Trump. America’s Hitler.

September 23, 2016

Yet it seems like there’s no stopping this guy, when hipsters and entitled white dicks persist in fighting inevitable choices, and refuse to play the politics long game. I’m writing about this for my News24 column, called STOP IT, AMERICA!

So, a few of my favorite sign language Trumpisms, mostly related to his Hollywood star, since that’s in my hood. Gotta credit this link for the last two.


STFU. We wish.


Hasty swastika


My favorite. A wall. Not high enough.


I don’t know. This might work. Americans do love animals more than most people… except the ones they eat. What’s with that?!

911 15 years later, and I cried

September 12, 2016

What did watching a stage play telling the story of 911 in the voices of survivors and volunteers teach me? This: People are not numbers. People are not countries. Every life is special, every life is a story, and so every life should be treasured.


I’m sharing this because I believe my story – my perceptions of the event – have things to teach both Americans and people all over the world something about how to see it.

So, here goes.

When I first saw 911 go down on CNN, live on TV in my office at in Cape Town, South Africa (we were in Parow then) I didn’t get how it was going to change the world. If I’m honest, I didn’t get it was going to ruin the world.

There was something thrilling about it. Sort of like how I think the crazy 50% of Republican voters (and a few Bernie bros) feel about Trump: What could be worse than what we have now? Let’s shake it up man! David and Goliath!

Don’t trust that feeling. I shouldn’t have. I am shamed by it today.

No, thousands of people dying is not nothing, but it does happen, all the time, all over the world, and America often doesn’t care. So at the time, I didn’t understand why I should care, when it happened to them. After all, they still hadn’t apologized for killing millions of Japanese people, when they dropped atomic bombs on Japan to scare Russia. (Still haven’t).

Yes. People are not numbers. People are not countries. Every life is special, every life is a story, and so every life should be treasured.

Back to my story. I was South African then. I still am, but then, my identity was more firmly part of a world in which America was the asshole boss that you hated when they bossed you around, but smiled at when they bought you ice cream (or movies, mostly, in this example). America had not yet taken Nelson Mandela off the terrorist watchlist.

The point is, Americans themselves weren’t the enemy. I’ve always been a passionate liberal, which means negotiation, negotiation, marches, protests… and a few tantrums. But Americans weren’t special to me. Why should they be? American deaths weren’t (and still are not) more tragic to me than those of Rwandans, Afgans, Nigerians, South Americans, Syrians, or any other casualties over the years of the thirst for oil (or the lack thereof), or the economic colonialism disguised as patriotism, or the blundering of prideful wars, however well intentioned they may be to the brave veterans who fight them.

So 2000-odd Americans died, and I thought it was terrible, but I didn’t realise how terrible it was, because I didn’t realise what would happen as a result, and I didn’t realise how I’d feel about it now, 15 years later.

The first consequence I didn’t forsee was that afternoon was that Bush, in his megalomania, would ensure that thousands more Americans would follow, and that, more importantly, the entire middle east would be wracked with extremism in response to America’s gung ho vengeance.  I didn’t realise the terrible prejudice against Muslims that would alienate many in the middle, and put my own country on yet more watchlists. I didn’t realise that, for months and years afterwards, discussing the topic, or questioning the US war on terror, would be seem treasonable – or pro-terrorist.

That night, I was in a bar, and the owners were film carpenters who’d moved to Cape Town, and ran a cool scene in the winter off season (this is before they built the massive studios in Khayalitsha, so big and so state of the art, that US effects films do a lot of their offshore work there). They said: “Don’t joke about this. This will ruin the world you know. America will strike back 100 fold.” They were right. America got Dubya re-elected with blood money, literally.

I also didn’t know then that I’d be sitting in a theater one day, weeping, for the first time ever at a live theater event. I tend to avoid drama. Bad drama is not only depressing, but embarrassing and boring. That over the top theater thing just makes me want to giggle. But this wasn’t that. Aside from one performance, I believed every moment of the 110 Stories told by great actors like Robert Forster, Elizabeth Greer, Nicki Micheaux, Mark Pellegrino, Emilio Rivera, Stelio Savante, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Diane Venora, Michael Welch and Brian White (Mira Sorvina replaced Elizabeth Greer on Sunday). I wept more than once to the great work of playwright Sara Tuft, which never once mentioned Islam.

I was left with this, reminded that people are not numbers. People are not countries. Every life is special, every life is a story, and so every life should be treasured. It may be exhausting, but we have to care. The pain is worth it, because it helps us stand up against this kind of thing. I wish this kind of play was written about every tragedy, and required viewing for all high school history students.

And finally, I wish people wouldn’t even consider voting for Donald Trump, or for anyone who helps him come to power. That includes the Greens, or the Libertarians.

ISIS couldn’t have designed a weapon more dangerous to America than a man who makes everybody in the world hate its president – and trust me, we worse than hate him. We fear him. He’ll make America everybody’s enemy, because he’s said we’re all America’s foes, more times than I care to count.
screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-11-29-51-pmI went to New York a couple of times, and it’s an extraordinary city. That this place, the immigrant capital of America, the most welcoming place in the country in many ways, was the target, gave me a personal reason to be more appalled than I can tell you.

Info about these pictures of murals by Mr Brainwash, who the article calls a “wannabe Banksy”, like I care, you snobs, available here.



Self-Storage: A place to keep your crap

August 26, 2016

I used Self-Storage once, while between apartments, and had an odd, melancholic conversation with an uber driver on the way to pick something up out of it.

Self-storage is to private property what obesity is to great food in America – a serious problem. A kind of addiction. A greedy perversion of what should be a pleasure and a human right.


This inspired my latest News24 Column.

Recently, I was about to move in with someone, and realistically needed to ditch 90% of what I own. Plates, cups, furniture, duplicate soda stream machine, microwave, toaster… you get the picture. That’s okay. I thought it was. I’ve been forced to reduce, toss, get rid of and let go of things many, many times over the years, though I will confess to keeping an entire 500 LP and 600 CD record collection at my Ma’s house, and the record player and a few other boxes at my Dad’s. But aside from that, I’m willing to let go. Yet I thought, for a moment, about getting self-storage. You know, just in case his soda stream broke and we, you know… needed mine.

And then I realized how crazy that was. How sad. How utterly expensive. I realized this urge was all about the fear of change – that somehow my identity was – is – tied up in this mere stuff. And in disgust, I made a list of only what I wanted to keep. Everything else, anything I can’t remember, must go.

In the process of researching why I was having so much trouble doing this, using my favorite analyst, Google, I also found these entertaining advertisements, mostly from one New York company, Manhattan Mini Storage. New York city may be the only place where self-storage is justifiable, and these guys’ adverts are like an American version of SA’s Nando’s Chicken’s, which make fantastic use of opportunities to satirize politics in South Africa and Southern Africa.

Nando’s agencies do their jobs so well that their ads get banned, as they did for this takedown of Zimbabwean Dictator Robert Mugabe.

gay clutter

Gay marriage is just as annoying as straight marriage, as it turns out. It’s very hard to de-clutter a shared space. It begins to be about territory.





People don't know what they store. The reason it's in storage is it's of no use to them.

People don’t know what they store. The reason it’s in storage is it’s of no use to them.


New York political snobbery. Another billboard mocks "secret republicanism"

New York political snobbery. Another billboard mocks “secret republicanism”


I know people like this. My desk used to be pretty messy, when I had an office job. No longer.

I know people like this. My desk used to be pretty messy, when I had an office job. No longer.

Wait, what is this? This looks like something I need in my life right now. A service that comes and cleans up my future room mate’s junk, so that I can easily move 10% of what I now own into the space I’m sharing?

No such luck, baby. It’s just another storage place.

I saw a billboard for this in LA. I thought it was a decluttering service. Turns out it's physical "cloud" storage. They pick up your items, catalogue them and store them with other folks', and retrieve them when you ask them to.

Turns out it’s physical “cloud” storage. They pick up your items, catalogue them and store them with other folks’, and retrieve them when you ask them to.


Guns for Everyone?

June 17, 2016

After Orlando, I thought about it again, and I still think it’s a shitty idea. So I wrote about it.

twitter graph

Here’s my latest column for News24.

Bernie Sanders Fans Never Give Up.

May 18, 2016

Bernie Sanders fans are not giving up, not for any reason, not ever. If this president isn’t a socialist leaning one, the next one probably will be.

Nurses trust bernie

In Korean, in Koreatown, where a lot of people work as minimum wage nurses, and would like to earn more than $10 an hour.

bernie again grafitti

Replacing a pro-bernie poster I blogged about previously, this is still cannily located next to a homeless encampment on Glendale Blvd. A high traffic area.

It’s interesting that this Bernie or Bust thing is happening at the same time as revelations that the CIA told the Apartheid Government how to find Mandela, leading to his arrest.

Is socialism so much worse than apartheid – or worse than rampant capitalism? Apparently, many Americans want to try a different tack, and aren’t scared of McCarthyism anymore.

Here’s how idiots like me survive a breakup (hopefully)

April 20, 2016

When it comes to pulling the trigger, it’s always me who does that deed. The people I pick to love never do. This isn’t because they love me more than I love them. In fact, quite the opposite…

Still clinging to each other? The flowers died months ago.

Still clinging to each other? The flowers died months ago. It was great when you got them. Finally, everything you wanted. But…

Usually, I’m doing it because I wasn’t loved enough, or because the shame in their eyes over how they acted will never go away.

It works like this:
– They can live without me.

– They let me know they might prefer to.
– I let them go by “ending it”.

Then, I have to try to recover, which involves working myself up to adopting the irrational delusion that, despite the fact that no relationship has ever worked out for me, while all my friends my age (or younger) are married or have kids, I am not fated to die alone.

I know I’m kidding myself, and that I actually will die alone, this time. However, I am still putting one foot in front of the other on the long road to productive self-delusion. Currently, I’m slipping between Stage One and Stage Two (see below).

I’m writing this down to remind myself that stage three exists, and for the benefit of anyone who, somewhere in the future, may Google: “Nobody loves me, and nobody ever will, so should I just kill myself”, and finds this instead, in the hope that I might inspire them to wait a while and see if they feel better.

Post-Breakup Stage One – Shock (24-72 hours)
Characterized by: Numbness and automatic behavior.

 I feel nothing. Just very heavy. Like I just gained 30 pounds since I handed back his house keys and carried my bags to my car.


Truth on an old, wet mattress

I have been drinking all night and I am still not drunk. Except, you know, legally and medically speaking.

I can’t sleep and I am scared of my dreams, because he’s in all of them.

I can’t eat. I’m hungry, but why bother?

Puppies and kindness make me cry. Yeah, it’s just like PMS. Only worse.

24 hours feels like a week. I get the days mixed up. I can’t believe only yesterday, my whole life was different. How did this happen?





Stage Two – This is the worst. (2-6 Weeks)
Characterized by: Delusions (which feel real), obsessive thinking, imaginary conversations, fears, regrets, and that old classic: chronic self-pity. Reoccurs whenever ex gets engaged/married/babies.

Other people’s wedding photos, engagements, and kid pictures make me weep profusely.

By contrast, the people who photograph their cats and dogs don’t seem so pathetic anymore, ‘cause I know I’m so unlovable not even a rescue would like me, let alone live with me.

I keep thinking of things I want to tell him but now, I can’t.

I took this photo of someone's phone. I was on a date with them.

I took this photo of someone’s phone. I was on a date with them.

I need a hug. I need a hug from him. Nobody else’s hug will do. The person I most often turned to in times of distress is the one person who can’t comfort me now. It’s not fair. Cue: tears. I wonder how he is. I hope he’s okay.

Creepy men think I’m sexy. The fact that I’m close to tears seems make me irresistible to predatory types – like the local smack dealer, who relaxes in the 24hr Laundromat I use, between his forays to deliver to clients. True story!

He isn’t trying to get me back. What’s the bet he’s already dating?

I think about him all the time. I bet he doesn’t think about me all the time. I bet he’s already forgotten my birthday… if he ever knew it.

He’s badmouthing me. I know it, I just know it. He’s telling his family and friends all the worst things I did, all the things he’s “forgiven” me for. He’s not telling them anything he did wrong, I bet.

I’ll never see his mother / daughter / siblings again. I’ve lost a whole family. I should never have fucking met his family. I should have ended it as soon as I knew I would eventually be ripped away from them

Every photo in my automatically updated dropbox reminds me of him.

Every photo in my automatically updated dropbox reminds me of him.

He’ll tell his new younger girlfriend I sucked compared to her. He did that to me, about the women before me, so why would I differ, just because I defended them to him?

I see the juice he drank in a store and burst out crying. This is only the 15th time I’ve burst out crying because of him, since I woke up at 8.30am, and it’s just gone noon.

I’ll never get over this. I’m going to be this sad for the rest of my life. But I’ll stick it out until August or September, and it’s not better yet by then, I can kill myself without feeling like I didn’t try to get happy.

Maybe I should write to him and tell him all about how I feel, and how I really loved him. Not so I get him back, but just so he knows.

I only want to do new things. I can’t do old things because they all remind me of another life, so I need to change everything. EVERYTHING! Cue: tears.

Stage Three – Glimmers of hope. (About .5 seconds per glimmer)
Characterized by: Wild plans, impulse control issues, and occasionally casual sexual encounters. I haven’t reached this stage yet, and being convinced I never will, am relying on past experience and hearsay to portray it.

there are feelings

A poem by Nayyirah Waheed. She’s wonderful. I love her, but I feel like I’ve felt all this shit too many damn times before, now.

I want a tattoo!  But he hates it. Oh wait, I’m not with him! But I can’t afford it, and I can’t figure out where it could go where it won’t look ugly when I’m old, so I’ll clean my house.

I wanna cut my hair short and dye it blue!  Which I could do now, because it wouldn’t start a fight. But I can’t afford it, so I do my laundry.

I wanna get in my car and just drive: Which I could do now because I’m not dating him. But my car’s a wreck, and I don’t have a tent. So wash dishes and murder some roaches.

I am in a crappy mood: But who cares. I don’t have to pretend to be happy for his sake, all the time.

I have amazing friends: I appreciate them more because they helped me survive this thing, again.

Oh look, I lost 10 pounds. That’s cool. Maybe someone else will want to ruin my life and break my heart again soon! Yay!

But what I’m really waiting for is this

“OMG! I haven’t thought about him for half an hour.”

I’m nowhere near there yet.

But the secret is knowing that what I feel now is not what I’ll feel forever, although it sure as hell feels like forever right now.

To be continued…

PS: If you are an ex, or even the ex of the moment, reading this, and you think “OMG, that bitch, this is about me! And my penis looks tiny in that picture of the statue!”, you’re partly right, and partly wrong. Not all of it is about you, and not all of it isn’t. Don’t be a hater. All it is is proof that I still care about you, whichever one you are, in my own bitter, twisted – but never really vengeful – way. I don’t need your permission for that. And in truth, this article is all about me. It’s all in my head, and despite whatever you told you current girlfriend/wife, I do know that.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 3.50.49 PM.png

Angelinos of mercy

March 11, 2016

Today, a total stranger cared enough about me to help me survive Los Angeles for another month, when my car broke down, and needed to be resurrected from the dead.

A car breaking down in LA generates a weird feeling of being disenfranchised and helpless. It’s humbling in some good ways, because you learn how millions of Angelinos live, but it’s not the way anyone wants to stay. LA has all the variety and adventure of New York, but you need a car to experience it fully.


This car died. I wasn’t as lucky that day.

California without a car – specially if you’re trying to earn money as a filmmaker – is a series of waits for expensive buses, expensive uber rides, packed trains that don’t go where you need to, and often favors from friends. It’s four hours less in your day. It’s arriving sweaty and tired for meetings and work, if you get hired at all.

I’m still reeling from the generosity of a stranger, who essentially gave me $465 dollars, when he really didn’t have to. I wrote about it in my column. Yes, it all really happened.

1000la skyline

The city’s ripped back sky

smiley field

The highways that go everywhere. The smiley on the hill.

Dump Trump Toilet Trend

March 8, 2016

Saw this near a Mexican restaurant in Highland Park area. I find it weird, looking at his all-white rallies, that anyone would want an America like that. How boring. How un-American.
2016-03-05 12.40.40

It really does feel like a weird morality tale for Republicans. It’s like they went to a sorcerer and made a wish, or did a Faustian deal with Satan, and now they’re stuck with a result they didn’t anticipate.

Bernie for President

January 22, 2016

This is the second US Election I’ve been lucky enough to witness, and I’m excited to see if it is as ground-breaking as the last. I’m writing about it on, where you’ll be able to find my column here, as soon as it’s published.

What’s really impresses me about Bernie is how strongly his supporters seem to feel. I like that they would do something like make this sign. And before you dismiss it, I counted the cars driving by in a minute: 42. So let’s say there’s 18 hours of traffic past this point that’s at roughly the same rate, every day. That’s 45360 people who saw this guerrilla advertising  on every day it remains. And that’s not counting the fact that there’s more than one person in many vehicles, and it’s on the bus route.  Good job, hippies.


My only question, is regarding how he’ll stand on Africa if he gets the job. It feels like the US president is almost the president of the world, and I want to know if he’ll find a way to talk to someone like Zuma, or just give him the famous Bernie Side-eye.


This is “the Bern”

A New Beginning

January 14, 2016
2015-12-28 14.07.52.jpg

Fuck you, Santa, invention of the Coca-Cola company… And here’s why.

After everything that’s gone down – previous posts have more than enough detail for public life – I’m here in LA. I stayed. I found a place that I fell in love with, and a landlord that would trust a freelancer who hadn’t worked for a month, and just enough work to pay my rent, while I write, and dream, and pray that my space in this place opens up, soon.

dawn at my house

Nothing can describe the feeling of having a home again, after two months of depending on the kindness of my boyfriend (who thought he was shot of me) and my friends. I woke up at dawn to an unfamiliar sound on one of my first nights here, feeling full of gratitude and snapped this before I cuddled back up again to sleep more.

At first, it was bliss. And then there was Christmas. Like a monster from hell.


I thought I might never see these trees lit up in Koreatown again. But here they are. I survived another year in LA.

With Christmas came the agonizing sensation that I was supposed to be somewhere else. Something about holidays makes you long for unconditional love, and nothing else is enough, and so I missed my mother, and the plans we had for long swims in Cape Town’s cold, sharky, gorgeous seas, and the chance to see my friends’ new babies and growing children before it was too late, and everybody forgot about me.

I also began to hate my female form, and all the limitations it imposes. As my ex got remarried and began posting honeymoon and wedding photos on facebook for our former mutual friends to “like”, I drowned in self pity, imagining how, next, he would have the babies he took from me, with his new, younger, fertile bride. I would never have a family. I would be alone in this world, without that love, after my mother and father were dead.

The bitterness and neediness engulfed me.


I was sure the answer to this question was “nothing”. I heard on the radio about how old Chinese people who have no families just starve to death. I thought, that’ll be me. I’ll be digging in the trash when I’m 75…


But then I survived Christmas, and New Year came and went, and finally, men from the government began to take down the signs and symbols of my social failure. The bells of joy began ringing again as everybody went back to work.

So, eventually, the holidays ended, and with it, my gloom lifted. Now, I work, and I feel like I’m whole again. I no longer lack what everybody else has. The doors of marriage and kids slamming in my face may be limitations, but they allow me to focus on my art, my writing, and on a last-minute future that means that even if I am left rotting somewhere when I’m 70, tens, hundreds and thousands and maybe even millions of people will have read, watched, or cried over a story I wrote or directed. At least, that’s my dream.

So, what do I mean, in this world? I don’t quite know.

Sure, what we really, really want to mean, is love. Unconditional love. Only this gives our lives meaning, really, and money and fame can’t compensate. We want love, love that would overcome its fears to claim or save us. But if that never comes my way, success of some other kind will have to get me through the night.

And it will get me through the night. So go ahead. Boast of your joy. Post all the engagements, wedding photos, baby pics, back to school pics and relationship status updates you like. One day, when you’re sitting opening Christmas gifts with your grandchildren, I’ll be alone in a hotel room, somewhere far, far away, answering fan mail and weeping with self pity.

But that will only last until about Jan 5th, and then I’ll be fine again.