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Is the sun driving us crazy?

2011-03-07 09:43
When I read, somewhere on the web a month ago, that we were heading for an unprecedented flurry of solar activity, I experienced a tingling mixture of anticipation and dread going up and down my spine.

By now, those solar flares have been hitting us, sending wave after wave of invisible radiation right through the planet. We are being fried like a piece of mutton in a microwave. So far, thankfully, our GPS systems and our electronic networks and our TV reception have not crashed, as some scientists feared.

But, as for the effect of all those gamma rays on our mental state; that’s something else altogether!

It’s as if the entire planet has gone crazy all of a sudden. Within the space of weeks, Egypt erupted, Gaddafi is being ousted, and a domino-effect is felt all over the Arab world. Entire cities, whole countries are aflame with unprecedented and totally unexpected revolutions.

New World Order

While the rest of the world is still reeling from the effects of devastating earthquakes, floods and crazy fluctuations in the natural order of things, we are struggling, mentally, to come to grips with the implications of what is nothing less than an astonishing new emerging world order. For the stuff going down right now in Libya, Iran, Yemen, etc., is certain to bring about changes at least as far-reaching as the French Revolution.

And, parallel to these political upheavals, information - both of the earth-shattering and the trivial kind - is being exchanged at lightning-speed. With the chattering of millions of minds simultaneously, with the bleeding of embarrassing political secrets on WikiLeaks, old conceptual hierarchies are being tossed aside like used rags. The rock-steady empires built by previous generations now seem like sand castles being undermined by the raging tidal waves of Internet opinion.

Quite literally, everyone is suddenly on the same level. Is this the end of the era of dictators, kings, presidents and princes? What enclave of entrenched power will be the next to be stormed? Zimbabwe? China? The Vatican? We are being held hostage by the sun, and in these frantic times, while everyone’s brains are frying with fever and lust for change, things seem possible that, barely a year ago, seemed unthinkable.

Solar casualties

South Africa is not without its share of solar casualties. Who would have expected that a little publicity stunt by the DA – when they unearthed old footage of something stupid being said by a Zuma spokesman – would have resulted in such a major row? Who would have predicted, barely a month ago, that Cosatu would support Trevor Manuel on any issue?

The political landscape of South Africa has probably never been so fluid before. Huge dongas are appearing where merely the tiniest of cracks had been visible before. The warning sounded by that other Mbeki is now suddenly not so far-fetched…

Is this, God have mercy on us all, finally the beginning of the end of the Tri-Partite Alliance? What will such a cataclysmic event spell for South Africa? Will we truly move away from racism once and for all, or will the crazy hotheads in the ANC and the white right-wing drag us all down with them into a futile ethnic struggle? I don’t know! The sun will tell!

Perhaps, who knows, this present cycle of solar bombardment will end soon, and the world will once again return to some humdrum semblance of routine stupidity instead of this all-encompassing furore of manic delirium that has been enveloping the planet during the last month.

But will there be anything left by then?    

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