Next year must be different

Next year must be different

HE who apologises for telling the truth is the worst hypocrite, the type of fool that falsely believes they can please everyone, making amends where unnecessary, mollycoddling snakes instead of crushing their heads and in the process expecting that the serpents shall kiss the lying lips: the wise must never apologise for telling the truth, for it is what it is and can never be erased by anyone or anything for the sake of aggrandisement, for the sake of affiliation, for the sake of pleasing the council of self-righteous fools, for the sake of pleasing everyone concerned and unconcerned.
Come the end of the year, as it has come before, as it will come again and again in the following years until the end of time. The wise introspect, the calculating view the year in retrospect, the foolish look forward to revelling in the endless mirth merriment ‘compliments of the season’ and forget that the hard times are ahead in January.

The observers look at the world and how it may possibly pan out in the next year relative to the events of the present moment.
Some of these events are of a nature that provokes only anger and animosity, others leave one wondering exactly where this world is headed in terms of progress and civilisation, that is, whether we are progressing to some level of peaceful sophistication or whether we are regressing back to our caveman primal nature.
One can safely assert that humanity has been on a roll to return to the cave, even though it is in a form so well-hidden in political vicissitudes that it would be hard to spot it if one were not to look at the evidence thereof closely.

Look at the picket fences and the high walls, try and understand the reason why there are so many CCTV cameras in suburbia, and the answers that come are of one type: we have become more violent over the years, more vain in our pursuit of ‘happiness’, more selfish in our outlook and even more surprisingly, one can safely guess that we have actually become more paranoid, more hopeless, and less feeling with regard to the feelings and the well-being of others, that the slogan of the day, “me, me, me…” can safely be assumed to be the thought that drives the ideology of the era.

The success of one depends on a lot of individual factors that ‘supplement’ the core of any human person’s being, the community that nurtures them to maturity.
Talent, effort, consistency, virtuosity, and others are all qualities that lead to one succeeding, but without an audience of teachers and mentors and followers, it oftentimes loses its worth to be successful, for then one is as a man shouting in the wilderness speaking to nothing, being heard by nothing.
There is a primal need for human beings to connect, to hear the voices of fellow beings, to touch them, to smell of the flowers of the fields together with them, to be part of the crowd, to be and to feel equal with others.

Without this element of simplicity in terms of (co) existence, the human being is not exactly human, but is in fact something else, of a sort closer to the Platonic assertion that a human being that leads an isolated life is either a god or a madman.

There is an increase in the rift between human beings in the present time, and this leads to the conclusion that our vanity makes us feel like we are demi-gods, or, we are actually getting drunk on the chichas of debauchery and getting high on the peyotes of unchecked pride. There is need to look back and return to sanity.
Kevin Hart would have been only the fifth black individual to host the Oscars since their inception in 1927 (after Sammy Davis Jnr, Diana Ross, Richard Pryor, and Whoopi Goldberg).
Kevin has had to abdicate the seat due to uproar from the LGBTI/Q sector of society that want an apology from the man for tweets made sometime in 2011-2012. Rather than make endless apologies and in the spirit of goodwill, Kevin chose to leave what many would see as the opportunity of a lifetime.

He had apologised before, but it seems what the accusers wanted was for him to kneel in front of the altars of the gay gods and lick toes to show that he is sorry for his jokes. I mean, why should one be constantly apologetic for an error committed somewhere in the vague past even after they have previously apologised for it?
One can only proclaim “mea culpa, mea maxima culpa” once in the confessional or in the open like he did on Twitter. It is not a crime to tell jokes for the sake of the entertainment of an audience, people laughed in mirth when Kevin told his ‘lewd’ jokes, but they are not blamed as much as he is.

It is only when he has to host the Oscars that the gay community finds it suitable or convenient to bring up the charges for a ‘crime’ he committed six or seven years ago. Is it because being gay is not in itself peculiar? Have jokes about other peculiar individuals not been made before?
I have heard jokes on Stevie Wonder’s blindness, and I have never heard him sue anyone for it. That the sector of society whose sexual orientation remains a hot topic for discussion could go out and be vindictive about jokes and comments made years ago just shows that they are somehow drunk on the power they believe they have based on the increasing level of tolerance on the part of the general society.

It is not normal to be born out of a ‘normal’ heterosexual coital encounter and then later to declare that such kinds of sexual encounters do not apply to you.
Convince those that listen to your opinions on sexual orientation but do not impose your views on those that do not understand or agree with them. It is unnatural for fertile humans not to procreate in the natural way and then to expect some of us to believe that your sexual orientation is ‘normal’, for well, it is not.
People must just stop getting drunk on power and expecting that they will be tolerated afterwards, in fact, there will actually be more animosity towards you and those that follow your credo, for the truth is that no one will accept contradicting tendencies.

You cannot expect to be understood and loved if all you show is vengeance; and I believe that Kevin’s case is a clear sign that LGBTQ/I community are in actual fact out to punish everyone that said something in the early years before the understanding of what the gay rights movement is about.
Certain countries still do not accept your sexual orientation, attacking individuals will simply justify such countries’ stance on gay rights.
I have always wondered why the issue of rights is a one-sided affair.

Ever since the independence of South Africa in 1994, which actually was the real independence of other states in the region, the talk about rights picked up pace and became a global affair with women and children becoming the focal point in the human rights debates and discussions. It was a good stroke to focus on the vulnerable in these discussions, but the so-called perpetrators were in actual fact never engaged, being limited only to the peripheries of the discussions and only mentioned in call-outs and rights protests in terms that in stark terms were demeaning, abusive, and downright deplorable.

I am sure one has seen a few placards that proclaim men as ‘dogs’, and one has sure seen ‘enough is enough’ more times than they have signed their name. What this kind of treatment has bred is a male that is more aggressive and abusive, and this is fed to a large extent by the ignorance of the actual value of the role the male members of society actually play.
There are other extenuating factors women’s and children’s rights movements actually ignore, and the first among them is the fact that all of us were equally dehumanised by colonialism and apartheid.

We suffered equally under the systems, so the question that remains is: why should we be treated like we helped the real perpetrators of crimes against humanity when we were ourselves victims?
Freedom in Africa of the south actually came with unemployment for a larger part of the male population who had in previous eras actually had to leave home to find employment in the industrial hubs and mining towns of Johannesburg.

Living under inhuman conditions, these men did it for families they could only see once or twice a year. Come liberation, mass retrenchments in the mining industry left many of them hopeless, and they could not get employment in an industry that all of a sudden gave women priority over them when it came to the issue of hiring.
Disowned and ostracised as the pariahs of society, men retreated to speakeasies, getting drunk on cheap alcohol and coming back home to insults. This bred a spirit of retaliation expressed in a form that is more physical than verbal: and the abusive beast seen everyday on the media was born. The truth is that men have no say in whatever discussions there are aimed at stemming the tide of abuse currently prevalent in our societies.

Chained in the corner of society by legal statutes, men can only watch as the world discusses how abusive they are without their accusers actually finding out what irks them into violence.
And so the discussions will go on without them, and the chances are that the violence and abuse will go on unchecked if men go on being excluded as they are at the moment.
This is the age of extremes where the gap between the rich and the poor goes on widening despite its being already a bottomless chasm that cannot be bridged. A rich suburb has a shantytown right next to it, and very few people see wrong in that.

A rich executive has a ‘maid’ that is paid only enough to cover the journey home, forcing such an individual to stay for extended periods to save enough to take something to the family back home.
Sometimes they cannot save enough, and the level of stress increases and they give in to the concrete jungle where they live and end up never returning home.
It is perhaps normal in someone’s books for the rich and the poor to be there in society, but this inequality actually gives rise to the high levels of crime and drug abuse one sees in present-day society as individuals convince themselves that they too deserve the comforts a certain sector of society lives in.
The hopelessness needs some remedy to assuage it, and the drugs are the easy answer for those that want to numb the pain of lack in the face of so much splendour seen in the lives of the rich and the famous flashed daily on various multimedia platforms.

People try and attain a certain level of comfort, but it is the comfort of the extreme sort presented as ideal by the power magnates of the world living somewhere in some high rise’s penthouse with a condor on some private island accessed by a private jet or luxurious yacht. It is a bridge too far, as wide and long as the gap between the rich and the poor that cannot be crossed.
The events of this year to a large extent opened one’s eyes to a few facts, the major one among them being that political talk is in actual fact empty talk meant for the benefit of the politician and cronies.

The whole world is in actual fact becoming a political entity, with film stars, sports personalities, academics, and other professionals leaving their respective fields for a stint in politics.
Values are lost in the process, the basic human needs are forgotten in the course of this pursuit for political glory, and only the quest to be the richest and the most famous seems to be the main preoccupation.

The poor masses will go on follow on empty stomachs as the politicking over everything goes, and by the time the world wakes up to the reality that we need to be more human than extravagant, it may be too late. The truth about redemption is that one should go back to the right path the moment that they realise that they have been following a wrong one all along. The political route needs to be reformed because there is only one truth about it: it has misled the masses for too long.

And for a black man whose main misfortune is being led by beggars posing as leaders, the time for individual change is now. That is if we want to progress harmoniously instead of speaking as Eminem does each time we are told that change is about to come by a political leader. Next year must be different.

By: Tšepiso S. Mothibi

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