I have just spent a very pleasant afternoon with Ian MacDonald of SA The Good News, two bottles of rather decent red wine* and our respective families. Which, with the toddler to adult ratio of 3:4, kept us fairly busy chasing around the house and garden. And slightly overdoing the steaks as a result. Sorry about that. How very emboeressing.
What amazed me is that, although Ian and I strongly agree on certain things – principally optimistic realism instead of pessimism when looking at South Africa – we do so despite coming from very different backgrounds and, it turns out, fundamentally different political standpoints as well. Which obviously just proves that all you need is brains (and – perhaps coincidentally – good looks) and the ability to look at things reasonably and objectively, and while you may be approaching things from different angles, the conclusion is the same.
I can’t speak for Ian, but this sort of discovery gives me further belief that my theories and thought processes are valid and sensible.
And that red wine is just great.
I had a bit of a pop at SA The Good News back in June last year, which earned me a mild rebuke from Ian. Today, fuelled by red wine and an obvious passion for his work, he outlined his mission to me once again; that SAGN is there to balance the ridiculous and sensational negativity presented by news sites like iol.co.za and news24.com. As Ian pointed out, while SA The Good News does have an obvious bias because of its agenda, at least it clearly states it from the title onwards. Which is more than you get from those news sites.
Another interesting thing about our conversation was discussing the trolls we get on our respective sites. Several names that he came out with have certainly popped onto 6000 miles… now and again and been offensive, racist or – more often – offensive and racist. Which, once again, made me wonder how many of them there actually are out there. The thousands that they claim, or six of them with a RSS reader and no life?
All in all, it was a great way of spending a Sunday afternoon. And now, blogging, listening to Placebo, AFI and Apoptygma Berzerk and reading (amongst others) Brian Micklethwait, who just came out with this gem:
…a friend from foreign parts is in town and we are, we have just decided, meeting up for a drink. And I hold drink with all the effortless facility of a kitten holding a packed suitcase on its back.
Which reminds me why, having been up since 4:30 this morning and having consumed my fair share of damn good grape juice, I must now head to my bed via the kettle.
* Warwick Estate Cabernet Sauvignon(1998, nogal) & Groot Constantia Merlot (2004)