Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The New Media "Racists"

By David Bullard

You’ve got to love Xolela Mangcu. He’s the bespectacled geek who appears in the Business Day on Thursday and in The Weekender under the modest title of “Urban Legend”. What Mr Mangcu lacks in writing talent he more than makes up for in immodesty. It was Xolela Mangcu who called for my dismissal from The Sunday Times just over a year ago (after I endorsed his rather boring book at Wits) and who droned on for weeks about me in his column. Paradoxically I owe Xolela a huge debt of gratitude. If it hadn’t been for his inane rantings and insistence that I be taken to the highest court in the land for racism and hate speech I doubt whether my career would have taken off in the way it has. Despite Xolela’s pleas, the Human Rights Commission have ignored all complaints about my final article in The Sunday Times, presumably on the grounds that there is no case to answer.

Evidently he has become bored with me and now has Zapiro and the grizzled scribbler Max du Preez in his sights. He has labeled them both racist because that’s what he is good at. Dear Xolela takes the simplistic view that if you label all white columnists and cartoonists racist then you will eventually only be left with black columnists. Maybe even only black intellectual columnists. For Mangcu is an intellectual as he tirelessly reminds us every week. He neglects to mention that he received a generous donation of shares from Mr Tokyo Sexwale part of which he turned into a Porsche Cayenne. This allows him the leisure time to loaf around the Seattle Coffee shop in Hyde Park looking…..er intellectual. Or so he evidently believes.

When I was sacked from the Sunday Times last year (a CV entry I am particularly proud of incidentally) both Zapiro and Max du Preez weighed in with the view that it was a good thing. Since they are both supposed to be staunch supporters of press freedom this rather surprised me until someone much wiser than I pointed out that people like them only support press freedom if it is exercised by those of whom they approve. Unfortunately I was not on their approval list for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have a rather posh English accent which may suggest that I had a privileged upbringing. Zapiro likes to think of himself as a struggle hero and that would put him at the opposite end of the social spectrum from me. Max is an Afrikaaner and that’s probably reason enough. Secondly I wrote a spectacularly successful column for the Sunday Times which was reputed to attract 1.7 mln readers. That would have been enough to engender the most awful envy in anyone less successful. Thirdly, I drove fast cars, travelled down the sharp end of aircraft, went to great parties, hung out with good looking women, was paid a fortune to MC events and generally seemed to be enjoying life. When you’re a professional miserable sod there’s nothing worse than having to endure someone who is fabulously successful and who eclipses your own meagre efforts every week. So it was with good grace that I acknowledged the obvious schadenfreude of my inferiors.

However, I now find that honour dictates that I have to leap to their defence. Fortunately I am sufficiently evolved not to carry the same sort of baggage as Max and Zap. When Mangcu accuses them of being racist he is talking tosh. Zapiro is a fine cartoonist and I really don’t think he has it in him to be racist. Besides, he is so chuffed with his own struggle cred that he wouldn’t dare risk being labeled a racist. His cartoon of the President of South Africa unbuttoning his trousers and preparing to rape lady justice wasn’t racist. It was simply insulting and defamatory and chose to willfully ignore the court’s finding that Jacob Zuma was not guilty on a count of rape. His well documented personal hatred for Jacob Zuma eclipsed artistic judgement and that is why he is being sued. But to call him racist is simply ridiculous.

Max du Preez is another member of the media who likes to flaunt his struggle credentials as the editor of Vrye Weekblad. Friends tell me that he is bitterly disappointed that he wasn’t swept up by the ANC and rewarded for his struggle heroism by being sent to the UK as ambassador or some such honour. Instead he has to write a sermon each week for the Independent newspaper group and knock off turgid rehashes of South African stories to make a living. Max may be bitter and a tad boring but he certainly isn’t racist. He just has that unfortunate colonial habit of patronizing the darkies and talking down to them as though they were children. You can understand where the confusion lies can’t you?

15 Opinion(s):

Vanilla Ice said...

Xolela Mangcu an intellectual? I am going to puke again. Him and old Vlok should get together, I'll have it coming out both ends for a week.

Vanilla Ice said...

I will add further that this self-styled intellectual has a Ph.D in City Planning. I imagine that the ululating masses are so enamoured with him, due to his black swan achievement, that he is perceived as being competent to comment on every topic. A classic bullshit artist as defined by Prof. Harry Frankfurt.

FishEagle said...

Hahaha. Very good.

Dachshund said...

"Bitch slap from Bullard." So just where has his career taken off? Google his name and you find nothing since he was fired from the ST.

Doberman said...

Like him or hate him, Bully has a way with words. Just looking at his writing and Mangcu's, it is Mohammed Ali versus Mike Tyson.

Dachshund said...

Well then he should write that novel and get on with it. Whingeing at Zapiro and Max du Preez is too much like sour grapes. The Sunday Times has always been famous for infighting. Journalists are not the most pleasant people.

Doberman said...

@ Dachshund, "Journalists are not the most pleasant people", you got that right.

Joe King said...

Intellectual amongst his peers probably means an IQ of 85 (he-he).

Black Coffee said...

Xolela Mangcu was one of my interviewee. He certainly is intellectual and contrary to what Bullard wrote, I do not think that Mangcu merely throws around the racism accusation lightly. Rather, it is firmly grounded in South Africa's history. Mangcu also was very critical of Mbeki when the latter was president, and that criticism did not draw fire from Zapiro and Bullard.

Vanilla Ice said...

@JK. Ha ha, good point. An intellectual is usually about two standard deviations from the mean, so about 130 for whites. If we used the same yardstick, that would be about 95. So if he is above 95, he is in the troposphere for his group. Is he a true intellectual relative to the worlds greats? Ha ha ha.

Doberman said...

I don't know how other it is with other professions but with mine, one does NOT criticise a peer in public. It is strictly forbidden, grounds for de-registration as it goes against the code of conduct - and quite frankly, is unethical anyway. You can't accuse someone of wrongdoing without giving him/her an opportunity to reply before a committee of his/her peers. If that person is indeed found wanting, you still do not drag his/her name through the mud. It seems journos hold no such standards.

Anonymous said...

It is rather pitiful that debates of such frivolous magnitude, which reek of deep seeded hatred tainted with "hollier than thou" delussions on the part of the "Almighty" Bullard, can take up so much of your precious time.

One certainly hopes there is a place to accommodate insecure, concieted, persissimsts like David Bullard (and like minded sympathisers), because I certainly believe that sensible citizens of this country can do well without the "righteous" comments, which portray a steriotypical view of ALL black people.

PS: For your information, not all black people voted for the ANC and neither do they necessarily admire nor identify with Zuma's traits/charactor or conduct. However, some sensible BLACK (proffesional) citizens choose not to run away/migrate or resort to racists forums that do little to alter/improve the status quo.

Doberman said...

@ anon 8:18, Mangcu is that you? Jes joking.. Gawd man, I appreciate you taking the time to state your opinion but that's all it is - and what we decide to do with our time in whatever forum is our decision. But thanks for caring.

Besides, where do you get any stereotyping of blacks from Bullard's article? I don't see any. Perhaps you're making the point again that it is black "intellectual" wannabes (like you) that are so consumed with race that they cannot differentiate between a statement about race and a statement about a person of colour.

PS: You should spend less time tackling the old thesaurus and concentrate on learning how to use "spellcheck" or a dictionary my good buddy. Your stuff needs "sic" all over it.

Anonymous said...

He.he.he...(lol), Dobberman ouy aer indid sotp ON, my spelling reeely nids improovement. I was hoping ouy wudn't pick that up, eish,eish...too bad.

During your spell check audit,though, you obviously missed the overt content (no surprizes). Being the sensible South African CITIZEN that I am, I'll refrain from engaging in any "intellectual" discourse affecting South Africans and leave that to observers (incl. Australians)interested in OUR country and its culture.

This black "intellectual wannabe" (lol) certainly knows that the view is less murky from within that it is from outside. Ha.ha.ha...

Vince R said...

I love the way Bullard sums Du Preez up. Old Max's knuckles must be very white with all the rejction. But if you read Bullard's latest insert on "out to Lunch", it will be quite apparent that he is a Zumaphile:
http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/view/mw/en/page276670?oid=293922&sn=Blog%20detail
We'll just have to live with that, because he has an otherwise pithy, dry sense of humour and I would rather have him around. I suppose we'll all end up accepting Zumar, maybe even loving the old rogue. OH fuck, you see, it's working already!