Earlier today, in ‘Damn Knysna’s Politicians, Chuck Them in the Sea’, I said that I was going to rock the boat which would mean stepping on people’s sensibilities.
I will never escape crooked fingers pointing at me and the invariable backlash from those who want to keep agendas hidden or refuse to question what is real. Most do not enjoy the uncomfortable and will do everything in their power to dodge awkward thoughts so as to live the same day, over and over, no matter if they enjoy it or not. People are simply, awkwardly, comfortable with what they know (it’s a condition called ‘willful ignorance’ and it has seriously screwed up the world so that evil defeats good more often than not).
On a regular basis, I have people tell me that they were told to steer clear of me but not one I’ve encountered has ever received a solid reason why. I’m sure that somebody will state a reason so as to contradict me now that I’ve said that but, as for the others, it’s because some can’t stand to have their mates, family or colleagues scrutinised… or the way they see their world questioned.
Those asking me are the minority who can think for themselves, who want all sides before making up their minds. Consequently, for each, that tells me there will be far more who said nothing to me as their friendly smile cloaked their grimace. I’m a perceptive person. I have shaken hands with many who I’m aware are pretending. Then there are those who think we have a common enemy and mistakenly think that I’ll help them out of hate instead of good reason.
“There are only two people
who can tell you the truth about yourself
– an enemy who has lost his temper
and a friend who loves you dearly.”
Pissing off people doesn’t make my life easy. Although repetition has made me stronger, there is a part of me that will always remain sensitive.
It’s not easy being hated by some who cannot explain why they hate me. And when some do, that won’t be nice either. There’s the consolation that there are, more and more, people who encourage me with kind words and handshakes, beer and conversation… but I’m also aware that kind words won’t help me if I’m thrown into court and don’t help me when I’m threatened. When shit hits the fan, I’m likely to have few standing beside me… and even more likely to be standing alone. That is scary, something I live with every day. The action apathy (to use an oxymoron) of Knysna makes me want to give up almost every day. Only that which is prepared to help itself can be helped.
Does any of this matter? I’d like to think so but does it really?
I’m much rather be researching music, dating pretty women, writing a book, earning a living (as much as I hate it, money sure helps) or, most of all, erecting and running a community centre that helps kids and teens –
– but I’m here now, feeling pigeonholed even though there’s a part of me that knows that only I can do that to myself. Then there are those days I know that it is exactly where I’m meant to be!
Sometimes I feel like I’m friends with enemies and enemies with friends. I have a lot of mates but I’m actually alone because there is no one I know that understands what I do, why I do it and the difficult decisions I regularly make. And I cannot understand why they don’t care whilst ‘only’ drinking coffee and beer, and talking about the weather.
That “sensitive side”, mixed with my constant attempt to break through Knysna’s mostly useless walls of decorum (that “pretending that nothing is wrong”) makes me point out, ahead of my blogging this month that is bound to be controversial, that I’m not ANC (using people’s fears is a cowardly attack) and that anyone supporting bad friends is sharing their crimes.
“True friends stab you in the front.”
– Oscar Wilde
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not standing on a pedestal. I’m not perfect and I’m not trying to be a hero. There are things I wish I’d done differently. I’m like everyone else. We have our warts. The difference between people is in how they treat those flaws. I’m still working on mine but living in Knysna has given me the most healing and acceptance of self than anywhere else. I believe in minimising regret and guilt with positive action. When I do fall, I hope that some will help me pick myself up. When I do wrong, I hope that I’ll be given a chance at redemption. And I want to get over that feeling that Knysna, my love, is going to kill me.
I need to get back on track. What was my original reason for typing this blog? Before I fell down a diary?
Over the years, I’ve spoken much of these things but here are a few of my words that many have conveniently chosen to ignore as they attack. I don’t want them to have that ‘convenience’ to manipulate public perception. It is through the inconvenience that we can best find reality and understand our place in it.
FRIENDS, ENEMIES & COMMENTATORS
“One of the biggest obstacles I’ve encountered is that there are people in Knysna who don’t make decisions according to right or wrong, according to the evidence or the Municipality’s refusal to answer questions, but rather according to who they are friends with or doing business with. None can say that Knysna’s small business community has prospered because of it. The ironic consequence of short term greed and misguided relationship is that they then screw friends and family who were not directly involved. So I’m asking everyone to please look at what’s happening which is the total trampling of our rights in Knysna.”
“A man with no enemies is a man with no character.”
― Paul Newman
[from a response to a commentator on my blog and Facebook] “I’m aware I’m in a small town. I experience that far more than most. I choose not to hide who I am or what I do. I choose not to be duplicitous. I choose to back up my thoughts. I choose to hate bias. I choose to think for myself. I choose to despise the ANC for their greed. I choose to despise the DA more for their greed because they are in power and most affecting our lives in Knysna. I choose not to ignore the many times people stab without substantiation. I choose not to be intimidated by old school thought that encourages hate and no solution. I choose to hate conservatism that ensures the same system that has repeatedly let us down is kept on a pedestal as a fake barrier between us and our fears. I choose not to ignore the history of commentators with hidden agendas. I choose not to ignore commentators who refuse to stay on topic because they think playing me somehow wins an argument. I choose not to fear threats and small-town gossip. I choose not to be a sheep.
People are free to have an opinion so long as they stick on topic. Commenting on a status update instead of the articles themselves is a very cheap way of substantiating your bias e.g. I could say “the DA did this” and your automatic response will be akin to, ” you must be wrong for saying that.” That’s not freedom of speech. That’s nearer hypocrisy.
Accusing me of being ANC when I’m not is not only another superficiality of substantiation but jumping on the bandwagon of cheap propaganda.
As an example, to be productive, in this article, you could say that it’s wrong for anyone to lie – that would surely be a moral. But if you ignored what it’s about only to attack me that would question your motives. Now, in your case, when the questionable motive is repeated sans logic, I have to accept that you only there to denigrate, not constructively debate. You, and others, have made your own history which is is incredibly one-sided and off the track.
“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
There are others who have questioned me. Even if I disagree with them, I have to accept them if they motivate with reasoning. Sometimes both sides can be wrong and right at the simultaneously [and sometimes i can just be wrong]. You haven’t been one of those so rather than experience deconstruction for deconstruction’s sake, or a hidden agenda, I keep things on-topic by bidding you farewell.”
Please read full thoughts and arguments here:
I do not trust the ANC or the DA. I do not believe in choosing between the grill or the fire. But I believe that we must work with both. It is the hand we are dealt with. Practically, I hope that new blood unclogs the arteries of their old, racist, fear-mongering, self-serving bodies before South Africa is destroyed.
“Voting for a political party is a vote wasted if you don’t know who is representing you locally and what their agenda for Knysna is (not South Africa).”
“I have never experienced COPE, the ANC or the DA stand up for us regards the biggest issues affecting our lives such as corruption in the Municipality and the SAPS, and growing unemployment, drugs and crime. They have a tough job which will never find them satisfying all but that is not an excuse for them deliberately avoiding the most important topics or lying to us about them.”
“I choose to despise the ANC nationally for their monumental greed and racist policies but i choose also to despise the DA who are in power in Knysna, my home town, where they have shattered their election promises and blocked us from participating in the most important decisions affecting our lives.”
“I believe that all politicians should be held liable by their constituents. I’m hoping that you do too. It’s totally unacceptable that a politician can lie to get elected and then reap 5 years of high salaries that can’t be challenged. Politicians must be accountable for their actions or non-actions. I’d previously promised to compose a commitment form to be presented to local politicians but have been saved the composition by adapting an already made form by Jim Powell, the founder of Direct Democracy SA. Ask yourself, is this not what you’d want from your local councillor? Would you want them to sign this?“
“Dig deep with me, please. We are losing our town to people with hidden agendas. Transparency is worth fighting for because the quality of our lives in Knysna matters!”
May we all live up to these words and make Knysna better:
“It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out
how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds
could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred
by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming
But who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end
the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails,
at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be
with those cold and timid souls
who neither know victory nor defeat.”
— Theodore Roosevelt