goo goo g’joob

The Beatles’ song, I am the Walrus, slowed down 800% and set to the 1969 film Vertige by Jean Beaudin.

“Sympathetic but subtly critical, Vertige presents itself as a psychological portrait of the escape and/or contestation tactics of the decade’s youth: while war, violence, famine and poverty continue to devastate the planet, these youngsters seek refuge in the hedonistic haven of sexual liberation, lysergic research and communal fictions.”

Watch the film at ubu.com. And HERE is an etymological investigation into the phrase “goo goo g’joob”.

jean-beaudin-vertige-1969

so, happy in cape town?

ORIGINAL  (threw up in my mouth a little):

DETOURNEMENT (all that is basically changed is the soundtrack):

We want to thank you for flying with us
We know you coulda stayed home, just cried and cussed
May all your guns go off if it’s time to bust
May all they tanks have time to rust
They got the armies turning bullets into gold
They got the hookers turning tricks in the cold
And every time the police kicks in the door
An angel gas brake dips in the O
And even if a d-boy flips him a O
It ain’t enough to buy shit anymore
Sleep in the doorway, piss on the floor
Look in the sky, wait for missiles to show
It’s finna blow cause
They got the TV, we got the truth
They own the judges and we got the proof
We got hella people, they got helicopters
They got the bombs and we got the, we got the

Don’t talk about it
It won’t show
Be about it
It’s ’bout to blow

I just spit the dope lines, I don’t snort ’em
Tell the boss to call police to escort him
You don’t write all them lies, you just quote ’em
Get offline, plug in to this modem
No, you can’t out-vote ’em
The rules is still golden
Only jewels we holding is if we guarding our scrotum
If you press your ear to the turf that is stolen
You can hear the sound of limitations exploding
Please sir, may we have another portion?
We’re children of the beast that dodged the abortion
Neck placed firm ‘tween the floor and the Florsheim
We’ll shut your shit down, don’t call it extortion
Caution — we’re coming for your head
So call the Feds and get files to shred
Every textbook read said bring you the bread
But guess what we got you instead?

Let’s keep it banging like a shotgun
We in a war before we fought one
Now if you’re tired of working so they can play
A common enemy, we got one
Now keep it banging like a shotgun
We in a war before we fought one
Now if you’re tired of working from day to day
A common enemy, we got one

on the painfulness of compassion

“Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.”

― Andrew Boyd, in Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe (W W Norton & Company, 2002).

still so far to go, south africa

mandela fist

Yesterday, on the day those in control would later turn Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s life support system off, allowing him his final, politically expedient release after months held captive in a purportedly vegetative state, I was driving with my niece Juliette in KwaZulu-Natal, behind a white woman in a bakkie. The passenger seat of the vehicle was empty. In the open back, bumping around in the drizzling rain, sat a black woman in a blue maid’s uniform trimmed, profound irony, with ribbon in the rainbow hued design of the “new” South African flag.

Utterly disgusted, Juliette and I wanted to yell out something as we drove past, something to say that we saw, we recognised, we hated the thoughtless inhumanity of the woman in the driver’s seat, and that we saw, we recognised, we hated that this was a microcosm of the sickness persisting in the world all around us every day… but something in the grim, faraway expression on the face of the woman in the back made us realise that anything we said, however well-intentioned, would only compound her humiliation. Even the clouds were spitting on her.

South Africa still has so far to go before there can be any exaltation about transformation here. Sadly, far too little in the material circumstances of the majority of South Africans has changed since 1994, and for this reason the triumphant official narrative we are bombarded with today, as the media orchestrate the nation’s performance of grief for Mandela’s passing, rings hollow. Despite the man’s humility and admission of his own fallibility, South Africans have fashioned of him a myth, a brand, a magical fetish that distracts from the truth that we are ALL responsible for changing the way we live in this country, this world… and that we will need to do more, much more, before we can talk about freedom from oppression.

My friend Andre Goodrich posted a similar anecdote on Facebook this morning, and I would like to share what he wrote and echo his exhortation:

“From my office window, I can see a young white foreman, a child really, sit watching black men at work. I see this when I look up from marking first year exam essays on the political economy of race and class in South Africa. Alongside the stack of exam papers is a sheet of paper a garden worker used to explain to me how he sees the word ‘location’ as related to the Tswana word for cattle kraal. Between these, the excitement I felt in the 90s for the massive change promised by Mandela’s release from prison feels false and jaded.

I am saddened by Mandela’s death, but I am angered by his leaving such a sense of transformation amid such an absence of it. I encourage you to be angry too, and to hold us all to a better standard than what we have settled for.”

Lala ngoxolo, Madiba. A luta continua.