24th June 20:04
This crime is now giving me the total shits.
One of my cousins up in Jo'burg went to a club the other night for a few
beers with the mates after work. At some time in the evening he went to the
toilet, felt something smack him on the back of the head, and didn't feel
what happened next. What happened next was that whoever hit him on the back
of the head beat him up badly enough to warrant a two day stay in hospital,
and facial reconstructive surgery still to come. They bust him up badly.
Assault is a crime in itself. A lot of South Africans get a bit surprised
when told this, but it's true. GBH is a more serious version, and if you
just abandon someone in a pool of blood in a toilet I'm sure we could talk
attemted murder. In this case it looks like the motive for the assault
wasn't the usual accepted lunatic aggression that characterizes Jo'burg on
a good day, but robbery. Bastards took my cousin's watch, wallet,
cellphone, and car keys.
Later, after the urgent medical bit was sorted out (he only came to in the
hospital, so this is not an exaggeration), someone else in the club
remembered that when he went to the toilet he was followed by a white guy
and two coloureds, and then it came out that this lot were suspected of
using the cover of what appeared to be just a normal beating-to-death of
the Jo'burg club scene as a method of stealing cars. Modus operandi seems
to be this: Beat someone up so badly that he has to be hospitalized. That
tends to keep all his friends and family busy until long after closing
time, and distracts their attention from material things; last car left in
the parking lot belongs to the man who's now in hospital, so test the key
on it, and if it works, steal the car.
Oh well, at least he survived the attack. And his brother went home and got
his spare key, and drove his car home for him. And his eldest brother is
making further enquiries about the suspects. Hopefully the suspects get the
opportunity of finding out that this cousin of mine's big boet and mates
are probably the scariest people they're ever going to meet. I just hope
they do a good job of getting rid of the bodies.
(This is not the cousin of mine who greatly pleased us all by kicking a
robber who threatened him with a knife all the way down one of Jo'burg's
busiest streets by the head. He's not such a scary character).
26th June 21:38
Yeah, me too. Sorry. Could've been worse. Glad it wasn't.
Violence begets more violence. Easy to say of course...as I've been
down this path. Better to just lick the wounds I say. That's after
many head bashing of my own...and especially my own bashing. It's a
never-ending cycle and never quite satisfying really. Particularly
when more people get hurt, people close to you that is.
Remind me not to ridicule Slow Eddy's family...I am assuming there's a
reason's he's slow. ;-) This story reminds me of Haiti in a most
uncanny manner. I have too long a list of short stories about friends
and family being shot, beat, robbed, kidnapped, etc...but we've never
referred to people of the negroid race as "coloured". Just a passing
m. "Sure, I may look like a white man. But my heart is a black as
anyone's here." - George Wallace (presidential campaign speech to a
largely black audience)
26th June 21:38
On 13 Jul 2004 14:57:52 -0700, email@example.com (Gro Mango)
So it is acceptable for people "far from you" to get hurt?
"It is not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies of the state of Israel." -- Colin Powell
Instead of getting married, I'm going to go out and give a woman a house.
26th June 21:39
Proximity is not a factor in accepting violence or not. What is
acceptable or not depends more on the threshold of pain, emotional or
physical, that one can endure. What typically occurs with violent
retributions is the propensity for revenge is merely increased with
each violent act to eventually reach a climactic point...the moment
when someone close to either party is either tragically hurt or
killed. Then the sense of revenge loses all meaning. All of a sudden,
none of it becomes acceptable (see above) but nothing can be done
about it. It will have passed, like rainwater steaming up in the glory
of the hot sun that makes last night's torrential storm seem like an
old hazy dream...but don't tell that to one who just suffered a blow.
I'd be the first to tell you I'd wanna crush some skulls. Best to get
out of the way of a charging bull. Hence, the never-ending cycle. It
takes remarkable will to alter that course. Best to lick one's wounds
m. "Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor." - Elizabeth I
(in Francis Bacon, Apophthegms, 1625)
27th June 14:26
Thanks. It's not as if the crazy levels of violence are anything new,
though. If you go out to a club in this country you're just about asking to
get panelbeaten. If the people who go out purely with the aim of having a
fight don't get you, the bouncers will.
27th June 14:27
I think you're right, but I doubt if my cousin's big brother is likely to be
swayed by the sense of it. They grew up in a place where there's a certain
way of sorting out certain things. Insults and minor assaults can be
negotiated over, but big stuff is a declaration of war. Possibly a
never-ending cycle of war, unless whatever hits the other guys comes out of
the blue after a delay. If their modus operandi is hospitalization followed
by a theft, then they ac***ulate so many enemies over time that when
someone gets them it's difficult to tell who it was.
"Coloured" is a distinct culture or a hangover from apartheid race
classification, or a mixture of the two, in the SA context. It referred to
people neither "black" nor "white" (but not Indian) in the terms of our
recently scrapped race classification system. "Black" people would speak
indigenous languages, and practice indigenous culture, apart from being
negroid, but "Coloureds" generally speak Afrikaans, and do things their own
way. Today most Coloureds think of themselves as "Coloured" rather than as
"Black". So here the term has a different meaning to the one it once had in the States.
It's shocking how rapidly my personal crime list has expanded in recent
years. For years and years, hijackings, muggings, etc. were something that
happened to other people, and then suddenly most people I know had suffered
a violent crime or more. I hope I don't have a turn to take my place on
these lists we all now have.
28th June 07:17
Well that is really what happens when a community "has enough" of crime
and criminals. Poorer communities organise vigilanties while wealthier
people hire guards and armed response units. What results from these
actions? Crime is displaced. The further the better.
28th June 07:18
I thought there was something cultural behind the term which was why I
refrained from any comment. Its akin to Haiti's "ti-rouj" which
translates to little reds, referring to mullattoes getting sunburns.
Any and all strangers and foreigners no matter their physical traits
are referred to as "blanc" (french for white) and is not endearing
really. And the entire country refers to each other as "neg"
(self-explanatory I think). Bottom line is there remains quite an odd
racial tension in Haiti that is quite unique. There is no
institutionalized racism, however everyone is racist. I suppose this
is in part due to the neo-caste system that equates race with class,
despite the actual color of a person. Ie. rich black men are called
white & poor white men are called...bad names. And those in between
scramble for a place in line for higher class status, often claiming
race as NOT being an issue while racial favoritism is blatant. Now
that I write it out Haiti is obviously a country in self-denial
really. The problem is, unlike SA, the "elite" (not very good at being
elite at anything actually, hence the quotes) are not mandating
segregation, nor have a standing army to do so. Its more like a
monarchy that simply avoids mingling with the peasants without any
more effort or fanfare. Yet there is so little social or economic
activity that what small scraps are available are often passed between
this "monarchy" (lol...never thought of it this way) and resulting in
very little trickle down effect on the peasants. The reflection of
names given to groups by race seem to define a country very well. No
better is this demonstrated than right here in good ole U.S. of A. So
completely understand the term "coloured", whereas somehow "black" is
quite PC in America, but not "white". You say caucasian but not
negroid. You say hispanic but not brown. Its quite confusing. And
forget about people like me...genetically confused "extra-coloured".
Its very interesting to hear your view from SA. I never considered the
jargon of other cultures and how they reflect racial divisions. It
sounds obvious, but I still think there's a thesis in here somewhere...
Well, we could all wait for lighting to strike, sharks to bite, and
crime to spike. Nowadays its bombs to blow, heads to roll, and borders
to patrol. In my mind, nothing has changed other than the players
dress different. And my turn will come up one day whether I like it or
not. Question is will I shit in my pants or fight back? I've met the
shark already, and a lot of lighting today, so perhaps one day I shall
be a victim too.
m. "They always say time changes things, but you actually have to
change them yourself." - Andy Warhol