About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

30 November 2005

Foreign Aids

For a well known comedian, Jameson Hall was surprisingly quite empty for Pieter Dirk-Uys' free show. But for those of us that did go, it was a great show, although the show did have a message - not about abstinence from sex, not about AIDS or HIV but more about overcoming fear and talking about sex. The show was not strictly the show he takes around to schools and such; but rather a show about the show (metashow?) and he covered a wide range of subjects - from condoms (why its better to buy than to get freebies), Thabo Mbeki, PW Botha and talking about sex. He likened the battle against AIDS like the battle against Apartheid, handled badly by politicians, filled with rumors and misinformation and very little support for the people who are doing their very best.

Fighting AIDS is more than a ribbon. It will take more than reading statistics once a year. Ultimately, fighting AIDS requires education and support of both those who have AIDS (so that they can continue living and enjoying life) and those who don't (so that they do not get it in the first place). And while South Africa has placed lot of emphasis on the later, statistics and the harsh reality is that it does not seem to be working. What I find interesting is that the same tactics are used elsewhere in the world - Metro stations in DC proclaim "if there are 5 people on the platform, one person could have HIV"; similar messages in London while India has some rather interesting ads aimed at dissuading adultery. But it is the very statistics in India and the self proclaimed ones in DC that suggest that the messages aren't really working.

And as Pierter Dirk-Uys' commented - its not only about the message but about the practice. If condoms are inconvenient - because they are of the wrong colour, size or just takes to long to extract from the packaging - they won't be used. And while we seem to have perfected the message, acting on the message is far from perfection.

29 November 2005

Old People, Anti-Terrorism Police and Obs Fest

There shouldn't be any connection between the three topics in the title, but there could always be an old man (or woman) who is suspected as a terrorist hiding out at Obs Fest. Obs Fest (the sixth one I think) is this Saturday and involves a lot of good, free live music, a street fair, lot of hippies and a generally good time. I enjoyed it a lot last year, and am looking forward to it this year - anyone keen on joining me? Its on Saturday 3 Dec, the bands start about 3pm and continue to at least midnight! On the note of live events, Pieter-Dirk Uys will give a free performance on Jammie Steps tomorrow!

has recently moved most of the student services in lower campus (like student health, SHARP and Citiwise driving school) from Protem to a site next to University House and opposite the land affairs department. Apparently, Protem will be the site of a new junior girls res. The new site used to be an old age home which raises the rather obvious question (IMO) - what happened to the old people? Surely they haven't all passed on ....

In an earlier post, I talked about being questioned by the anti-terrorist cops in London. As I stated earlier, I found the situation quite amusing but it seems that the new anti-terrorism laws are no laughing matter. Bruce Schneier talks about the use of the terrorism laws to stiffle free speech, while there have also been incidents where these laws have been used to stop from people taking photos on roads or walking on bicycle paths! What has the world come to?