Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: twitter (Page 1 of 2)

Opening A Can of Beans – Considering Veganism

img_5647-2I have wanted to become a vegan for many years but haven’t been able to bring myself to the point of actually doing it. It has mostly been about laziness; I kept on imagining that it would take considerable effort, and time and work. I have been a pescetarian/vegetarian for most of my adult life, and then, when I went on the Dukan diet I had to eat protein, so I ate fish, eggs and cheese a lot. In the back (and slowly moving to the middle) of my mind was the knowledge that vegan was really what I wanted to be.

I decided that becoming a vegan was going to be a new year’s resolution, and so I have been gradually preparing for it. I have been buying some stuff to have in the cupboard, I have made the switch to milk alternative in my coffee (delicious) and I have been reading ingredients labels with dedication (and fury; who knew that had egg in it?). I have also been listening, deeply, to Big friendly’s concerns. Becoming a vegan when you are married to a food fussy omnivore is problematic and challenging.

I have a few concerns about my lazy nature, my propensity for weight gain, and my tendency to overindulge. I could become a bread ball in a matter of weeks. But I am going to try and be as conscious and committed as I can. It most definitely looks like Cape Town is perfect vegan country, with restaurants, shops and even delis dedicated to providing for the fast growing vegan community, so there won’t be any stress there.

Where there is stress is on Twitter. Wow. In preparation for my transition I have read a lot on the internet; checked out recipes, blogs, science, pseudoscience, and deeply personal tips from vegans worldwide. I also decided to follow some vegan related people/things on Twitter. Bad idea. I got a DM from someone demanding I stop the killing NOW! I replied that that was why I was starting my journey, and promptly unfollowed them. Somebody else screamed at somebody else that dairy-free was NOT vegan and they need a disclaimer in their one line bio. And then there were the links that led to nothing but clickbait and ads. So, being a #twittervegan is not going to work for me.

I am going to have to tread carefully. A friend told me about how his sister who is a vegan gets abused and challenged by flesh eaters every day. Why? Shouldn’t it be the other way around actually? But, that is not who or what I want to become. I have already done that with smoking. Over half a lifetime of smoking and then 14 years of having quit made me into one of those rabid anti-smokers for a while, and it was hard work. Nah, I am too, too lazy for that.

But. I am going to need help. And suggestions. And great ideas. And encouragement. So if you have any or all of those, I am open, like a vegan recipe book.

 

 

Cape Town is Racist

I followed the #CapeTownIsRacist hooha on twitter. I watched it with the usual dismay. Nothing like a sweeping statement to draw the lines between, around and through the general masses and get tail feathers ruffled. And then it got personal, and people started name calling, and dredging up articles that proved their point and rallied to make sure #CapeTownIsAmazing became the toppest trend.

And, I have to say, I got so completely sad; particularly from the most common white response, which was the usual absolute denial and defensiveness. “Cape Town is Not Racist! Eva!” “Not us! You!” “How dare you generalise?” And more, and worse.

This got me thinking. Why would anyone say Cape Town is racist if it wasn’t? What would be the point of that? Surely, it is safe to assume that if someone said it, that was what they felt. And how could any single white Capetonian get all high and mighty and declare it ain’t so? How the hell would they know? Now I am not claiming that it is or isn’t true. I just think that the decent thing to do would be to shut up and listen, take notice and care deeply that a black person would feel that. Then, I would try my hardest not to try and convince the world on twitter that it wasn’t true, but to understand, care and change things. It is our problem, whether it is a perception or an action. And shouting about it being not true doesn’t make it so. I am deeply afraid that the defensive bleating might end up proving the opposite; since that’s what it sounds like. It sounds racist to me.

There is a better way of making friends and influencing people, white Capetonians. Know yourself.

Ironic?

Putting the fest to bed

I wanted to write a general post with little bits and pieces, stories and skinner, before I forgot them and got straight back into real life.

I loved being at the fest this year. It was my first time ever that I went as an observer/writer/blogger, as opposed to performer or director, and the shift in stress levels was remarkable! My only wistfulness was that I had to drink all the wine at Bushman’s where I was staying, instead of in G’town, because I couldn’t drive drunk! I am also fired up about bringing work to the fest next year, which is a good sign.

Reasons (other than good shows) I loved the festival this year: I loved Garvey’s coffee at The Monument. I drove the 60 odd k’s in the morning for a macchiato in a real cup. More expensive than most of the meals I ate, but completely spectacular. I brought a bag of his coffee back for Big Friendly. I loved The Art Lounge and the cutey Argentinian boys who made great masala chai, gluwein, veg pies. It was bladdy cold hanging out there, but it was delicious. I loved Fusion (I think) at Cape Town Edge. Mark remembers everyone, and he makes us feel special. It’s also the best food, and jauling, at the fest. I loved being invited to perform at improv comedy at Cape Town Edge, as a fundraiser. I loved hanging with my little sisters and shooting the breeze, slagging off bad shows. Fiona (Shorty’s daughter) du Plooy and Candice (oh my word) D’Arcy are fantastic fest friends. I loved disagreeing with Simon Cooper about virtually every show we saw. I loved evening replays of some of the funny moments with Helen, Mike R, Anthony and Simon. I loved getting hopelessly lost and having Simon and Mike give up the best parking place to find me. I loved weeing with laughter at The Spur with Ntombi, Thembani and Connie. I loved banging into Strato, a Gtown local and friend, and catching up. I loved my chats to Toby and her sister about everything they had seen, and getting feedback on stuff I recommended. I loved Jon Keevy but didn’t see him enough. I loved free wi-fi at The Monument and at The Spur. I loved writing and posting reviews. I loved my media badge and bag, and all the comps I got, and the fantastic Cilnette in the media office. I loved being media (thanks Steve) and having more than my own blog to share my loud and opinionated voice with.

I hated the cold. I hated missing shows completely because of no electricity. I hated those moments where I realised I wasn’t going to see everything I was asked to see, and I saw the look I obviously gave every year to everyone, right back at me. I promise I’ll never do it again. I hated being so far away and leaving the passing of precious Bayla in the hands of Big Friendly. I hated that I was traveling home on my godson’s birthday! I hated that one or two rubbish shows got ‘ovations’ and accolades. I hated some CUE reviews. I hated what happened to the posters in the rain. I hated being manipulated into giving parking money by everyone who saw me leaving a parking spot even though I had found it all by myself.

I loved facebook and twitter and BBM for hooking me up, keeping me in touch and allowing me the occasional vent. It was a good one.

Multitasking

My boet always complains that his wife and his sister are the only two women in the world who can’t multitask. I can’t speak for my gorgeous, talented and amazing sister-in-law, but it really is true for me. I need to do things one at a time. I can’t even be on my laptop (or phone) in a random way and have a conversation with Big Friendly. It makes him mental. I can be mid-sentence and my phone (or the stove, or the door, or the TV) will ping, and instantly I will be distracted and lose my train of thought. I even find it hard to work on different projects at the same time. One seems to occupy all the ‘project’ space in my brain, and I struggle to keep thoughts of the other stuff on board. It’s as if they get squeezed and jostled by the big fat dominant one on duty at the time.

Also, I have been struggling with flu this week and weekend and it has meant that work wise I have been forced to do the minimum required before dragging myself back to bed. This has also meant that my writing, making little videos and all the other bits and pieces I do have lapsed a bit. So I have been on facebook and twitter, a lot. Are they not the most arbitrary, fun and useless time wasters?

One of the most amazing things about now time is how rehearsals have changed. Four out of five of my cast have Blackberrys, and whenever they are off-stage they are BBM’ing, tweeting, or facebook messaging; sometimes even to me, sitting right there in the rehearsal room. We watch videos on youtube, share jokes that are flying through the ethernet,  pass on download info and even google stuff to just make sure.

But for me it is hard. I need to to one thing, or the other. So if I get sucked in to a message on my phone I get spat out of what ever else it is I should be doing, like watching my rehearsal, or following the text. It’s almost as if I leave an energetic black hole where I was, and then have to come back to it, but time is lost. It feels like all of present tense is changing, and we are all less ‘in’ the actual moment. Well, I certainly am. I am going to have to factor in phone down time. Tomorrow.

What’s in My Bad Mood?

I have woken up with a rage hangover this morning. I am still fuming about my night last night and I am not really sure where to even begin.

Let’s go with why I was motivated to start meganshead in the first place. I wanted to warn Capetonians about bad theatre (and cheer them on to see good stuff, it must be said). Now this one is particularly hard for me because of how I feel about The Kalk Bay Theatre. It is categorically my favourite theatre in Cape Town. It is independent, beautiful, brilliantly managed. It is where I love to see theatre and make theatre. I want the theatre to do brilliantly.

But now I need to say what I feel about the first half of the show that opened there last night, “What’s In a Name?”. And here is a warning; if you loved it, do not read further, because I am going to be saying some very harsh stuff.

Right up front, I was absolutely relieved to discover that there were two halves. This meant I could leave at interval without making a spectacle of myself. Everything I say will only be about the first hellish forty or so minutes, but I swear it is enough.

What’s In a Name is trying to be a cabaret(?) performed by Delray Burns and Roland Perold and directed by Garth Tavares, and apparently choreographed(?) by Delray. What it actually is is a completely random collection of ‘trying to be funny’ songs that have nothing to do with anything, including the meaningless title of the show. What it is trying to be is a showcase for two young performers (like a live showreel to offer what they can do), but what it becomes is a beyond irritating, badly sung, horribly characterised, cartoon version of itself. Hell on an audience, not in the least funny, and so badly done I was squirming in my love seat in the back row. Fifty Delray costume changes later (a light up bra being the only highlight, ‘scuse the pun), a hideous “lights up” audience participation section where I could not hide my disgust in the dark, a complete mafferation of two songs I usually think are quite clever, Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady and Coward’s Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage Mrs Worthington, and other tragic, inconsequential, murderously bad versions of other stuff (including Snoopy I think!), meant I had to escape.

I feel I need to explain here. I concede that there is often stuff that is “not my cup of tea”. I don’t get big, mainstream musicals. Yet, I can totally appreciate them (and have even loved one or two) when they are well done. It is true that a collection of random show tunes is not that cup of tea that I would choose to drink, but I am entirely capable of drinking it, and enjoying it, if it is just warm, sweet and well made. “What’s In a Name?” is not that cup.

I am going to lose friends here. Brand new followers of meganshead on twitter are going to be upset. Friends of the performers in the audience last night were “loving” the show, and even tweeted me about it. I am going to be branded a bitch. I am going to set myself up for the harshest criticism of my own work. I wrestled with whether I was going to do this at all. But when I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning and saw what a friend had inboxed me on facebook, and realised she felt the same, I felt I had to speak out. Sies. What’s In a Name? In this case, absolutely zero, zip, niks.

Then, on my drive home (just to put salt in my wounds) I happened to flick the radio on to 567. The minute I realised it was Kieno Kammies I should have switched to 5fm for some retarded pop, but I was negotiating Boyes Drive and didn’t change in time. The moron was introducing what was going to be his late night topic; a ‘scientific’ study where caged monkeys are going to be fattened up so said scientists can study obesity. Kieno thought this was a great idea because, and I quote, “have you seen the fat kids rolling around the lawns?”. I. Kid. You. Not. Kieno Kammies thinks that caging and force feeding monkeys (natural omnivores quite capable of maintaining their own healthy weight) and fattening them up is going to help us understand why children are obese. Maybe Kieno, they are obese because they are caged, overfed (usually with unhealthy processed crap that monkeys would never eat) by their parents, bored and under-exercised? I actually could not listen to him for one second more. I had fantasies of finding images of his own children, hoping they were as fat as houses, and then using them in my own experiments. The drive home from KBT is long when you are having these murderous thoughts while listening to Rehane singing …”sticks and stones will hurt my bones, but whips and chains excite me” as if she wrote those lines herself! Bah. Humbug.

 

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