Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Sycophantic Horseshit: "Mandela Still An Inspiration"

If you want to well and truly spoil your breakfast, read the ensuing article. It is staggering that people get so blinded by a mythological aura, that reality ceases to have any bearing on their ability to critically think. It's hard to believe that people actually live in such a lala land. Are their lives so f**king miserable that they have to create super-human Gods, worthy of such sycophancy?

Clint Eastwood's movie "Invictus" has given Nelson Mandela another turn as an icon. Few souls on the planet are as deserving of the acclaim.

The South African leader's wisdom and insistence on reconciliation kept his nation from descending into racial warfare after its bizarre and brutal white-minority rule ended in the early 1990s. His political theories should be required reading for all of our bickering politicians.

But Mandela's life story holds inspiration for everyone. If you're still making New Year's resolutions, resolve to find a copy of his autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom." It's a history lesson, a political treatise and a primer on turning adversity into opportunity.

Mandela was imprisoned for nearly 27 years for activities aimed at overturning apartheid. His response was not despair or bitterness but what Andre Brink, a South African professor, described as "a creative denial of victimhood."

In prison, Mandela was a leader, a scholar, a political scientist, a thesbian, a gardener and a fitness enthusiast.

From his memoir: On Monday through Thursday, I would do stationary running in my cell in the morning for up to forty-five minutes. I would also perform one hundred fingertip push-ups, two hundred sit-ups, fifty deep knee-bends and various other calisthenics.


In South Africa's Robben Island prison, Mandela and other political prisoners were marched most days to mine lime from a quarry with shovels and picks. Remarkably, they used the work detail to form a "university," in which men shared their expertise in politics, history, economics and philosophy.

Study groups would work together on the quarry and station themselves in a circle around the leader of the seminar. The style of teaching was Socratic in nature; ideas and theories were elucidated through the leaders asking and answering questions.

In two of the three prisons at which he was incarcerated, Mandela convinced wardens to allow him to cultivate vegetable gardens.

A garden was one of the few things in prison that one could control. In some ways, I saw the garden as a metaphor for certain aspects of my life. Like the gardener, a leader must take responsibility for what he cultivates; he must mind his work, try to repel enemies, preserve what can be preserved, and eliminate what cannot succeed.

In 1985, Mandela was dismayed to be placed in isolation, separated from the colleagues with whom he'd been imprisoned for decades.

As with everything, he sought to turn adversity into opportunity. South Africa's apartheid regime was straining from international censure and internal strife. It was time to start talking to the enemy, Mandela decided.

My solitude would give me an opportunity to take the first steps in that direction, without the kind of scrutiny that might destroy such efforts.

The talks Mandela initiated led to his release, freedom for his colleagues, a relatively bloodless transition from apartheid to democracy and Mandela's election as president. And, yes, respect for the Springbok rugby squad.

Today, at age 92, Mandela lives in a South Africa plagued with high crime and unemployment and a host of other problems. But, because of him, it is far ahead of African nations in which independence movements were marred by violence and civil war.

When Mandela published "Long Walk to Freedom" in 1994, a Boston Globe reviewer wrote that the memoir "should be read by every person alive."

Or at least by every person who cherishes wisdom and believes that dignity and determination can always lead to a better day.

In Mandela's words: I am fundamentally an optimist. Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward.

There is no better message with which to start a new year.

Source: McClatchy Truth To Power (Indeed)

11 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

They make it sound like this communist kaffir is the greatest thing since "sliced watermelon".

Fran├žoise said...

And the articulated rebuttal ?

You have no idea how many people will believe this, how many will cry when the Steyns invite the old maid to the final match, what a marvellous gesture, how forgiveness and reconciliation are communicative.

One has to present decent arguments against the hagiographic nature of the movie and its silly argument: Mandela so loved rugby that he saved South Africa from civil war, BEE, AA, white exodus, corruption, murders, relegation of Afrikaans to a patois, etc.

Pensioner said...

To boring to even comment on. Do you guys like my new picture? I thought a change in my picture was due. The previous one showed shit as being white which is not true in the ILSA context, it is more like black isn't it!

Anonymous said...

"Today, at age 92, Mandela lives in a South Africa plagued with high crime and unemployment and a host of other problems. But, because of him, it is far ahead of African nations in which independence movements were marred by violence and civil war."

But because of him....what planet is this guy on?? It is because of the white apartheid government that SA is far ahead of African nations. What has SA accomplished since then except to build a few new stadia?? The current buildings are all rotting and I haven't seen many new roads etc being built. I wish people wouldn't write articles when they clearly don't know what they're talking about.

FishEagle said...

Haha. Pensioner, it seems we share the skies!

Fran├žoise said...


"To boring to even comment on."

May be true for the article, but the movie will soon be released in France and even on "nationalist" sites, people have no idea what to think about this movie. Clint Eastwood being seen as a regular kind of bloke, with a propensity for traditional values, self-reliance, etc.

So, it may be useful to have a nice rebuttal of the movie's premises, message, a few revelations about Mandela, what was being done at the same time as he was saving the Springboks name (for Rugby), etc.

See this thread (in French) where people mostly said the trailer looks too well-intentioned but that they never disliked a Clint Eastwood movie, so they'll wait to see it. But how much do they know about the real story during this time ?

The site has had 17 million unique visits in a bit more than 4 years (it started slowly).

Pensioner said...

@FE, you're right, we better enjoy before the anc takes that away from us as well. ;)

Islandshark said...

If this terrorist thug is so great, why does he not open his mouth about the atrocities in SA today? That's the ANC's first retort when you mention anything about crime - the blacks suffer most.

So why is he quiet now if his little blacks are still suffering? He is still alive, isn't he?

Or does he in actual fact, in true Marxist fashion, not give a shit?

Max said...

Lets face it Hollywood and it's liberal goons helped create the crap hole South Africa is today. Now they are trying to pretty things up and lie their way out. The world is starting to realise that South Africa is a failure, so these arse holes have to do something to save face hence the movie.

Viking said...

Here's the definition of a thesbian:

I had no idea!
Or did they mean thespian?

FishEagle said...

Hahaha, well spotted Viking.