As we’ve already established, South Africa’s broadcasting environment is almost totally devoid of balls. The SABC is a cowering, quivering mass of sycophancy. Mnet’s rule of thumb is to produce only shows with a voting line (the excellent Masterchef SA notwithstanding). And eTV is focussed on low-budget soapies.
What this dearth of testicles means is that there is little room for anyone to speak their mind. The occasional hard news show or investigative slot are all well and good, but what about the other genres of television? Our glossy magazine shows, for example, are slick and smooth and featureless – much like Barbie’s crotch. Continue reading “Anderson Cooper cuts the crap”
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!”
So far, it’s been great. But I am now looking ahead to the end of the World Cup and I’m worried. What’s going to happen to all the happy South Africans on July 12th? Will we forget about the goodwill and go back to hating each other? Will all the flags come down as we start bickering about the money ‘wasted’ on our international extravaganza? And will we fall back into the funk of negativity which characterised our pre-World Cup condition? Continue reading “World Cup Aftermath”
OK. So I may be prematurely basking in the glow of what appears to be a very successful World Cup, but I’m already looking forward and pondering: what next for SA?
I think the answer is obvious – the Johannesburg Olympics 2020.
And why not? We’ve now got the stadia, the experience and most of the infrastructure to host a major event, such as the Olympics. So let’s get the NOCSA to pull finger and submit the relevant proposals. Continue reading “Bring on the Olympics!”
It all got off to such a good start. The World Cup kicked off successfully and our nation exploded onto the world stage, demonstrating a palpable sense of euphoria that was instantly contagious. Soon, just about everyone on the planet joined in to celebrate the first ‘African’ World Cup and it looked like it would be plain sailing. But now we’re a week in and the grumbling has started. Continue reading “Is the honeymoon over?”
Boy, did we need this world cup! After what seems like years of relentlessly bad news and mass negativity, we are suddenly proud to be South African again. And it feels fantastic.
And I don’t even like soccer. To tell the truth, I don’t really care who wins (although a Bafana victory would be wonderful, if unlikely). Instead, I just want the World Cup to go off smoothly and for everyone to have a great time.
Happily, this seems to exactly what’s happening. The doomsayers in the world press have been forced to eat humble pie and the Cassandras who live within our borders seem to be at a loss because all their dire predictions have failed to materialise, again. All I can say is ‘good for us’. We deserve this. Continue reading “Fifa Fo Fum”
OK, so some dopey Rasta dude screwed up the South African national anthem on international TV. Big oops. But while the choice of singer was unfortunate and careless, it hardly qualifies as a catastrophe. After all, we’ve got plenty of real problems to worry about. Nevertheless, everybody is up in arms, officials are scrambling to cover their asses and ‘Anthemgate’ has already been given the standard suffix for a scandal.
Now, I’m not saying that fumbling the anthem in a global forum isn’t a serious breach of national etiquette. I also agree that it is slightly embarrassing to the country and downright offensive to many self-respecting South Africans. However, let’s get a bit of perspective here… Continue reading “Sounding the call”
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”
Ag man, it’s all bloody doom and gloom, wherever you look. Rates are up and the rand is down. Fuel, food, foreigners; it’s all a big F-up. And you know what? I’m done. I know I should be concerned, and people are suffering, and the planet’s about to destroy itself. But I can’t take it anymore. I’ve become numb. I’ve switched off.
It’s a purely defensive mechanism, I assure you. I’m normally an involved, concerned and committed citizen of SA and the global community, but there’s only so much bad news you can take before you go mad. And it’s even worse in South Africa. I mean, every time there’s a little crisis, we all put on our running shoes and prepare to leave the country. Continue reading “On your marks, get set…”