Hell it’s been “black” this and “white” that for the past couple of weeks here on Thought Leader with Gillian Schutte, myself and others jumping on the bandwagon. In fact between Gillian and I have lowered the level of debate to something you’d read on that other much less intelligent riff-raff blog hosted by a big news provider.
We get passionate about race and any form of categorisation in this country and we love to generalise while telling others not to do so. As a result our nation-building project takes a good four steps back every time we sokkie one step forward.
As explained in my first blog I find it increasingly hard these days to care enough to do anything but tweet my outrage at whichever topic. My personal nation-building project is also lying idle as I try to figure out just where this bee in my bonnet is located. Our collective rationale now once more borders on Verwoerdian logic and we have Jacob Zuma as our president. Things are simply not going swimmingly.
To fix this mess I suggest we start anew the project of labelling everyone into little boxes — but this time we do it properly. We chuck out the big boring old black and white boxes and replace it with a few smaller more colourful ones. This way we don’t seem so one-dimensional to others while still being allowed to hold on to our dearest “culture” — you know, that concept behind which we can park our prejudice in the safe knowledge that it’s protected constitutionally.
The Rural-Based Agnostic Afrikaans-Speaking Eur-African Snob: I live in the platteland and fence-sit when it comes to religion. Was brought up knowing Sarie Marais and according to Sentletse Diakanyo and others cannot be called African and also cannot be bothered to fight their argument any more. Lastly I don’t tolerate bad music and I don’t like things being dirty.
Now Rural-Based Agnostic English-Speaking Eur-African Snobs are nothing like me. They live in towns like Clarens and Nottingham Road and know a lot of things about adventure sport. Urban-Based Agnostic Afrikaans-Speaking Eur-African Snobs dress really well but are mostly too effeminate to walk barefoot whereas Urban-Based Religious Afrikaans-Speaking Eur-African Snobs befriend scary people who travel to China to convert perfectly normal people to Christianity.
Now if I tell you that I get along best with Urban-Based Agnostic English-Speaking African Snobs (UAEASs) you might be shocked — but the simple truth is that I can stomach any argument over a religious one. I run a mile when people, no matter what race or culture, bring up their religious beliefs and want to have a boxing match defending it. That’s until the UAEAS proclaims his or her love for Celine Dion — then I quickly look for an even better fit to my “label” as I scupper to get the waiter to bring the tab. So I add another sub-category.
This is a very serious topic. Too serious even to write in a serious manner as the words needed to articulate it is for the most part simply not in my vocabulary. But think about this for a minute:
Who we get along with best no longer is defined by the colour of their skin. There are far more pertinent factors in modern life that ultimately determine who we get along with. I would argue that level of education and class have long since trumped race as deciding factors when we make friends. Very soon language will no longer feature either as most of us realise that English is the perfect roadhouse to meet each other half way for a cultural milkshake while we check out the drag race. Well, I am sure the non-snobs would be into this kind of thing.
The South Africans I meet are a lot more interesting and “grey” than we give ourselves credit for. I now realise that my snobbishness prevented me from making friends with those fellow Yeovillites years back. I simply did not like the loud daft music and the dirt, which coincidentally is why I don’t attend Skouspel and why I feel uncomfortable when I look at Roger Ballen photography.
Take me to Venda right now for a party with a Rural-Based Agnostic English-Speaking African and things will go great until he asks me to sit on a paint tin in the backyard among dogs. In this case my snobbishness will prevent this man from being a BFF.
Do you fit into any of these categories? Are there any suggestions for more sub-categories out there? Or am I just being racist and stupid again?