Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
13 July 2010

How to mock a racist

The premise of this satirical piece from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show is of course not entirely correct – as anyone who reads the letters pages of South African newspapers (or the comments section of this Blog!) would attest, but the way in which it mocks that arch-racist Dan Roodt is brilliant. By mocking Roodt (seemingly without him realizing), the interviewer is not giving him the power to make his racist views potent and hurtful. Roodt merely becomes a buffoon and a laughing stock – and hence powerless.

A lesson for South Africans, perhaps?

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Oliver – World Cup 2010: Into Africa – The Amazing Racists
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party
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