Marmite on toast is an end-of-month culinary reality that The Point is familiar with. It is tempting to blame fiscal mismanagement, but (given that the menu for the rest of the month is cheese on toast) I suspect it has more to do with the fact that people who write words for a living don't get paid very much at all.
The Point is thankful for this marmite-on-toast situation for two reasons.
- It is better than no marmite and no toast.
- When politicians who get paid big fat salaries threaten to pull a Robin Hood, I am not struck by an irrepressible urge to move my assets to another country. This may very well be because I have no assets. At least, not the kind that can be redeemed for cash.
Meet South Africa's Robin Hood wannabe: Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini. She comes not with bows and tights, but with promises of higher taxes.
"We should have a society where those with resources are willing to give to those that have nothing and in the end we all win."
Call me a capitalist, but I'm not entirely sold. I'm not suggesting that those with resources get to sit counting their gold all day while the poor dream of eating marmite on toast, but surely if those with resources (and the know-how to produce more resources) give all of their resources to those without, in the end we will all be poor.
"This may require increased levels of taxation for the rich and it will require the captains of industry and investors to accept lower profits so that their workers may enjoy higher and, dare I say it, decent work."
Oh, sure, that's totally going to happen. Or — and I'm just brainstorming here — the captains of industry and investors are going to tell the South African government to get lost in a Floydian way before pumping their resources and cash into another country.
The Prince of Thieves
But perhaps The Point is looking at this in the wrong way. Perhaps, if The Point had vast amounts of money, The Point would realise that all that you need to do is figure out how to live in the conditions of capitalism whilst fighting it and defeating it.
Take, for example, the Munchkin. In his short life he has managed to accumulate a house in Sandton, a farm, and a Mercedes. He may or may not also be building a house which may or may not be costing R16-milion. The Point suspects a few Robin-Hood-like transactions may have taken place.
So, now that he has acquired these trappings of capitalism, Jujukins has declared that he is ready to give them up should it be in the public interest.
"I've got a house here in Sandton. If tomorrow they say, that house, there is a need for a street to pass there and therefore they are expropriating it, I would not have a problem."
That may because you would still have, at the very least, a farm.
"I've got a farm with cattle... if I go home and they say they want to build a school, if it is in public interest, I would surrender it."
The Point advises "them" (whoever they might be) to get on that straight away. But, in the meantime, I would like to draw your attention to a little detail which would result in the Death of Capitalism.
"That house you [the media] always make a noise about in Sandton — not the one you allege I'm building — it's owned by Absa. And if I fail to pay for it, for sure, Maria Ramos would be very happy she's taking a house from a man who's leading a nationalisation campaign, because she does not want nationalisation."
Malemalogic: Bank-owned property + expropriation = banks being totally screwed = Death of Capitalism.
This is a man, dear readers, who is deemed to be creditworthy, not only by the country's easily influenced youth, but also by one of the country's major banks.
The Butcher of Words
On the topic of reputations, Zapiro's has been attacked by a commission which has yet to establish one. Yip, it would appear that the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities is upset that the cartoonist is picking on the president. The Point is still trying to figure out what a Linguistic Community is and why it would require protection.
"It is culturally, religiously and linguistically unprecedented to attack each other on the basis of a forgiven past," said the commission's chief executive Pheagane Moreroa.
Erm... did that sentence make sense to anybody else? I understand each of the words (something I suspect Moreroa does not), but not how they fit together. Zapiro certainly isn't attacking HRH Msholozi on the "basis of a forgiven past". If anything, he is attacking him on the basis of an un-forgiven present. And that, certainly, is not unprecedented. Linguistically or otherwise.
"Mr Shapiro displays an unbelievable insensitivity to cultural sensibilities of all decent-minded people. His cartoons on the president appear to be calculated to attack the psyche of a people emerging from a shameless past in which successive oppressive regimes ruled."
A shameless past? Surely, surely, even someone with Moreroa's misguided linguistic skills can figure out that shameless means without shame? The Point's cultural, religious, and linguistic sensibilities are offended.