Sunday, 8 December 2013

Guilt

I feel a bit shameful for saying this, but I have to admit to getting a bit fed up with the countless people who have ever met Nelson Mandela being dragged into a studio to show their credentials by telling some story of some small kindness shown by him during a brief meeting, many years before.

After Mandela became President, everybody in the world wanted  to be associated with him, and every world leader who had publicly condemned apartheid just had to have a photo of themselves standing with him. Even the Spice Girls went over there and got on the bandwagon. At least Nelson had an eye for the young ladies, so it can't have been all bad for him.

Margaret Thatcher must have been kicking herself for taking the blatantly obvious wrong side when she described Mandela as a 'grubby little man'. It didn't stop her from ignoring her advisors in the future, though.

If Mandela was at any point a 'terrorist', then he soon renounced it from his cell in Robyn Island, having heard of the 10,000 fatalities following the Sharpville massacre, when the ANC took up arms. Menachem  Begin never renounced violence even after he took office, and The Stern Gang simply melted into society without ever expressing any regret for all the bombings and assassinations carried out during the formation of Israel at the expense of Palestine.

I was lucky enough to be out of the country when the Queen Mother's funeral took place, and - I have to say it - I am not looking forward to the biggest State Funeral the world has ever seen, next week.

Should I feel guilty about this?

11 comments:

  1. Not at all.
    Interesting times ...

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    1. Thanks. I'm really enjoying the book, btw.

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  2. Our world is deeply shallow. Everybody thinks they "know" everyone else well when in fact relationships are just a megapixel or two deep. No quilt required

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    1. We think we know celebrities. David Bowie once said that one of the strangest things that happen to famous people is for two of them to meet at a party for the first time. They know each other, but they have never met/

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  3. Just lean back and enjoy the pomp. Or put your music on your MP3 and chisel away.
    I did hear a lovely clip of Mandela saying he was a terrorist when he put the rifle on this shoulder. That was powerful.

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    1. I don't know if you have ever been to an African funeral, but there is not a lot of pomp involved. Since the death of N.M., they have been dancing and singing in the streets. A celebration, and a very informal one at that.

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  4. All the old faeces will be there.

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  5. I think one should feel guilty only if it causes a change in behavior in the future. Are you planning on changing your behavior anytime soon?

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    1. Not on your advice, I'm not. That's not meant to be insulting, but I think I have a running resolution list which has nothing to do with January 2nd. For instance, I willingly stopped grabbing girl's backsides about 12 years ago, but this may have had more to do with the violence I received at their hands rather than any moral misgivings - and my advancing age.

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  6. I agree with Desmond Tutu; I didn't much like his methods, but thoroughly approved of his aims.

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