There’s been a lot of crap going down politically in South Africa the last couple of weeks, but I’ve restrained myself from venting because I may just be partly responsible.
You see, I did not vote in the last general elections through sheer disgust for the politicians. I now know what an ass I’d been and I’m not making that mistake again when the polling stations opens for the general elections early next year.
The kleptocracy in charge have been taking the public for granted the last four years, as they did the previous five years, and the five years before that. Their total and utter disdain for the citizens of this country has reached alarming proportions, but the real shocker is the terrifying reality that we appear for all intents and purposes, to be embarrassingly impotent to do anything about it.
Oh sure, we’ve ranted online on social media, participated in a few protest marches, added our names to those useless petitions and polls. But what’s the point if the only people really listening are those most affected, not the perps. Preaching to the choir, what?
The awful truth is that the politicians in charge don’t give a shit. If anyone has not realised this by now, they’re immensely dense.
We only have a fleeting hold on power – on election day and then we relinquish it when the winners are comfortably settled into office. Power to the people then simply evaporates and becomes power to the politicians.
We are given this once chance to dump the bastards in office, but do we use it wisely? The last two election results reveal that we’re quite happy to be ruled by thieves, immoral, incompetent, sycophantic, self-serving, pompous assholes, and yes, psycho’s too. And the crazy thing is that the very people who are short-changed the most, are the most likely to vote for the most undeserving of politicians.
So, you have a chance once again to change things; grasp it and choose wisely. That’s the only chance you’ll get for another five years as you grin and bear it.
Photo credit: Thompson Rivers
I’m not alone in maintaining that democracy is not the best political system; just the best
system we have currently. And politicians who work within a democratic system do so knowing full well that it serves to give them a veneer of respectability, in a lifestyle of villainy.
Not so with common dictators, monarchists, personality cultists and theocrats. They dispense with the niceties of democracy because fear works better for them. You could say this lot are honest rogues.
However politicians don’t exist on their own. They need people. Preferably not so smart people.
Now there’s a scientific study that confirms that people are not so smart when it comes to choosing the right candidates, and that’s why democracies invariably don’t elect the best leaders.
The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.
The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people’s ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments. [People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say]
It all simply boils down to the unfortunate incidence of people giving/conceding power to politicians in ways they neither comprehend nor bother to take responsibility for. And that’s never a good thing.
I know; I live in South Africa, where this is amply demonstrated.
The State of the Nation’s Politicians
The State of the Nation [SONA] speech yesterday by President Jacob Zuma was another insipid affair. We all guessed it would be, but it seems we’re suckers for punishment, by hoping desperately for something different. The major newspapers thought his delivery was much better than last year, but they also surmised that the more important bit about delivering on promises would be as abysmal as it was after last years’ pledges.
So yet again the talk is cheap, but the taxpayers’ liability leapfrog’s exponentially to support the grandiose and hair-brained schemes of the politicians in charge, not to mention keeping them in the lap of luxury.
Bastards! All of them.
The State of the Nation Undress
A national radio station DJ Gareth Cliff, challenged listeners to amuse themselves while listening to the SON address, by playing a game of abandoning one item of clothing every time Zuma indulged them with some of the quirks he is noted for, such as nudging his spectacles back up every time it slipped down his nose using a gesture that resembles flipping the bird. Or every time he used some stupid phrase such as “absolutely,” that he is infamous for.
The idea was to see how quickly one could get completely starkers, and I guess many did just that. However I would have played the game a little differently had I been bothered to actually spend good time watching this thieving politician mouth off more drivel.
I would have started out completely starkers, showing him my ass as he started his speech, and then putting on an item of clothing every time he said something that was honest and worth looking forward to. I’m guessing that even the most die-hard optimist would have got to maybe putting their socks back on.
A politician died today.
Saw it on a Facebook status update. Jack Layton of Toronto, Canada, leader of the opposition New Democratic Party.
I off course didn’t know all this when I saw the status which just read “Rest in peace Jack Layton. You will be missed.” For a South African such as myself, accustomed to an entire lifetime of sleazy, self-serving, arrogant, thieving scumbags who pass for politicians, the thought that a politician could actually be missed, is both alien and repulsive.
It’s no wonder then that I commented “It’s a politician….good riddance I say…”
That’s when the status owner, my cousin replied that he was “…a man for the people.”
A man for the people? Yet again, it’s a concept that’s hard to accede to. Do such men (politicians) really exist? Well, if my cousin from Canada is to be believed or trusted, maybe. Either Jack has done some astounding work convincing Canadians, some at least, that he’s a good guy, or Jack is (was) really a good guy.
Unfortunately though, my South African – no my Continental – experience which feeds my cynicism, will not allow me to slip my guard, and allow one of these reprehensible cretins who create misery and suffering all over Africa, to get a foot in the door of my favour.
Goodbye Jack, perhaps I’ve been too harsh on you; but I’m hoping fervently that you’ll be welcoming many of Africa’s shitbag politicians to join you as soon as possible, starting with Muammar Gaddafi up North…
With the heart-wrenching images of the aftermath of the massive earthquake to hit Japan streaming in on every possible medium, I’m comforted that South Africa is not situated on or near any major geological fault lines that would make us also susceptible to these types of disasters.
But we do have our own fault lines in the form of a long line of crazy asshole politicians hell-bent on destroying the country. Yes, you guessed right! The ANC are the only major disaster South Africa has to worry about.
Fortunately it is a man-made one; one which can be mitigated, perhaps even without the destruction associated with disasters.
For my new series on dumbass politicians, the first one comes with a familiar distinction. They don’t get dumber than this, but the year’s still young…
Following the unfortunate deaths of 7 people who were struck by lightning in a rural area, the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs Nomsa Dube, boldly called upon the department of science and technology to investigate the cause of the lightning.
This daring politician further illustrated her substantial aptitude for political office by insisting that:
Scientists from the department could perhaps help us and come up with instruments that could help community members protect themselves against lightning.
Apparently, her allegedly resourceful, but very strange department had,
…dealt with floods and fires, but lightning was new to us.
Yes, Nomsa, lightning may not quite be a traditional affair, but good luck with your probe anyway…
I read a letter posted to an online newspaper today. Yay! No wait! It was interesting, in the way it showed up the ignorance about culture.
This guy, David Lucas was writing in response to a presumably white women who expressed her disgust at the penchant of the local Zulu population to slowly and ritually kill an ox with their bare hands, to satisfy a traditional custom known as Ukweshwama. Well, he basically called her a racist and berated her for questioning the culture of non-white people, supposedly while her own race indulged in similar bloody practices.
He goes on to cite Spanish bullfighting, the bull running in Pamplona and the Rodeo in the USA as examples of bloody practices that whites indulged in. He states that if you ask the Spaniards, Italians [?] or Americans why they “do this to animals,” they would respond that it’s part of their culture.
And that folks is where the problem is. Not only are these Spaniards, Italians [?] and Americans idiots, they responded that way [if this idiot, David Lucas is to be believed]because of years of indoctrination in protecting one’s beliefs. The bloody sporting activities described by David Lucas are no more cultural than picking one’s nose. It’s just become very convenient to protect one’s crazy beliefs and desires under the banner of culture, just as one protects one’s crazy supernatural beliefs and desires under the banner of religion. Culture and religion – a great place to hide and protect craziness.
These people know that once you classify something as religious or cultural, you will enjoy the protection of the clergy, the politicians and the state. It’s that simple. Really David, you dumb fuck, it’s wrong whether you’re black or white or fucking alien green; race has nothing to do with it.
And David, I’m non-white and I have this sudden strange desire to practise the Aztec ritual of ripping out still-pumping hearts from the chests of my fellow humans. It’s bloody yes, but I feel the need to proliferate this great cultural tradition once more. I’m sure I can count on your support, if some frigging white person has the temerity to object…
It’s grossly unfair that I can’t steal with impunity. I mean, South Africa has this wondrous constitution, supposedly one of the best in the world; one which guarantees equal rights to all citizens.
So why is it that only the politicians in the ruling government, and their cohorts have the right to steal, embezzle, defraud and mismanage, with gay abandon, while I, a kind contributor to the fiscus, have to face the wrath of the police? Why should the police protect only the governing elite, while I have to pay their salaries to watch? Isn’t it about time I’m allowed to exercise my rights to compete on an equal footing with the government looters?
Even the police should be allowed to steal (those that are not doing it already that is). It’s a slap in the face of labor law, and downright inhuman, to expect the police to protect their employers, who not only pay them a pittance, but steal the taxes they contribute to the country. That’s just sick. You just know these lame lazy-boy-lovers, would like nothing better than to get a shot at thieving, themselves. You can see it in their eyes, every time they have to escort some fat-fuck politician to his next big swindle.
Consider the billions that have found their way into the back pockets of our glorious liberators from Apartheid, from the hey-days of shady arms deals, to the present billions that cannot be accounted for by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). It’s outrageous that I could not be part of that delightful scheme to divert money away from the greedy recipients of welfare grants. And why couldn’t I have a crack at the billions that has gone missing from the Education Departments of various Provinces? What do snot-nosed kids need an education for anyway; it’s not like they’re going to inherit a functioning country once all the looting has decimated it?
At least give me an opportunity to take back some of the loot from all those fucking cronies you have been so generous to; those who have enjoyed the lions share of government’s theft schemes up to this point. I promise, I’ll be as smooth and non-violent as you bastards have been; I’ll only require that you use your influence to muzzle the press so that they don’t spill the beans on me. Is it too much to ask for? Come on guys, let’s be fair here?
And if you villainous weasels who run this country won’t allow me even that courtesy, then please let’s stop kidding ourselves by calling this country a democracy; let’s call it what it is, a kleptocracy…