The village idiot’s idiot, to address the ruined of Zimbabwe

Surely this report on Times Live is an early April Fool’s joke? It has to be. The (woodworking) tool of South Africa addressing the tool-less of Zimbabwe?

Now that I have managed to bring my howls of laughter under control, I have taken a few minutes to reflect on its veracity. If its’ true, then heaven help Zimbabwe…and South Arica.

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister (whatever the hell that is) Saviour Kasukuwere, apparently believes that Malema’s visit will facilitate

youth movements from the two countries to share experiences and map strategies

***Personal warning to Youth of Zimbabwe: If Malema is headed your way, run like hell!!! The only thing Malema can teach the youth of Zimbabwe is how to become better lap-dogs of your lunatic President, Robert Mugabe***

Perhaps Malema is not going to Zimbabwe to impart knowledge, but to learn some new moves, now that his slimy repertoire has been so brutally exposed back home. Perhaps he’s going there to learn how to “shoot the Boers” and take their farms as Mugabe so effortlessly did. They already know that getting rich through government tenders is so tedious and takes too long. Or perhaps he’s going to learn how to stay in power forever, on behalf of his ANC friends; you know, the guys who cover his back so that his poverty doesn’t show.

But a little bird tells me that the only thing to learn from people with idiotic titles like Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister, is how to totally ruin a country. I’ll bet that the holder of this pompous title truly believes that he is involved in a “fight for full economic independence” which incidentally, Malema’s visit is supposed to be in solidarity with. Modern day revolutionaries – what a bunch of jokers?

Let’s hope that Mugabe treats our village idiot’s idiot, so well, that he decides to stay in Zimbabwe for good. I can just imagine the champagne corks popping at the mere thought of that eventuality.

Dumb-ass of the decade

I suppose it’s fair for people to think I have some sort of vendetta against arch-idiot, Julius Malema, leader of  a bunch of misfits known as the ANC Youth League. I can’t help it. The guy’s got both his feet so far into his mouth, you might catch a glimpse of his toes sticking out his fat arse; if you were unfortunate enough to be subjected to that ignominy off course.

Not a week goes by without him insulting us South Africans with his gross ignorance and spectacular lies, not to mention the outrageous contempt he displays for the institutions of law and order (what’s left of it) and even government (what little there is off it that actually works).

Just yesterday, he was at it again; this time regaling journalists with what can only be described as pure fabrications about his openly lavish lifestyle.

I live on handouts most of the time. If I don’t have food to eat, I can call Cassel Mathale [premier of Limpopo] and say: “Chief, can you help me? I’ve got nothing here.” I can call Thaba Mufamadi, I can call Pule Mabe [ANCYL treasurer general] or Mbalula. They all do the same with me. That’s how we have come to relate to each other.

Interesting choice of word, that – handout. If expensive cars, flashy jewelry, multi-million rand mansions, and extravagant parties, can be considered handouts, I wonder what those beggars standing at traffic intersections consider the few coins we reluctantly hand out to them? There are millions of dirt poor South Africans who could do with friends like Malema’s, and they must surely be cursing the gods or their ill luck for not hooking them up.

And if that previous statement don’t beat all for total absurdity, the following must surely be the clanger of the decade:

That’s why at times you can’t even see our poverty because we cover each other’s back. As comrades, we have always supported each other like that.

Ah yes, Julius the poverty that you and your ANC-government friends find yourselves in, is all too apparent. Thanks for pointing that out; we were all so blind for thinking that the only poverty you and the government suffer from, has to do with morals.

Helen Zille Quote

Leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance and President of Cape Town, Helen Zille was quoted this morning during a radio interview as saying that the ANC was a:

small, elite kleptocracy masquerading as a liberation party

I thought it was pretty funny, even though Helen is generally a very earnest women, not known for being humorous. Perhaps she was not trying to be funny at all, because those words are chillingly true. It’s a real pity that most South Africans won’t read this quote or even understand what it means. I’m pretty sure Julius Malema, President of the ANC Youth League won’t, because he’ll claim that kleptocracy is not a word in the Pedi language. [According to my spell checker, Pedi is not a word in the English language; Julius must be fuming]

It’s also a pity that Helen is a white women, because that seems to be the only valid reason why she is not South Africa’s President. Most South Africans will not vote for a white person, let alone a white women, because the damage caused by apartheid seems to still run very deep. And that too is a real pity.

Bloggers For a Free Press: In support of Sipho Hlongwane’s call

I almost missed the opportunity to join an increasing number of people in speaking out against attempts to muzzle the freedom of the press, by that government lap-dog organization known as the ANC Youth League. Luckily, a friend of mine pointed me to Chris Roper’s site where he supports the call of Sipho Hlongwane, for Bloggers to join in condemnation of any attempt to stifle media freedom in general, but especially the despicable tactics employed by the ANC Youth League.

Here are some extracts from Sipho’s call, but more here at chrisroper.co.za:

I’m sure you’re aware by now of the slander campaign launched by the ANC Youth League’s spokesperson Nyiko Floyd Shivambu against journalists they perceive to be against the Youth League. This campaign is especially directed against City Press journalist Dumisani Lubisi. You’ll remember that he was instrumental in exposing Julius Malema’s interests in various companies.

I’ve invited a number of South African bloggers to publish a message to the ANC and the Youth League on Wednesday, condemning the actions of Shivambu and calling on them to distance themselves from such practices. We also reminds the ANC of the vital role played by the press in the liberation struggle.

If you’re a South African blogger and are interested in joining, then drop me an email at sipho.hlongwane@gmail.com. Alternately, you can reach me on Twitter (@ComradeSipho). I’ll fill you in with further details and put you on the SpeakZA mailing list.

If you’re on Twitter, the hashtag is #SpeakZA. Let’s get the word out there.

Let’s put a stop to government and its cronies meddling with our freedoms.

Don’t drink and drive…you may run into some police officers who haven’t mastered the decimal system yet

I came across this blog post in Mail & Gaurdian’s Thought Leader titled Fuck the police and realized we’re in much more serious trouble than I thought. I think it’s pretty much accepted by now that our police officers are not the brightest, most honest or competent men in uniform, but it is just plain ludicrous when policemen accountable for handling an alcohol testing instrument cannot tell which is a higher number, 0.04 or 0.010.

On a related note, only recently I wrote about how ANC spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu was arrested for driving under the influence, and how the police at the Mowbray police station were reluctant to process him because of his political connections. Well, it now turns out that there are moves to suspend the use of the Dräger breathalyzer machines (one of which was used to test Mthembu as being over three times the legal limit) because of concerns over its certification and calibration.

This development coming so soon after the arrest has led to suspicions that the ANC-aligned National Prosecuting Authority are trying to influence the outcome of the impending DUI case against Mthembu. It brings back memories about how a certain President escaped prosecution from fraud and corruption charges when the law was conveniently circumnavigated in his favor. Do rats smell?

May I suggest that the entire police force be recalibrated to perform the duties expected of law-keepers, and all our ruling politicians be certified as manipulative, thieving assholes?

Urami Bushi by Meiko Kaji

Ever since I first heard this song in Quentin Tarantino’s film, Kill Bill, it has haunted me. It has become a firm favorite of mine and I just have to play it a few times a week, even though it is kind of sad. It’s that voice; it keeps drawing me back…

Below you will find the Japanese and English lyrics. I hope you enjoy too.

Meiko Kaji – Urami Bushi

Hana yo Kirei to, Odaterare,
Saite Mitanara, Sugu Chirasareru.
Baka-na, Baka-na,
Baka-na On’na no… Urami-bushi.

Sadame Kanashi to, Ariramete,
Naki-wo Misereba, Mata Nakasareru.
On’na, On’na,
On’na Namida no… Urami-bushi.

Nikui, Kuyashii, Yurusenai.
Kesu ni Kesenai, Wasure-rarenai.
Tsukinu, Tsukinu,
Tsukinu On’na no… Urami-bushi.

Yume yo Miren to, Warawarete,
Samete-misemasu, Mada Same-kirenu.
On’na, on’na,
On’na-gokoro no… Urami-bushi.

Makka-na Bara nya, Toge ga Aru.
Sashitaka-naiga Sasazu’nya-okanu.
Mo’eru, Mo’eru,
Mo’eru On’na-no… Urami-bushi.

Shinde Hanami ga, Sakuja Nashi,
Urami Hito-suji, Ikite-yuku.
On’na, On’na,
On’na Inochi no… Urami-bushi.
————————————————-

Translation: My Grudge Blues

You’re beautiful, you’re the flower, he praises you.
But if you bloom, he will get you scattered.
Stupid. So stupid.
I go so stupid singin’ my grudge blues.

You can accept your pitiful fate.
But when you cry, he’ll make you cry more.
Women, oh women,
It’s women’s tears that makes my grudge blues.

I hate you. Full of regret, never forgiven.
Try to erase my memory, but cannot forget you.
It never ends, never,
It never ends, ’cause that’s my grudge blues.

They say it’s a dream, embers of one-sided attachment,
laughing at you.
So you decide to wake up, but fear to be fully awake.
Women, oh women,
Women’s soul beats on my grudge blues.

Crimson roses have its sharp thorns.
Don’t wanna hurt you, but have to stab you with my thorn.
Burning, it’s burning,
It keeps on burning within my grudge blues.

No flower would bloom on my dead body.
So I will live along hanging on my grudge.
Women, oh women,
My woman’s life belongs to my grudge blues.

Shaolin Monks, Wheel of Life

Publicity photo from CoJ website

I attended a performance of the Shaolin Monks, Wheel of Life, at the Teatro Theatre at the Montecasino Casino Resort in Johannesburg yesterday.  I was suitably impressed, not by the supposed superhuman feats of the supposed practicing buddhist kung-fu monks, but by the visual spectacle. 

The Wheel of Life has a  production team which includes Director Micha Bergese (currently artistic director and choreographer of The Millennium Show in the Central Arena of The Dome in Greenwich, director and choreographer for concerts featuring Mick Jagger, Leonard Cohen, Julio Iglesias, The Pogues, Tina Turner and Sarah Brightman among others), Set Designer Mark Fisher (Cirque du Soleil, Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics 2008), Lighting Designer Steve Nolan (Montreux Jazz Festival for the last five years, and concerts featuring some of the biggest names in music), Composer John Harle and Sound Designer Simon Honywill. With a team this impressive, it was to be expected that they would create the required mystical atmosphere for the whole production which would lend itself to the superhuman tag the cast was crowned with. 

Apart from the fantastic displays of skill involving the handling of traditional weaponry by individual cast members, all the other acts which alluded to some sort of super-human or supernatural powers, such as lying on a bed of nails while a block of concrete is broken on a disciple’s stomach, walking on carefully positioned meat cleavers, or being held aloft by a set of supposedly razor-sharp spears, can, and has easily been explained by science. 

However the open gasps and mimicked expressions of pain from some members of the adult audience is indicative that they still think that there is some element of the supernatural involved. This is rather surprizing, what with all the available information related to explaining these acts, but no more surprizing than members of certain religious groups believing the same when they witness or participate in, acts of body piercing and self-mutilation, which supposedly occurs under the influence of a supernatural entity or god. In short , why people believe that the East is still mysterious, is an even bigger mystery.

If you’re wondering why a skeptic such as myself bothered to attend this performance, then let me assure you it had nothing to do with wanting to witness supernatural feats, or even curiosity. I just enjoy live stage acts, which involve music, lighting and choreography. I would certainly enjoy a David Copperfield or Siegfried and Roy performance, happily knowing there is actually no magic involved; only the wonders of science being put to work to delight the senses.

So, if you’re going to the East and expect to see kung-fu masters leaping tall buildings, mountains and trees, or smashing through solid walls with their bare hands, then you’re going to be very disappointed. In the same vein, if you are going to pierce your body with all sorts of sharp objects or flay or self-mutilate yourself in any way, expecting to reach a higher level of consciousness, spiritual understanding, get credits for entering a mystical heaven or just to impress some deity with your devoutness and dedication, then you are also going to be seriously disappointed. 

Rather let the masters of showmanship, such as these Shaolin Monks, provide you with the pleasure of watching (albeit sadistic in some instances) without the pain and disillusionment. The human body can without a doubt withstand a great deal of distress, but it’s really dumb to self inflict it, if you’re not going to make some money out of it.

Photo #13: Winter of my contentment

Pink Cosmos

I spotted the first cosmos yesterday morning on my way to work. They seem to spring up overnight here on the South African Highveld, lining our roadsides with a beautiful yet tangled display of whites, pinks and purples, poking out from the last bits of green and emerging brown grass.

Today I made a point of getting some photographs and these are some of them.

It’s a clear sign that winter is about to start; the season I love the most. I can already feel the slight chill in the air every morning. I can’t wait for the end to this simmering heat that’s been plaguing us recently.

Cosmos by the roadside

Am I the only person who loves winter so much?

The price of culture

I have always suspected that tradition and culture are confused and used interchangeably. I tried to Google the difference and came up with even more confusion, but I think the following definition from rediff Q&A seems to make the most sense, or it’s the closest to the way I understand it:

Tradition is way of living, expected to be blindly followed, no questions asked!
Culture defines that way of living and seggregates it from other ways of living by giving it a unique space to thrive on

In short it would appear that ancient traditions that are passed down from past generations, are either adopted as is, or modified in some way to eventually become the culture of the present generation. There are undeniably good traditions such as fun dances and huge family get-togethers. There are also unbelievably bad traditions such as beheadings and other gruesome methods of torture and killing, and others mostly associated with religion.

Modern democracies seem to think it necessary to protect cultures (and religions; although why an all-powerful god cannot protect his own conduit for adulation, has not been successfully explained yet) and hence it becomes constitutional. Effectively, a whole lot of bad traditions which have found their way into present cultures, become protected by law. Thus we have the absurd situation where cultural groups can pretty much behave in ways that are repulsive to other cultural groups, but will receive protection from the state. Society then functions by enforced tolerance – we all hate each others way of life, but there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it. Such a society certainly cannot be a healthy society.

Which brings me to the reason for this rant: It’s been reported in the press today that our President, Jacob Zuma’s three wives and 20 children (at last count) costs the South African taxpayer in the region of R15.5million to support annually.

Polygamy is a tradition that has no relevance in modern society. I don’t care if the women involved in polygamous relationships think it’s fine or fun, but in the modern world, this practice is an insult to women in general. And any man who tells me that marrying multiple women is doing them a favor, is either a filthy liar, or a total idiot. Yet, in South Africa, and probably many other countries too, the government demands that it be tolerated, because it enjoys protection as a fucking cultural practice.

It’s bad enough that I have to tolerate religion and culture, but it’s downright outrageous that I have to pay for someone else’s fucked-up sense of responsibility too.

If these clowns were not so damn funny…

You’ve gotta love this country. No matter how much our politicians screw up (and cover up), South Africans always manage to see the funnier side of it all. Take this cartoon in an on-line newspaper for instance; it’s fucking hilarious.

In fact, it’s so damn funny, I can’t resist having a go at the military theme myself:

  • Transport Minister – Major Pothole
  • Arts and Culture Minister – Private Parts
  • Communications Minister – Major R & R
  • Housing Minister – Major Billet
  • State Security Minister – Rear Admiral Snoopy
  • Justice Minister – Major Injustice
  • Finance Minister – Major Money-spinner
  • ANC Spokesman – Major Bullshitter
  • Rest of cabinet – might as well be AWOL

We’re so busy laughing, we’ve postponed the revolution to reclaim the country…for now.