Editor’s Note by Mazwi Xaba
There are some hopelessly tone-deaf people who unintentionally torture us with their horrid performances on the Idols talent search show every season.
But then there are those always aiming to kill the audience with laughter and make it into the Wooden Mic top 10.
The trouble is that it’s sometimes hard, even to the trained ear, to distinguish the deliberately horrible from those who are simply not gifted and unaware of their lack of talent.
But both categories of performers have a place in the contest.
If DA federal council chair Helen Zille was a contestant I’d put her firmly among the Wooden Mic Allstars. I totally disagree with John Moodey’s argument that Zille was either tone deaf or ignorant, or both. She’s none of the above. There’s a method in her sporadic madness of racially off-pitch performances.
It’s not a lack of balance and nuance or being politically obtuse or unable to distinguish those jarring, harsh notes from the sweet and soothing. She seems to occasionally feel a need to mock, prod, ruffle feathers and open wounds.
But there was more that motivated the veteran DA leader to jump ship this week. It wasn’t simply for some social distance from the tone-deaf madam. He was about to be pushed.
Watching this endless soapie, it’s tempting to conclude that all’s fair in love and war. But there’s a developing democracy here that needs a strong opposition.
That’s why it’s all so sad.
The Independent on Saturday