24 February 2010

cape town, south africa's whipping boy...

every so often, there's someone who write a something  about the lack of "racial transformation" in cape town.  after a while, it gets tired and annoying because, well, the black south africans with money are not putting it where their mouth is, and the non-black ones aren't going to put up their money to do it until the black people go first. that's pretty much the real reason. 

in today's episode, we have ryland fisher asking why there are few streets in the cape town city centre named for anti-apartheid figures? of course, there's the normal pro- and anti- cape town crowds have given out their R0.02 about the whole thing. one person actually has a good point in this thread: most central cape town streets are neutrally named -- strand [beach], long, loop, bree [broad], buitenkant [outer bank], buitengracht [outer canal].  riebeeck? not so major. darling? not really.  adderley street is about the only "major" street named for a person in the city center, and even the lower end of that street has its original name of heerengracht. 

granted, there are streets in the city center which are named after prominent afrikaner nationalists: henrik verwoerd, df malan, hans strydom -- but their location in the city center is pretty much reduced to the foreshore -- which is reclaimed land that in reality are basically used for highway on-/off-ramps and parking lots. if you come into cape town via train or most bus routes, you don't even see these streets -- much like most people don't see the streets in the townships named for struggle vets. if you come in via minibus taxi, you do have do deal with oswald parow. but cape town is unique in south africa in that most people do *not* come to the city center via minibus taxi, but by bus and train.

the comments have quickly deteriorated into the normal "cape town is racist" slugfest. this gets really annoying. i really hate defending cape town on this subject. i don't exactly defend cape town, i don't think -- i point out the blinders of the "cape town sucks" crowd in what they say. 

what they want to say is "xhosas aren't well-represented in the heartbeat of cape town." and that's a very true statement. but instead they say "africans" meaning "all black people" and that is very thoroughly wrong. most foreign blacks in cape town live fairly centrally here. as a result, most nights you're more likely to hear yoruba or kimbundu or swahili than you are to hear xhosa or zulu or sesotho.

but of course, foreign black people don't count -- and that is what annoys me about any thread regarding the lack of black "representation" in cape town. 

click on that link and you'll see my comment. cape town [and the country] have much bigger fish to fry rather than the name of a street. someone will ultimately bring up "dignity" and i will pre-emptively respond with "which gives a person more dignity? living on a street named for someone who died in the struggle or working and eating every day?"

15 February 2010

reading is fundamental

so there has been an incredible amount of fail since i last posted, much of it having to do with the president and his state of the nation address, but a few other things related to the franco-german axis's complete lack of desire to prop up the euro by saving greece. 

they will end up saving greece, because letting it go down the tubes will mean that the euro will take a nasty knock, which would be great for me, money-wise, as the rand will take a knock right along with it. bah.

so, back to mzansi. last thursday -- the 20th anniversary of mandela's release from prison -- the president made his state of the nation address.  while his wives were there, his girlfriends and babymamas were not. 

the speech he made was typical campaign-speech and had nothing really to write home about. if he tries to enact half of these things, i should really have no trouble getting a teaching gig here once i get my certs in order. if i were still to have this house, i would have no problem teaching in du noon informal settlement [it would be an easy commute]. from almost anywhere in cape town that i'm willing to live, there are no schools in easy commuting distance with large EFL populations. 

oh, wait. there's langa. i suppose i could make that happen. reverse commute, too, if i lived in town [which i would]. langa is also doable from here, in a stretch. hm. 

anyway, the president really struggled reading in english. i nearly mentioned this on crackbook but chose not to. my thought: okay, it's not his first or second language, i should give him a break. and then he read a bit in sotho. same thing. and then he was reading in zulu. oh, god, this man is really illiterate. when he gives extemporaneous speeches in zulu, he's actually quite inspiring. but actually reading from prepared text? i was actually embarrassed for him. eish. 

it makes me want to make sure that people here read and write well that much more.

but we'll see. after earnings season is done, i should have some downtime, even though i'm working on getting more clients now in an attempt to have less downtime. but i definitely need to crank out this TEFL cert so i can get in the classroom. 

07 February 2010

Umshini wethu weSex

*translation: our sex machine

that's the title of a blogpost on thoughtleader.co.za -- and it refers to our philandering president. or rather, the philandering south african president. he's not my president; i can't vote for him (and wouldn't even if i could). 

now, jacob zuma has three current wives, and has paid lobola [bride price] for at least two other women. there were two other women who were once married to him: one of them is the current home affairs minister, who divorced him; the other one killed herself to get away from him (if the context of her suicide note is to be believed). 

he also had 19 children, some of whom are from his wives; others are from miscellaneous other women, including the sister of the first judge who was to preside over his rape trial (the judge recused himself) -- and an insider says that there are many, many more out there, including a zimbabwean born while zuma was in exile in mozambique who is trying to get to the family compound but the police aren't having it, even though the police themselves say that he looks just like the prez (the poor bastard; zuma is not easy on the eyes).

we now have an admission from the president that he has recently fathered yet another child -- this one from the daughter of the head of the world cup local organizing committee, who is allegedly one of his closest friends. um, ew? having sex with the child of one of your oldest, closest friends is... nasty. 

this is a man who had unprotected sex with a woman who was hiv+ [oh yes, he knew] and took a shower to wash off the aids. his words. 

oh yeah, he was the president of the aids strategy council at the time. oops.

anyway, he's finally paid damages to the khoza family. isn't that grand of him? 

how about he keeps his dick in his pants and runs the country? apparently that is too much to ask for. 

03 February 2010

five years

i was supposed to have left this place a few days ago, but since i didn't --- i've lived in this place for five years, as of today. 

a lot of stuff is going absolutely wrong [starting with no longer having internet access at home, so i can't update the way i want to], but i'll try to find the time to update properly when i can get this all sorted out. 

but, man. five years. eish.