The one thing any musician will tell you is that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Anything goes, and the more controversial, the better.
The entertainment industry has produced more idols than most religions, and the bear trap some bands, with specific reference to Oasis and The Beetles, have found themselves in by publically stating they have more fans than Jesus Christ, is evident of their perception of invulnerability.
Politics on the other hand, is not as forgiving.
I suspect the reason for this is vested in the fact that Ozzy isn’t the one drafting new tax laws, or the Secrecy Bill. Documents like these have far more draconian effects on us than say... Metallica, trashing a New York hotel room.
Obvious then, to conceive that we are entertained by entertainers and ruled by politicians, and that both of them needs to do what is expected of them...to respectively entertain and govern.
However, some politicians believe that they are stars or social gods in own right, purely because they receive a little attention from the public and media. This misconception is often associated with people who have a chip on the shoulder, for whatever reason, and they try to over compensate by reverting to popularism, rather than true leadership.
Notable to this, is that this isn’t limited to Africa, as you might expect, but can be seen in countries such as France with Sarkozy, and Russia with Putin. Even the United States have the same in Schwarzenegger and Regan.
One just has to note that Regan had the 2nd highest approval rating of all US Presidents, and although it was a bit of a joke, even Schwarzenegger was an accomplished businessman before he became governor of California.
In sunny South Africa, yes you guessed it, things aren’t any different. In fact, our politicians have reverted to singing, dancing and even preaching, when you consider JZ’s comment in 2004 that “... the ANC will rule until Jesus returns... “
Our guys and gals prefer to focus on the man (or women) in total, and not just the political leader behind the face.
So, the natural question arises...is this cultural, or is it plainly attempts by leaders to remain popular with their people, despite the bad decisions they’ve made in their term.
What if it were to be considered from the other point of view... The possibility that some leaders feel they have the right to the limelight and that they are free to do with it as they please, because they should be in power anyway, because they’ve earned it.
Currently, the ANC supplies a platform for their leaders to feel this invulnerability, albeit that they mostly are a one trick pony.
They are liberators and equalisers, but obviously not rulers.
But, then again...what liberation movement has ever been one?
The ANC feels invulnerable, because they believe that they’ve earned the right to rule forever, and in doing so, flagrantly disregards the will of their people, and the others...whom I guess aren’t their people...but still live under their rule. (I know this sounds like the obvious, but bear with me)
Their leaders think they are above the law, and that they don’t need to answer to anyone...and for that matter, firmly believes they are the best management system in the country!
I still fail to see ANY liberation movement, successful in liberating, as well as managing.
It is due to their shoulder taps, and high fives they give each other, that they believe they are free to be whoever we want them to be in the spotlight. They can be entertainers, war mongers, dancers, preachers...gods?
They can be liberators from a tyranny that doesn’t exist anymore, which brings me back to my point. Could it be that they are so lost for solutions to everyday problems; that they need to “liberate” their people once again, to remind them of the past? Even if that “liberation” is the sole cause of their own lack of management and planning, and they see their votes dwindling?
Whatever your political point of view, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s style in being as flamboyant as our rock star politicians, but that, by no means guarantees class and ethics.
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