I know it isn't a fair comparison - and I must apologize to Linux fans for this unintentional sleight - but whenever I see anything that reminds me of Angus Buchan, I immediately think of Red Hat and its Fedora distro. Why? It's because of the hat. That hat has become synonymous to me with that man. In fact, one of these days I think some avid Angus fan may even release - or unleash - a new linux distro on an unsuspecting world and call it "Angus Fedora" Linux or something appropriately lame. Don't get me wrong, I like Linux - and I love that cute penguin - at least a good deal more than I like Angus - or his silly hat. Fortunately most Angus aficionados are clearly not bright enough to be Linux developers - or they would be bright enough to know a scam artist, baloney merchant or snake-oil salesman when they see one.
I don't know how others feel about the "potato preacher" Angus Buchan, but I get really annoyed seeing him in the headlines in Media24 newspapers. Wherever I go, I see those posters on the light posts at the side of the road and odds are if they advertise "die Burger", they mention "Angus". Angus this, Angus that, Angus changes his hairstyle, Angus, Angus, Angus. It is verging on the ridiculous now - nearly every day there is something in the papers about him. One of these days Jacob Zuma will likely turn his back on his buddy Ray Mc Cauley and get photographed with Angus just be with the "in" crowd and win some more fundamentalist votes. I can't wait to see which political party is going to start sniffing around his tent.
Now I 'm not sure if you know Media24 - they are the same publishing house that owns Die Burger, Beeld and that now infamous nest of misogyny - the Sunday Sun, home to that bigot columnist Jon Qwelane who laughed in the face of the Human Rights Commission and equated homosexuality to bestiality and incited people to "rise up" to remove gay rights from the SA Constitution last year. That case still has to reach court and I will be most interested to see how the Sunday Sun reports the outcome of that matter. The fact that Media24 and Naspers are the biggest news house on the African continent - and also have a monopoly of magazines and newspapers as well as having extended its reach into tertiary education, digital media and communication, among others - is most concerning. Particularly if you take note of the dangerously fundamentalist overtones in some of its publications and articles. But at least they haven't taken over rags like "Joy!" yet - that is still the mouthpiece of the FPI and CAN and fundamentalist and blatantly fascist groups such as the CDA and ACDP - who openly brag of their intent to take over the country in some distant election and establish a Christian fundamentalist state, where they will settle a few grudges with dirty homosexuals and unbelievers. Hmm. One day when their ship comes in, of course. Until then, I think we sane people are safe enough, at least for now.
But as for Angus Buchan, the former potato farmer made famous by his religious book-turned-movie, appropriately titled "Faith Like Potatoes", is holding religious rallies for men around the country and instructing them to rise up and "take back" what was never rightfully theirs to begin with - dominion of the family, society - and the world. It really sounds to me like a particularly poor episode of "Pinky and the Brain", with fewer funny bits or entertainment value, especially when you realize that they are deadly serious. Buchan subscribes to a conservative moral code that can only be called fundamentalist, and makes it clear that homosexuality, divorce and pre-marital sex cannot be condoned. He also preaches the "submission" of women to their husbands. This of course serves to indicate where he stands on issues of human rights and equality. But of course, people accept this - because as he readily points out: "it says so in the bible". And that of course, makes everything all right, because he doesn't need to go to the trouble of actually proving anything he says.
I wonder, does this man take note of everything written in that big ol' book? Or just the things that it suits him to preach?
Seriously, who cares what that narrow-minded homophobe gets up to? Does a public newspaper, for which people pay good money, have to provide minute to minute updates on the doings and the screwings of this homophobic pulpit-pilot? It certainly doesn't help the credibility of a supposedly professional newspaper - or journalists who sing his praises as if he has just parted the Hartebeespoort Dam. Nor does it speak well of his audience - or their intelligence, that much is certain. It seems every time that chauvinistic fossil adjusts his silly hat, it appears in the Burger or Algoa Sun. Don't they have anything newsworthy to talk about? What are they - a bona fide news service - or a fundamentalist church newsletter?
I realise many people are religious - superstitious even, and gulliably so - and will readily take the word of a "dominee" over the hightest qualified scientific mind on any topic simply because he is a man of the cloth - but does this man really qualify as "news"? He draws tens of thousands of men - who clearly have no lives of their own - to hear him speak about religious and traditional matters such as putting women back "in their places" and "curing" gay people, and I suppose the most newsworthy issue there is the traffic jams and road closures he causes. Still, it is tragic that big strong males of the species need to actually pay money to get validation of their all too fragile manhood from a little narrow-minded bigot standing under a hat.
Why does Angus Buchan wear a hat anyway? To cover his bald spot? In case the rain he prayed for fails to materialize? Does he fancy himself as a cowboy? That would suit his image I think - "cleaning up" perceived "immorality" wherever he goes, six-shooter-bible tucked under his arm, staunchly preaching to men to "reclaim" traditional roles as "head of the family", that women should "submit" to their men and that homosexuality can be - and has been - prayed away. Yeah, right. Look - a flying pig!
The patriarchal society enforces negative stereotyping, which encourages men to beat and oppress women, to rape lesbians to "make them straight", to bash gay men - and all with the comforting excuse -
"the bible says so". This nonsense has to stop!
Now I don't know how other women feel about this subject - and I'm not going to speak for them - but I decided quite some time ago that I was done with men. I have had my fill of knuckle-dragging alpha-males listening to me with only half a brain because I am "only a woman and what do I know anyway?" and trying to express their manhood and "superiority" by attempting to take me by force when they find out I am transgender - and anyway, I'm not the type to keep pets. I filled in a survey yesterday that asked if I was a cat person or a dog person and I replied: "No, I am fully human". And I fully agree with Virginia Woolf who most famously quipped: "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle".
The truth about this clown is that he makes a spectacle and a mockery of his religion - and his fans are too far gone to see it. He makes Men (to say nothing about the stupid women) and people of faith - who flock to hear his misogyny, arcane reasoning and archaic ideology, and then rave about it as though he has led them through a desert of silk and money to the Promised Land - look ridiculous, ignorant and childish. I could easily imagine God squirming with discomfort and embarrassment for their part.
How is South Africa ever going to crawl out of the marsh of residual racism and heterosexism and the socio- economic quagmire it is in, if we are bogged down with self-imposed ignorance and superstition - and ham-strung by medievalist rubbish?
It seems to me that Mr Buchan is still farming potatoes after all - just a different sort.