The week SA decided that #FeesMustFall (and also some other things happened)
By Max Dylan Lazarus and Talya Galasko
So the South African youth are up and mobilised, brilliantly venting their frustration and defiance at an older generation that has let them down. Starting with their teachers, they’ve moved step by step onto the politicians, chasing away opportunistic opposition party leaders. They’ve taken on journalists, waging furious criticisms at the piss-poor state of media in the country, and later today (time of writing, Friday 23 October) they’ll take on the head of the entire country, when it is expected that thousands upon thousands of students will march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria, not to negotiate, but to demand that education is prioritised. Plenty column space has been dedicated to the causes of this uprising, the limitations preventing the students’ demands, and describing the cowardice of our politicians, but what simply can not be emphasised enough is just how inspiring the behaviour of the students has been on the whole. Courageous young people standing up for what’s right – and acting peacefully, powerfully, and strategically, especially at parliament and Luthuli House. Also, kudos to everyone for the meme-worthy placards and chants, from “Why you lying” to “What’s good!” Those who wield power will try, I imagine, to put the protests to a stop today by accepting the students’ demands to stop fee increases and outsourcing at universities, but there’s so much more to come. The youth of SA have discovered they hold the power to fight injustice and to activate change; they won’t take no for an answer.
What do Star Wars and the Great Wall of China have in Common?
Not speaking from personal experience, but those “playing hard to get” generally budge when exposed to a timely combination of flattery, trolling and downright harassment. No, I’m not referring to the 36 SMS’s I sent my first high school boyfriend, but rather this week’s placement of 500 Stormtrooper figurines on the steps of the Great Wall of China, by none other than Disney. In the general spirit of censorship, the upcoming Star Wars sequel, The Force Awakens, which is due for release in the US on December 18th, does not yet have a release date in China (side note: technically it would be incorrect to call it a sequel, since Star Wars has that “tell the story from the end to the beginning” type method. So technically, this would make it the latest “prequel,” but how do you follow that, how are there plot twists if you already know the ending? Can s/b please explain this to me.) Anyways, the reason for all the desperate fuss is that the previous six Star Wars films have in fact not been allowed to air in China. As upsetting as this seems, given the back to front sequence of things referred to earlier, if this one gets to go-ahead by Li Keqiang, fans will technically be seeing the “first” film first for the first time. Not supporting censorship or anything, but it’s a thought. With a little bit of grade-five-me enthusiasm from Disney, some free light-sabres and hundreds of Stormtroopers, let’s hope authorities will budge because this one looks like it’s gonna be lakka + 3D stuff. For everything else, there’s a whole lotta memorabilia.
Biden bids a bye-bye & Hot New Canada Guy
I think it’s safe to say that politics has been a hot topic this week, and the heat’s been turned up by Joe Biden’s confirmation that he will not be joining the U.S. 2016 presidential race, meaning Hillary Clinton and her colourful and coordinated pantsuits are likely to become an in-house, White House feature (shop the look! Just kidding). Biden’s decision not to run has been credited to (intentionally) poor time management. See: “the window for mounting a realistic campaign” has closed, as well as, “Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time." Everyone’s pretty upset that their favourite old Uncle won’t be coming around for tea and biscuits anymore, and instead there’s just good old aunt Clinton who has a knack for sending those racy spam emails.
But just in case you were worried that politics might no longer be a cigar-smoking and back-patting male-dominated affair, fear not for Canada has recently elected a hunk of a president and by that we mean Justin Trudeau who is literally as hot as his surname sounds. News sources have been very candid about this, with headlines such as “Canada's new prime minister is an outrageously fit badass,” and “Eyebro: Justin Trudeau, Canada's new prime minister, gives good brow (and here's how).” Although self-evident, it’s worth repeating that the second piece is actually about how to get the well-sculpted brows of Canada’s new liberal leader. Um, other than that, he’s 43, obviously married, has great biceps, swings left (politically) and aims to raise taxes on the wealthy and legalise marijuana. So…yep.
Where we’re going we don’t need pop culture references!
Oh my god guys did you hear? It’s Back to the Future day! What, you don’t know? Today’s the day that was referenced in a film! Not even a film you liked that much, or even watched, ever. But still, cultural references right? May the 4th be with you, y’all! Happy Alan Parrish day everyone! What, you haven’t heard of Alan Parrish day? Well it’s the anniversary of the day at the end of Jumanji where Alan Parrish and Helen Hunt meet up with future Kirsten Dunst and monkey child – please buy this commemorative Jumanji musket to celebrate your love for the film – it’s just like the one used by the hunter in the movie! Hold up, hold up, guys – it’s October 3rd! Please stop what you’re doing I urgently need to share this Mean Girls meme HAHAHHAHAHAHA ON WEDNESDAYS WE WEAR PINK! Looking forward to The Martian day so that I can be left alone on another planet away from everyone to eat potatoes and die.
Thank God for Drake
Drake’s new music video for “Hotline Bling” is absolutely amazing. Not only is the song really great, but the music video is doing all the right things to everyone. Let it be recognized that dance-shaming is a real thing okay! Well I say no more! Thank you Drake, king of amazingly awkward dance moves. My Joey-Fatone-Nsync-butterfly-hands dance move will never be hidden again - ladies, prepare to be wowed.