Friday, December 6, 2013


On the day we learned of his passing, Bokolis is going to kick it a minute about Nelson Mandela.

On each of our one days, we're going to have to look back and think WTF did we get done while we were here.  Some shlub at the NFL network is going to think back about how he leveraged Mandela's statement on the power of sport, which Mandela meant as glue to connect the people of his nation, to soft-sell the masses on burning energy and brain cells on its presentation of the NFL.

There is a short list of those who have impacted and achieved as much for humanity as Mandela.

Even to this day, I take a very cookie-crumbles attitude towards states of affairs, even if I retain the prerogative to apply compassion to my actions.  As a teenager, with the baby-fat of ignorance, Bokolis had only casually paid attention to- and was even dismissive of- the plight of Mandela and of Blacks in South Africa.  It was one thing to be stuck under the thumb of a colonial power.  For them to be second-class (that might be kind) in their own country, they must be some ass-backwards {redacted}.  Yeah, yeah...

When my favorite player was named best footballer in Europe and gave a shout out to Mandela, Bokolis thought that I aught to learn a bit more. I was confused as to why, if he was so badass, Mandela wouldn't just bounce or get sprung by comrades.  Perhaps he was smarter than us all and realized that he was doing everybody's time, not his own.

After Gullit raised awareness that seemingly (among Whites) wasn't there beforehand, the groundswell to free Mandela steadily gained momentum.  Of course, his own "freedom" was not Mandela's point, even as he aged and suffered the variety of ravages of being locked up.  Getting off the Island- is figuratism wasted on the literal minded- would have served no purpose if he returned to find it as he left.  It's probably as good a rationale as any as to why he was the last one to come home.

Even while imprisoned, Bokolis felt Mandela was destined to become leader of South Africa.  I was eager to see it, too, for selfish reasons.  So often, when you have regime change involving the ouster of a set oppressive muthafuckas, the new regime will involve a similarly oppressive set of muthafuckas, who will want to take a big bite of out the last set for their suffering.  I expected that, when he got to power, he'd have all the Whites- the ones that survived the purge- living on Robben Island.

And would you blame him?  Well, Bokolis was dead wrong about him.

As leader, he did his best to avoid the trappings of power.  That alone would make someone an exceptional ruler.  Mandela went so far as to...

Yeah, they sold you a movie that made it seem like it was just that easy for Blacks to say, hakuna matata; we ain't mad at'cha.

I'm not trying to tell you that he conjured utopia.  Just because Bokolis can now strut up and down Victoria Road while swinging my dick and looking to jam my finger up Charlize Theron's ass doesn't mean things aren't still fuuucked up.  After all, 98% of the non-oppressed world start out as hopeless idiots.  Forget the townships, you will find, in plain sight, right on Victoria Road in fact, all you need to understand that there are still far too many lost causes out there.  You will see some shit in Jo'burg.

But, the relatively painless revolution is an accomplishment.  This is not because it's Africa, because it didn't go so smoothly in the Balkans, or as they chop up the aftermath of the SSRs.  Are those enough links?  I can do Liberia, Somalia, even Cabinda. They never get it right in the Middle East.

I worry that the regard I hold for Mandela is borne out of a Berlusconi-an buy those who get the best of you attitude.  I hope not.  I'd like to believe I've seen a great man in my lifetime, someone to inspire the world to maintain on the road less traveled, that even locked up for over a quarter-century cannot stop you from leaving the world better than you found it.

Bah, with the jokers running around here, who am I kidding?  I just wish I were there to help carry his casket, if they'd let me.

Suave, homes.