Thursday, 15 April 2010

Rehashing The Past

I’ve never been particularly patriotic and I must be the least patriotic person I know. Do I love my country? Yes. And will I stand up and fight if we were under attack from Mr. Mugabe? Probably. I do have a certain sense of national pride, but I still don’t consider myself patriotic. The problem I have with patriotism is that I refuse to swear my affiliation and allegiance to anyone or anything that could turn around and kick me in the arse at any given moment. And that is exactly the way it is in most countries at the moment.

So I have no particular affiliation or allegiance to South Africa, or any other country for that matter. And I don’t discriminate, I hate the entire world equally :D (I’m being facetious and sarcastic for those who can’t tell). Instead I see myself as a wanderer of sorts, a global citizen and my only allegiance is to God and God alone. My constitution is based on equality and justice. I will stand with anyone who has been wronged, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion or nationality. I believe in righteousness and standing up for what is right. I believe in respect and honesty, dignity and integrity… heartfelt warmth and sincerity. And I believe in moving on. I find all of this lacking in today’s societies.

It’s easy to become disillusioned with the world because all it ever does is “take” from you. It takes and takes and takes and gives nothing back. I’ve seen people spend their entire lives in pursuit of selfish, empty and trivial pursuits, the joys of which are always short-lived and eventually come to mean absolutely nothing, but by the time they actually wake up and realise this it’s too late, they’re too old to do anything about it. Its ironic then, that I’m not disillusioned with the world, no matter how much I hate it because I know a secret. And this secret gives me endless hope and faith and it invigorates my soul with a light that brings peace… but that’s another story.

I’ve taken a look at the entire Malema / AWB debacle that has been plaguing our nation like a nasty strain of H1N1 and all I see are a whole lot of emotional, greedy, egotistical and power hungry individuals that can’t let go of the past. And the only thing worse than drudging up the past, are those who enable, encourage and perpetuate it… some of which belong to the South African media. Of course they’re having a field day. Give a monkey a microphone and run with it. Everyone’s looking for a story to sensationalise… but no one wants the truth.

But this is so typical of South Africans innit? Smile and pretend that everything is ok while the wounds fester into seething scabs housing years of blood, pus and resentment. Let’s all ignore our issues and regurgitate them at a more inconvenient time shall we? And the result is that after 16 years of so-called democracy, we have people picking at their scabs and letting the pus ooze all over the nation.

That e-tv news clip is an example of this. In my opinion, we the South African public DID NOT need to view the entire squabble between the reporter and the dude representing the AWB on National TV. But of course, that is what journalism has become… another seedy profession out for the kill. The entire story was pointless. If anything, it only further segregated an already divided nation. The guy wasn’t right, he could have handled it better instead of losing his temper with the interviewer, but he was clearly emotional.

They (the AWB) have just lost their leader after a spate of verbal attacks from Julius Malema calling for the death of Boers owning land (farms) and they’re in mourning, lost, confused, vulnerable, isolated and for the first time since 1994, they feel really threatened. In the meantime, Malema, the ANC’s pet monkey who also happens to be the leader of the ANC youth league, continues to make a spectacle of himself using the very attentive South African media as his pawn, while they love the drama. Never in the history of the world has a monkey been given so much air time and media attention.

I’m sure there are many people who would delight in sticking a skewer up the AWB's butt and have them sizzle on a spit-braai, bringing the once oppressive party to its knees, but no one looks at the real implications of this. Malema’s comments are not only directed to the horrific apartheid regime, but to the white people in general… or that’s how it comes across when he gives one of his infamous “speeches”, as witnessed at various varsity campuses. So most, if not all, the whites are backed up in one corner, defensive and up in arms. And if he can do it to the whites, there’s nothing that stops him from doing it to other minority races either. Hmmm… where have I heard something like this before… sounds so reminiscent of… Zimbabwe.

Reverse racism is NOT democracy or justice. All oppressive regimes and dictatorships weren’t born overnight; they tend to sneak up on society like rats in the dark. Specific measures were instituted over a period of time for them to be successful. After all, it takes time to brainwash people. Apartheid and the Holocaust are examples of this. Both began with what was considered rudimentary regulatory laws. Eventually the Jews in Poland and Germany, like the blacks here in South Africa, weren’t allowed to walk on the pavements, then they weren’t allowed in specific parts of the city, then they were required to carry identification at all times, then they were banished to certain areas outside the cities where they lived like slaves in squalor.

But I have say that the best part about all of this, is that it had to happen just before the 2010 World Cup. The same World Cup they’ve been punting and shoving down our throats for the past 6 years. Because you see, when you come out of an oppressive regime where you are so used to fighting ALL THE TIME, that’s all you know. You don’t know how to function otherwise… that is, you don’t know how to be normal and NOT fight over every single thing. So when you don’t have any problems, you start looking for them by nit picking over stupid issues and rehashing the past.

Frankly, I’m tired of hearing about Apartheid. I’m tired of people who only want to talk about the past and how they suffered when they were barely alive to witness those travesties. I’m tired of people using the past as an excuse to behave reprehensibly. Every single person that was responsible for the institution of Apartheid in the first place is dead, yet we – the people in the present – insist on paying for their crimes by dwelling on them.

We have our public holidays (more public holidays then most countries do) where we are allowed to commemorate our hero’s and remember the past, to learn from it. That should be enough. I’m done reading about it in the papers. I’m done reading about it in almost every piece of South African fiction / literature that you pick up at the bookstore. I’m done watching it on TV and in South African movies. How do we ever move forward if everyone is always looking back?!?

In the meantime, to the rest of the world, we look like a bunch of fucking idiots. I’ve had several people ask me already “what the hell is going on down there?”, because it looks so much worse on international television. Some countries are even telling their people “Don’t go to South Africa”. How embarrassing!

So forgive me if I’m not rallying at the sidelines and jumping hoops for this country, especially when the Government is more than willing to let a monkey ruin 16 years of freedom by bringing the nation that much closer to the very real prospect of civil war with the help of a very generous SA media… while the world looks on incredulously, any and all credibility down the toilet as our Government’s actions confirm their beliefs that we really do live in a jungle in Africa because everyone carries on like animals. Well done SA. You don’t know how to be happy and just let sleeping dogs lie.


  1. It is something of a circus - the media attention given to Malema. And what's worse is that the public feeds into it.

    I don't follow the stories much - but it's almost impossible to avoid the headlines; plus other people talking about what he said or did.

    I think - just like for the run-up to the election - he's a diversion: something for the media and public to be distracted with, so that they don't focus on what this government is failing to do (as well as what they are doing wrong).

    It's sad how the media can be used to manipulate the masses....

    My advice is to not get too caught up in it. Most 'news' just isn't worth our time...the names and faces change, corruption remains, and not much of 'news' can benefit us (unless we actively try to benefit from it - which i doubt).

    And then, when we die, none of this is going to matter anymore. And we'll sit there wondering why we wasted so much precious time, energy, and effort on this nonsense.

    My advice -to myself first - is to only follow news as much as you need. Don't get caught up in the web - because news and media are one of the means by which we're deceived and distracted, in this world, from what's actually important.

  2. The essence of your post suggests that you don't have to call yourself a patriot, to be one. You seem to care about what's going on in SA.

    The larger question, is where our allegiances should lie.

    Re: your statement,

    "Instead I see myself as a wanderer of sorts, a global citizen and my only allegiance is to God and God alone."

    What does your allegiance to God, and God alone, mean exactly?

    Perhaps you may find that reflecting on this, is a more beneficial use of your energies.

  3. dreamlife - I don't get caught up in it, but it irritates the crap out of me how others get caught up in it. And in true SA style, everything needs to be turned into a joke. While I do believe that we should laugh at these types of things, I also believe that some of the so-called leaders in this country don't even deserve that much attention.

    786_observer - Do not confuse my irritation and frustration to mean that I care. Because really, I couldn't care less if they all died from AIDS tomorrow. I do care about my family though, and they happen to live here, hence my subtle emotional investment.

    And frankly, my relationship with God is none of your business. It's between me and Him. Theres a little something called RESPECT and your assumption on this is insulting. What do you think God thinks of those who judge others? He knows me and my intentions and He alone knows how I bide my time. I need not explain myself to you.

  4. Azra,

    You've totally misread me, because I meant no disrespect in what I said.

    It was a suggestion, and a hope that maybe a future blogpost from you, might result from it.

  5. 786_observer - point noted.