‘Moenie vir jouself dink nie, dink soos ons’

IN THE WAKE of South Africa’s decontextualisation of the events of 7 October 2023, a case which depends upon a tragic chain of dropped narratives and outright denial of reality (No 1941 Farhud, No Holocaust, No UN181, everything ‘All Palestine’), there has been a plethora of news pieces purporting to expose ‘Israeli propaganda’ and even an SABC segment in which guests trot out Jihad-denial.

One piece by Nathan Geffen published by the Vrye Weekblad, is directed at ” Jewish people brought up to believe Israeli propaganda but who are having doubts about what they have been taught.”

While I encourage anyone with any sense of self-worth to engage with the necessary intellectual scrutiny of inherited beliefs and imposed opinions, it is worth noting here that our secular country could have interdicted both parties to the conflict, instead it chose to take up the cudgels of one of the belligerents, whose charter is a genocidal tract promoting ethnic cleansing in the Middle East.

I therefore encourage readers to examine my own secular journey, one which began with similar doubts as Geffen — moved towards an unquestioning adoption of the ‘Anti-Zionist ideologies of organisations such as Fatah’ — before the wheels came off the bus following a racist religious inquisition of my identity in 2010, all documented here. You can find a list of debunked claims here. Please note, secularism is not the absence of religion, but rather ‘the absence of religious rule’.

Geffen asserts: “I too went through a period of doubt before realising I had been taught myths unsupported by evidence, and to apply different standards to Palestinians and Israeli Jews in order to ignore uncomfortable facts. I hope this will help others come to the same realisation.”

The problem with these all-to-familiar counter-factual fables (repudiated cant which once flowed easily from my own lips) is that they too involve a set of adopted ideas and unproven imperatives. For instance:”Supersessionism, also called replacement theology or fulfillment theology, is a theological doctrine which describes the theological conviction that the Christian Church has superseded the nation of Israel assuming their role as God’s covenanted people.”

In its modern form, replacement theology seeks to both supplant and overrun any opposition, in its quest to supersede the narrative of the Hebrews. Thus successive Crusades and Jihads are both normalised and forgiven, whilst any attempt to defend against the tragic result, which has seen a litany of massacres both in Europe and MENA all the way back to the 1033 Fez Massacre, are immediately discounted.

At the risk of sounding callous to the ‘woke’ mob prancing around in Keffiyahs and Birkenstocks, Israel and the Secular West could slay a million journalists alongside their families, aunts and cousins in Gaza (as they already have in Syria) and it should not challenge one’s commitment to secularism an iota, nor alter our long-standing opposition to theocracy and religious dictatorship.

Yet this is exactly what Hamas hope to achieve via martyrdom and sacrifice of all and sundry. That our country is debasing its own history of secular struggle against apartheid theocrats in Pretoria, by disabusing its citizens of their natural rights which stem from the lay Freedom Charter and its secular expression under a “We, the People” constitution is appalling. I refer readers to the latest debacle involving a cricket captain.

Need I mention that Nelson Mandela was a Zionist and bipartisan on the matter, arraigned for treason alongside fellow Zionists such as Arthur Goldreich at Rivonia?

Instead of defending pacifism and democracy, with a considered commitment to religious coexistence, we have instead chosen the path of Jihad-denial & Replacement theology, taking sides on behalf of a Hamas Genocidal Charter that translates into “I, Mohammad, decree, all the land from the River to the Sea is exclusively the domain of the Arabs” and ‘Kill all the Jews’.

Decades of gaslighting, decontextualisation and dropped narrative (especially denial of UN181 from which UK abstained) has led us into a religious conflict with blinkers on. The sooner we extricate ourselves from the quagmire the better.

SABC Not Topical

Making comparisons with the Warsaw Ghetto upraising in the light of Gaza is admittedly awkward, but instead of coming right out with a comparison, an attorney on ‘Its Topical,’ has the audacity to trot out an argument once deployed by Adolf Hitler himself who claimed of the Jews in Warsaw: ‘They have no right to self-defense.’

Another obviously Muslim guest, attempted to silence and cancel Zionist Federation’s Zev Krengel who barely got a few words in on Jeremy Corbyn, by essentially claiming ‘Zionism is Haraam’. Need one point out these religious Fatwas have no basis in law, and Corbyn was actually found guilty of Anti-Semitism by the UK Equality & Human Rights Commission?

READ: These accusations of ‘genocide’ bring shame on humanity

READ: SA Lawfare at the Hague

READ: Israel vigorously challenged ‘profoundly distorted factual and legal picture’

READ: Evidence points to systematic use of rape and sexual violence by Hamas in 7 October attacks

Misguided academic rails against Die Antwoord’s postmodernism

Adam Haupt’s stock ideas are derivative and contrived. Deserve to be rejected by anyone supporting freedom of expression. There is no rock without drums. Without the cross-pollination of African rhythms, there would be no jazz music, and likewise hip hop. Ditto, Die Antwoord.

In a piece published on The Conversation, the UCT academic launches into support rather than an appraisal of several allegations of ‘cultural appropriation’ leveled at South African alternative hip hop group Die Antwoord. Immediately reaching towards conclusions and an opinion-based misapplication of what he terms ‘dominant and marginalised subjects’, which borrows heavily from the work of a solitary UK academic Rina Arya, in the process, dishing out the Encyclopedia Britannica whilst ignoring the work of continental theorists.

Haupt thus appears oblivious to the earlier writings of literary theorists such as Julia Kristeva and Roland Barthes, who once championed the idea of inter-textuality. For Kristeva intertextuality was a “mosaic of quotations” where “any text is the absorption and transformation of another”. Roland Barthes argued “a text is made of multiple writings” because writers “blend and clash” existing meanings.

Books are not written in a vacuum. According to Michel Foucault, they are “caught up in a system of references to other books”. Each of these theorists made the same point: “the meaning of a text owes more to other texts than the writer who puts their name to the work.”

The concept may be applied here to music culture, language and even fashion. In fact, Haupt’s criticism was once leveled at Eminem.

Rapper Marshall Bruce Mathers III, was slammed for ‘appropriating’ rap music, a genre which ‘began at block parties in New York City in the early 1970s, when DJs began isolating the percussion breaks of funk, soul, and disco songs and extending them’. That’s right, black rappers, appropriated Disco, the Bee Gees, ‘white boy music’.

Take the context of Apartheid which was all about preventing cross-pollination and hybridity to the point where ethnic identity was preserved on bantu reservations by the selfsame logic used by Haupt – ‘for your own good’ and to ‘stop whites going native’.

It may feel good to object to the postmodern intertextuality and cultural hybridity of Die Antwoord, whose work he criticises for being associated with Afrikaans, but doing so places the writer alongside other puritans, Strydom, Verwoerd, Vorster and Malan. The academic merely demonstrates how fatuous, pompous and censorious he has become in a mode of writing that eschews the requirements of rationality and evidence-based research, to posit that the mere position of the subject within, generalised and unequal power relations, is enough to aver, racism?

In Haupt’s weird weltanschauung the reception of words such as biltong, blatjang, dagga and kwagga into Afrikaans are the result of a plot to eradicate a language he calls Kaaps, forgetting that the Dutch Creole emerged as a Gamtaal, an attempt, often by sailors, to communicate, so elegantly described by Daniel Defoe in his novel Moby Dick.

Haupt goes so far as attacking Yolandi Visser for painting her face with makeup, and the result is somehow redolent of ‘Swarte Piet‘, a Dutch character associated with the ‘colonial gaze’.

Women have been deploying makeup for centuries. It is a false equivalence to raise the spectre of Hollywood ‘blackface’, in other words, a ‘white actor playing the role of a black person’, since Yolandi is clearly just being Yolandi. There is no harm caused by her self-expression. Nobody is out of a job. So far as the misguided academic is concerned, artists and musicians labelled white should be placed on mute, and should not express themselves, because, well, they are white and he is not?

Haupt’s assertion of linguistic imperialism is tenuous at best, appearing to rely on the fact that similar accusations may have been written up, by other academics, and thus he engages with another logical fallacy, that of circular logic (circulus in probando), a problem inherent to deferred investigation and meaning, in an obvious scholastic bias — inauthentic criticism which at the end of day, rings hollow, since Zef is a style which emerged from the polyglot and patois argot of Parow, not the armchairs of moral policemen like Haupt.

Zef may have a passing association with so-called Afrikaaps, but saying this language or mode of expression should be reserved for certain people, is like saying all language is copyrightable, which is clearly not the case. Nobody is going to fine you for speaking German without a license. Doing so would place one alongside those who seek to suppress language. In fact such activity would resemble the self-same stratagems of those dastardly colonialists.

Culture is always fluid, it does not live in a museum and deserves to be seen within an intertextual continuum. Die Antwoord are a living cross-referential subject-object, not a mere expression or mode of power-relations. Speaking and singing are not always an expression of two basic stereotypes — the oppressor or the oppressed, — as if we are all mere government bureaucrats rather than artists creating living works of art, books, music videos? Haupt’s position is essentially anti-humanist for it seeks to subjugate his subject, fixing and doctoring the other’s creativity to his own fanciful interpretations.

We are anything but stereotypes.

The cheap parlor game played by Haupt invariably involves throwing around stock objections, bald assertions which may be based upon Marxist class analysis, and thus contrived academic notions of power and power relations — ideas obviously gleaned from narrow contemporary proponents of historical materialism (where all history should be strictly-speaking the history of classes). The result is a major contradiction — an historical dislocation and distortion leading to internal inconsistency.

Inconsistency which, at the face of it, tends to break-down the minute one bothers to actually read history — engaging with facts instead of mere, discourse. He could do better by getting to grips with Post-Marxism, which provides an anti-essentialist approach in which class, society, and history are no longer treated as unitary, universal, pre-discursive categories?

If apartheid wasn’t about cultural purity, what was it, mere materialism?

By the same token do we avoid food which isn’t cooked by Gogo?

Is there really an ever-present ‘grand narrative’ always reducible to geopolitical categories such as colonialism and empire?

Whither ones own private meaning, existence and right to language?

Do we have to remind Haupt to object whenever he encounters a black man in a French suit wearing an English collar and tie? Ditto those Celtic tattoos you just acquired at the local tat-shop. Why would anyone want to deny Die Antwoord‘s right to freedom of expression, if not to pursue a personal vendetta, or simply to get ahead in academia? Power-relations are not corrected by an inversion of power. We can turn the map of the Earth around, but we cannot change the fundamental fact of our common humanity.

So herewith my attempt at another definition. If the shoe fits wear it:

Wokeism is the purposeful misreading of history to score short term popular goals. Blind scholasticism without reference to actual evidence and research. The person who claims to be awake, is more than likely, still asleep.

We all one species folks