28 February 2011

Rest in Peace Olof Palme

Olof Palme

Prime Minister of Sweden, Olof Palme, was assasinated today 25 years ago. The murderer was never found and the whole investigation become a bit of a mess. I recently read his biography and he is certainly worth a bit of a look. At least a bit. I am not writing at lenght here, but Palme was great friend of African liberation in general and South African in particular. He for instance organised healthcare for his sick friend O R Tambo for free in Sweden and was actually murdered only days after opening the Swedish People's Parliament Againts Apartheid and a link between the two incidents have been mentioned frequently, and not just in my head, but it seems unlikely after all that this action would have, at least on its own, be the motive. Then again, they never figured it out so who knows.

Here's a PDF I came across talking shortly about his relationship with South Africa.

Here's a few YouTube clips with Palme himself interviewed by David Frost.

27 February 2011

Understanding Tolerance

Tolerance seems to be offered as a standard answer to almost everything these days. Our circumstances have changed dramatically with globalisation; you can’t just have the  convenient goods going about, but must also tolerate the people to cross the borders. How frustrating. They come to your area with their ways and now you must tolerate them.

No you don’t. Tolerance is not the solution. Tolerance creates hateful reactions in the long run.

Of course everyone all the time tolerate something. Some men stereotypically struggle to tolerate their mother in law and equally clichĂ©d women find it difficult to tolerate their man’s friends who seemingly are more trouble than worth. A few generalised stereotypes to underline the frustration tolerance tends to involve. Tolerating things, as we all do everyday, leaves us feeling that we have to accommodate everything; that we’re the ones always having to compromise. It’s very typical for the tolerance to always feel like something I do, or we do, but the ones we are tolerating rest on their laurels waiting to be tolerated some more. No, they are also tolerating – compromising like that’s the meaning of life – unless we are very lucky and they are trying to understand. But the understanding of one side does little; if the other is still trying to tolerate they will sooner or later run out of this ‘good will’. After all toleration means how much we can endure something and the feelings that come with all this confuse the matter further. They make us feel like we are definitely losing out in whatever exchange is at hand. But feelings and reason are not the same thing. Therefore it is true that you feel that way, but not necessarily the supposition that you are actually losing out and that is why it is sometimes more important to address the feeling than the non-existing fact. It’s about being able to understand, or try at least.

So understanding is the better way. We must try to understand things without judgement if we can. If we can’t we are probably at best tolerating them. Understanding can vary from being able to relate to, imagine how to relate to (moral imagination) or just understanding that we cannot understand. It’s good to have the confidence to say, no, I don’t know how you feel and even if I do, I don’t know why. The sincere non-judgemental understanding is like thoroughly cleaning the house where as tolerance is hiding the dirty spoons and plates under the carpet and deciding to never again look into that one corner of the flat where the take away leftovers were left two weeks ago.

All this leaves still the worst options out there – to think that you understand when you don’t. As they say, fool thinks he knows. These ones tend to rank even below tolerating together with the ones who don't care about understanding or tolerating, but the point is, unlike many even quite progressive people think, tolerance is not a long term solution.

Things tolerated will always pop up eventually. Have a fall out with someone (don’t really; at least not on purpose) and find out what are the things that upset you most about them. The things that you never forgave, but only tolerated. Those are the things that you never understood or made peace with. Now that you are not trying to tolerate them anymore you see them pretty clearly. On the other hand there can be, rationally thinking, seemingly much worse things that happened, but those are fine, because you understood them. Or you understood that you can’t understand, but that there were circumstances. If you have ever experienced this, you might have an idea what I mean.

So the endless emphasis on cultural tolerance is a wrong way ticket. It is not simply semantics, but a real concern of meanings; what do we need to do? To understand or tolerate? My opinion is obvious at this point. And all this is not just about the coming together of cultures, but people in general. Any people. Because everyone already feels like they are compromising, not just you alone.

25 February 2011

Of Animals and People

Yesterday, I don’t know why, I was reminded of an indecent from a few years ago. To be precise it was August in 2006 and I was in Cape Town. I was staying at my friend who had put me up a few times before and she had a party she had to reluctantly attend somewhere in Long Street; the central stretch of Cape Town nightlife. She asked me to accompany her and I, also then reluctantly agreed. Reluctantly because I didn’t know these people and I am not peoples’ person on top of the fact that I was hardly on a party mood. So insignificant the party was, that I can’t even remember the venue (perhaps somewhere upstairs near the Mojitos?). But my story today is based on the fact that my friend loves animals. As grateful as I always was savings a lot of money in accommodation and as much as I enjoyed the company of people in this case, I never really enjoyed the company of the animals. at her place. I just don’t like animals very much. And I say this as someone who really doesn’t want to have much to do with them – I don’t want to wash them, walk them or eat them. Occasionally I have some leather in my shoes though, but that’s about it. I am far removed from the realities of animals and to be honest with you, and I don’t want to sound harsh, but there really are more important things to me than what are our four or so legged so called friends. 

But I am not writing to incite a flame war between me and the animal kingdom which I am also part of, of course. I am telling a small story. My friend had a new dog at the time and that dog always ended up causing a certain disturbance if left alone. Apparently the poor fella was scared and I am prepared to accept that. My friend had to take this young, in my mind, hardly the pride of its species or in general with us to be left in a car. Already attending the evening reluctantly, my indifference at this point was not measurable with any existing scale should one exist. 

So the plan was for the dog to relax in the car having eaten and being taken care off. And it did. But when we came back after a short while, need I remind that neither of us wanted to be there, there was some angry man patrolling next to our car. With great upset he cursed us, the animal hating torturers and cold hearted monsters. The dog was upset, fine, but gathering all my energy to display any interest it appeared to me that it was more scared of the stranger pushing his face to the window and shouting than anything else. The man in fury promised to snitch us to the animal authorities and subsequently land us if not in prison at least in major trouble. It all was merely funny at this point, because I know my friend looked after this animal very well. We drove off up towards the Buitengracht Street  the man still behind us waving his fist in anger and then, the first thing next to us was a young boy child, perhaps seven or eight years, by himself in dirty clothes late at night begging for money or food. I am sure I don’t have to tell you what were the ethnic backgrounds of the man or the boy; this is South Africa after all, but all those years ago, at that moment, the indifference that had characterised my whole evening turned into  an overwhelming sadness and an anger of my own. The raving animal right man had been patrolling for some time here in anger about a dog, whose life was, and surely still is, very comfortable, right next to a human being who had nothing and was just a child, and who might now, after five years not even have that left. 

That is how removed people are from the suffering of others. Especially, the others who don’t look like us. It’s all very text book Cape Town and South Africa in general, but not just them. This applies to all of us as people. We lack moral imagination. We claim we can put ourselves in the shoes of others less fortunate, but we can’t. Of course we really can’t if we’ve never been there, but we think we care. Sure, we want the problems of the ‘underprivileged’ to be ideally solved, but not if it means any change for us ‘overprivileged’. I am afraid what we want as a solution is unrealistic; it is a political, social and logical cul-de-sac. That is why it can only be a moral cul-de-sac as well.

Retrospect

That beach

I rarely say this, but I am actually pretty happy with life. It’s improved a lot really since we moved from South Africa to Finland. South Africa is a beutiful but scarred young country, and as much as I love it, and consider it as my second home country, it wasn’t really working out for us in many ways; it brought about a lot of frustration and that generally is not what good things tend to come from. There are still some things that aren’t quite finalised from that period and whenever I need to address them, like even now, I should write an angry email to my old university to send me some documents that they owe me, I tap onto the overwhelming hostility that is never far, in my experience of Cape Town.

But my Cape Town has many great memories also. This is not the only one, but there is this one beach. It’s not actually even in Cape Town as such, but near Kommetjie on the way, and very close to, the Cape Point. This massive beach has a few visitors ever. It’s not really for swimming and mainly popular with surfers, but not that much even with them. The sand dunes start from nowhere and last for a good while and running there, regardless of the season, makes you forget everything that is taking place in town perhaps fifty kilometers away. Our family used to go to this beach almost weekly. We took all of our visitors there. We had picnics there, played football, ran, built sandcastles and just relaxed. This place was always good to us. Here are a few photos I came across in my own Flickr site so I add them here as well.

Kommetjie

Family day out in Cape Peninsula

24 February 2011

I Listen What I Like

Pardon the title pompously paraphrasing Steve Biko; hardly a creative approach I am fully aware, but for long I have been trying to articulate what informs my music consumption. Hence I listen what I like. It sounds like a truism, no doubt, but why do I end up listening to the things I do? One can’t but start from this obvious; what sounds good to me. Fair play, but then, I can never be able to sample all the music in order to be able to dissect which are the songs and artist that I like. I can only really like the music I have heard. This is part of the basic idea of buying music: we hear it, we like it and then we buy it. Not for instance we buy it, we hear it and then we like it.

So, it becomes a question of where do I find music to hear and then possibly like. From the Internet is the answer. Instinctively I almost typed mainly from the Internet, but the truth is that I find out about music exclusively from the internet. I can’t remember when last I learned about anything meaningful from anywhere else. In theory it could happen, but to me, it hasn’t in a long enough time to say that it simply doesn’t. I follow recommendations in Twitter, I subscribe to several blogs and then just see things around while wasting time. Besides a vague sense of adventure and exploration which, while important, isn’t easily measurable, the key in finding music is the source of recommendation. There are people and blogs that I trust and who I know to have enough overlapping with my preferences that they are worth checking out. So a loose and ever-changing hierarchy of opinions is at play, but of course only to a point that I sort of give it a go – I can’t like something on command.

It’s not that exciting though. Who cares – we all have a taste for some kind of music, some artists and so on. It’s all aesthetics. What I find much more interesting are the social, political and economic factors that make us like something. 

The major label recording industry has only a slender grasp left on the cool in Hip-Hop and even they have created a system of small labels to achieve any credible positioning in their own industry.

Regardless of the field, the corporate industry has one aim – to make money. They are on the extreme end on the spectrum between the culture and industry which I have been writing about earlier. Note; not necessarily all of their artists, but their corporate structures are. Their artists aren’t innocent victims of oppressive abuse necessarily either, and by the way, there is no judgment here. We all need to pay the bills and I am generally not very interested in dwelling on this kind of moral questions; it would be too futile, but I am generally not very interested in the products of these artists and their ‘supporting’ business structures either. Nuff said. 

So the way to my ears, and wallet, goes largely through independent labels or independent artists with some, ideally functional web presence and good music with content substance that makes me nod my head. 

Only these things are needed for me to part with my hard earned money for music. I’ve come a long way from spending a lot more – really, a lot more – money on music. Well, the climate of the industry changed also dramatically, but still, I can see why the easy access customers are more desirable for the big business which needs to buy its own cool to begin with.

But the cool cannot be bought really, only a sense of it, and I am much more inclined to be a customer if I am considered a person first. 

One of the reasons behind these thoughts has been the fact that as I look at my blog, there seems to be a limited pool of artists and labels I mention. Some of them I know personally, but all of them I like musically and in all these other ways. Hence when I recommend one of them again, I am not stalking them, nor am I paid by them – only I am a fan of them from all angles I can imagine; or at the very least from enough angles to give them my support. For whatever it is worth since I am not sure how I rank at anyone’s hierarchy of online opinion of music to be given a go.

19 February 2011

More music mixed

To mark the occasion of cool article on South African Hip-Hop in the Guardian I decided to upload an exclusively Southern African mix online. And by Southern African I mean mainly South African; only the first song is from Lesotho. So perhaps more appropriate way would be to say South African with one bonus track so that the rappers of other countries wouldn't feel sidelined. I had made this earlier while practicing the mixing software and already decided not to use it because my mixing isn’t all that, but perhaps I am too self-conscious about it. I have never promoted myself as a DJ anyway. So I don’t care. I could’ve easily included many more songs, but the mix this time is under half an hour showcasing music I have enjoyed. A lot. I recommend all these songs and actually, originally they were all supposed to be on a kind of free sampler of South African music, but a few songs in the end didn't come through, life happened, momentum passed and I regret never getting it online. But to not waste the opportunity completely here is some of that goodness.

Have a listen.

17 February 2011

The Myth of the 'Other'

Self-portrait in a bus 2
Me as the 'other'

Here’s an idea. You know the single men in the nightlife having fun? I don’t want to generalise – it’s the root of all misunderstanding – but it has happened occasionally that the objective at the end of the whole bother has been the hope of finding someone to go home with. It’s not really a beautiful story; I never claimed that it was, but bear with me for the sake of the analogy.

Sometimes the objectives of these soldiers of evolutionary urge to protect the future of the species are met and other times not. Some individuals have better ‘success’ rate, but that tells nothing about them as people except that they have a better ‘skill’ to get what they’re after. Neither does failing to meet the objective; it is not an indication of not having tried your hardest. It doesn’t mean that those individuals have hit the club categorically refusing any opportunity for tender or cynical love.

You’d be delusional to think that way wouldn’t you. And this by the way is no finger pointing or judging. Our species depends on the urge behind these theatrics. Essentially this is our survival.

But why am I talking about this?

Because to say that people coming to our European societies from elsewhere don’t want to work is like saying that the menfolk in the night don’t want to get laid. They very much do, but aren’t always successful.

Both of these examples are matters or survival, only on very different levels and in both cases sometimes the desired best case scenario goal is not met and then, the individual in question must make peace with something less flattering. Less flattering in a sense of their personal preference – there aren’t any universal standards. And having talked about groups of people in very generalising ways, there is no categorically uniform way for any group to be, so the premise of generalising is always misleading. I am not referring to any one person – only occurrences that are very real and the hypocrisy around understanding, but more often not understanding them.

So it is for these reasons, if once more I hear one of these ‘immigration sceptics’ talk about ‘work based immigration’ as opposed to some kind of ‘social welfare free ride immigration’ I will… well, better not to promise to do anything particularly demanding because I will definitely hear this at least five more times before the lunch.

There are many kinds of people hoping to relocate - I have relocated previously to Ireland, UK, South Africa and Sweden. I have spent enough time in a few other countries to have to become part of their society, but never once have I been called immigrant. So one disclaimer: I do use the word immigrant here with unease as it, as a brand, has been effortfully dragged in the mud and given ethnic definitions; this actually is a topic on its own right, but let it be noted that I am not happy with that word and use it for the lack of a better one that would be widely understood – should I come up with a neologism I confused the matter even further. And there certainly are many stories people have and my attempt is not, not to understand them, but exploring them isn’t my focus either. Not at least this time around.

Fear of the ‘other’ is nothing new. The term other, as I use it here, originates from early anthropology of colonialist – their attempt to understand the ways of other cultures. This attempt looks certainly offensive and pathetic in retrospect – the starting point, to describe it politely, was very presumptuous. It was part of the start for something very toxic in our world, but nonetheless it was perfectly in line with the zeitgeist. We’d hate to admit this, but it’s not so far from the general mood of our own time either. There has always been a need to look down and find someone there. Whether we are holding a musket or a smart phone in our hands while doing it, is just a matter of insignificant detail.

My question is essentially why are we so scared? Is this some deep-rooted evolutionary insecurity that whatever we are won’t survive what the others are?

To break a few myths here are some thoughts.

It’s not easy to abuse the system. It’s not necessarily easy to even benefit a bit from it.

Who are these system abusers anyway? Has someone seen some evidence or is it all based on some story that a guy with a bomber jacket and shaven head had heard from some source that he claims was reliable? Please email me with ways for so called immigrants to abuse the system, because as a husband of someone who isn’t a citizen of the country we live in I am baffled that such idea is even presented. It’s not easy, if even possible.

Being unemployed or even underemployed is no fun. Generally speaking people want to work and have an income, because not having one makes life difficult. Using the logic that all immigrants without a job are not willing to work – and this is very popular unquestioned generalisation – is like assuming the same of all unemployed locals. Except the people from outside generally have their qualifications nullified one way or another and a foreign doctor may not be able to get even a cleaner’s job because of not speaking the local language. Yet.

It’s in the best interest for a person to speak the local language, because life can be frustratingly difficult to the ones who don’t. Only, learning a language doesn’t happen overnight.

People, especially with time are very likely to adapt the ways of their new habitat. There won’t be much of a threat that the new Europeans will force us all to adapt their cultural ways. No one is going to force you. I guess we Europeans are so scared because we have a history of changing the societies completely especially in North America and Australia, but also in parts of Africa and South America. Well, the immigrants are not coming here to do the same. They are not coming with their armies and flags.

Islam is not really a threat in Europe. Many disagree with this and manifest it with exaggerated if only verbal hostility. And then there are few who need fists and knives to express their emotions. Then others rather patronisingly feel that in the name of tolerance – what a terrible term – they must automatically approve everything anyone may want to do. That causes a problem with the formerly mentioned group and this conflict, together with years of negative PR by media contributes to the problem which for the most part is a problem because it has been so completely blown out of proportion.

Well, of course there are some problems. To be honest, there have been incidents of violence by Moslems, but there have also been incidents by people of other faiths. As someone who doesn’t subscribe to any of the religions, I am feeling less threatened I guess, but let’s just say that the North American immigration debate has found many equally threatening things about Mexicans who aren’t Moslems so this really seems like a case of ‘there’s always something to worry about.’ Perhaps it just reminds the Europeans on their largely lost faith; something that not all have yet made peace with. The new European Christians are often also immigrants and they are not all that much more welcome either.

So let’s stop being so scared that it tempers with our critical faculty. Conversation is good, but from now on I have no time for the quasi-science and conveniently selective interpretation of studies by the people who feel threatened and take it out on the ‘other’. Because difference is different – not wrong. And that is alright. And immigration sceptics aren’t all uniform either. They are a diverse group I am sure. So are the ones opposing them just like the immigrants are. Generalisation works best in making flawed narrow misleading points and in setting up of apartheid-esque systems.

The criticism here is not on the debates about policies, but the bigots hiding behind them. Many societies have very dysfunctional immigration laws and integration systems (through the experiences of my wife I’ve witnessed one). My criticism is on fear-mongerers who debate on an arrogantly uninformed level of directly translating emotion into a supposedly rational argument. They plant the seed of doubt in the mind of the rest of us. What if? What if they are right? Perhaps I am still better off not taking a risk and hiring an immigrant. But if you want integration to happen you have to be part of it; not necessarily actively as long as you’re not actively sabotaging it either, and if you want it not to happen, and you want your country to opportunistically not participate in this segment of the globalisation then you must be realistic, say it and take the responsibility of it. Not just offer never ending problems and refusing the solutions.

15 February 2011

Back from the past

KONFAB

Years ago when I was doing my specialist international Hip-Hop radio show KONFAB was one of the most exciting artists on my playlist. Firstly, the show was being broadcast in Cape Town, South Africa which made him a local artist. But then, he wasn’t even local, since he originates from Lesotho. Secondly, or is it already thirdly and can we actually agree to abandon the numbers needed to indicate the order of my arguments, especially since the order is random, KONFAB has a curious accent where the R’s are rolling in an unusual way that reminds me of my own first language. He was, perhaps still is, part of the Writer's Block crew; a name which has much meaning for the Cape Town Hip-Hop community. Then there are very importantly at least two more things: he’s a brilliant, really a fantastic lyricist albeit occasionally including a few objectionable quotables, and he makes great, catchy yet thought provoking songs with nice hooks that leave you unsure that what was it that hooked you, but not whether it did. His music is experimental and complicated yet so often straight forward; he always came across paradoxical, but I always have liked his music. I was very happy to hear his songs, when living in UK, from the Mary Anne Hobbs show on BBC Radio 1. Songs like This is How We Roll and Run on Sentence.



Then what happened? I think he moved to Tswhane or somewhere. I think he’s an engineer or something. I saw him performing live only once in Cape Town. It was the same time I saw Rattex live for the first time. And I think there should be some more music coming at some point. Or at least that has been the word in the web.

But his collection of old is now online under the banner The Lost Tapes.

The idea of the so called Lost Tapes is generally suspicious to say the least. What, someone like Nas had actually lost some old tapes and now we can pay good money to get this content so very nearly lost and forgotten into our collection? I very much doubt it. But KONFAB’s lost tapes were not just songs that weren’t good enough to make it into some best seller. It’s very different scenario altogether. These songs have been, as declared by the label, “recovered from the twisted wreckage of charred hard drives, scratched CD-Rs and dusty tape reels,” and that’s very plausible; no doubt true. I used to follow KONFAB’s tracks as they were coming out when Myspace was the answer to most questions musical by nature and many of these tracks are familiar from those times. I am only listening to it for the first time now, while writing this and I’m being currently taken back in time and having the gaps of the past bridged. This is an entity of twenty tracks of which I know maybe less than ten. With this collection KONFAB is back from the past and hopefully soon making more future music that will sound as fresh as this now when one day in the future it takes me back again.

Now listen, download and feel free to support.


The Lost Tapes - KONFAB
Album artwork by Pioneer Unit and image nicked from Dplanet's Flickr.

14 February 2011

North Africa Stand Up!

Ship wreck

Approximately twenty minutes into the celebrations of the Egyptian revolution which we waited for two and half weeks to happen – as opposed to the long decades for the locals – we started questioning the intentions of the military. Sounds like textbook stuff. Not because I’d have an opinion of the accuracy of these suspicions, but merely because that’s exactly the kind of people we people are; especially us from the so called global north (formerly known as the west).

And in case the military is playing discreet power games it’s nothing new; the continent of Africa has seen all snake-like actions by her colonisers throughout the centuries. But it all got me wondering how hard it must have been for the pre-twenty-four-hour news network revolutions when there has been no global public condemnation even in theory or cameras following all the events every moment and from many angles. It got me to, even more than I already did, respect the regional and national struggles for African liberations. The enormity of it all was put in perspective yet again. 

I saw this North African mixtape earlier online and now that I’ve been listening to it, I rather warmly recommend it. I used to listen to this kind of music a lot. Recently I have been stuck with SA/UK scenes, which isn’t really a problem, but this is a very nice mixtape to add into the mix. Do download it.

9 February 2011

Mix-up


I have been dabbling with open source desktop DJ software called Mixxx. It’s pretty okay. Actually, I am sure it’s great and it’s me who is the cause of not all things working as well as I’d hope, but then again, nothing ever really works as well in the real world as it does in my head. 

Here’s a mix of tracks that have been playing on my playlist recently together with a few other songs I just really like.

1.Sign-In by Radio Freedom 

2.Serious by Tor Cesay from the free mixtape Different Place.
3. Hegemony by Ben Sharpa from the brilliant B. Sharpa album available here. This track doesn’t age.
4. Bad Boys Remix 1. by Swizz, Akala, Blak Twang, Klashnekoff, AKS, Lowkey and Black the Ripper. The track is available here.
5. Jungle Remix by Professor Green, Klashnekoff, Malik MD7 and Wretch 32 is to be downloaded online from this link.
6. Yesterday by Core Wreckah and Deney was linked here recently and it’s on Soundcloud.
7. KrÄksongen by Promoe, which I find particularly moving.
8. Fifty In Five by Hilltop Hoods which is pretty much my favourite Australian song ever made.

7 February 2011

It does sound a bit like the spring.

I like to recommend music. It’s because I like music. It means a lot to me. Not all of it, but some. And to some extent, I am almost definitely sure, nearly everyone likes some music at least a bit; a very few would categorically hate all of it. And then perhaps many hate none of it. I suspect music can make you feel sick in your stomach directly in relation to how much enjoyment it can give. If your all-time favourite song is, you know, nice, then the worst rubbish that ever assaulted your ears was probably only not so nice. I may be an extremist; music to me, at best, is a religious experience and at worst a bit worse than what the bonuses the bankers paid to themselves during the recession were.

I am not advertising any music, but of course I like to support some. In case you would have a similar taste in music to mine.

Core Wreckah of the Nemesis Inc. has been recommended by me before. His Ngoan’a Nts’oana has been playlisted on my mp3 player ever since it was uploaded online and its dark sounds have given me a certain determination to my steps on these cold northern city streets when the sun has been mainly hiding. Now that the days even in the north are getting a little longer it is quite appropriate for that song to be replaced by a new one. Core, who originates from Maseru, Lesotho, but resides in Cape Town has a new track called Yesterday and it is a nice mixture of his ever so intimidating Sesotho delivery, soothing soulful beats of San the Instru-monutmentalist and Sunday afternoon singing by Deney. It sounds like a spring to me which isn't very topical in the context in which the song has been produced in and, I know, is still only on its way around here in Helsinki. Perhaps it is only present in my mind, but that shall suffice. To me.

Have a listen.


00 - Core Wreckah (with Deney) - Yesterday [nemesininc.blogspot.com] by biz-ark-human

3 February 2011

Trust issues

I have never felt quite comfortable with calling myself a journalist. I definitely haven't always been a journalist, but some work I have done could have easily been lumped into this rather broad category. Actually the category is so broad that it could include almost any kind of foolishness which means that at the same time it doesn't mean necessarily all that very much. 

Some journalism is great, but so much is also troublesome that it makes you rethink the bigger picture; is it generally a good or bad thing? A bit like police force or Hip-Hop.

But of course it would be futile for us to try to decide which is the case with any of these examples; probably nothing is simply either as everything tends to be more complex. 

Nonetheless here are a few examples of why I am in no hurry to shout over the rooftops that this is indeed what I do. Because this is not what I do.

egypt

South Africa?

Obviously I don't own any rights for these images, but I doubt me using them is the biggest wrong here no matter how you spin it.

Gift

Don't Africa Me

I have been blogging here for five and half years. My approach was always, and still is, that this place is my media experiment. It’s a place where I have tried many things, some of them worked and others perhaps didn’t, but it’s all about finding out. It’s a laboratory and when I was a media lecturer I never failed to promote the idea to my students – it’d be silly not to practice somewhere.

I never thought that this blog would make me any money. I have been sort of right in that; it hasn’t directly made me any money, but it has been a positive factor when getting jobs that then have. I have received plenty of free digital music – no physical copies if I remember correctly, but that’s not a bad thing - but this week I got my first freebies in their physical form. 

I had written earlier about some stuff I feel rather passionate about and mentioned a book that I hadn’t yet read then. I still haven’t, yet, but the author of that book Don’t Africa Me C. Paschal Eze contacted me after seeing the post and sent that book to me together with another one he’s written. I am only starting so surely more of it later, but I just thought I’d mention. Nice one.

Access all areas

It’s not a long time since I posted Driemanskap’s music video S'phum'eGugs here in my blog and now there’s some more. Not another music video, but a mini-documentary on making that music video. It’s nice. Very interesting to me, no doubt, since I really enjoy their album and music in general.

Watch this and the album is available for mere € 2 although you can also pay more if you wish.