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Of insults disguised as humour

A middle aged man came within inches of crashing his car into mine the other day while simultaneously trying to park with one hand and yammer into the cell phone he was holding in his other hand.

At first I wasn’t that alarmed, after all this was at noon in the middle of a shopping complex parking lot and visibility was quite good. Until someone convinces me otherwise, I am still not buying the story that some drivers deliberately cause accidents.

Panel beating doesn’t come cheap and half of the cars on our roads are not insured, well at proper insurance companies and not these other spiritual and/or traditional ones.

So all the while I am there waiting for this man to leave so that I also move to my next destination. But then he came too close, almost bumped off my fender.

Now I beeped just to keep him from swerving into me and when I did the second time, he then made a funny non apologetic face. For his grand finale, he exited his car in workout gear, a yoga mat and a water bottle in his hand and then rolled his eyes at me! Man wearing neon bright coloured tights, carrying a yoga mat, rolling eyes. I will leave it at that. I did even then. An aggressive lack of consideration for others is fast spreading across this country. If you thought the current BOT50 craze of painting of anything and everything that does not move black, blue and white like it is the case right now in this country, is beyond crazy, then I invite you to open your eyes and ears some more because you haven’t seen anything shocking at all!

In life, there’s a thin line between many situations. There’s a thin line between love and hate, genius and madness, and certainly humour and disrespect. If you weren’t familiar with that thin line before, it probably illuminated itself over the past two weeks.

It is the second time now in less than a month that the President has been at the receiving end of crude insults, thrown at him by kids young enough to be his grandchildren. I will not dignify the insults by repeating them here and credit to Batswana, more people have openly condemned that behaviour.

What has been disappointing though is that the so-called gatekeepers of everything moral just haven’t added their voices to the ones who have already done so and this I find very worrying.


may have missed, it but where are religious leaders, traditional ones as well as human rights advocacy groups or have they gone into hiding? Why are they quiet when their flock is out of line, when the father of the nation is being insulted and demeaned? There is so much hypocrisy.

Social media is fast becoming a nuisance in this country and as an avid user, I should know. On the other hand it has also become an epicentre of humour.

Yes, the thirst for a few laughs is real, and while it might seem like you’re about to just add to the fun, you have to be knowledgeable about what you’re about to say or do and how it will affect others.

Some of the most respected and funny comedians in this country will step very close to a line, but not cross it, and that’s something that people should learn. When making a joke or ‘satire’ as some prefer to sugarcoat insults, it is important for one not to get swept up in the possibility of a laugh, or a few ‘likes’ by hurting or disrespecting someone else in the process.

Although we are often too quick to blame rampant rudeness on advances in technology, the unfortunate truth is, rudeness is in fact a human condition.

We the modern humans are just a bunch of grabby, self-involved narcissists, the same as generations of humans before us. It’s just that with us, there are fewer constraints on our grabby, self-involved narcissism than ever before.

I say this with the utmost respect. We appear to be guided by quaint Stone Age brains, suited to manage social interactions only within a small tribe yet we’re living in endlessly sprawling areas that would more accurately be called “stranger-hoods” than neighbourhoods.

As people, we understand how we are supposed to act because of basic social norms. But every time brutes engage in some form of social thuggery, they make it that much more acceptable for somebody else to do it. Others then begin to imitate their behaviour unthinkingly, like what happened last week. We allow this, we condone it. We are doomed as a nation. Recently, some nasty, personal, gratuitous remarks have been posted to the comments section of this blog

Tumy on Monday



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