Tuesday, July 27, 2004

its a beautiful day

winter is surrounding us with a cold that bites in the early morning, but leads into beautiful clear days of warm sunshine with those extra special blue skies. it is only possible here to be wearing three different sets of clothing in one day, trying to keep up with what the body temperature feels under this winter suns influence. it is a beautiful day.

we have just started planning the making of a dvd - one that has been in the planning for a number of months now - focusing on the celebration of african music and the struggle that it has had to endure to be what it is today. though still hugely unappreciated - especially by the majority of south africans who hang on the the tripe that is contiually dished out by the usa and uk - they have no understanding of the beauty of the sounds that are within the life-blood of the musicians from this continent. these sounds have come down through generation after generation, passed on from father to son, from community to community, that describe the love of the land, the spirituallity of the african being, and pressure of a modern society on people.

the beats and rhythms that come through shine with glory as musicians are able to immitate sounds that can only be found here, and need to be imagined by western musicians - here they freely abound, and are celebrated.

whats really cool is that we are going to be able to film some of these artists, some national treasures, and get insight into the thinking of natural talent that flows so freely.

its so exciting to be a part of this. all this on such a beautiful african winter day!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

iraq affects us too

the world is such a small place today - news travels so fast and at the same time we can always get onto a plane and be where ever we want in no time at all. the information age. what i want to know is what is the use of having all this information at our fingertips, if we never really take heed of what we learn. news and information provide us with an education into the thing that we are reading, but it just doesn't seem to filter through.

i suppose we really need to have it drummed physically into our heads to really feel what we read, otherwise its just another distraction to fillup space in our grey matter.

next week a friend of mine leaves for the infamous iraq again. a special forces body guard who protects big business by putting his own life on the line for a very substantial package. we can argue about what substantial is in terms of the possibility of losing your life over there, the suffering his family will go through if he does lose his life, and the anguish of knowing that it might not be this time, but maybe the next. things are crazy over there at the moment, and i personally wouldn't be seen alive or dead driving through the streets of iraq - but then i am a proud african who feels less alive when not able to breathe in the sunsets of my home.

the money is good - he is setting himself up to be able to take it easy for the rest of his life once it is over - but at what cost? the things he must see, and feel, while out there watching over his shoulder, his system jumping at every back-firing exhaust - what cost...

we all have the information about what is happening there. people are pissed off, and if you are a good looking, tall, blonde and blue-eyed head with chiseled jaw, sticking out above the locals - well, i would think its pretty much target practice. but he's not worried. he knows what he's doing. he's educated and well read. but he doesn't care.

this information age can be ignored. to the detriment of us all. it takes one crazy man or woman, who might not be totally clued up on what's going on, who hasn't read the morning papers, to really fuck up your day. and then mine too will be pretty fucked up, because i'll get the information i dread, and wish i hadn't.

i just think everyone should chill. look around you, and realize, you hurt him, he hurts you, its all the same - sooner or later someone else will fill the gap on both sides, and the circle of life will just carry on. with or without you!

Friday, July 09, 2004

its friday again

damn - another beautiful day here. the air is still, its warm and clear. no clouds to be seen, and today at least the sickly brown haze that hung around yesterday isnt to be seen.

this week there was so much consternation regarding the local caltex refinery that spewed a 1000 litres of oil into the air, causing it to rain down on a whole suburb of people who are just plain gatvol. every day we have to deal with the rubbish that caltex pumps into the air, but the indignity of finding ones home, vehicles and even washing full of the dirty little droplets of oil has been the last straw.

there is no respect. not for the people who have to live in this area, not for the enviroment of this beautiful coastline. this refinery has been here for a long time - longer than this fast growing suburb has been here, but that is no excuse - people are suffering under its barrage of pollutants, and generations to come will suffer the most from it. hindsight is all good and well, but foresight makes you wise.

i realise the cost of moving caltex to a more suitable place would be huge, but then thats what we have to face - and the cost of our health is far more important.

hey - and the rand is doing beautifully! we are showing the world what a great success story this country is - by winning the 2010 world cup soccer, by surviving 10 years of peaceful transition and having a positive outlook at our future, by being chosen to host the pan african parliment, having the most wonderful constitution - drawn up in the name of peace and reconcilliation - we will power ahead and become a world leader - a land that the world can look to, and wish it was as we are.

it feels great to be a part of something exciting - developing the future of this country - and being so proud of being the white african...

Sunday, July 04, 2004

another day in africa

was a beautiful rainy day today - we havent had much of it, and it seems we really never get enough, so it was good to spend the day inside, warm by the fireplace, listening to the drops explode against the window-panes. just cold outside, which makes me worry about the people just down the road from me who must feel so differently about the beauty of the wetness. when its dripping through your tin roof, making everything damp and cold, the streets outside ankle deep in mud, i'm sure one curses the clouds above...

it was amazing how a few weeks ago there was an insert on the lives of the streetkids, and what they do in winter-time - how they suffer in the elements. the next day people mobilized and got off their arses to get blankets and food to the kids. now, a few weeks later its all forgotten again, and i suppose they sit like me, warm and content, while outside the rain still affects so many.

the city has said that it wants to get every community connected to water and electricity by the end of the month - a big task when you consider that 10 years have already passed. but it'll never be soon enough for some, and definitely too late for others.

freedom. freedom to die of cold as a free man.

so dramatic. shit - its still good to be an african in this day and age. the world is changing all around us. the europeans are starting to feel very sorry for all the injustices they perpetrated over the last 300 years, and the americans are becoming the bad big brother who goes around beating everyone up - sure we still fight amoungst ourselves, but we're still trying to sweep out all the rubbish that was the cause of the west meddling. and we have got a hell of a future ahead of us. we just need to take care of a few loose ends - like mugabe, the tyrannical bastard. what a bad name he gives us. what a shame he has become. maybe he'll end up on some dirt pile in the bush like savimbi, another usa sponsored madman... or maybe gace will do him in for us? we'll have to wait and see - thabo certainly isnt going to help us at all - i suppose he was given too many cookies as a young boy, and it is difficult to cut the hand that fed you.

but still - in the rain, the african rain, we can see a great future ahead

Friday, July 02, 2004

its shocking

yesterday we were once again shocked into the reality of the sick world that some people live in - front page of the cape times - john boardman goes to celebrate his wife's birthday with his family at the wild fig restaurant in observatory. some diners who had finished their meal get up and hold the place up, robbing everyone of wallets and cellphones, and then when they started pushing his son-in-law round, he was shot trying to protect him. john boardman died a few hours later, while his attackers were got into a fire-fight with police in which two of them were wounded.

life is so cheap. for a few rands.

the only way we are ever going to get these bastards out of society is by bringing back the death penalty. hang em high and let em die. being a liberal minded person i still end up arguing with lots of people about this issue, but hell there is no other way of teaching people that if you take someone's life, your own cannot belong to you anymore - you are at the mercy of the state, in debt to humanity, and should pay the ultimate price - kill and be killed.

the iraqi's have got the right idea - there is no way saddam can be allowed to live for the mass suffering he was responsible for, and in the same way, people likes these murderers should not be allowed to ever again enjoy a beautiful african sunset. feel the wind on their faces, or taste the spirit of freedom. the boardman family will forever be affected by this. john boardmans wife will never be able to enjoy her birthday again.

lets hang them high - and teach others a lesson.