The alliance is dead, Zuma’s dignity saved and SA dams on life support – and how I think I know what I think I know

I wanted to discuss something called heuristics, which refers to the way we make decisions or reach an understanding about something, especially when the matter under consideration is complicated. The word (heuristics) can mean the short cuts we take but the general field also deals with the many errors of thinking to which such short cuts canContinue reading “The alliance is dead, Zuma’s dignity saved and SA dams on life support – and how I think I know what I think I know”

That’s nothing! I remember ….

There were several times last week when I felt admiration for the protesting students, including those who crashed through the gates of parliament and, quite bravely in many cases, stood up to the SAPS’s counter attack, stun grenades and all. I admit to some brief, irresponsible, trickster elation – Loki let loose upon the world – good for them …Continue reading “That’s nothing! I remember ….”

‘Learn to stand up and lie like white men’

There is something strangely compelling about Chris Griffith’s now infamous comments about his salary and perks – published in Business Day last week. Remember these are the words of the CEO of Amplats, the biggest platinum company in the world. It cannot have escaped your notice that a bitter and grinding strike throughout the South African platinum sector is entering its 17th week. TheContinue reading “‘Learn to stand up and lie like white men’”

Cynical quotes and facetious asides: an attempted antidote to the twin plagues of pompous banality and gruesome brutality

Perhaps you are a journalist covering the May 7 elections or the Oscar Pistorius trial – and will soon be immersed in Shrien Dewani’s adventures in our specialist niche of the honeymoon-tourism market. You might be a TV continuity announcer-cum-journalist, circling endlessly between serious discussion about bone fragments, Nkandla’s fire retarding swimming pool, Numsa’s endless exit  from CosatuContinue reading “Cynical quotes and facetious asides: an attempted antidote to the twin plagues of pompous banality and gruesome brutality”

Election of the flesh

Walking back home from the Sea Point promenade I encountered, no more than thirty minutes ago, two tall attractive young women in blue t-shirts standing next to a table full of DA literature. Nearby is a church hall that serves as a voter registration station. This weekend is the last nationwide drive to get asContinue reading “Election of the flesh”

Red Alert – communists unveil non-traditional weapon

I have been interviewed several times this week about the Cosatu strike. Is this an irreparable breakdown between the ANC and Cosatu? Does this have implications for Zuma’s bid for re-election at Mangaung? How stable is the ANC/Cosatu alliance? What do I think of Jackson Mthembu’s response to Vavi’s claim that the ANC says “Cosatu isContinue reading “Red Alert – communists unveil non-traditional weapon”

Damnation … without relief

Real debates about societal problems and ways of fixing them have little to do with elections – which of necessity appeal to the most base and common human drives. What we have is a Hallmark Hell of platitudes, populism, red herrings and whining. Spare a thought for those few politicians for whom the behaviour requiredContinue reading “Damnation … without relief”

Slightly cynical quotations about elections and democracy

From one of my favourite books of all time: Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations (John Green – Cassel, 1994) with a few comments from the peanut gallery. The first few are new here, but I then attend append – not sure what I was thinking – to the end of the post “Some light weekendContinue reading “Slightly cynical quotations about elections and democracy”

Black fabric, the creak of leather and a flash of red …

Remember the ANC’s online leather jacket sale; those amazing garments seemingly designed for a camp 1970’s version of a black Star Wars? And the Stabproof Protektorvest (TM) that some enterprising person tried to flog to 2010 World Cup visitors to South Africa who needed to withstand the blows they could expect to be rained upon themContinue reading “Black fabric, the creak of leather and a flash of red …”

Because I thought it might brighten your day

Our leaders dancing for our votes reminds me of a poem Michael Ondaatje wrote called The Elimination Dance. A version of this dance appears in cultures and countries around the world. The rules are that a caller shouts out particular categories of people or people who have undergone a particular experience. When you are called Continue reading “Because I thought it might brighten your day”

Race you to the bottom

Two startling contributions to the raging race debate – from below and slightly behind, so to speak. White (male) drivers The first is a letter to the editor of the increasingly excellent Business Day from one Oscar Mosito in Rosslyn His issue is with white male drivers. What is most endearing about Mr Mosito’s letterContinue reading “Race you to the bottom”

If you’re winning and you know it clap your hands, clap your hands

Reading Stephen Grootes’ tweets this morning while Jacob Zuma was delivering the Political Report at the ANC NGC was a little like listening to soccer on the radio – you had to rely on the noise level to guess at what was happening. Grootes’ excellent commentary during the presidential address gave lots of attention toContinue reading “If you’re winning and you know it clap your hands, clap your hands”

The State of the Madiba Nation

Twenty years ago today Nelson Mandela was released after serving 27 years in prison. Zapiro, as always, is the most elequent in his praise of the old man. Jacob Zuma will deliver his State of the Nation address tonight, in part in honour of the service and leadership of  Rohlihlala, in part to stand brieflyContinue reading “The State of the Madiba Nation”

A leather jacket by any other name …

Some things just have to been seen to be understood. While preparing the review article “While we were away” I checked through the ANC website and was delighted by the pictures of a range of leather jackets the ruling party is selling online. Here is as much as I could get from a poor qualityContinue reading “A leather jacket by any other name …”

Young Communists froth at the mouth – hilariously and for a good cause

This statement from the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) in the province of Gauteng calls on “parents to intensify efforts in teaching their children the dangers of learning from Julius” Malema. Its worth a read – if for nothing else but to see how crazy things are getting between the left-wing of theContinue reading “Young Communists froth at the mouth – hilariously and for a good cause”