Friday, April 17, 2009

and now it's our turn

Election Day next Wednesday!

And after the political turbulence of the last year or so, this is a much anticipated day indeed.

The recent announcement by the National Prosecuting Authority that all fraud charges against Jacob Zuma have been dropped kind of cancelled out the last hope that he might not become our next President. Now it seems he will. We're in for some interesting times indeed.

And I really do feel that's the only way to forge ahead into the future. To take this on as the next 'interesting' (don't you love how all-encompassing that word can be? How it can say everything and nothing? A bit like 'working together to make a better life for all' ... ), sorry where was I? Oh yes, the next 'interesting' phase in a political history which has, at the very least, never, ever been boring. 

What I have been greatly enjoying about our politics recently is the upswell in political satire. Something which we became really good at during the apartheid years, a lot of satirists took a back-seat in deference to celebrating our wildly optimistic Rainbow Nation. Ah those heady days in the mid 1990's when even the razor-sharp wit of Pieter Dirk-Uys was tempered a little, and we would joke about how comics such as he would now have to dig deep for their material. Turns out not so deep at all.

For inevitably (and how could we really for a moment have believed that just because we had a unique political situation we'd have unique politicians?) and quite swiftly, a host of new preposterous buffoons presented themselves, like virgins at a coming-out ball, to be flayed alive by that good ole SA sense of humour which never fails to make one laugh, even when sometimes you think you should be crying.

Zapiro must undoubtedly be our finest right now. Proof thereof being that JZ himself is trying to bring a defamation suit against him - guess he struck a nerve huh? The marvellous Evita is still getting it right every time, and whole new waves of younger South African stand-ups and public commentators are regularly making us chortle.

But there's an even more recent trend, a deliciously dangerous one, of uncompromisingly ripping-off election slogans and posters, an underground movement which really does hark back to the bad old days.

Let's hope this is as close as we come.

And on a bit more serious note, our big weekly publication, the Mail & Guardian, has posted this poll on their website. By answering a few questions about key current issues facing SA at the moment, the poll will tell you who it thinks you should be, or are most likely to, vote for next Wednesday. The questions are very astute, and if nothing else will get you thinking. And you may even be quite surprised by the results.

Here's hoping there's some surprises in the election results in general. Stranger things have happened in this bizarre country of ours.


julochka said...

it would appear that evita is the long-lost sister of dame edna. :-)

rather happy to hear that there's somewhere where the politics are more bizarre than in the country of my birth. :-)

i don't know enough about SA politics, but get the impression that what's needed is another mandela figure. or perhaps a mma ramotswe?

best of luck!

julochka said...

saw a very interesting thing about zapiro on BBC today...quite a lot of election coverage there. tho' it's about time, in light of that it's this the caricatures w/shower head. :-)