26 February 2010

A Short Second Chapter

Street vibes in LDN


I love blogging. It’s a whole another way of writing; at times taking risks and another times just saying not much. Hopefully also, at least occasionally making some sense. Sometimes I write and read and redraft fair few times until what I’ve written is exactly what I want to say and there are other times when the text comes out and matters are left a bit half thought.

So, here’s a short list of additional notes to what I wrote about Media and Cape Town Hip Hop.

· In all fairness, I am not in the target audience of the Live on SABC 1 – so I am not criticising it because I don’t like it, but because I feel it fails in what it is supposed to do; and seemingly that failure is tied into some geographical locations. Cape Town is nearly never really featured. 

· Not all Cape Town artists would fit into the mainstream media with their, in my opinion, advanced ability to experiment with sounds and other aesthetics. Maybe the lack of possibilities offered by media in South Africa enables them to not worry about it – I don’t know, but I’d never expect to hear much of Ben Sharpa on a hit driven radio playlist. He’s far too cool artist for that, and his market doesn’t embrace that station anyway. I doubt they would even if Hegemony started vibrating the speakers.

· Not all the Cape Town artists do the right thing to be found by the national media. And that’s a tough job to get through to them anyway. Artistic skills are not always accompanied with career management skills. This is why it’s good to find collaborations with people who can do these things with –people you trust. I wrote about this ages ago when I was still doing my show and some ‘rap star’ did a no-show to an arranged interview with no apologies. Incidentally that happened nearly every time I tried to do an interview, so I for one am not uncritical about the artists. When I am critical of the media, don’t think I find the artists purely as victims of it. But look at someone like Ill-Skillz; how hard are they pushing to make it? Very hard, it seems. I don’t expect every artist to have that drive in them. 

· Not all Jozi based artists have it easy – it is obvious, but needs to be emphasised. Also, I am sure many artists from, say, Queenstown or Polokwane are looking jealously at the opportunities that their Cape Town peers have.

All in all, it’s not a situation of confrontation. There is a Jozi based rap oligarchy (which country doesn’t have that), and the commercial media treats it like it makes business sense to them; sometimes its cause can overlap with the interest of the artists, but it shouldn’t be confused as its motive. The Public Broadcaster and community sector, however, have a different mandate, and that is one of the key ideas here.

The shift, that must take place in attitudes of the artists, is to forget the music industry as it has been and learn how you can have your small business in that context. That is, should you want it to happen. Art is still art and it can exist without financial definition. So it’s also important to know what it is that you do and why – are you an artist or a business person, or most probably, something in between? I have started a blog post about this idea some time ago, and soon I might finish it. It is to bridge these ideas as I see them, but I am not sure when I have time. It’s another blogging thing, you know.

21 February 2010

Media vs. Cape Town Hip Hop: a few thoughts.

Nthabi 3
Photo: admittedly not excatly fitting to the story, but if you don't know why, then let's say it fits perfectly.

The complains are coming in. Not to me, I just see them everywhere. Hype Magazine – the self-proclaimed South African Number 1. Hip Hop magazine had the awards and who won and who didn’t? Did Capetonians win anything? I don’t even know. All I know is this; we must stop assuming corporate media to be representative for any culture. That goes for Hip Hop as much as, I don’t know, Country Western.

Hype Magazine is published by a South African publisher called Panorama. They also publish other magazines like Catslife, Animaltalk and South African Dog Directory (if anyone, animal lovers should have high expectations not Hip Hop heads). I haven’t checked, but I bet one of my kidneys that the business plan of this company doesn’t have a bit that goes “..to ‘keep it real’ with regards to the culture of Hip Hop and its practitioners”.

They are not into Hip Hop – they are into money. That is simply because they are a business and not a non-profit organisation.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not here having a go at them. I have no reason. I think that it’s just important that we all know that commercial media doesn’t really work for any other but commercial reasons – hence we call it commercial. It’s part of the kind of mixed economy most of us live in.

The same goes to a lot of broadcast media as well, although there should be more opportunities here as the SABC is the biggest broadcaster and they do have a mandate to serve the people. They do that as well, just not, at least arguably, all the people. And it’d be big job to serve everyone anyway in practice.

There are platforms within SABC that from a Capetonian Hip Hop fans perspective are failing us – Live on Friday night on SABC1 seemingly have forgotten the idea that music journalists (I use the term very loosely) could do some research as well. Some people know this already, but I am against my own will addicted to Live, so I am rather aware of what happens there and who gets air time, and it’s the most obvious Jozi nationalistic back patting of beer buddies with occasional Durbanites joining the senseless apparent “good time”.

I don’t know, because I don’t listen to it much, but as far as I’m informed Metro FM hardly is a platform either. I think I’d know if it was because I am connected to many artists in Facebook and Twitter so I generally get to know instantly what goes on for them.

I have always though that community media and especially radio should be used as a platform more efficiently. As a former community radio specialist music DJ, I think this is where the station and the scene equally fails to make almost anything happen. These stations actually have a mandate to serve you and they are places to start from.

Get organised, learn what their promise to you is (regulator ICASA fails us in this regard as they at the time of writing don’t have any records to display, even though they should), get to know how does the playlist work or is there one (or how else to get on some rotation). Remember that it’s not just specialist programmes that are supposed to play your music, but even the prime time. It’d be an interesting small content analysis to listen to shows that are supposed to play music with no specific agenda, and how much of that is local (most, is the promise) and how much of it is Rihanna and whoever else there are on the charts these days. These stations are often also training stations so the music might be selected by some teenager who doesn’t know much about the licence or the stations music policy, should there be one. There is a big chance that your song is not played, because someone rather plays the song that reminds them of last weekend’s wicked party (do people still say wicked?), and local musicianship weights almost as much as what’s the artist’s mother’s maiden name.

Don’t approach these stations as they must play your song or owe you something (although, they kind of do), but rather that you should have an opportunity to get your track played. That of course means that you’ve done your homework and made sure that it is playable. That means that the audio quality is decent, there is no swearing (this seems to be tricky thing to remember for artists), and that your CD or whatever format you use – and do find out what you should use – is properly tagged. In my time I remember seeing bare CDs with such graffiti-like unreadable scribbles that I didn’t even listen to the tracks. Like said, these are training stations for their staff (and theoretically) for the community, so use them as training stations for yourself; how to get your song played and how to give a good interview, do a freestyle in a Hip Hop show and things like that.

But hustle all you can and there’s no guarantee. It’s shame, but things in practice are never like they are in theory. How does Cape Town Hip Hop then get up from the ditch of national, or even local media blackout, being the underdog in the city to begin with? When they say, don’t hate the media, become the media, how does that happen?

I thought I could throw in a few thoughts even if no one would hear them or like them. To me it’s nearly all the same, because no matter what happens I am not going to eat from this. Probably not many will but if something, Cape Town has always had culture, and no one can deny this. Regardless of what the big labels and their propaganda says music is culture as well, not just business. Sometimes it takes honing the culture to find the business, not just trying to make money and using the culture as a get rich quick scheme. One thing to remember, and this is where Cape Town is at its strongest is the international reach. I doubt that from any other city in South Africa do the artist go overseas so regularly. That’s great, but not my focus here.

So what could be done? Cape Town scene seems rather fragmented as I check it from its outskirts (I, by the way, claim no authority in this or Cape Town Hip Hop or Hip Hop in general). What did the Durban Kwaito and House do so successfully – they claimed in their T-shirts and other merchandise in a unified front that it indeed is a fact that Durban rocks. That’s a great slogan in my books, but what they realised about the national media is that using their city as a brand, made it easier for the artists from that city to get recognised – for it to become a cool thing.

Where the traditional media fails the new media offers many solutions. Before I get more into this it’s worth mentioning that I am aware of the digital divide. In South Africa it means that many people don’t have access to the Internet on computer; mobile phones are a whole different ball game though. In traditional media, you have to be ‘big’ enough. At least it’d be helpful. You would have to generate a certain level of interest, but online, there’s no lack of space and the content can be more specialised. The geographical limitations disappear so you can become (potentially at least) global. From MySpace, to Facebook and Twitter you can contact people who are in your position in other countries and collaborate (which I think people should really do a lot more). There could, if someone would do it, be a sort of Cape Town blog where people could contribute and avail their music as free downloads to create some buzz. Do you know how many people around the world Google every day ‘hip hop from Africa’? I don’t, but I suspect many.

If there is spirit of coming together to do something that aims to improve everyone’s chances online, in a form of a small journal or a blog, then it’d be easy to make it printable nice package and copy it to be distributed on gigs and other places to people who wouldn’t see it electronically. Something to introduce artists, when are the gigs and what’s on its way otherwise. I am sure someone works in some office where they can sneak a few copies when no one’s watching.

Maybe a video platform like UK’s Grime Daily? It’s doing big things there, and I for one enjoy it tremendously. I do know that uploading and even watching online video in South Africa is effortful, but maybe there's something else that one could extract from the idea that would be more fitting here.

And offline, people spend a lot of time in taxis. I used to as well when I travelled from Wynberg to Salt River on that Main Road chaos every morning and afternoon for some time. In taxis the music is loud and it is what it is… so burn a CDs of your music and give them for free to taxi drivers at the rank. Maybe they’ll put it on, maybe not, but blank CDs aren’t that pricy that it’d be worthless experiment. Taxi drivers are the offline equivalent of music bloggers, with the exception that they actually, for better or worse, force their travellers to hear (even if not to listen) the music of their selection.

Some ideas might work better for others and some maybe don’t even work at all – I don’t know. I thought about throwing the idea there out in the open since I keep on seeing people frustrated about the media. To paraphrase Gandhi we must be the media that we want to see in the world.

19 February 2010

Minor Addition to Something Old

Some not so long time ago I was writing how I find it to be a bit rich for the DVD's to have so much stuff before the actual thing I have paid for. You know, trailers, adverts, all kinds of so called anti-piracy PSAs on so forth. Now, yestreday I spotted a nice visualisation for this excact thing making its rounds in Twitter. Who's done it - I don't know - so it's hard for me to credit the right person, but I got it by following the writer behind some great comedy such as my all time favourite Father Ted and also IT Crowd, Graham Linehan aka @Glinner. He hasn't made it, I think, but let's give general Friday props for his work nonetheless.

Piracy

I must say, as a sort of a disclaimer, that I don't advocate the use of the term "piracy", and using it certainly adds to the problem more than anything. I don't particularly advocate the practice that the term is used to describe, but we are all adults and must do what we do. I think the main problem is the copyright at this point and I wish the people in position to do so, could see that changing the law could really make the zeitgeist less confrontational and help everyone. 

Other than that, it's happy weekend.

18 February 2010

Creative Commons to Help Community Radio

Intellectual property


Where does the broadcast media content end up after it has been on-air? It’s a valid question. If the content is good enough, maybe it’ll end up in Youtube or elsewhere online – generally as a copyright infringement – and occasionally it can be rebroadcasted. Most of the time however, it’ll probably just die a quiet death and become forgotten in some archive somewhere.

Its owner doesn’t do much, because its owner didn’t probably produce it, and the producer ceased to own it – its copyrights – as soon as he/she signed the contract to get it on-air. That’s just life; a standard practice.

Copyright law is a peculiar thing. It’s that for many reasons, but one of them is that it’s the type of regulation that is supposedly based on the ideals that the contracts that get written and signed usually get around without much questioning. That means that a copyright is supposed to be an incentive for creativity, but it is probably owned by someone who didn’t really create the text; a record company, publisher or broadcaster.

I am mainly interested in radio broadcasting here in South Africa. I have previously covered some similar ideas, but I thought I should fit them here on the blog as well.

……………

I have been one of those people – a producer digging into content, doing the foot work and pondering over an angle, then signed away my rights to SABC, because one has got to eat, heard the content once in radio and then that’s it. The Public Broadcaster who owns the copyrights keeps on owning the content and in all likelihood none of us will ever hear it again. Of course I’ve got the original material, but I don’t have the right to even put it on this blog legally. Not to even mention to give it to non-profit community radios should they want to broadcast it for free.

That’s what should be improved and Creative Commons licensing could do it. And here’s how.

Creative Commons licensing is a different way to see copyrights. It’s a copyright, only a bit more flexible. It allows the content to be used on conditions that can be determined, or at least selected from the options by the owner. It’s hardly revolutionary stuff; more revisionist, but it certainly is an improvement to the legislation that almost wherever in the world you are, gets to be decided by the US lawmakers while being advised by the lobbies of the entertainment and media corporations.

The contract the Public Broadcaster offers has a standard clause that basically snatches the rights from the producer. Why that is, is not immediately clear to me. I understand that they pay for it (although as far as radio content goes very modestly), but is there an intention to re-use the material? I don’t know. I haven’t asked them and they would be the only people to say is the clause there for a reason, is it there because it might as well, or has it been forgotten there because no one has ever asked why it is there. But most importantly; does it have to be there?

What the clause could say, for instance, is that the Public Broadcaster gets onetime only rights, after which the content would be automatically, or at least optionally licensed with one of the Creative Commons licences. That would mean that instead of no one ever hearing it again, it could get a new life on community sector or even in the blogosphere potentially strenghtening the civil society and public discourse.

This way the non-profit media sector would benefit by getting, with time, a bank of locally produced audio content, to which it could add by doing the same; licensing with Creative Commons and availing the content from their own stations for others to use. For the producers it would not mean a direct additional income, but if you have been paid once, isn’t it better that people who didn’t catch your feature, documentary or what was it you did, had another chance? A bigger audience could mean that someone who does want to pay you, heard you and found you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that, but a CD stacked in the proverbial basement of SABC on its own definitely won’t.

Another useful addition that would probably go against the initial instinct of a few, would be to use some TV content as audio only versions in the non-profit media sector. I was watching my favourite current affairs documentary TV series, Cutting Edge, and closed my eyes; this stuff doesn’t really need images. Or at least, it’d work without them as well.

Using the modified audio track for the purposes of community media, would be great in my books. Especially since, as far as I know, the TV producers get an actual budget so of course it will (at least theoretically) show in their content as well, and for them either, this wouldn’t mean any loss of income, but a larger audience.

Part of the whole concept of Creative Commons is remixing. That means that other people, like other community radio producers, could take bits and pieces from features and use them in their own ones. This is an optional aspect of the licences and it automatically requires the new producer to keep on similarly allowing the next people to remix their content. To me it strikes like a great possibility to add the community specific twist to various stories.

So, should someone be able to lobby the change in contracts and attitudes that would be it?

Yes, that would be a good start for it. It would create a fertile ground where this kind of system could be tried out. Of course it needs more as well. Practicalities. It would need some, I’d say a person, but for the sake of not sounding naively unrealistic let’s say people who could set up a system and an infrastructure. That means some money is needed, but on the larger scale, I doubt it’d be impossible. Much of the content could be stored online and knowing the South African internet connection in the lightest broadcastable mp3 quality. Additionally, for the stations that couldn’t access Internet, CD:s could be sent on mail. All in all, not a very heavy operation.

Would it work? It depends, is the answer to that. Would the change in the contract be possible? Would the sector embrace this? Would there be money and will to keep it up because without sustainability it would be just a massive waste of efforts? I can’t answer these questions, but taking this back to the community level – to the actual level of the real people who, even only potentially, listen to community radio – at least there would be more current pre-packaged relevant quality local material. Right now I keep on hearing my wife’s interviews on-air on our local community station, and she hasn’t been working for it in a good few years, and that’s the locally produced content. Of course we also have the documentaries done by some European journalist who came here for two weeks and now is telling how it felt. Somehow I just don’t feel that it’s the best that can be. It’s understood that stations can lack money and other resources, there can be skill shortages and many obstacles, and no station should be solely leaning on this kind of material, but what it could do, is help to make the gap between what community radio is in theory and in practice a little narrower.

16 February 2010

I wonder

“That place has been theirs for 300 years – I mean before ANYONE even arrived here”. In Twitter one would just mark this #OH – overheard. This was what I heard today being back at the UCT campus. Just a reminder of the world view ever so dominant near that Rhodes memorial.

You can’t really explain South Africa, you’ve got to experience it even to have a go at understanding it. Right now I am thinking about a nice non-alienating way to describe how the formats aren’t very clear in South African radio as the divisions are more racialiced. In other words you don't listen to rock radio, you listen to white radio and so on. Actually, for many stations it would be difficult to allocate a format as they are known in Europe and North America at all.

There was also another event that was too awkward to get into now. All I say is this; it was a coincidence that just half an hour earlier I had told my three year old how the way he was imitating certain language was culturally insensitive – even easily offensive. Then it was like BANG! and almost the same thing took place in a class as a part of a journalism excercise. It's just a very different set of values.

These are true stories of the not so post-racial world we live in from the country they call the Rainbow Nation. None of them older than five hours.

Sometimes I wonder what am I still doing here.

14 February 2010

Allergic to Apple

Shift?

Well, here’s a confession – something that makes the kid on the schoolyard with wrong kind of shoes, unfashionable haircut and unfortunate specks to feel cool in comparison. Something to get people to unfollow me on Twitter – even to block – and report my emails as spam.

Unlike, in all probability, that schoolyard outcast I have never owned an Apple product.

It’s true, no iPhone, none of them MacBooks, Pro or otherwise, not even an iPod. And I have had mp3 player for almost as long as they’ve been around, I’ve gone through few PC:s and of course several mobile phones (it’s my generation in Finland that were the guinea pigs of SMS texting – even ABC’s 60 minutes came to film how mad we were I guess in the mid- to late 90's).

But my friend – I have never had an Apple Mac product.

I have used them and I am very keen on upgrading my computer, next time when that needs to happen, into a Mac. But I don't wish it's too soon. Mainly for financial reasons, but still. I like their products as far as I know them and in principle I am all for them. So I am not, as the rap peoples say, hating.

I once almost bought an iPod a few years ago, but due to its poor battery life which was in conflict with my battery needs, I went for a Sony mp3 player. It’s rubbish, to tell you the truth. It gets constantly stuck and crashes and they’ve even discontinued making the software to use it with which was a disaster for as long as it lasted. It has got a horrible screen that you can’t see anything from if there’s one ray of sun anywhere near. It’s all around rather poor device, but what it has got is a battery that doesn’t die in the middle of my day. Even now, that it’s four years old.


But why have I never bought one of these beautifully, both aesthetically and technically designed machines with so many fans and great reviews everywhere? Some of my best friends use and love Macs and certainly many people I look up to. Even when they were advertised in UK by my favourite comedy duo, why did I not get one of these small bits of heaven that would have instantly upgraded me into a whole different class – a Mac user?

To be frank – I am scared. I am scared of two things: the Mac users themselves and then the Macs that they use.

I believe that nothing is perfect and to think something is, is to ask for a massive disappointment. And I am not asking for anything perfect. Just something good. But I don’t feel that I hear sufficiently bad reviews of Apple products (set aside the battery life and expensive price). Not that I actively look for bad reviews but their distinct lack doesn’t convince me that the machines are flawless, but rather, that saying something bad would be treated like blasphemy; like if someone was openly saying that they find Radiohead’s music boring and incoherent (I do – didn’t I mention Radiohead in my previous post as well. Am I obsessed by them?).

When I buy a PC, and like I said, I’d rather not anymore, I know what I am in for. I make a conscious decision knowing the pros and the cons. With Mac I only ever hear their triumphs. I’d love to have one, but I am also scared that when it happens that I do, I’ll feel like a child being told that Father Christmas doesn’t exist. Having said that, maybe that is exactly what needs to happen.


It’s a shame. I am irritated by the hype and religious discourse around Apple (a Mac user would deny this, of course, by just saying that they actually are just flawless products), but not the machines themselves. Maybe the day I get some of their kit, I’ll just put a Public Enemy sticker on top of their logo, and throw the white headphones - which I guess no longer are their monopoly - to the woods. Even if you can have my money, you’ll never get my soul.

I must say though; as far as computers go, it’s not the Apple that would make me want an Apple, but the PC. Please someone, tell me what the hell is wrong with Apple so I can think of getting one.

11 February 2010

Two Presidents

Ship wreck on Robben Island
A view from the Robben Island. It's here - I assume - that Nelson Mandela amongst so many other political prisoners was looking towards the liberals of Cape Town.

20 years. It’s a long time. Of course not as long time as Nelson Mandela was in prison, but today is the 20th anniversary for him not to be locked up for his views. Today is also the day that Iziko Slave Lodge Museum in Cape Town starts an exhibition on the good man and also, if that’s not enough like the infomercials taught us, there’s a Free at Last film festival taking place in the city as well. So Jacob Zuma wasn’t the only nation’s President who got this town in heat today. And from the experience of last few hours; his speech is really doing a number on us. Why are the leaders so scared of their people anyway and why are the policemen – and this seems to be rather universal problem – so incredibly rude when on duty?

And all this happens in Cape Town. To me it’s ironic because it is by far the most racist city where I’ve ever stepped my foot in (I’ve never been to Bloemfontein, but this is hardly something that changes the facts as they are). Capetonians are great at selecting the history. I wrote earlier in Twitter the summary of how I see the whole situation actually:

Surely without the efforts of white SA Mandela would've never got out of prison... oh, wait, or was it that he was there because of them.


But Mandela is my hero. One of them. I am only one of his many fans. I’ve done nothing for him either (although that also means nothing against him). I am just impressed. I am also inclined to think that one should not try to force this saintly air around him because he also is just a man. He was an angry man at that; the one who made things happen and lead his people. Fair play to him rocking up dressed in traditional gear into the trial sentencing him into prison. The ever smiling elder is a sum of some serious hardships. Things he shared with so many. Many still share them. I don’t think anyone would’ve done better than him. It's very humbling altogether.

Today I am not participating in any collective feel good exercise of pseudo-liberals, but I thank his, as much as the ones of my wife and son, ancestors – Aah! Madiba, Sopitsho, Ngqolomsila, Yem-yem, Vela Bambentsele, Zondwa Zintshaba Zingazumenzanto…

Or maybe I must leave it to professionals.

Listen Now:










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Praise singing by Imbongi Bulelani Zantsi for inkokhelo.com

6 February 2010

Linkage


A recent photo from my flickr - I married her so well done me.

It’s easy to complain. I have decided to start paying more focused attention to goodness and quality, instead of the negativity that much like an avalanche leaves little left of us after forcing its way through our space.


So here, all this is recommended by me if it means anything. If not, at least don’t hold it against these things.

Check the Grime Daily video from one of my favourite lyricist out there, Lowkey showing us how to do Grime. He’s not a Grime artists as such, but the differentiation between Grime and Hip-Hop is anyway often self-referential, more than aesthetic, although I may be wrong here. There are songs and artists that are easy to connect to one genre or the other, but the grey area is broad.

But who needs to be pigeon holed, labelled and boxed?


Another brilliant artists Mystro made a cool 2009 UK Rap Up track. Some things to remember the year by. While, as the name also suggests, it is UK focused, it's a cool track whether you know what he's on about or not. Download it for free (it's legal my friend), or have a listen from Youtube. The reason why I am a bit late with this thing - it being February 2010 already - is actually my Social Medialess January experiment.

If you sign up for the Pioneer Unit newsletter, you'll get an unreleased Ben Sharpa track as a reward. If rewards are needed. The track is Out of This World Remix. If you don't know what Pioneer Unit is, find out and pretend you always knew.

Lastly, a song from the newly re-designed Looptroop blog, which I thought was pretty cool as well. Here's Invisible Footprints.

Happy weekend.

And I Quote

No More

I always feel like such a pretentious elitist when I say I am reading Chomsky. I like Chomsky and his books. He’s certainly the most knowledgable and one of the most encaging writers, but most of all thinkers there are, and that exactly is the reason why I feel like mentioning it publicly is a bit of intellectual masturbation exercise; a kind of self-congratulatory thing all around. Talking about reading his book makes me feel judged; surely people think I read him because it’s fashionable (in certain circles to say the least) and that I am reading Chomsky himself, and not what he writes. To be seen reading him rather than to just read him. Basically exactly what I think about 95% the Radiohead fans, but let’s not digress any further. This has already been a quite disclaimer to start with.

I don’t usually do this, but there’s a paragraph worth quoting (well, many, but let’s stick to this one) in Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival. I am taking it out of its context and presenting it on its own right. It’s a powerful bit about the apartheid South Africa and one of its specific impacts that is even less talked about than the internal terror, but also for everyone who thinks that Ronald Reagan was great. Well, I am almost definitely sure that if you are the kind of person who thinks he was great, you won’t read Chomsky’s book, you wouldn’t be convinced by the argument he offers, but even less likely will you be visiting my blog to read this. It’s fine. I don’t hold it against you (only the fact that you think Ray Gun was great).


…during the Reagan years Washington’s South African ally had primary responsibility for more than 1.5 million dead and $60 billion in damage in the newly liberated Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique. A UNICEF study estimated a death toll of 850,000 infants and young children in these two countries – 150,000 in 1988 alone, reversing gains of the early post-independence years primarily through the weapon of “mass terrorism.” That is putting aside South Africa’s practices within its own borders, where it was defending civilization against the onslaughts of Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress, one of the “more notorious terrorist groups,” according to a 1988 Pentagon report. Meanwhile the Reaganites evaded sanctions, increased trade, and provided valuable diplomatic support for South Africa.


F.W. de Klerk who since has been focusing on walking around like a humanitarian or the man who out of the goodness of his heart ended the apartheid; a notion supported by his shared Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela, was a Government Minister at the time. In his job as a Minister of National Education he was opposing the integration in the educational sector, definitely not standing against any of these atrocities mentioned earlier.

History is a funny thing in a sort of depressing way. Unless, of course, you manage to emotionally detach yourself from it. These are the people that many history books are trying to crowbar in on the heroic section. Well they, whoever they are, can say and write what they want - just like I do - but it is our own personal decision who and what we believe. If anybody as such. Even Chomsky.


Quote from:
Chomsky, N. (2003) Hegemony or Survival. London: Penguin.

Supporting e-book with expanded endnotes available from the American Empire Project website.