Stay lovely all, and may your day be delightful!
Thanks to Nicole for sending me this. It ties in nicely with an earlier post. The other is just a writer's quote, which just so happens to apply to everyday life.
Stay lovely all, and may your day be delightful!
Loyiso Gola: host of Late Night News
by Steven Benjamin
"Writer's circle - worse than writer's block, sometimes anyway."
The road was wet last night from fresh rains, but the clouds had already dispersed overhead, revealing a clear starry sky. I was standing in the middle of the road waiting for my two dogs to finish their late night walkabout. In my neighborhood one can still walk around in the middle of the night without much concern – it’s not advisable, but there’s not much trouble, particularly on a cold winter’s night (sorry about the cliche). Sadly though, not all neighborhoods in South Africa can say the same. Earlier in the day I did something I rarely ever do – I sat through watching a live broadcast of Parliament, where Lonmin, the Police “service” and the Marikana Massacre was at the center of debate. In these troubled times of our nation’s legacy I’ve been quite inspired to write about current events, but somehow nothing seemed to stick.
I wrote an unpublished piece a month or two ago about the ills of our society and where the roots of the problems lie, within the foundations of our 18 year old democracy. Now, I started writing a piece on the ‘culture of violence’ bred within our land… I didn’t finish it as things morphed into a piece about frustration in a country with so much potential and equally as many failings. Even listening to the parliamentarians complaints and calls for ‘heads to roll’, particularly in the policing structures, I felt the overwhelming drench of frustration. Inevitably in a debate, issues are only discussed and contended, with a few harsh words hurled at certain quarters, true action and resolution though is still illusive, and seemingly far off.
So, expecting little change I scrapped the piece and continued with other writing ventures.
This is NOT the Rainbow Nation you often hear and read about. There was no honeymoon period just after the fall of apartheid – in my opinion; there was no courtship, no marriage, just breaking down of barriers – the barriers in plain sight…
What we really need is a clean slate… A new government made up of young educated individuals unburdened by the scars of the country’s dark past, looking to forge a healthy new future. Though I feel it will be a while before we see the backs of the numerous struggle icons. What was that saying? “… you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain…” especially if you were an icon, only to then take up a seat in parliament. Where are the leaders of the caliber of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Steve Biko and Oliver Tambo et al…?
*LEFT FIELD*: Recently, on a satirical show (Late Night News), they claimed that for the next democratic elections, the poor and uneducated masses should be barred from voting, because they will – as the trend indicates – inevitably vote the current and largely ineffective ANC government (rife with corruption and mismanagement) back into power. They claimed that since those voters were clearly unqualified to vote, on the grounds that they were not making logical decisions, based largely on emotion and ANC propaganda (the major portion of voters are made up of the impoverished, and thus it is their say that determines the future leaders of our country). If the ANC does not deliver, then do not vote for them. Instead it should be the qualified and educated few who should determine the eventual leaders… A brave sentiment that sadly carries a lot of sense but will never be implemented.
It begs the question though: Is conventional democracy really the answer for the diverse and unusual landscape of South Africa? Instead, should we then not lean on a model better catered or adapted for the unique dynamic within this country, considering our warped past and its ill legacy we have to contend with?
--> Something to distract you from the woes of times of now…
The Last Stand
So instead of posting something about The Dark Knight Rises, I decided that since it doesn't really need extra publicity I'll post something slightly left field; the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger - his first leading role since entering politics! Before you roll your eyes, just give it a look see, it actually looks like fun. Arnie's old - and he knows it, but that doesn't mean he can't stand in the cartel's way. I'm looking forward to some good brainless action!It lands in 2013...
The Fish River Canyon, Part 3:
“Think positive thoughts”, an unofficial mantra of our hiking team, which largely encompassed, at least for my part, visions of relaxing in the hot spa and lukewarm pool at Ai-Ais Campsite. Sitting and allowing our tired bodies to marinate in the hot water (akin to a hot bath at home), brought to such temperatures by mother earth herself, as well as the unforgiving Namibian sunshine, is a memory to cherish. It was also one of the thoughts driving us whilst trudging around Vasbyt bend – yes that’s the actual name of the bend (vasbyt meaning: grit-your-teeth, hold tight, dig deep, suck-it-in etc…).
Why do I bring this up? Well I naturally emptied my backpack as soon as I returned home, though I did leave my shoes in the bottom compartment – where my sleeping bag is usually stored. In the week though, I needed my inner soles – I use the same inners for several shoes. So as I pulled them out I discovered, low and behold, a fair amount of sand lying beneath, hiding if you will. I saved that sand as a keepsake, just as my uncle did with a bottle of water he scooped from the Dead Sea – displayed on a shelf in his house today.
It says something though doesn’t it; you may leave the Canyon behind, but a part of the Canyon will always remain with you… literally. One casualty of that sand (temporarily anyway) is my camera – now the zoom lens refuses to deploy… the sand got in EVERYWHERE! It won’t budge at all, so I can’t even employ Ricky’s method of biting it out (This is not an advisable method – don’t try it at home). Nevertheless, in time, this too will turn out to be of little import…
Anyway, the legacy lives on, in memory, or a million grains of sand. I shall leave you with an extract of yet another piece of fine literature, highlighted once again by the ‘Lieutenant’. It was during our final evening in the Canyon, and yes, we were all exhausted after covering nearly 30 km’s (18 miles) that day. Although, as tired as we were, everyone was in good spirits because the hard part was over – we’d left ourselves a paltry 6 km’s for the next morning, meaning we could sleep well, rest easy… because we’d shrugged off the worst. So amidst the clanging of camp side dinner dishes whilst most were cocooned in their sleeping bags, during a still night, these words subtly brought the world to our quiet riverbank campsite, in the profound glow of a roaring campfire.
(>>> It's quite long so here's the first stanza of that great poem <<<)
[Banner illustration by Joel Kanar]