Comrade Confuciass


The vow of silence taken by the senior journalists at the New Age, (the Dawn 5) combined with the ongoing soap set in the SAB© Boardroom and the drama around the Protection of Information Bill, when combined, make for great local content. The difference between the three productions, in essence, comes down to genre.

Viewers must ask, is the Dawn 5’s silence voluntary, like a Tibetan Buddhist monk’s vow of silence against Chinese occupation or are the Dawn 5 acting the role of patriots? Is the SAB© soap veering into comedy or farce? And, is the rush to pass the Protection of Info Bill an act of treason or, love? 

There is no better form of high drama, in a journalistic saga, than journalists gagging themselves.  It is a bit like brave Kamikaze pilots, shouting Death to America then mistakenly dive-bombing their Emperor’s palace.  Should the Dawn 5 eventually break their vow of silence will it be to collectively break into singing m’shini wam?  When they do, we can only hope they don’t shoot themselves in the leg.

Recently the waffle sprouted by uBen and his Board had parliament, granted not our greatest minds, completely flummoxed. In this talkie, the only thing that is never mentioned is the covering-up of the corruption the Board is mandated to root out. Irrespective of liking soap or not, one must marvel at how the show is devoid of any irony. None of our lowly paid soap scribes can sustain suspense thus, without ever alluding to: plot, motive or any character development. Clearly uSolly is still writing the board’s script  as he has always done, despite the recent recasting.

Thirdly, in Minister Cwele’s info drama, we at last have a sincere plot, a pure love story: To rescue his wife’s dignity a man must shut down a nation’s media. It is riveting action, again without any irony. The educational outcome is thankfully obvious. Protecting the details of the wife’s relationship with a drug lord is in the best interests of national security.

All three storylines are part of a revolutionary putsch. Our wise leader, aided by selfless capitalists like Com Guptha and spin-doc Com Essop, are deliberately spreading chaos in the media to protect us from oppression by the media. In story terms, truth is now the third force.

You may well be wondering what happens next? I can provide you with a preview thanks to a bloody agent who wishes to remain anonymous. Said bastard tells me that the three shows merge into one blockbuster.

Metaphorically speaking, power, truth and love become a mixed genre, a silent–talkie-soapy-political-love story- thriller. The main themes are shutting-up, covering up and protecting dignity.

I’m not convinced this is Mzanzi fo sho but the Dawn 5, are appointed to the SAB© board, replacing “the 4’ recalcitrant board members who keep spoiling uBen’s tour de force.  A big twist in the plot is that uPhil, becomes the editor of the New Age. Of course, Minister Cwele becomes High Commissioner to Nigeria. Gupta wins a lifetime achievement award at the 2011 Burkina Faso Film Festival. Essop gets the morning slot on Radio 5 because uCliff is deported to Lesotho for writing unpatriotic letters. The President gets a third term and his extended family join Weight Watches. uSolly takes over as Head of Standard Bank and instantly fires Jill Marcus over at the Reserve Bank. The Prime Rate drops to 1.5% after Julius becomes chair of Anglo-Malema.  Cosatu finally goes underground.

Comrades, in these uncertain times, I say unto you: Ask not what your country can do for you but rather ask, what your country can do for you…


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