Author Archives: Chris Waldburger
Author Archives: Chris Waldburger
Or – how to be the Lion King, the Top Gun, or the rightful ruler of Denmark.
The animated classic, The Lion King, the Reagan-era air force blockbuster, Top Gun, and the essential Shakespearean tragedy, Hamlet, are all about the same thing: how do you make atonement for the absence of your father?
It’s a strange theme. Yet it is an idea so ubiquitous – from the Bible, to the Odyssey and the Aeneid, to the TV show Lost – that clearly it carries some residual vitality which requires our attention.
We all live on the road between two cities – the city of God and the city of Man – between reality and a hopeful vision.
There’s a reason the Dark Knight trilogy is the only set of superhero films worth watching – they are more than comics on film – they contain and allude to a real literary mythology.
The best of them from a pure storytelling point of view, is the final film, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. What happens during times of revolution? How can true peace be achieved?
The answer is – by means of a hero.
And to tell the story, to recount a Gotham completely destroyed, the screenwriter Jonathan Nolan turned to the fourth book I think we need to read to understand the modern world, Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’:
‘Black Panther’ and the strange reason why young people are literally burning western civilization down.
Have you heard of the film ‘Black Panther’?
It recently became the most successful movie ever in the US domestic market. Apparently it’s not bad – probably much better than other serious money-spinners like ‘Avatar’ and any Star Wars film.
I haven’t seen it. I haven’t watched a single Marvel superhero film. Not my thing. But what has fascinated me, is the political outpouring of love for the film. The fact that the film celebrates a black hero (with a militant, more real-life Black Panther-esque villain to oppose him) has made it what young people call ‘woke’ – which is just a trendy way of saying ‘politically correct’. Finally, black kids can have a real hero on the silver screen.
But what struck me in the midst of all the hype is the fact that by no stretch of the imagination is this the first major film with a black lead. And it is thus a real mystery why everybody is pretending that it is.
‘It is no exaggeration to say that on President Ramaphosa’s shoulders rests the future of the African continent.’ Lord David Owen, former UK Labour MP and Cabinet Minister, The Daily Maverick.
Maybe it was the sudden upturn of illegal land occupations. Or the continued revelations of the torture and violence perpetrated against farmers. Or the shock of the international press. Or meeting new Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and hearing about his plans to bring back white farmers to his country.
I suspect that it might have been seeing the DA, along with many of its newfound black allies, stand up to the nakedly racist and fascist rhetoric of Julius Malema, that maybe jolted Ramaphosa and the ANC leadership back to reality.
If western civilization is to be saved, we must battle for the soul of test cricket.
For me, test cricket is the only sport still worth watching.
Just the timetable of a day’s cricket is entrancing. Based on the routine of an English manor house, action only gets underway after ten. You break for lunch after only one session of two hours, followed by another session before afternoon tea. The calling of stumps at around six gives you enough time to shower and change for dinner. No need to rush – the next morning will be leisurely. What a day.
Together, the ANC and the EFF are attempting to alter the Constitution in order to allow for state grabbing of land. For both party leaders, Ramaphosa and Malema, the issue at stake is not justice, but power.
Cyril Ramaphosa was meant to be our messiah, the second coming of Mandela.
But now he is working with Malema to turn our country into Zimbabwe, a country with 90% unemployment.
Both have signed onto a motion to begin the process to change Section 25 of the Constitution which forbids expropriation of private property without compensation.
Malema asserts that this is only justice after centuries of colonial dispossession. Ramaphosa argues that this is necessary for radical economic transformation.
Both really see the issue as a means to maintain or gain power, and to capture the faction of the population which believe Mandela’s reconciliation project has either not worked or was a sell-out of the revolution right from the start.
In the first part of the twentieth century, two very different men wrote parallel, yet divergent, predictions concerning the future of the western world.
In 1949, in the shadow of rampant totalitarianism, George Orwell wrote ‘1984’, in which he predicted the rise of Big Brother, the Ministry of Love, Newspeak, and thought crime – all instruments of a repressive future political order in which freedom is vanquished.
In 1932, at the outset of the consumer and permissive society, Aldous Huxley wrote the novel ‘Brave New World’, also a dystopian take on the future.
“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.”
Wars have started because of train timetables and poor grammar.
Every single life’s very existence is dependent on a billion little moments and decisions having gone a certain way for the past million years.
In the face of the unlimited, overwhelming importance of all the little things, the ephemeral ‘big things’ we spend time worrying about – the ANC, Trump, and your credit card – should tend to fade away just a little bit.
Probably the most important public intellectual of our time – anti-political correctness psychologist, Jordan Peterson – speaks about the advice he gives to young people about how to live their lives properly.