Poptartology: Blackface, white face, red-faced

2013-04-22 15:04

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Your roots are showing

The DA this week made good on their last election campaign promise, “We deliver for all”. They delivered great annoyance, a vast outpouring of online outrage and several laughs. For all. Except the ANC Youth League. And the Helen Suzman Foundation.

Or, as @NomalangaSA put it: “Meanwhile, Loyiso Gola, Riaad Moosa, and Chester Missing are like “Yes! Thank you DA! Material for days!”

Nomalanga Mkhize was Clever Black of the Week with her barbed Twitter responses to the Know Your DA campaign and its flyer of Tata hugging Helen somewhere over the rainbow.

Apparently piqued that the ANC was spreading rumours that the DA would single-handedly bring back apartheid, they decided to rebrand the truth and splash out on their struggle credentials.

“Dear DA,” tweeted Mkhize, “since we are celebrating the broad tributaries of your past, when are you putting up a poster with Jan Smuts?”

The party’s cheerful little Twitter thugs that gather at astonishing speed whenever they sense a DA bashing tried to reason with her:

@thelouisart: @NomalangaSA remember the DA is simply informing voters of their past opposition to apartheid bcoz some believe they’ll bring it back

@NomalangaSA responded: @thelouisart In its rich struggle history the ‘DA’ managed to get 1 person in parliament. A wonderful victory for humanity. well done

But the fun didn’t end there. In an incident of what #CleverBlacks are calling “photoshopping history” the M&G leaked a document containing the DA’s latest election strategy, which compares the ANC to the National Party and which unashamedly uses the struggle as advertising fodder.

Picture: Mail & Guardian

According to the DA it is, in fact, the ANC that is bringing back apartheid. Soon our people will be locking themselves up, torturing themselves and reissuing the pass book. Hey, it’s just history, who needs to spell Sharpeville correctly or use an actual image from the massacre?

The one in the DA document is, according to the M&G, “actually of police beating women whose home breweries were targeted in 1959” and staged a protest. Why stop there? Why not rework the ANC logo?

This little piece of Brett Murray lite successfully managed to go viral. The DA has finally discovered how to get people talking about them – just infuriate the black people you were hoping would vote for you.

“There are clever people in the DA who spend half the day with their faces in the palm of their hands due to other DA members,” tweeted Mkhize. Why use blackface when you could be red-faced?

Blackface of the week

Speaking of which, it was another week, another fashion editorial glibly making racism fashionable by using blackface.

This time it was Vogue Netherlands.

According to Jezebel, Vogue was paying tribute to designer Marc Jacobs who had been inspired by beauty icons Grace Jones and Josephine Baker. Why hire a black model to do that when you can just paint a white model black? I hope Helen Zille is taking notes.

Whiteface of the week

Meanwhile, one of my all-time favourite (and very rude, be warned) blogs Dangerous Minds dug up this pop activist nugget in which Tina Turner responds to all those blackfacers out there.

And if it’s good enough for Tina, it’s good enough for Jamie Foxx. Here he is on the set of Spider-Man 2 this week, dressed as the super villain Electro.

Cape Town problems

The republic of Cape Town is continuing to corner the funny Tumblr market, this time with a Giffy little number called Mother City ’Mazing which deals with complex social issues like hipsters and Kooks tickets. They muse on issues like what happens when you get pickpocketed on Long Street and tell the cops.

Poptart of the week: Lauren Beukes

Only Lauren Beukes could land a Poptart of the Week title for literary endeavours.

Picture: Lauren Beukes

The rock star novelist of Zoo City fame blitzed Joburg and Cape Town for the launch of her new book The Shining Girls, which is about a time travelling serial killer. Oh, and she’s about to head off on a four-continent promotion. No biggie.

With an international two-book deal in place, Beukes has been showing the rest of the nation’s scribblers how it could be done. The book has its own website and Beukes concocted the cutest damn promotional gift ever, a retro viewfinder.

The images in it are taken from one of the novel’s video trailers.

She’s just finished another draft of the script for a movie of Zoo City, which will be locally produced by the formidable Helena Spring. Over lunch, she told me that The Shining Girls has already received four offers from producers interested in film or television rights. One of them is from a Very Big Hollywood Name but I have been sworn to secrecy, dear readers.

Her new book also has a limited, signed Black Edition

Picture: Lauren Beukes

Unluckily for one collector, a drunk woman at the Joburg launch accidentally tossed a glass of red wine all over his copy before hitting the writer’s spectacular gold shoes. She was later spotted at a small cocktail function socialising barefoot in a shiny gold dress.

If that’s not poptart enough for you, the new book also inspired a fan song called Cold from Nechama Brodie and a video by Nadine Hutton. It was shot on an iPhone. As one does.


One-way tickets to Mars

Meanwhile, Beyoncé was hogging fashion headlines again as her Mrs Carter Show world tour kicked off in Serbia and she stepped out in a faux-naked frock.

Picture: The Frisky

A Dutch Company called Mars One intends taking reality TV where it’s never gone before – to space.  “Must work well within a team” is what they’re looking for applicants, who will build a colony on Mars.

Three Emirati men were ejected from a festival in Saudi Arabia for being too handsome. Uh-huh.

Someone took the time to round up the Five Worst Afrikaans Music Videos

In Shropshire, a case of a real-life Angry Bird

A man who dresses as Batman to help society is arrested for burglary

And Japan has taken cosplay to a new level – on buses. Dressed as cats. Because they can.

Dude, that’s pretty offensive

Because, surprise, surprise, racism was the theme of the week again, I leave you with a rather cute new animation from South African comedy duo Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues. This is their response to the internet sensation How Animals Eat Their Food. It’s called How Humans Eat Their Food.


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