Alec Hogg’s Inbox: Bob Dylan had today’s ANC in mind back in 1965

Here’s a gem of an email from Durbanite Andrew Harrison who reckons the musician poet Bob Dylan had today’s ANC in mind when he wrote his classic “Like A Rolling Stone” back in 1965. Have a read of the lyrics – appropriate indeed:

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People call say ‘beware doll, you’re bound to fall’
You thought they were all kidding you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal

How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ahh you’ve gone to the finest schools, alright Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
Nobody’s ever taught you how to live out on the street
And now you’re gonna have to get used to it
You say you never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He’s not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be on your own, with no direction home
A complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ah you never turned around to see the frowns
On the jugglers and the clowns when they all did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain’t no good
You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain’t it hard when you discovered that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel, how does it feel?
To have on your own, with no direction home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ahh princess on a steeple and all the pretty people
They’re all drinking, thinking that they’ve got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you better take your diamond ring, you better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him he calls you, you can’t refuse
When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel, ah how does it feel?
To be on your own, with no direction home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone  

Capetonian Rudyard Harrison ask an interesting question when referencing the piece featuring Prof Frank Furedi on whether there is a tradeoff between lockdowns and freedom:

What a stunning analysis of the current world crisis! Thank you for sharing this piece!

I have one thing to add. An important question for me is: who stands to gain from the lockdowns and the erosion of our freedom??

And at the risk of getting a he-said-he-said-back debate, after yesterday’s newsletter, Greg Stewart deserves his right of reply to Cliff Poultney’s comments. So here it is:

I couldn’t agree more that current conventional economic theory must not be used in our current economic situation. The current theory is to support big business and major industrial developments as a means to growing the economy and jobs. Mr Poultney is correct that the R350 grant will not be pushed under a mattress – it will be used for food and the existing large retail businesses will benefit for sure, but it won’t change a single vulnerable person’s life in any positive way going into next year and the following. This is exactly what is wrong with our current economy in that it keeps the vast majority out of actively participating in the economy and in essence maintains a business elite at the expense of the majority and keeps the poor beholden to the government.

When we talk glibly about people in dire need circumstances, and say “many will use the R350 to start a side hustle anyway” we are simply ignoring the fact that it won’t change their life or circumstances permanently but gives us a false sense of “we did the right thing” while the existing businesses enjoy the additional income from taxpayer’s money. How many are “many” and what exactly would this side hustle be, and is it sustainable or will it create additional jobs for those in need?

We need to build our economy and we need to build better than we have in the past. We need to include more in the building process and equip them to help others to also build.

Talking about conventional economic theory – the idea that only 25% of new businesses will survive in 5 years and that this would waste R17,5 billion – I need to point out that this idea ignores that even if only 25% do survive, it has provided income and jobs that would not have been there but most importantly it would have provided learnings and stimulated ideas on how to do it better and its most enduring quality is that it would have given a lot of others the courage to go and start a small enterprise themselves. This is priceless.

My final thought is this; If only 25% of these small businesses remain after 5 years, that is 50 000 new businesses where potentially 10% of those would go on to become medium-sized enterprises and perhaps only 3% might grow to become large enterprises and that is where the success lies. Imagine 5000 new medium enterprises and 1500 new large enterprises in our economy and the difference that makes in many people’s lives.

Let’s all start to imagine better, think better and build better for an obtainable better future for all.

To receive BizNews founder Alec Hogg’s Daily Insider every weekday at 6am in your inbox click here. You can also sign up to the weekend’s BizNews Digest for a wrap of the best content BizNews has to offer, for a leisurely Saturday read.


Comment from BizNews community member Alastair van Huyssteen: 

I very much enjoyed your article on Bob Dylan “having had the ANC in mind.” Yes, there is nothing new under the sun, particularly the South African sun!

In the ’70s a young boy who was at school with me in Worcester and whose parents were best friends with mine, and who was engaged by PW Botha as a soldier in Angola, was one of the first fatalities in the Angolan war. He was his father’s only son. His name was Tommie Lotz. His father, who like mine, was a member of the Browder onder, was grief-stricken, and never really recovered

In the ’90s I wrote and recorded a rather philosophical Afrikaans song called Tommie, and also sang it during performances at KKNK at Oudtshoorn. This song and another called Boetie were my kind of commentary on the RSA and where we were heading

I print below the lyrics of the two songs, and if you may be interested shall also send you links of the recordings, which were professionally recorded. It is about the tragic side of politics at grass roots human levels, where the price is always paid.

Today I am a 70 yr old non-retired lawyer, sitting “outside” and seeing the reels playing over and over again. Such is life.

Have a good day, and enjoy every day of life, which is both long and short. I enjoy your writings.

tommie

toe die hollander sterf was ons in die grond
want die man… was dan hoog… in die broederbond
en die manne… van die bond… praat alles… toe nog reg

demitri… het die trane op die mat laat vloei
maar in die kaap het die griek met ‘n wurm bly stoei
en die manne… in tel… sê alles… is nog reg

sirenes het geloei en die boere is verfoei
saracens het gedreun en die mense het gekreun
maar die manne van die pers skryf alles… toe nog reg

en poqo het die bloed in die strate laat vloei
en in die paarl het die mense met pangas gestoei
maar die skole… wat leer… leer alles… is nog reg

en tommie het toe diep in angola gesterf
en sy pa het daarna nooit weer ophou huil
maar die kerk… ja die kerk… preek alles… is nog reg

en toe ons weer kyk was sy pa… nie meer daar
en die manne in die bond het dit glad nie gewaar
maar ons… ja ons… sing alles… is nog reg
en in adderleystraat het ons vir freedom gaan march
maar toe freedom kom het ons ophou raas

want die tyd… ja die tyd… vat ons freedom… weer weg…

boetie

my naam is piet de lange my voornaam was sersant u edele
op die bloupak was ek baie trots, met rooimoord het ons gebots (ek sweer)
maar by die huis maar by die huis was ek boetie …was ek boetie

ek kom van swellendam af, daar duskant riversdal en mosselbaai
my ma is alte lief vir my, my pa wou spog oor my so waar
maar by die huis maar by die huis was ek boetie …was ek boetie

my land het stuk-stuk opgebreek die skuld op my gewreek
ek werk van soggens vroegdag af, ek werk tot sawens laat
en by die huis … en by die huis,… is ek boetie… is ek boetie

my bloupet is viraltyd weg, ‘n laphoed sit maar sleg u edele
more sal dit beter gaan, want vandag is reeds verby
en by die huis… en by die huis… is ek boetie… is ek boetie

die waarheid het twee kante die leun het growwe rante
more sal dit beter gaan, want vandag is reeds verby
en by die huis… en by die huis… is ek boetie… is ek boetie

die waarheid het twee kante die leun het growwe rante
more sal dit beter gaan, want vandag is reeds verby

en by die huis… en by die huis… is ek boetie… is ek boetie
en by die huis… en by die huis… is ek boetie
en by die huis… en by die huis… is ek boetie… is ek boetie
en by die huis… en by die huis… is ek boet-tie

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