GREY MUTTER: The other day I was on the phone with someone, and less than two minutes into the call, the sweat was trickling from the crook of my bent elbow. At the time I was wearing the highest SPF sunblock I know … I was indoors!
A FRIEND confided in me the other day, saying that he’s considering being a nicer person, because if hell is anywhere as hot as Kimberley has been of late, he’d rather go to the other place. He wouldn’t want to drift into hell.
I must admit, I have also been struggling with the heat. The other day I was on the phone with someone, and less than two minutes into the call, the sweat was trickling from the crook of my bent elbow. At the time I was wearing the highest SPF sunblock I know … I was indoors!
The high temperature became an even bigger menace recently when, after a long, hot, daytime trip from Pretoria to Kimberley in the sweltering summer heat – using my car’s air-conditioner sparingly to conserve fuel – I got home feeling icky, damp and sticky.
A cold shower was definitely on the cards. Except that it turned out that on that particular day that I had driven to Kimberley and I had forgotten that in this city water in the taps is an optional luxury of late.
I had to ‘degrease’ myself with moistened cleansing wipes that evening. And, in case you’re wondering, YES, I went to bed grumpy that night.
Days later, a friend sent me a five-minute video clip of a young lady, formerly from Kimberley, who was complaining about the exact same thing. DJ Stacey didn’t pull her punches, asking how do Kimberlites reconcile paying for water and only having access to water for, sometimes, only three hours a day?
As she spoke, I was wondering what the municipality would threaten residents with if they stopped paying for services … cut off their water perhaps?
Anyway, if you have not seen the video clip yet, then you are a real social media recluse.
As I watched, I found myself nodding and agreeing with the opinions and suggestions she was making, even while reminding myself that – no matter how eloquent and sharp DJ Stacey is – at the end of the day, these were only her opinions based on her observations. I make that seemingly spiteful remark because it seems that these days people are finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between fact and opinion.
Just last week, I was listening to a lecture where the presenter – a psychiatrist by profession – mentioned a rather alarming statistic. He said, “I recently read about a global study of 15-year-olds that tested their reading comprehension and found that 91 percent of them could not tell the difference between fact and opinion”.
I was stunned. This was a global study, not just South Africa, not just third world countries … global! What’s happened to independent thought? Has it gone up in smoke? And I mean that literally …
These days that old devil the hookah or hubble-bubble has become very popular with the youth. It’s rare to see a group of youngsters sitting together who are not connected by a common hose.
So why would youth vaping be a problem in this regard?
Simply because both vaping and hookah involve the inhalation of nicotine, a highly addictive substance, and exposure to nicotine during adolescence can have detrimental effects on brain development.
Now here’s the thing … Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. What this means is that the more our youth vape, the harder it will be for them to stop, and the harder it will be for someone to reason with them about its dangers.
After all, the popular slogan going around these days is: “If it feels good, by all means, do it!” Why are our authorities not clamping down on this practice?
Oh, by the way, DJ Stacey made mention of this fact too. In her ‘opinion’ the longer the children sit around inhaling all these interesting smouldering weeds and vapours, the deeper it gets into them and the harder it will be to break out of that cycle.
But, as I said, that’s just her opinion.
I guess we don’t have to do anything about it. I mean, after all, an uneducated, mentally stunted, compliant crop of potential voters – who can be swayed by popular rhetoric and vague oratories will suit well those who are failing miserably at providing basic, basic services to communities throughout this disintegrating nation.
But remember, parents are primarily responsible for raising their children and teaching them about health, wellness and social responsibility, not the government.
The problem is, if we are able but we don’t do something to stop the rot; don’t actually do what we can to improve things in our little corner, then I fear that we will not have been very nice people, and we should get used to the extreme heat we’ve been experiencing … if you get my drift.