THE CHARLES JOHN INTERVIEW.

    When starting a blog about pop culture, it only makes sense to start by interviewing my friends that have a direct influence on my life. Also, it is a good idea to start with artists who are destined for stardom, thus making all of you famous simply by association.

Charles John has his creative fingers directly on the pulse of Cape Town culture. He is a 3rd year Art Direction student at the Red & Yellow School in Cape Town. He lives in Athlone.

I hope you enjoy what he has to say:

Aweh.

  •  Whatsup man.

 Hoe lyk it?

  •  Dit lyk lekker.

Charles John, what is your power animal?

  •  My power animal! Hahaha! That is a very easy question actually. My power animal is very defined. It is definitely a white dragon with golden armour over its head and partly on it’s back legs, but as it needs more armour it makes more armour.

 What’s your favourite petrol station?

  •  Hahahahahaha. This is probably the best question so far.

Well it’s only the second question.

  •  Yes Ok, well my favourite petrol station is ironically the same petrol station that I always punt, which is … Shell. This is because … yoh, it’s weird because it’s the same reason people kind of use microwaves, smoke cigarettes. You know that it’s bad but the convenience of it, or the lack of other options drives you to use something that you know you shouldn’t be taking part in. I’m basically a whore.

 Do you sleep, Charles John?

  •  I sleep all the time. I’m sleeping right now. I’ve perfected the art of sleep talking. And most people think I’m awake when in actual fact I’m sleeping. Ya, I have advanced technology in these glasses – it makes it look like my eyes are moving, when infact they’re not. They are a recording of my eyes open.

 How many hours of sleep do you require, and why?

  •  24 hours of sleep, because I’m a 25 hour man.

 What is your take on faux fur coats?

  •  They are beast man, or non-beast you know, because they’re not from a beast. But I think that they’re cool. I like fake shit in general. Fake shit, fake people. You know, as long as you know you’re fake then I’m cool. As long as you’re not pretending to be something else.

 Would you consider yourself a fine artist? A graphic artist? A futurist?  What the hell are you man, what are you?

  • I’ve been struggling with this question for a long time. Definitely not a fine artist. And personally I just like to refer to myself as a creative. Definitely not a futurist, I don’t think anyone’s a futurist.  People like to create these things, you know, these words, but as soon as that day comes you’ve defeated the purpose in whatever the heck you were talking about to begin with. You’re living in the present so you cannot then qualify yourself as a futurist. But ya, I’m a creative.

 What will the world look like in 10 years time?

  •  Like it does now, but with more people…and stuff. That’s my prediction. I predict that. I stand for it. I guarantee it. The world will still be round.

What do you mean? Not triangular?

  •  A round world. I’m guaranteeing a round world.

What needs to be exposed in Cape Town? Anything that you feel is not getting the attention it deserves?

  •  The hipsters are largely overrated in Cape Town, and it’s come to a point that anything that is outside of what we consider normality is automatically hipster-is. It’s such a mundane blanket word. It’s actually a hateful word. I think that calling someone a hipster when they’re not a hipster is a hate crime, you know, it’s like calling me a hotnot. That’s what it’s like. That’s how I feel. I’m more offended when someone calls me a hipster than when someone calls me a hot not.
  • And yeah, what needs to be exposed: Yoh. There’s so much under this culture, like colored people in general, you know, like the way that we speak. The way we walk, the way we communicate, the way that we talk to each other with our eyes. Black culture; the hood. The way black men from the hood wear their skinny jeans in comparison to the way white men from Constantia wear their skinny jeans: it’s completely different. I’m talking about don’t touch my ankles swag, you know. And I’m talking about the kind of swag when you’re owning it. It’s not like: Haha his pants are too short, it’s like: That shit is dope.

 What do you think about advertising and the future of advertising?

  •  Advertising? This is the hardest question. Advertising? I think … I’m actually writing a blog about it right now. I see it going completely online. And advertising right now I’d say…is in its prime. Probably everyone that was in their time likes to think that whatever’s going on is in its prime.
  • I’m very afraid that advertising might implode in on itself, you know, because digital in itself is so simple, so easy for everyone to do. If everyone decides they wanna be a freelance advertiser, you know, we’ll end up with so much spam and that spam will equal advertising in the minds of the audience. Then how do you defer your advertising from spam? Are people just going to neglect advertising on a whole because it’s just this influx of shit? And that’s kind of what I’m seeing: that advertising will collapse in on itself.
  • I’m wondering now, based on your question, how will advertising separate itself from the virtual spam of the future?

And what is your take on the Cape Town street art scene?

  •  What street art scene? Are you talking about the government painting all the white shit over the graffiti? Yoh! That is the Cape Town street art scene! The Cape Town street art scene is government blocks of white paint, which I don’t respect. In that respect, I have no respect for Cape Town street art because it’s all white blocks from the government. Because they decided that they wanted to get rid of gang graffiti, but in their bylaw they qualify anything as gang graffiti that is not the original number of the building or the original colour of the building. So everything that is on a building, on a wall, even if it’s not gang graffiti, they’ll remove. That has become street art today in Cape Town. It’s bullshit.

 What do you think pop culture actually is?

  • Yoh! Pop culture?! Pop culture is literally… I would define it as whatever is tweaking mass medias’ nipples, you know, that’s what pop culture is. That’s what Andy Warhol was. Pop culture is what makes the media, the commercial media be like: What the fuck? Some of the stuff is timeless, but pop culture in of itself is questionable, and impressionable and malleable within itself. It doesn’t take itself so seriously, but it pretends to take itself seriously in its “non-seriousness”. It’s such an abnormality. It’s weird; I think it’s whatever’s tweaking contemporary medias nipples.

 People say Cape Town is cliquey, do you think so?

  •  Clicky, as in isi-Xhosa, you mean?

No cliquey as in you hang out with your clique.

  •  Yes and no. Yes in the sense that obviously people hang out in cliques, but no in the sense that you can’t really call it cliquey because it’s the nature of human kind to surround ourselves with people similar to ourselves. It’s the process of natural selection. We stay in herds, we need to be around people that in case danger arises that we’re around people that we’re safe with, you know, you don’t want to be around people and 90% of those people run away from their comfort zone, and leave you stranded. So, being in a clique is negative in a social way, but in a human way it’s the most natural thing.

 What’s the best spot to chow in Cape Town?

  •  At the moment I’m into Rafiki’s on a Monday evening man, and booze ball. Ya.

 Are you going to the Lady Gaga concert?

  •  Fuck no.
Charles John has his own blog:
You can also follow him on twitter: @thecharlesjohn

 

 

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THIS IS WHY I SHMAAK COLORED PEOPLE.

 

I shmaak coloreds because I shmaak the way they are. I shmaak the way they talk. I shmaak the way they interact with each other.

When I’m sitting in a taxi, or I’m just hanging and I see a group of colored friends shooting the breeze with each other they seem so much more in synch than white people. They seem to get each other.

They’re street smart, white people are book smart (19% of the time.) Street smarts count for a lot more in my eyes, because that’s where it’s all happening. Life isn’t happening in a textbook. Nobody gives a shit about your opinion.

I also shmaak coloreds because they fokken know how to have a good time. They don’t have pretenses when it comes to kapping a jol. White people are fucking cliquey, they think too much when they party. Coloreds get to the point, they don’t waste time.

I shmaak coloreds because they know a lot about cars, and I don’t, so when the shit hits the fan, technically speaking, I can call on one of my colored chommies and he’ll sort me out. If there’s a problem with the gearbox, I call on my colored bra. When my GTI breaks down I don’t phone the AA, I phone my CA (Colored Allie). You see, white people get ripped off all the time, simply because they don’t have enough colored friends. White people in Cape Town take their cars to be serviced by other white people who think they know what they’re doing when in fact they know very little.

The reason why colored people know so much about cars is because they’re not afraid to take them apart and put them back together again. White people read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; colored people don’t need to because colored people are fucking Zen masters.

Just take a look at the underground racing scene in Cape Town: Who turns a 1.3i Toyota Conquest into a machine that eats up BMW’s? Coloreds.

The reason why Colored men are Zen masters is because when something breaks, they fix it. It’s as simple as that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Guilt. (PART 1)

Vintage Black Label.

I love catching taxis in Cape Town, especially taxis from Fish Hoek to Ocean View. I am usually the only whitie on the taxi. When I get to the traffic lights at the entrance to Ocean View I need to yell to the driver over the bass sound system to drop me there. My voice quivers. My voice quivers because I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed because I suffer from white guilt. I suffer from white guilt because I don’t live in Ocean View, I live in Kommetjie. Taxis don’t ride to Kommetjie.

 “White guilt is what white people feel when they feel like they’re being judged by a colored, because white people have had an easier ride.“

 My generation of whites was not directly involved in the up hauling of the colored community, but we inherited the shame from our parents. We soaked it up.

Now we drink Black Label. White kids in Cape Town love Black Label. It makes us feel less white. We try to forget. But we don’t.

And now we also project our white guilt onto colored people, not only blacks – this is a bad idea, because all we’re doing is perpetuating the cycle. The job of our generation is to break down the barriers that keep us separate.

Sometimes, when I’m on the taxi, I catch myself projecting white guilt. This is inconsiderate because it means that I am judging, I am keeping myself separate. I am not seeing that skin colour is only an illusion. It is this illusion that keeps us separate. It is this illusion that I am breaking down within me, one taxi ride at a time.

Isaac Mutant – The real underground.

Isaac Mutant (The guy on the left). – Photo by Paul ward

I came across this cat by the name of Isaac Mutant. He was and still is a major influence on Die Antwoord.

He was interviewed on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 by Rob Cokcroft. This is a portion of what he had to say:

“Hahaha jurre that’s the question that everyone wanna fucken know. Me and Die Antwoord are brasse. My take on them blowing up and making money: Look they fucken deserve it. I big up people that make money, that’s number one, you know. I’ve been that angry MC like, “Ja hulle maak geld. Hoe kan ons nie geld maakie?” Look man, I grew up since then. I’ve slept at Ninja’s house, I saw how he fokken works. That bra wakes up at 4 in the morning and that naai works his poes pap. Even Jack Parow, that guy’s obsessed with working my bru. Ninja’s been in the game since god knows when and personally I think he deserves this break.”  – Isaac Mutant


Isaac, from under the culture…into the spotlight. Coming soon…