Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Black humour

Friend Of The Arts, ol’ Pal?

Dear Dr Jordan

It’s interesting that as Minister of the Department of Arts and Culture, you state quite glibly that “The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is about how the people of South Africa stopped thinking of themselves as belonging to different groups and began to see themselves as one African nation whose ancestors happened to come from different continents” in your Public Address on behalf of the Cape Town International Jazz Fest . Your department is concurrenlty establishing initiatives that completely contradict such claims, stratifying open-minded celebrations of diversity. The Department seems intent on curbing press coverage of what has inauspiciously and myopically been dubbed “White Rock”. I thought we'd freed ourselves from mental slavery.

The motions translate tritely. The press and the broader media will not be free to represent musical genres as it sees fit or as its readers and viewers demand, but as government quotas dictate. Ironically, "quotas", here, sounds suspiciously like a synonym for oppression. So much for a free press.

What I'd like to know is, since when did music have colour? Oh yeah. How ignorant of me and my centuries-scarred memory. Since the reign of the Rainbow Nation. But with 14 years of freedom in the bag and uncountable corruption in our coffers, this new approach sounds more like retribution and revenge than reconstruction and reconciliation.

Music appeals to the soul through the emotions, and as such, is one of the few art forms that has a stab at healing the rifts in our realities. Why segregate that?

So touché, Dr Jordan. Jou ma se genre, is all I can say. Bob would be disappointed by your “representation”.

Not Yours
Jezebel ('just another white girl')

p.s. What are you going to do about Blk Jks and Southpaw, I wonder?