Monday, July 10, 2006

Who said this:

"Nxamalala  has already spoken, saying words of wisdom, telling the initiates they have graduated from boyhood to manhood and they would be expected to behave like men. They are expected to act responsibly as leaders of tomorrow."
It was Mini Gabavana of the Dosini clan at a celebration to mark the initiation ceremony of the king-designate of the AmaMpondomise tribe.  Who was he quoting?  Of course it was that paragon of virtue Jacob Zuma, "Nxamalala" is his traditional name.  
What is old JZ on?  He's just finished a rape trial where it was found that at the very least he had sex with an HIV positive woman under dubious circumstances, never mind his more than casual attitude to dealing with the worst pandemic in human history.  At the end of the month he'll be standing trail for corruption with regards to a multibillion dollar arms deal, and he's still campaigning!  Is he crazy, does he think the South African voting public are idiots that will ignore this kind of conduct?  The unfortunate answers to these two questions are "Yes", and "Yes".  The really concerning issue however is that he's probably right!
In a country internationally touted as a paragon of modern democracy it is in our leaders' interests to maintain a level of ignorance amongst the voting public.  Dissembling, obfuscation and misdirection are the tools that keep them in power.  This is by no means unique to South Africa, governments the world over have employed similar tactics to ensure blind fervor from their supporters, however elsewhere it doesn't always work.
In South Africa the public at large is told what to think.  You might think I'm being a little melodramatic or making bold, unsupported statements, but here's a quote from another article to back me up.  Sasco president Mandla Seopela said the students would stand by the ANC national general council's resolution that "he must be supported on the corruption issue".  In this case "he" is JZ. 
Now Thabo Mbeki is making statements that the arms deal was all conducted above the board with absolutely no government wrongdoing.  This claim seems to exonerate JZ and it would be interesting to see what would happen should he be found guilty later this year.  In all likelihood Thabo's proclaiments are simply a way to placate JZ and his followers leaving him outs no matter what the outcome of the trial.  Sneaky huh?  Well it's politics.
Recently JZ has lodged a civil case against the media for character assassination.  I think political cartoonist Zapiro summed it up perfectly when asked how he felt that JZ was suing him for damaging his reputation.  "What reputation?" he asked.
schpat out

Friday, July 07, 2006

Why haven't I been blogging?

Well not much has been happening, but that's never stopped me before. 
Work has basically blocked all access to message boards and forums (this includes blogs) and also blocked the emails of my rss feeds.  Being isolated from the blogosphere has kinda made me lose interest in the whole thing, but that's not the only reason I haven't been cranking out my usual monster posts.  The other factor is that I was very disappointed with the response to my blog contests.  Altogether only five people entered (when you count both contests) and I only received a total of ten votes, these were hardly encouraging results.  This left me disappointed and a little depressed that my effort to provide amusement and entertain was mostly ignored.  It was The Schpat Dope all over again, and it reminded me of another project that, while very close to my heart, was generally underappreciated by the intended audience.  I speak of course about SchpatCON. 
You see I've always been an organiser.  From as far back as I can remember I've been a person that gets things going.  People want a party? Sure, I'll sort it out.  Varsity is boring! Lets watch videos, I'll get the TV.  Varsity is still boring!  Let's get totally shit-faced and have ice fights and puke and pass out on the couch, I'll get the hooch.  Ok, that one seemed like a good idea at the time.  It could very well just be an intense need to be the centre of attention stemming from a poor self image and the fact that I wasn't breast fed as a baby, but I doubt it.  You see I like to make people happy, and I like to do cool shit.  That's the major reason I came up with the idea of SchpatCON in the first place.  It was a cool way for gamers who were no longer at varsity, and involved with CLAWs, to stay active in the scene and also to give the CLAW committee a chance to take part in an event without having to organise it themselves.
SchpatCON was first held at Tokai Library, a venue with a bunch of fond memories of the war gaming club I had a major hand in organising, and other things too.  I put hours into the event writing modules and organising prizes, of course I had some help with module writing.  The turn out was twelve people, the organisers had put in twice as many man hours as all the participants put together.  I was disappointed to say the least, but I decided to run another one in 2001.  That time we had a few more people, but nobody was very enthusiastic.  In fact everybody had left before it was even time to hand out the prizes.  To this day I still have R200 in Outer Limits gift vouchers floating around to remind me of my failure.  That's how I've been feeling lately, and probably the reason that there's been no news about SchpatCON this year.
Then last night a conversation about old times and past experiences reminded me just how much fun things used to be, and you know what, things in general weren't very different back then... but my attitude was.  I've realised that SchpatCON is not a failure.  By 2002 I was working with a team of people that are were so good that their enthusiasm energised me and made the whole thing worthwhile.  Together we've gone on to organise three of the best gaming events that I've ever attended, and I've had so many good times.  The general epiphany was that I just need to get off my arse and get on with things.  So I've started blogging again and "SchpatCON VII: Deadly Sins" is in the works.  I'll give out some more information about it at a later stage but for now just keep September 22-25 free in your diaries.
I'll be blogging again, but it probably won't take the same form as as before.