Friday, April 30, 2010

Colour Me Unpatriotic

We as a people generally agree, Friday’s rock. Complain about Friday, never! Well that is until you read this. Friday in South Africa has now come to be known as “Football Friday.” Anyone who knows me will tell you that it’s quite obvious why this wouldn’t work for me, my aversion to football is well known. The world’s obsession with that sport, I will never get; I mean really, why should football… Wait, I’m getting sidetracked, back to “Football Friday.” On “Football Friday” (yes I will be placing it in inverted commas for this entire blog, that’s how much I dislike it) South Africans are extolled by politicians, celebrities and your average man on the street, to show their patriotism and wear the Bafana Bafana football jersey. Prior to Bafana Bafana’s win against Jamaica I would’ve put in a lovely little joke on supporting a losing team, but can’t do that anymore. Spoilsports.

The first issue I had when this whole “Football Friday” craziness started was how ugly football jerseys are. When I say ‘ugly,’ I’m not necessarily referring to their actual design, I mean, yes they do tend to fall to the, how can one put this kindly, garish side but if pushed I could forgive that. However, to quote the legendary Tim Gunn, “silhouette, proportion & fit are our friends and they will serve us well.” Citizens of South Africa, lovers of football, I’m sorry to inform you of this, but the football jersey does not fulfil any of these criteria. Don’t believe me, let’s take Tim’s sage words and break it down.

Silhouette: Now, I can’t presume to speak for anyone besides myself but I generally have an aversion to having the top half of my body look like a brick and that, my wayward countrymen is what you look like in your oh so yellow garb (yes yellow, don’t tell me it’s gold, because it’s not and that’s a fact). I may not have the world’s greatest physique but I’ve found that with the right clothes, I can look like I do, for just long enough to get them into bed, and after all that is what we all want at the end of the day isn’t it? And ladies, you all have such lovely lady lumps, in the right clothes, your shape, even I, gay as I am, am distracted by them. So on behalf of my breeder brothers; stop hiding them!

Proportion: With proportion, this again ties in with the silhouette element. With your top half looking like an ugly squat brick because you’ve decided to dress in what generally amounts to a square of fabric, what have you got left, the rest of your appendages awkwardly sticking out your now square torso. You end up looking like, and here I’ve laboured for a while trying to find the perfect simile but I can’t. You see the resulting image of your legs, head and arms sticking out of your square is so objectionable that not even I, with my near infinite well of sarcastic put-downs can come up with an appropriate one.

Fit: Now unless you have the physique of either of these two gentleman, I would imagine that your football shirt doesn’t look like that when you’re wearing it (yes technically only one has a jersey which is barely shown, but let's forget that for a while, just look and enjoy, then read on). This I’d have to say though is mainly not your fault. I’ve never looked at the sizing of these shirts (no way my hands are going to touch that) but it seems to me that these shirts start at a large (or a medium if you’re lucky enough to find the few that exist) and go upwards. The rest of the week you’re more than capable of wearing clothing that fits correctly, why, please explain to me why, in the name of this ridiculous craze, do you throw away all common-sense?

“Could it get any worse,” those are words I wish I had never uttered. When “Football Friday” came out, it was just the jerseys but like a fool I uttered those words and Murphy’s Law was fulfilled, because what happened? It got worse.

Enter stage left, The Diski Dance.

Now I like to think that I am pretty efficient with words, but trying to describe the loathsomeness that is the Diski Dance in words is the literary equivalent of a Herculean effort. In what can only be seen as a moment of prolonged insanity, Travel24 writer, Simon Williamson, a generally pretty cool guy extolled us to do the Diski in the name of patriotic pride.

There is one primary reason why you will never see me do the Diski and stems from a long held belief. In my youth, I lived through a particular period of time when the world was gripped by a lovely little ditty known as “The Macarena.” Now, not only was it a lovely song for 9yr old me to mumble along to (it was Spanish, a language I’m not too proficient in); no, as many of us will remember but pretend to forget, there was that a dance that went along, and boy could I Macarena. I Macarena-ed everywhere, school, at home, in shops, in the shower, wherever that song was played (even the Xhosa version, yes you read right, a Xhosa version) I Macarena-ed my little ass off. In fact my grandfather used to expect me to Macarena for him before any visit to him was done, and I Macarena-ed with pride to my Granddad’s mirth.

What has that got to do with the Diski Dance? Well the Diski & the Macarena are one in the same. They are offshoots of the family of dances that at the time seem like a great idea and fun to do, but you will rue the day someone pulls out those videos. A recent example that I wisely steered clear of was “Asereje” more commonly referred to as the Ketchup song. Whilst, these examples were songs, and the Diski is a dance, with no particular song to my knowledge, the underlying idea, self-embarrassment, accompanying the dances is one in the same.

Whilst tweeting about my aversion to the Diski Dance, a fellow tweeter, who’s in high school, Bernd Fischer, told me a story that has to rate right up there in high school nightmares. Apparently at his school, where I’m certain a cabal of sadists make up the administration, at the 100 days till the World Cup point, his entire school was called into the hall and instructed in the intricacies of the Diski Dance and then ordered to Diski. Now as per my recollection, high school was a time of tortured awkwardness and nervousness at embarrassing oneself as is. Add to that the thought of doing the Diski Dance, in broad-daylight, amongst your fellow students, I immediately started hyperventilating and required the restorative powers of a stiff gin & tonic.

So people in your oh so yellow squares of fabric you think of as shirts jigging away like you’re all experiencing a mass seizure I implore you, if not for me and those of us you visually molest every Friday, then for yourselves, remember, this is the World Cup. The world’s media will have its eyes trained on South Africa, those visuals of you in that ‘shirt,’ jerking away, will last forever. Some time in the future, those pictures and video of you in that wannabe-gold monstrosity will surface and you will rue the day you disregarded this warning. If that still then doesn’t dissuade you from this madness, then think of Bernd & his helpless schoolmates, forced to partake, against their will in this insanity.

Stop I plead!
Stop, if not for me, if not for you!
Stop for the children!


  1. oh baby the pic of Cannavaro... Yummy I can totally see your point... but some people loose their minds and do it in the name of "It's for the fun of it!"

  2. Funny man. But I must take issue.

    Firstly, the Diski Dance is just a happy Toyi-Toyi. The Toyi-Toyi has served South Africa well over the years. Don't knock it.

    OK, so I'm biased on the football ('cos I love it), but the spirit and the nation-building generated by the whole Football Friday thing has been a revelation. And I think that anything that can do that should be welcomed.

    Hey, Macarena! AYE!

  3. MP check out Bacini's on Kloof Street and let me know what you think hehe!

  4. I'm with 6000. Join us Mvelase!