Day 398 – Broken Clock

I’m no fan of the our local rag the Cape Times, but even though it misses the mark on most everything, even a broken clock is right twice a day (unless it’s a digital clock, in which case, probably not).

The Cape Times is not a digital clock though, and it was probably right with its headline for Freedom Day yesterday.

I didn’t read the article. I didn’t need to.

I’m not claiming that any other government anywhere else is necessarily any better, but I would argue that any other government anywhere else never had the hope and positivity that came before the 1994 elections here. The opportunity for a proper fresh start.

That’s all long gone now, of course.

Day 396 – Easy post for a lazy day

…but this still made me think and smile.
Not least because… well… Shetland Pony on a skateboard.

It’s an unofficial public holiday in SA today (in that the actual holiday is tomorrow, but everyone with a brain also took today as leave), so I’m being a bit lazy, and after a run and a few jobs this morning, I’m slowly settling into 6Music, Geoguessr and Youtube for the rest of the day.

Don’t be so judgemental – you’d love the opportunity to do the same.

Freedom

Ages (one year) before Mel Gibson did his thing in a kilt, although some time after Bill Wallace allegedly shouted the same stuff, came 1994 and South Africa’s first democratic elections, as today’s Google doodle reminded us.

image

Much has been achieved in the 21 years, although I think that you’d be absolutely correct if you were to say that a whole lot more could have been done with a bit better government and a great deal less corruption.

Is this really the best South Africa can do?

Nothing to do with sport, or blogging, although I’m sure that the phrase will have been used many times in these contexts.

No, while I am uploading photos from LAST weekend, and indeed this weekend, I thought that you might enjoy(?) this biting column by Mark Gevisser on the 20th anniversary of the first democratic vote in SA.

Gevisser compares Zuma and Pistorius far more incisively and accurately (for me) than Jani Allen’s pisspoor open letter managed to compare the latter with Eugene Terreblanche, and paints a damning picture of the current, rather depressing situation here.

With Nelson Mandela dead and his African National Congress increasingly troubled, Pistorius and Zuma have, distressingly, become the poster boys for South Africa’s 20 Years of Freedom celebrations.

We South Africans love an underdog, perhaps because of our history, and both Zuma and Pistorius have milked that role. From an Afrikaner Calvinist tradition, Pistorius offers a story of triumph over adversity through God-fearing hard work. Then Zuma, from a poor rural Zulu and working-class township background, presents a narrative of the cunning trickster with little formal education who always finds himself on his feet and takes what he needs with a nudge and a wink.

Both men have been breathtaking in their perseverance and achievement. Zuma stopped a bloody civil war in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal. And, as an undereducated peasant who has risen to the very top, he stands as a symbol to black South Africans that they can be masters of their own destiny. Similarly, Pistorius transforms our understanding of what “able-bodied” means, even in the way he strides up to the dock.

It makes difficult reading, perhaps most worryingly because there’s nothing untrue or even vaguely hyperbolic about what he tells us. So, because I’ve apparently been quite grumpy lately (moi? grumpy?!?), I thought you might like to have a read of just how rubbish it is here right now.

It’s not really. We had a great birthday party for Alex today and there was 15kg of Lego and a chocolate fountain involved.