On abuse of power and being called to book…

And still the Saga continues.

Mzilikazi wa Afrika, after being arrested, released and then threatened by the NPA, now has had his charges formally dropped. But, it has to be added, only provisionally… This is also known as throwing mud with the hope of getting some of it to stick.

What this is really known as, and I’m certain the ANC agrees — or at least they should — is an extreme abuse of power.

We’re all aware that the Nationalist Government were past masters of this type of action, but it seems that the ANC has taken to the lesson extremely well; so well, in fact that the student might still become the master.

Stephen Grootes, in another brilliant piece in The Daily Maverick covers the “Stench of Abuse of Power” that lingers over the Mzilikazi wa Africa saga…

Since the proposed “Media Tribunal” is meant to serve as a recourse to the poor (embattled politicians), I fully expect that Stephen will become one of their first supressions. Erm, I meant “rectifications”, of course… And the bloody ANC politicians wonder why everyone with half a brain is edgy about it?

Living under the Sword

Hoy, ANC! Have you ever wondered why we don’t trust you? I mean really don’t trust you? As in, even less than any sane person ever trusts any government?

Now here I’m not even talking about your latest attempt at limiting press freedom (Good luck with that, by the way. After all, we do live in a constitutional democracy. You know, the one your forebears fought for? Before the ANC became a bunch of power mongers? You remember!) Anyway, where was I… Oh yes. We’re not talking you press-freedom attempts.

We’re not even talking about the fact that you disbanded the Scorpions (You remember them too, of course. They were the ones who would arrest corrupt politicians… Yeah, them) and replaced them with the (ahem) Hawks.

No, were talking of your latest attempt to use those self-same Hawks to arrest a journalist on political grounds, and the have them keep them (You used to call that Detention Without Trial when the Apartheid Government did that to you guys, remember… Those were the days, eh? You could do whatever you wanted an no-one would even think of querying you..) even though the prosecutor claims they have no case

Stephen Grootes (who I’m certain is next on the Hawks‘ list of people to arrest-and-detain — I wonder if you guys will torture him?) has written quite a nice analysis of the situation

Oh, I wonder whose those nice people in uniform outside my door is? More of yours?

Bastards! There. I feel better now.

The Truth Will Out… (aka Tim to the Rescue!)

Rather melodramatic, but still true. Well sort of…

More than a year ago (on 18th October 2007, to be precise) I wrote a post entitled “Of universal truth…” in which I asked for the source of a poem I had read as a youth.

And today I received an email from Tim Neutel from the Netherlands (at least, that where his email originated).

Here, thanks to Tim, is the poem in original form:

The station is ominous at midnight
Hope is a dead letter
Time to change trains for something better
No local train now
Long since departed
Now way of getting back to where you started.

What impressed me more than anything, though, is the fact that I recalled it so well, if not quite perfectly. It had indeed made a lasting impression on me as I had mentioned.

And the source?

It was from a book entitled “The Night of the Fox” by Jack Higgins…

Thanks Tim!

Happy new year, and all that rot…

Hello world…

And a very happy new year to you all, friend and foe alike.

2008 had been much better to me than 2007 had been, but that’s not really saying much: it’s kinda like saying that a frontal lobotomy is preferable to having your head chopped off. That might be true, but we’d still prefer to avoid either of the two outcomes, won’t we?

So here I go again: I’m starting off the new year in a new job (quite literally, in fact: I’m reporting for duty on the second) which is kinda scary in the current economic market. I’ve had to buy a new car since some arseho “kind-hearted person” decided to torch my old one. Fun times…

Being as that may, I’m also starting the new year on a clean slate, forgiving all of those who had betrayed me. I might not wish to be friends with them, or mix with them even, but I do forgive them.

So… Have a happy new year all of you, and may love and happiness haunt your doorsteps.

Eugéne out…

Watershed Moments

Now I would hesitate to refer to myself as a professional when it comes to watershed moments, never having been paid for them, you see, but I certainly would have no issue referring to myself as an experienced amateur…

In the the last year much has happened to me, and only some of that had been good. Okay, to be honest; some absolutely awesome events had happened to me, along with some truly horrendous ones.

If nothing else, I have learnt a great deal about me; the person I used to be and the person I have since become.

I’ve learnt that I’m generally kind and gentle; I’ve learnt that children and animals seem inclined, to put it mildly, to be kindly disposed to me; I’ve learnt that I have drive and determination second to none. I have learnt that, when I put my mind to it, I can accomplish some utterly astounding feats; personally and professionally both.

I have also learnt that I still do not handle betrayal well at all. Of all the occurrences in my life, this one seems to gnaw at me, at my very being, most relentlessly.

Yet… Yet. I have also learnt that I have a much bigger heart than I had ever thought myself as capable of having.

Sadly, nearly all of these realisations have come at great cost; the cost of some heart-ache during moments of great self-doubt.

Yet none of these are what I would have considered real “Watershed Moments”. Critical turning points. I mean, make no mistake, all of them were part of the healing process, and in retrospect I embrace them all; they are all part of the history of the person writing this; all part of the experience that formed him and are all part of his strength…

No, the real watershed moment was the realisation I experienced when I managed to identify the source of the melancholy I had felt the whole morning.

You see, today is the birthday of a person who, until late last year, was the most important in my life; I used to go out of my way to make this day special. I know soppy, romantic, stupid… Call it what you like. That does not change the reality of it in any way at all.

The doleful feeling was my subconscious nagging at me for not having done anything special for today…

Once I had realised it, of course, the cloud mostly lifted. But more importantly, another cloud, one that had been lingering for even longer, also started lifting.

Before today I had been very anxious at the thought that I might never be able to fully trust again; never be able to give a girl a chance to fully come into my life and into my heart again. That the romantic in me had been killed off in a moment of brutal callousness.

I, now, no longer have that fear… The romantic in me is still here, very much still alive. He has merely been lying low, waiting for the right girl to come kicking down the doors to his hideout…

Just a Simple Little Epiphany…

I’ve come to the realisation recently that, quite frequently in the recent past, I’ve allowed the words of others to express what I had felt.

While there is nothing wrong with that per sé, and in fact much of the thrust of this post is given by the same sword, it is something to smirk at in me.

I have recently been through a, to understate it tremendously, rather painful episode. Betrayal cuts close to the bone for most of us, and when that betrayal is perpetrated by the people you love the most, and would thus least expect it from, the pain becomes… difficult… to ignore.

And yet… And yet there comes a time when you take a walk one day and realise that it isn’t nearly as bad as you had thought, that sometime during the recent past, things had… changed. Things had stopped being so very awful.

Now there is realistically no way that the nearly insurmountable breaches caused can be repaired without a ridiculous amount of effort, but you know, sometimes, just sometimes, burnt bridges should damn well stay burnt!

So, it might just happen that one day, a day very much like today in fact, you might pause away from work during lunch, during a sanity break, and realise that we live in a beautiful world; a world full of wonder, a world full of joy…

For most of the afternoon then, I have had What a Wonderful World playing in my mind…

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying “I love you”.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Thank you Louis Armstrong… Much appreciated. Please take a bow to the wonderful audience…

Damn! I love being alive!

The Longest Time

If “Cold Wind Blows” is the one side of the coin, this classic from Billy Joel ever so eloquently highlights the other…

While the former covers endings and that sense of loss when something wonderful dies, the latter — this one — is all about that sense of great joy and wonder with life being oh so magical when you are falling in love…

Oh, oh, oh
For the longest time
Oh, oh, oh
For the longest time

If you said goodbye to me tonight
There would still be music left to write
What else could I do
I’m so inspired by you
That hasn’t happened for the longest time

Once I thought my innocence was gone
Now I know that happiness goes on
That’s where you found me
When you put your arms around me
I haven’t been there for the longest time

Oh, oh, oh
For the longest time
Oh, oh, oh
For the longest
I’m that voice you’re hearing in the hall
And the greatest miracle of all
Is how I need you
And how you needed me too
That hasn’t happened for the longest time

Maybe this won’t last very long
But you feel so right
And I could be wrong
Maybe I’ve been hoping too hard
But I’ve gone this far
And it’s more than I hoped for

Who knows how much further we’ll go on
Maybe I’ll be sorry when you’re gone
I’ll take my chances
I forgot how nice romance is
I haven’t been there for the longest time

I had second thoughts at the start
I said to myself
Hold on to your heart
Now I know the woman that you are
You’re wonderful so far
And it’s more than I hoped for

I don’t care what consequence it brings
I have been a fool for lesser things
I want you so bad
I think you ought to know that
I intend to hold you for the longest time

Ah, yes. I remember now…

Soon. Very soon…

A Storybook Love…

He was just sitting there, staring at the sea. Nobody quite knew what to make of him, the strange old man. But they considered him harmless. He was there every morning. As regular as clockwork; sitting there sipping his coffee from his flask at dawn, having his sandwiches, always the same – brown bread with little butter and lots of jam, at tea and then leaving at lunch.

He was obviously waiting for something to come from the sea, obviously waiting for something or someone. Nobody wanted to ask him, not because they were afraid of him, but because he seemed to have an ineffable air of sadness; a need to to be alone with his thoughts.

One morning he wasn’t there anymore, though. That surprised everyone, as anything unusual happening invariably seems to. Nor was he the next day. On the third, though he was seen again; but not sitting watching the sea… He was standing on the patch of grass next to the bench that had been his point of vigil for so long. Looking at the people milling about, an occasional smile on his face and the sadness seemingly replaced with a quiet resignation and occasional flashes of optimism.

And to their surprise the regulars, those curious ones who had watched him but were too timid to approach the old man, realised he was not all that old; it was sadness that had drawn the lines on his face, not the years.

Eventually one of them, the one who had thought he knew the man the best, finally broke down and inched closer to the man, failing to note the amusement now shining in his eyes. “Erm…”, he started, “so it’s here? It came? Whatever you were waiting for?”

With a wry grin the no-longer old man’s reply was heard, a reply that really confused some of those around him; having no frame of reference for his thoughts…

“No friend. All that came in the end was realisation. Realising that if this wasn’t a Storybook Love, it was because it never was written into the story. Realising that if I want a Storybook Love, I might have to go read another book. And finally realising that there are actually other books that might be even more worth reading…”