Right, then. How are you all feeling? Can’t wait to take the new year between your teeth and shake it like a terrier shakes a rat, I’ll bet. Yeah, me too.
This is going to be the best year in the history of years. In 3023, people will talk about 2023 in hushed tones as they lie on levitating couches sucking on slivers of ambrosia and watching multi-headed dragon sharks cruise past the windows of their fortified apartments in the cities of the drowned world.
This is the year South Africans show that we’re not only good at racism, heavy drinking and corruption. We can do other things. Can’t we? I’m sure we can. We just need to find out what they are. And then practice. I’m going to start tomorrow, right after I sober up, whip the servants and deliver a fresh gratuity to the local constabulary.
To get a clearer picture of what lies ahead, we need to turn to our Chinese brethren. These people know things. And I don’t just mean how to put up a block of flats in the space of an afternoon. Speaking of which, there’s a very basic concrete bridge on the M4 near my place in Durban that was damaged in the April floods. In the time that it takes to create a human being, from climax to caesarean, Sanral still hasn’t got it together to even issue a proper tender for repairs.
By sheer force of numbers and a work ethic instilled through fear and pride, the Chinese are the ones to watch this year.
We’ve all seen those golden cats with the waving arm in Chinese shops and restaurants. Well, they’ve been sharpening their claws on the pillars of Western civilisation for a long time now. The edges are fraying badly and, with the right wind, you can smell a lot of territory has been marked, especially in Africa.
If you’re looking for reliable indicators for the coming year, you could do worse than check out the Chinese zodiac. Forget that pagan gibberish about crabs, fish and virgins. This, my friends, is the Year of the Water Rabbit. I don’t know how he’s different to your average land-based rabbit, but I imagine it’s not brilliant news for aquaphobics who think they might escape oncoming rabbits by running into a river.
In Chinese culture, the rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity. In South African culture, it is a symbol of a cheap, high-protein meal. I don’t know why KFR isn’t a thing.
If you’re a man born in the Year of the Rabbit, you tend to be peaceful, polite, successful in business and most likely live in Australia. Not much is said about female Rabbits apart from them being fair of face and pure of heart. I’ve known women to be one or the other, but rarely both.
If anyone’s wondering, I’m a Rat.
Displaying its usual sharp humour and cutting-edge creativity, the United Nations has declared 2023 the International Year of Millets. At first, I thought this was a typo. Surely they meant Mullets? I’ve caught mullets, had a mullet hairstyle and even know people who qualify as mullets. Good people, but stir-fried mullets of the first order.
Millets, though? A group of small-seeded grasses? The UN lauds their ability to adapt to climate change. That’s lovely for the millets, but what about us? Oh, well. The main thing is that the millets are happy. If it was up to me, I would’ve declared 2023 the International Year of Kicking Russia’s Ass Off The Security Council and stop them stinking up the chamber once and for all. Then again, I’ve never been invited to join the diplomatic corps.
The highly respected Pantone Institute, which continues to do excellent work in a field that is of absolutely no use to humanity, has announced that Viva Magenta is 2023’s Colour of the Year. It “packs a lot of drama in a small dose”. Hang on. I sense Julius Malema’s hand in this. That’s the EFF, for you. So far ahead of the curve that they’re coming up behind it.
Pantone describes it as an assertive colour that “cloaks us with power and grace” and “comfortably straddles the physical and virtual in our multi-dimensional world”. The “raw fortitude of Viva Magenta inspires us to express ourselves with confidence and bravery in the metaverse”. That’s a lot of heavy lifting for any colour, let alone one made up by people who may or may not be on powerful drugs.
It also “vibrates with vim and vigour”, is “brave and fearless … full of wit and inclusive of all”. It’s obvious that we need Viva Magenta for president. Might as well have a colour in charge, right? Couldn’t be any less decisive.
Viva Magenta, viva!