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Category Archives: democracy

when hearts and minds are filled with nothing but hatred, revenge and greed
there can be no songs of peace
only the deafening drums of war will be heard
and all who dance to this tune will be struck blind
the charred soil will rise up to meet them
and their mouths will be filled with nothing
except the dust of death


there was a fool, who desperately wanted to be king …and there was a gang of malicious thugs who had evil plans to put into effect.
there were also the poor and ignorant who demanded a hero to take responsibility for their folly.
so the gang made the fool king, and built him a huge castle, but in order to build the lavish castle, they stole the money from the poor and the ignorant.
so the fool king blamed the gang, but the gang allowed the blame to fall on the foolish king and ultimately the poor and ignorant.
so the poor and ignorant fought amongst each other. …some hated the king who was a fool, but many loved him because he was a fool just like them…

all the while the gang of malicious thugs continued to make their evil plans

The press has been saturated with the passing of Nelson Mandela.  
Our country is emotionally charged as time and change seems to be pressing on relentlessly.  
People come and people go, it’s the way of the world…

At the official funeral procedings the other day our present democratically elected leader, Jacob Zuma, was boo’d and hissed at as he took the microphone during the official proceedings.
One man departs as a hero, a model of virtue and integrity.
Another man stays behind, but does not follow in these footsteps and he will leave no such heritage.
People come and people go, it’s the way of the world…

For many years now I’ve heard quite a bit about the importance of us needing to “shape the young nation” for the future… to shape and steer this fledgling democracy into a stable and prosperous tomorrow. This has come almost exclusively from the mouths of people who are more or less around my age (50-ish) and older.
It sounds like good wisdom doesn’t it?
Under certain circumstances it most definitely is.

However, the more I speak with the younger generation the more I tend to hear a very different idea rapidly emerging.
They seem to not want our dinosaur opinions nor our advice.
They seem to think that the “wisdom” we feel so honour bound and obliged to pass on to them is endemically defective, that in fact, it has caused all the crap we live with now.
They don’t want or need our racist obsessed issues, nor our anal need to “resolve” the issues of the past.
They just want to get on with a new present.
They have no desire to drag a dead and rotten past into their future.
They seem to be sick and tired of our historically locked crap, and our need to perpetually try justify ourselves.
You know what? I don’t blame them.
In fact, I fully agree with them.
I think they’re 100% right.


There was an account I heard some time ago of a step-father who was convicted of sexually molesting two out of three of his step daughters.
After the guilty verdict had been passed the convicted man was asked why it was that he never assaulted the youngest of the three daughters of his now estranged wife. It was apparent to most that being the youngest she would have been more vulnerable physically and emotionally so it appeared strange that it was the older girls who were the victims of his perverted violations.

The simple answer given by the convicted step-father just before he was cuffed and led out to be locked up was, “She said “NO!”

Zuma in full flight

Yes, I totally agree that this particular individual as well as his whole regime is virtually irredeemably corrupt and clearly incompetent to run his/their own life and affairs, let alone a whole country … but having said that, can we continue to allow ourselves to be deceived?
To my mind this very sorry and clueless individual is no better or worse than any other politician out there or waiting in the wings for their shot at infamy.  They are all puppets and they are all the same.  Obama, Blair, Putin, Hitler, Idi Amin, Stalin, Pol Pot, … you name them – they’re all the same … vain, personally agenda’d, ego and power motivated, sociopathic psycho wrecks… just like you and me, come to think of it.

My take on the whole thing is that to get one to resign in disgrace or get them voted out, even assassinated, … let’s face it, whatever diabolical method we might fancy simply makes the space for another pathetic, narcissistic, empty headed slimeball to simply take his/her place.

Welcome to the Age of Enlightenment.  Welcome to the the age of government of the people, by the people…

Here’s a thought, perhaps it’s worth considering the possibility that we just play into the hands of the corporate puppeteers when we get deceived into taking aim at their well positioned puppets?
Perhaps by getting all heated over these people and issues which dominate our media and which get force-fed to us (including GMO issues, economic issues, green/eco issues, etc. etc. etc… ), we are allowing ourselves to simply be distracted and at the same time burning up personal attention, time and energy while in the dark background “Wicked Uncle Ernie” is freed up to “fiddle about”?

Maybe the joke is on us as we unwittingly license them to plunder us unhindered while we go on believing that we are making a difference, making things change? …. forming new organizations to regulate or combat existing corrupt organizations who themselves were originally organized to correct other corrupt organizations… (try work out what the common factor in all this is…)

Maybe in all of this we are simply distracted from pursuing personal morality, ethics, self control, self determination, an “internal locus of control” rather than an external one?
Maybe these are the real “power balls” the corporate puppeteers are desperate we don’t discover and access?

If one or two of us do they just take us out in one way or another (think Wiki-Leaks, Snowden, etc…)

Imagine if we started thinking?

A lot of us…

Maybe even ALL of us…

Not all together, in some inevitably doomed-to-corruption group or system…

But individually, thinking for ourselves… and finding each other along the road somewhere…

I know we all think we think all the time but do we really?

Doesn’t the TV and media do this for us?

Don’t the political parties and their mouthpieces do this for us?

Maybe if we really did think a little bit…

Just as a start maybe we wouldn’t buy their disposable consumer crap, or willingly fund their disposable political structures, or swallow their proposed superficial solutions, ideologies and other ‘-isms’, … nor fund their corrupt and criminal police? … nor pay the taxes and levies to them that inevitably line pockets of those who have manipulated their way into positions of political power instead of lining hungry stomachs and essential upgrades in infrastructure?
Maybe we’d even audit them?

Perhaps we would wake up and begin to stop enjoying being socially, culturally, economically, spiritually raped … and maybe we will begin to see it for what it really is, a diabolical violation of our personal dignity and individual sovereign integrity?
The way I’m speaking may now sound a bit disgusting, morose, even vulgar … doesn’t it?

It even sounds sick.

That’s good, because Yes, we are sick. Very, very sick.

What do you think?

Maybe we need to consider not shadow boxing anymore and deliver some knockout punches?

We may think we’re just spectators…

But in reality we’re in the ring already…
The rules are unplayable…
The ref is crooked…
The judges and match officials have been bought…
The media networks covering the fight are already paid off handsomely and have even been issued Q-cards…

It’s at the stage where a knockout punch is most probably all we’ve got…

to be or not to be 1

as one legendary man dies in a cloud of controversy and deception, another brazenly ploughs the seeds of discontent watered by that same cloud …

all little boys desire to be king,

but if they mature they soon realize it is all vanity and that they are mere mortals,…

… but some don’t

cry the beloved country…


Hamlet offers an eerie ring to our present context…

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely,
The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn
No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,
And thus the Native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their Currents turn awry,
And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia? Nymph, in thy Orisons
Be all my sins remembered.[2]

this was posted on Facebook  recently and it is indeed a sobering cluster of ideas

when I saw this for the first time it was posted by a person of “white” race in South Africa – a minority cultural group in the country who are now feeling the very real pressure of racist legislation and the resulting reality of legislated dis-empowerment and intimately perceived unfairness under the powerful hand of the present government which was democratically elected into power by the majority of South African citizens nearly 20 years ago

as a member of this same “white” cultural group I immediately resonate with the sentiments and ideals expressed in the posting

I also feel all manner of emotions bubbling up inside me as it is a very tangible reality we face every day

and yes, in the posting there a strong linear thread of ‘logic’ in these statements and the wisdom of what is stated is to my mind self evident

… however what is seemingly less evident is that without too much lateral thought and perspectival gymnastics the same set of principles can be seen at work in the present political legislation as those which entrenched and under girded the now disgraced and ousted Nationalist Party’s policy of Apartheid and “Separate Development” prior to the political shift in 1994

with these policies legislated during the days of Apartheid the White race in South Africa was entrenched as exclusively privileged recipients of preferential access to resources … material, economical, political, social, cultural and this spilled into all other sectors of society including job reservation, education, land ownership and many other arena’s …

what a man sows is what a man reaps… whether just or unjust

and yes, the circle will turn again, and again…

and it’s always amazing how the same thing can look so completely different seen from just another angle

… and perhaps now, with the shoe on the other foot so to speak, so many of us “whites” seem to all so easily think of many reasons and linear justifications not to share this sobering  aspect of the equation, publicly, privately, even within ourselves – in our own private thoughts

… don’t you think?


the real state of democracy, dignity and human rights in our land


the biggest challenge our children (and indeed the nation at large) face today is learning civility, moral conduct, sound leadership, basic dignity and respect and even elementary communication skills… without ever seeing any displayed.


the emperors parade naked before us all yet demand respect and submission


(Pawel Kuczynski)

The whole Brett Murray/The Spear (of-the-nation) disturbance in the media of late, whichever way one views it, clearly reveals the power of the creative arts to effect society and bring people to their feet, perhaps even their knees.

It seems to have  provoked people on all sides of the issue to start thinking, expressing those thoughts, debating, engaging and some arguing passionately, even heatedly as they wrestle with their own perspectives and our shared destiny.

As potentially volatile as this all is in light of our extremely immature and uneducated “democracy” here in South Africa I think it is a most wonderful thing and hopefully it will keep us wondering for many decades to come.

Yet still I feel compelled to ask the question:  Why are there so few “Brett Murray’s”?

Why are so many artists seemingly locked into almost exclusively doing commercial drivel; “ABBA” type pop ‘tributes’ or playing “Piano Man” for a essentially drunken society who demand nostalgic memories, or serving a placatory propaganda type role in corporate settings merely to get a monetary handout?

Where are the real “prophets”?

Awaken and live long you  “Brett Murray” types!

(regardless of what side of the fence you sit, or what we think about what you say)


Maybe the poet is gay
But he’ll be heard anyway

Maybe the poet is drugged
But he won’t stay under the rug

Maybe the voice of the spirit
In which case you’d better hear it

Maybe he’s a woman
Who can touch you where you’re human

Male, female slave or free
Peaceful or disorderly
Maybe you and he will not agree
But you need him to show you new ways to see

Don’t let the system fool you
All it wants to do is rule you
Pay attention to the poet
You need him and you know it

Put him up against the wall
Shoot him up with pentothal

Shoot him up with lead
You won’t call back what’s been said
Put him in the ground
But one day you’ll look around

There’ll be a face you don’t know
Voicing thoughts you’ve heard before

Male, female slave or free
Peaceful or disorderly
Maybe you and he will not agree
But you need him to show you new ways to see

Don’t let the system fool you
All it wants to do is rule you
Pay attention to the poet
You need him and you know it

BRUCE COCKBURN  –  “Maybe The Poet”