Saturday, August 04, 2007

Bits and Bobs

Sorry for not posting for a week, I have my kids here on holiday and I am also trying to wrap up my next assignment.

Someone asked me, on a comment, would I recommend Peter Godwin’s latest book, When The Crocodile Eats The Sun. I was also asked if he wrote in the style of a bleeding heart liberal dish cloth.

I haven’t got around to reading the above book, but I am at the moment reading for the second time the prequel, Mukiwa.

Godwin is a very clever and brave man. He is a well respected journalist and has done articles for National Geographic. His co-written historical book, Rhodesians Never Die, is perhaps the finest documented account of the impact of war and change on White Rhodesia 1970-1980. It is not the book for die hard Ian Smith fans.

I look forward to reading Godwin’s latest, as his memoir continues up to the present day. From the book description, it would appear that his once wealthy family are ruined by Mugabe. He might not be a fan of White Rhodesians, but he certainly dislikes Mugabe and has risked his life fighting him, but you will have to read Mukiwa first.


I would like this opportunity to bring to your attention an interesting debate going on at the web site, Why South Africa Sucks (WSAS). Now called South Africa Sucks (SAS). My blog is linked to this site and as a result my traffic has doubled, which is great and many thanks to those people who take the time to read it.

I think they have been rather caught off guard with their rapid success and now have reached a cross road. Let me explain.

Imagine you meet someone at a boring party. In a corner, this person hangs around looking rather arrogant and leers at all the half-wits wandering gormlessly around. You approach this person and start a conversation. Before long it is apparent that the person is highly switched on, satirically witty, articulate and extremely entertaining. Within a short time, most of the other party goers are hanging around listening in. Just as things are going so good, the person, who had started to drink a lot, suddenly shits in his pants and starts screaming obscenities as a sort of phonetic punctuation.

Some people are so pissed by now, they don’t notice the bad smell, and had from the start, struggled to follow the persons thread. But as soon as the school yard garbage came out, they let up a huge cheer of understanding, rushed into the kitchen, found a roll of Black Pudding in the fridge, threw it in the micro-wave till it exploded, whilst chanting ‘the pig is dead’.

A few people, having just arrived because they had received a text message from some friends at the party, smelt one whiff and stuck around long enough to hear that, ‘a sodomising, spear throwing baboon, who likes eating babies raw organs, is President of South Africa’, and they head for the door, swearing never to go to the zoo again. As they leave, ‘the pig is dead’, chanters, run after them and smash empty bottles of Castle beer over their heads, whilst singing ‘We are marching to Pretoria’.

Meanwhile, you, who had at first, also had a good giggle at the original outburst of gutter slut verbalism, start to grow a tad weary and switch an automatic filter on.

The speaker now notices the restlessness and looks at the Cane and Orange in his hand. He thinks, ‘shall I down this or shall I have a glass of water?’

To wrap up – On holiday in Wales, day before yesterday.

People are odd. I was on the beach with my kids, playing ‘Botcha’. Well, that’s the name we know it by. A basic game - a small black ball is thrown a short distance and each player, with two weighted tennis sized balls, attempts to make points by throwing them nearest to the black ball.

The kids, bored with a normal, flat sandy playing field, decided to create all sorts of obstacles. Humps, ridges, bunkers etc, etc and it was great fun. Near us were a couple, in their early thirties. They packed up and left a rather nifty large sand castle with a deep moat and loads of turrets.

We promptly became ‘farm invaders’ and using the castle as the major attraction in a new playing field, spent the next 45 minutes systematically destroying it.

Suddenly, in the middle of a round, the previous constructors/occupiers/owners reappeared and went into some form of shock. The husband seemed to be rather afraid of us lot chatting hysterically away in German, and kept some distance away as he instructed his wife to walk slowly around the ‘castle’, PHOTOGRAPHING it as documentary evidence! Then they buggered off.

So whilst we waited for the police, we finished trashing the castle till it was completely flat, thus destroying the evidence.

If the rain stops to-day, maybe we go out and torch the local church.


Fiona said...

How dare you annoy the tourists, sweet, kind hearted, forward thinking, unassuming, peaceful and generally good natured yobs that they are. You should have planted a welsh flag in the rubble, that's guaranteed to upset a few more.

BTW, due to a temporary problem I have with IE, I am grudgingly using Mozilla. And your page is still too wide and its ruddy annoying.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply re Peter Godwin. I will read Mukiwa first.
I once read a book by one of Joe Slovo and Ruth First’s daughters - I think it was Gillian Slovo- and I was totally disgusted, what little sympathy I had for any communist or socialist South African evaporated.
I don’t want to waste time reading garbage again.

Bokonon said...

Re: Peter Godwin’s latest book, When The Crocodile Eats The Sun.

I would recommend this book not so much because of the politics but because of the inside story, the family story and the discovery of Peter's fathers hidden history. This book gives a human dimension to an episode in history.

In regard to the sand castle, I hope you did not start chanting "Two Nil, Two Nil."

ruralwalesdirect said...

keep it up drive them out of Wales... they should know better than trying to buy a home in Wales.

But the place is now full of those sun burnt beer bellies Yey ! summer has arrived too little to late.

history said...

When The Crocodile Eats the Sun really is a fantastic book, I've just finished reading it for the second time. He documents the collapse of things very well.

Anonymous said...

I read the "When The Crodile Eats The Sun". I have also read "Mukiwa".
The desecration of graves at Warren Hills disturbs and enrages me. My father was buried there in 1970. He dedicated his life to educating and training young Africans throughout East and Central Africa. His story is too long and involved to discuss here. He is surrounded by young soldiers who died in the service - right or wrong, of Rhodesia.Are we now going to stand for this disgraceful state of affairs? What can we do to stop this disgusting desecration? I feel so damned helpless.