Go F**k Yourself, Jade Mitchell

Also known as:

‘That one time I wrote that post about Cape Town that went viral.’

Let me start off by saying one thing…Holy shit.

Not one time when I was writing that article did I think for a second that it would gather the attention that it did.

Following on from my infamous blog war with Gerrit, I made a vow to try to do one blog post a week, as a way of keeping my writing muscles moving and some semblance of traffic trickling into this blog.

Before Thursday’s post, my biggest day ever garnered a whole 160 views, and I only got that through shameless badgering of friends and family to help me win the war. On Friday evening, at the time of writing this, that single post has had almost attracted almost 87 000 views in three days. As some have commented, I’m not very strong in my understanding of numbers, so I won’t try to give percentages, and averages and stuff. But that’s, like, lank more…

For those of you who have a blog yourself and take joy in seeing your following gradually increase (and I’ve realised now how important the ‘gradually’ is for one’s sanity), I’d like to give a blow by blow of what it’s like to have a post explode on you.

Wednesday 3pm:

Realise it’s been almost a week since my last post. After thinking about conversations with friends visiting over the Easter weekend, think it will be funny to write an article ragging them a little to get back at all the “how can you live here”s. Write fairly silly, ironic city comparison post. Add zombie apocalypse reference at end to ensure absurdity.

Thursday 10am:

Start working on real work. Take a break to speed edit post, removing some jokes that might be a little too harsh, or that may be misconstrued (the irony of this will occur to me only much later). Update post. Get back to work.

Thursday 1pm:

Post is published. See views go to 24. Decide, based on this, that this is a good day. Friends post supportive comments. Friends from CT respond favorably. Life is rad. Have butternut soup for lunch.

Thursday 3pm:

New traffic record of 245 views. Feeling great, but am sure that the article has peaked.

Thursday 5pm:

1 200 views. Starting to feel a bit weird… This is a lot of people… I do not know this many people. I should have proof read the article a second time. Shit.

Thursday 8pm:

3 000 views. Weirdness evolves into panic. The first really negative comments start to come in. I ask Adam if he knows why people are taking it so seriously. He reminds me that I did just tell an entire city to go fuck itself. Point taken.

Thursday 11pm:

5 500 views. We turn my phone to silent to better ignore the Twitter notifications.

Friday 8am:

Post has already had 6 000 views just for the day. Realise I am also a little hungover. Piles of awaiting vitriol in the inbox does nothing for my headache.

Friday 12pm:

Struggle to concentrate on work.  Comments of all sorts roll in. Tweets fly like ceramic shrapnel at a Greek wedding. The blog has picked up 30 000 views. Panic has mutated into primal shock.

Friday 1pm:

Call Adam into the room as Angel Campey starts talking about the post during her show on 2 Oceans Vibe. Feel simultaneously giddy and nauseous. How did this happen?

Friday 5pm:

50 000 views and 3 blog posts in response. Seems to be a steady ratio of haters to fans. Fairly vicious personal attacks on social media begin in earnest, as does what may yet be a full scale nervous meltdown.

Friday 8pm:

60 000 views. Have a cry- because I am a fucking pussy, apparently.

Adam and friends remind me that this actually amazing, this is the dream. If I had achieved this kind of interaction on a client’s brand during a campaign, I would be uncorking champagne for them. Understand this on a rational level while still feeling emotionally shattered.

Friday 10pm

Tweets and comments start winding down. I fantasise about my life before the post. At last count there are 71 000 views for the day.

What the actual fuck just happened? 

In a million years I could never have anticipated this post receiving the exposure, or the reaction, that it has. A lot of the comments have tried to berate the post by calling it silly, unnecessary or ridiculous.

I agree.

Of course it is, there are zombies in it. This isn’t a political thesis, and the government won’t use it as a basis for the next national budget (hopefully), it’s bit of fluff, a bit of banter. I had hoped that when my targeted readership of 160 people read this post, they would either chortle into their coffee cups or roll their eyes at me and go back to work. That was it. That was my lofty goal with this entry.

If I could have picked any of my rants to get this much attention, it would not have been this one. It would have been the one about littering. You see, as I tried (but clearly failed) to properly establish, I don’t hate Cape Town, and I don’t hate Capetonians- not even Capetonian trolls. 

But I do hate litter. If anything good can come of the last couple of days let it be this: may even 10% of those 87 000  people think twice about throwing a chip packet out of a car window.

I am very pleased and incredibly awed that so many people, and so many people from Cape Town, have taken the time to visit my little old blog, and have shared a kind word about it- or even a rant of your own.

There are no words to describe the insanity of the last 2 days, but I am happy that so many of you told me you got a laugh from the post.

That is, after all, the only reason I wrote it 🙂

16 thoughts on “Go F**k Yourself, Jade Mitchell

  1. Where is the button with the picture of the heart… This post was just great. There are no other words. Rebecca (Jearey) told me about it and I had to come read. I love Cape Town but this is just so valid. Stuff all these nay-sayers… did they even read the beginning of the post? Eeeeedjits. Well Done Chicka.

  2. Sjoe, a big laundry list of anger and disdain in that article though? I grew up in Jozi and now live in CT. Yes, there is a massive difference between the two cities- both places have their own perks and their own flaws, as does any other place on the globe. In CT one can enjoy more safety, a better run system and spectacular scenery, in Jozi one can enjoy greater space for actual houses, business and in some cases, more opportunities. However, I don’t think there needs to be such intense animosity surrounding, swearing, name-calling and the such. Not much Ubuntu happening. We are all part of South Africa and that is that. Everyone has their preference when it comes to the place they live and will defend it – whether it is in Jozi, CT or Alaska, and rightly so. Living in both places I get stick from both parties. But guess what? it doesn’t matter. It is someone else’s opinion and that is where it ends. Some have truth and some don’t. You know in your heart how you feel and that is what matters. I understand the reasoning behind it, juts be careful how it is interpreted – while it may be a jab or joke, it can be taken as quite a slap in the face. I’m all for a giggle and congrats on the massive views – that is brilliant! But ensure the message you are trying to portray doesn’t get lost in the apparent anger that covers it. Nonetheless, as this is your opinion and I respect it, this little paragraph is mine.

  3. I was a little surprised when I saw people grumping about your last post. I mean, there are ZOMBIES in it, how serious could you have been? (JK, I know you were completely serious, and the zombies are coming). Did you ever notice that my initials are JK? Just saying. Ahhahahhahahaha, it rocks the party, I keep re-reading it ’cause it’s so bloody funny.
    I guess now you know why Britney shaved off all her hair in 2007. Lightens the load a little… 😉

  4. Loved your CT article and this one, sent it to loads of family and friends in joburg and CT. You have a fantastic writing style. Do a novel I, for one, would happily buy it.

  5. Jade, I enjoyed your post, and I was entertained in every sense when I read it this morning. It was written well, it was funny, it was truthful and it was from the heart. You can’t control how people receive your message, so I would not worry beyond that. Just keep exercising that writing muscle… I never know whose quote this is, but it always helps me lighten up. “Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive”

  6. Oh god, Jade, just ignore the silly haters. Serious sense of humour failure there. I was born in the W Cape, lived in CT for 11 years of my adult life and been in JHB ever since – loved it that someone finally said it: jissus, guys, why do you feel this urge to put down Jozi all the time? I SOOO agree with Martha, above: I too don’t believe in putting others down, so just stoppit there on the other side of the Hottentots Holland, okay?

  7. Jade, I’m sorry you feel the intenion of your original blog post was misinterpreted, however I personally found it to be hateful and angry in tone, and I don’t see the need to slate an entire place and the people who live there (ironically, out of frustration of your own home being slated). While I agree with some of the points you made I don’t believe in putting others down, even if its behind the safety of humour. Fortunately we all have the freedom of choice about where to spend our time- if you don’t like a place or its people, logically don’t spend time there, and let that be that.

  8. dear Jade, my sister in Sydney sent me your post and I read it 3 times, laughing my head off even harder (picture that?) each time. Well done, and now you have our attention, go back to ranting about littering, the world is a better place for having you. With love from Margaret. I have lived in Cape Town for 36 years and truly am sick of my Gauteng relatives trying to act their version of how we talk in Cape Town.

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