Monday, June 19, 2006

View From The Treetops (20 June '06)

30 Years Ago

30 years ago students in Soweto protested being forced to learn Afrikaans, the language of the oppressor – with fatal results.
30 years ago I was a teenager growing up in the suburbs of Durban ignorant of the events that were going on in my own country; ignorant of the lives being lost, Ignorant of what had gone before.
I was not to hear the name Nelson Mandela or the stories about Sophiatown, Sharpeville and Soweto until six or seven years later.
Ignorance is no excuse.


Pattern Recognition

Illustration from Context Weblog

Propaganda + Science Fiction = Thought Control?


More shouting in The Vacuum

Qadura Camp

Far off I hear the sound of John Pilger trying to be heard on Palestine.


The Jacket

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie this good.

Screenplay by Massy Tadjedin
Directed by John Maybury
Stars: Adrien Brody; Keira Knightley; Kris Kristofferson; Jennifer Jason Leigh
Score by Brian Eno
Filmed in Canada & Scotland


meekon5 said...

On the Movie "the Jacket".
Though I did enjoy this film I was a little disappointed by the ending. I personally would have let him die at the end, instead of the "everything works out for the best" ending that seemed badly sewn on as an after thought. But then that's just my opinion.

Pisces Iscariot said...

I would normally agree on this point Meekon5 - perhaps I was in need of a little optimism at the time i watched the movie.
Any time travel story is stuck in one of two premises:
1. Pessimism: You cannot change the present by changing the past; it has already happened. Or
2. Optimism: by changing the past you create an alternate future.
12 Monkeys used No.1
The Jacket uses No.2

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Pisces Movie Critique Page!

Now, I'm going to have to rent it because you like it and recommend it, so it must be pretty good. I liked 12 Monkeys, is this in the same vein then?

Also, as a teen, even if you had known the goings on, what could you have done? Just because citizens are aware of impropriety, corruption, and scandal, doesn't necessarily mean that we can do anything. I try to hold onto the tenet of "Vote Your Conscience", and the let the pieces fall where they may. Lord, help us all.

RC said...

i really haven't heard many people talk about the jacket...adrian brody is an excellent actor though...

perhaps i should check it out.

--rC of

jams o donnell said...

Thanks for the heads up Pisces I will put the Jacket on my rental list.

You shouldn't beat yourself up over not being aware of events at Soweto when you were a young teenager. If the South African media didn't cover Soweto as it should have done and the subject was not being discussed around you then it would not have had an effect on you. When you did find out the truth I am sure it had a profound effect on your outlook.

Redwine said...

With this logic, Pisces, Iraqi teens are responsible of the invasion and occupation? I don;'t know much about South Africa. I know it was an extremely repressive regime. WE do know about the media in such countries, don't we? Come on...

Pisces Iscariot said...

White South Africans were in general complicit in upholding the system. I was perhaps being a little flippant in my post but the facts remain and the evidence was right there in front of us.
No white South African can honestly deny knowledge of the inequality and injustice.

Redwine said...

You were a teen. To what extent are the victims of a system upholding the system?

mullet said...

I agree with jams o donnell & redwine. White South African kids were brainwashed very early on. We can't be held responsible as kids for the way in which we're socialised. What counts is that you came to see the light.

Tim Footman said...

I remember when the South African athlete Zola Budd managed to snag a UK passport, in order to run in the LA Olympics. When she was asked for her views on apartheid, she said she knew nothing about politics. When it was pointed out that she was about to study political science at university, the press conference drew to a rapid close.

Then she got tangled up with Mary Decker and finished about seventh.

Hee hee.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Tim's Zola Budd story gets closest to how it was.
Yes, the young are excused since they take the example of their elders/teachers etc. But that sort of 'brainwashing' or 'saturation propaganda' only works on the adult who prefers not to see what is in front of them. Believe me I know how hard it is to go against the grain. Most white South Africans lived in fear of 'the blecks and bleddy communists taking over'.
Refer to the general opinions of US citizens today - you will find strong parallels to South Africa in the '70 & '80.

mullet said...

The Arabs, the Arabs are under the bed?

Anomie-Atlanta said...

Pattern Recognition is one of the best books I have read. I am glad more people are starting to recognize it.