Archive for category: Current Events

#FEESMUSTFALL and not being a sneering whitey.

24 Oct
October 24, 2015

(First Note: This is going to be completely meaningless to my international audience. Feel free to skip it. Video games and tomfoolery will resume in short order. 😉 )

(Second Note: Racist shit in the comments will be terminated with extreme prejudice, be warned.)

The Facebook comments I’ve been seeing around the #FEESMUSTFALL movement have annoyed me enough to write a blog post. It’s a difficult, emotionally-charged topic, and as a middle-class white male, I’m not the best person to speak on it. So I may put my foot in it.

But regardless, here goes.

Fellow white people, could we stop with the “well, just vote for someone other than the ANC, then, duh!” comments. Please.

What do you expect, really? Do you think the black majority really sees a good, effective alternative at this point?

The DA is seen as the “white party”, regardless of who they elect as their “face”, and what white people did to black people in this country destroyed any possibility of majority trust in even the hint of “white rule” for the next few generations. That’s just reality. We white folk have no one but ourselves and our ancestors to blame for that.

And the other parties are small and fairly ineffective.

So what good alternatives are there? It’s easy to say “oh, they’re just stupid, why don’t they vote for someone else” as a white person, but I’m not the first generation in my family to be born free of slavery. I don’t have those scars etched into my soul.

The ANC, flawed as it is, is the political center of the movement that freed non-white people from bondage in SA. When it starts to lose its moral compass, its supporters are entitled to first try to reform it from within, give it a course correction, before they just discard their allegiance.

If you want to reform politics, support measures to broaden access to education for all. An educated populace is better at holding politicians accountable and less prone to believing exaggerated political promises.

Give those kids credit where it’s due. They marched on Luthuli House. They’re dissatisfied with their elected politicians and are organizing to hold them accountable. That’s an extremely positive thing, and could help bring about reform in the long run.

We need more of this, sure, but it’s a great start. Nourish that seed with your support, not sneering and ignorance. Change takes time, be patient and understanding.

TransPrawns

21 Oct
October 21, 2015

The future is here, and it’s weirder than you could have imagined: Sex-changed prawn farming.

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/scientists-are-giving-prawns-sex-change-help-farmers-increase-yields

So cyberpunk.

Obama’s Tribute to Mandela

10 Dec
December 10, 2013

It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well.

 

Damn. Whatever else you might think of Obama and his politics, he’s one hell of a speaker. Kudos to him and his speech writers.

I’ve got the live stream of the Mandela memorial playing in the background while I work, today.
You can read the full transcript of his speech here.

Hamba Kahle, Madiba

08 Dec
December 8, 2013

Others have already written pieces, better than I can, on his life and what he meant to South Africans, and to the world at large. Suffice to say, he was the spiritual father of our country, its greatest hero, and deeply beloved by most South Africans. We mourn his death, but more than that, we celebrate his life.

The struggles and sacrifices that he and those like him made set all South Africans, no matter our race, free. Free from the cycle of hatred, oppression and injustice.

It’s easy, looking at South Africa today, to see only its problems. Politicians who seek to subvert the mechanisms of the state to enrich themselves, debates on the limits of free speech, the crushing poverty many still live in and the violence and crime it births. Easy to focus on these things, and to forget how far we’ve come in such a short time, and what a miracle it is that we managed to transition from the apartheid government to a true democracy without degenerating into full-scale civil war. Current events demonstrate how easily these things slip out of control.

That transition relied on the courage, moral strength and leadership of people like Nelson Mandela. For myself, I think of all the things I want to achieve in my life, all the dreams I have. And I try to imagine having 27 prime years of my adult life snatched away by the brutal inhumanity of a system that judged my worth by the colour of my skin, that sought to smother the desire that every human shares, to determine their own destiny and pursue their own potential. I try to imagine the strength of character it takes to endure all that and yet forgive, and seek reconciliation with your oppressors instead of revenge.

When Nelson Mandela took office in 1994, at 12 years old I was too young to really understand the significance of the event. Much of the sickness of the old South Africa was invisible to me, at the time (an ignorance that was itself a manifestation of privilege). It’s only as an adult that I really comprehend what it all meant, and fully appreciate the efforts of leaders like Mandela.

On Friday, the day after he passed, I was driving to my girlfriend’s house , the radio stations filled with programming commemorating his life. And I passed a group of young boys, walking up the road. Obviously fresh from soccer practice, all in the kit, laughing and tossing a ball between them as they walked. Black kids and white kids, just playing together as friends, no divide separating them.

Mandela’s legacy lives on in his children.

Rest well, Madiba.