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Haters gon' Hate

One for the Haters

by Dylan Muhlenberg, illustration by Jason Bronkhorst / 13.08.2010

Thick tongue protruding out of the corner of his mouth, Max the Gorilla wields his pen as if it were a banana, aimlessly scribbling in the little cage that is his mind. One cannot help but to watch this from the gallery above and hurl peanuts at such a spectacle. An ape that can write! Which is almost as pleasing as watching a poodle pedal a bicycle.

Now I don’t know what kind of musical background Max the Gorilla has. Hell, I don’t even think he makes a living off of his words? But despite these odds, Max the Gorilla has fashioned himself as an authority of sorts, shitting on angels in his simian stride.

Merely an opinion merchant, Max the Gorilla flings these about like other apes handle their faeces. Which isn’t right. It’s like that restaurant reviewer in Ratatouille says: “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.”

So I propose that Max the Gorilla is returned to his gulag. Failing that we lop off his writing hand and turn it into an ashtray to be kept in the band room at Mercury. It will go nicely with the ottoman that I propose we turn Roger Young into. Furnishings that would definitely serve the South African music industry a lot better than this pair of self-inflated windbags.

The scourge that is Roger Young is the greater evil though, because while Max is a gorilla, at least he’s on the right side of forty and therefore has some sort of relevance representing a youth-culture brand like Mahala. Roger, in some sort of sick joke, has been bequeathed with a last name that is so far from what he is that it could just as well have been Handsome. Or Skinny. Young is merely a middle aged could’ve-been who should know better than to steal the wind from all those young dreamer’s sails. The only thing worse than listening to a man two decades older than us telling us how we should party, or what we shouldn’t be listening to, would be actually meeting him and trying not to think of his tiny, sweaty penis.

But worst of all is the beast that’s been sitting behind a computer far, far away from the one that you’re reading this on. A beast whose only way to get back at THEM is to write vitriolic, hate-filled treatises on the comment board. Gnashing its teeth at those pot-stirring sentences that set the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons. This beast is a troll. His back is hunched from stooping and he has eyes that have grown shifty from staying in the shadows. This beast is a master of puppets, creating fake personas to feign allies and keep his name referenced – thus creating an illusion of support for his own beliefs and arguments. This beast doesn’t take responsibility for his words, instead he dishes out abusive comments willy-nilly, feeds the other trolls, chooses to fight all of his battles via anonymous commentary on the comment boards, and is famous for saying things from behind a computer monitor that he’d never have the gall to say to somebody’s face. This beast is a griefer, purposely irritating and harassing others. This beast is a heckler, shouting disparaging comments, interrupting useful commentary and disturbing other participants. This beast is a lurker, one that takes and never really participates. This beast is me.

Or was me, until I decided to disrobe from my cloak of anonymity and publish this piece on the very site that keeps Young in pies and Cokes and is the only platform where I’ve ever read the above-mentioned gorilla’s byline. Yes, a lot of what you say reveals clues about yourself, and so all you Freudsters are about to have a field day with this gem: the pair of testicles that is Roger and Max have made me want to be the big swinging dick in the middle, spurting out onto the page and draining these sad sacks of their creative juices. Inspired by these hacks my digits dance across the keyboard on behalf of all those that have been left in their collective wake. I am the voice of the voiceless. Just a nice guy giving back to those who have given us so much.

Illustration © Jason Bronkhorst.

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  1. Lizzy says:

    he he very funny! however, i am starting to think that mahala isnt really about content at all, and that sobering thought abruptly stops my laughter. come on guys! really?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    What do Max and Roger think about you ripping them off? That’s not very nice, Dylan. I hope Roger smothers you to death, and Max Kalashnikovs your ass.

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  3. Andy says:

    what are you talking about Lizzy – this is just a reaction to the fury on our comment boards in the last few weeks. There is plenty of relevant content on the site. From the Mshini Wam review to the A-Team to Oppikoppi and Pop Idols there’s plenty of content… I don’t actually understand your comment

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  4. Lizzy says:

    just tired of reading insubstantive stuff, and stupid comments. off course there are great, substantive articles too, but quite a lot of fluff in between. i guess it comes with the territory. it irritates me though that the comment boards warrant an article as a reaction. its just going to cause more of the same sorts of petty responses. perhaps i can ignore the comments :-p

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  5. Lizzy says:

    ‘of course’, i mean.

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  6. Andy says:

    thanks for understanding… just protecting all the good work we do… this article kind of stoops – but I think Dylan is reacting to how a lot of people react to Roger and Max’s writing and brings into question the whole anonymous and reactionary nature of the comment boards and what drives the vitriolic responses. So it’s an exploration of those themes. We’re kind of getting all touchy feely with ourselves here. Sorry you had to watch. I’ll post something substantive later

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  7. Anonymous says:

    @Lizzy: Agreed

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  8. Mick says:

    Sho, hope that popped your freudulent zit.

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  9. K says:

    LOL, because I dig Mahala this vain lashout gets a Friday pass, but y’all don’t play fair. You have the advantage of columns over comment boxes & u can get up on ur stage and get all preachy abt responsibility for one’s words, but all this will either come to nothing other than just a Mahala deep thought moment document or it will fan the flames of ‘hate’ from the pemanent dwellers of the peanut gallery.

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  10. K says:

    p.s I meant documentED not document

    BTW why is there no comment delete button?

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  11. tam lin says:

    i’ve been waiting for this kind of response! great writing too – honest, mature & creative.

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  12. Renee says:

    I think an anonymous commentator is a cowardly one. I don’t trust an anonymous comment, because the person clearly doesn’t have the courage to take criticism back. If you can’t put your name to a comment, is it really worth it? It is rather arbitrary to communicate with some anonymous persona, an every man and no man at the same time.

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  13. violent boogie says:

    Many times the comment section is way more interesting and entertaining than the article. Don’t understand how an article about the comments section is regarded as insubstantive.

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  14. Somnambulist says:

    Renee how are you any less anonymous than someone like me, or all the people who just type “Anonymous”?

    Unless you’re putting up your full name, and a link to your facebook profile you could be anyone.

    I’ve no doubt that if we were forced to create profiles with legitimate e-mail addresses very few people would end up posting, but let’s be honest, the joy is in the masses feeling like they can say whatever the fuck they want to without fear of having their identities exposed.

    This includes trolling, sock puppets and just generally being ornery for the fun of it.

    ….The Shadow knows!

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  15. Ryan says:

    You should totally have a poo fight between the haters and the hater-haters.

    Then you can post the video here and we can comment on it

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  16. Funki Porcini says:

    An article about comments boards? Yawn, another mahala article five years too late.

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  17. eddie cheddar says:

    Opinion about opinion is pointless, Dylan. If you have an issue with what Roger and ‘Max’ have written, then the best way to deal with it is to tackle them on the SUBSTANCE of what they have expressed – that makes for good, interactive debate that is of greater interest to the rest of us. It’s not about them, it’s not about you, it’s about the cultural activities that we’re all interested in and the degree to which we share them and the way that they connect and unify us.

    In short – get a life.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Still no credentials on the mahala microphone wielders….? Why is this…? Who is The Walrus? and why should he be considered an authority. Who is Maxi Pad? and why has Mahala chosen to exhibit his excretions. Who is creeping Trotsky Edmonds? and what are his struggle credentials?

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  19. Grant Hinds says:

    Hectic stuff Dyl!!!

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  20. Andy says:

    Anonymous keeps asking for credentials, what credentials do you need?

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  21. Andy says:

    Hey Funki don’t make me hit you with the “douche stick”

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Hi Andy.

    It would interesting to see a bio on each of your regular contributers. Something outlining their careers. Where they are from. What they have done. ETC.

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  23. Alyn says:

    When you write about watching a poodle peddle a bicycle, is that deliberate? Or did you mean “pedal a bicycle”? Either spectacle would be pretty cool, actually – but while the latter would be impressive but not wildly so, given a bit of training, the former would be miraculous!

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  24. eddie cheddar says:

    For the record, I’ll take Max & Roger’s sweeping invective any day ahead of the dull, industry-line spewed by Dave Durbach. He just had to post his own dust-infested “review” of Oppikoppi after Max’s missives had set about shaking the event’s purpose and merits down to a more fundamental core. I have much less of a problem with wayward and would-be maverick upstarts with a fresh perspective than old farts who are intent on regurgitating the same old party line. Out.

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  25. Bradley Abrahams says:

    for the record – I wanna punch all your souls with a soul punching device! I really wish i could … hard!

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  26. brandon edmonds says:

    I’m a Gen X-er. I have a problem with intimacy. I have never met my biological father. I failed first year varsity because of ‘politics’. My favorite writer is Don Delillo. My favorite band is Interpol. I really need to get a novel done. I don’t have thick enough skin or a busy enough work ethic to survive. I worry about money. I worry about the size of my ass. I’m trying to find out precisely what I want and need to be happy. There that’s me. Oh and I think it was a mistake to run this piece. Roger has given an insane amount of time and energy to this site. Max is actually a very good writer – at times. I’m not sure what Andy was thinking with this. Anyway we’re having a ‘big meeting’ in 30 mins to discuss all of this – the future, funding, grievances. We’ll see how it goes.

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  27. eddie cheddar says:

    Eish Brandon, that new ‘pol album is even more severe than your current headspace. Things are probably going to get worse before they get better.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Will you publish the minutes…?

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  29. Andy says:

    ha ha… we’re working on a new build of the site and all the regular contributors will have some background.

    The reason I published this piece was because it covers a couple of bases. We always said Mahala should be a platform for a diversity of opinions and ideas. Max and Roger have been copping a fair bit of flack on the comment boards lately – I don’t think much of it is justified. But Dylan does and he’s a regular contributor who writes well and expresses his ideas cogently. Also I think it’s important for our writers to be able to take criticism from the columns as well as the comments… know what I mean. Lastly I think the stuff Dylan says about the commentators and what motivates them to comment so vociferously, is valid and relevant.

    But ja, it is still a bit navel-gazey… Now we will point the fame gun outwards

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  30. Oh says:

    South Africa is a fucking high school

    Andy you don’t need to give fuck all explanations for any shit that appears on your blog.

    And Dylan..

    “The only thing worse than listening to a man two decades older than us telling us..blah blah’

    get the fuck out here, just as old as Roger.

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  31. Roger Young says:

    “The scourge that is Roger Young is the greater evil though, because while Max is a gorilla, at least he’s on the right side of forty”

    You’re implying that I’m on the wrong side of forty, right?

    I’m 38. Good research. Well done.

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  32. No says:

    i like you Oh

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  33. Brett says:

    I’m more scared of Brad Abrahams than Roger “Daddy” Young and Maxim Igrovich Barrelsharktooth. But that’s because he touched me.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Before thirty, men seek disease; after thirty, diseases seek men.
    Chinese Proverb

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  35. the great wight says:

    may being over forty never sneak up on you and wack you with your beloved douche stick. Happily it will so move on from a confused mind frame that advocates adolecent pimples over wrinkles as a sign of wisdom. Perhaps you all can explain who why and how Bono is the most $$$$$$$$$$$.

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  36. newghost says:

    i thought dylan was 27

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  37. newerghost says:

    isnt andy over forty… i dont think age is the big issue,

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  38. Matthew Freemantle says:

    Like Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker wrote recently: “If I was designing the comments section for a website, I’d insist that every posting be accompanied by the poster’s full name and portrait – unless they preferred to remain nameless, in which case their username, by default, would be Timid McSqueaky, and their comments would appear in weak yellow text on a bright white background, like urine in the snow.”

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  39. Max says:

    I thought this was rather fun. welcome to the tribe.
    for my other work, go hound the Viceland website, back issues of SL mag and OSS.

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  40. Andy says:

    Thanks for the design tip there Matthew… I like a lot.

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  41. Tara says:

    For those anonymouses seeking mahala contributers credentials, why not just look them up. this would also solve the problem of some commenters not believing in max’s existence, as a whole and separate entity to roger, although i must say that they do right with a freakily similar tone, and also that Dylan – you would be so lucky to meet roger, or his penis.
    Dylan. Now that you are coming clean, are you the anonymous that roots me out as a recipient of vitriol EVEN WHEN i have nothing to do with the article time and time again!? Or is that some other timid macsqueaky…?

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  42. filipa says:

    the kiff and kak buttons aren’t working….

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  43. anon says:

    38 is still a pretty kak side of 40 to be on.
    stop reviewing youth culture and start writing for house and garden.

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  44. Kate Crew says:

    “…then the best way to deal with it is to tackle them on the SUBSTANCE of what they have expressed…” – eddie cheddar.
    i agree.

    insulting the author (however incompetent according to whomever) on a personal level is an act of cowardice.

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  45. jezebel says:

    limited profile for the mule.

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  46. anon and on and on... says:

    Dylan Muhlenberg – What a gangster. We love you.

    Max – We love you too

    …that is all.


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  47. anon and on and on... says:


    i wanna internets fight everyone on the internetzzzz!!!!


    anon and on and on…

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  48. Kate Crew says:

    On the topic of trolls and sweaty penises –

    Roger sounds like the Shrek to my Fiona.

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  49. Kate Crew says:

    directed at (the other) Kate Crew:
    going green i see. congradulations.

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  50. Dominique says:

    never pegged you for being a cruel person Dylan…..hectic.

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  51. sean-o says:

    And then the wind blew, soft, then hard, and the leaves did rustle in the wind… and the wind knew, that it was good… and so did the leaves.

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  52. Kate Crew says:

    Use your real name Michelle!
    My actual name is Kate Crew…



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  53. Luca V says:


    I think you should take away the option for anonymous comments.

    sure, we all know that comment/article-bashers bring more people to the page, and those returning to continue their useless war of words also keep that hit counter ticking over, which then in-turn presents you with a much stronger analytics to present to potential advertisers…

    but for fuck sakes. this is getting out of hand.

    you’re the main monkey around this patch of jungle; you’re the one with the stick in your hand – draw the line somewhere.

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  54. jarrid says:

    @ Dominique- he’s cruel but that’s what makes him good!
    nice piece, sum’s hte above up quite nicely.
    keep it up

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  55. All the way from france says:

    Roger keep doing what you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think Dylan just has a bit of a man crush

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  56. Renee de Villiers says:

    @ Somnambulist this is my full name and my name on Facebook as well 🙂

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  57. Anonymous says:

    2 testicles? come on d

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  58. eddie cheddar says:

    I have much less of a problem with anonymity than I do with pointless rhetoric. If Andy’s gonna censor anything in these comment spaces, then it should rather be the wholly-personal and back-biting jibes offered up by cerebrally-deficient reactors, whether they do so under their own names or not.

    I used to comment here under a more regular pseudonym, but after a while certain people started hurling abuse in response, just because somethig was written by me and not because they took the time to consider and critique the actual opinion that I had expressed. Now that I shape-shift identities more often, the sad truth is that the validity of what I express gets considered more carefully.

    Substance, people – SUBSTANCE. That is what will keep these pages interesting and what will ensure the survival of this site. Hollow “hipster” duels will negate the value that Mahala brings all too quickly.

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  59. Doctor L. says:


    But, Roger, what happened to that ‘White Ribon’ review.

    Need to make some kind of recovery from that thing. Some words might help.

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  60. Roger Young says:

    @Doctor L

    I reviewed White Ribbon. I vaguely remember being unimpressed by it.

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  61. lia says:

    Hmmmmm. Hohum.

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  62. Anonymous says:

    I’d just like to say Fuck this dylan guy.
    Who is he to claim the title of anon? I’ve dished out some quality stuff under the guise, and I dont want this heck claiming any of it by association.

    Pffft! I have taken my critique to the level of art. I’ve even become a hired sniper, slashing away on request. It is that meaningless to me, and comes as natually.

    This guy makes heft claims.
    I call a duel.

    Mahala should put together the IPs of their best annon comment haters (keep in mind, some of us post from work too), compile their best work, and have a poll. which I will win.

    Hate can something to be proud of too.
    i take this very seriously, Mahala. Very. Seriously.

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