/ 11 November 2016

#CulturePop: Strangely, not fiction

The world was enamoured with the Country Music Association Awards for very few reasons other than Queen Bey herself.
The world was enamoured with the Country Music Association Awards for very few reasons other than Queen Bey herself.

The art of going out with a bang — former public protector Thuli Madonsela possesses this elusive talent. The hallowed author of the 355 pages, which caught the country’s imagination, left President Jacob Zuma and friends choking violently in the wake of her exit. The State of Capture report is how one leaves things on a deliriously high note. But there is no closure here.

A bottle of deep red was hurled at the state of collective corruption in the presidency, but it hasn’t done much damage.

Although I haven’t read the entire report of wheelings and dealings, my understanding is that after all his straight-faced denials and lies, Zuma and son Duduzane are #squadgoals with Gupta brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh.

We also learnt that, had Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas played along, he too could have made it into the club of rich people — to the tune of R600-million. It couldn’t have been easy to turn this offer down.

Another item in the drama-filled report was a certain Eskom boss’s alleged visit to a shebeen in the wealthy suburb of Saxonwold. When his name was linked to a number of phone calls and visits to the Guptas, Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe suggested he was at a drinking hole around the corner. There are a couple of questions to answer here but, first, the man must be rewarded by the underground mafia for using a shebeen that was not only fictional but also challenged the nation’s classist trappings. Is a shebeen in Saxonwold that implausible?

Not included in the report is the capture of water. South Africa is in the middle of a drought and has been for a while now. The Vaal Dam, which is a significant source of water for Gauteng and neighbouring provinces, is drying up. This puts many areas in line for water rationing. If you’re in some areas of Ekurhuleni and you fancy a late night shower, you’re out of luck. Rationing has been implemented over there from 9pm to 5am.

Last week came with unfavourable news for those of us who like a good bargain a little more than the next guy. Deal-of-the-day website Groupon is drowning in debt and, as a result of “unforeseen circumstances”, was forced to shelve operations in South Africa. Admittedly, I know too many people who’ve survived a dodgy deal with the retailer. Perhaps the cheapskate in us will learn that sometimes — many times — a deal that is too good to be true, simply is.

The keepers of cultural imperialism, from the users at the Country Music Awards in the United States to the unkempt journos at the Daily Mail, are still spreading utter incomprehension.

The world was enamoured with the Country Music Association Awards for very few reasons other than Queen Bey herself, who graced their stage in a surprise performance with the Dixie Chicks.

But after the event it quickly dawned on a seething Beyhive that she was used to boost the association’s ratings: it had deleted all traces of Beyoncé on their social media platforms. Did they think no one would notice the glaring omission?

How about the Daily Mail’s “Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton” headline? In a nonstory, actress Meghan Markle (rumoured to be dating Prince Harry) and by extension, blackness, were trolled and placed under a warped magnifying glass.

According to the article, Markle’s mother lives in a crime-ridden, gang infested slum called Compton. After painting a picture of Markle’s disastrous life in comparison to that of Harry’s, they ask: “Will he be dropping by for tea?”

Look out for the disingenuous sorry that usually follows this type of blatant racism that doesn’t even know it’s being racist.