A call to take up inoffensive weapons in a global campaign

The time has come, as the Walrus said, to think of other things.
The organisation / association / school which I am proud & happy to have been a part of for over a decade, has decided to broaden its campaign.
It has been accepted that the global campaign against neckties has had some impact. Sympathisers have increased awareness that tying decorated strips of cloth around one’s neck is folly and a clear symbol of submission to the yoke of ridiculous convention.

I attended a seminar in the city recently. It was depressing: I had to seek guidance on how to access the lift – there were 6, with no buttons. One had to mechanically alert a console in the foyer as to one’s destination & it advised which lift would convey you. The damn thing had only a clock & an alarm bell & took me straight to floor 20 without stopping.
Even worse were the attendees
: 90/100 uniformly attired in black; decorative nooses tightly wound around male necks & jackets buttoned …. slightly amused at my grey flannel slacks and cardigan, politely ignoring my lack of necktie.  All I could think of was urban clones. The lawyers who adressed us, could have been brother and sisters, raised by a Sergeant Major! I am so glad I don’t work in the city!! The campaign has a loong way to go.

The Israelis, those clever industrious aggressive people, who are the best example of a general rejection of that corporate noose, are not doing well with PR at the moment though! So, a different campaign, a strategic feint, is considered appropriate to garner fresh attention
Being easy going, we understand the courage and daring involved in resistance. The Man is mean, unreasonable and unrelenting – a challenge of this nature is likely to invite institutional condemnation from up high
The Man, who has tolerated this absurdity for many years, will have to admit his own folly to recant. That is hard and would attract labels such as radical, liberal and, horror of horrors, may risk refusal of entry to the Club! So any challenge will be stifled.
Of course, women do not have to comply – that is discriminatory; but don’t tell a lawyer that, there will be an answer. Perhaps men should wear skirts to work – they could call them kilts …hmmm!

Take courage, talk about it, debate it, defend it, attack it!

We believe wearing silly socks can bring about a gradual erosion of urban uniform mentality. Start on Fridays & spread the word; encourage participation, praise creativity. It cannot be  faulted (it is underwear , after all)

To socks, to socks!

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Nepotism starts at home…

.. so to speak. Alliances are basic human instincts. I am sure that the hairy fellas who lived in caves banded together to take on the Mammoth and protect themselves from Ol’ Sabre Tooth Tigger.
Keeping it in the family is surely good and acceptable practice?
In Wikipedia, nepotism is categorised as political corruption, along with cronyism and simony.
The word nepotism comes from the Latin word ‘nepos’, meaning “nephew”. In the Middle Ages, some Catholic popes and bishops, who had taken vows of chastity, raised their illegitimate sons as “nephews” and gave them preferences.   
Governments are particularly susceptible to accusations of cronyism as they spend public money. Many democratic governments are encouraged to have transparency in their accounting and contracting processes. However, there is often no clear line to denote when an appointment constitutes “cronyism.” 
Simony
is the ecclesiastical crime and personal sin of paying for offices or positions, named after Simon Magus who offerred the disciples of Jesus payment for the power to perform miracles.
My squeal, ‘cos that’s what it is, is about  my son who has been a victim of political corruption. He was by far the best bowler of his age group at the local cricket club: he had 5 x 5 wicket hauls in 10 matches; he was also Most Valuable Player last season. But …. he wasn’t selected to represent  the age group team, nor was he given any recognition by the club. I have surmised the reason to be that he didn’t go to the school where the selectors coach, nor the Academy where 1 of those coaches is employed.
On receipt of my complaint, the club mumbled ” … more transparency in future…”. 
My point is this: Me ‘n you must hold any community or national representative organisation to transparency all the time!! That is the only way to keep democracy alive.
The rules must be:

  1. Tell us what you’re gonna do
  2. How you’re gonna do it
  3. Then do it like that

If you don’t, you get fired, just like Nixon.
This applies to your club, your church, your schools – everywhere you have a connection.
Cry “Ahem” .. and let slip the guard dogs of democracy!!

The Flying Dutchman

…you may know the legend of the Flying Dutchman: doomed to sail the seas forever … unable to land anywhere … (he shot an albatross or something, so probably deserves his plight)
I still grapple (not so hard these days, I admit) with thoughts about who I am and 
where do I belong. I have been a citizen of 5 countries. The country where I was born, the country of my citizenship at birth and the country where at least 7 generations  of my direct ancestors, (including my parents) were born, ALL refused to give me citizenship!  I have never shot an albatross, am not insane (noticeably) nor have I criminal convictions or ever been insolvent. I have a university degree, my own house & only 1 family.
There are floods of refugees from the north into South Africa and from there to other countries in & out of Africa. There are also floods of people to other countries, like North Africans to France, Turks to Germany, Indians & Chinese to anywhere. (This is beginning to take a race tinged rant – it was not meant to be! )

What my point is:  politics define & label citizenship, the heart defines belonging – I guess I belong to the world ….. or the world belongs to me!  (Certainly the Springboks don’t stir me much anymore ..nor do the All Blacks or the Irish).
My planned visit to my birth country should shake up some thoughts… do I have to belong?
I am distressed at the horrors that have been perpertrated in the name of Patriotism & God
I  think politicians need to be saints & matyrs to avoid Hell! If not they should be sent to join the Flying Dutchman!

Return to Basic Values

Thoughts generated by ackerman’s friend vortigern, commenting on the savage retaliation of Israel against the Hizbollah in Lebanon, which included killing civilians, as well as the terrorist bombings in Mumbai, Madrid, London etc targetting  civilians.
 
Basic instinct when faced by threat is fight or flight or submit: The strong protect their community by attacking the threat using appropriate means to remove it. The US reaction may be a bit too prolonged & extended to be justified for much longer – but their enemy is the faceless evil of anonymous evildoers who have no value on human life as potential sacrifice to their specific ends.
The Israeli reaction is quick & brutal like a scorpion’s tail. It says “don’t mess with me”. Sadly, civilians get killed. The policeman must be big & strong & quick to react to protect the community – people will get hurt on occasion, that must not stop the protective reaction. The difference is that civilians are not the target!
Evil needs to be captured and controlled before attempts are made to find out why they are evil & later seek ways to rehabilitate.
That is the law of the Jungle -from whence Man came & doesn’t really stay too far away.

(What do you think of that Anna?)

Resurgence of Silly Sock philosophy etc.,

Been away for a while ….. I think suffering from a slight resurgence of the ‘mediocrities’ … just go with the flow Joe, can’t be bothered, unmoved, don’t stray from the TV type of mild depression – no light on the horison. I maintained silly sock discipline but was not active in spreading the word …. (shocking but true!)
But the sun has peeped through, I must have walked through the same park as ABE did & seen the smiles & good people. Anyway spring is nearly here & I am planning to re-visit my home country & isn’t the World Cup wonderful! I pray evil does not seek an opportunity there …

Quirks & whimsy, smiles & waves, simple inoffensive silliness with a serious streak, just to maintain a bare minimum of intellectual challenge that’s the philosophy.
As the main mouthpiece of the movement, I suppose its pronouncements are tinged by my faintly conservative, religious slant…. (I hasten to add that I do not like George Bush, Robert Mugabe or Helen Clarke, I do like John Howard, Nelson Mandela & Benedict)
I predict that the All Blacks will win the Rugby World Cup …

Ex Africa …. I don’t think so!

Le Frog Blog said it –

once you start a blog, you can’t really control where it goes

. The expression of vague emotions, thoughts, beliefs & ideas is not easy & the written form is usually some distance from the original thought.
I have recently been pursued by a tension relating to a hankering for a clear identity. Tension created by familiar discomfort. My siblings and their extended families are in Africa. I and my family are in the South Pacific. When the world is called to war, who do I side with? When I die where do I wish my dust to feed roses? When my daughter marries, where should it be?
I know what I want to be – I want to be an African, but how can I be if I live in the South Pacific? I’m just not brave enough to do the reverse migration bit – it was harrowing getting here! I can easily respect the flag & laws of my adopted country – any way Africa is a matter of geography & emotion, not political affiliation. Perhaps it is a matter of which language you spoke first. I spoke Swazi.
Mind you I am also an Irish citizen and feel quite Irish (wish I had a brogue). Well, the African diaspora begins to resemble the Irish one …
But if I win the Lotto …. I will go home, (I think).

Rack your brains, peacelovers …. (and zip your lips!!)

Greetings Fellow ranters and observers!
I surmise … even vaguely fear … that the world is on the edge of some ghastly global conflict.
The polarisation along traditional Western & Middle Eastern lines with significant religious and colour delineation clearly identify the main parties (the Arabs & the Aryans?? oil-rich & the oil poor?? the former colonisers & the formerly colonised??)
My grandfather (Boer War & WW1) and an uncle (WW2, Malaya etc) were professional soldiers, my father and other uncles were WW2 soldiers, I was a convoy escort in a small bush war in the 70’s. The chances that my children will not be called to serve are dwindling.
Once differences are identified …. it becomes us & them, compromise & middle ground diminish. Conscientious objectors fail to support the cause & just hamper the propaganda of the right side, so Pollyanna ranters & Necktie revolutionaries will be conscripted, interned or shot. Freedoms become unsustainable distractions.
I understand that! Speed, centralisation & efficiency of decision making are essential at such times. War is the way of all animals including mankind. Civilisation merely increases the scope of conflict and its attendant horrors …
What bleak thoughts & such a lack of faith in the power of love!
So how do we shut up the free speakers & cartoonists & flag burners & building bombers to allow the peacemakers to expand the compromise??