October 09, 2001

Yo, I'm back.

It feels good to be home again. I could spend entire kilobytes regaling you with tales from South Africa, but you'd be bored. Basically, I did dayjob stuff--Africa didn't really enter into the picture, except as a place where the people I was doing dayjob stuff with happen to live.

Okay, okay... there was jet-lag, too, but that's no different from insomnia, and so it's like an old friend (who shows up at inconvenient times, and drinks the last of the milk AFTER you've changed clothes and don't want to go grocery shopping, but have to [unless you want the kids screaming at breakfast tomorrow morning.])

This was my 5th trip to South Africa. I've grown pretty attached to the place, but I wanted to know a bit more about the dramatic events they've dragged themselves through in the last sesquidecade. During a pass through a local bookstore, a title caught my eye, so I grabbed it. The Bang Bang Club, by Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva, is the gripping account of how four photojournalists captured images from the heart of South Africa's "hidden war," and how two of them did not survive it. There were pictures in there that shocked me. There was a tale in there that broke my heart. And after I read it I had some new heroes to look up to. It ain't an easy read, but it's worth it--especially in light of the troubled times we live in.

If you've had quite enough of media that details troubled times, and are looking for something lighter, go see Zoolander starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Sandra and I saw it Monday night, and I laughed out loud. It's the tale of male supermodel Derek Zoolander (Stiller), who has unknowingly been programmed as an assassin. Some of the humor was outrageous, some was deadpan, and some was subtle. Some folks will look at the movie and say "stupid." I say "genius." I also say "this is just what I needed."