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Gareth Cliff on Everything

Mein Kampf for Douches

by Brandon Edmonds / 15.11.2011

Reading this “book” is like being in the trash compactor scene in Star Wars. If the trash compactor walls were made of dull. One banal “insight” after another (“I hate the gym” / “I loathe environmental activists” / “I really don’t like the idea of human sacrifice”). We literally learn the name of Gareth’s sister’s dead cat at one point, and by then the reader envies the pussy wholeheartedly. There’s a whole chapter devoted to brain anatomy because, you know, the brain is important. We do discover Gareth owns a licensed gun and is kind to she-midgets at parties: “I asked her if she’d like to go up on my shoulders”. And he once “walked into the SABC carrying a sharp, cold-steel cavalry saber.” But overall it’s just a benumbingly awful reading experience, a lot like getting stuck alongside an annoying second cousin at Christmas. The one in marketing. Who nobody wants to sit next to and everyone wishes was dead. Gareth Cliff is a boring fucking travesty, a nullity, a raging symptom of the mediocrity of post-apartheid life and culture, the worst possible outcome of a negotiated settlement.

What a thankless, vile and dispiriting read this is. The book ought to be banned. It really should. For tendentious self-regard. For tepid provocation. For claustrophobic smugness. For oh just ignore it wherever you see it. Physically turn away. Every copy ought to be shot into space at the sun. I called the review “Mein Kampf for Douches”. Cliff’s book is almost as mean-spirited towards collective humanity – “the more stupid, poor or ignorant a person is, the more likely they are to spawn offspring in large numbers and at random” – as the Fuhrer’s autobiography was towards Jews, gypsies and other specimens of “racial decline”. But that would be an insult to Hitler. Rim shot. Thank you.

Alright, lets earn our scorn analytically.

There’s a great South American summer dish called ceviche. You essentially marinate fresh raw fish in lemon or lime with chilli. The acid in the juice “cooks” the fish. Asked what he considers “required reading for all matric pupils”, Cliff answered “anything by Ayn Rand”. Her radical-individualist, pro-capitalist ideas, turned into bewilderingly popular fictions, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, are the acid in Gareth’s gormless ceviche. They turn a well-off dullard into a hate-filled hazard.

As Eliot Spitzer, so good in the documentary Inside Job, puts it in his useful new book Government’s Place in the Market, Rand was “an articulate voice for libertarianism, the notion that each of us individually deserves to own what he or she creates, and that the role of government must be minimized.” Her ideas have shaped conservative thinking for over 30 years. They dominated the recent Republican nomination debate in which every candidate tried to outdo the other over how many government departments they would vaporize, how many social services they would gut, and how much tax they’d eliminate to ‘balance the budget’. This from a political class that bent over backwards to take care of the financial elite with public-funded bank bailouts in the trillions of dollars.

Paying for the bailouts has ushered in an age of jobless precariousness for ordinary people as welfare programs are slashed and traditional government support (education, health, grants) for the struggling majority is outsourced to the predations of the market. The popular response has been momentous uprisings and intense social conflict. The recent “riots” in London (the Arab Spring and the ongoing Occupations) are surely symptoms and Cliff offers a vivid Randian take on such social protest: “These kids are greedy criminals without any discipline or direction… the offspring of parents who got everything the welfare state could dole out to them. This is the terminus to which political correctness, banal multiculturalism, left-wing soft psychology and social welfare have brought us.” Feel that acid burn.

As Spitzer reminds us, “the total embrace of the language of libertarianism in public discourse has created a deep public ambivalence, even disdain, for government over the years.” Such disdain marinates Cliff’s book. “These days the dim ones last longer – thanks to democracy, welfare and liberal humanitarianism (that ridiculous school of thinking that treasures human life, even stupid human life, above all).” How can valuing human life be ridiculous? How did Gareth arrive at such a poisonous position? The answer lies in the life and work of Ayn Rand.

“Show that humanity is petty. That it is small. That it’s dumb, with the heavy, hopeless stupidity of a man born feeble-minded.” This from one of Rand’s early notebooks when she was a struggling screenwriter in Hollywood in the 1930’s. She had only just escaped Stalinist Russia and her brush with the Bolsheviks implanted a mortal fear of the collective, the masses, the totalitarian State. She was also reading a shitload of Nietzsche.

As Jennifer Burns’ even-handed book Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand & the American Right suggests, “Rand’s bitterness was undoubtedly nurtured by her interest in Nietzsche” whose “elitism fortified her own”. The Superman, the will to power, the great-soul’s vaulting over ‘herd-mentality’ all fortify Rand’s focus on the individual over the collective. For Rand, the common good is a “meaningless concept” and Cliff stays right on message: community, he writes, “is the root of many of our problems, from lack of personal responsibility to corruption, deceit and the aggregation of power in dark corners.” How Rand’s radical-individualism is an advance over indigenous African approaches to the social which tend, historically, to privilege communal ties and sharing, the ‘shock jock’ doesn’t say?

Rand, who saw altruism as ‘moral cannibalism’, advocates, instead, the “virtue of selfishness”. Great (business) men like the architect Howard Roark, in The Fountainhead, who destroys his design for public housing after government meddling and John Galt, in Atlas Shrugged, who creates a capitalist utopia, where entrepreneurs and scientists and exceptional individuals are free of big government and the tyranny of the “human incompetent”, are the truly exploited of liberal democracy. They contribute the most. They are the best and the smartest. Unlike the freeloading masses.

Gareth Cliff On Everything

“The man at the bottom,” Rand writes, “contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all their brains.” Concern for the struggling majority, the social good, the poor and the marginalised, just gets in the way of those at the ‘top of the pyramid’, the 1%. You can see why the ruling elite has an ongoing love-affair with ‘the goddess of the market’! As Cliff puts it: “poor isn’t poor because you don’t have; poor is sometimes poor because you can’t make.”

We’ll finish with a sublime Brecht poem that deftly decimates libertarian bullshit but first Gareth’s highly suggestive, self-confessed anal-retentiveness.

Cliff writes: “To arrange my life in an organized, clean way, brings me equilibrium.” He goes further. “Everything has its place and there must be a place for everything.” He can’t concentrate around “sticky floors, dusty surfaces, curling carpets” and “grew up tidying my immediate surroundings instinctively… because it made me happy”. Yikes. That mania is possibly the emotional source of Cliff’s taste for Rand’s atomizing acid. He likes everything in its place. Especially the filthy mass of humanity. It explains his sexist aside about 22 year old girls who lay on their backs with their legs open. Runaway sexuality will lead to unwanted pregnancy and increase the sum of useless population. “Many poor people,” he writes, “are just not very good at, or for, anything.” More lemon in the ceviche.

Thankfully we have Brecht’s brilliant reminder of the real motor of history: the struggling class of workers. In the poem, “A Worker Reads History”, Brecht dynamites Rand’s “great capitalist individuals” approach to progress. “Young Alexander conquered India. He alone? Caesar beat the Gauls. Was there not even a cook in his army? In the evening when the Chinese wall was finished / where did the masons go? Imperial Rome is full of arcs of triumph. Who reared them up?”

Give me the warmth of human solidarity over the acid bath of individualism. Give me Brecht over Rand. Give me anybody over Gareth Cliff.

67   10
RESPONSES (90)
  1. Jason says:

    Made my week a bit. And it’s only Tuesday.

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  2. Greg says:

    How arrogant that this twat can call his book ” everything” methinks he doth overstate his intelligence a little bit. I don’t listen to the radio anymore, and I used to be on radio. Love it when morons get a platform and an overstated viewpoint and regard for their own selves.

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  3. Luke says:

    hasn’t objectivism long been a joke of the intellectual world? the pinocchio of anyone with half a brain? good to see gareth cliff keeping that notion alive.

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  4. Ryan says:

    No offense, but I feel the reviewer is gunning to find fault with this book. To each their own opinion, if anything this is what Mr Cliff is stating.
    For one second get off the liberal high horse and have a look around, in lieu of this comment: “the more stupid, poor or ignorant a person is, the more likely they are to spawn offspring in large numbers and at random”
    While no hard evidence is given, I do think Mr Cliff is onto something here. To quote another ‘douche’, “Let’s figure out this food air deal?”

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  5. Roger Young says:

    And here we go….

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  6. Will says:

    Great review. I can’t wait for Cliff’s fans to find it. They practically fellate him in their comments under the blog posts on his website, so it’ll be fun watching them respond to this.

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  7. Louis says:

    I’m not a Gareth Cliff fan but this review is most biased I’ve read in my life. If anything this will actually encourage people to read his book just to see if it’s such a dismal failure.

    Thumb up18   Thumb down 10

  8. Long Tall Sally says:

    Is this a review of Gareth Cliff’s book or Ayn Rand’s?

    Thumb up36   Thumb down 3

  9. Wendy Thole says:

    I’m always fascinated by people who can’t get enough of denigrating others by calling them ‘stupid’, ‘ignorant’ or my favourite, ‘dim’. I suspect these name callers are just bright enough to know society doesn’t really look favourably on people who come right out and say, “wow, I’m SO intelligent, and I can tell I’m WAY more intelligent than most people..!” But they are, ironically, not quite socially adept enough to know that this constant pointing out of the reduced intellectual capacity of others, allow other people free insight into your (this is for you Gareth) desperate need to broadcast your intellectual superiority. The shouting subtext is: “I must be clever to spot so many morons.” Honestly, I wish I had more eyes to roll.

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  10. JM Koet$ee says:

    Ayn Rand, snort…

    Thumb up4   Thumb down 2

  11. Off a Cliff says:

    There is so much to hate about Gareth Cliff, and with the blind hysterical support he enjoys, I think a biased review of his book is an important antidote to his particular brand of poison.

    His smug face hides a truly vicious agenda – the denigration of everyone outside of his privileged, narrow world view. Only those that have grown up with everything (and despite 1994, white males of Cliff’s age have grown up in a society that values them, with opportunity and access to wealth) can truly believe that poor people are poor because they are lazy. Cliff clearly fails to understand the deep, entrenched structural problems of this country – and I think his Randian impuse is a way of trying to ignore those upon which he looks down, and allowing for guilt-free wealth.

    It’s incredible to me that any sane person would identify themselves as influenced by Rand either. She was essentially a fascist, just one with wealth at the centre of her world view rather than the quest for racial purity (although I do not doubt those were conflated). To assume that we all start on a level playing field, and that failure is due to personal attributes rather than socio-economic inheritance is wilfully stupid, offensive and self-serving.

    As the Nobel laureate Paul Krugman wrote: “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

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  12. Adriaan says:

    Just like Ayn Rand had some good ideas and some bad, Gareth Cliff also has some good and some bad ideas. Resonate the good ideas (according to yourself) and be weary of the bad ones. Use your own damn discretion, man. I will hate the day, when some self-proclaimed “know-it-all” tells me what to read and what to not. Its easy to spot a personal vendetta. Take note Mahala.

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  13. Ryan says:

    @Adriaan – If I could I would give you an epic high five! Some here’s a virtual *High Five*

    Thumb up7   Thumb down 8

  14. Bruno says:

    A triumph Mr Edmonds. Unfortunately Gareth Cliff’s odious views on humanity, wealth and cleanliness are not confined to this book. The man has a national stage, almost daily, where he is free to lobotomise the minds of your children (and some vulnerable adults) with his chainsaw banalisms mixed with the aural anaesthetic of the Black Eyed Peas, the Parlotones or whatever the major labels have paid 5fm fo play that week. I used to work for a company which co-incidentally bore the name of Rand’s most famous book, and Cliff’s show would be piped in through the PA at just audible levels. Enough to sink in subliminally, but not loud enough to interfere with the boss’ telephone calls. White noise that kept the accounts department consoled with the odd hit or off colour joke while it metastasized slowly, cancelling out any desire to change the status quo for fear of upsetting the powers that be.

    Gareth Cliff is the soundtrack of mediocrity in South Africa. He represents the chitinous shell that we built up around ourselves during years of isolation, accepting whatever the tv or radio told us over free choice because it was just too difficult to access. South Africa has moved on, but still the national broadcaster retains him because he continues to soothe those who crave guidance, those who will remain devoted to whatever brands he sponsors that week and those who will go out and buy the major label morphine he doles out. He is every bit as cancerous as Juju, but he’s given a six figure salary, a national show on radio and tv, and a comfy chair in your car and in your lounge, every day.

    Thumb up44   Thumb down 2

  15. faith says:

    Great review. Gareth is a mental midget that thinks he’s some kind of zen master. It’s funny how South Africans gets so obsessed with loud mouth morons like Gareth and Julius.

    Thumb up20   Thumb down 3

  16. Zam says:

    That paul kurgan quote was best.

    Thumb up14   Thumb down 1

  17. Yawn says:

    Can’t believe you spent so much time and energy even considering both G.Cliff and Ayn Rand. Too depressing! An essay on the usage of inverted commas in modern day literature would be far more interesting!

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  18. Rob says:

    I kind of get the feeling that we’ve been taken in by a character Gareth Cliff has created, and that he doesn’t actually mean all the things that he says. He’s kind of positioned himself as this firebrand curmudgeon who says stupid controversial things just for the sake of it. Like a less funny Jeremy Clarkson or something. But that probably makes this book even MORE inexcusable, not less.

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  19. Karl Rand says:

    Is putting all your energy into hating doing anything for your Brandon? Because you come across as the noxious, left-behind Marxist incapable of interrogating his worldview Yin to the noxious, left-behind Nietzsche-loving Cliff who is incapable of interrogating his world view Yang. If someone stuck your respective DNA into a particle accelerator and collided them you’d come up with Hitler DNA – which would perfectly support your mastubatory fantasies of Utopian big government hand-in-hand with Cliff’s thinly disguised elitism.

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  20. troymclure says:

    ooh zing karl!

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  21. Fnord says:

    I’m sorry but Ayn Rand was def not a libertarian

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  22. CM says:

    A little too steeped in your own tawdry brand of acid to really be taken seriously as a review. We all know Cliff’s a pratt. We didn’t need your rabid pontificating and Rand-bashing to do the trick.

    What is with this site’s reviewers? They all have this need to prove their cultural/intellectual/literary superiority, over just writing about their ‘subjects’. It’s all ‘me me me, I think, I I I.’

    What happens when ‘writers’ can’t find real writing jobs. They take to Mahala.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Brandon,

    Again you have embarassed yourself. From now on please do us a favour: before you type think to yourself “do I know anything about this topic?” if not then do not type. Its very simple.

    Go and read any Ayn Rand book, I mean anyone istead of picking up sentences from the internet and discover how deeply ironic your statements are.

    Thumb up6   Thumb down 24

  24. Anonymous says:

    Also

    A note to Brandon:

    Those who can do (like Gareth Cliff) those you cant write critiques (like Brandon)

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 29

  25. Anonymous says:

    Karl Rand hit the nail on the head.

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 5

  26. Jason Priestly says:

    @Anonymous

    Pray tell, what is it that Cliff does?

    Thumb up5   Thumb down 1

  27. Max says:

    I think there is a scene in Braveheart where the Scotts chant ‘Edmonds Edmonds Edmonds’ and then charge into battle.

    Thumb up6   Thumb down 5

  28. Pro Gareth says:

    This review reaks of of indie, hipster know it all im too cool shit …what a load of UTTER KAK ! Brandon please stop writing drivel !

    Thumb up3   Thumb down 23

  29. troymclure says:

    @anonymous – maybe be a little more generous and enlighten us about the irony of his statements. i agree this reviewer’s an arsehole but maybe point out why exactly.

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  30. Adriaan says:

    I had 3 kak “props”. Thanks Mahala, the spirit in which your publication is conducted and the type of content you push, truly serve as a breakdown of communication, society and peace and love towards your fellow human beings. How very “Elitist” of you. Your “publication” sound just as pompous as the Cliff.

    While people do not like to be told what to do by individuals (Gareth Cliff, Ayn Rand), people like to be told what to do (governments, corporations, advertising, MTV, Anonymous, Mahala)… especially where new doctrines and ideologies are concerned. Chaos reigns supreme.

    I saw in an earlier post, “Objectivism” is frowned upon by the pseudo-intellectuals. This due to the fact that it forces these elitists having to take into account more than just their own variable opinion when searching for a solution. I guess having to say “Sorry” is not an option… and so I say “KAK” to you.

    This was last time I checked into this website for its “informative” creative content.

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  31. Karl Rand says:

    And on a side note, does anyone else note the similarity between Ayn Rand and David Bowie?

    Thumb up4   Thumb down 0

  32. YellowElevator says:

    To quote a friend, regarding Gareth Cliff: “I wish only bad things for that guy… He is such a cock.”

    I could write a book about why I dislike the guy so much, but I’ll channel my energy elsewhere.

    Conrad Koch, one of the LNN writers wrote this really interesting open letter to Gareth. Gareth responded by blocking him on twitter and never replying to the letter (after telling Mr. Koch to present him with a proper argument and he will reply in detail.)

    http://conradkoch.posterous.com/my-response-to-garethcliff-and-his-eurocentri

    Gareth is a goddamn fucking fool, and his ideas are poisonous.

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  33. martin says:

    top review and so true …….

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  34. MichaelM says:

    Accusations of Ayn Rand’s “elitism” are completely off the mark. She wrote about people enjoying the fruits of their labour. Less government intervention. And you say this has shaped conservative thinking for 30 years?

    That you spend about half of your vitriol taking a swipe at Ayn Rand suggests that you have no idea what a reviewer’s role is. You have gone completely off topic and instead had a right royal go at your own personal bug bear.

    I actually liked some of your comments but you went so far off the mark as to lose the plot completely.

    Thumb up7   Thumb down 8

  35. Hagen says:

    If this book sells as man copies as the review gets page views (possible) that implies Cliff has his finger on the pulse of the South African culture. So perhaps our cultural leaders are like our political ones. We get the ones we deserve.

    Thumb up6   Thumb down 0

  36. sakkie says:

    Great writing as usual, some shaky premises but wtf

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 2

  37. ThatAwkwardMoment says:

    Brandon strikes again, great critique

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  38. haha says:

    “is a boring fucking travesty, a nullity, a raging symptom of the mediocrity of post-apartheid life and culture, the worst possible outcome of a negotiated settlement.”

    Love this!

    Thumb up6   Thumb down 1

  39. Renee says:

    I find it strange that so many people demand a certain objectivity from Mahala writers, when the comment section often functions as platform for viciously differing opinions to those in the article. I for one often read these articles precisely because they are written, often very eloquently, from a very particular perspective. When I go onto Mahaha, I am aware that I am not delving into the pages of Time magazine or the Economist. This is article is so clever because Brandon shows how Cliff operates, by imitating Cliff’s dismissive style. If you feel Brandon’s style of writing with regards to Cliff is too vitriolic, perhaps consider the way in which Cliff conducts himself.

    On the other hand (for objectivity’s sake) perhaps it is all an act and Gareth is actually a nice man, often when foot’s out of mouth, he makes valid points ect. Nonetheless, Cliff takes himself so seriously, that I struggle to do the same.

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  40. PopIdol says:

    I’d love to know where exactly Gareth Cliff sees himself on this social scale. Where he’d place his invaluable contribution of making small talk on air and hitting the play button to the SABC’s compilations and ooh’ing and aah’ing to mediocre talent for a paycheck. A giant amongst men, he is not.

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  41. Romario Sanchez says:

    “Gareth Cliff is a boring fucking travesty, a nullity, a raging symptom of the mediocrity of post-apartheid life and culture, the worst possible outcome of a negotiated settlement.”

    i could not agree more
    Sometime you wish he would just jump off his surname.

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  42. Anonymous says:

    If Edmonds is so god damn cool and the scribe to the gods…why pray tell does he not have a proper job earning himself a real income…

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  43. frank talk says:

    then i knew Garreth Cliff was a pompous, famous and “contreversial radio “shock jock”…….sometimes i wonder why he says the things he says……..on national radio……he’s a chick flick, a true definition of post apartheid romaticism in free speech …… i could vomit on that guy

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  44. Ysterhart says:

    “a proper job”

    Hahahaha. What, pray tell, is that?

    Thumb up5   Thumb down 0

  45. Chad says:

    Polemic for the win.

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 1

  46. arnaud says:

    Nobody seems to notice : he’s a spitting image of Anders Breivik.

    Brilliant article. Thanks.

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  47. Margot says:

    I’m totally with @Karl Rand. Edmonds’s mind is clearly capable of many things but self perception is not one of them. The nastiest thing you can think to accuse someone else of is often the same thing that haunts your own darkest, most insecure moments. And when projection is so glaringly obvious to others, but the speaker remains oblivious, it is horrifyingly intimate and awkward. Exactly whose scalding acidity is up for discussion here? The scale of attack on Cliff is disproportionate. Unreasonable. Does not follow sound exposition of thought process. The room has gone quiet and Edmonds realises he’s been yelling spittily for four minutes beyond the silence.

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  48. monty says:

    well fucking said!!! whoever wrote this review.. oh ah brandon.. (god job )…

    gareth must die.. hemustdie, hemustdie, hemustdie

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  49. Anonymous says:

    All so pretentious.

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 3

  50. dizzle says:

    @margot – so what you’re saying is that gareth is the paper and brandon is the glue? Or is it the other way round…i could never get it right.

    And that ‘brandon is an indie hipster’ comment made me giggle. I love how if you don’t subscribe to the gareth-cliff-listening-rugby-watching-wors-roll-guzzling-ayoba-generic-lekker-existence, you’re a blerry hipster.

    Kiff review. Gareth is a wankhead.

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  51. Anonymous says:

    Gareth and Brandon are both supreme wank heads. One just has a bigger audiance and actually gets paid for being a prat.

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  52. Karl Rand says:

    Leave Brandon alone!! Brandon, I think you need to just relax and chill. Here’s something that I know you’ll enjoy jerking off to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHZIUdHm6b4

    Ohhh yeaaaahhhh… the joy of the collective! Screw the individual!

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 1

  53. Michael says:

    Nice review, if a little predictable in its dismissing of the populist Cliff. But I guess Mahala has become that place where you alway know what time it is: the white okes write cool-kid anti-system criticism, the black okes seem increasingly pigeonholed into a mode of metaphor-ridden semi-noir social realist observational writing…

    Is it just me, or does Edmonds not pick up on the irony that Cliff relies so heavily on populist appeal for his status in our celeb primordial stew, yet advocates a strain of extreme individualism?

    Coincidentally, I have just finished re-reading Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’. Great book, which Cliff may do well to read in the light if his almost eugenic notions about social streaming. What Huxley had that made the exercise so compelling was a certain ambivalence: maybe its not as cruel to breed people for predestined social roles as it is to let them fight, fuck, drink and stab their paths through the world under the guise of equality. But then maybe there is an inalienable right to self-actualisation which the eugenics-practicing state violates… But you see (and here’s the rub), Cliff doesn’t have the luxuries of deep thought that a novelist has. He couldn’t speak in ambivalent tones about anything: whether his opinions are right or wrong, well-informed or lunatic fringe, his stock-in-trade is his being opinionated. So to take issue with the matter of these opinions seems a bit off the mark…

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  54. Anonymous says:

    nice one michael

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  55. nero says:

    @Michael: Your comment: “maybe there is an inalienable right to self-actualisation which the eugenics-practicing state violates” reminded me of Rollerball, even though it didn’t really involve eugenics based authoritarianism. The original Jimmy Caan version, not the LL Cool J travesty.

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  56. Worsbeursie says:

    Whoah! I haven’t read this many “Prithee”, “Methinks” and fucking “I dare say’s” since, well, forever. Do you have any idea how you arseholes sound?

    Gareth Cliff is a total knob. He obviously thinks he is a certified genius, and is plainly not. I found the review very entertaining. Objectivity is boring.

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  57. Poppie says:

    Gareth Cliff is basically a shit version of Mark Gilman. And Mark Gilman is a cunt and a midget. I enjoyed this article but gave it a kak instead of a kif solely because Brandon used the word “ceviche”.

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  58. X says:

    Brandon, take a xanax son. That was the most disjointed diatribe I have yet read on this website. I noticed you segwayed from Gareth Cliff quite quickly to Hitler. That’s when I stopped reading.

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  59. Adolf says:

    Why the Fuck involve me in this Brandon?

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  60. Herman Lategan says:

    Hie hie hie … love it.

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  61. Eddie Willers says:

    Thank you for the review. It made me go buy Cliff’s book.

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  62. goofy says:

    i dare say what a pretentious article..

    but then gareth is a pretentious knob as well…

    2 wrongs have made a right “methinks”… haha

    love the way gareth would appear to lay into mediocrity when that is exactly to whom he fucking appeals the most; white mediocre south africa. the safe life… the never-take-any-risks-whatsoever-to-live.. what a shame he found a publisher. what a shame he found an audience.

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  63. raimondo says:

    Scary review, really sorry you had to wade through all that crap. Sure though that he and the publisher are all who see him as a role model. Funny how the apartheid era coughs up characters like Juju and our Gareth. Thankful that most peeps have reached the end of the tunnel and are out the other side in the sunlight.

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  64. Goliat says:

    What a complete anus, this Cliff.

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  65. james says:

    you spent way too much time even acknowledging the horrible phenomenon, as i have spent way too much time writing this stupid comment

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  66. Adolf says:

    Goliat,you have it all wrong he is not an Anus he is Gareth Clit.

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  67. Babel Fish says:

    Another wonderfully refreshing article. The guy is a total wanker. Wallowing in his own little world of even bigger wankers who look up to him. Who in their right might would consult this nob for advice on anything, let alone how to run the world?

    Some of the overanalytical responses in the responses are also fucking hilarious. I don’t need to quote some obscure writers or philosopher to see that the guy is a fucking wanker.

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  68. plaintalk says:

    Did I miss something?…Who exactly is Gareth Cliff?

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  69. Randomness says:

    I don’t know who to dislike more now – Cliff or Edmonds, but at least now I know what was potting in Atlas Shrugged.

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  70. WEugene says:

    There’s a great line in ‘The Corrections’ where a character is waiting to get into a lift : “As the mass of humanity moved into it, Gary considered waiting for a less populated car, a ride less pullulating with mediocrity and body smells.”

    I can picture Gareth clenching his nostrils outside just such a lift in the SABC.

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  71. The Truth says:

    Edmonds is pissed off because until Gareth Cliff wrote his book he was the biggest asshole in SA publishing. Now Gareth Cliff holds that distinction. Nobody wants to read the second biggest asshole in SA publishing. Brandon, it’s time for ‘Edmonds on Everything’. Get at it!

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  72. n.x.n says:

    Once again, Mr Edmonds, a fine review of what could only ever have amounted to a truly unpleasant meal, this sour ceviche with a side serving of Randolf salad.

    Gareth Cliff, he’s a gloating tosser, buttering his own mileie in public.

    Sies.

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  73. Winky says:

    You should change the title of your wanky article to “Everything” since that’s what it contains.

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  74. troymclure says:

    Wanky, Winky, how so?

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  75. Pretend Friend says:

    Gareth Cliff – his totality is “pretend” and typical of post-apartheid South Africa. Fake-it-till-you-make-it personified. Maybe an affront to hard effort of THE REAL THING but kudos to the bloke who’ll put spit on his shoes and pretends to be the NASA scientist. I think there’s a place for pretenders … if you work to make it. Stripes get earned … talent, skill and knowledge often don’t simply combine to make one an instant Jedi Masters ?

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  76. Sue says:

    Long-winded, pretentious, self-important review. Why bother? It’s like using a nuclear missile to swat a mosquito. He’s the easiest target in the country, and you’ve just played right into his hands.

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  77. beherenow says:

    gareth cliff makes mental midgets look bright. Those schloomphfing up to him are mired in mediocrity. No, actually mediocrity is too generous. Nanocracy suits it all a bit better: the -ocracy of the infinitesimal.
    no wait, thats too generous too. Something will come to me…..
    In case you dont get it – Gareth Cliff you are the worst of the worst – an uninformed commentator who is anal about neatness. Run for the hills, its Cliffzilla……

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  78. christopher steenkamp says:

    I like subjective rants, god knows Cliff has dished his fair share out, he is a worthy target for scorn.

    Cliff has stuck his neck out by being this self appointed purveyor of all things logical.

    Sure no one actually grew up wanting to be a reviewer, I like this kind of writing.

    Keep it up guy

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  79. Hard Rain says:

    Ah, so now Rand becomes the brigadier for the straw man army. Why, because one dimwitted and hardly controversial radio personality mentions her books favourably? I have some bad news for the author: whilst Rand was no fan of collectivism, she certainly was not anti-state.

    She, like virtually everybody with a political ideology, merely wanted the state to be of her own conception. She did not oppose state aggression when it melded with her philosophical ideology (it took quite some convincing for her just to question the legitimacy of eminent domain!). Rand was not a libertarian. Thanks for smearing. Better luck next time.

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  80. Jayson says:

    Are you reviewing a book or reciting a 3rd year philosophy lecture… find some substance.

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  81. Mike Scott says:

    this is great. probably gareth agrees with this article.

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  82. Simple FYI says:

    Since there’s a danger that some people might actually take this confused, froth-mouthed, incoherent rant against Some People Brand Hates seriously, maybe we should let old Ayn speak for herself – not because I am particularly a fan, but because I can’t stand this sort of illogical emotion-by-association festival of fried straw men. Anyway:

    “When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.” Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged.

    Sounds pretty daft huh?

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  83. anton says:

    really, it’s not so much a question of good and bad (i.e. is cliff is either genius or asshole), as it is about orality and literature – some people are really good at spontaneously picking up on glitches in the system and being provocative and funny and cutting into political correctness and being witty and controversial and acerbic about everything and gareth is good at this… …. …

    but put all of that into words you have to phrase into an argument for something or other and suddenly it looks grim and banal and boring… … …

    so i think here this is a question of the guy’s medium and the discovery that he’s not a very good writer….he’s a funny, pretty smart guy who should stick to radio.

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  84. Jonathan says:

    Im glad to hear I am not the only one who cant stand that gay little twat.

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  85. Danny says:

    Dear Brandon, publish YOUR book! I’ll read it and most likely give to everyone I know who reads. Your bitterness is a clear reflection of your desire to be heard on a larger scale so do it.

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  86. Anonymous says:

    SELAH. Thanks man

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  87. Mike says:

    Just finished reading it. I have to agree with you Mr Edmonds.

    Mr Cliff professes to love our country so very much and yet he tells us with great conviction how useless community is. I’m not sure Cliff knows who or what he wants to be.

    The book doesnt flow and is more like a collection of blogs that happened to be rammed together in one annoying volume. There’s no real substance to his arguments or statements. All in all I found it painful to read and bursting at the seams with self righteous, self centered bullshit.

    And Amazon wont give me my $11.99 back.

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  90. Peter says:

    Most biased ‘review’ I have ever read. Smacks of jealousy. Silly.

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