So I am doing my stuff at a society / association breakfast and I am rocking! You know when you own an audience and this one – I own!
They are laughing tears, the energy is electric, they are making notes when I drop it down to a business or life lesson, and I am in the zone. Afterwards I get immediate requests for speaking engagements, my business card is torn off the feedback forms, the stage is rushed with people enquiring about books and learning material. My webpage gets many hits on that day, I get friend requests on Facebook and I pick up a few more followers on twitter too. Now I need to go home and get grounded again. I can feel my ego has stuck its ugly head out and I need my wife and kids to bring me back down to earth. I never want to fall into the trap of believing that I am a rock star. It’s all just a game!
Fast forward two days later. I get a response to our standard “how was Gavin’s presentation” courtesy letter. Shock and horror seeing words like, “racist, sexist, inappropriate and not related to the audience or business”. “We will never use him again!”
I polled the written feedback to check the responses from the audience including male, female, black, white, old, and young who all disagree with those 2 comments and confirm what I felt had happened in the room. I immediately called the chairman; he too says “what nonsense!”
SO WHAT HAPPENED ?
As usual two or three individuals, probably lifelong members of the thought police decided to band together and complain. These people (usually 400 years old who don’t get out much) have a certain amount of leverage in the association and they write a letter (pretty unusual because these types of cowards usually hide behind anonymity and will hardly ever put pen to paper, and if they do it’s never to me, it’s always to a third-party) or make a comment to a committee member. The committee member has a knee-jerk response and sends an appraisal that mimics the three and totally disregards the other 147 rave reviews.
Similarly at a school I spoke to earlier this year, every time I said my favourite word “kak”, the entire faculty looked across the room to one ancient relic with a face that looked like it had not smiled in 40 years. She was seated very close to a woman who looked like she hadn’t had sex in a very, very long time. Any time a naughty suggestion was made in my presentation it was greeted with an “ooh!” and a stern look at the principal.
At the beginning of the year I had an old man at the wild Coast (again rocking an audience) this lone, old voice shouted “stop being so bloody crass, you!” (Sic)
For the record, I have never and will never swear on stage. Never! The worst I have ever said is the word “kak” which is legal and in accordance with the broadcasting complaints commission. In the context I use the word, it means nonsense. I have for effect or where relevant slid in a “s#!+” three or four times in 19 years. Hardly the height of profanity but it happens!
About twice a year I get a reaction and I have learned to take it in my stride but just a thought, a thought I always share, subtly of course, with these sensitive thought police people. Okay! I don’t do it that subtly.
The list goes on and on but I don’t see you sending letters of protest for the REAL issues. Why aren’t you all shocked and horrified at the state of our country and our schools?
Where are your disgust and disdain e-mail and complaints about abuse, murder and rape?
I think that child abuse is crass, rude and terrible but I didn’t see you at the march and I can bloody guarantee you didn’t send an e-mail or letter. But let me or another performer stand on stage and use a word or story that doesn’t fit in with your 1902 backward mind-set and “bam”, a complaint or e-mail. Usually it’s just a word in the ear of some jellyfish committee or board member who runs for the “cover-my-butt” bunker.
It is my job to upset at least 20% of the audiences I speak to because it’s usually the 20% that are guilty of non-performance and backward thinking. I am here to give the 20% a kick-up-the-you-know-what. I say what managers and bosses wish they could say but “legal” will not allow them too. I want to make it uncomfortable for these people so that the 80% can get on with their jobs and lives. In some companies 80% are lazy, excuse filled, non-performing, complaining problem children and 20% carry the company.
I am here to tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear!
You sir or madam, in my opinion, are what is wrong with this country. You and your elk probably designed and brought us systems like apartheid, banned newspapers and again are trying to silence the unvarnished truth with your new secrecy bill. Well I, we, will not go quietly into the night and we will not be silenced. We will not cater for a minority of backward thinkers and we will listen to the overwhelming majority who say, “Ag kak man!”
AND ANOTHER THING!
Stop telling me that I can’t wish people a happy Christmas!
This one is for the Politically Correct Police, the Etiquette Gestapo or the People Pleasing Brigade. At this time of year with functions and events and all sorts of religious holidays many people get all sensitive and tell me that I cannot say or wish anybody a happy Christmas, or put it into print, because it is not sensitive to other religions and it may offend non-Christians.
Let me set the record straight. Last time I checked we were a Christian nation which means when issuing a Christmas wish 7 times out of 10 you are going to hit the money because the person in front of you is probably a Christian or someone who observes the spirit of Christmas. So what if the person isn’t? Who in their right mind would object to someone issuing a great “blessing”?
If a person wishes me happy Hanukkah or a blessed Ramadan, would I get all sensitive, bent and twisted out of shape? NO! I just say, “thanks dude, and a happy whatever to you too!”
Any happy blessings I get I’m going to take! I am not a Christian (I am, for the record, a devoutly spiritual person who does believe in God) but when someone says God bless you, I accept it and I give thanks. If someone says, “Jesus loves you!” I say “cool, thank you, you are very kind”. If someone says “may Allah be with you!” I say “I need all the help I can get, thanks for that my buddy!”
WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH PEOPLE?
Do you realise that different religions can coexist? If we could just stop being fanatical, trying to exclude or place our belief systems above or, at the cost of others. STOP THIS NONSENSE!
Hey, the entire Christian world amounting to billions of people are all closing down their businesses and going on holiday. Some will be observing Christmas and its traditions. Good luck to you guys, God bless and please seek me out and wish me a happy Christmas.
And while we’re on things that really tick me off …
Would you bloody finicky people who have special dietary requirements for every event and function please just get with the program or stay at home! Why should an entire function have to cater for your (weird) eating habits?
If eating is that much of a big deal, bring your own takeaways, eat what you can, or just don’t eat. Some people think the world owes them a favour but it doesn’t. They are not that important and if we cater for their specific gastronomic preferences then where do we stop?
If we cater for halal or kosher, then what about the rest? Why only for them and not all of the other religions and preferences too? What about Rastafarians, who need their food slightly cooked, or the Mormons who don’t partake in certain foods? Let’s not forget the Hindus, Buddhists, Presbyterians, Seventh-day Adventists, New Apostolic, Old Apostolic, Anglicans, Catholics, and the dozens of other religions I haven’t mentioned or forgotten.
To those who claim that religious eating habits take precedence, then where do we stop and who says your selected religion is more important than anyone else’s or why is it more important than a person who needs a special diet based on a medical condition like diabetes or G.O.R.D?
And why stop there, what about other special dietary requirements? Should we be prepared for the Vegetarians, the Vegans and the Lacto Vegetarians, the Ovo Vegetarians, the Flexitarians (I’m not kidding) and the Freegans surely they have rights too? I am hoping we don’t have any Rawists, Dr. Atkins dieters, SureSlimers, Weight Watchers, Scarsdale dieters, Beverly Hills dieters or people insisting on free range and eco-friendly lettuce.
If the vivisectionists turn up then we’d really have a problem!
We’ll also have to cook more for the Gluttons. You know the people who act as if they’ve never seen food before, and it’s free, so they stack their plates like the Eiffel Tower.
The Wasters also have to be looked after and rules should be put in place for the food left on their plates, this food should be force-fed to these idiots who dished it up for themselves.
Oh no! I have just received notification that the low GI people are also coming tonight! I for one am on a low GI, high protein, non-animal fat, free range, vegetarian (lacto – not ovo) rawist, halal, kosher, free-swimming fish, holistic with nuts, diet and I demand to be catered for!
How rich, pompous and full of sh#t have we become? Millions of people around the world are starving, tens of thousands go to bed hungry in this very country and we demand nonsense like this.
…. The mind boggles.
So, to my Christian friends, and in fact ALL my friends and loyal happy clients, Merry Christmas. God bless you all. And to my Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Mormon, Rastafarian, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, and all the rest Happy Christmas time. Why? Because Christmas to me is a time for family, fun, love, kindness, forgiveness, joy and peace. When I hear the word Christmas that is what I hear. So with that as my definition, to you one and all, have a happy, happy Christmas.
PS, if you invite me for dinner, just slap it on a plate – whatever it is, if it was prepared with love and it is free it will probably taste great. Low maintenance that’s what I say!
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Cell 083 303 2229