Protest

Bit of a weird one, this. Weird because I’m writing something about a very fluid situation and I’m writing it four days ago*. So it might not make any sense by the time you read it. Hell, it might not make any sense by the time I’ve written it. I’m struggling already and we’re only 50-odd words in.

Today is supposed to be a day of national protest in South Africa. Well, as I’m writing this (four days ago), it is. It’s also a normal day of work (except it obviously won’t be) and right now no-one seems to know what to expect, save maybe for the Presidency and chums ignoring whatever protests do occur.

The thing is, South Africa is such a diverse and divided nation that any coherent mass protest action is terribly difficult to organise. While individual political parties and organisations can raise their own demos, no-one has really managed to successfully mobilise across all racial, political and social classes. And that’s why JZ and friends have happily got away with it all so far. It’s also why things need to change if today’s action is to have any effect.

Look, there’s enough support for the protest, but it’s completely fragmented. Already, as I am writing this (four days ago, remember) people – supposedly on the ‘same side’ – are questioning the basis for people’s anger, arguing and fighting about the legitimacy of some protesters with superb logic like: “if you didn’t protest against (a) then you can’t protest against (b)”. Because obviously there are rules for being allowed to express your viewpoint on any given subject.

It’s a phat, public mess and Zuma must be loving every minute of it.

Obviously, people need to look past their individual grievances and try to find common ground if this is to have any chance of working. And I do recognise that that is much easier to say than to do.

I believe that there are many reasons for getting rid of this rotten, corrupt regime. Whatever yours is, today is a day – even more than any other – when you need to recognise and respect that others may have their own reasons too.

 

* All will become clear on this bit tomorrow. 

Weird Day

Weird day.

Hot weather, back to work, student protests. All a bit chaotic.

So, as per every long-haul flight I take, it’s Ludovico Einaudi to the rescue. And he’s donned a superhero’s costume in the shape of his new album, which, now I’m back home, I have downloaded, post haste.

Here’s the official video from Walk, off his last album:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-ca1ocriv0&w=678&h=381 ]

Nice and calming when set against the ridiculousness of the day. Or indeed at any time.

Ironically, my favourite track off the In A Timelapse album is Run. It’s kind of like Walk, but unsurprisingly, it’s faster, with contrapuntal Vivaldi and Pachelbel-esque overtones. It’s still beautifully relaxing though.

The new album is called Elements (as you’ll know if you’ve been here before) and, at first listen, seems to be a step into the more contemporary, with more electronica and deeper bass. I’m looking forward to giving it more attention before reporting back.

Long weekend ahead

It’s holiday time in the Western Cape on Monday, at least according to the ANC Youth League.

“We are officially declaring Monday a holiday for Western Cape’s citizens. No work as we make this city ungovernable. No taxis will be in operation; those who will be on the road will be transporting people to the march… for free” said the league’s provincial chairman, Khaya Yozi.

Now, whether you agree with Yozi’s plan or not, I think we can all something learn from his announcement.

It seems to me that there should be less working and more holidays on Mondays. Coming from the UK, I’m used to having public holidays on Mondays – the holidays for May Day, Whitsuntide and August Bank Holiday always fall on a Monday, making for lovely long weekends in the rain. Compare that with a normal Monday in SA, where you’ll find us all slaving away inside while the sun beams down outside.

But not on this coming Monday, obviously. Because this coming Monday is a holiday. I think that Yozi has missed a trick by arranging to meet at Salt River Station – on the edge of Cape Town’s fetid industrial heartland – and not at the beach. I will probably try out that latter option and then get back to him to compare notes on how much fun we had.

Additionally, should my Monday plan go well, I will be declaring Monday September 3rd a holiday as well. But we’ll definitely meet at the beach. In fact, as summer approaches, I foresee myself declaring a whole lot more public holidays. Especially on Mondays.

Have a wonderful long weekend and I hope that you can all find something profitable and enjoyable to do with your free time, such as stoning vehicles on the freeways and causing R13,000,000 of damage to public property.