A few months ago, author William Gumede described Zuma as someone with a narcissistic personality disorder — a set of traits defined by Austrian psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut as “including an exaggerated sense of superiority, a lack of self-awareness about the impact of their behaviour and having a disdain for others, who they devalue to validate their own grandiosity”. These people lack empathy, have a distorted sense of reality and are incapable of seeing anything from anyone else’s perspective. Narcissists like Zuma, Gumede argues, can’t accept responsibility and don’t care if they take down entire countries with them. The events at Nkandla, sadly for Zuma, only reinforced that perspective.
Phillip Glass was part of a whole generation of composers – Terry Riley, Steve Reich, John Adams – who became tired of western classical music’s incessant need to “go somewhere”. They found themselves attracted to non-western forms that resolutely refused to go anywhere at all, settling into a rhythm, or a groove, or a drone that had its own distinctive effect on the listener. Their subsequent work has been informed by their respective epiphanies, and they are among the most popular of all contemporary composers. We need to adopt the same approach to the vuvuzela. Its defiant monotone is a reminder that music does not need to go anywhere to make a statement. Its puffed-cheek player announces to the world: “We are here. The World Cup is here. Who would have thought it? Don’t forget it. Not even for one second.” It is a joyous, life-affirming sound, of a nation entranced in pride and celebration, and expressing it through its own culture. – Peter Aspden, arguing in that radical, politically correct, newspaper, the Financial Times, that opposition to the Vuvuzela is a cut and dried case of cultural imperialism.BACK TO TOP