Are we really “over the rainbow”? 2


When admiring a good band playing, a person may comment that the band was “tight” – meaning that every chord is spot on, that every member of the band came in exactly on time & that they finish together – clear & sharp.
In writing there is an equivalent – a well written article where nothing is superfluous – in the content or in words used – and a graphic picture is painted.

As professionals in fields where presentation is critical, a recent article featured by Time magazine may be of interest – it is not necessary to agree with the sentiment of the article to appreciate the quality of the writing – in fact as it’s clearly written, it’s easier to put forward different points of view and interpretations.

Using an African National Congress rally in East London, the article describes a pre-election South Africa – painting a picture of the “… modern ANC look – the mix of bling and camo worn by the Prada proletariat …” and the ideological contradiction of a “… parking lot, where Range Rovers, BMWs and Mercedes-Benz were pasted with giant ANC stickers promising to ‘Build a Caring Society’“.

In examining the non-delivery of services and the enrichment of the few, the writer highlights the problems experienced by liberation movements that come to power, and compares South Africa with other African countries, Latin America, China and South-East Asia. The analysis suggests that revolution is “incompatible” with democracy.

The article concludes by suggesting that what has made Mandela great is the democrat in him – not the revolutionary; quoting Mandela’s speech at Adelaide Tambo’s funeral that our leaders should be “making this country of ours the caring and decent society for which this great South African dedicated her entire life and for which she sacrificed so much”. That description applies equally to Mandela himself.

Take a few minutes to read the article – see whether you agree with the description of South Africa today and post your thoughts, criticisms and counter views. Personally, I would suggest that the membership of the skills-universe – only a few weeks old – and the help and support group members have already provided to each other, is the beginning of a “caring and decent society”.
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2 thoughts on “Are we really “over the rainbow”?

  • Bronwyn Newman

    Always look forward to reading your articles, Sylvia. Yes, Des, i totally agree with what you are saying, that basic understanding of what is right and wrong. So many South Africans have forgotten the fruit of the nation i.e. Peace and Harmony, living together as one. We are blessed with a beautiful and diverse country. Lets look at Mandela, he is an icon, a magnificint human being. We should learn from the lessons he has taught us through HIS life. Also Desmond Tutu – a man with great inspiration and high hopes for South Africa. Tony Leon is also a great visionary. We were blessed with such wonderful, legendary leaders – I just hope and pray that our future leaders get off the gravy train and start focusing on the reality and what our ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ really are. I guess the voting polls will decide whether people are ready for change.

  • Des Squire

    Hi Sylvia
    The article is certainly food for thought. The never ending war appears to be rapidly turning into a dictatorship in SA despite the many denials. See also my discussion posted today “Are you proud to be South African”?
    I agree we can assist each other in creating a caring and decent society but to do se we need to establish a common level of acceptable standards, common levels of morals and ethics, common understanding of what is right and wrong and a common understanding of what behaviours are not acceptable.