about this blog
As it says on the front page, this is a blog about myth, politics and desire. It’s a blog of critical public commentary about public affairs. Its main concern, I guess, is with the myths we are asked to live by, the stories we are told and that we tell ourselves; the stories that lull us to sleep or that wake us up; that obscure reality or reveal it; that cut us off, from others or connect us — that enable or disable what I think is the crucial thing: the need to be present, here, at the ending of the West’s great self-congratulatory dream of mastery. Sometimes my focus will be on life here in South Africa; but as often my concern will be with the broader circuits and the greater global processes of which we here at the Southern tip are part.
As you will see, this means my focus is both narrow and eclectic. This blog is intended to be about politics, about society, about how power figures in our everyday lives, and shapes what we do and what we desire. But as you can see, my concern is very often with stories, with literature, with mythmaking and fantasy. This is partly just because I love stories — even (and especially) those non-serious genres (children’s books, science fiction, comics, fantasy) that are not taken seriously. But it is also because I believe (along with many others!) that stories, movies, even music, are how society dreams; that, like dreams, they say in oblique, metaphorical ways what often is not explicitly said; and that they are therefore worth appreciation and critique.
So this blog will be a hodgepodge, but a very specific one. Here, you are likely to meet both Gollum and Gramsci (excuse the alliteration!); both Frodo and Foucault. I might write about social policy or politics; about Zuma or Obama; but I am as likely to write about the latest movie I have seen. What will hold it together is that I will be trying, all along, to wield Manjusri’s Sword, the sword that punctures illusion, Will’s subtle knife, the blade of fine discernment that might open doors to other ways of being.
I hope you enjoy.