‘N SPIES OF ‘N DOLK?

Met ‘n eerste oogopslag het ek gedog ek kyk na ‘n plakkaat van ‘n nuwe Cowboy-fliek. Maar toe besef ek daai wapen sit nie op die heup nie.

Goed, ek weet my rekenaar was op batterykrag en die skerm was nie baie helder nie. Die houding van die cowboy het my egter baie herinner aan ‘n ander bekende plakkaat, maar die ou op dáárdie plakkaat was nie ‘n cowboy nie. Sover ek kan onthou het hy nie ‘n holster gedra nie.

Hy was die magtige Rus, Lenin. Nee, dink ek by myself, hier’s ‘n slang in die gras. Laat ek eerder my bril kry.

Met my bifocals gekalibreer en die rekenaar ingeprop, word die prent in al sy glorie vir my op die skerm ge-flash. My oë begin my nie parte speel nie. Die naakte waarheid tref my vol in die gesig.

Onse Prez Jakob, regop staan hy daar, baadjiepante punt in die wind. Dis toe nie John Wayne met ‘n rewolwer nie. Dis eerder ‘n W of M d (nee, nee! Nie ‘n Weapon of Mass Destruction nie) maar eerder Wonder of Malema dalk… So dink ek toe aanvanklik. Kon Malema dit dalk uit wraak gedoen het? Ek is dadelik opgewen. Dis juis die wortel van alle kwaad: Mense het nie meer respek vir hulle leiers nie. Kyk nou hoe word die draak gesteek met die president van Suid-Afrika. Ja nee, o vet, die knuppel is behoorlik tussen die hoenders ingegooi.


Maar hy’s darem in goeie geselskap, troos ek myself. Kyk nou maar daai skildery van Dan Lacy wat hy van President Obama gemaak het waar hy op een van daardie eenhoringperde ry. Margaret Sutherland het meer as net wenkbroue laat lig met haar skildery van Kanada se Eerste Minister, Stephen Harper – Emperor Haute Couture. ‘n Spitsvondige skildery van ‘n naakte George Bush op die bed, waar hy deur Dick Cheney (ja, ek weet – dis nie ek wat die naam gekies het nie) bedien word, het ook die mense net hulle koppe laat skud.

Maar alle grappies nou op ‘n stok. (Skuus, stokkie.)

Wat wou die skilder werklik met hierdie skildery bereik? In ‘n land soos Suid-Afrika met sy brose  menseverhoudinge sou mens mos eerder iets wou doen om die ou nasie nader aan mekaar te bring, of hoe? Hoekom nog verder skeuring bring? Ek is nie ‘n aanhanger van Zuma nie, inteendeel, maar glo dat daar beter metodes is om ‘n stelling te maak as om vulgariteit in te span.

Talle gewone swartmense – en soos Barend la Grange bewys het, ook blankes – het aanstoot geneem. Daar is gesê dat die skildery onsensitiwiteit vir die Afrika-kultuur demonstreer en ‘n gebrek aan begrip vir gevoelens van mense wat onder apartheid en kolonialisme verneder is.

Zuma is geen engeltjie nie. Hy word gekritiseer vir sy besluiteloosheid as leier terwyl sy “kleurvolle” persoonlike lewe die onderwerp van talle gesprekke is. Sy vier vroue en 20 kinders, sy vigs-uitsprake en die aanklagte van verkragting teen hom wat laat vaar is, maak hom die teiken van bespotting. Die wyse waarop die ANC met boelie-taktiek gereageer het op die publisiteit wat die skildery ontvang het, maak mens ook onrustig. Dit het duidelik na vore gekom dat kritiek net nie geduld sal word nie.

I think The Spear was a godsend for the ANC because for a few days we were not focusing on its failures and weaknesses, so it was allowed to engage in an exercise in displacement by focusing the attention of its members on the president’s dignity, het Aubrey Matshiqi van die Helen Suzman- stigting gesê.

Met die naderende verkiesing het ondersteuners van die President egter nou laer om hul leier getrek en kan Zuma groot voordeel trek uit The Spear deurdat hy nou as die slagoffer voorgehou word.

Desmond Tutu het in 2008 gesê:

One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.

Of jy dan nou ’n kunstenaar of ’n skrywer is, moenie jou talent gebruik om te beledig nie. Geniet die vryheid van uitdrukking, maar hou by die konsep van ubuntu

Ek stem saam met Paul Mashatile, minister van kuns en kuktuur (baie raar, want ek stem nie dikwels met ‘n ANC-woordvoerder saam nie). Hy het gesê:

Ons as regering is nie gekant teen kreatiwiteit nie. Dit is nie ons bedoeling om enigiemand te sensor nie. Kunstenaars moet hul werk doen en kreatief wees, maar dit moet in die raamwerk van respek vir ander gebeur.

Nie noodwendig respek vir Zuma nie, maar respek vir gevoelens, vir mekaar, vir ons land. En sy presidensiële amp.

Respek en waardes. Is dit besig om te verdwyn?

Goeie advies vir die jonger manne

GOEIE ADVIES VIR DIE JONGER MANNE

in labour 2

Daar is sekere dinge wat jy nou maar net nie vir jou vrou in die teater sê wanneer sy besig is om geboorte te skenk nie. Kom ons kyk na enkeles:

  1. Ek hoop tog net die baba is uit vóór die game begin.
  2. Ek hoop jy’s gereed. Die ou met die videokamera gaan nou hier wees.
  3. As jy dink dít is seer, moet ek jou bietjie vertel van die keer toe ek my enkel met rugby verstuit het.
  4. Hei, hou net gou op met skreeu – dis die kinders op die foon. Hulle wil weet wat eet ons vanaand.
  5. As jy so op jou rug lê, lyk jy darem wragtag nes ‘n luislang wat ‘n vlakvark ingesluk het.
  6. Nee wat, jy’t nie ‘n epiduraal nodig nie. Ontspan net en geniet die oomblik.
  7. Jong, ek hoop nou net dis die regte pyp wat die dokter daar afgesny het.
  8. Hou op vloek en haal net rustig asem.
  9. Sug! Lyk of dit ‘n laaang nag gaan wees.
  10. Móét jy sulke geluide maak?
  11. Ha-ha! Sê nou daar kom ‘n eier uit, so ’n groot volstruiseier en nie ‘n baba nie!
  12. Vir wat kom daai baba nie? Skrik jy hom nie dalk af met jou geskreeuery nie?

30 Ways to annoy people

  1. Specify that your drive-through order is “to go”.
  2. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.
  3. Push all the flat Lego pieces together tightly.
  4. Start each meal by conspicuously licking all your food, and announce that this is so no one will “swipe your grub”.
  5. Reply to everything someone says with “That’s what YOU think”.
  6. Claim that you must always wear a bicycle helmet as part of your “astronaut training”.
  7. Declare your apartment an independent nation, and sue your neighbours upstairs for “violating your airspace”.
  8. Highlight irrelevant information in scientific papers and “cc:” them to your boss.
  9. Make beeping noises when a large person backs up.
  10. Invent nonsense computer jargon in conversations, and see if people play along to avoid the appearance of ignorance.
  11. Finish all your sentences with the words “…in accordance with the prophesy”.
  12. Wear a special hip holster for your remote control.
  13. Staple papers in the middle of the page.
  14. Order a side of pork rinds with your filet mignon.
  15. Honk and wave to strangers.
  16. Decline to be seated at a restaurant, and simply eat their complimentary mints by the cash register.
  17. Begin all your sentences with “ooh la la!”
  18. Ask the waitress for an extra seat for your “imaginary friend”.
  19. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times: “Do you hear that?” “What?” “Never mind, it’s gone now”.
  20. Light road flares on a birthday cake.
  21. Wander around a restaurant, asking other diners for their parsley.
  22. Leave tips in Bolivian currency.
  23. Demand that everyone address you as “Conquistador”.
  24. As much as possible, skip rather than walk.
  25. Pretend your computer’s mouse is a CB radio, and talk to it.
  26. Ask people what gender they are.
  27. Routinely handcuff yourself to furniture, informing the curious that you don’t want to fall off “in case the big one comes”.
  28. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head. Like a parakeet.
  29. Lie obviously about trivial things such as the time of day.
  30. Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

HE WHO HAS A WHY? TO LIVE FOR CAN BEAR WITH ALMOST ANY HOW?

(Title: Friedrich Nietche: Twilight of the Idols – 1888)

 

(Watch the video at the end – but read the article first)

My attitude to my circumstances very often dictates my actions as well as the end result.
At some stage or another in our lives, we have all been touched by astonishing accounts of people who have risen above their circumstances. When I find myself in such a position, though, it is not always that easy to be objective about it.
Not long before his death while in exile in Mexico, knowing it was just a matter of time before Joseph Stalin’s assassins would catch up with him, Leon Trotsky wrote:

 Natasha (his wife) has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.  (TROTSKY’S TESTAMENT – 27 FEBRUARY 1940)

 In his poignant book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl (what an appropriate name!) describes his experiences in a German concentration camp. He shares the methods that he applied to carry him through this horrific ordeal and helped him find a reason to live.

 We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

 According to him, when we are no longer able to change a situation – like an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer – we are challenged to change ourselves. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him – mentally and spiritually. He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp.

 Frankl set out three different ways to discover this meaning in life:

1. By creating a work or doing a deed

2. By experiencing something or encountering someone

3. By the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.

He writes that it does not really matter what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us. In the concentration camp “…we needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfil the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

 We should live as if we were living already for the second time and as if we had acted the first time as wrongly as we are about to act now!

 Frankl concluded that the meaning of life is found in every moment of living. Life never ceases to have meaning, even in suffering and death. Frankl demonstrated this notion in a group therapy session during a mass fast inflicted on the camp’s inmates trying to protect an anonymous fellow inmate from fatal retribution by authorities. He offered the thought that for everyone in a dire condition there is someone looking down, a friend, family member, or even God, who would expect not to be disappointed. He came to the conclusion that a prisoner’s psychological reactions are not solely the result of the conditions of his life, but also from the freedom of choice he always has even in severe suffering.

 The inner hold a prisoner has on his spiritual self relies on having a hope in the future, and that once a prisoner loses that hope, he is doomed.

 

We see an example of Frankl’s idea of finding meaning in the midst of extreme suffering in his account of an experience he had while working in the harsh conditions of the Auschwitz Concentration camp:

… We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbours’ arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know what is happening to us.”

That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife’s image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise.

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way – an honourable way – in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfilment. For the first time in my life, I was able to understand the meaning of the words, “The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory”

In the original musical, Time, by Dave Clarke the character, Akash – brilliantly played by the late Sir Laurence Olivier, delivers the following verdict:

Throughout the universe there is order
In the movement of the planets, in nature
and in the functioning of the human mind.
A mind that, in its natural state of order,
is in harmony with the universe
and such a mind is timeless.

Your life is an expression of your mind.

You are the creator of your own Universe –
For as a human being, you are free to will whatever
state of being you desire through the use of your
thoughts and words.
There is great power there.
It can be a blessing or a curse –
It’s entirely up to you.
For the quality of your life is brought about
by the quality of your thinking –
think about that.

Thoughts produce actions – look at what you’re thinking.
See the pettiness and the envy and the greed and the
fear and all the other attitudes that cause
you pain and discomfort.
Realize that the one thing you have absolute
control over is your attitude.

See the effect that it has on those around you
for each life is linked to all life
and your words carry with them chain reactions
like a stone that is thrown into a pond.


If your thinking is in order,
your words will flow directly from the heart
creating ripples of love.

If you truly want to change your world, my friend,
you must change your thinking.
Reason is your greatest tool,
it creates an atmosphere of understanding,
which leads to caring which is love

Choose your words with care.

Go forth … with love.

 

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO:

(Oh, that voice, that voice…)