Yes I know my enemies,
they’re the teachers who taught me to fight me
… compromise, conformity, assimilation,
submission, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite.
“Know your enemy” – Rage Against The Machine
I woke to the “gnaaa” “gnaaaa” “gnaaa” of my alarm piercing my head for the umpteenth time. The snooze button had been pressed once too many and at this rate, I was going to be late. In a vain attempt to reign in that metal beast, I threw on the pile of clothes lying on the floor beside my bed, showered the porcelain – I’d showered myself the night before – and “cirque du soleil”-ed my torso deftly into last night’s t-shirt.
Shoving the necessaries into my gym bag, face still wet, my mouth spouting minted morning-breath, I pulled my laptop bag over my shoulder and headed down the stairs.
No one was up yet, and a minute or so later I’d dumped everything into the steed and was reversing out the garage ready to tackle the race I’d forced upon myself. I was running 5 minutes late – and when you cut time as fine as I do, I was almost guaranteed to miss the train – unless I REALLY hurried. And so I put foot, heading for Faure, knowing there was no way I’d catch her at our usual meeting place today.
Going a good deal faster than I should be mere minutes after waking up sure is a good way to shock the system into greeting the prepubescent morn with charm. At one point, I actually thought I’d catch my morning Bordeaux on rails, but it wasn’t’ to be. As I mounted the bridge, she came rumbling on beneath me and just like that, me and my white steed, was driving in to work.
Forty minutes later, settling down to my morning routine of fruit salad, muesli, and arguably some of the best coffee the mother city has to offer, I realised today was #blackTuesday – the day the powers that be would be attempting to push their mongoloid baby, the protection of state information bill, or `Secrecy Bill` to the layman, onto the people they swore to serve.
What has struck me as particularly perturbing in all this is that a month or so ago we were having the same issues; this bill was being pushed through, rushed passed, the slitheren-tongued upper echelons spouting the google-esque slogan, swearing they’d ‘do no evil’ with the overtly protective bill and urging their populace to trust them.
I take the business train in -when I wake up on time- and as a result, get a coffee and the daily paper. All this really means is that I’m constantly bombarded with the deplorable amount of fraud, mismanagement and squandering of public funds our government elect seems intent on dabbling in. Not to mention hypocritical name calling and stone throwing. I won’t trust them any further than I can spit.
Add to that, just a few days ago, as Jay Naidoo mentions, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele seemed to deem it perfectly -ok- to label all opponents raising their concerns against the so-called Secrecy Bill as agents of foreign spies.
A short 6 weeks later and here we are again. Now, I wouldn’t say I have my finger on the pulse of this circus in any way, shape or form, but how did I only find out about the vote this week? It was an impressive tactic – pull back when the resistance is high, then slip it in a few weeks later, unchanged, in all its oppressive, freedom-slaughtering glory.
At the best of times I tend to keep my expectations on government as low as possible, so in all honesty this new bit of power-grabbing doesn’t really surprise me. And, let’s be honest, with the mess it seems they’re in with the corruption hearings, bazaar mismanagement of funds on a national level, not to mention the Arms Deal, and who knows what else they’ve actually managed to keep hidden thus far, I think they know – either they need to shape up or do their damndest to hide the truth; otherwise their towers are coming down.
So when my bud, Christopher, suggested we attend the gathering at parliament, I was all for it – I mean even though it was per-chance, I was wearing a black t-shirt after all.
But, actually – what’s up with that? Look- I get the historical call-backs behind #blackTuesday – and I understand the value in solidarity. I also get that as the middle-class, we’re a lazy bunch. But really?! Getting people to wear black as a form of protest where the people you’re trying to convince are shut up in a room somewhere deciding the future of our nation – and nowhere near your little goth-centric cubicle – I’m not surprised the bill was passed.
It’s all just another dumb-down – a way to get people to feel connected – get the anger out, but in a way that doesn’t effect change. It doesn’t do anything. It holds no value, but to lull us into a false sense of achievement.
The ‘march’ (well mull-about) on Parliament?! What was that shit? It felt like a hippie gathering of goths. Honestly I was expecting a little more militancy – or at least, effectiveness.
In true soap-box fashion, the street preachers of democracy all took their turn at mumbling into the load haler all vying for a few minutes in the lime-light- and maybe a second or two on the news at 10..
Just after we got there, an ANC apartheid veteran got up, and started going on about stuff, one thing that stuck out was this little statement of how this bill was akin to the worst of apartheid. Wait.. really? [nevermind, racism, segregation, brutality, forced removal…]
And.. this is what the Mail & Guardian have to say about ‘apartheid attrocities’: http://mg.co.za/tag/apartheid-atrocities… ok, moving on.
Then some hippy motherfucker climbed all over Louis’ horse, wearing rainbow striped leggings (what happened to wear black, you stoned reprobate?) – he was about as incomprehensible as the well-meaning, attention seeking people on the lower podium.
[aside] Slightly off topic, but I think this needs be said: standing right in the front (or back, as it may be), stood a few people, with a huge sign reading “Catholics for freedom of speech” (or some-such) which is all good- I mean, solidarity ftw, although, it’s not like they have the best track record themselves… (but maybe they’ve learnt from their mistakes?).
One of them was holding up another sign – [again, paraphrased – my memory isn’t what it used to be] – “If the government isn’t ethical, the Christians need to be” again – wait…Why the Christians? As if the only two groups of value are government or Christians? And.. I mean this isn’t some higher calling.. all of society should be ethical.
Wait, maybe he was saying – if Governent isn’t going to be ethical, at least the Christians should make an effort to start… – but wouldn’t he be better served holding that up in church on Sunday? I mean, talk about preaching to the converted…
And besides all that – is the moral schtick really necessary? Why not just be there, do the right thing. Support freedom. Don’t try press your subversive agenda. We see right through it. It’s tired and ineffectual.
To be honest, this whole thing feels a bit.. lame. Case in point? – we took “see, hear, speak (taste, feel…) no evil” pics in our cafeteria yesterday – black-clad staff only, of course.
In light of the Occupy Wall Street movement, where people are so pissed, so desperate, so impassioned to see change that they camp out in crappy conditions for weeks, endure police brutality [pics | vid] and prison, in the hope that they might irritate government into change, what I experienced today, seemed a lot like too-little-too-late.
And it was. The protection of state information bill was passed 229-107.
If anything, this is a lesson on the effect of having a two-thirds majority. It’s also a lesson that sometimes Democracy isn’t the better way – not in this iteration at least.
While discussing this with Chris, before the results were out, I mused “i wonder if any of this shit [wearing black, chilling outside parliament] will work, if it does – I hope it sparks an uprising. People (me included) take way too much shit lying down”.
Also, I think, I just don’t think anything I do will actually inflict lasting or any form of change. And so, I’m a self-confessed apathetic. It’s a mix of not knowing what to do and thinking that whatever is done won’t really have an effect. It’s a lethal mix, one which infects most of us, I think. One that is remedied by silent protests, wearing black at work and letting those with ill-intent continue unhindered and unperturbed.
At least when it all comes down, we can say we did something.
The rage is relentless,
We need a movement with quickness.
You are the witness of change
And to counteract we gotta take the power back.
“Take the Power back” – Rage Against the Machine.
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