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The Last Contrarian
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Oscar trial highlights worse aspect of South Africans

26 March 2014, 06:44

The ongoing trial of Oscar Pistorius has brought out the very worst of South Africa for the whole world to see, once again. Everyone is now a judge on a moral crusade, and they can spot innocence or guilt at a mere glance.

Warning: This article is a rant and may be deemed offensive or insulting to sensitive readers. Reader discretion is advised.

It has always been this way and possibly will never change with this primate species: The peasants always loiter around in the public square, cheering the flogging, torture, or execution of anyone purportedly guilty of any crime. The Oscar Pistorius case is no different, and because of technological progress, the town center where the spectacle-seeking peasants of yore used to congregate is now a virtual platform provided by the media. But the spectacle is much the same as in the dark ages, and that familiar plea for justice still pierces the ear if one comes close to the roaring online crowd: “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!” And then there are the tomatoes, cabbage heads, and bread balls flying in support onto the execution stage…

Some things never change.

Even though I am a public opinionator who frequently and incessantly comments on any subject that catches my interest, I have commented naught on either the guilt or innocence of Oscar, for I have no way of knowing either way and will have to wait for the trial to conclude. I trust the Law to provide a fair and rational trial for the accused, and that is all I can hope for. I am not to be found in the virtual town square, next to the paupers, ‘basket in hand,’ so to speak, as I linger around waiting for some chained and bloodied sod to be unveiled for me to hurl my frustrations (which result from my miserable, uneventful, and pointless life) at.

So, indeed, the common South African is again up to their old tricks, but there may yet be some raw regret gnawing away at the souls of those who now hurl judegment and insult with the greatest of haste and velocity:

Who remembers the public lynching of Hansie Cronje, and then the seemingly miraculous turnaround of public opinion after he met his demise in a plane crash? Practically the whole country (some others and me excluded, of course) was overcome with guilt and regret for their previous barbarity and haste to pass immutable judgement on Hansie. At the news of his death, all of a sudden what was a lynch mob cheering for a public necklacing became a morbid-looking, murmuring crowd stuck in conflict over whether to continue kicking the lifeless corpse now laying before them—which they were still so eager to club moments prior when the person was still alive. But oh no, when someone dies, fake decency must now commence with ceremonial accuracy.

For my international readers I’d like to clarify that in South Africa—like much of the West—death of a fallen hero has a final and lasting beatification effect on the image of the deceased, and such an event causes conflict and regret to instantly manifest in the general population. This sort of peasant-grade christian hypocrisy is the cornerstone of South African public opinion (indeed I say the entire West), and it’s largely coming from the white population that still clings to that little black book filled—from cover to cover—with barbarity, pretense, absolute judgement, irrational moral instruction, and self-righteousness.

I think the best thing Oscar Pistorious can do now to win back the favour of the common South African whitey is to end up mangled under a truck and then clinging to life in intensive care for a few weeks. Yet somehow I think these mindless mobs congregating in the virtual town squares (pitchforks and barn lanterns rattling) will not be satisfied until the fallen hero has been thoroughly stomped to death. Only then will Oscar receive a modicum of patience in the pronouncement of his guilt or innocence, because speaking ill of the dead discomforts those who cling to middle-eastern superstitions.

Regardless of the outcome of the trial, there will be scores of people who will be disappointed with the judgement and any corrective action taken. To those who seek blood and vengeance, no punishment will be severe enough, no innocence or limited liability will be accepted, no forgiveness will be dispensed until death vacates the accused from this world.… And then the cycle will begin anew when the next ‘hero’ falls.

What shocks me is how so many people seem to morph either Oscar or Reeva into the people with whom they had personal issue in their own lives. There are so many women who comment that Oscar is ‘just like their abusive ex-whatever,’ and ‘deserves nothing short of the noose.’ Just whom the hell are you judging here, Oscar, or your own miserable choices in life? I’d lambast you with the injunction ‘Get a life,’ but clearly that is asking too much of you as you push your veggie cart through life.

The same can be said about the diehard supporters who seem so fed up with the South African justice system, the ANC, President Zuma, and the general economic meltdown of the nation that they—in spiteful rebellion—support Oscar, even in the face of emerging evidence. One last little avenue to exercise their blanket racism, I suppose. But this is the sort of insight into the modus operandi of Joe Average in South Africa that one can only gain from having lived, for decades, with these sorts of people.

What a sad bunch the South African peasants are … so ignorant they decide based on rumours, so stupid they can’t tell evidence from assumption, so emotional they can’t bear the weight of one rational thought, so spiteful they won’t entertain the idea of potentially being wrong, and so bitter at life (and what they made of it) that they can’t pass up the opportunity to cheer at someone else’s misfortune—because guilty or not, the spectacle, at least, adds some entertainment to their dreary lives spent toiling the corn fields of self-induced economic excommunication…

A public trial (like Oscar’s), even in this modern day and age, offers the common peasant a sugar cube to go with the only other highlight of the their day: lapping up a bitter bowl of boiled grain. A public trial also permits the disempowered commoners to vicariously experience what it would be like to have the power to pass judgement on another and decide their fate (a major fantasy of those who feel powerless), and so the peasants whittle their stunted opinions into a crude gavel and use it in the same fashion as the Judge uses his. Primates are, after all, adept at mimicry.

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