June 8, 2010

The Opening Monologue – Tuesday the 8th of June 2010

Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

Last week proved, once again, that the universe will always seek balance. One force will push in the direction of the positive and another will push in the direction of the negative. However, perception always seems to give the impression that the down low pushes far harder than the upbeat. Simply put, as the joy of the World Cup begins to peak, so sags the elaborate machine called Government.

With so much up and down, it comes as no surprise that President JZ is expecting another heir. Some might say that that’s a poor choice of words. And you’re right. Why on earth would anyone declare themselves president for life and rule a nation as their own kingdom. Mr. Mugabe, any thoughts?

All these tales and more in this week’s edition of The Opening Monologue with our first salvo aimed at The Police.

When the gun amnesty came into being, gun nuts nationwide lamented the loss of their trusted Betsy or faithful Painless. How were their kids going to learn gun safety if the grown-ups couldn’t leave their weapons lying around for the tykes to blow their faces off with? Well, never fear, the police are here. To show solidarity with the legions of gun-slinging, bullet jockeys across the nation, the cops have been losing their guns too. For the last two years the cops have either lost, had stolen and unofficially sold off around 5 300 firearms. 565 of them have been recovered, conveniently, in the hands of criminals. There is also a slight possibility that some of them were destroyed with the 80 000+ confiscated weapons taken in the amnesty. Oh well, at least they’re out of circulation. Whew, thats a load off my mind.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa stated that there will be the obligatory investigation into the matter. Hopefully, it will be led by honest cops. Yup, all four of them. They have them on 4-hour shifts so it works out.

Speaking of pointless gestures, Cosathu has threatened to leave its alliance with the ANC if the ruling party persists with bringing disciplinary charges against its leader Zwelinzima Vavi. It seems Vavi ruffled many a preened political tail feather by saying that ANC senior members were using their political connections to get rich.

Clearly, he didn’t get the memo.

He also accused co-operative governance minister Sicelo Shiceka of inflating his CV credentials and Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda of running up unjustified hotel bills of R500 000. You might remember that Vavi was the man who called for lifestyle audits of high-ranking officials a while back. Apparently once the ANC big wigs were done rolling about on the floor, they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and said “How about no.”

I think somebody’s just discovered that all that hoopla about equality for the workers was just window dressing for votes.

Cosathu, having backed the JZ election train, reiterated that they’d like the president to do more for workers, shift policy to the left and do more for the poor. They then asked the ANC to stop laughing as it was very unprofessional.

On the subject of laughter. Eskom, the beleaguered, broke, destitute national electricity supplier, is laughing all the way to the bank. They just posted a profit. No, that’s not a typo. Eskom, who were mewling more than a stuck pig at dinner time that they were sans funds, just posted a profit of R3.6 billion. Did I miss something? Didn’t these jizz stains say they were broke? Or did they do what one does when they’re on a blind date that’s going south and the bill comes? They stuck us with the cheque as they scampered out the bathroom window.

They claim that after re-negotiating derivative contracts, they freed up R4.6 billion in liabilities. This, coupled with the country paying through the nose for electricity meant they now have cash again.

Acting Eskom chairperson and CEO Mpho Makwana said Eskom was now on a strong path to recovery.

“Last year we made a commitment to break even this year. We have bettered that,” said Makwana.

“South Africa can now take solace in the knowledge that Eskom is less of a burden and returning to the jewel in the SA crown it was once was.”

Tell you what Mpho, we’ll take solace in Eskom when you drop our rates. And stop laughing. It’s very unprofessional.

Picking up speed, the first phase of The Gautrain has been opened. And almost immediately, tourism minister Jeff Radebe was struck by foot in mouth disease as he unleashed this pearl about the effect this new technological marvel would have on the populace.

It would reduce single-vehicle occupancy, pollution and gridlock, by getting people to travel en-masse, “cut away” the individualism of the past and, at the same time” unleash national pride”, he said in Midrand last week Saturday night.

And he was doing so well. Cut away individualism, huh? Isn’t that sweet? How fascist of you, Jeff.

And speaking of that delightful system of government. Up north, Malawi’s president Bingu wa Mutharika has asked his ultra-homophobic country to stop referring to a gay couple’s wedding as “satanic” after he pardoned their 14-year prison sentence for sodomy.

And he should’ve just left it there but then he got that foot and mouth disease that’s doing the rounds. His statements on the matter included:

“The story ends there… I don’t want to hear anyone commenting on them. Nobody is authorised to comment on the gays. You will spoil things,”

He said the gay couple’s wedding was “satanic because they committed a crime against our culture, against our religion and against our laws”.

“I am looking at donors now… what will they say about the pardon,” Mutharika said.

Donors bankroll more than half of the country’s development budget.

“Is it possible to stop aid to Malawi because of two people who are insane?” he asked.

Mutharika said he had pardoned them because “to err is human and to forgive is divine”.

Wow. Julius, is this your daddy?

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the planet… It’s one thing to lose your keys, or your phone. But, the state of Denver in the US has taken it to a whole new level.

They lost a piece of The Moon. Yup, they misplaced a piece of the big glowy thing in the sky.

The state was given Moon rocks back in 1974 – worth about $5 million on the black market – and now they can’t find them. Few even realised they existed till a student began searching for them for an assignment.

Another set of moon rocks collected in 1969 was found in storage at the state history museum about a decade ago. They are now on display on the third floor of the state Capitol.

Neither the history museum nor the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has the second set of rocks and the governor’s office doesn’t know where they are, The Denver Post reports.

Oh really? Has the governor checked the space between his ears? It’s a piece of the Moon you twit! One does not treat it as a paper weight!!

And Finally… Lauren Rosenberg, a citizen of the state of Utah, USA, has filed a $100 000 lawsuit. That’s nothing new from the litigation nation. However, her reasoning for the lawsuit is what nets her my “And Finally” mention. Her lawsuit is against Google. She claims Google Maps supplied her with bad directions that got her run over.

She asked Google Maps for walking directions which she downloaded to her Blackberry. The route supplied to her led her to walk through Park City, on a road without pavements. Now, up until this point she has a claim. However, knowing full well that the road was dangerous to pedestrians, she used it anyway and was then flabbergasted to find herself airborne on a car’s bumper.

Gee, what are the odds?

I have no doubt that she’ll win her case. But, one has to wonder if there’s a penalty for being stupid in the state of Utah. Surely bringing such a law onto the books would limit the number of frivolous lawsuits filed. Who knows? Perhaps it was the fault of all that moon rock in her head.

This concludes this week’s edition of The Opening Monologue. See you next week and remember, you haven’t heard it all till you’ve heard The Last Say On Sunday.