A couple things worth taking away from the funny video ad produced by a property consortium in Namibia. (Keep in mind that Namibia was among the first countries Trump trashed early in his presidency when he congratulated the leaders from “Nambia” at an important global conference.)
The first is the growing acceptance of vulgarity. This mildly bothers me and not enough for me to make a blog out of it, if it weren’t part and parcel to the humor of the sort in this video.
There are a lot more successful ‘Lenny Bruce’ comedians throughout southern Africa than elsewhere, even including in the United States. It’s something that actually bothered me when I first began working in South Africa, because I thought it was mostly racist opprobrium.
Some of it was, but more often it was actually poking fun at the racists. A tenable presumption is that racists are uneducated, and that means they have fewer words in their arsenal. Charged ideas get projected with vulgarity instead of by more intricate, meaningful language.
Southern Africa’s apartheid rulers were largely far less educated than their opponents. Their vulgarity was often captured in public forums and became a common comedic jibe by opponents and entertainers.
Trump is the perfect racist Boer nationalist, more commonly known as an apartheid ruler. He comes as little surprise to older southern Africans.
Still, will this help marketing?
I have to admit I laughed watching it and didn’t expect to. At the end of the several minutes I realized that the professional cinematography and editing of the advert exceeded by a mile the writing and editing of the staff who prepares Trump.
The Africans daring to lure us to their faraway place to spend some of our ill-gotten wealth seem to know how to penetrate our emotional defenses: tease the certain majority of sane Americans with the humor of their far inferior contemporary leaders. At least they think it’s worth the time and money to try.
I wish I could say that southern Africans prevailed in this care-free presumption that comedy helps sustain the dark periods of bad leadership certain to end. So far that hasn’t proved the case.
Except for the brief era of Mandela, virtually all of the southern African countries including Namibia have seen one buffoonery set of leaders after another.
So the bumpkin Boer was replaced by the perverted Zuma or go-getter Geingob who honors as his mentor the now disgraced despicable dictator Mugabe. Mugabe’s list of sins is endless but perhaps the greatest was the botch he made of land reform, and that’s now exactly what the Namibian ruler seeks his advice for.
So all kidding aside … not much has changed.
We all need comic relief. Recently, one of Namibia’s main newspapers quoted Obama as saying, “a pretty sizable percentage” of world leaders may be crazy.
That’s not funny.