Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Category: complaints dept (Page 1 of 24)

The Split

Yesterday, on my way back from an indefinitely shut SARS office I witnessed a line of people, going around the block, to the SASSA building. These people expressed in physical sloping, the unlikeliness of success. I saw a line of desperation. A line of hunger. A line of no future, just a bleak and terrifying present.

And while I was looking at this line I was listening to an economist on the radio talking about how the COVID pandemic was highlighting the importance of life insurance, and how we all need to be frightened into making the right investments. This white, educated, articulate man was talking as if the country was made up of people like him. Only people like him. Life insurance? There was no hint of irony in this man’s perspective. There was no vague nod to the fact that he was talking for and to the 1%. He spoke with the authority of pure blindness to the reality of our country and its suffering majority. And it was terrifying. Because in that moment I saw that hunger trumps decency, that crime is a desperate act, and that life can be not worth having. This is wrong. This is fundamentally, hideously wrong. This conversation should not be had on public radio at the same time that desperate people are queuing for R350 that they have already been told is not there for them.

We have to shift. We have to move. We have to transition. It is far too late. There is no more time. Life insurance? No. We need a new plan for the poor, the desperate, the unseen. And we need those who talk about life insurance to keep quiet for 5 minutes and listen.

Camps Bay Occupation

This is a one thought post. And, it is pretty much all in the name. Camps Bay. Everyone has weighed in with an opinion about the occupation of a luxury home in Camps Bay under false pretences, and most of that opinion is that these violators have broken the law, and been irresponsible, and are going to affect the tourism industry; all of which is actually true. What nobody is saying is that the obscene wealth and the flashing of it in areas like Camps Bay are an endless kick in the face to the poor and disenfranchised. End of.

Conspiracy

As a storyteller, an improvisor who revels in the world of make believe, an avid reader of fiction, a lover of sci-fi and speculative genres, I find myself drawn in to the ‘possibility’ of things in a ‘what if’ way. I have been caught off guard more than once by fake news, but on the whole I have been able to sniff it out with a hearty dose of cynicism and the basic tools of google fact checking. But the interwebz is a proper breeding ground for all sorts of tech viruses and people are either susceptible or desperate or a mixture of both. Not that I blame us. In our search for meaning beyond the random and terrifying, there is the dreadful paranoia that we are totally helpless and things are truly beyond our control.

Enter the conspiracy theories. Sometimes they may start off small; a theory may gather a few facts and half facts before picking up the front or back end of a wacky idea and before you know it it is a known truth that Chinese villagers have been mind controlled and have been swallowing bleach. Sometimes they just go huge;  there is no actual virus and governments have aligned and are killing off a percentage of the population (I wrote this before I watched the video below).

Sometimes these conspiracy theories leave the lips of politicians like Trump and his Republican potato heads and are dismissed by anyone with half a brain, because they know that Trump and his Trumpets literally cannot tell the difference between truth, data and facts and lies that they actually make up themselves! 

Sometimes a friend will say something as a Facebook status update and it will travel the pathways of gossip, find its way into a meme, get itself an official logo from the University of Blahblahblishblah, and then it is suddenly a ‘real and verified’ warning that needs to be shared by all WhatsApp groups forever.

Many of the conspiracy theories around COVID19, particularly the origin of it, carry dire warnings about the who, what where and how. And then there is this.

I was sent this today and I laughed out loud, read up about the guy, scoffed, went back and started watching. And got totally sucked in. Sucked in.

Now it is an hour later and my brain hurts. What do you think guys? I need help of the highest order.

 

Why I can’t watch theatre online

This is just me here. This is not a philosophy, or an instruction, or criticism. It is me. I don’t want to watch theatre online. I make exceptions for National Theatre Live productions because they are filmed brilliantly, even during live performances in front of an audience, and also, I will never get to see these productions live.

But if I can choose to watch stuff I am going to choose things that are made for screen. And there is so much to choose from. Series, films, doccies, music, animation, to name a few. And there is so much out there, by so many brilliant and even famous people.

I don’t enjoy watching recordings of live theatrical performances. They make me sad, and frustrated, and empty. They don’t do the performers and writers and directors and lighting designers any justice.

So I am going to wait until I can go back into a live theatre space. And then I am going to go back with a vengeance.

That needy diva, the Economy

Each country has one, like a Miss Universe (the irony) contestant. Not a real thing, a word used to describe, threaten, strike fear into hearts and pockets. A concept separated from action, meaning, and even things. I am not an economist but I do know that The Economy is not a thing without consumers. If people can’t work they don’t have money and they can’t buy things and they will be hungry.

So, economists who talk about how much money people can save during lockdown, who the fuck are you talking about? I know about 5 people who are working from home, with real jobs that pay salaries. Everybody else I know, regardless of where they live in the country, are out of work and have no idea when they will earn money again.

People are literally without food, without the ability to buy food, and can’t get any. People are sick and can’t get medicine.

Right now I want a shift in the conversation. I want us to talk about saving people, not the economy. Let’s save people. The economy, whatever it is, will be saved accordingly.

The Drunk Elephant in the Room

I would love to hear a proper debate about alcohol and its ban during lockdown. I would love to hear how alcohol is the sharpest and clearest tool for understanding class and race in South Africa.

Alcohol and its production cannot be separated out from oppressive Apartheid history. Alcohol is one of the most prominent features of financial slavery, and difference of its use and abuse in different classes of society reflects the story.

The dop system, still in operation on many wine farms, has been explored in all its horror, but what isn’t always in discussion is how alcohol has made slaves of the poor and disenfranchised all over the country.

When the middle class complain on social media of running out of gin and red wine this is an entirely different scenario from the ones played out in our poor communities.

Alcohol is a legal but powerful drug. Its abuse in South Africa is a pandemic of its own. Because it is legal the bullshit about it being able to be used responsibly by consumers is peddled (albeit weakly) in tiny fine print in its ads that show a glamorous and false lifestyle, unattainable to most. The reality is that alcohol is a poison that increases aggression which destroys families and is a contributing factor in GBV and even murder.

Alcohol is big business, huge business at the expense of the poor. And it is slavery.

And during lockdown I have been so pissed off by the complete bullshit of SAB adverts about unity on Twitter. Sies and tsek.

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