The outrageous DA advert

“You’re on social media, 6000. Aren’t you outraged?”

I am getting a lot of people asking if I am upset over the DA TV advert which in which they – and I hope you’re sitting down for this – depicted the SA flag being burned.

Well, they actually depicted a poorly-done CGI SA flag being burned.
But same same, right?

Here’s the ad. I hope you’re ready.

Well, no. I’m not outraged, and I’m not outraged for many reasons.

First off, I don’t tend to get outraged about things anymore. You get to a stage in life when you realise that the energy you spend on being outraged is completely wasted. And the earlier you reach that stage in your life, the happier you will be. Sure, get irritated, annoyed, maybe even tinker with being briefly furious. But then drop it. Because expending more effort than that – especially publicly – on something you can’t change, makes you look like a buffoon.
So much bluster, so little outcome.

Of course, it’s really easy to be outraged on social media, where we can all hide behind our profile pictures and pseudonyms and tell people how what they must think. But that’s even more pointless. Honestly, who is really going to listen to some nasty words formed from pixels?

And right there is the second reason. This isn’t a burning flag. It’s just some pixels. And if you’re willing to say that those pixels are the same thing as burning a real flag, then you should really be able to understand that the “burning flag” (pixels) here is merely a metaphor for the state of the country should the ANC go into a coalition with the EFF and the MK after the election.
Is it an accurate metaphor? I don’t know, but that’s actually immaterial. The DA feel that it’s an accurate way to describe the consequences of that alliance, and this is their advert. And whether or not the advert is accurate or crap is also immaterial. The outrage here isn’t over the words or the sentiment. It’s all about the “burning flag”.

What it has done is fanned the flames (no pun intended) of the electoral fire (no pun intended).
Has it influenced anyone either way? Probably very few. But probably also both ways.
If it was meant to get people to watch it, it’s worked.
If it was meant to rile the ANC, it’s also worked.

That statement by Zizi Kodwa, Minster for Sports, Arts and Culture, there.
You may recognise him from such news stories as:

and:

But oh no… someone did a nasty thing to the flag. Well, some pixels that looked like the flag.

How convenient.

Thirdly(?), It’s interesting to note that while there are several laws pertaining to the illegality of corruption in public office, there doesn’t appear to be anything saying whether you can or can’t burn the flag (which the DA didn’t do, anyway).
Here’s Government Notice No. 510 of 8th June 2001 (Gazette no 22356) (catchy title, catchy contents):

Nothing about burning there, but if you’re all about following the guidelines regarding our national symbols, then don’t forget that national rugby favourite Bryan Habana was heavily and publicly involved with breaking 15(d) so let’s not get carried away here.

The fourth thing is that outrage on social media is hugely selective. Polarised along racial, political, national, sports team or whatever other lines. Any opportunity to bash the other side is gleefully taken. People readily jump onto the bandwagon: there is comfort in numbers and camaraderie. There is admiration to be earned in being one of the people that was outraged at this or that thing that happened. But outrage is often also hypocritical. I’ve seen 100x more posts and tweets from people upset with the “burning flag” ad than I have over the actual footage of a government minister driving past shacks in his Mercedes G-Wagon, throwing ANC t-shirts onto the floor for poor people to pick up.

But do a bit of editing with a video of a flame and a CGI flag in Microsoft Moviemaker and… ah Jesus…

Of course, above all else, we should always remember that social media is not real life.
Much as Jessica’s life isn’t one constant beach holiday, no matter what her Facebook feed might suggest, nor is anyone going to grab their torches and pitchforks and head to the DA HQ over this.

Well, I say that. They might, but if they do, much like the letter above, it will all be as a cunning stunt by one of the other allegedly outraged parties to try and score some points.

I guess what I am saying here is not to rush to be outraged by anything – especially in this election season. They’re absolutely out to get your emotions and people are falling for it every single time.
You have nothing tangible to gain, and so much energy and effort to lose.
Rather focus on the bigger picture and don’t be distracted.
Look at the facts, examine the manifestos, check out the track records and consider the alternatives.

But don’t lose sleep over some pixels in an advert. Really.

Tired of…

Tired of a few things at the moment.

The impending World War is a bit tiresome. I do hope that it’s not going to affect our football team weekend away towards the end of the month. That would really be adding insult to injury. Imagine society crashing down around us and you didn’t even get the chance to share a few beers with your mates at what looks like a really decent place in the Klein Karoo before it all kicked off.

Tired of the politics in this country. The iffy polices and the usual pre-election promises and lies. Yes, yes, I know that they’re the same thing. Tired of the polarised viewpoints and the unjustified ad hominem attacks on social media. Weary at the people who think that what’s happening on twitter bears any relation to the situation in the real world.

And, related: HOW HAVE WE SUDDENLY GOT SO MUCH ELECTRICITY? Sure, no loadshedding is great and all, but at what cost is this pre-election “normality” coming? Something unsustainable is happening.
More on that in a future post.
Maybe.

Tired of – and a bit bewildered at – this sort of stunt from local news site (the) Daily Maverick:

I recognise the need for journalism, and I recognise the need for a strong and independent media, but 1) Is that really what they are?, and 2) Is this action a bit OTT and a bit drama llama-y?

Mmm.

Tired of being just being tired. I went to bed ridiculously early yesterday evening, and I slept really well. I just could have done with another few hours. I’m sure you recognise the feeling.

Still did much better than this guy though:

Oh why have all the moonbats come back out of the woodwork recently? Was it the eclipse?
So damn exhausting. They’re suddenly everywhere again, including literally shedloads of Americans who think that Cape Town has been washed away by some massive weird tsunami thing that none of us actually in Cape Town, noticed.

And like that guy above whose name was blanked out on this screenshot, but who has clearly risen like Lazarus, if he’s repeatedly had no pulse for 5 minutes at a time.
If resurrection is a side effect of the covid vaccine, then I think we need to know.

There would be many, many implications.

I think I need to sleep on it…

How did we get here?

With all the analysts, experts and common sense telling us that SA is about to go to even more pot after the upcoming elections; with the UK in danger – allegedly – of becoming a failed state; with wars in the Middle East and the ex-Soviet Union (and everywhere else that we don’t get to hear about); with Trump looking like even a possibility for re-election in the US, you might be forgiven for wondering how on earth we ended up in this situation.

Alasdair Beckett-King (you may remember him from such posts as Day 417 – King Lear redux) is also rightfully incredulous:

The thing is, even though it’s quite clear what has actually brought us to this (Alasdair inadvertently touches upon it above, in case you were still wondering), realistically, it’s not like our collective idiocy is going to change anytime soon.

“Surely it can’t get any worse, though, right?” he asked for the 8,114th time in the last 5 years.

Correct me if I a wrong

With the election date announced (May 29th, thanks for asking), everything here has become even more politically charged than usual. Voting will be for provincial and national government, but the players are all the same, and so even anything to do with the municipalities becomes antagonistic and polarised very quickly.

Here’s a reply to a Facebook post regarding funding for homeless shelters in Cape Town.

It looks like a keyboard has fallen down a steep slope, bouncing on several rocks and deflecting through the branches of a particularly thorny tree before coming to rest in the midst of a honey badger family, where the junior members have flung it from one to another for an hour or more.

And then one of them hit the POST COMMENT button.

This comment is absolutely unintelligible, but it’s still easier to read and is more sensible and pleasant than most of the stuff you’ll read on social media for the next few months.

Although “spiritual warfare attackers” will almost certainly feature less in that other stuff.
Which is no bad thing.

Correct me if I a wrong.

Great timing

Thursday was the day that Climate Scientists announced that the world had made it a whole year with an average global temperature >1.5oC above pre-industrial levels. And if you click through on that link, you’ll be able to read about many of the other records that have recently been broken as mankind does its best to trash what’s left of the planet.

It probably wasn’t the best day that the UK Labour party could have chosen to announce that they were dropping their £28bn a year “Green Prosperity” plan, halving the funding due to “the economic climate”. The actual climate isn’t the only climate that is struggling, then.

When you are an opposition party, it’s easy to make grand statements about how much you are going to spend, and all the plans you are going to carry out once you’re in government. No-one can hold you to them, because you can’t do them anyway, because you’re not in power. But suddenly, with Labour surely almost certain to win the upcoming election in the UK, they’re having to backtrack on their promises.

But with the world experts crying out for more funding for environmental and ecological issues, more buy-in and more commitment from governments, the perfect timing of this climbdown was a disaster.

Talking of disasters…

During his 2024 State Of The Nation address on Thursday evening, President Ramaphosa talked up the progress that the government had made in tackling loadshedding, which was running at Stage 2 throughout his speech:

“Since SA’s renewable energy programme was revived five years ago, more than 2,500MW of solar and wind power had been added to the grid, with much more in the pipeline. More than 120 new private energy projects were in development after regulatory reforms enabled private investment.
These are phenomenal developments that are driving the restructuring of our electricity sector in line with what many other economies have done to increase competitiveness and bring down prices. 

Through all of these actions, we are confident that the worst is behind us and the end of load shedding is finally within reach.”

About an hour after he made that statement, loadshedding was raised to Stage 3.
And three hours after that, it was raised to Stage 4.

And now we’re on Stage 6. No electricity for 12 hours each day.

Again, absolutely wonderful timing.

“…we are confident that the worst is behind us and the end of load shedding is finally within reach”

Utter nonsense. Any light at the end of the tunnel has clearly got nothing to power it.