The Gordin Codswallop Counter

Jeremy Gordin on the events that have sent his GCC into crackling overdrive

As you will all know, a Geiger counter is "a particle detector that measures ionizing radiation. It detects the emission of nuclear radiation - alpha particles, beta particles, or gamma rays - by the ionization produced in a low-pressure gas in a Geiger-Müller tube, which gives its name to the instrument."

A Gordin Codswallop Counter (GCC) is a special detector that was placed by aliens in my cerebellum just prior to my birth. It detects the presence of cant, balderdash, general hooey, bunkum, claptrap, insincerity, hypocrisy, horse manure, duplicity, and bull dust.

Since I went off the (Politicsweb) air in December, my GGC's been crackling wildly, like a giant, science fiction mosquito on steroids.

For example, there was, at the start of January I think, a bizarre attack on Stephen "Muldoon" or "mal hond" Mulholland, the former Financial Mail editor (inter alia), by hordes of rabid gay people who suddenly turned very un-gay; they were like the Huns coming across Asia under the command of Attila (or Brett?).

This was because Muldoon wrote a rather unexciting article in which he made the not very original suggestion that same-sex parenting was not the "norm" and that maybe the aforementioned parents might want to explain to their child or children that their situation was not, well, the norm.

Other than these rather unremarkable thoughts, Muldoon did his best to be polite and to think hard of ways - you could hear the mental gears grating - in which queers had contributed to civilization.

Why Muldoon involved himself in the field of homosexual debate, I do not begin to understand. In fact, I suspect - and I haven't spoken to Steve for about four or five years now - that there might even be a very human cry for help nestling somewhere in there i.e., maybe a close relative is "in" a gay relationship and he/she and his partner are considering having children ... and Steve is concerned; you follow my drift, yes?

But, holy-moly, the feygeles weren't having any of that. Sympathy for Muldoon? You got to be kidding. You might as well ask for sympathy for the devil. What a firestorm the poor ou ballie unleashed on his own head! Geez, he was attacked with such alacrity and anger, you'd have thought that some poor queen had been condemned to death in Saudi Arabia and Muldoon had been asked by King Abdullah to okay the decision.

Our own (i.e., Politicsweb's not Gay Pride's) Eusebius McKaiser gave us one of his special exercises in pilpul (casuistic hairsplitting) in which, as James Joyce might have said, "he proved by algebra that Hamlet's grandson is Shakespeare's grandfather and that he himself is the ghost of his own father," or, in this particular case, that Muldoon did not properly understand what "norm" means.

But never mind Eusebius, you should have heard Dr Eve, 702's resident sexologist. I have no idea who she really is or what her real degrees are. I have just looked her up and it says "Dr Eve holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality, Institute of Advanced Study in Human Sexuality, San Francisco, USA".

This is pretty cool; I myself used to run an institute of advanced study in human sexuality in San Francisco in the early 90s. There weren't too many other instructors and my campus was a bit cramped - one-roomer at the top of Green Street, North Beach - but I had a lot of fun. (No, I never came across her there.)

Anyway, Dr Eve was so furious - she had as much steam coming out of her ears as those Bangkok sex performers have smoke coming out of ... oh, never mind - she was so cross that she phoned into Eusebius's show on 702 and was almost speechless with anger.

Now here's the part you don't know: ever since I first heard Dr Eve's voice and philosophy (as much sex as you can manage, from every conceivable angle, as long as you condomize), I have been head over heels in love with her. Well, you can imagine how I felt when she announced, "As you know, Eusebius, I am a gay mother ... and ..."

At first I was so upset that I didn't want to accept the truth. I thought maybe she meant "gay mother" in the same sense that the Sunday Sun readers use the phrase "baby mama".  E.g., "I'm not married to her; she's just my baby mama". I.e., We're not married but she has borne my children. I thought maybe Dr Eve meant that she is the parent of a gay person. I was deflecting (as Dr Eve and Redi Tlhabi would say), you see; I just couldn't come to terms with the possibility that so gorgeous a person as Dr Eve - you can tell a lot from the voice, trust me (I used to repair watches) - could be gay.

So it was a time of disappointment for many us - Muldoon, Eusebius, Dr Eve, myself, that little law prof in Cape Town (Pierre de Vos, who also rabbitted on at Muldoon), and so on.

[The suggestion that Dr Eve may be gay is incorrect. By "gay mother" she meant the mother of a gay child. We apologise for the misunderstanding. - The Editor.]

There were even greater clouds of self-righteous smoke blowing into the atmosphere and straining my GCC over that unpleasant and skinny American cyclist ("Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look") called Lance Armstrong.

I have never cared for the creature much - nor for any people who peddle little plastic or rubber bangles - nor, for that matter, for that other painfully self-righteous creature, Oprah, who gives TV a bad name.

Though, having said all that, I have actually been re-impressed or doubly impressed with what Lance Armstrong achieved: because I must tell you that when I was on drugs, I couldn't even find my bloody bicycle, let alone win the Tour de France.

But, look, I'm carrying on here, which is my unfortunate wont, instead of focusing on the incident that actually blew up my Gordin Codswallop Counter. It demolished the machinke; it is no more. The dial crackled right out of the glass...

The cause? A 10 000 word essay - well, maybe less, it just feels like 10 000 words - written by Nazeem "Naaaaaz" Howa on the front page of that alleged newspaper, The New Age, that is given away free at hospitals, brothels, airports, and occasionally in your neighbourhood by friendly newspaper delivery men.

Now, I know Naaaaaz. He used to be a middlingly-competent journalist at Independent Newspapers when I was there. His gaze never quite met yours and he was given to various quaint lines of bullshit: "I have always fought for the rights of unions ..." [hint, hint: "I rocked and rolled with my china Moegsien Williams in THE STRUGGLE, when we single-handedly kicked the asses of those boere"] and various other choice pieces of codswallop.

He also always had a chip on both of his shoulders, each about the size of one of those blocks they used to build the pyramids. But hey, it's not for us to point fingers; maybe he had a tough childhood. Then he wheedled his way into the hearts (what hearts?) of the bamboozled Irishmen that Sir Tony O'Reilly sent out here to handle things in the colonies. I guess the CEO of Independent, Tony "Germiston Jerry" Coward, must also have liked him initially.

Then just to add to his allure, somewhere along the line someone sent him on one of those short MBA courses at Harvard, so that he could say things like "We need to think out of the box here ..." (which is exactly what I had been instructing my cat at home not to do).

And so he became COO (eee!) at Independent and, having called to Johannesburg his aforementioned china, Moegsien, the two of them , with the help (to be fair) of Tony Coward, proceeded to squeeze Independent Seffrica so that the Irish could collect more than their pound of flesh.

Naaaz then grew bored, or maybe he saw the proverbial writing on the wall, and he and Moegs have gone to work for the Guppy-Guptas.

I think that the Naaaaz's career at Independent was encapsulated by a news poster written by a senior journalist on the day he left Independent: "End of an Error."

Anyway, a City Press journalist called Loyiso Sidimba discovered last week that the bills for the business breakfasts hosted by The New Age - and broadcast on state-owned TV - were being footed by our biggest state-owned companies such as Transnet, Eskom, and of course the SABC.

Morning, dude. Morning, everyone. Who'd you think was paying? The Guppy-Guptas?

Now Naaaz and the fellows are very annoyed that all this has been revealed. And he has, as I say, written a long essay on the matter. He begins by saying that he is trying to sustain a "fiercely independent voice" at The New Age. Er, Naaaz, nothing fiercely independent at all about you guys. I think your newspaper is sycophantic and pusillanimous bumpf that's nowhere near worth its cover price.

Oh yeah, he also says he "defended to the death" transformation and diversification. What? Who do you think you are? Fikile Mbalula declaring war in New Zealand and London? Little Julie Malema in the cabbage patch?

Then Naaaz claims The New Age sells 50 000 copies a day. Ja, boetie, and I'm Robert Redford. Show me your audit, china, show me your audit. And of course your commercial revenues are up by 26 percent - which can't be too difficult given the sponsorships mentioned above. Similarly, if your daily sales are 7 500 copies a day, it shouldn't be too hard to grow those by 12 percent.

And so on and so forth. And my GCC is bust. By the way, if Naaaz were to reply in any way to this piece, he'd probably point out that I am now an employee of Media24 and am therefore protecting City Press. Nah, dude. Ferial et al don't need me to take care of them, I can assure you.

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