After the frivolity of recording Physical there was always a chance that there would be a sinking feeling somewhere in the week.
I’d like to think that it’s just a hard day at the office where we are dealing with some tough issues in the middle of a boom period but it all came down to a video of a desperate man paying with his life for the temerity of standing up for himself. I feel terribly sad for the fate of Andries Tatane.
There is no worse feeling than helplessness. The service delivery protests around my country are symptoms of this feeling. People who are in need and are feeling ignored are trying to voice their frustrations because the channels open to them are of no use. Phones are not answered and a letter to the government representative is a meaningless, empty gesture. Some would say a vote would make a difference and perhaps they are right, but I fear the pain of our horrifying past (easily forgotten by those who did not suffer it) is still too fresh. If you don’t understand this I would venture that you should spend more time considering the mindset of the many. Aside from this there must be a sense of betrayal, of a trust that has been broken and this alone is reason enough for the anger.
Andries Tatane’s death leaves behind a family and I can’t stop thinking of them tonight. The price he paid, for asking for what is rightfully his, is simply too high and we in our suburban ivory towers just move on too quickly. This might just be middle-class anguish, but it is MY middle-class anguish so excuse me while I feel it.
My father told me some years back that, when I was a teenager, he could always gauge my mood by which song I was playing. It gave him a direct line to my emotions and maybe that’s why he was as forgiving as he was.
Tonight I kept playing Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush. It’s the song I play when I’m sad. There’s a recording of my efforts below, not the best vocals, not the best playing, but bear with me as I share my mistakes.