About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

06 December 2013

Goodbye Madiba ...

The first email notification I saw this morning around 5am, on my iPad was an email from J, titled "Nelson Mandela". I didn't read the email then - I was quite sure what it would be about - and it was confirmed when I opened Flipboard - and every other newsite/app. Even Fox News has an obituary - and the only one I saw that referenced the fact that he was listed as a terrorist by the US government.

It was not an unexpected event - he was 95 years old, he was critically ill for a year - but it was a somber day nonetheless. Colleagues even mentioned how quiet and somber it was - not only in the office we were in; but also in other offices.

I don't have a Madiba story - but modern South Africa, is in itself the Madiba story. The remarkable progress made by South Africa is almost unparalleled in other parts of the world that has seen opression - or still have opression in one form or another. That is his biggest gift - and if others can emulate, his biggest legacy. 

Thank you Madiba.

04 December 2013

Movie: The Butler

Based on a true story, The Butler recounts the very inspiring tale of a black man who flees the opressive American South in the early 1900's to eventually become the most trusted Butler in the White House. Forest Whitaker delivers an amazing performance, and is ably supported by a superb cast including Oprah Winfrey (as the alcoholic wife) - superimposing the struggles against racial inequality, the American civil rights movement, and the Butler's front row seat in the heart of the political machinations.

The problem of the movie however, as extensively documented in Wikipedia and elsewhere, is that the story is quite far removed from the truth in many details. The movie is based on a Washington Post article, and the real story, by all acounts is very much worth telling - without embellishment. The fact that so many distorting story naratives are introduced; the actual power of the true story is somewhat lost. It does not take away from an excellent movie - but it does tarnish the real story's power.