

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A SMAC in the Face #59: A Stormy in a D-Cup

With Donald J. Trump, one-time Acting President of the US of A and fulltime leader of the MAGA movement, darling of the NRA, Evangelicals, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, anti-abortionists and any number of disaffected idiots and conspiracy theorists, election, climate change and vaccine denialists, things get messy pretty quickly.  And complicated.  So, bear with me in this long intro.

Once upon a time in 2006, Donald Trump, probably frustrated at not getting any nookie from his pre, neo- and post-natal Melania, ended up in a one-night stand with a leading porn star, one Stormy Daniels.  This was to end badly for him.  Not necessarily that night.  As I haven’t read her Full Disclosure book, I can’t give you the skinny, if that’s the right word with Donald, on his performance.  No, it came back to bite him ten years later on the eve of his winning the 2016 Pestilential erection.   

He tried to cover his arse, a technical legal term, by buying her off.  The problem was the source of his funds.  His fixer, one Michael Cohen, has already been sentenced to three years in chookie and is spitting mad.  Trump is now belatedly facing a court case in New York State, starting in March 2024.  This is slap bang (which is probably was he did to Stormy with a bit of tickle to show his softer side) in the middle of the Republican primaries.  He recently tried to get it moved to Federal court which would kick the can down the road until, he hopes, he’s Acting President again and hence untouchable and completely declassified.

And so, the countdown begins on his comeuppance on his godownance a long, long time ago.

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A SMAC in the Face #58:  King Con

The King of the grifters, King Con, found himself in court and it has been a virtuoso display of petulance, bullying, victimhood, obfuscation, deflection, blame the other guy, denial and meandering logic.  Although he didn’t have to attend proceedings until called, he elected to sit at his lawyers’ table and defiantly glare at everyone, particularly if there was a camera pointing at him.  This is the glare he had stayed up all night practicing for his mugshot on 24 August when he was arraigned on election racketeering charges. 

This trial is a civil case of fraud and he had already been found guilty of fraudulently overvaluing his properties.  The court is now sitting to determine his sentence

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A SMAC in the Face #57: God Wants Semtex

The Israeli/Palestinian issue has seen five conventional wars since 1948 between the Israelis and various coalitions of Arabs in support of the Palestinians.  This area also became a proxy war for the West supporting Israel and Russia supporting the Arabs.  The Russian bear went into hibernation in 1989, but reawakened with the invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the invasion of Ukraine last year.  Although it is a shadow of its former self, it has aligned itself with the next superpower, China, and a bunch of crazy as bat shit nuclear regimes like Iran and North Korea.  Meanwhile, China is increasingly flexing its muscle in the South China Sea and ramping up its rhetoric and intimidatory manoeuvres against Taiwan.

Has the outrage by Iran-backed Hamas been carefully scripted by Iran to take advantage of the realignment of world order to force a massive international confrontation.  Will history record this as the spark that led to WWIII, like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that snowballed into WWI?

Given China’s leading role in this possible outcome, perhaps it will be called WWXI.

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A (Gob)SMAC in the Face #55:  Stade de France – High Crime Zone

The last three matches of the Rugby World Cup were faster than the Fast and the Furious, more brutal than the Gladiator and had more drama than your average soapie.  But ultimately they were muggings on steroids.  The three teams – France, England and New Zealand must have asked themselves how did the amaBokke manage it – single point wins, three weeks in a row.  SMAC doesn’t know either.  In fact, he’s gobSMACed.  It wasn’t pretty, but there it is and it will be thus till eternity.

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Humus and the PLO versus The Settlers:  Dawn, 12 October 2023

This is another of the whacky but insightful blogs written by my brother Blaine. All grievances arising from the mischaraterisation of moles and their evil intent should be addressed to the author himself as he is the one who maligns them mercilessly perhaps in his frustration in his hopeless quest to eradicate the pesky moles from his Plumstead home.

The Cape dune mole-rat, or Bathyergus suillus to give it its proper name, might be cute and cuddly to some with its soft fur, but it is a menace.  This blighter grows to over 30cm long and weighs up to 1.5kg.  This is a mole on steroids. This is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of moles and is only found in the western and southern areas of South Africa.  In particular it is a plague in the soft sandy areas of the Cape Flats, of which Plumstead where I live forms part of.  They are like piles: they are extremely irksome, difficult to get rid of and have a habit of coming back.  If let loose in your garden, your prize petunias, cleverly arranged clivias and herbaceous borders dotted with the odd dope plant will soon be trashed and unresurrectible.  Short of dropping a tactical nuclear bomb on them, the only other remedy is to pave the whole garden over.

Last year I waged a war against one of these terrorists with what I thought was success.  Unfortunately, like Arnold who famously said, “I’ll be back!”, he did come back.  On the morning of 12 October to be precise.  I was dutifully do-doing my distasteful daily doggy poo parade when I turned the corner of my house and there it was – not a molehill, but a mountain.

Main picture: Moley revealed ready to destroy another suburban garden

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A SMAC in the Face #54:  Kakistocracy

No, this delightful word, Kakistocracy, meaning rule by the least suitable, is not made up by some disenchanted South Africans.  It actually exists and is particularly apt for the situation in SA.

Inspired by Rodin, click on A SMAC in the Face #54:  Kakistocracy – The Casual Observer for SMAC’s thinking man’s look at the proven outcomes of this form of government for South Africa.

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A SMAC in the Face #53: Hollow Victory Day Parade II

At some time most of us have idled away our boredom trying to spot the 10 differences in two drawings in magazines that lie around. I have reprised a SMAC from one year ago – #31: Hollow Victory Day Parade. Apart from the naughty snails who just do their own thing, the eagle-eyed, well in fact even the myopic, will spot two major differences, namely that the tanks are now T-55s and the presence of a chef as Putin’s right-hand man. Russia celebrates the victory against the Nazis on May 9 each year. These have always been grandiose affairs, as befitting dictatorships, with serried ranks of neatly starched soldiers and endless columns of military hardware grinding over the Red Square cobbles to cow the proletariat while engendering (if I’m allowed to use that word) militaristic fervour and scaring its enemies.

Last year was quite muted contrary to expectations. Their invasion of Ukraine had not gone according to plan. In fact, it was disastrous. In the two and a half months up to the Victory Day Parade, Russia had lost over 1000 tanks and 2500 APCs (armoured personnel carriers) and their military cupboard was looking a bit bare. That was why I portrayed the parading T-72 tanks as mere stage props trundling past.

Things have just got worse. They were humiliated first in the north east when their front collapsed and a few months later when they were ignominiously forced back across the Dnieper River in the Kherson region. In the 439 days of ‘special operations’, Russia has now suffered losses of more than 3600 tanks and 7000 APCs, most spectacularly blown to smithereens. Their war chest is looking decidedly bare by now and, first T-65s and more recently, T-55 tanks have been photographed being railroaded to the west. The latter was Russia’s first post WW II design and production terminated in 1958. Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel.

The other difference is Putin’s Chef, Yevgeny Prigozhin, restauranteur and oligarch, or is it oleaginous orc*. He wormed his way into the inner bowels of Putin’s cabal and created the Wagner Group which essentially is Putin’s private army. They operate beyond the law and are used externally to do Putin’s wet work. With his special operation going awry, Putin called on him to bolster his army. The head chef scraped the bottom of the barrel and recruited rapists and murderers from the Gulags who were promised freedom if they survived 6 months. Good odds they thought. With not enough time to train them properly and employing suicidal charges that made the Japanese banzai attacks in WW II seem quite reasonable, they were served up to the Ukrainians rare, very rare. The Ukrainians promptly returned them well done, if not crispy, with the message that they did not cut the mustard.

* The Ukrainians refer to the Russians as orcs. Orcs are humanoid monsters created by J. R. R. Tolkien.

A SMAC in the Face #52: Catch Me If You Can

Thabo Bester put the con into convict.  The convicted rapist and murderer, led a fantastic (using the original meaning related to fantasy) life until now.  While serving his life sentence at the Mangaung Correctional Centre, he managed to first ensnare the beautiful Dr Nandipha Magudumana and inveigle her into his conman lifestyle.  He then proceeded to create a fake persona, one Tom Mosepe, a fake business empire, 21st Century Media, and successfully run a massive scam from a zoom studio within the prison!  This starts to put the original ‘Catch Me If You Can’ protagonist in the shade.  He then went one step further.  He escaped without anyone knowing about it.

By bribing several prison officials and getting his beloved Nandi to do the grunt work, he managed to get a dead body burnt in his cell in the dead of night and slipped out unnoticed into something more comfortable on 3 May 2022.  I can just imagine the advert that Nandi would have placed in the Jobs section of Gumtree.

WANTED:  Body double wanted for a remake of The Crypt which is about the undead.  A once in a lifetime opportunity to make easy money.  No experience required.

CONTACT:  dr_strangelove@nandi.con

That was part un of the greatest South African pantomime ever.  Part duh is what the official organisations did about it.

The next 9½ months witnessed a bizarre dance between the DCS (Department of Correctional Services), G4S (the private security company who ran the prison, oops, correctional centre), the SAPS (South African Police), JICS (Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services) and the DoJ (Department of Justice).  All that was missing in the mendacious menagerie was the DOOS (Department of Officious and Odious Supernumeraries).

On 11 August, SAPS provided JICS with a copy of the autopsy stating that the body did not die in the fire and that it’s DNA did not match Bester’s.  Did SAPS open a case?  No! 

The buck passing by the five groups involved, and the failure by any party to admit that Bester was actually dining out with Nandi’s at home enjoying her hot sauce, is too Byzantine to relate.  Suffice to say, it took the investigative team of GroundUp to elicit routine denials when they published their first article on 8 November.  The official response was a profound insouciance (the antidote to Nandi’s hot sauce), if not outright denial.  This laissez affaire attitude continued with GroundUp grinding them down until 15 March 2023 when the DCS finally admitted that Bester was in the wind. 

The silly saga was not yet played out.  After Thabo and Nandi were captured in Tanzania, another three-letter acronym had the final say.  During the subsequent parliamentary inquiry, the DHA (Department of Home Affairs) revealed that far from being undead, Thabo was, in fact, unborn as they have no records of him!