From one of my favourite bloggers, Rod MacKenzie (Thoughtleader - SA expat in China)
The case for optimism - by Dale Williams
South Africa: Best place for kids to grow up - by Dale Williams
Anton smiled bitterly, shaking his head, cleaning his pub counter. “Ja, me and my boet, we bought the land out near Kommetjie, got builders and sub-contractors in to build a sweet house for the family. Most of the construction was finished … ” sighs, ” … and one day my boet went to have a look before they started the paint work … and the whole bloody building had disappeared except the foundation. Every last fricken brick and window-frame was stolen. The floors, doors … even the roof and guttering.”
Anton sighed again, started vigorously polishing glasses. “And insurance?” I asked. “Can we change the bloody subject?” muttered Anton, dejectedly walking away to serve another customer. I read Dale William’s article on his friend’s home being vandalised with great sympathy. The man really cares about people, and his sorrow for his friend’s loss is genuine, empathic and — most importantly, as I will discuss — bewildered.
But the blog had a lot more potential, especially against the background of his positive blogs. He does nothing to relate the positivism and “let’s build a great SA” theme of his other blogs to this commonplace vandalism, and does not realistically engage with the gritty issues, such as corruption, crime and cronyism. Sadly enough, I got the impression of a lost puppy as I read Dale’s blog, or a bewildered poodle, who, after months of chasing pigeons, finally catches a bird and sits back on its wagging arse, cocks its head at the pigeon, with no clue now as to what to do
The idea was the thrill of the chase, not catch the real thing and get a taste of blood — wasn’t it? Here, Dale had experienced something of the — alas — real South Africa, with one of the highest crime rates in the world. It just doesn’t fit in with blogs he writes where we forgive Zuma, regard SA as the best place to raise children and naively plonk down a fictional, grossly simplified SA as a citizen rolled into one whom we evaluate, counsel and coach.
The idea was to paint Beatrix Potter illustrations on biscuit and chocolate tins, not starve like Van Gogh in mining towns so he could capture genuine poverty; or paint storm scenes in the middle of storms out in the open, flapping easel anchored to the ground, whilst real bits of storm-muck, wind-blown tufts of grass, smear across the canvas — wasn’t it?
I am a sucker for positive thinking, I truly am. But Dale’s thinking needs to be grounded in the actual terrain, not a sweet, pretty post card version of South Africa. Hence his “Intellectual Vandalism” blog came to a stumbling, and very telling, lack of conclusion. The blogs collectively reminds me of the picture in a movie I have forgotten, of a bright-eyed bachelor, waiting under the mistletoe for the traditional kiss from any sweet lass who cares to wander past. We all know it is not going to happen, and bitterly smile while we wait for him to catch on. And, a little embarrassed now, we really want him to catch on sooner than later. But the background violin music playing in the meantime is pleasant enough, and he seems a nice enough chap who just needs a new pair of glasses so he can really see what is going on. And finish properly that “Intellectual Vandalism blog” — I respectfully challenge Dale to do so — by relating (read: make relevant) the thoughts in that blog to his philosophy on where SA is and where she is going. And it’s not to the bathroom to prettify her make-up and exquisite herself with perfume so she can come running to the mistletoe and deliver a passionate, tongue-exploring, teeth-clinking snog. The literates will probably agree with me on this one. Let’s see what the semi-lits come up with! They can be entertaining. Sometimes. with the creature.
Video: Bozell's Prediction Panned Out; Media In Full-on 'Move On' Mode in Scandal Coverage - On the May 16 "Media Mash" segment for Fox News Channel's *Hannity*program, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell hit the nail on the head, predicting tha...
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