Which initiates which, the narrator or the narrative? Is one ever anything but a response to a huge array of triggers? The chaos of communication that South Africa has become warrants both deep listening and decisive action. Here are some ways of clarifying the way to re-creating the story of South Africa:
Communicate rather than enact anger
When mass emotion surges, beware politicians, preachers and any other slogan-bearing entities
Action as well as communicate compassion
Formal language games seldom produce anything fruitful
Social media has little to do with actual experience
Attention is easily duped by almost anything
Fruitless discussion achieves nothing
Side-taking results in divisiveness
The road to a new story for South Africa is blocked by two obstacles: a manipulation of cash and a crisis in meaning. The first means that we can't seem to stop them from thieving and the second means that we don't seem to have any way of getting at them.
But I think there's more to be said. When the taxi is on fire, you smash the windows and get out. When there's no more water, the intense search and struggle starts. And when enough of you are outraged, something tips. And when everyone, yes everyone is angry enough to act, there will definitely be real results.
I'm for watching Zuma run as fast as he can to get away from us, with a look of utter dread on his ugly face, because we're all going for him, intent on teaching him how bad he is, since he's unwilling to admit to it. We will all be embarrassed in the history books because of what we didn't do. And of course, it's not only him, but he certainly is the hinge on the swinging door of corruption.
But we shouldn't be intent on killing Zuma and his cash-workers: our intention, if we are to work out a new story should be creative, communicative, careful and compassionate. And not goody two-shoes. Compassion includes dispassionate excision of what can't be remedied and will only destroy. The politicians are running out of water and wisdom. They are not creative people. Those who buy into divisive talk about decolonization need to work out the difference between rhetoric and real stories.
So where are those with the words that could point us in a fruitful and sustainable direction? I think they're all about, but they need to be encouraged to turn down the volume, reduce the rage to reason, and tell the stories of what makes them the South Africans we want to be.
I hear Kieno Kammies talk to quite a few in the morning. He's got the right idea: a bit of a rant against Jacob, and then some attention to the nation-builders.
The better stories are everywhere. National and narrative glue.