Before the days of apps and political platforms and portals and power shedding and GPS and the Internet and sheet... people used to read books.
I have literally read thousands of books – good, bad, mediocre, well-done, medium and rare. Only two books have made a lasting impression on me: The Bible and Animal Farm. Let me tell you about them.
First, The Bible. I liked this book; if for no other reason, than the hundreds of examples that illustrate our human nature. The murderer, the rapist, the thief, the beggar, the corrupt politician, the adulterer, the drunk, the peacemaker, the whore, the soldier, the fool – it’s all in there.
Be it Eve – frolicked in the garden with someone’s snake – or her son Abel, who died from alcohol poisoning after drinking too much Cane.
Or Abraham, who, like most men, liked to braai. (Although he scared the sheet out of his son, Isaac, when he invited him to a braai – as the main course on the menu.)
And then there was Moses, a small-time magician and erstwhile alcoholic, who was found motherless in The Reeds. According Egyptian hieroglyphs, he was the first to use the saying: “Let my people go! Or I smite thee with the eleventh plague: The corrupt ANC government!”
Or Noah. The moment the HMS Ark sailed into the port of Ararat, he planted a vineyard, made wine, got horribly drunk and stark naked, and passed out in his tent – much to the embarrassment of his three sons: Moe, Curly, and Larry.
Or King David. He coveted Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah Heep. So what did he do? He sent Uriah to the forefront of the hottest battle; there to be smitten and killed, until he died from it. And then he went and did that dastardly, biblical, begat thing, with Bathsheba. (Unconfirmed reports have it, that David stole Uriah’s Fender Stratocaster and whacked a local Philistine, Goliath, over the head – thus killing him until he was completely smitten.)
Or King Solomon, who had seven hundred wives, and three hundred concubines, and thousands of offspring – just like our own beloved King of Nkandla, aka Showerhead the First.
Or Ezekiel. Although he had a minor hit with the song: “I’ll Never Smoke Weed with Willie Again,” Ezekiel remained heavily addicted to *aapgras. He later published his Book of the Holy Aapgras – in which he described some of his most memorable pipe dreams – going into great detail about his encounter of a Third Kind with the Cherubim from Mars.
Before he died, Ezekiel wrote: “I’ll Never Smoke Weed with Cherubim Again.” Unfortunately, this song was poorly received by his fans.
Or Rumpeelay. The saddle-blanketed, wanna-BEE politician, who became the shortest-lived flash-in-the-pan in history. While Rumpeelay was still trying to build a platform, her train had left the station. Her saddle-blanket was later used as a prop in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. (OK. Maybe the story of Rumpeelay is not in the Bible – but it should have been. It certainly contains enough sheet to fertilize all the lands in the lower Nile Delta.)
But I’m sure you’re all familiar with these biblical stories – especially the atheists who can quote text and verse along with the best of the Flock of Lost Sheeple.
Secondly, there’s Animal Farm – the True Story of the Rainbow Nation. This book should be compulsory reading for everyone living here in the Ar-se of Africa (RSA). Unfortunately, with the 30% pass mark in our schools, and the quality of our teechas, most of the pee pull cannot read. Or write. Or read and write. Or think.
I was going to include a short summary of Animal Farm, but thought it unnecessary – those who can read, have most probably read the book – those who can’t read, never will.
Suffice to say that Animal Farm describes the events leading up to 1994 and the subsequent years, in exact detail, as it happened here in the Ar-se of A.
One of the threads, which run through the story like our polluted rivers, is the threat that Jones, the original farm owner, would come back. The ruling pigs keep telling the dumb animals (mindless masses) this lie in order for them to stay in power. The sad thing is that the poor, uneducated creatures, believe them.
And so, the pigs remained in charge of Animal Farm – just like the ANC remain in charge of the Farm they call Azania.
But here our story takes a strange turn:
In real life, it wasn’t Jones who came back to take over the farm. It was a much bigger pig: Thandi Modise.
Modise allowed the pigs on her farm to die of hunger and thirst; subjected them to unbelievable suffering – driving the surviving pigs to cannibalism.
Now, the truly sad thing is that, instead of being banished into a fiery hell, Modise will get off scot-free – her fellow pigs in government are too busy feeding at the trough of the Gravy Train to notice her cruel, callous behaviour, or to admonish or prosecute her.
And so the suffering continues. Or as they say in IsiXhosa: Alooting Continues!
*aapgras – marijuana