A WRITER muses continuously.
After preparing notes for my Drama theory exam tomorrow and reading the forestscribe’s latest blog post, I decided to give it a crack. One more blog post before I withdraw and focus on important projects which require all of my attention.
The construction of unique, versatile and entertaining, as well as relevant blogs is one such project.
I still need to revise several theories and subjective views on drama into note form, then into essay form, before beginning my most challenging task, that of memorisation.
The challenge of writing an exam for a student is not confined to his or her study in Cape Town, which today is covered in warm Autumn sunshine. The challenge for today’s student is both sociological and political.
The bus strike is in its third week and threatens to extend to trains as well. Many students will not make it to the exam hall, having given up the struggle for additional funds for ramshackle taxi’s driving at suicidal speeds, wrecklessly endangering the lives of all others.
Many students are encumbered by poor high school preparation, and are giving up because the challenge of adapting to university, or college tuition is just too much.
But there are some who never, ever, ever give up. I admire them wholeheartedly and warmly embrace them as my fellow students.
A shack, or a cramped living room is not an ideal place to study for an exam, so when I returned to the library in Darling Street once more yesterday, I was not suprised to see so many students doing last minute cramping.
I cramp perpertually, by the by.
The social media network, offers thousands of disenfranchised members of society an opportunity to vent their democratic spleen at the social ills that they are confronted with each day, and sometimes, thankfully, some do offer solutions.
In Cape Town, the blame is invariably pointed towards the same doors, and yet these doors remain shut.
One of Cape Town’s most admired activists reported recently on the latest protest action against the manufacturing, exporting and purchasing of natural products, good for you, good for me, sadly out of reach for the poorest of the poor, manufactured in Israel.
The South African government, for once, is in support, of a perceived noble cause. Whether it be for their pent-up hatred against another regime who does indeed perpetuate the cruel suffering of Palestinians, or not, remains to be seen. Surprisingly, they did make an effort to rescue one Jewish doctor, wrongfully incarcerated somewhere in Arabia.
A mere handful of protestors stood by the wayside while most Capetonians went about their daily business. Now, the big issue that I raised started with a retorical, but blatantly provocative question;
” How much were these dudes paid to protest for a cause of which they know little or nothing? And were they provided for, in the form of a sandwich, cooldrink and cup of soup perhaps? “
Yes, it is a controversial remark, no doubt about it. Is it racist? I say not.
And so the social media engine started to churn; The most painful theme being that of racism.
Yes, I was accused of racism. On what basis, I then asked? Are you….well, yes, the majority of reactionaries presumed that I was an Israeli sympathiser and apologist for apartheid. While crying inside, I could not help but laugh on the outside at the sad irony of this all, proving to myself more than anything else that the legacy of apartheid remains painfully strong.
Did I use any derogatory remarks? Did I wilfully tar and feather some? I did, but not derogatorily.
You see, even literate commentators cannot conceive of alternative views without implicating racism, blindly choosing to indadvertently support the hideous status quo. The argument, or point I was deviously making, and which nobody in this tunnel-visioned ‘debate’ recognised was this;
” Do you realise the consequences your actions will have?! “
Ignorance is not bliss.
Returning to the issue originally raised; protest action against the import of a range of products manufactured uniquely in Israel, what are these consequences?
Well, simply put, when the plug is pulled on the Dead Sea, people will lose their livelihoods, particularly those that are indeed oppressed by the Israeli regime.
And here in Cape Town, at the door of the retailer, the first to be shown the door will bee….eish, now what to do for a job, neh?
The bus strike in greater Cape Town, a Tale of Two Cities, is estimated to be costing in the region of around ten million rands (approximately 3 million US dollars) and its victims are the poorest of the poor who have no other means of transporting themselves to a potential opportunity, whether it be a job, putting food on the table, or enriching themselves with an education.
The majority shareholders in the bus companies implicated is the largest trade union in South Africa and the city itself.
Before the strike, one could only hang one’s shoulders.
The main bus terminus (controlled by the union), is filthy, the drivers are rude on one day, drive recklessly on others, are almost never on time, all this on good days. I once drove on a cockroach infested bus. The poorest of the poor were blamed for this, not the bus company and its employees.
The new terminus, controlled by the city, purportedly catering only to the needs of the privileged few, is pristine, the drivers, however, are also unruly, and if it wasn’t for the good state that the city’s environmentally sustainable fleet is in, the passengers’ journeys would also be precarious.
The union bosses remain resiliently silent in protecting their material interests, little or nothing going to the would-be benefactors.
The wage demands will not be met, and the poorest of the poor will remain stationed in the middle of nowhere.
Consider the consequences of your actions, think not just of your own vested interests and political agenda, actually show compassion towards those who really need to be helped in the ways that you already know will be best.
The late Margaret Thatcher once branded the ANC ‘ a terrorist organisation’. Many also know that she was one of a few voices who campaigned against sanctions when South Africa was still shackled by apartheid legislation. The effects of sanctions, nearly twenty years into democracy, are still being felt. You may blame apartheid, yes, I did too, or argue otherwise.
Was Thatcher correct? The ANC has still not officially cancelled its ‘armed struggle’ (against whom?) while it runs the country (…).
The people that they rely on for their votes every five, long years, are being hurt more and more by their (and their apologists) self-serving and consquential behaviour. If these people who, living in hope as they must, vote the ANC and its marxist allies back into power next year, they will receive a new regime that they deserve.
I hope that this sentiment will evolve positively.
In the meantime, my gloves are off.