Another rant on South African stereotypes ... Yawn

2011-12-21 00:00

HUMOUR is subjective. There’s nothing worse then delivering one of your favourite jokes to an audience of friends and no one laughs. However, there are certain things that really are just not funny to anyone.

The Ranter’s Guide to South Africa by Bryan Rostron is one of those books that are just not funny, even though it claims to be a form of “comic relief at hand”, and an “indispensible A-Z digest with [...] short and sharp definitions that will puncture the bombast, bias and rampant populism circulating on all sides”. Right ...

Here are some examples:

• Madams: protected South African species kept alive by cheap domestic labour and botox.

• Hotline: cut-price formula in commerce or politics to diffuse public anger by pretense of action.

• Ethics: privatised. Name your price.

• Violence: a national addiction.

• Roads: prepare to meet thy maker.

Sure, it’s clever and may bring about a chuckle or two, but overall it’s just another frivolous rant about South Africa that may seem like a great Christmas present, despite its uselessness.

Maybe I’m just tired of the pick-apart-South-Africa-in-a-totally-non-pc-way genre that contains the same old stereotypical quirks and jabs in every other book belonging to it.

While Zapiro provides some great illustrations, the book is not much more than something that you page through every now and then, and when spring-cleaning comes, ends up in the donation box.

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