“choosing a fuck depository in South Africa is still possible”

about the shorty:

Oh fuck! We done did it! Art Fusion Literature has been to the mountaing top, and we’ve seen the promised land – where absolutely no fucks (zero, zilch, nada) are given. In this irreverent cut-throat essay cutely christened FIVE FUCKS OR LESS: On Jacob Zuma and Learning How Not To Give a Fuck, Thato Rossouw finally finds meaning to his boil-ridden life as our own liberator from the turmoil of fuck-giving. And we thank him for it. This essay is insightful, well constructed, funny and – most importantly – #LitAF!

Click here to purchase this lil shorty.

about the author:

Thato Rossouw is a useless nobody who is beset by boils and mounting student debts. He writes for some reputable publications whenever hunger strikes, or a trap night out beckons, or he chances upon a good pair of sneakers. Basically Thato is the jukebox of literature – fak’imali uzobona. He is currently stalking English and Philosophy professors at die Universiteit van die Vrystaat and not working on the collection of essays “OF PIMPLES & BOILS: A Look into South Africa Through the Itching Balls of a Fuckboy.”

foreword by Ace Moloi:

FIVE FUCKS OR LESS by literary critic, blogger and writer Thato Rossouw is an essay that actually gives more fucks than five. It offloads tons and tons of fucks, in fact. Rude fucks. Polite fucks. Unnecessary fucks. Nowhere in my reading history have I ever seen such a congestion of trucks of fucks. I wondered as I swerved, “What is it about the state of affairs in our country that makes a writer pack up so many fucks in one essay?”

Let’s return to the consignment of fucks shipped in this essay.

A fuck has evolved from a verb of immorality to a noun of agency, thereby becoming a currency of activism – or lack thereof. But like a historical fuck, it is something you don’t just give anybody. Writes Rossouw:

“Thing is, not everything we come across in life is worthy of our fucks, and it is our duties, as the distributors of said fucks, to learn how to identify which situations are worthy and which ones are not – lest one gives out fucks to the wrong fucking situations and ends up fucking up this fucking thing called life.”

The phenomenon which Rossouw preaches about (this essay makes for a good sermon in a bar, with Lebo Sekgobela’s Lion of Judah playing on the background) is not new in the organisation of human society. It has been a subject of commentary from Genesis (if Eve never cared about becoming any wiser, the snake was going to fall into a crisis of existence) and to this day continues to be the topic of interest (“it doesn’t matter what people think of you, black child”).

In his sermon – “I Know But I’m Not Nervous” – Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick refers to Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, in which the Apostle clarifies a series of rumours created about him, so that the church could separate truth from verbal concoctions. It could somewhat be said, despite a possible theological whirlwind, that the Apostle was writing to the Corinthians so that what they heard about him doesn’t make them nervous, lest they, in the words of Rossouw, wound up giving a fuck.

Of contention is Rossouw’s choice of a hero in nonfuckerism: President Jacob Zuma. There are various manifestations of nonfuckerism. Not all that doesn’t give a fuck is heroic. In this case, the writer suffered an exemplary poverty or forced himself to recycle what is beyond repair, unless he wanted to show us just how not giving a damn can mess you up.

I think this is a tall shortcoming of this essay: the omission to distinguish between a broken man and a man who refuses to be nervous in the face of opposition and confusion. I find nothing nonfuckeristically educational about Rossouw’s hero, except in a villainy crash course for a guerrilla army.

Another immediate shortcoming is that Rossouw oversimplifies not caring and, unlike his model writer Mark Manson (“The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck”) and the pulpit man Steven Furtick, does not school us on the curriculum of nonfuckerism in its depths and heights. Does it mean recklessness or calculated concern or bias?

Maybe this is linked to the President. Just don’t give a fuck. Even about the costs of your own homestead’s security upgrades! WTF!

I suppose it’s all in the name. Gedleyihlekisa: I’ll fuck you up and giggle.

Nonetheless, this is a piece penned for you and I as organs of a generation that lives on the edge of sharp suddenlies, where everyone is contesting for both our audience and particular reaction. So, it doesn’t end with us giving away the very few fucks we have; it’s about giving them in a specific way set by those who control the narrative. The ones who don’t just want us to know, but also pray for, and prey on, our nervousness.

It’s for you who has abandoned your dreams because they weren’t favoured by the courts of public opinion. It reminds you of the good girl you left because she was not good in the public eye. It makes you ponder the question, “Does this make me happy?”
Truth is, if you give many a damn, you end up so damn broke that you are left with only yourself to sell.

Of primary celebration is that Thato Rossouw is surely a gifted writer. I’m impressed more by the simplicity of his writing than the relentless ferocity of its vulgarity. Surely there’s a difference between a person who writes in a simple style and the one who cannot write in any other manner, which then becomes a case not of simplicity but incapacity. Thus, simplicity is a privilege of experience. It takes a person who has given a lot of fucks to give less fucks.

I am confident that, having cringed onwards throughout this introduction, the amount of fucks that follow will not be as traumatising. If it all seems meaningless on the other side of the read, well, the writer is on a very low budget of fucks.