February 9, 2010

The Opening Monologue – Tuesday the 9th of February 2010
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

It was a week of new fathers and gunfire, the kind of week that makes you happy to be alive. It also reminded us of why sometimes it’s better to be on this side of the barricades because you never know what might spray into the crowd. So let us begin at the beginning.

The saga of President Zuma’s new baby seemed to have wrapped itself up all in the space of a week. All the outrage, name-calling and bickering was kept to the main week keeping the masses amused, the newsmen employed, the papers printing and still leaving time for the weekend.
Like a well-oiled machine the incoherent – led by Julius Malema – were the first to have a go as the rumour mill began churning. Then the traditional outbreak of presidential muteness followed. The media, evil fiends that they are, printed what they felt was necessary and true. Conveniently, this ploy cured the presidency of its muteness.
The presidency then took up the incoherency baton and ran with it. What followed was the usual tirade of “Oh no he didn’t!” from all sides of the political spectrum. In the end it was all resolved. The president did what was culturally necessary to appease the family of his new lady in waiting; the media voiced it’s outraged at statements made by our leading boss fella and the rest of us carried on fighting morning traffic.

After this song and dance, what lesson did we learn? Even though our president might be trying to break Tiger Woods’ record, it seems most people couldn’t care less.

Ain’t politics grand?

Moving on. It’s the first quarter of the year and striking season is in full swing in the land of higher education. Protesting students at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) went down 1-0 to police and security personnel. The Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) sang outside the wall; their leader attempted to climb it to speak to the masses as his backing vocals warbled on but lo, security did try to unseat the king of the hill and it all came tumbling down. Proving that you can try to scale the walls of education but beware the caning that follows.

Not to be outdone, the academic department of The University of Cape Town (UCT) is poised to strike over wage disputes and a lack of decent salary increases. Clearly somebody’s annoyed they didn’t get tenure.

Robben Island and Operation Rabbit Cull is in full swing. Its Wabbit Season and a small detachment of Elmer Fudds are sweeping the island by night in an attempt to irradiate 25 000 bunnies from the historic landmark. But fear not, the best meat will be sold to restaurants around Cape Town with the remainder going to the under privileged.

Yum yum, Culled With Care in The Cape.

Staying with The Mother City, a group of sangomas plan to slaughter a bull on Thibault Square during the opening ceremony of a festival called “Infecting The City”. It is aimed at drawing people to the CBD. The sacrifice is part of its “Human rite” theme, showcasing a host of traditional ceremonies in the city centre. And as we all know, nothing draws you nearer and gives you the warm and fuzzies like a re-enactment of the village scene from Apocalypse Now!

Staying with great films, its Oscar season and two S.A. films are up for a total of six awards. Invictus – the story of the 1995 Rugby World Cup and District 9 – a tale of aliens living in a Johannesburg township. This is truly a momentous occasion and something that we can all be proud of. However, one has to wonder what sort of message about SA these films send. What can tourists arriving for the world cup learn about South Africa from these films? Well, apparently, we love rugby, freeing anti-Apartheid struggle leaders and xenophobia.

The question must then be raised: Is that Ayoba?

And finally, in the wake of National Police Day – when 50 000 police officers were given the day off to party at a special celebration in Bloemfontein – one Police reservist did not have the best day. Last Tuesday it was reported in Beeld that Sergeant Johnny de Jager and his girlfriend Karen Victor called 10111 four times on that Friday night after surviving an attempted house robbery in his flat. The police never showed up. De Jager, who was shot three times, repeatedly told his story to operators at the call centre and never got the necessary back-up.

However, after an investigation, it was discovered that De Jager never called 10111. His girlfriend had dialled 911 instead. This got her through to the Cell C emergency centre that dispatched an ambulance but not the police.

The moral of this story:

1. Make sure your partner knows at all times what country they’re in.

2. Determine how they’ll react under pressure before a situation arises.

3. When dating someone, find out how big a fan they are of the series’ and works of William Shatner.

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.