The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
We all know that professionals built the Titanic, but amateurs built the Ark. Governments around the world are meant to be professional. They are meant to know what they are doing. But, as the anxiety of today’s world mounts, it is clear that the system is more complicated than ever, and that red tape and bureaucracy is way too much. Yesterday, I received a cheque from a colleague in the US for $1000, for some money that was due to me – I should be excited, no? I called the bank asking them how to go about depositing this foreign cheque. It sounds easier to build an ark! What can we do but laugh. This story here is just what the doctor ordered. Read it and laugh, and pass it on – it makes for a great icebreaker. We all need to laugh more in these crazy times. – Ronnie Apteker
In the year 2005, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in the United States, and said, “Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans.”
He gave Noah the blueprints, saying, “You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.”
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard – but no Ark. “Noah!” He roared, “I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?”
“Forgive me, Lord,” begged Noah, “but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I’ve been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbours claim that I’ve violated the neighbourhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.
Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark’s move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.
Getting the wood was another problem. There’s a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls – but no go!
When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
Then the EPA ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they’d conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.
I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to hire for my building crew. Immigration and Naturalization is checking the green-card status of most of the people who want to work.
The trade unions say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.
To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark.”
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, “You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?”
“No,” said the Lord. “The government beat me to it.”
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.