Kanye West. Zane Lowe.

I didn’t get it.

When I first heard “Yeezus” I pretty much had an allergic reaction. But the album is growing on me.

I’ve been going through something now, where I’m starting to realise that we haven’t overcome the legacy of racial segregation and oppression, but that we must overcome everyday. But as the barriers fall to the advancement of oppressed peoples, the entrenched power manifests new ways to slow humanity’s progress.

It’s exhausting and I haven’t ever played any kind of active role in the healing process. If anything, my ignorance slowed us down. But I will do something now.

When I heard Kanye talking about hitting the glass ceiling (from about 8:00) I sat up. Imagine, a person like him saying something like that.

He’s human, but he’s great. And speaking into a heavy situation. And I liked him more after I heard him say.

Ozymandias II

Image of oil and organic material on Blaauwberg beach

Oil and detritus

The last of it

Seeps from the husk

Onto sand

The broken trust

 

The world won’t ever

Forget us

Not when we’re gone

And turned to dust

 

The wind will howl

Forlorn chorus

Each year more rubble

And detritus

 

How would the world

Hope to forget us

As all we touched

Turns to rust

 

About the poem

I originally published this on Yahoo! Voices in 2011. That platform has since pretty much died. I hadn’t thought about it in more than a year and it would be all but gone were it not for Flickr needing my Yahoo! credentials. I thought I’d repost it here. I hadn’t even thought about it in a year, so it was a rush when it flooded back. It’s very much inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias (Wikipedia). In Shelley’s, the poet speaks of the eroded ruins of a glorious statue. Instead, I bemoan how much of this age will never be forgotten. Not when we put permanent materials to use in temporary products.

About the image

At the tail end of 2011, the Seli 1 started breaking up off the coast of Blaauwberg, Cape Town, after being stranded there since 2009 (News24 / Times). I drove up to the area with my good friend Sean Messham (some of his most recent work at Messham Photography) to witness the clean-up effort. He took amazing photos (as usual). I was lucky to snap this on my not-so-smartphone.

Dove’s #Truebeauty

Or everything I don’t like about the way Dove and, by extension its parent company Unilever, approaches people.

On a related note: Has anyone compared Dove with its sister (or should that be brother) brand Axe? I mean specifically the way Unilever marketers drastically change how they interpellate* and portray men and women as they switch brand hats.

You can’t fool everyone all the time.

*Interpellation is how you hail a person, and how that address changes how they read your message (more on Wikipedia). Read more about how words alter meaning for better or worse in Hlanganyela vs ?

Hlanganyela vs ?

mrmaboea:

Word choice makes a huge difference. Even when words look like synonyms on the surface, they can have distinct connotations. I hadn’t consciously thought about that much with my home language, isiZulu, but White Zulu looks at that in his eponymous blog, specifically focusing on the majority party’s campaign slogan for #Elections2014 in South Africa. I won’t go into hyperbole and say this post has changed my life, but I’ll definitely say I’m going to be more conscious of my word choice going forward.

Originally posted on White Zulu:

Discourse analysis is about asking two questions about word choice (diction) and sentence structure – “why?” and “why not?”.

For example:

“WHY did the ANC choose to use the word hlanganyela on their isiZulu election posters?”

and

“WHY did the ANC choose NOT to use other words for togetherness on their isiZulu election posters?”

The same question can be applied to a comparison of the ANC’s posters and those of the DA, where similar choices have been made.

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We’ve all seen them. They have appeared in all 11 of our official languages (as well as in Portuguese, Italian, Cantonese and Greek), blossoming with the last heavy rains of summer on lampposts and at intersections, 20 metres tall in blazing lights or the size of a postcard in newspapers. They grow every day. Almost all have a face, though some show the proof of the promises (roads, houses, smiling well-fed…

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