Tragic events have taken place recently, namely the fatal shooting at the residence of Oscar Pistorius.
The world is in shock, and in a bizarre unexpected way we are all united in this, regardless of our creeds or culture.
Ironically, through this tragedy, is a glimpse of the consoling fact that deep down our DNA unites us, far more than we could have ever imagined.
An asteroid about to destroy Life on Earth would convince us of this, with no further doubt.
We would embrace each other, even our bitterest enemies, as we finally realize what we had …
Hopefully we will never have to reach that moment of despair to realise it … and perhaps in the dark moments of the Oscar Pistorius tragedy we can understand this.
Why the title to this article?
Firstly let us look at another fallen hero from South Africa, one Hansie Cronje, captain of the South Afrcan Proteas, our national cricket team.
His sin … match fixing, deliberately seeking to lose games …
His life ended tragically, in a plane crash on a cold, wet mountain, discarded by almost an entire nation …
Us South Africans should hang our heads in shame, especially those of us who voted for Apartheid and yet had the audacity to condemn someone for much lesser immoralities … those of us who did are guilty of far worse than Hansie Cronje ever was.
Ali Bacher, prestigious cricket administrator hero, and one of the first to abandon Hansie as the match fixing scandal grew, had organized rebel cricketing tours in defiance of the global sporting ban on Apartheid South Africa.
He was forgiven, and for far worse than Hansie ever did … Apartheid was a perversity, a crime against Humanity: whereas match fixing is just ... match fixing, a relative triviality.
But no one thinks of that, although hopefully Bacher may have gained some contextual perspective from the tragic death of Cronje …
Then we have Lance Armstrong … a testicular cancer survivor, founder of an organization that helps cancer victims … and a sport cheat!
And because of that we are now, in our self righteous hordes, prepared to abandon the good that he did for cancer survivors …
Yet compared to the Oscar Pistorius tragedy, whatever cheating Lance did amounts to a triviality … that is so evident that I would not want to insult your intelligence to explain the obvious.
We all want the fairy tales …
Hansie Cronje was perhaps too good to be true – but still far, far, far better (by a few gazillion times) than that which most thought of him at the end.
And Lance Armstrong, is still a ‘babe in the woods’ when it comes to the relative significance of what he did.
Unfortunately we now have to listen to the pathetic chorus of corporates who got their mileage out of their sponsorship of Armstrong and now want their sponsorship money back as well – a case of having their cake and eating it too.
The Corporate Lament is sickening … the opportunistic hypocrisy mind blowing. Unless they donate any money they secure from Armstrong to charity they will reveal just how disgusting they might be.
But Lance himself was a survivor, of cancer, and we wanted the fairy tale … desperately.
We can do with fairy tales, the hope and inspiration to lift us out of the ugly realities of Life.
In Syria today, for example, we have dozens of deaths, day in day out, a mess of atrocities in which the Bad of Both Sides triumph, and the Innocent and the Good have disappeared into the Black Jaws of the Daily Crimes Against Humanity.
More than seventy thousand have died ... a million refugees have fled Syria!
Only fools can now believe that there is one side in this conflict that is in the right … even the legendary Robert Fisk himself seems to have nowhere to turn.
The Darling of Al Jazeera is now prone to uttering unkind words for Qatar, one of the parties sending in arms to the Syrian opposition. Although Fisk does his best to somehow have this still all the fault of his favourite 'culprits' for the world's woes - Syria is a challenge even for him!
Hardened war correspondents gave up hope hours before they too were eaten up the Syrian monstrosities.
Marie Colvin’s last post that we framed as a found poem is too distressing for us still whenever we read it, depressing, her words about the dying baby perhaps vivid in her mind in her own last seconds of life …
His little tummy just heaved and heaved until he stopped.
As well as cold!
Marie Colvin January 12, 1956 – February 22, 2012
Since her death, the Syrian opposition have been exemplary in their striving to match the atrocities of the Syrian regime - yes, this is a sarcastic remark but tragically true: how many innocents have died through car bombs and other destructive events such as self-detonating humans in crowded places?
So we do need the fairy tales and Oscar Pistorius was one that cut through all the artificial differences in Humanity, created by opposing creeds and cultures and the low-life thinking of racial supremacists.
A Man with No Legs became as famous an athlete as The Fastest Man On Earth, Usain Bolt himself.
Regardless of the truth of the tragic events at the residence of Oscar Pistorius, even if it was indeed all a tragic mistake (and I sincerely - no, desperately hope so) – the fairy tale is over.
Some time ago I came across covers of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”.
In my growing up period I may have been slightly too late to be in the moments of that song, too early for its iconic rise, and too caught up in life struggles to savour it when it emerged into a classic that will be with us for a very long time.
We need fairy tales …
One recent day I saw the BBC cover of “Perfect Day”.
It soon led me to Subo’s cover … Susan Boyle, and her perfomance in New York:
Now there is a fairy tale, and the slower she sings her cover of “Perfect Day” the more concrete the fairy tale is.
The deliberate ‘adagio’ of this cover reminds of Von Karajan’s famous interpretation of Tommaso Albinoni’s Adagio.
How did Lou Reed conceive of such a song?
Its sheer simplicity, its poignant lyrics must surely be the music that we would expect to hear if we find ourselves in after-life on a 'stairway to heaven' …
Subo struck a global chord, she is revered in the most distant of lands, among cultures and creeds that are alien to each other.
An unknown, middle aged, from Nowhere emerged as a Voice for All Of Humanity.
How fitting that she now sings “Perfect Day” …
Perhaps even the worst of the parties in Syria might have a moment of regret for the sheer misery that they have imposed, even if they do not understand the language that Subo sings in.
But she sings in another language too, one that can reach into the hearts of even the worst of us.
Let us hope that her fairy tale (unlike that of Oscar, Lance and the tragic Hansie Cronje) long continues, to remind us to keep hoping, even in the darkest of moments, to remind us that our skins and creeds and cultures are superficial and trivial differences, insignificant compared to the Humanity that can unite us.
Perhaps, in such hoping, we can reach a succession of Perfect Days … towards a Perfect World!