My country is messed up. Our rivers run bright green with sewage (I would know – I live next to one), you can seriously damage your car if you hit a patch of asphalt between all the potholes in the road, we have a president that makes Nixon look like a boy scout but keeps getting away with it, and a few weeks ago we managed to break democracy when half the opposition was thrown out and the other half walked out during the State of the Nation address.
But at the same time we have an amazing country with amazing people.
Over the weekend my father-in-law and I got to speaking about how people from different countries handle bad situations. I can’t remember exactly how we got onto the subject, but we did reach the conclusion that when the excrement hits the fan, Americans start shouting at someone, the English go to the pub and wait it out, and South Africans? We make jokes. (Horrible stereotyping, I know, but does that make it untrue?)
We have arguably some of the best cartoonists and satirists in the world who, like our president, always seem to get away with it when the objects of their ridicule try to take them to court (Except, of course, for the case of a well-known Afrikaans singer who successfully obtained a gag order against a puppet who is wont to make fun of him. The puppet responded by making fun of the plaintiff some more, cause really, what are they going to do? Throw him in jail? The case against the puppet was dropped a couple of weeks later, so I guess he also got away with it.)
Some of our local businesses and advertisers also regularly use our ability to laugh at ourselves to bring us some brilliant advertisements. The latest offering comes from one of our insurance companies. I can categorically state that everything mentioned in this advertisement really exists/happens. (And I want it on the record that though I own a bakkie I’ve never turned it into a bakkuzzi.)
Header image courtesy of The Wife.
8 thoughts on “One of a kind”
A gag order against a puppet? No wonder you have great satirists.
If it’s any comfort, I remember when a river in Pennsylvania was so polluted that it caught fire.
Yeah, their victims tend to be litigious types, adding only more fuel to the fire of ridicule. The puppet was a first, though, but probably because not many of our satirists use them.
And speaking of fire, I’ll be Googling that river.
According to the Google the famous burning river is the Cuyahoga in Ohio, though the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania also burned a few times. Reading the historic descriptions of the Cuyahoga on Wikipedia I can’t help but wonder whether it was Sir Terry Pratchett’s inspiration for the River Ankh.
Sometimes I watch Nandos ads just to make myself homesick… 🙂
Ah, yes. ‘Twas them that started this phenomenon of mocking ourselves through advertising 😀
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I wish Americans were more willing to take the piss, but they take themselves SOOOO seriously. It’s one of the things I miss most about SA.
I suppose one doesn’t become the most powerful nation on Earth by cracking jokes all the time…