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BRAILLORAMA June 2009 Volume 40 No. 6 Printed in Braille by Braille Services of Blind SA Private Bag X9005 Crown Mines 2025 Tel. (+27) 11 839-1793 Fax: (+27) 11 839-1217 E-Mail: Philip@blindsa.org.za Visit our home page at: http://www.blindsa.org.za Editors: Christo de Klerk Martie de Klerk Philip Jordaan Publishers: Blind SA Direct all correspondence to: The Editor, Private Bag X9005, Crown Mines, 2025, Johannesburg, R.S.A. Contents ContentsThe ugly ducklings who stole the show We breed these plagues on factory farms Outcry as death knell for Nelspruit looms Surf and strange Turf A life quite badly Handeled Can't talk now, doll – I'm on the phone The root of the matter The ugly ducklings who stole the show Sunday Times, April 12 2009 Ugly ducklings Cat-loving spinster lauded as UK's next singing sensation TWO years ago it was Paul Potts, the snaggle-toothed Welsh cellphone salesman, who was propelled to stardom by the entertainment show Britain's Got Talent. But the programme's producers believe that they have found an even more unlikely global singing success among this year's contestants, in the form of a reclusive 48-year old woman from a small Scottish village who lives alone with her cat, Pebbles. Viewers of the first episode of the show's new series, which aired on British TV last night, saw Susan Boyle impress the usually caustic Simon Cowell, one of the programme's three judges, into silence. In 2007 Potts became one of the world's most unexpected singing successes after winning the show's £100 000 prize and the chance to perform for the queen at the Royal Variety Performance. As the shy Welshman took to the stage during auditions, Cowell and Piers Morgan, a fellow judge, winced when he said he had come "to sing opera". But after he began the first bars of Pucini's Nessun Dorma, their knowing smiles turned to looks of disbelief. Since then Potts's album One Chance has sold more than four million copies, and topped the charts in 14 countries. The stage is set for Boyle, unemployed, from West Lothian, to follow the same path. Viewers saw her initial awkwardness as she walked on stage after telling the show's hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donelly that she hoped to make the audience "rock". She then perplexed the judges by gyrating her hips and saying she wanted to be as famous as actress/singer Elaine Paige. As soon as she began singing I Dream A Dream, from the musical Les Misérables, however, everyone in the auditorium fell silent, before erupting into a standing ovation. Morgan said: "Without doubt that was the biggest surprise I've had in three years of this show. When you stood there with that cheeky grin everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now. That was stunning. I'm reeling from shock." Andrew Llinares, executive producer for TalkbackThames, the programme-maker, said: "She was a complete revelation. Everyone was cynical about her. She's a woman who's grown up in a tiny little village and has never got married. "The expectation was that she wasn't going to be any good. But that's what's sensational about the show. No one saw it coming." Britain's Got Talent is one of the juggernauts of British TV, regularly attracting more than 12 million viewers, and sometimes 14 million. We breed these plagues on factory farms By BEN MACINTYRE Sunday Times, May 3 2009 We breed plagues I ONCE worked on a chicken farm. Actually, "farm" is far too gentle a word for the way these chickens were raised. This was the seventh circle of chicken hell, a clucking, stinking, filthy production line with just one aim: to produce the maximum quantity of edible meat, as fast and as cheaply as possible, regardless of quality, cruelty or hygiene. The creatures were raised in vast hangars, living on a diet of hormones, antibiotics and cheap grain, thousands crushed together in their own dirt under artificial light, growing from chick to slaughter size in a few grim weeks. The most accelerated life span is now just 40 days. That was on a kibbutz farm more than 20 years ago, in the middle of what we can now see as a revolution in livestock production, when science, economics and human appetite combined to forge intensive animal farming on an industrial and global scale. Those mass-produced chickens died at a pitiful rate, from heart attacks and stress, their bones often too weak to carry the weight of their artificially enlarged bodies. One did not need to be a scientist to know that something very sick was being produced. As swine flu spreads, and fear spreads faster, it is worth remembering that this, and other animal-to-human viruses, are partly man-made, the outcome of our hunger for cheap meat, the result of treating animals as if they were mere raw material to be exploited in any way that increases output and profits. There is a tendency to see a flu outbreak, like the plagues of old, as an unstoppable natural event, a scourge visited from above. But there is nothing natural about this form of disease: indeed, it stems from an abuse of nature. Vast modern pig farms, like the huge poultry plants across the globe, are ideal incubators of disease, and many scientists believe that viral mutation can be directly linked to intensive modern agricultural techniques. With enfeebled animals packed into confined spaces, pathogens spread easily, creating new and virulent strains that may be passed on to humans. When dense populations of factory-farmed animals exist alongside crowded human habitations, the potential for disaster is vastly greater. The stress of such vile living conditions makes mass-produced animals more vulnerable to contagion, while the concentration on a few, high-yield breeds has led to genetic erosion and weakened immunity. Six years ago, virologists warned that swine flu was on "an evolutionary fast track". A US public health report last year pointed to "substantial evidence of pathogen movement between and among these industrial-scale operations". A year earlier, the UN food agency predicted that the risk of disease transmission from animals to humans would grow with increasingly intensive animal production. During the latest bout of avian flu, governments and the livestock industry were quick to blame wild birds and small-scale farms for spreading the disease. With hindsight, it appears that poultry in back yard flocks were markedly more resistant to a virus that has been traced directly to huge factory farms. Food celebrities such as Jamie Oliver have raised public awareness of the way modern meat is produced. But such campaigns tend to focus on the bland taste, ethical or environmental issues such as the toxic waste produced by factory farming, or the amount of water needed to produce a single kilo of beef (16 000 litres). Far less attention has been paid to the more direct threat to public health posed by industrialised meat production. This, in turn, can be traced to the astonishing transformation in the world's meat-eating habits. Humanity is more carnivorous today then ever before, thanks to selective breeding techniques, low world grain prices, global distribution networks and the Chinese economic boom. In 1965 the Chinese ate just 4kg of meat per head per year; today the average Chinese citizen consumes 54kg a year. The number of animals on the planet has increased by nearly 40% in the past 40 years, but instead of being dispersed across the countryside, these food units are increasingly concentrated into compact industrial blocks. The number of pigs has trebled, to two billion. There are now two chickens for every human. Industrialised food production has changed the world's diet, providing cheap and plentiful protein. Yet it comes not only at a moral and environmental cost, but also in terms of world health: the silent germs mutating amid the filth. Factory farming is necessary to feed a hungry world. But doing so without also unleashing new diseases requires far more global co-operation on biosecurity, much tighter international regulation of the meat trade and, above all, a change in the way we produce animals for food. Mass-produced meat can kill you, even if you never eat it. In 1953, British textbooks insisted that the war against germs had been won by antibiotics, declaring "the virtual elimination of infections disease as a significant factor in social life". Accepting that premise, Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain imagined the world under assault from a microbe from outer space. Today the world is once again under attack from infectious diseases. The latest plague does not come from God, or from other planets. It does not simply come from infectious animals and rogue microbes. It also comes from humankind. Macintyre is an author, historian and columnist writing for The Times, London. Outcry as death knell for Nelspruit looms TSHWARELO ESENG MOGAKANE The Star, April 14 2009 Death knell for Nelspruit City will soon be called Mbombela, if minister agrees BUSINESS and opposition parties in Mpumalanga are up in arms over a decision to change the name of the province's 2010 World Cup host city Nelspruit in two months' time. Mpumalanga Geographic Names Committee spokesman Gordon Nkgathi has confirmed that the name will change to Mbombela, after an old township on the outskirts of the city that was relocated during the apartheid era. The Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (LCBT) has threatened to take the government to court if Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan approve the change. "The name-change procedures for Nelspruit have not been (properly) followed and there will be opposition to this change from the business community," said LCBT board member Mark Schormann. He lashed out at what he called the "name-change brigade", saying the argument to change names was "logically flawed and without much merit". He accused the government of rushing to change names without paying attention to arguments from concerned stakeholders. "This is evident from a number of prior situations where the outcome has always been the same," said Schormann. The DA caucus leader in the Mbombela municipality, councillor Gerhard de Bruin, said changing the city's name would confuse World Cup visitors. "From a business and tourism perspective, this is not a good idea. How can we change a name when the 2010 World Cup is right around the corner? "The DA is totally against this. All the maps and brochures talk about Nelspruit. When you browse the internet, all sites refer to Nelspruit, which is fast becoming a popular city (to visit). To change it now is a bad move," said De Bruin. Christian Party spokesman Gerhard Rheeder said attempts to change Nelspruit's name would be met with fierce resistance. "Nelspruit is an internationally recognized name. It will cost a lot of money to change the name, and businesses won't conform readily." He saw no reason to change the name as Nelspruit did not have the "political baggage" associated with other name changes. The town was named after the Nel brothers, whose cattle used to graze in the area in the late 1800s. Rheeder said the Mpumalanga government would be foolish "to put money into ideologies instead of service delivery". "The lives of so many people can be improved through the reallocation of funds to combat crime, train teachers, build orphanages and provide antiretroviral drugs. "An ideological exercise does not place bread on the tables of the starving," said Rheeder. Nkgathi said plans to change the name were already advanced, and enough consultation had been done. "The South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC) has forwarded the proposed name to the arts and culture minister, recommending the name change. "We are hoping he will approve the renaming in the next month or two." Nkgathi said that SAGNC had verified the application for Nelspruit to be renamed Mbombela, after objections raised last year. A subcommittee concluded its research and finished public hearings in February and reported that Mbombela was the popular choice as a name. He said the Mpumalanga Geographic names Committee had decided that neighbouring towns such as White River and Hazyview should keep their names. Once the SAGNC submits a proposal to the minister, he makes a final decision, and then has to publish the name change in the Government Gazette. – African Eye News Service SURF AND STRANGE TURF By Ziphezinhle Msimango Lifestyle SUNDAY TIMES APRIL 12 2009 Surf and turf Boer fanaticism, black pornography and infidelity are just some of the iniquities that make the South African Internet a popular place to be. THE WEB GOOGLE estimates five million South Africans log onto the Internet on a daily basis. According to Google SA: "A lot of people are accessing the Internet at work. But we've also seen that one in six people are accessing the web on their cellphones." But beneath the mundane sound of keyboard clicks from people shopping for lawnmowers in the Gumtree classifieds and updating their status on Facebook, lies the strange, twisted and sometimes funny underbelly of the South African web. The following five websites are a snapshot of what's happening in the dark alleys of South African cyberspace. They will shock and turn any conventional notions you had about South African society upside down. View at your own risk. What is it: http://sondeza.social-go.com/ Why it's uniquely South African: The name of this website, "Sondeza", is the Zulu word for "bring closer". Many visitors to Sondeza use vernacular and South African slang to express themselves in the chatrooms. When you log on, the nature of this site is clear – a warning sign reads: "The website you are about to enter contains adult material. The content is strictly for people 18 years and older." Besides conversation of a sexual nature in the chatrooms, there are raunchy pictures of mostly young, black women holding up their breasts and their male counterparts flashing their bits. The site also features sexual videos, most of which are shot in an amateur style. In a video titled "Dineo at Moretele Park", a group of girls and guys hang in and around a pool; they appear to be in their 20s or 30s. Outside the pool, one of the guys is videotaping the scene. He then dares a girl called Dineo to come out of the pool and walk towards the camera while taking off her clothes. After Dineo strips, the main frame shows another group of girls and guys taking videos of her with their cellphones. One of them, phone in hand, informs her in Tswana, "Re tlo yi Kenya ko Internet" (we're going to post it on the Internet). To date, Dineo at Moretele Park has had 3 567 views. The crowd: The young and experimental, prone to making home videos after drinking copious amounts of alcohol. They're also the techno-savvy sort who, on Sondeza's chat forums, advise each other about the kind of cellphone software required to view the photos and videos on the website. This is probably why – of Sondeza's 585 raunchy photos of black women's breasts and derriéres, as well as the 18 pornographic videos – much appears to have been captured via cellphone cameras. And why a great deal of the camera angles ensure maximum impact through upclose shots of the `action`. Why it's underground: South Africa is a country where many black parents (who mostly kiss each other in their bedrooms, with the lights off) dive for the remote whenever a sex scene materializes. What is it: www.aboutlovers.co.za Why it's uniquely South African: The website was started by Cherie Green, who operates out of her Sandton townhouse. Green is in the business of hooking up wealthy, married men with attractive, single women. You'll know you're in precarious territory by the large picture of a woman holding her fingers over her mouth and the text below it that says: "A unique, confidential service for single or married people in South Africa wishing to have an affair or a discreet encounter." Yet what really makes this service unique is that all who are involved have, apparently, no desire to pick up random partners at a bar. Instead, they want an official process that happens like a business transaction. And, all those who are interested have to do, is call or e-mail Green, who will set up an obligation-free consultation. Once you've signed up for a cost of R2 850, you get a six- month membership, during which you can meet prospective lovers. The crowd: As the website states, "happily married people who plan to stay that way". Green also makes it clear that her service is for "professional and executive people". But she adds that the women who want her services must be aged 22-45 and shouldn't be looking for long-term commitment. The men must be 34 and older. Why it's underground: If anyone finds out you're on Green's books, you might get divorced and lose half your assets. And, of course, extramarital affairs will always be frowned upon in society's eyes. But a paragraph on the website tries to refute this by stating, "Society labels people who seek extramarital liaisons as being immoral, unable to sustain intimacy or dysfunctional in some other way. "This is not necessarily the case at all. Many members of About Lovers indicate that they have happy marriages and have no intention of breaking up their family, but need something else as well. There is a gap or emptiness in their lives, which cannot be filled in their everyday relationships." What is it: www.boerevryheid.co.za Why it's uniquely South African: All the text on the website is in Afrikaans. Images are of Boer soldiers with guns in hand. The members of this website state that their social gathering on the web is a place for Boer members of the nation and that their goal is to unite the Boers through the attainment of independence. Their ambitions are stated in a paragraph on the website: "With the current dispensation in our country, any demand made by the volk will be suppressed by the ANC, regardless of numbers. "While their cooperation with regards to the approval of the volk's demands will be welcomed, it remains highly unlikely. With more proven backing and organisations that support these demands, the picture changes considerably on international levels. "Two-hundred people can carry out the rightful claim of a people, but 200 000 can be so much better." One of the forum's members expresses his support for a letter about hatred for "liberal white women" who "get their values from a black slut such as Oprah Winfrey" and watch programmes like "the artificial Sewende Laan soapie where blacks, coloureds and whites speak bad Afrikaans and are best friends, getting along like a house on fire". Another member has posted the following poem, which describes an unnamed Boer state to which they'd like to relocate. "Kyk of julle kan raai waar die volkstaat is (see if you can guess where the volkstaat is)/ "Dit is 30km van 'n Internasionale lughawe (it's 30km from an international airport)/ "Dit het 'n hawe wat groot skepe kan hanteer (it has a harbour that can handle large ships)/ 8 jaar is geen bedelaars nie (there are no beggars)/ "Jy word in Afrikaans bedien by winkelsentrums (you are served in Afrikaans at shopping centres)/ "Die dokters en tandartse praat Afrikaans (the doctors and dentists speak Afrikaans)/ "Die biblioteek bevat Afrikaanse boeke (the library contains Afrikaans books)/ soos krag; telefoon; TV werk 99.9% van die tyd (services like electricity; telephone; television work 99.9% of the time)/ Die polisie is nie omkoopbaar nie (the police don't accept bribes)/ Kerkdienste is skikbaar in Afrikaans vir al die Boerekerke (church services are in Afrikaans for all the Boer churches)/ "Vyf-en-negentig persent of meer van die bevolking is wit (95% of the population or more are white)/ Geen ousies in die kombuise nie (jy maak self skoon) (no domestic workers in the kitchens – you do the cleaning yourself)/ "Te goed om waar te wees? (too good to be true?) Daar bestaan so 'n plek – glo my (There is such a place – believe me)." Why it's underground: In the supposedly "rainbow nation" in which we live, there appears to be a façade that everyone is happy to live side by side with people of all races; those who aren't satisfied with living in a multicultural society would, it seems, rather keep themselves to themselves. What is it: www.weed.co.za Why it's uniquely South African: Considering that a survey by the United Nations' drugs and crime office released statistics in February claiming that South Africans smoke twice as much dagga as the rest of the world, it's not a shocker that this website exists (an SAPS report shows that 126 825kg of dagga worth R177 556 342 was confiscated in the country during 2007/2008). The website claims it is for the "South African community of users for dagga decriminalisation and discussion". One post can generate up to 1 198 replies from fellow smokers. After registering to become a member, you can read, among others, of how a dagga plant was found growing at a particular robot in Durban and the furore it caused among motorists driving past it. In addition to listing various weed recipes, the website also hosts a section called Weed TV, where members can upload any videos related to dagga. One video titled "Cannibis within South Africa and the uses" shows a woman sangoma explaining the benefits of using dagga to cure high blood pressure. Another, with the comment "those lucky buggers", is titled, "How easy it is to buy weed in Amsterdam". The video chronicles a person walking into a coffee shop to buy weed over the counter. Other conversations, like the one below, revolve around where to find the best stash in South Africa. "Does anyone know of any psychedelic mushroom (shrooms) strains that grow locally and if so, where and when to find them. I live JHB but with a lot of fields and veld around me and was wondering if there was any shrooms to be found growing here or anywhere in SA. Thanks, Kaya. (sic)" Or: "I think the only psilocybin mushroom species found in South Africa is the Psilocybin cubensis Transkei I don't think you will find them growing wild anywhere except for the Transkei area, I do know that the fly agaric mushroom can be found in the Cape Town area, but I've heard these can have sh*t effects. (sic)" The crowd: Those who take the act of smoking dagga rather seriously and probably closely followed the case of Cape Town candidate attorney Gareth Prince, denied his licence to practise due to a previous dagga conviction. From the kind of people who feature in the video on "cannabis" uses in SA, smoking dagga seems like it could be the preserve of the financially challenged. Or perhaps the high-flying executives who also smoke the herb just don't have time to talk about it on a website. Why it's underground: Even though Weed's users believe dagga should be legalised, it is still an illegal substance in South Africa. If you're charged with possession of dagga, you can receive a maximum sentence of 15 years' imprisonment. And, if charged with dealing it, you may get a maximum sentence of 25 years, depending, of course, on the circumstances of your case. What is it: www.hottestgossip.co.za Why it's uniquely South African: It sports pink flashing headlines like "Bryan Habana gets engaged to his blonde girlfriend"; "It's over!!! Socialite Uyanda Mbuli and hubby Sisa split up!!" And, judging by websites like Hottest Gossip, South Africa is finally taking up the international obsession with local celebrity – in the last couple of years we've seen the meteoric rise in popularity of Sunday World's Shwashwi and tabloid gossip shows like SABC 1's The Real Goboza. We've also seen how we're only too willing to worship people like socialite and sometime actress/singer Khanyi Mbau and Mbuli, who've successfully manufactured the sort of personalities needed to make one famous for being famous. In a world where magazines like People and Hello are paying $4.1-million and $3.5- million respectively for the first pictures of Brangelina's daughter, Shiloh, and tabloid paparazzi are placed on 24-hour Britney watch, our relatively recent awakening to the goldmine of local celebrity dirt seems like it was well-nigh inevitable. Even though this website does feature stories about Hollywood couples like Brangelina and Tomkat, it is always on top of the latest celebrity gossip on the local front. The crowd: People who were aware of all the possible reasons for the fracas between Rihanna and Chris Brown, or those who "saw" the Joost tape, which Heat magazine used to "expose" the former rugby star. These very same people can also tell you what Angelina and Brad had for breakfast this morning, because they always make sure to hit all the gossip websites before midday. Why it's underground: Not many are willing to admit they are avid visitors to gossip websites, because it makes them seem shallow. This was clear when everyone who had followed every lurid detail of Princess Diana's life, was suddenly horrified that the paparazzi had taken pictures of her lying unconscious at the accident scene in Paris. Locally, celebrity obsession took a nasty turn when implementation planner Zizipho Mtshizana (she was 24 at the time the story broke in 2006) started circulating an e-mail that claimed Stone Cherrie's Nkhensani Nkosi and her husband, Zam, were HIV-positive. A life quite badly Handeled Lifestyle SUNDAY TIMES APRIL 12 2009 He died 250 years ago this month – and now scientists have finally discovered what killed The Messiah's composer, reports Ben Hoyle Handel GEORGE Frideric Handel was a binge eater and problem drinker whose gargantuan appetites resulted in lead poisoning that eventually killed him, according to a study. By the time of his death 250 years ago this month, aged 74, the composer of The Messiah had for 20 years been fighting severe health problems, including blindness, gout, bouts of paralysis and confused speech. According to David Hunter, music librarian at the University of Texas and author of more than 60 articles on Handel, these ailments were all linked to lead poisoning brought on by his notoriously heavy consumption of rich foods and alcohol. Surprisingly little is known about Handel's private life, but evidence from portraits and contemporary descriptions supports the theory that he began to suffer from lead poisoning in 1737, when he temporarily lost the use of his right hand, an incident previously attributed to a stroke. In search of a cure, he travelled to Aachen, where he was immersed up to his chin in hot spring water. "People said that he made a miraculous recovery and that was what got me thinking," Dr Hunter has said. "It's exactly the way that they treated lead poisoning at the time." Handel continued to have attacks and recoveries until, on the evening of April 13 1759, he announced that he would no longer receive guests as he had "done with the world". He died the following morning at the house in Brook Street, Mayfair, where he had lived for 36 years. The building in London is now the Handel House Museum and Dr Hunter's theory is explained in the catalogue to its forthcoming exhibition Handel Reveal'd. A small number of doctors were just beginning to become aware of the dangers of lead poisoning during Handel's lifetime, but their researches were restricted to working men who were overexposed to the metal, such as plumbers, roofers and cider-makers (who often used lead to line their presses). The risk to the wealthy was not yet unrecognized, but lead contaminated their wine, beer, cider, rum, gin, water and food, and Handel was more exposed than most. Although he wrote some of the most magnificent baroque music and was rewarded handsomely with a court pension, his gluttony disgusted those who knew him. Accounts from the time speak of is "inordinate extravagant Hunger" and, the year after Handel died, John Mainwaring, his first biographer, accused him of "excessive indulgence in this lowest of gratifications". Dr Hunter believes that "Handel had an eating disorder and was probably a binge drinker, too". His relationship with food was certainly obsessive. On one occasion he invited the artist Joseph Goupy to dine with him, but warned him that only plain fare was available. After dinner Handel absented himself from the table and sometime later Goupy found him in a back room tucking into "such delicacies as he had lamented his inability to afford his friend". A furious Goupy responded with a vicious cartoon of Handel as a "charming brute" playing an organ festooned with game birds and hams. Handel's later works were darker and more meditative, which Dr Hunter attributes to his worsening health. Can't talk now, doll – I'm on the phone April 12 2009 Sunday Times Can't talk now Obsessive Mobile Disorder: social malady or just bad manners, wonders Richard Woods IN years to come, when mutated humans are born with their cellphones wired into their brains, it may be perfectly normal to converse with two people at once while texting a friend, checking your Facebook status and surfing the web. For the moment, however, mobile multitasking is the plague of the day. You know the score: you are talking to a colleague and their eyes constantly flicker towards the BlackBerry for incoming e-mails. You are holding a meeting and half the staff are texting under the table. You are hoping for a hot date – as actress Jennifer Aniston recently was – and your boyfriend is hitting on Twitter, not you. These are symptoms of Obsessive Mobile Disorder – and the dread disease Continuous Partial Attention, in which victims come to believe that life via mobile might be more interesting than life right in front of them. Adam Ward, a 24-year-old postgraduate student from London, was afflicted recently when he started going out with a new girlfriend. "Yep, it's true," he said. "We went out on a date and I decided to update my friends every few minutes about how it was going." Using his BlackBerry, Ward regularly posted his thoughts and observations to his Twitter account as the evening progressed. Didn't his date notice or object? "Nobody knows you are twittering, you could just be writing a text," he said, as if the latter were normal romantic behaviour. "And to be honest, I'm pretty much on my phone every few minutes anyway." It is a mystery how he and his date had time for any eye contact, let alone mind-melding. Some sort of contact there was, however, because in the morning he tweeted: "Success!" Aniston took a tougher line: she dumped John Mayer, her boyfriend, reputedly because he paid more attention to his cellphone than to her. As phones offering calls, texts, e-mails, Internet and more proliferate, OMD and CPA are spreading like flu. "When I first got the phone, people were really annoyed," said Ward. "I'd be sitting at dinner and it would keep going off. I had to put it on silent because even if it was on vibrate it was annoying for others." It is only when you are repeatedly on the receiving end of OMD or CPA that you begin to understand how infuriating it can be. Cellphones and the Internet have opened up the world, only to shrink our horizon to three centimeters. They might even be affecting the way we think – and not necessarily for the better. Researchers at the University of Illinois have shown that if people who are engaged on a challenging task are interrupted by a call or an e-mail, they can take up to 15 minutes to refocus on their original purpose. Other studies have shown, perhaps unsurprisingly, that interruptions impair creativity and memory. Researchers have found that if you react to a call or message at a natural break-point in your existing work, you are much better at assimilating the information and returning to your previous task. But if you cannot resist answering your "CrackBerry" as soon as it rings, you are likely to suffer "distraction overload". CPA differs from multitasking, says Linda Stone, a former vice-president of Microsoft and writer on the social effects of technology. Multitasking usually involves being more efficient by performing simple automatic tasks simultaneously. By contrast, CPA is an "effort not to miss anything … always on, anywhere, any time" and can be stressful and inefficient. On the roads, the consequences of CPA and mobile interruptions can be worse, or even fatal. Yet, according to the answer to a question posed in Britain's parliament last month, the number of drivers using hand-held and hands-free cellphones increased last year – even though hand-held devices are banned and research has shown that hands-free systems are also dangerous. For all the obvious benefits, cellphones do have their drawbacks. So why isn't our etiquette better and our usage more considerate? Simple: we are hopelessly addicted. Attempts to stem the epidemic of CPA have been made in places such as Silicon Valley. Some tech firms there have instituted "topless" meetings – as in laptop-less. Computers and BlackBerries were banned in the hope of making participants concentrate on the matters at hand. It has not caught on. At least one UK holiday company has experimented with "mobile-free" packages. The idea is that when you are trying to relax on the ski slopes or the beach, you will not find yourself next to an investment banker droning on to the office about restructuring his toxic assets: "Ya, I'm on a lift … can you tell Toby to dump the CDOs and get Peter to call me when Tokyo opens." So many people have complained about such behaviour that Debretts has added a guide to mobiles in its A-Z of Modern Manners. It includes the rule: "People in the flesh deserve more attention than a gadget." The root OF THE matter MAY 2009 Author Jane Griffiths dishes the dirt on some of the tastiest vegetables that grow underground Root of the matter The first thing to understand when growing underground edibles, is that as far as they are concerned, developing fat, succulent roots is not top of their list. When faced with adverse circumstances, a plant's first priority is survival and this means devoting all its energy to respiration and increasing photosynthesis by growing leaves. Only when growing conditions are nearly perfect will plants turn their energy away from survival and begin storing up extra carbohydrates in the form of plump, juicy roots. GROUND RULES FOR GROWING ROOT CROPS Beetroots, carrots, parsnips and radishes are the cool-weather root vegetables most commonly grown in home gardens. All these root crops require loose, friable soil in order for the taproot (the central part of the root that grows vertically downwards), to grow long and strong. If the soil is compacted or lumpy, the roots will be stumpy and misshapen. A rich soil is preferable, along with plenty of compost to provide all the elements they require. However, a soil with too much nitrogen will encourage hairy feeder roots to grow on the sides of the main root. Carrots are particularly susceptible. If you have grown a legume cover crop as a green manure, wait for about six months before planting a root crop. Avoid using fresh manure as it can cause the vegetables to become misshapen and, with carrots especially, to fork. All of these root crops, except beetroot, prefer to be sown directly where they are to grow and don't like to be transplanted. When harvesting root vegetables, cut off the top growth immediately, otherwise the leaves will continue to pull nutrients out of the root. RADISHES If you have a gap anywhere, plant a radish. Radishes are the easiest and quickest of all vegetables to grow. From sowing to eating can take as little as three weeks. Radishes are part of the Brassica family and do better in the cooler months. During hotter months they tend to produce spongy roots. Easily sown from seed, they benefit from being buried slightly below the surface: about 1-1,5cm deep. This encourages them to grow fatter roots. Thin them out so they have space to grow into a decent size. Keep them well watered and harvest them as soon as they are big enough. If left in the ground for too long they go woody and lose their crisp flavour. If you want regular radishes, sow seed every week because they mature so quickly. I have read that radishes are good companion plants because they repel beetles. In my experience this is because the beetles prefer eating radish foliage and the other plants are left alone. Beetle-nibbled radish leaves don't seem to affect the development of the root, so it's a win-win combination. If left to go to seed, radishes produce edible pale pink and white flowers, which the bees and other beneficial insects love. Once these turn into seedpods, choose the fattest seed for your next planting. Radishes are good vegetables to gauge your soil and moisture levels. As with all root crops, they only put their energy into fattening up their roots once all their needs have been met. If your radishes produce thin roots, something is lacking – either the soil is not rich enough or they are not receiving enough sun or water. BEETROOT Beetroot is a multi-use vegetable, great for small gardens. Baby leaves can be snipped off a few at a time for salads and the larger leaves used in stir-fries. As long as enough leaves remain to feed the plant, you will still be able to harvest the root. Unlike most root crops, beetroot don't mind being transplanted, provided the seedlings are small and kept moist during transplanting. They can be directly seeded where they are to grow. You'll notice that the seed looks like a clump – it is actually a seed cluster containing a few seeds. Once they germinate, they need to be thinned out. They can be left to grow in a group, providing they have enough space to spread sideways. Encourage them to grow fast so the roots remain sweet and tender. Beetroot don't like dry weather and need regular moisture otherwise they can become stringy and tough. On the flip side, too much rain can also damage them. If it is too wet, lift them before they rot, even if they are small. They also don't like competition from weeds. Cutworms, birds, slugs and snails will all try and nibble at your beetroot, especially when young, so protect them accordingly. Beetroot grows well with lettuces and most greens, as well as any members of the cabbage family. It's a good soil improver and compost additive, with the leaves containing high levels of magnesium and other elements. CARROTS Carrots can be sown almost all year round, except for the hottest midsummer month and the coldest midwinter months. Carrots, more than any other root vegetables, need a soil free of any rocks or big clods of earth. A loose, sandy loam soil is ideal. It helps carrots tremendously if you add earthworm casts to the soil. Make sure the surface is as smooth as possible. Carrots don't do well with weeds that compete for space, so cover the entire area with weed-free seedling soil. Carrots can be grown in rows or in groups. Mix sand with the seeds to help sow them evenly. Sow in shallow drills, about 6-8mm deep and cover. The seeds take longer than most seeds to germinate so don't be impatient if they aren't up in five days. Thin them out, leaving enough space for each one to develop into a good-sized carrot. A successful combination planting for carrots is to sow seeds of rocket and radish at the same time. The rocket germinates earlier and its leaves provide just the right amount of shade to keep the young carrots moist. The radishes germinate very quickly and will be pulled up and eaten by the time the carrots need the space. When the first carrots start coming up, begin mulching with grass to prevent weeds and to help keep them moist. Once the carrots reach a certain size, they tend to start sticking their shoulders up out of the ground, which turns them green and makes them bitter. If this happens, gently draw the soil up over them completely cover the shoulders. When ready to harvest the carrots, loosen the soil around the shoulders and firmly pull them up. PARSNIPS Parsnips like deep, rich, well-drained soil. Spring and autumn are the best time for sowing. Direct seed them where they are to grow. As the germination rate of parsnips is mediocre, sow them relatively thickly. Make sure the seeds are pressed down firmly. Sowing them together with radishes helps mark the rows and shades the emerging parsnip seedlings. The radishes will be harvested before the parsnips need the space. Thin parsnip seedlings by snipping off the tops of the crowded ones. Pulling the roots out will disturb the remaining plants. Quick-growing lettuces and Asian greens are good companions. Keep them well watered through their growing season. Parsnips taste best harvested in early spring, as the stored starches begin to turn into sugar, ready for new growth. Harvest before they sprout or they'll lose their flavour. Loosen the soil with a fork and lift rather than pull them out. Inhoud Inhoud150'000 mans ruk op om na Buchan te luister `Dok` is terug met sy oorspronklike bier PEDRO bemeester sy kuns Zuma se `Wami` Zille se `Koekie Loekie` 150 000 mans ruk op om na Buchan te luister Neels Jackson Beeld, 25 April 2009 150000 mans ruk op Greytown. – Sowat 150 000 mans het gister 'n koue herfsaand in die buitelug getrotseer om op die Mighty Men-konferensie hier na Angus Buchan se oproep tot bekering te luister. Tussen 140 000 en 160 000 mans was volgens die organiseerders se ramings teen gistermiddag op die plaas Shalom saamgetrek. Buchan wou hom nie oor getalle uitlaat nie. "Getalle maak nie vir God saak nie." Hy het na die Bybelse koning Salomo verwys wat gestraf is omdat hy 'n sensus gehou het. "Ek weet nie hoeveel mans hier is nie, maar dit is 'n hang of a lot." Hy is egter nog nie tevrede nie. Die beste kom nog, het Buchan gesê. "Dink julle hulle bou hierdie stadions vir sokker? Hulle bou dit vir Jesus." Buchan se boodskap aan die skare mans was dat Jesus wil hê hulle moet hulle lewe verander. "As jy jou lewe verander, sal dit jou gesin verander. Dit sal jou stad verander. Dit sal jou provinsie verander. Dit sal die land verander. En dit sal die vasteland verander." Buchan het mans daartoe gelei om hul skuld te bely weens hul ongeloof in God. Toe het hy gevra hoeveel mans vir die eerste keer gisteraand in die openbaar hul geloof in Hom bely her, het duisende hande opgegaan. 'n See van tente van alle kleure en vorms het gister oor die heuwels rondom die groot opelugverhoog gelê. Die saamtrek het volgens mnr. Bruce Winship, woordvoerder, teen gistermiddag nog geen groot voorvalle opgelewer nie. Daar was net een mens wat moontlik 'n been gebreek het en twee busse wat in die stadium vasgeval het. Die Springbok-afrigter Peter de Villiers is onder die konferensiegangers opgemerk. `Dok` is terug met sy oorspronklike bier Dries Liebenberg Beeld, 2 Mei 2009 (Louis) Luyt Lager herleef om toeriste-attraksie te word `Dok` is terug Ballito. – Hy's lig op die tong, effens soet en glad nie bitter nie. Dr. Louis Luyt is terug. Met die politiek en rugbywêreld agter die rug is dit die herlewing van sy Luyt Lager ná 37 jaar wat weer die kollig op hom laat val. Suid-Afrikaners het Luyt Lager in 1972 vir die eerste keer geproe en so baie daarvan gehou dat dit 13% van die plaaslike markaandeel oorgeneem het voordat SA Brouerye dit gekoop het. Dit was dieselfde jare wat dié miljoenêr se Triomf-kunsmis 'n huishoudelike naam geword het. Mnr. Louis Luyt jr., een van "Dok" se seuns, is nou die gesig van Luyt Lager, wat in 'n mikrobrouery aan die KwaZulu-Natalse noordkus gebrou word. "Ek onthou hoe ek as twee-jarige op my pa se arm gesit het terwyl hy bier gedrink het en oor sake met mense gesels het," sê Luyt jr. by die bekendstelling van die mikrobrouery eergisteraand. Hy voeg egter by Luyt Lager is 'n familiesaak. "Dr. Luyt is al die pad betrokke. Hy is altyd aktief betrokke." Die Luyts se mikpunt is om die bier 'n toeriste-attraksie aan die noordkus te maak. Die verspreiding daarvan begin in Junie. Ballito is net 'n klipgooi van die nuwe Koning Shaka-internasionale lughawe, wat volgende jaar in bedryf gestel gaan word; die Wêreldbeker-sokkertoernooi is net om die draai en Ballito is vinnig besig om 'n gevestigde dorp pleks van 'n vakansiebestemming te word. "Die M4-hoofweg gaan net hier by ons voordeur verbyloop," merk Luyt jr. teenoor een van die gaste op, wat 'n mens laat besef hier is behoorlik huiswerk gedoen. Die Luyts het soos van ouds die hulp van mnr. Gordon Den, 'n meesterbrouer wat voorheen by SA Brouerye gewerk het, ingeroep om die bier te brou volgens die resep wat hy destyds help skep het. Monopolieë oorheers tans die biermark, maar daar is ruimte vir mikrobrouerye, want mense wil hul eie unieke bier hê, sê Luyt jr. Die plan is om dit in kroeë en kuierplekke in Ballito en aan die res van die noordkus te verkoop. Binne die eerste jaar wil hulle tussen 30 000 en 35 000 brou. "Luyt Lager smaak nog net soos toe ek 'n student op Stellenbosch was. Jinne, ons het gekuier van Tollies af tot by Simonsberg," is mnr. Deran van Rensburg se kommentaar by die bekendstelling. PEDRO bemeester sy kuns Deur Terésa Coetzee Hy het nie verniet as Hot Lips bekend gestaan op 7de laan se stel nie ... (Vinette PedroEbrahim het hom só gedoop.) Want daai aantreklike vol lippe van hom het gereeld rusplek gevind op die mond van die vroulike Laners. En toe is sy eerste toneel waarmee hy afskop in Egoli boonop nog 'n soentoneel! Maar hoe dan nou anders? Met daardie gesig en natuurlike sjarme is dit amper vanselfsprekend dat regisseurs mildelik gebruik gaan maak van die casanova wat so duidelik uit Pedro Camara straal! Hy lag uit sy maag oor dié opmerking. Ja, hy hou van sy vroue én van soen. Sommer baie. Hy erken dit skaamteloos. En sy beste sepiesoen nog was verreweg dié met Sandra Stutterheim van die Laan (gespeel deur Heléne Lombard). Maar dis alles darem net deel van sy werk as akteur. Soen is maar net nog 'n faset van toneelspeel wat hy met oorgawe wil bemeester ... En die kuns van toneelspeel is iets wat hy inderdaad besig is om ten volle te bemeester. Hy was immers die laaste klompie jare bitter hard aan die werk en het al 'n draai gemaak in 7de laan, Isidingo en binnekort gaan hy ook in Egoli te sien wees. "Ek raak nou 'n regte sepieslet," skerts hy. "Maar dis regtig vir my 'n groot voorreg om so intiem betrokke te kon raak by die dinamika van elke sepie. Ek onthou tot vandag toe hoe op my senuwees ek was toe ek die eerste keer in Madel Terreblanche (Wilna Snyman) se sitkamer ingestap het in 7de laan. Ek was ses maande in Isidingo en daar was die artistieke vryheid wat hulle ons gegee het absoluut wonderlik. "Ek verstom my aan die absolute kreatiwiteit en oorgawe waarmee gesoute akteurs soos Sharleen Surtie-Richards en Brümulda van Rensburg in Egoli speel! Hulle is só doelgerig in wat hulle doen. As ek maar net die helfte van hierdie mense se passie of talent kon hê ..." In Egoli gaan Pedro die rol van Tony speel, 'n man met 'n swak vir jong meisies. "Ek dink die storielyn is baie realisties geskryf. Dis maar ons mans se oeroue instink om te wil jag. Alle mans in hul veertigs voel diep gevlei as 'n jong, mooi pop skielik aan hom aandag gee en min mans is sterk genoeg om dit te weerstaan. Selfs dié met trouringe aan hul vingers ... Dis jammer, maar dis waar." Tog vertel Pedro in dieselfde asem dat sy eie boog se pyl nou weer ná jare 'n vrou getref het oor wie hy regtig baie ernstig is. Hy is van sy eerste vrou geskei, maar hulle is steeds baie goeie vriende. (Hulle het saam onderneem om ter wille van hul lieflingkind, Enzo, nooit modder te gooi ná die egskeiding nie.) "Ja, dis vir my lekker om weer iemand so spesiaal in my lewe te hê. Sy is my grootste bron van ondersteuning – en sy het my sonder enige voorbehoude en voorwaardes lief. Hierdie vroumens laat my vlieg! Ek het so ongelooflik baie respek vir haar – die manier hoe sy met mense werk, met hulle praat. Sy is altyd bereid om kompromieë aan te gaan – dinge is nooit net swart of wit vir haar nie. "Haar vermoë om by enige situasie aan te pas is iets wat ek bewonder," glimlag hy, maar hou vol hy gaan nie haar naam noem nie. Nog nie. Terwyl hy hier in die Oliver Tambo-lughawe se Wimpy sit en klets (ja, hy is deesdae 'n regte pendelaar wat weekliks heen en weer vlieg tussen sy huis in die Kaap en sy werk in Johannesburg), is daar niks wat verraai dat Pedro die afgelope jaar deur diep waters is nie. Op 27 Desember 2007 om 23:20 is Pedro se pa, Abel Camara, op die ouderdom van 69 jaar koelbloedig is sy sportkroeg in Rawsonville doodgeskiet. "Hierdie nuus het ons hele gesin op slag lamgelê. Ons fondament was nie net geskud nie, maar dit was heeltemal vernietig. Skielik was ons gesin heeltemal leierloos. "Ek het deur al die emosies gegaan. Skok. Verslaenheid. Woede. Teleurstelling. Hartseer. Wantroue. Ontnugtering. Verlorenheid. "En toe op 'n dag het ek besef ek moet my energie begin fokus op my ma. Sy het my so nodig gehad. Ek moes 'n kopskuif maak ... "'n Mens sal seker nooit volkome herstel ná so 'n traumatiese dood van 'n geliefde nie. Jy leer egter om daar rondom te werk. Ek moes doelbewus weer begin probeer om die klein, mooi dingetjies in die lewe raak te sien. Ek moes gaan soek na die mooi wat ander mense steeds uitstraal. Ek moes elke dag vir myself vertel waarom daar nog altyd hoop in die lewe is," vertel hy. En ja, hy het vertroosting gaan vind op sy knieë. "Ek het my verhouding met die Here van voor af verdiep. Ek het baie oor hierdie saak gebid. Elke dag van my lewe. Soms sommer 'n paar keer op 'n dag. En ek hét troos gevind." Vandag koester hy geen bitterheid nie. Hy weier om daardie negatiewe energie deel van hom te maak. "Ek het eenvoudig besef ek kan nie toelaat dat mense wat géén waarde aan die lewe heg nóg ure, dae en maande uit my lewe vat nie." Sy ma is boonop verlede jaar met borskanker gediagnoseer en Pedro het hierdie stryd ook saam met haar baklei. Dit was nie die eerste keer dat die Camaras eerstehands met die groot K kennis gemaak het nie – Pedro se broer Abel het op negejarige ouderdom beenmurgkanker gehad, waarteen hy moedig geveg het en oorleef het. Dís waarom Pedro graag by kankertees as gasheer optree en empaties en gemaklik saamgesels oor die siekte. "Hierdie hele ding met my pa se dood en my ma se borskanker het my net weer van vooraf laat besef hoe feilbaar ons mense is. Ons is klein ou spikkeltjies in die groot heelal. Ons lewe kan binne 'n oogwink handomkeer veraner. "Dit het my weer geleer om nederig te raak. Om vir die nóú te lewe en nie vir môre nie. Om nice te wees met mense. Om onvoorwaardelik lief te hê. Ek het nooit die kans gehad om vir my pa koebaai te sê nie. Om vir oulaas vir hom te sê hoe lief ek vir hom is nie. "Maar ek het gelukkig nog kans om dit vir die ander belangrike mense in my lewe te sê. En ek sal nooit weer daardie kans deur my vingers laat glip nie." Zuma se `Wami` Zille se `Koekie Loekie` Intrapslag MAX DU PREEZ Saterdag 2.5.2009 Zuma en Zille Die een mans se terroris is die ander se vryheidsvegter. Die een se "Awuleth' Umshini Wami" is die ander se "De la Rey, sal jy die Boere kom lei". En dan, net om alles deurmekaar te krap, is daar "Koekie Loekie, jy met die stywe broekie ..." 'n Mens kan nie eens meer dink aan ons aangewese president, Jacob Zuma, sonder dat sy liedjie "Umshini Wami" by 'n mens opkom nie. Dit is onmoontlik om te meet, maar ek dink dit – en natuurlik sy danspassies wat daarmee saamgaan – het beduidend bygedra tot sy kultus-status. Die woorde en die melodie is eenvoudig: Umshini wami, umshini wami/We Baba/Awuleth' umshini wami. (My masjiengeweer, my masjiengeweer/O Vader/ Gee asseblief my masjiengeweer aan.) Die dans daarmee saam is baie spesifiek: 'n ritmiese verskuiwing van gewig van een been na 'n ander met die arm gebuig voor die lyf. Die lied kom uit die dae van die gewapende stryd deur Umkhonto we Sizwe, waarvan Zuma 'n senior lid was – umshini beteken letterlik net masjien, maar dit was hoe die masjiengeweer genoem is. Al die bevrydingsbewegings in ons streek het sulke liedere – Swapo, kan ek goed onthou, het een gehad wat die Russiese PPSh41-masjiengeweer geprys het, die MPLA het 'n populêre lied oor die AK47 gehad en Frelimo een oor die bazooka. "Umshini wami" was egter lank vergete, totdat Zuma dit in 2005 by 'n saamtrek tydens die verhoor van sy kameraad Schabir Shaik laat herlewe het. In Desember 2007 was dit die oorwinningslied by Polokwane, toe Zuma bo Mbeki as ANC-president verkies is. Sedertdien het dit simbolies geword van Zuma se stryd om uit die tronk te bly en president te word, van die verset teen die Mbeki-groep in die ANC, van die werkersklas en gemarginaliseerde swartmense, en, ja, van 'n heroplewing van Zoeloe-bewussyn. Die lied se impak op die openbare mening en politieke houdings was só betekenisvol dat dit al deur verskeie akademici as fenomeen ondersoek is. Die jongste en mees deurdringende poging is dié van prof. Liz Gunner van Wits se Instituut vir Sosiale en Ekonomiese Navorsing genaamd Jacob Zuma, the Social Body and the Unruly Power of Song. (Aflaaibaar op die internet by www.afraf.oxfordjournals.org/" cgi/content/full/" 108/430/27#SEC6.) "Die tydsberekening van die lied se `vrystelling` het saamgeval met 'n spesifieke struktuur van gevoelens in die land, naamlik 'n wydverspreide angstigheid en ontevredenheid oor die aard van regering in Suid-Afrika," skryf Gunner. "Toe die publiek, in al sy gefragmenteerde pluraliteit, oorversadig was van die beeld van politici in pakke klere en die vervreemdende taal van die tegnokrate, toe die dansende lywe en die lewendige taal van die struggle 'n verre eggo geword het ... het die beleërde vise-president op die nasionale toneel losgebars met die lied ... Die lied, wat deur Zuma self gekies is en wat hy met gemak en elegansie terug in sirkulasie gebring het, het ingebreek op die populêre, openbare geheue deur 'n vroeëre en meer gevaarlike manier van lewe in herinnering te roep," aldus prof. Gunner. Maar die lied het ook die publiek verdeel. Eers was dit die lied van die buitestanders, waarvan Zuma een was, maar ná Polokwane was dit die lied van die binnekring, van die insiders. Terror Lekota het "Umshini wami" gehaat en dit hardop gesê, en kort daarna moes hy van die ANC wegbreek. "Umshini wami" het nie net die ANC verdeel nie, dit het gehelp om die steun wat die ANC wel van bruin, Indiër en wit gehad het, tot byna niks te verminder. Die beeld wat dit opgeroep het van 'n dreigende, militante swartman in kamoefleerdrag met 'n AK47 in die hand, het nie lekker by die minderheidsgroepe afgegaan nie. Breër gesien, is dit vanselfsprekend moeilik om 15 jaar ná bevryding nog met sulke militantheid te kan vereenselwig. Dit is nogal ironies, want Zuma is veel meer inklusief en nie-rassig as Mbeki; daar is min swart bewussyn of Afrikanisme in ons aangewese president. Maar hy is terselfdertyd takties briljant en het die laaste tyd gewys dat hy ook gewetenloos kan wees in sy desperate stryd om oorlewing en om mag. Soos Robert Mugabe en vele ander Afrika-politici voor hom, het Zuma geweet wat die emosionele waarde was van 'n terugroep van die glorieryke verlede, van die heroïse stryd teen apartheid. Ons is weer onder druk, was die boodskap wat by sy volgelinge uitgekom het, maar ons gaan weer revolusie maak. Gee my masjiengeweer aan! Ten spyte van die wit paranoia wat 'n mens die laaste tyd oor die saak raakgeloop het, was dit myns insiens nooit 'n oproep tot gewapende stryd nie. Umkhonto we Sizwe, so wéét Zuma self, was nou nie juis 'n formidabele mag nie en die gewapende stryd was eintlik maar net propaganda. In elk geval sou die "vyand" in die stadium dat "Umshini wami" herleef het, net as die ander faksie van die ANC beskryf kon word en nie witmense nie. Dit is net daar waar die ooreenkomste met die De la Rey-lied, nou ietwat vergete, inkom. Dit wou ook 'n nostalgie oproep, aan 'n meer glorieryke tyd van onderdrukking en stryd herinner, en het ook mobiliserend gewerk. Dit het weereens 'n verdeling tussen outsiders en insiders gebring. Dit is net so macho-manlik soos as "Umshini wami", maar dit was ook nie 'n oproep tot geweld of gewapende stryd nie. (Die groot verskil is natuurlik dat dit half per ongeluk op die toneel verskyn het en nie soos "Umshini wami" berekend gebruik is nie.) Maar soos baie witmense bang en kwaad raak as hulle "Umshini wami" hoor (en sien), só het baie swartmense bang geraak oor die De la Rey-verskynsel. Ek onthou nog hoe baie van my swart vriende en kollegas hulle boeglam geskrik het vir Eugene TerreBlanche se gedreig en geblaas, terwyl ons Afrikaners eintlik maar net vir die oompie gelag het. Dieselfde gebeur nou met Julius Malema en Buti Manemela, vir wie witmense skrik, maar wat nie deur swartmense ernstig opgeneem word nie. Die verklaring is eenvoudig: Ons ken mekaar se etniese kodes nog nie goed genoeg nie. Ons skrik nog vir mekaar se koue pampoen. My vermoede is dat Zuma die gebruik van "Umshini wami" drasties gaan begin afskaal nou dat hy verseker is van sy posisie as president van die ANC en van die land, en daar nie meer 'n risiko is dat hy moet tronk toe gaan nie. Soos ek vir Zuma ken, is hy inderdaad bekommerd oor sosiale kohesie en sal hy ver uit sy pad gaan om minderhede gerus te stel en nader te trek. En hy het mos nie meer "Umshini wami" nodig nie. As Zuma "Umshini wami" as sy verkiesingslied gebruik het, dan is dit seker ook waar dat Helen Zille "Koekie Loekie" só gebruik het. En dit vertel 'n hele verhaal. Hier is die woorde van "Koekie Loekie", wat deur die politieke ontleder Judith February as "Zille's absurdly inappropriate campaign song" beskryf is, maar tog die skares met groot geesdrif laat sing en dans het: Haar naam is Koekie, Koekie Loekie/Willie ophou roekie/Meisie jy het dit. Die ouens raak mal as hul vir Koekie sien/as hulle koppe draai as sy rokkie swaai/elke keer dan maak sy so 'n Kaapse draai/oe, meisie, skud los daai lyfie. Die meisies raak jaloers as hulle vir Koekie sien/rooie lippies, haartjies en 'n toppie/haar mamma het haar geleer sy moetie skaam wees nie/want sy het dit van kop tot tone. Ek hou van 'n politieke leier wat nie militante/militêre simbole en macho-beelde uit die verlede nodig het nie, net 'n catchy tune.
"Inhoud - DOC - DOC"