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The Gatsby

A Tale of Two Stomachs

by Max Barashenkov / 15.12.2010

– An Ode to Montle Moorosi –
A hip fuck strolls down Kloof Streets, his ass is barely covered by cut-off denim shorts, his feet are pointy hooves, his demeanor is unapproachable in its superiority. The fuck is a cultist, a disciple to multiple deities (*1) that govern his existence, define him, chisel him out of the general muck of human scum that festers in the CBD – black taxi drivers, street-side hawkers, white paper-pushers from the high-rise offices, coloured construction workers, black hairdressers spinning endless cornrows, white trash alcoholics, toothless coloured hookers, over-weight government officials buzzing around Parliament and the Court. This here fuck is better than them all, and he knows it, but knowing is not enough, this knowledge needs to be expressed, asserted and solidified in the perception of others (*2). And this is exactly where he is headed to this morning – not to impress the scum, for them he has no care – but to take his rightful place in the pantheon of the equally hip. Under the Mountain, you are not what you eat, you are WHERE you eat (*3), and this V-necked, aborted spawn of the cults of luxury and cool feeds only when surrounded by his own ilk, drinks beer at 11am because he lives on the edge and drops monstrous amounts of cash for vegetarian sandwiches because he wants to live forever. He earns points for being seen breakfasting at the Cape Town scene hotspots and trades them in for blowjobs at the next Assembly gig (*4). His life is sweet, and he, himself, is perfect.

Not so far away, a much less hip cunt hugs the office toilet bowl, parting with the cheap excesses of the previous night. His stomach is treacherously empty due to his firm conviction that the less you eat, the less you spend on booze. The cunt is suffering now, he needs absolution, he craves inner peace, yet the thought of Arnold’s or Lola’s only elicits more gastric bile. He’s been there a few times, why lie, but the experiences were found wanting and the pockets far too empty after. This here cunt identifies more with the paint-stained, overall-clad grunts and lumo-cloaked car-guards, this here cunt is far from awesome and he knows it, crawling across Roeland Street into the sanctuary of Osman’s Take-Aways (*5). Here the working man feeds and the under-paid journalist returns empty Coke bottles for R25 chicken gatsbys (*6), the jewel on the crown of cheap, greasy nourishment. A beast crammed with chips, stale lettuce and barely distinguishable chicken – it’s the size of a baby and the cunt clutches it with appropriate care and affection. The Osman’s gatsby is a one meal-a-day affair, tastes vaguely of Al Qaeda (*7) and is the reverse of childbirth – you start with an infant and end up pregnant (*8). The cunt gurgles, chokes and splutters through this highly unattractive feast and sublimes into nirvana at only halfway. The hangover surrenders to the lethargy of digestion, all notions of doing work are expelled in satisfied burps, the mind spins images of the lower-classes (*9). The same way the hip fuck buys his way into the circles of cool, the cunt vomits and weasels into the underbelly. His life tastes of pavement, and he, himself, is perfect (*10).

Semi-Anthropological Footnotes On The Hate Poem
*1. The God We-Are-Awesome, The Goddess Lomo-photography, The Demi-God Fedora, The Pagan Deity Cocaine, The Multi-headed Hydra Indie Rock, The Upstart God Zef, The Frail God Second Hand Clothing…
*2. A known phenomenon amongst the hip fucks, derived from the simple notions of ‘strength/sanity in numbers’ and the mentality of an undead horde. A hip fuck caught on his own is a sad creature, frail and insecure. Such specimens should be put out of their misery by fire and bayonet.
*3. This theory is applicable to establishments as well as people – with the McDonalds opening at the bottom of Kloof, we will see fast food becoming hip in under three months.
*4. Average exchange rate is – two meals witnessed by at least two other hip fucks = one blowjob; one blowjob = three handjobs; one handjob = one beer; four blowjobs = half an hour of sweaty, drunk sex. Thus to fornicate once a week, a hip fuck needs to eat eight times in the temples of worship along Kloof.
*5. Osman’s, unlike the establishments along Kloof, caters to real human beings who actually require food to survive, instead of image.
*6. Add R3 for a slice of cheese, R3 for an egg, upgrade your gatsby to mutton for an extra R5. Over-oiled samoosas go for R3 and cure rum-hangovers better than gatsbys.
*7. Mahala in no way condones racism or xenophobia, only when it comes to ‘powerful’ races like whites and Asians.
*8. Mahala in no way condones reverse pregnancy.
*9. It is generally from these violent and dirty images that the cunt (and the other cuntish beings working for Mahala) draws his inspiration. Thus the gatsby becomes an intrinsic part of the creative process, which in turn justifies the blatant punt of Osmans.
10. Literary greats will note the ‘clever’ tie between the two paragraphs and are welcome to make snide remarks.

18   9
  1. Lizzy says:

    sorry i dont live in capetown so i dont relate to this at all. that city is so disconnected from the rest of the continent, and mahala risks going the same way. readers, take note: life exists outside of kaapstad.
    please, get content from elsewhere (you may have to pay for it)
    Max, its not bad, just boring.

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  2. the sadness says:

    There is only one truth expressed in this sorry account, and it is as follows: “Mahala in no way condones racism or xenophobia, only when it comes to ‘powerful’ races like whites and Asians.”

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  3. Andy says:

    the sadness… so busy feeling persecuted you fail to see the humour. Australia awaits.

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  4. "please god let me be a writer" says:

    I couldn’t disagree more with the first two comments. I’m not from cape town (although I have experienced the cure that is a gatsby after a hangover), and I did not feel that this piece was boring or too “Cape Town”. What South African writing has going for it is writers do not compromise on their experiences and don’t try to write generally (like the story could be happening anywhere). Interesting and ballsy authors from South Africa inject their work with the inexplicable burden of place, and strive to represent the ambiguity which is so present in our country. And to the sadness: does it have to have to be entirely truthful? It reads more like experimental fiction or gonzo journalism to me (I liked the interesting use of footnotes and imagery). I thought it was damn good. But then, maybe I’m just guilty of foothnote number 10. Fucking Brilliant.

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  5. the sadness says:

    Ah fuckit, let’s just say that I was joking too. When all is lost, just say that your critics are incapable of understanding your highly evolved sense of humour. Out.

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  6. dylan says:

    hard hitting journalism.


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  7. Max says:

    “please god…” – you are a kind man, who ever you are.

    Dylan – why you no like me? sarcastic bastardo.

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  8. dudie says:

    ah – good writing Max – but a bit of a rant in my mind. i mean, nothing new in this article, and I’ve noticed this teenage angst in you writing, which makes your satire come through clenching teeth rather than swinging arms and flapping ears… if you know what i mean. i also believe that the characters you write of here posses no merit for criticism – it’s like criticizing cretins out of Chernobyl…

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  9. Max says:

    rant indeed, why lie? but what else to do with a fucking Gatsby shop review but to get experimental in terms of style? and my teeth are always clenched as I am constipated 90% of the time. and don’t rip on Chernobyl, that place is much dear to me.

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  10. Montle says:

    why dont you guys go and read the big issue or fucking mail and guardian then? Everyone writes the sme, and everyone who’s doing their own individual thing get all the crap..from where i sit, it just really apparent that all these cunts are jealous that they cant write..and while we get drunk everyday writing words to piss you off youre at the office..looking for something to hate on..so i guess we arent that different know? we just have more fun at this thing.


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  11. Penny says:

    I love you Max B. I’m proud to know you. x

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  12. josh says:

    solid fucking gold. some of the best one liners I have had the pleasure of reading.

    @Lizzy, the sadness – I have created a mental creature that represents the two of you- its a bit like a giant octopus but it has a vagina where its face should be, and its fat (obese really) and it has crap skin and no friends because it has shitty taste in literature.

    If you want bland, broad journalism then I recommend the Argus.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I liked how Max was able to capture the extent of scene and trend, which is the standard basis for Mahala content, and how it bleeds into the msot basics of human action, from food to sex.
    I like that he could take a Gatsby and turn it into a critical review of hipsters, and textured insight into the city as diverse as CT in a countryas unique as SA.

    I also think the story is relevant outside of CT, having lived in JHB and Durban myself.
    Greenside has quickly become home to trendies since Melville was fed to the homeless. PTA has always had a healthy ‘be seen’ scene.
    Lunch breaks were always excuses to wander Empire road for Gatsbys, vetkoek n mince, polony / Russian with chips and sauce in wax paper, R10 burgers that tasted like home and horse. R12 for the Cheese burger option.

    The scenes of the street, with the diversity in culture and the still noticeable class differences between races is also not unique to CT.

    You might not know the names of the eating establishments Max was referring too, but i’m sure you knoq equivalents. And if not, you’re living in a cupboard and Narnia isn’t in there, so come out and have some fun with the rest of the real world.

    But yeah. If you’re a trendy hipster here in CT, you’re commited. It’s also like the higher up the mountain you go, the more points you earn. Long street will make you kinda cool. Kloof Street is slightly more underground, so you need to be a confident hipster to head up, but get spotted by another one and they’ll give you a quiet nod and it gets you a few more special points, and so on.

    It’s funny that fashion can influence food taste. Your pallete and wallet can be moulded by where and with whom you party (or would like to party with). Sushi market in SA is the by-product of fashion, and not due to accomodating the desires of our Japanese population here. Vegan is oh so social and always in. And almost ALWAYS a phase. Organic markets, old biscuit mill, all of those: ties right in there with earning those hipster points.

    Poor insecure little sheep. Looking for the next fashion shepard to guide them. They are so lost and lonely! They should all take up christianity, they’re all about finding someone to steer your ship for you as well! Maybe that can be the next trend: Assembly Presents: The Sunday Sessions. Featuring DJs: Pastor Bring Me Light and Father Turn the Other Cheek, on the decks. Hallelujah!

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  14. Lizzy says:

    my main gripe is the context, not the style, quality or the desire to be different. I feel quite strongly that because the writers for mahala are based in capetown, that ct is what gets written about. when roger lived in durban, there were more articles about durban. Joburg articles are rare. i just think it would make the reading more interesting if there was more variety of setting, which also gives a broader perspective. the advantage of the online format is that you dont have to be located in the city your editor is in. I am a Mahala addict, so clearly i read Mahala because I like it generally.
    there is just so much out there to write about, and i really think its not being exploited to its potential. its sad if patriotism to a place stops commentators from seeing that. I pity them.

    Josh, you are making me HOT!

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  15. Bob Blake says:

    I don’t think this piece is particularly anthropologically correct. Social reality artices work better when they reflect truth. Youth culture journals always trade in hyperbolic stereotypes that don’t really work. I mean, I’m confused: who actually is the ‘cunt’ here? where does he come from, what kind of job was he working where he was cradled over the toilet? don’t ‘fucks’ also frequent gatsby shops because there’s an absolute ironic cool about associating with the lower-classes, provided you have bourgeois critical distance in abundance? is there actually a binary opposite between survival and image with regard to osman’s and kloof street stores? don’t kloof street restaurants also cater to a higher income bracket and serve gourmet food?

    and lastly, isn’t it a real ‘fuck’ thing to do, to hate on kloof street establishments and exalt the lower-class greasy spoons? isn’t it totally condescending? isn’t it another bourgeois reaction to imagine that there is a ‘sincerity’ and an ‘authenticity’ to the lower-classes (or in anthropological terms, the third-world tribes, uncorrupted by materialism) that we lack? and isn’t it just totally untrue. I think this article has a fantastic experimental format, but is just slightly lacking in critical substance.

    Then, @ josh

    I don’t know when having shitty taste in literature = having no friends. The converse is true, if anything.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    @dudie: Max champions a cause higher than teen angst. He targets mediocrity in the music scene, force fed down the ignorant throats of these hipsters who gargle that shit right up without question.
    Maybe more self reflection on their part, more criticism for this unresponsible and out of control band wagon, might see some changes in what is percieved as ‘good’ on a big enough scale for it to make positive change in the quality of output. It’s about supply and demand. If the sheep start hungering for some of that greener grass on the other side, bands are going to have to accomodate that and step up their games!

    Or thats what I like to think his intent was anyway.

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  17. Brett says:

    Holy shit, I have never read a review more accurate to (white and a few coconuts) life in CT than that.


    It is also part of the reason I left CT.

    A smaller place in the world I cannot imagine.

    Super article Max

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  18. Anonymous says:


    That might be the greatest thing I have ever read on Mahala.

    – B.

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  19. creepy steve says:

    i think this a great bromantic text as indicated; dedicated to one mahala writer by another. describing thier last lunch date. leaving out the unpleasant details such as the post chillie sauce grubby mutual handjobs and breathy french kisses. discussing it’s literary merit under these conditions is nothing short of ridiculous. i think everyone needs to step back take a deep breath and consider not only the promotion of osmans but also the self referential mastubatory nature of the whole piece

    p.s montle yes i am hating on you ou’s having fun and my job which is as you put it no fun
    but i will be taking my durban poison laced lunch break soon bear with me

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  20. Devon says:


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  21. dudie says:

    look, i understand what this article is about, and i like the writing style… fact is, these people shouldn’t even be mentioned, because at the end of it, they just create white noise, and nothing more. they’re losers and having to have a writer get his blood pressure up because of them is pointless.
    max, write something more about the jazz scene in ct and forget about these nobodies – i realize they grate you poo.
    there is no higher cause when you point out the obvious – like that other ‘journo’ that wrote on hipsters in jhb; totally aimless. and that’s one of the many definitions of angst.

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  22. Brett says:


    regards to the “other” article, you are completely right. What a giant load crap.

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  23. TTDouble07 says:

    Wow!! Loved it Max! Absolutely stellar! I’ve heard of a lot of writers caliming to be original and avant garde…they fail greatly at this.
    I wanna be like you…lol!

    Oh, and fucking kif to Montle, I’m with you on that one in spirit and otherwise…the rest of them hating fuckers, go ahead and drown in Mills and Boon please!

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  24. TTDouble07 says:

    Oh, and to Anonymous…ditto this :


    That might be the greatest thing I have ever read on Mahala.

    – B.

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  25. TTDouble07 says:

    Oh, and to Anonymous and Brett, kif!!

    Ditto this


    That might be the greatest thing I have ever read on Mahala.

    – B.

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  26. muerte says:

    ‘His life tastes of pavement…’ – this is great writing, down there with Bukowski’s last novel ‘Compactos Anagrama’

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  27. hbomb says:

    fucking love it dude.

    well constructed humour…keep it up.

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  28. emo bolshevik says:

    you did good

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  29. Gigantic Faggot says:

    Oh I get it, you’re the rough around the edges hipster, who doesn’t care about his health or what people think of him. Nice. Edgy. I think we could work with this.

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  30. mick says:

    Didn’t trawl through the [ALWAYS-MORE-EXCITING-IF-YOU-READ-NOW!!. !!!] comments. Couldn’t read through the article. Just couldn’t. The prob was in that first non-line right there. The brash disclaimer. Montle was being very, and pale-ly, kind in his comment; probably because he’s still sad, and pent up – no woah sorry, meant, like, ‘put-up’ by you ‘Jews’. Ag nee Kak man. Even a dead Montle (plus or no) deserves better than THIS…[‘scuze me shudder… ‘ode’]…

    Mahala was nice-times-three. But now your/its arms are choking. Chocking-blocking-[ enter Tony Clifton’s wailing into ‘Vaaaa Lahrez… WhooooHOOOOH’ or somesuch]

    Scuzy, I’m sauced. But I would not EVER preface shlock like this with….. ‘oooh.. but it’s an oooode… to Moontle, nogal.’

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  31. Archie Bishop says:

    “FUCK YOU, WE EAT FREE BURGERS AT ROYALE AND LIE ABOUT OUR HIV STATUS.” – This is one of the most distressing comments I have ever read.

    While I too hate the ‘hip fucks’ of Cape Town and the three hour long morning styling routines – which they employ only to achieve a ‘look’ which they believe will appear to others as though they simply rolled out of some hip fuckette’s bed after a long night of rompus – I do have a found affection for the hordes of bohemian, chain-smoking fuckette’s which tend to follow them from one Assembly gig to the next like a modern day Pied Piper – with the tight pants to match.

    With the knowledge that many of these ‘hip fucks’ can and will on any given night indulge in a serving of both the crotch frankfurters and fur burgers, I fear that if the day ever comes when I find a fuckette who is drunk enough to give this chubby nobody the time of day (via her red g-shock) I might be staring down the barrel of a gun loaded with a future filled with antiretroviral drugs.

    Luckily for me I am almost certain that my inability to pull off a pair of skinny jeans, coupled with my double chin-hiding neck beard and my rotund midsection make the aforementioned scenario highly unlikely.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Must agree with Lizzy. I love your style and witt but can you not find a more interesting subject? I’ve said it before, can we cut the teenage high school crap obessed with sex and image? What’s next, a review on Hannah Montanna? How about something for the adults? Like music, Roger Ballen, Reconciliation day, Sandy Bay, weird folk @ Sea Point swimmingpool, NY59 in Gugs, the suburb of Claremont with its desperate housewives, the sad standard of many graduation exhibitions.. And that’s just for CT, There must be many more in Jo’burg, Durban and all over..

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  33. Max says:

    How do anthropological/travel examinations of the current society of the United States sound to you all?

    Tell me what you want to read.

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  34. i use the same screen for different comments sections says:

    some yall are forgetting that this is a youth/pop culture website. youth/pop culture is absolutely nothing without sex, narcissism, rebellion and uncertainty.

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  35. Lizzy says:

    sounds great – do it. you travelling to the states?
    I would really have liked an article on this ‘day of reconcilliation’ we’ve just had and the underlying (now surpressed) history of the ‘day of the vow’ and the voortrekker monument in pta. maybe i should write it. its actually a movie yet to be made 🙂

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  36. Pablo says:

    Dear deranged octopi, to read a piece of writing and then say things like ” nice style, but should write about something else” is like drinking a poo milkshake. Not very tasteful. This piece has it’s place, (being read on the greasy laptop screens of artfags and trendy fucks scoffing ostrich boerie at Arnold’s). Although Max, isn’t it a bit early to be writing odes to the endearingly obscene Montle? Hmm.

    Maybe I’ll go and eat one of these gatsby’s, just to interrogate the myth of reverse birth. Seems to me like Max is forgetting the important final stage, weeks later, as the Cunt strains over a stained toilet bowl, core muscles constricted, pushing against the tearing pain as the evil, hardened spawn of the Gatsby reverse birth infant re-enters the world. Put it back in a roll. Recycle.

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  37. dominic masters says:

    do you need other human beings to actually see you… in order to be a hipster? what about all the reclusive genius hipsters that are out there in the world unable to write or connect or look cool or converse or just like…like i wake up and start drinking robertson’s boxed red at 7..then move on to cape to rio and oros and shoot heroin for the rest of the day….yeah, alone…but i AM listening to the black keys and m.i.a whilst doing this….in my pajamas and…a trilby….i have tattoos and youtube…but i guess…well lets start with….i’m lonely

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  38. The whitest Zulu in Africa. says:

    Lizzy seems really desperate to write for Mahala. All her comments suggest as such.

    If you do decide to write about the 16th December / Day of reconciliation / battle of blood river, try keep it in a realistic and not historically biased position. I can help if you want.

    It’s really a joke how our classrooms and history books have portrayed the whole ordeal.
    I mean, sure, as far as Zulu Kings go, Dingaan was a bit of a lazy one, worried more about getting laid than about keeping his army in line, but: 3000 Zulus were killed because of one Piet Retief, who was apparently a nice enough fella. But, according to Zulu history, not Boer: There were justified reasons for the initial attack on him and his stupid party.

    Now it’s used as a buffer for Afrikaans pride and nationalism. Oooh boy. A ‘nation of heroes’ or something stupid, by ‘gods right’. People forget the Zulus took out the Afrikaans less than 2 weeks later at the battle at the White Unfolozi River.
    And it took an agreement between Dingaans brother, Mapande, and the Trekkers to create a united force that was eventually able to dethrone Dinagaan. So much for Afrikaans pride.
    And that at the Battle of Blood river, the trekkers also had over 200 ‘local’ South Africans helping them out. It is often considered a massacre or an execution, NOT a battle (this opinions was shared by Afrikaaners themselves. Not popular ones, I am sure).

    3 wounded Afrikaaners for 3000 dead zulus, and we still celebrate today? Stupid pretorius.
    And the Zulus are still expected to apoligise for Piet Retief.
    What a fucking joke.
    After the battle Trekkers on horseback chased down Zulu, murdering them for 3 hours as they ran away scattered.

    History is written by the victors. In fact, the Trekkers were so uncomfortable with the official and historical report on the incident that they intentionally changed it to suit their own interpretations.

    If there is a movie to be made about this whole thing it would be about Ndela, and how he not only survived high rank in Shakas army, but also shaped the future of the Zulu kingdom himself (and got strangled by Dingane).

    Cue: Mpande, who Ndlela had decided to keep alive despite Dinganes wishes (aiming to preserve the Zulu Royal Bloodline).
    Best thing Mpande ever did? Have a son called Chetswayo.
    Chetswayo – a king among men. If you dont know his exploits you’re stupid.

    So yeah, Lizzy, maybe I should write it instead.

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  39. Anonymous says:

    Haha, B knows his zulu shit.

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  40. Kontlap says:

    Hey Montle…u sound a bit emotional there faggot… next tym I see you im going to fuck you up.

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