Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Famous Grouse: February 26

Weekend Argus column, as submitted. -- AD

TO the shores of Tripoli, where there seems to be no end to Muammar Gaddafi’s bad hair days.

Despite the fact that the Colonel shares a milliner with Mrs Madikizela-Mandela and enjoys a reputation for doing absolutely fabulous things with old Errol Arendz frocks, he has of late been losing it rather badly in front of the television cameras, and the red carpet fizz could well be a thing of the past.

His latest outburst had even the most jaded of the Mahogany Ridge regulars stunned into silence, their flabbers very, very gasted.

Daffy would now have us believe that not only have the Libyan protesters been manipulated by al Qaeda, but they are all teenagers on drugs. “Their ages are 17,” the Siren of the Sands explained on national television. “They give them pills at night, they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee, their Nescafe.”

Oh dear, oh dear. And they’ve probably been listening to pop music as well.

The bad hair days, though, could soon be a thing of the past. This however is not good news for Daffy. Even in his most delusional moments, and there certainly have been a lot of those recently, he must be aware that one of the more prominent traits of the jasmine revolution sweeping the region is that these are not drawn-out affairs, and the killing of civilians certainly won’t change this.

In fact, the swiftness with which the Tunisian and Egyptian tyrannies fell perfectly complements the social networking era. It’s like so digital, man, that if this was The Arabian Nights, it would be a thousand and one tweets. “Meet in square, topl govt, then off 2 Ali’s disco. Rock on, dudes.”

Brother leader’s furious avowal, then, that he would die like a martyr may not be such empty blather after all, and here at the Ridge we’ve opened a book on Daffy’s last days.

True, there is a good chance that he’ll be allowed to leave the country -- but, given the universal condemnation of his murderous behaviour, who would have him? The smart money’s on Zimbabwe.

And should it end very badly for Daffy? Well, the odds are strong that it would be at the end of a rope or by firing squad, and less so by stoning or beheading. Given the mysteries of the Sahara, however, anything is possible up there, and it may well come to pass that a revolutionary tribunal will order him staked out in the desert and be trampled to death by stampeding camels.

Our thoughts, meanwhile, are with the Amazonian Guard, Daffy’s elite force of henchbabes. The 40 members of this bodyguard unit are all virgins, cherry-picked -- figuratively, of course -- by Daffy himself.

These young women undergo extensive martial arts and firearms training. They wear their berets at a suitably coquettish angle, bring a certain something to battle fatigues and jumpsuits and, with appropriate use of lipgloss and other beauty products, smoulder with an intensity that, let’s say, is wholly absent in our female Metro cops.

What is to happen to them when Daffy goes? It would be a shame if the unit disbanded. Maybe they could get film work. As it is, they already look like something out of a James Bond movie. And what about a job at Mavericks or Teazers? A lap dance from a virgin who can kill you in six different ways with an eyeliner pencil certainly has dangerous appeal. When she says no touching, you know she means it.

Closer to home, meanwhile, our attention has been drawn to Jimmy Manyi, the recently appointed appointed government spokesman who appears to have been freely helping himself to Daffy’s Nescafe.

Manyi believes there are too many coloured people in the Western Cape -- “this over-representation . . . is not working for them” -- and it would be better for all if they scattered themselves far and wide across the whole country.

Unfortunately, there are far too many people who think like this in government. Politicans who wonder why large sections of the population regard them with such disgust may well ponder the words of the late writer and philosopher, Auberon Waugh, who once suggested that their distasteful urges to power were personality disorders in their own right, “rather like the urge to sexual congress with children or the taste for rubber underwear”.

Manyi’s racist outburst, however, goes so much further than the mere urge to bother ordinary citizens. It rather ominously echoes all the other social engineering horrors: lebensraum, apartheid, the pogroms, the displacements and the final solutions.

Such people, it hardly needs saying, are well advised to take note of events in Libya, Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen and elsewhere.

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