Nightshade, the (former) queen of the werewolves
From Captain America #190 by Tony Isabella & Frank Robbins
Art by South African artist Barbara Tyrrell, who did studies of African indigenous attire in relation to gender, age, ceremonial use and as professional status indicators across Southern Africa.
It should be noted that when recording ceremonies, it was the coming-out dances she recorded, not the rites or teachings (which is forbidden to outsiders). Also in her studies she names her sitters, making them people rather than objects, and when a potential sitter refused her request or were reluctant she respected their free agency.
Macross Flashback 2012 - Tenshi no Enogu
Notes regarding a collection of censored LPs salvaged from the SABC archives —John Peffer to Malose Malahlela, 28 August 2014
Re: listening to cuts on censored records
In 1962 Radio Bantu was established by SABC as part of the National Party policy of separate development for each of South Africa’s ‘distinct’ cultures, with stations created for each of the dominant language groups. The apartheid ideology was that each culture (as defined by the state) has a distinct language and geography and that the indigenous African ones are characterized by longing/nostalgia for specific rural areas/homelands. The so-called traditional ways of life were adapted from anthropological accounts into state ends, to keep its labor pool content and to thus control competition for jobs in urban areas. Therefore on the Bantu Radio stations no language mixing was permitted, for instance on the seSotho station isiZulu could not be spoken or sung. But what music could be played on these “Bantu” stations? In order to create content that fit its ideological program SABC created its own field recordings via what was called its “Transcription Service,” under supervision of ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey, and sent a van with recording equipment into the homelands and rural areas to gather tunes from the various folk cultures. These recordings were not made for sale, only for use on-air, and today, despite their original intention, they are a valuable record of what (some of) the rural music of South Africa used to sound like. During the early 1990s SABC discarded thousands of these recordings, tainted as they were with the stain of apartheid, and today they are dispersed into mostly private collections. It is one of the many contradictions of the apartheid era that in its effort to constrain it also preserved a legacy. One can imagine the recording engineers, fully in love with the sounds discovered, also holding in their minds a paternalistic perspective on local cultures, thinking they were going “back in time” and fully impressed with their own command of advanced transcription technology.
This is not all that could be heard on the Bantu radio stations. Popular commercial recordings of mbaqanga, township jive, local jazz bands, isicathamiya, disco, rock, and soul by black groups were also played on air, creating a quandry for authorities because their content did not perfectly fit their ideology.
In order to address this concern, the lyrics of all commercial music to be played on air had first to be submitted to a committee comprised of the heads of the SABC departments, and and were subject to censorship. Anything deemed to include messages of sexual freedom, drugs and booze, clearly non-Christian (i.e. not Calvinist) content, suggestions of cultural mixing, messages of potentially political nature—anything thought to be against the interests of the National Party—could be banned from airplay, even if the albums themselves were otherwise commercially available. Lyrics that mixed words from more than one language were banned.
Especially during the heightened state paranoia of the late apartheid years of the 1970s and 1980s, anything that remotely sounded or looked like it might be a call to a gathering, of people coming together for a meeting, was banned, even if the actual lyrics were quite conventional or the meaning of the song was not originally intended as revolutionary or political. Basically, anything that sounded like too much fun was avoided on air.
LPs with banned content were not always banned outright. More often it was only specific songs that were forbidden. So SABC DJs were given albums with markings on the covers: stickers or handwritten notes pointing to the objectionable tracks that stated “AVOID” or “CANCELLED”. Sometimes the titles of songs were roughly scratched out by pen. On the vinyl surfaces of the LPs the banned tracks were literally scratched out, sometimes completely obliterated, sometimes with just a single thick cut creating a line perpendicular to the playing groove. These censors’ cuts created a radical skip at each turn of the disc which would potentially destroy the playing stylus, thus making the song unplayable on air.
Looking back upon these records today from the perspective of one who plays records and plays with records, this other groove also creates its own rhythm, its own pops and clicks, its own unique beat upon and within the beat of the tune. Also, these crossings-out of the song, if played on a sturdy turntable, will return the listener again and again to the place where the “objectionable lyric” is found, revealing it above the rest of the tune, displaying it for all to see and hear. I can imagine a contemporary DJ creating an infinite loop—a perverse “locked groove”—from these hard skips, returning to them as emphasis instead of erasure. The click of the cut itself becomes a new beat, on top of the original beat of the song, on top of and revealing the hard pulse of a former authority, while undermining that authority.
Held in the air, in the right light, these records become new objects, multilayered palimpsests of snaps, jumps, and marks that are evidence of their past suppression. In this way their surfaces may be seen as archives of events in their (and our) own history of use and abuse. They are an odd species of evidence, a physical history of inscription/transcription. In them and on them the paranoia of the authoritarian state is made palpable for all to touch and know and feel and play with over and over through the repetition of what remains.
—John Peffer to Malose Malahlela, 28 August 2014
In issue 185 of Captain America Red Skull kidnaps Gabe and Peggy and subjects them to severe torture because of their relationship.
In a response to a letter printed in issue 190, the editor explained why they included that storyline and it’s kinda cool.
Rural poverty in the Eastern Cape Province: Legacy of apartheid or consequence of contemporary segregationism?
Poverty in South Africa in general has not declined since 1994, and it is particularly severe in the former Bantustans. This paper discusses two important issues related to rural poverty in the Eastern Cape Province. It questions the applicability of the notion of legacy to explain recent trends in rural poverty and constructs an argument that explains these trends in relation to post-1994 segregationism. It argues that the notion of legacy is not useful in explaining why rural poverty remains entrenched, long after 1994. Rural poverty today cannot be explained as something left behind after the end of apartheid, because its causes and drivers are the same now in 2012 as they were in 1970. The continuity between the pre- and post-1994 periods is best described by exploring and understanding post-1994 policy decisions and power configurations as an expression of contemporary segregationism.
A comment replying to my Ebola post, an idiot said this.. “Or America has the money and sanitation that Africa doesn’t have and that’s why the two Americans lived”…. Below is a tiny collection of images of the Africa they refuse to show you..
I really am sorry that you have reached this far in life, brainwashed by your media believing that Africa looks like the image below.. I really do sympathize with you,
Stop making Africa the poster child for poverty, poverty is everywhere, and if you ever paid attention, you might notice that it’s closer to home than you think!!!
don’t know why camp’s bay is there coz it’s a majority white suburb and wealth inequality is worse than it was in Apartheid
Throughout the 60s-early 70s run of Captain America there were clear markers to indicate what is a “good” type of black person and what is a “bad” type of black person.
This resulted in some awful hamhanded storytelling which positioned Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, a “good” black person against “bad” black power radicals such as Leila Taylor and her associate, the political activist Rafe.
Leila has every reason to mistrust a white policeman in Harlem, and to not disclose any information to him. However, because Steve asks her “What makes you think I’m your enemy?” Leila is “exposed” for her “bigotry”.
This “bigotry” is further demonstrated in issue 143 for example, in an egregious storyline where the Red Skull infiltrates Rafe’s black power organization and incites them to destroy Harlem. Once again, “good” blacks are positioned against “bad” blacks (also note that what the activist is saying isn’t wrong either).
This is not a flaw of Leila’s and others’ characterization, but of the writers - their limited understanding of black power and the lived experiences of black people.