Tuesday, July 07, 2015

And so it came to pass

Resistance is futile. I have always hoped that I could objectively view transition in South Africa as a progressive project. I realise now that I was mistaken, at least by a number of years where I thought the integrity of the transition would be held intact and I could tacitly and quietly support transformation in South African  society.

I can no longer condone such fuckwittery  as I am confronted with on a daily basis and feel compelled to change the orientation of this blog from an external analysis to one which asks hard internal questions about my own and others failings. And shit like that.

Ultimately I feel betrayed by the mafia-like group who have wrestled control of the African National Congress by a cabal who have quashed the  homegrown activists who bore the frontal attack of the dying apartheid regime.

The reality now needs to be questioned with a new  "OK Now", whether as an interrogative question or as a  bald statement.

Welcome to the new age of OK Now.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Hold onto your hat

What we are seeing now is the last breath of modern capitalism.

The old economic order came to an end on 9 August 2007 as what will become to be known as Debtonation Day.

It should have happened when the US economy was on life support in 2000/ 2001 after the dot-com bubble burst and it was well on its way to crashing. I should know, I lost my job back then. The house cleaning that should have taken place back then didn't come about.

The Bushites didn’t want that to happen on their watch and so they came up with a two-fold strategy. Firstly, in a rather ruthless Machiavellian/ Keynesian ploy they welcomed 911 with open arms and busted open the war-chest to feed the military-industrial complex with a fake 'war on terror' by invading Afghanistan and Iraq. Two countries who could not fight back. Immediately. Or until we should we say just about now?

In order to do this, the US has been spending money - which they have borrowed from everyone else - hand over fist in order to prop up the US economy since 09/11/2001.

Now, if the Chinese have been stupid, it is because they have over-supplied themselves with dollars, by buying into US debt, and recycling Dollars into the system that have become more and more worthless by the day? But that is a question because I don't for one minute presume that the Chinese are 'stupid'. In this case though, the US does seem quite happy because their debt is essentially deflating away and it undermines the Chinese who don’t have the same purchasing power that they thought they had in the US economy.

The problem is that the debt owed by the US is for all intents and purposes is un-repayable. They owe so so so much and the chickens from all their war spending hasn't even begun to come home to roost quite yet.

Even Zimbabwe’s economic mis-management pales in comparison to what the US has done to their own economy. Basically, the US is in a process of repudiating it's debt by throwing away the dollar, which is in a death spiral. It’s a classic pump-and-dump scam in which the debts are hyper-deflated-supposed-inflation away. Dollar deflation works only in debt terms. If I was an American, I would ask Bush and Cheney what currencies they are holding currently at the moment...

The second part to all of this, is that the Federal Reserve opened the credit floodgates. Greenspan poured the petrol onto the fire to prop up consumer spending which nearly tanked after 911 by lowering interest rates.

Remember one of Bush’s speeches just after 911? He basically said get on a plane and go to Disneyland or get in car and go shopping. The “sub-prime” scandal (which it is) was just one channel for some of this credit. There is a boatload of other credit instruments that have been unleashed since 2001 and US consumers are maxed-out on their elastic plastic.

What we have been witnessing since then is the slow-motion domino-like collapse of the whole system as it systematically unwinds. What we need to understand is that it is impossible for any one single person to even begin to understand the ramifications of what is happening right now.

The effects are hard to see because it is all happening in “slow-motion”, and it’s not like there is any singular spectacular event that would wake people up, but rather a chain of cumulative events that was set in motion that day and will continue until the last domino falls. There was a hint of the how a big a train smash this is in April when they stepped into to rescue Bear Stearns, reinforced by the bankruptcy of Fannie & Freddie this past weekend, but the biggest problem is that there is not one single person alive today who can comprehend the entire scope of what is going on.

Derivates are unwinding every day. Auction rate bonds are going to the wall. The whole house of cards is collapsing. It is massive and global.

There is just one simple point: There is not one single human being alive today who one is even capable of beginning to understand this mess that we are in currently, let alone getting us out of the shitstorm we are all about to face…

Raise interest rates or drop them? Inject more credit or let it tighten? Bailout the banks or let them crash? - Unless there is a global response this is going to drag down the world.

Get ready for a fractured world that won't deal with this other than through extreme violence.

Not one of the sodding central bankers, finance ministers, nobel laureate economists, or even Soros himself can truly admit to understanding what a frightfully huge economic mess this is.

It is massive and global.

There is no way we are going to get any kind of coordinated response by any one government or sole financial institution, or be rescued from the heavens above, because everyone(else) is trying to look after their own “economic self interest” right now.

There is no man on a white horse that is coming to rescue you.

I suggest you sort yourself out now.

Before it's too late.

'Cos none of us are OK Now.

PS. There is still one thing you can do though:

Revolt Now!

And I do mean revolt.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dominion / Mother Russia

Once again, Eldritch displays his phrophetic prowess:

Dominion/Mother Russia
Floodland - Sisters of Mercy
By Andrew Eldritch
Copyright 1987 WEA Records LTD
Published by SBK Songs

In the heat of the night
In the heat of the day
When I close my eyes
When I look your way
When I meet the fear that lies inside
When I hear you say
In the heat of the moment
Say, say, say

Some day, some day, some day, -Dominion
Come a time
Some day, some day, some day, -Dominion
Some say prayers
Some say prayers
I say mine

In the light of the fact
On the lone and level
Sand stretch far away
In the heat of the action
In the settled dust
Hold hold and sway
In the meeting of mined
Down in the streets of shame
In the betting of names on gold to rust
In the land of the black
Be...King, king, king, king

Some day, some day, some day, -Dominion
Come a time
Some day, some day, some day, -Dominion
Some say prayers
Some say prayers
I say mine

Some day, some day, some day, -Dominion
Some say prayers
Some say prayers
I say mine

In the heat of the night
In the heat of the day
When I close my eyes
When I look your way
When I meet the fear that lies inside
When I hear you say
In the heat of the moment
Say, say, say

Some day, some day, some day, -Dominion
Some say prayers
Some say prayers
I say mine
I say mine
I say mine

We serve an old man in a dry season
A lighthouse keeper in the desert sun
Dreamers of sleepers and white treason
We dream of rain and the history of the gun
There's a lighthouse in the middle of Prussia
A white house in a red square
I'm living in films for the sake of Russia
A Kino Runner for the DDR
And the fifty-two daughters of the revolution
Turn the gold to chrome
A gift...nothing to lose
Stuck inside of Memphis with the mobile home, singin':

Mother Russia
Mother Russia
Mother Russia rain down down down
Mother Russia
Mother Russia
Mother Russia rain down

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crash, Boom, Bang!

The scariest thing that is happening at the moment on the planet is the amount of cash that Central Banks are pouring into the world's financial system. It's crazy. It's more "money" than what was released in the aftermath of 911.

Ostensibly this is because of the sub-prime mortgages that have been flogged as "financial instuments". The real deal is that over the last 15 years any number of financial products have been cooked up on the most spurious claims of risk and reward - see I'm not even mentioning derivates - and the chickens are coming home to roost.

I think we are just seeing the tip of the global financial meltdown. Hold on to your hats - things are going to get very messy from here on in.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Don't rock my boat

Ok so less than 2 months back on the continent and the major struggle of our time is already slapping me in the face; the 2nd Scramble for Africa is in full swing.

I have already mentioned the establishment of the "new" Afrika Korps, but that is just the tip of the ice-berg. Besides the yanks, the chinese are going mad in Africa too. Not just take-aways either, there is a major Chinese penetration going on right now.

So much so, that the Europeans, and the French in particular, are feeling particularly left out. Witness Sarkonazi swanning around in Senegal and his dubious wife sucking up to Gaddafi over the Bulgarian nurse/ Palestinian (who converted to Bulgarianism) Doctor thing. Who knows what happened there, but apparently 54 Libyan kids did die and there are some parents who still want some answers over that.

So what's the deal? Africa is no longer the "Dark" continent, it's the land of milk and honey and there is another mad scramble for Africa's resources just beginning. This time though, an X-factor lurks; people who know what is going on are none too happy about this and they are not keen on being raped and pillaged again. They are angry.

I am one of them.

Back now, ok?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Back on the Job

Wow it's only been two weeks that I've been back in SA and boy have I been rushing round. I managed to squeeze in a trip to Cape Town before starting work, and Cape Town rocks!

The job is more than interesting, it's also a rich source of new material. As I mentioned I want to take the blog into a new direction, but still retain the elemental focus of how to win a revolution and lose the plot.

Less French, more global, from a South African perspective though. When I get some more time I'll be able to fill in the gaps, but in the meantime read up on one of SA's more notorious gangsters:

So who is Stander anyway

OK Now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mayibuye iAfrika

The title of this post means "Return to Africa".

It is something I have done, and it is something that you must do too.

I have done that. After 5 years of living in europe I have returned to Africa, my home.

For me it is about change - I've left France to it's own devices and have begun picking up the threads of my life in Africa.

Not that I ever left Africa, it is just that I have been away for while. It is good to be back though, because everyone here has been getting along just fine, and I have not been missed... ok, I have been been missed, but what I mean to say is that things are rockin' here and through no fault of my own.

I left my home for the love of someone else, but now I have returned, and through this I have learnt many things, most important of which is summed up in the bumper sticker; Eat, drink and remarry!

Ha! OK That's just a joke - although I did actually see that sticker once - nevertheless, there is a lot to be done, and this here blog will be adapting over the next few months to take into account some upcoming radical changes... stay tuned!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Vat jou goed en trek *

* "Take your things and go (Ferreira)"

I've got my ticket booked, I am outta here, this place is on a one-way ticket to hell. Finis en klaar.

I really don't feel welcome in France anymore. I could stay and fight; but it's not my battle. I could help the troops here, but my place is back home. The restistance, for me, will be far stronger amongst my own people, who already know how to fight. Europe is already lost, as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, I'm leaving France with a sour taste, but hey, I've got far more important work to do elslewhere and it is time for me to leave.

Aluta Continua!

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Riotous Welcome

Last night 270 people were arrested across France, protesting against incoming President Sarkozy. Additionally, 367 cars were burnt out.

You have to hand it to the French for relativism though, because according to the TV news reports, that is apparently how many cars get torched on an average New Year's Eve.

What?!? Some people just crack open the champagne, others set fire to cars to show their joy and festive mood in France? That, at least, is what the TV presenters would have you believe.

Where else in the world do you have violent demonstrations when a new Prez is elected?

Ok, well lots of countries I suppose, but it's been a long time since I've seen so many people unhappy with an election result - and this is probably only just a foretaste. The cops were on standby last night, and I heard sirens well into the night. They knew that this was going to happen and they were prepared for it.

I am wondering what the cops are preparing for the rest of the year; Sarkozy has promised a lengthy Parliamentary session this summer to push through a bunch of bills in support of his right-wing agenda. Canny timing it will be, because protest movements tend to die down in the summer months as France goes on holiday en masse.

If Darkozy can win a majority in the Parliamentary Elections in June, he will have a clear run through to mid-september to push through as much legislation as he can before the country wakes up to the fact that they have been sold out and shipped up shit creek without a paddle.

That's the big IF at the moment - and even though a parliamnetary majority would make things easier for Darth Vader, a Socialist Parliament may not even be up to the task of preventing the Dark Overlord's nefarious plans.

What we can be sure of though, the next 5 years will see alot more things getting burnt out than just cars.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Adieu à la France

Well its official now, Sarkozy has been elected el Presidente of the French Republic with an estimated 52.7% of the vote.

The subtitle of this blog, "How to win a revolution and lose the plot" holds true for France today. The French have elected their first truly right right-wing President since they got rid of the aristocracy over 200 years ago. Its a sad day for humanity as the light has just gone out in France.

Will we ever learn?

The French have shunned their own history in favour of savage neo-liberal capitalism, fascist authoritarianism and the racist xenophobia of a fortress police state. If I wanted to live in a country under those terms I would have gone to live in the UK.

France has thrown away an historic opportunity to forge a new vision for humanity and instead has chosen to follow in the path of Reagan, Thatcher, Aznar, Berlusconi and Bush.

The next 5 years will be hell in France.

I for one, have lived under fascist nutjobs before and I no longer feel welcome in France. I'm not going to be watching it go down the tubes.

I'm packing my bags and leaving.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Digging in the City of Gold

As I’ve always said, “sometimes you just have to get away to know where you've been”, which made being back in Joburg only more interesting. The city is just more hectic than it has ever been.

The economy is booming; for instance there are 1000 new cars on the roads a day, making traffic even worse than ever before. Sadly lacking in decent public transport, Joburg’s main arteries are choked with a bad case of “car-lesterol”. It remains to be seen if the new high speed rail link, Gautrain, will be much of an antidote.

Another notable feature of the landscape is all the construction work that is going on; not only for the Gautrain, but new office blocks, housing developments and car dealerships are springing up like weeds after the rain. There is so much new construction going on that there is a shortage of cement.

Urban renewal is taking place in the centre of Jozi, with trendy loft apartments going for over a million Rand and pavement cafes have opened up in the city centre for the first time in years. I don’t think it will reverse the trend where Joburg has become a constellation of other mini-cities like Melrose Arch, Rosebank and Sandton, which is a symptom of the extent of the urban sprawl.

It is good that the centre of Joeys is going through a rebirth and it will hopefully become a friendlier place in the process. Unlike Sandton which, in all its post-modern architectural glorification of kitsch, still lacks any soul. It will always be a plastic interpretation of what urbanism means.

Overall though, there is a palpable sense of dynamism and energy in Joburg. Everyone I spoke to had a positive attitude, and there was a real sense of people getting on and doing things – a real breath of fresh air after having been in France for so long.

Battle Royale: Part Deux

On Sunday May 6th 2007, France will go to the Polls to elect a new President in the second round of voting. In all probability it will be the day that goes down in history as the last day of France as we know it.

Facing off are Nicolas Sarkozy, a brutish right-winger, versus Ségolène Royal an insipid pseudo left-winger. Sarko has been leading the Polls from the outset and much of the electoral campaign has been about as exciting as watching paint dry.

It is really with a growing sense of dread though, that it appears as though Sarko will take the cake on Sunday. The first round of voting on April 22nd saw Sarko take over 30% of the vote and it is highly unlikely that Sego is going to inspire enough warm feelings to mount a serious enough challenge to Sarko.

This is all truly scary. Our man Sarko is a truly nasty piece of work. Deceptively populist during the campaign period, France in all likelihood will wake up on Monday to a new regime governed by Nicolas Bonaparte, Emperor of all things French.

One of the dichotomies of French politics is that while everyone recognizes that French society needs a drastic overhaul, no one is willing to make the necessary sacrifices. Sarko is promising a raft of measures to bring about such an overhaul, and is pretty close to duping at least half the population into believing that he is the man for the job. It’s not that France doesn’t need to change; it’s that Sarko will bring about confrontation rather than cooperation.

That’s his political style and it’s unalterable.

While he has been spouting forth on many issues, with a turn of phrase that appears to win popular sentiment, I think many people are being deceived by a man who believes that one's destiny is determined by genetics at the age of four months, when they should be tested for delinquent traits. There is not enough blog space on the web to go into how bizarre and twisted many of his “ideas” really are.

In spite of what he says though, the lower and middle classes will end up paying not only more tax, but will be forced to cough up more for social, health and educational services. Sarko has no concrete plan to create jobs outside the service sector, and it is likely that wages will fall further behind inflation and that purchasing power will decrease as people chase after fewer low-wage jobs.

The thing that concerns me the most though, is that Sarko will actively seek out external confrontation to mask problems on the home front and rally people behind the flag.

Yes I do mean a la George Bush style, or perhaps even more to the point; Thatcher and the Falklands War.

Yes I do mean that the only real job creation under Sarko will be in the armed forces and gun factories. The only economic growth will be for the merchants of death and destruction. Like George or Maggie, he will pick on weaker enemies and spread the chaos around a bit. As Commander in Chief, this nutjob will also have his own personal nuclear trigger and that is truly frightening.

When people wake up though, and especially those who are duped into voting for Darth Vader, the predictable response will bring people out onto the streets and it is entirely possible that the French economy will actually contract during the wave of strikes and social unrest that is sure to follow the first Sarkozist moves towards neo-liberalization of the economic and political structure.

At the end of the day though, Sarko is a career politician whose sole ambition is seeking the top-dog job. He doesn’t give a damn about the French people or the real issues facing people in their everyday lives. If there is anyone he does care about, it’s his pals in the upper echelons of French society and the big corporate companies. Only the rich will benefit from Sarko, while the rest of France goes to hell in a hand basket.

Yeesh, talk about turkey’s voting for Christmas.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Gangster's Ghosts

Johannesburg, the over-grown mining camp it is, will always be a snake-pit. There's no two ways about it. Everyday I spend here is a struggle. I know Jozi like I know the back of my hand, and there is a part of me that loves it. And a part of me that hates it.

This is place where things happen, anything. And you have to be prepared for that. Life in the fastlane, lost in the mainframe.

Over the last week I've seen many ghosts, memory flashbacks mostly, but some real ghosts too. The ghosts are here for me to see plain as day. Most of them are benign, but the sharp edge of memory is real too.

Today I went back to where I used to live in Yeoville, at the top of the ridge, overlooking the city, thunderstorms sweeping the eastern skies, the sun bearing down on Hillbrow and the city centre illuminated by bright spotlights.

My struggle is that I know how life can be different; I know this place, it's hope and misery. At the end of the day though; there are only two kinds of people on the planet. Those who were born in Jozi, and those who weren't.

Acceptance. That'd be the keyword to it all. I don't think I can fight it much longer... I have to accept Jozi and how it has shaped me.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Live from Jozi

3 years. That's how long since I was last in Jozi, and how much I've realized that things can actually change in 3 years. My piece on Johannesburg was written a number of years ago when I was on the ground, before I decided to spend some time in fortress Europe. On a short scale of 3 years, the change in Jozi is far more pronounced than anything I've seen in the time I've spent in the stagnant pool known as Old Europe.

Jozi must rate as one of the most hectic places on planet earth, but the multiplier effect here is even more intense than most people realize. This is a deadly city that has not outgrown its mining camp origins, but rather embraced them and made them a way of life. This city should have a Surgeon General's warning like a packet of smokes: Jozi can serioulsy damage your mental and physical health, in a terminal way.

Crime and grime, pollution and prostitution, prosperity and poverty all go hand in hand in a mad dance around the roaring flames of a fire out of control. There is something here though, that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else, and that is a dynamism, a "can do" attitude that drives people, sometimes the wrong way, but generally towards something better.

How you find that is your choice. All I want to say is that I see something here that I don't see much anywhere else; living in Jozi presents you with life's starkest choices on a daily basis and where only the strong survive. Don't tolerate arseholes. Kick Back. It's hard. Deal with it.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Just a note...

... to say I'll be in Jozi for 2 weeks so my posting might be even more erratic than previously.

One thing that I must admit is that it will be a joy to get away from the wank-fest known as a "Presidential Election" here in France.

So hang-tight and stay tuned for my report from Jozi.


Yes I have been keeping quiet lately. Too much else to deal with, really.

That doesnt't mean that I haven't been watching what has been happening. But read my last post, Johannesburg, 'cos I wrote the substance of it over 10 years ago but I believe it still holds true. Yes I know it still needs more work to really make sense, but I will work on it until it does. In the meantime feel free to comment on it. Everything helps.

In the big picture today is no different anywhere esle on this planet- we must understand our her and his story - to understand where we are today.

All I ask is for us not to make the same mistakes twice.

Peace Now.