Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shades Of 2012

I enjoy history, in fact I often make mention of the proverb "those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it". Faced with certain revelations of late, and a certain amount of introspection, I am loathe to add "that depends on your history". This of course, is not simply because history is written by the victors, but because of the increasingly apparent detail that while we might know some of what has passed before, we don't know it all. There is clearly a significant amount of earlier history that is unknown, lost.

Fortunately it seems that we can still find fragments of it in the deep, dark places of the world. The only question is whether or not we will be open to accepting what our digging into the past brings to light?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Polly Wanna Cracker


It seems that some people just know how to make a lasting impression. I suppose you could say they might have been reading a dog-eared copy of "How to make friends and influence people", or might have, if it was available in their local religious book store, with suitable recommendations. In fact, some people will read or believe any old thing, as long as it is sold from such places, preferably with strong recommendations from folks like James Dobson or Erroll Naidoo, and assurances that it won't "corrupt" their minds, faith or threaten their families by actually causing them to think.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Grow A Pair


Sadly most trans people like being in the closet too much to get involved in educating the public on trans issues. I know of some others here in my city, and every one of them is flatly uninterested in exposing themselves to public view - leaving trans-activism to non trans people - and broadly speaking, giving them the opportunity to blame a lack of progress on others.

Yes of course, it's not easy exposing yourself to the world as a trans person - it's hard enough trying to convince ignorant family members that you don't get a thrill out of wearing women's underwear, or like playing with little boys like some of those pedophile Catholic priests do - and as usual, we are SO ashamed to be trans we could never accept the idea of actually being PROUD of who we are or for our achievements as trans people. In fact, we set out to spend the rest of our lives denying that we ever left the factory with slightly different equipment before having an "upgrade" - or even that any such "upgrade" ever took place.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reja-vu


POI is getting a white-wash from government, and from figures who think it is a good idea to censor the free Press. Some say it will redress the wrongs under the still existing (yet hardly enforced) Apartheid-era secrecy law. (Of course they are hoping that by using the "A-word" the lemmings will decide in favor of the POI without bothering to think further than - "oh it must be better then".) Instead of just scrapping it, or using the original draft replacement law from three years ago, which was in line with democratic values - they want to replace it with an "upgrade", a V2.0 - no doubt soon to be followed by an "Apartheid v2.0". The working title for this little exercise in retribution could be something on the lines of "the Formerly Oppressed Strike Back", and we all have a pretty good idea of who the main characters will be, and how it will play out. After all, we've seen it all before - just across the border in what used to be a fairly prosperous neighboring country.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just Keep Swimming


These days I find myself referring to the little blue fish in that adorable movie "Finding Nemo", the one that kept on saying "just keep swimming". And no matter what, no matter how bad things got in the movie, that was her philosophy, and she stuck to it - "just keep swimming". I can't help but draw comparisons between circumstances and the wisdom and stoicism of that little fish - or the writer for that matter. No matter what happens next, no matter how much people surprise - or shock, or disappoint me.

Since when did we Pink folks in South Africa start looking down on and judging other people by their inborn characteristics? When did we decide we were too good to socialize with or compete with others? Where did this smarmy superior attitude and this mentality of "if we can't win, then it must be rigged" come from? When did we decide that gay people are equal to straight people, but some gay people are more equal than others?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blah, Blah, Click, Click


I don't think laws in South Africa are formulated by the SA people anymore - these days laws just break the news when they are about to be passed by parliament - like the POI and Media Tribunal - and as they clearly demonstrate, these are one-sided and extremely partisan, working against democracy. This is not transparency, this is not "due process". We need more "Glasnost" in South Africa!

Everywhere, I hear people complaining about politicians and politics, people whining that "The elected should remember how they got elected - and every decision they take should be given the litmus test "Is this good for the people?". When they remember that being elected is an expression of trust by the people and not a ticket to entitlement we might get somewhere."

Of course, as this person (a good friend of mine from High School days) says - "If anyone looks up the dictionary definition of democracy they might be in for a shock."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Take A Stand


Many people are talking about leaving South Africa for greener pastures. Who can really blame them? With a government seemingly doing its best to ruin the country after the brilliant success of the Soccer World Cup a few short months ago, who isn't left with a sense of shock and uncertainty? With a multi-pronged attack on democracy and the underpinnings of the Constitution coming from various government departments, the future for South Africans seems bleak indeed. But never so bleak as when there is a realistic chance of standing up to the hijackers of democracy - and those who should be taking a stand are doing so in the emigrations queue at the airport.

There are days when I feel the same way - for example, when I see apathy all around me. Two weeks ago I was at a petition signing against the "Protection of Information" Bill and Media Tribunal. So many people just shrugged and said "it won't help" or they "don't do politics". Of course it won't help - if people think as they do. They have given up, surrendered without a fight. They're impotent, defeated. Others are so STUPID they don't even know what "freedom of the press" even means. And yes, of course - they went to school. What they did there though, is anybody's guess. It is so frustrating.