Rod MacKenzie
Rod MacKenzie

ANC wins … and KAPOW! Wolverine destroys army helicopter

Kabamm! The armoured truck does a roughly 270 degree belly flop, hurling Wolverine into the air towards the military helicopter that’s trying to gun him down. Snikt! His newly minted adamantium claws (he only gets the “virtually indestructible” metal version halfway through the movie) flash in the sunlight as he sails through the air and skkreeeesshhh, one set of claws scythe through one or two rotor blades, sparks singing through the air. Wolverine sinks the other set of adamantium claws into the body of the ’copter as it spirals chukka chukka to the ground. At the last second he leaps off, rolling across the road while … KAPOW, the chopper smashes into the sand road. He gets to his feet, assorted cuts and gashes on his magnificent body healing within seconds as he strides back to the smouldering helicopter wreck to ensure his deadly nemesis, Zero, is no longer alive …

Dude, like, waaaay awesome, the new X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I saw it about ten days ago, and yeah, ahem, sure I know it only gets released for the first time on the US movie circuit in May. I am writing this in April. Well, cough, cough, let’s just hypothesise (very confidently) that a few Chinese gentlemen have a cousin who knows a friend who was sure the movie producers didn’t mind if they just quickly borrowed a pre-release copy of the movie and … hey diddle diddle, the movie was available by the fricken box-load in just about every street-side DVD stand in Shanghai nearly a month before the US release, with Mandarin subtitles nogal.

That’s normal here in Shanghai. That’s just how China works, my bru. Work with the system or die in the system.

China is a country where fakes are sometimes better than originals, enough said, dear reader. And my DVD I am sure will be a collector’s item as the copy of the movie the Chinese “borrowed” is, oops, before the movie went through final production phase. Just now and then the DVD shows Wolverine and the other deadly mutants with their stunt rope harnesses on (before the final touch-up where the rope harnesses are blotted out) as they half-fly tumbling and twirling through the air or bounce off walls in spectacular, teeth-gnashing efforts to moer one another.

Wolverine’s showdown with the mutant Gambit was like, wicked dude, where Gambit is on top of a ten-floor descending, clattering fire escape while the enraged Wolverine’s adamantium claws slice up the metal frame of the fire escape the way you and I would effortlessly grate cheese … oh, let me not spoil the movie for you. And if you are ignorant of the Marvel Comics X-Men/mutant mythology, which by now rivals Greek mythology, rich with Jungian archetypal possibilities, shame on thee.

In a couple of years’ time I bet if I can find a legal way to auction my um, well, even better than genuine copy of the DVD on eBay or New Zealand’s Trademe.com I could make a fortune. And the DVD only cost me eight RMB, just over ten rand.

So, Wolverine won (leaving a trail of havoc and destruction in his wake) and the ANC won (leaving a trail of … fill in the missing words). Both have awesome self-healing powers and I am actually truly impressed and proud of the way SA peacefully held the elections and simultaneously hosted the Indian Premier League Twenty20 as India apparently couldn’t right now because of their current election issues. I forgive Zuma for his past and his unwillingness to disclose about the arms deal. Wolverine, too, eventually actually forgives his (censored) for killing (censored) and forgives (censored) for betraying (censored). Sheez, no ways will I give away some awesome plot ideas in the new X-Men movie, some of you might hunt me down … But my previous censored sentence reads like what we really know about the infamous arms deal and JZ’s call for forgiveness, doesn’t it, hey?

But I now actually have enormous confidence in the ANC (partly because it only got 65.9%), especially with Zuma’s decision to probably move Trevor Manuel to a watchdog role over the government. Excellent idea, and Manuel is a man with a lot of integrity and a proven, formidable skills base, which surely includes forensic accounting skills, which will be much needed in his potential new position.

I think Zuma has the charisma, confidence and empathy to lead a party elected by the people and for the people to serve the people, especially the poor. Like Wolverine, who has pretty much forgotten entirely who he is and where he comes from by the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we need to forget the past and move on. And hey, strictly speaking, I am not giving anything away about the movie as anyone who knows the Wolverine story from Marvel Comics and who has seen the X-Men trilogy, knows he can’t remember his past except for the occasional flashback.

I said earlier on “that’s just how China works”. It is also how South Africa works and is going to have to work. I understand that the ANC received a lot of funding from the Chinese to help ensure they won the elections. Nothing wrong with that: friends helping friends. There is huge business to be conducted between the two governments.

In Shanghai, there was an SA exhibition in a park a year or so ago and it was just wonderful. The Chinese loved the proteas on display and I was awed by them as I was seeing those lovely fountains of feathery jewels, through the Chinese eyes, as if for the first time.

I was thinking of writing a blog along the lines, “ANC sucking up to the Chinese”, but hey, are they really? There are fish that live around sharks’ mouths, keeping them clean, as there are birds which pick crocodiles’ mouths clean. The symbiosis of hygiene and free protein in return is productive and beneficial for all, though the comparisons I use may unfortunately seem pejorative. Pal, I respect sharks and crocs. And they usually win. So let’s stick with the winners.

Mind you, in X-Men origins: Wolverine, the mutant called (censored) reminds me a lot of Zuma. But, although it was one helluva fight even (name censored) didn’t beat Wolverine even though he could stick his hand in the barrel of a tank and the tank’s fired shell banged off his fist back into the tank and exploded the tank. Reminds me of certain recent court decisions and overrulings. (Censored) just shook his hand out afterwards to release the slight stiffness, I suppose, and it wasn’t wankers’ cramp. I mean, this mutant, who later is called (censored) even developed a huge (censored) and a pair of boobs that would make Dolly Parton look anorexic because of his massive eating disorder. Yet the bruised Wolverine still beat him, so you never know, hey?

I believe some ANC leaders developed a massive eating disorder for corruption and inappropriate wealth. But, with their share of their vote deteriorating a bit with each election — and that’s with two million more voters turning out in 2009 — I think the lads in black, green and gold realise they have to tighten their belts and start delivering. Personally, I am confident Zuma will. The business deals that can be continued with the Chinese and the fresh ones that can be struck up are just too lucrative and beneficial for South Africa’s economy.

So who’s going to be the star of the next Origins of X-Men? The Yellow Peril?

  • http://mandrake.amagama.com Mandrake

    If it wasn’t for the cut-glass vision allegory to the boys from MK boot-camp i’d say your son wrote this.

    Brilliant!

  • http://mandrake.amagama.com Mandrake

    Just take “vision” out of that sentence and it makes more sense…Jean-Grey was messing with my mental stream of thought there all the way from Shanghai

  • Kennedy

    What share of the ANC vote is deteriorating? Pls Rod! You might even manage to fool yourself! Fact is, two thirds or no two thirds, the ANC got more votes than it ever did in all the previous elections. While you spent a week preparing this blog, the rest of society followed the IEC announcement of an increase in ANC vote, from 10 880, 915 in 2004, to 11 650, 748 in 2009, leaving other parties to share 6 029 981. Fact is, it will take beyond our lifetime for any other party to rule this country. That’s scant comfort.

  • http://www.intelleguntdesigns.org Pastor Ray Mac Oily

    “Manuel is a man with a lot of integrity and a proven, formidable skills base, which surely includes forensic accounting skills, which will be much needed in his potential new position.”

    Sorry to disappoint your high regard for Manuals academic credentials….. but the man achieved an ‘H’ for mathematics in matric. During the UDF days he was a biker, rabble rouser and a Cape Flats Skollie. He cut his “political” teeth in the discredited Labour Party of Sonny Leon. The man is an opportunist.

  • http://thoughtleader.co.za/llewellynkriel Llewellyn Kriel

    A most astute analogy, Rod – well-written, witty, perspicacious and original.

    Especially bearing in mind that Wolfie was directed by a South African, a former lawyer and the (presumably privileged as were we all – oh so extravagantly privileged. Yeah, right!!) son of Gordon Hood.

    Having worked with Gavin (a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away) I can vouch for the fact that there is more integrity, talent and directorial leadership in one of his eye lashes than all of Luthuli House. So when things go all Zuma-shaped in SA again, maybe Gav can call on his ripped Australian clawdaddy to come over & cut things back – right-sizing Wolverine style.

    Love your work!

  • safeeya

    awesome movie wolverine 😉

  • Bert

    Nice piece, Rod – Like you, I’m also an X-Men fan. I think you’re flattering the ANC somewhat, though, with this analogy – unless there’s some irony thrown in. By the way – my wife, Andrea, and I will be in China from around the middle of May for 2 conferences, and we are planning a visit to Shangai. Won’t you send me your e-mail address and perhaps a telephone number when you get this, please? Would love to meet up with you and your wife, if you’re around between middle May and June.