PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
IanMartin
 
Comments: 6
Article views: 444
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all IanMartin's badges.
 

A Good Education Is No Guarantee

14 June 2012, 09:32

It is reported that the new mega rich in China are starting to send their sons to England for their education. They favour the old institutions like Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester, Shrewsbury, St Paul’s and Merchant Taylors. The super affluent in Russia and India have also fallen in love with the English Public School system. However, it’s not academic excellence the nouveau riche have in mind when they pack their boys off to boarding school. No, this is about gaining entry to the club.

What the English public school does so well is to foster an unshakable belief in the importance of tradition, comradeship and loyalty. A sense of superiority and entitlement is engendered and they learn how to comport themselves straight back, direct gaze, firm handshake – and how to recognise one of their own kind. Not to mention how to snub outsiders and exclude them from the inner circle.

In South Africa we have our own versions of Eton, Harrow and Winchester. Boarding schools like Bishops, Hilton and Michaelhouse were cloned from the original English model and have replicated several generations of highly influential men. The success of these schools at producing young men capable of making their way to a position of affluence and influence is undisputed. And it has little to do with individual excellence. On the contrary, it’s all about who you know, not what you know. Even a total moron is guaranteed an easy passage through life as long as he wears the old school tie.

Well, in theory. It didn’t work like that for Cedric.

“It was the system that killed him,” I said, as we walked to the car.

“It was his father who killed him,” said Cupcake.

“Kak,” said the other guy. “He killed himself.”

The other guy drove. Cupcake was front passenger and I sat in the back with Cedric. Cedric’s ashes, that is.

“That was fucking depressing,” I said. “Stop at the bottle store in Muizenberg.”

When we got to Sunrise Circle the hopelessness of our situation became apparent. The car park was empty and it felt like we were crossing the Sahara in a sand storm. At the beachfront the other guy didn’t even bother to stop the car. He just did a big U-turn and started back the way we had come.

“If I want my windscreen and paintwork sand blasted, I’ll go to a professional and get it done properly, thank you.”

“Park in the lee of the toilets over there,” said Cupcake.

We cracked open the frosties and sat watching the seagulls trying to land next to us

“You can’t go anywhere in Cape Town without some beggar comes hassling you,” said Cupcake. Why don’t these birds go find a job?”

“Or commit suicide,” said the other guy.

“He tried too hard,” I said. “Took it all too seriously.”

“Too much pressure from his father,” said Cupcake. “That’s what triggered his first breakdown.”

“They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad. Is that it?” said the other guy. “Only a loser blames his parents for his lack of success in life.”

“His father thought he was doing him a favour, sending him to a larney school,” I said. “He would have been alright if he had gone to a crappy, Model C school like the ones we went to.”

“You reckon?”

The first beer had dispelled some of the gloom, so we opened another.

“Hey, Cupcake,” I said. “Did you see how his father was checking out your footwear?”

“Ah, fuck him,” said Cupcake. “I’m wearing a tie, right?”

“:Yah, but Crocs? To a funeral?”

“So why ask us to scatter the ashes if he thinks we got no class? Why didn’t he do it himself?”

“In a wheelchair? How’s he supposed to throw his son’s ashes into the waves if he’s in a wheelchair?”

“Well, there’s no way anybody is going to bbe able to scatter ash in this gale.”

We sat watching the sand forming mini dunes on the expanse of gravel parking.

“You know what they say about the sewage system in Cape Town?”

We waited, wondering where this was going.

“They say that anything you put in the sewers will eventually end up in the sea.”

All three of us turned to look at the international dude marking the entrance to the men’s toilets.

“Not a bad idea,” I said.

“In one of his manic phases,” Cupcake said, “Cedric would have appreciated this.”

“A terrible waste, when you come to think of it,” said the other guy. “All those years of expensive schooling, and then four years at university. Not counting all the medical bills.”

I led the way with the urn and poured roughly equal portions of our friend’s remains into three toilet bowls. We took up our positions, Cupcake imitated a bugler and played the Last Post, and we then ceremoniously and solemnly flushed Cedric on his way.

Back in the car, we opened another beer.

“He’s better off where he is now,” said Cupcake.

“His life was hell on earth,” the other guy said. “He made a wise choice.”

“It just goes to show,” I said.

“Yeah? Like what?”

“Cedric’s story is a lesson to us. He has shown us the danger of succumbing to societal pressure and aspiring to a …”

“Hey, fuck you!” the other guy shouted, interrupting me. He started the engine. A big black backed gull had just come out of nowhere like a stealth bomber and zapped the windscreen with its payload of filth. It was time to go.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Ted Bug
Mbalula the clown

In any other democratic country our schizophrenic Sports Minister would be out of a job.  Read more...

0 comments 63 views
Submitted by
David Jacobs
Monkey see, monkey do!

All hail the king, or president, or God, depending on how Mr Zuma currently views himself. Read more...

0 comments 15 views
Submitted by
Mulalo Ralulimi
Open letter to Julius Malema

You are like a man who steals a cellphone and then goes back to his victim to ask for airtime. You exploit our people’s genuine hunger for a better life. Read more...

23 comments 1753 views
Submitted by
Angua Wolf
Has the SA dream failed?

South Africa is like a baby who had a difficult pregnancy, a relatively trouble free birth, and has now developed severe complications. Read more...

15 comments 792 views
Submitted by
Siegfried Walther
Extradition & Human Rights

The objection to foreigners accused of committing crimes in this country receiving preferential treatment to those received by South African awaiting-trial prisoners, is understandable, but misguided. Read more...

0 comments 138 views
Submitted by
Maria Joubert Muller
Fingerprint biometrics at the ATM

People from different walks of life have voiced both positive and negative aspects of the technology, and many biometrics experts have argued both sides of the coin. Read more...

12 comments 403 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get 50% off selected books!

Buy 2 books and get 50% off the second book. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.