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  • I haven’t had a TV for a few years. Each year, I get a bill for the annual renewal of my TV license. This year, I tried to explain that I gave the TVs away and they are in some village up north. The SABC TV License Bureau sent me reams of paperwork requiring the addresses, contact details and ID numbers of the person, persons or organization/s that now had said TV. They threatened to come by and search the premises for delinquent TVs. They claimed to have TV sniffing powers and warned that no TV could remain hidden. I gave up. I paid the fee and the late payment penalty. Trying to prove I was TVless was harder than just paying the money and going on.

    The TV is not the only thing I have given up. I stopped connecting compulsively. I rarely listen or watch or click on the news. It’s not like I am completely clueless. In general, in a big picture kind of way, I know what’s going on. I do tune in from time to time, usually after an event. I nod and think, ah so that what y’all were on about. I see.

    Sometimes I listen to talk radio when I drive to work so I am up on the trends and tweets in South Africa and beyond. I’ll know if it bites me in the ass I guess, otherwise I am not sure I give a flying fuck all.

    Have I got my head in the sand?

    I don’t think so.

    I just want to hear other voices in my head. The ones I choose. There is so much noise out there, so much yak and yammer, so many competing to get their voice out, to be heard. In all the tumult, who is listening?

    The danger is that after a time the noise becomes our internal soundtrack, it becomes a part of us, gets a grip on us. An interior, background hub-bub that becomes the baseline for thought. It is the Christmas tunes and advertising jingles, the screaming headlines and the didactic, preaching voices nay-saying just for the sake of saying nay, or yay (but only if you are one of us).

    How do we have thoughts of our own in a world so full of noise and chatter and tweets and twaddle, judgments and rank opinion masquerading as observation. Every fuckingbody is an expert these days and yet, and yet, all from a safe distance, all from periscopic views out individual bunkers, all happy to take pot shots at the great “out there” all a sound and a fury signifying……….

    I want a space in me, for me, of me, where I can wonder and create and play with thoughts and ideas and just be in the here and now, and not be bombarded by the moment by moment unfolding of the situation and the 10001 what-ifs and the OMFG reactions and the posturing and all the rest.

    My head is quiet and contained. Not sandbagged. Not hiding behind walls. Not turning the blind eye. No. But making a statement, YES.

    I tuned out the better to tune in, to hear. To be.

    We are all so wrapped up not wanting to miss the opportunity to confront evil when it approaches this time, so desperately snarled up in getting to the frontline in time, so eager to be on the cutting edge, that maybe we miss the chance to be me and you, be us, so caught in the wave, the righteous indignation, the proactive stance means no backwards glance and so and so what then I ask

    Let’s take a walk then, you and I.
    Leave behind the chatter
    Hand in hand
    With the world alive around us
    Think then what treasures we might find
    And share
    So much in a glance
    So much in a smile
    So much in the hand in mine

    Here among time’s long sweep
    The rising tide and the waves acresting along the shore
    this shimmering now, this moment that will never come again
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