South Africans are constantly moaning about the state of the country and the behaviour of our politicians etc. But the truth of the matter is that the entire planet is in the crapper and, all things considered, we aren’t doing so badly. That’s why I’m starting a new thread on this blog called ‘It Could Be Worse’ – a collection of bad news stories from around the world. If nothing else, this should give the whingers among us the perspective to understand that we’re all in the same boat… Continue reading “Greek politician gets slap happy”
So, our glorious public broadcaster has refused to screen the latest Nando’s ‘Diversity’ ad. Unfortunately, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. The SABC has a long history of avoiding controversy at any cost, usually because the organisation is afraid to run foul of its political masters (nothing new here – the SABC was always designed to be a mouthpiece for the ruling government, whether National Party or the ANC).
Rather, this particular instance of ideological cowardice is supposedly based on cultural sensitivity; a fear that the mere mention of xenophobia will spark off another deplorable wave of bigotry and shop burning, such as we witnessed a couple of years ago. While this general concern does have some validity in a country fraught with xenophobic tension, the SABC’s reasoning as it relates to the commercial is, of course, craven nonsense. Continue reading “The SABC is chicken!”
This whole affair about Brett Murray’s painting of Zuma’s exposed genitals is, quite frankly, a load of bollocks. But it has raised a number of troublesome issues regarding freedom of expression, censorship, the right to dignity and the role of art in society.
So much has already been written about Zuma’s dangling tottie that I don’t want to rehash the whole cock and balls story. In summary, however: Yes, ‘The Spear’ and its encompassing exhibition titled ‘Hail to the Thief II’ would have hardly made a blip on the popular consciousness if the ANC had done the sensible thing by ignoring it. Yes, the ensuing shitstorm of publicity has raised Brett Murray’s profile into the stratosphere. And yes, the sudden escalation of hysteria – culminating in the painting’s unauthorised defacement – has made rational discussion impossible. Continue reading “Grow a pair, Zuma”
Julius Malema is nothing if not good news fodder. I mean, the man is a magnet for controversy and most of us can’t get enough of his wacky antics. But we shouldn’t write him off as a buffoon. The baby-faced imp we know as Juju does occasionally raise relevant social and political points that deserve to be discussed in an intelligent manner. Unfortunately, it seems that intelligent debate is simply beyond Juju’s ken. Continue reading “Malema is a pig!”
My jaw literally dropped open when I heard Jessie Duarte’s recent outburst to a member of the press. Briefly, and from the perspective of an external listener, the context is as follows: a journalist for The Times was interviewing Ms. Duarte about the ANC’s online activities. At first, things were going OK. Then, JD started fishing for a fight and asked The Times reporter to hurry up and get to the point – which she already knew had to be negative, because The Times is that kind of paper. She was acting like a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Continue reading “Jessie Duarte loses the plot”
A new political party has been born! Mazal tov! Now all we need is a name.
While I maintain a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude towards their policies, I welcome the new political entity and hope that it will diversify national politics without making the whole system unmanageable. Having a greater number of smaller parties prevents the abuse of power, which is great, but coalition governments are usually complicated and often fragile. Continue reading “Unconventional Conventionists”
Well, Terror Lekota is certainly living up to his name, and good for him. It’s said he won his fearsome moniker when he was a youthful soccer player, and his recent actions show that it’s no idle boast. Since the ouster of Mbeki, he’s taken to the field with a vengeance and all I can say is, ‘Go Terror!’
Now I’m not about to throw my weight behind his campaign to ‘divorce’ the ANC and form a breakaway party. It’s still too early in the game to make a call about the viability and vision of his new team. I also don’t know whether he is motivated by ideology, principles, ambition, greed or a combination of all four. But I do admire his courage in tackling the almighty ANC and wish him well in his endeavours. Continue reading “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to”
It’s a cliffhanger! What is going to happen on Friday? How will the judge find? Are there going to be riots? To tell the truth, I can’t even remember which Zuma case this is. Is it the one about the evidence from Mauritius, or the one about throwing the whole case out, or the one that went to constitutional court? I honestly can’t remember and I couldn’t be bothered to look it up. I’ve got Zuma fatigue.
So why am I still writing about him? Well, on the one hand, I admire his dogged approach. He certainly doesn’t give up easy. I remember reading a quote from one of his attorneys who said that they will pursue every single legal strategy, and then keep on appealing until they get the case dismissed. I tell you, it’s enough to make lawyers weep with joy. Continue reading “Zuma-palooza”
Has Zapiro gone too far this time? I’m not sure. His instantly infamous cartoon of Jacob Zuma about to rape the legal system is a fiercely strong statement. It’s the kind of cartoon that really kicks you in the guts. And it’s ambitious too. Instead of just lampooning Zapiro’s favourite shower-headed target, this time he’s implicated all the big political players as active participants in the rape.
Understandably, the cartoon has got a lot of people very angry. The ANC, its youth league, Cosatu and all the other organisations featured in the piece are unanimous in their condemnation of Zapiro. Of course, there has been the meaningless, knee-jerk accusation of ‘racism’, which is trotted out so often it has lost any impact whatsoever. But there are other criticisms of the cartoon which are not so easy to dismiss. Continue reading “A Zap in the Face”
I love clowns. They are part of ancient tradition in entertainment that makes us look at ourselves and laugh, thus throwing our true nature into stark but non-threatening relief. In many repressive societies, clowns are the only ones who can question authority with impunity or provoke independent thought without fear of censure; such is the power of humour. Even Shakespeare regularly used the character of the clown, fool or jester in his tragedies to draw out various themes and to provide some much needed comic interludes.
But quite apart from their historical and metaphysical function, a clown’s purpose is to make us laugh. And that’s why I love Julius Malema and Jon Qwelane. Those guys are hysterical! Continue reading “Send in the Clowns”
Once upon a time, I was prepared to give Thabo Mbeki the benefit of the doubt. He was a clearly intelligent man with noble aims to revive Africa and extract the dark continent from the dismissive rhetoric of western, post-colonial discourse. Admittedly, he did this by evoking the quinesstentially European concept of ‘renaissance’ and his speeches were somewhat academic, but the big lug had his heart in the right place. Continue reading “Mbeki’s turning Japanese, I really think so”