Barrelled Thoughts #5

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I was recently introduced to a movie in the making called “District 9”.
I’m not sure if all the South Africans have heard of it yet, but it seems to me like this is going to be a killer movie. The reason why I said South Africans specifically is because this movie was actually based on a short-film called “District 9” by South African Neill Blomkamp. It’s about modern-day South Africa and an alien invasion. Well, they call it an invasion, but it’s more like aliens in exile. ‘Aliens’ take refuge in South Africa, and it tells the story of how the people in the rural areas of Johannesburg fear these aliens; afraid of what they’re foreign to. It is a metaphor for all the illegal immigration in South Africa and the conflicts that brew between black South African and their neighbours in the north. The originally story is based on an old South African policy that created the refugee came District 6, where similar events occurred – refugees settle in South Africa and they start integrating themselves into the local workforce, to the immense ager of the locals.
Interesting movie! Check it out.

“I dare you to visit Johannesburg, the city for softies — It’s the least frightening place on earth, yet everyone speaks of how many times they’ve been killed that day.” — Jeremy Clarkson

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/jeremy_clarkson/article5821586.ece

That’s one of Jeremy Clarkson’s articles for The Times. Once again it is an immaculate piece, filled with satire and slapstick humor; honestly, nobody does it better than Clarkson.
The only different between his usual columns and this column in particular, is that in this one, he’s writing about South Africa’s most dangerous city – Johannesburg.

In this article he talks about how everyone tells him that Jo’burg is dangerous, but when he arrives, it’s all peaceful and has white doves flying everywhere. Well, Mr. Clarkson. A good 10 years ago, you probably wouldn’t be saying the same thing. He says in the article that he has been working in and out of Jo’burg for the past three years and that Jo’burg isn’t what everyone says it is. The funny thing about this article is that he’s essentially criticising Johannesburg for sending out a confusing image of itself, but at the same time, all he’s actually doing is praising South Africa for how safe it is! And I find that absolutely intriguing!.

Another thing we have to realise, of course, is something that he has already mentioned in the article: the fact that South Africa will play host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

I was in South Africa in 2001 when the voting was done by FIFA. I remember sitting on the dining room table – yes, I was sitting on the table – watching the TV in my living room. Watching Joseph. S. Blatter, president of FIFA (and for reasons beyond my comprehension still president of FIFA), pull ‘South Africa’ out of the white envelope was one of the most heartfelt moments of my life.
A newbie Arsenal and English supporter at the time, I was so excited that the World Cup was coming to South Africa! I could go watch! I could actually see David Beckham! I could actually see Ashley Cole (now branded a traitor by the Red Army).
But it wasn’t meant to be. I left South Africa six years later. Although I’m still trying desperately to find a way to get back to South Africa in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, I’m not sure if it’ll be the same as watching it if I was still there all these years.

Anyways, back on topic. The reason why I brought this up, was the same reason Clarkson brought it up in his article about Jo’burg. The World Cup is being hosted there, and everything will be fine, he says. Well, it’s only going to be fine in Johannesburg because of the World Cup. The only reason crime has decreased in South Africa is because the people have had a common goal, to host the best fucking (pardon my French) World Cup (Clarkson voice) in the world.

If people like Jeremy Clarkson think Johannesburg is a safe place to live in, and host the FIFA World Cup, then South Africa is doing its job! Good job! I can’t wait. I can’t wait to be South African again, I can’t wait to be part of the action. I can’t wait to see all the guys! And I can’t wait to see all the gals! I absolutely can’t wait for another pint of Castle Lager! JSF.

The night sky over Jo'burg. The CBD's Hillbrow Tower looms in the background. Beauty.

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