Senekal last week had nothing to do with solutions. It was all about politicians’ testosterone. It was all about politicians’ egos. What useful idea came out of all that heat and noise generated by all those politicians in Senekal last week? There is nothing. Nothing that makes SA a better place. Nothing that leads us to a better understanding of race relations in SA after 1994. Nothing that is a solution to farm murders – many of whose victims are poorly paid, desperate black people – or a solution to the incredibly horrendous murder and crime problem in this country.
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