Deeply Floyd Rhetoric

“THE CHRIS ROPER CONDEMNS THE ANC YOUTH LEAGUE PATHETIC SPELLING ABOUT THE MAIL AND GUARDIAN.

“19 January 2010

“The Chris Roper condemns the disgusting grammar, spelling and general level of idiocy of the ANC Youth League’s press releases (titled ANC YL CONDEMNS THE MAIL & GUARDIAN PATHETIC REPORT ABOUT THE ANC YOUTH LEAGUE) by Nyiko ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ Shivambu (15 January 2010).”

Read the press release

Ah, the ANCYL-biters and their press releases. Many’s the battle we’ve had here at the M&G Online about which is the top satirical news source in South Africa. Some plump for Hayibo.com, some are fans of the SABC, but at the end of the fray, the ANC Youth League’s mails are always the winner.

I urge you to sign up for their mailing list. I did so, and now their hilarious missives are the ordure of the day. And you can’t beat a regular propaganda mailer for an insight into how an organisation works. Well, works, malfunctions — you know what I mean.

Take the recent brace of mails about Cuban food. The first one arrives at 11.27am on Monday, informing the media of the following, and inviting them to tag along to get firsthand experience of feeding at the trough:

“ANC YOUTH LEAGUE PRESIDENT JULIUS MALEMA TO ADDRESS THE CUBAN DELEGATION FAREWELL LUNCH IN PRETORIA ON MONDAY.”

“[ANCYL-biter] President Julius Malema will address the farewell lunch of the Cuban delegation, which have been in South Africa since the 8th of January 2009. The delegation from the UNIÓN DE JÓVENES COMUNISTAS (UJC), visited South Africa as part of the programme to strengthen relations between the ANC YL and the UJC, whose themes are similar, i.e. ESTUDIO.TRABAJ.FUSIL—FIGHT. PRODUCE. LEARN.”

The lunch is scheduled for 13h30 the same day. Not much advance warning there, really. Two hours. Still, let’s be charitable and call that ‘planning ahead’. Then, at 13h24, the next mail arrives:

“THE CUBANS FAREWELL LUNCH IS CANCELLED.”

Well, that’s six minutes warning. Let’s be extremely charitable, and call that an utter balls-up. But it’s such fun extrapolating what happened in the intervening two hours. I can imagine the conversation at Cuban HQ.

“So, this ANCYL bunch, who are they?”

“They’re a youth organisation, Comrade, whose themes are similar to the UJC’s. “FIGHT. EAT. FUCK – ESTUDIO.TRABAJ.FUSI”

“Oh no, are they the ones with that Malema guy in charge? The one they say is a couple of leaves short of a full cigar?”

“I’m afraid so, Comrade.”

“Not a chance in hell. Cancel immediately.”

And then the ANCYL-biters’ Spokestwit steps in, and releases yet another barely comprehensible press release.

To quote the DA spokesperson, Francis Bacon, “Their arises from a bad and unapt formation of words a wonderful obstruction to the mind.” This appears to be the rationale behind the gobbledygook spewing forth from the ANCYL-biters’ mail server.

My opening paragraph is, of course, a parody of the mail sent by Nyiko Floyd Shivambu concerning a story by Mandy Rossouw in the Mail & Guardian. The story is about (and I paraphrase) a cunning masterplan that the ANCYL-biters have concocted to kick the Commie kids out of the treehouse.

Now, a reasoned response to this might have convinced a few people that there was another side to the story. As it is, I can’t help being reminded of a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, shrilly denying his culpability through a spray of crumbs.

Take this elegantly crafted sentence, for example: “It is quite apparent that the pathetic Journalist (Mandy Rassouw) who wrote the article is not only sick, but chose to concoct stories about the ANC YL in an attempt to divert the ANC’s attention to address social and economic transformation issues.”

Firstly, if you’re going to challenge the professionalism of an award-winning journalist, at least spell her name properly. You’re the spokesperson for the illustrious League of ANC Youth, Floyd, have some pride in your work man!

Secondly, why stoop to calling Ms Rossouw sick? Surely claiming that she’s wrong should be effective enough? As it is, you’re just alienating neutrals who might conceivably buy your line of bullshit. And of course — and you’re probably going to say I’m nitpicking here — there’s the small, perhaps insignificant fact that YOUR SENTENCE MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE, FLOYD!

Phew. I’m going to get complaints about my swearing again. Apologies in advance, but these morons really piss me off. We have a country to build, and I have to spend my time trying to unpack drivel that makes Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code look like it’s high literature.

According to Floyd, “The ANC YL will lodge an official complaint with relevant authorities to expose the crooked Journalists of the Mail & Guardian, who claim to have sources, whilst they sit in Newsrooms and concoct divisive, sometimes dangerous stories about the ANC, the alliance and its leadership. “

Let me just emphasise that I work for M&G Online, and have little to do with the newspaper side of things. That’s why I can write about Floyd’s burblings, when the journalists who do the real work of keeping our politicians in check probably wouldn’t stoop to noticing his nonsense. I’m a columnist, which is to journalism what Floyd’s press releases are to political debate. Just there to cause kak, really. Maybe sell a couple of T-shirts.

Occasionally, though, with both Floyd and I, you’ll spot a kernel burger of truth amongst the oily mess of fastfood fries. In his case, it’s the sentence “the ANC YL places on record the reality that the organisation has not begun with any discussion around leadership succession in the ANC.” That, I can believe. You lot can’t even organise lunch, I very much doubt you’re capable of planning that far ahead.

  • Chris Roper blogs at chrisroper.co.za. Follow him on Twitter @chrisroperza.

  • Chris Roper
    Chris Roper

    Chris Roper was editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian from July 2013 - July 2015.

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