/ 17 February 2017

The weekly pop sack: Life in the time of disgrace

Beyonce performs at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles
Beyonce performs at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

South Africa lost some more moral ground last weekend. It all started at our version of The Jerry Springer Show, the annual State of the Nation address.

Or was it the Life Esidimeni crisis and how the buck continues to be passed and passed and still there is no one here to take responsibility for the deaths of some 94 patients? There is, regrettably, more where that came from.

The Grammys were the other set of awards that left us with questions. Beyoncé, however, takes words out of mouths, snatches edges and triggers. Naturally.

Who runs the Grammys?

This year’s Grammy Awards may have come all dressed up in colour and promise but, inside, remain a work in progress. Chance the Rapper cleaned out in the rap category in addition to Best New Artist. -Solange and Beyoncé went home a little light-handed with just one and two awards respectively.

This is no way to treat Tina’s babies aka The Sun and The Moon? Was Adele on to something when she took the coveted Album of the Year award and in her acceptance speech, said she couldn’t accept the award because Lemonade was more deserving?

In the tradition of Kanye West grabbing the spotlight from -Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009 to point out that Beyoncé was better deserving, Adele stole her own spotlight. Clearly a solemn member of the BeyHive, she delivered an emotional speech in which she pointed out the fundamental sacrilege in snubbing Beyoncé for the highest order of recognition before she thanked her hubby and son.

But the Grammys did it. They compared Hello with –Lemonade, one song to an oeuvre. Beyoncé kept it moving in another of her stupendous stage productions that had you wishing she’d made you into one of her -hallowed holograms.

But it was Blue Ivy and Rihanna who kept it most real. Blue for living her best life in her androgynous Prince-inspired pink suit crashing James Corden’s Grammy Carpool Karaoke and Riri for taking a swig out of her bedazzled flask every now and then and oozing oodles of that “hot sauce in the bag” swag.

Sona 2017

Nothing gets organised in Parliament these days. Or maybe one can’t pay enough attention past the fist fights and name-calling.

It seems that opposition parties, namely the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance, have heard enough from President Jacob Zuma to last a lifetime because they simply refuse to let the man speak.

As soon as the clock struck seven, style and grace came to end and made way for every “point of order” under the sun, points that were relevant but designed in their approach to wreak havoc, disrupt and cause the most trouble.

The back-and-forth between Madame Speaker and MPs created a lasting distraction alongside the army of soldiers reinforcing every corner and crevice.

For the first time, the state of the nation was loaded with meaning and not hiding behind big words, big numbers and -alternative facts.

Mayhem is the state.

Since Sona, Zuma and Donald Trump have been chatting over the phone about nurturing existing ties and prioritising peace in Africa. Does this make anyone else nervous?

Sore losers

The supporters of a football team have reached a new low if they can’t see past defeat. Premier Soccer League football club Orlando Pirates suffered an embarrassing loss on Saturday in a match against Mamelodi Sundowns. Losing 6-0, the team was, frankly, pulverised and obsessed fans saw red. The vandals invaded the pitch in anger. Even Tito Mboweni, the former governor of the South African Reserve Bank, has called for the team to be banned from the PSL for two seasons.

Should the team pay for the stupidity of some of its followers?

RIP jazz greats

Consumate jazz singer Al Jarreau has died at the age of 76 after breathing life into jazz vocals and taking soulful risks for years. He used his voice as an instrument, inflecting, pitching and also grunting, moaning and scratching way beyond the surface. The Random Act of Love originator leaves a legacy of inspired music rooted in romance and revolution.

Not unlike the music of our very own Moses Taiwa Molelekwa, who died on February 13 2001. A jazz prodigy who was way ahead of his time and yet still remains one of our most forward-thinking, retrospective and intuitive African jazz icons. Long live the jazz.