Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It hugs back

Today I officially ended my commitment to a BA Hons. Degree in Social Anthropology, signified by the handing in of my dissertation. I won't go into too much detail, all I will say is it's about homeless people and it's about living and sleeping in a homeless shelter where people go to get away from the harsh streets (especially during winter). I live in a town called Stellenbosch, which presents an all too familiar dichotomy.

In general, I'm not an activist, I'm not a fully blown socialist (I have leanings) but these things certainly bother me. I'm not essentialising the poor and saying that if you're poor you live a miserable life. Because that is simply not true! What really gets me is places where toilets are overflowing and 13 people have to share one hose. It is completely un-necessary and makes you wonder why anything isn't done about it because the objectives are easier to reach than people tend to think. This is why I am grateful for all the people who fight the good fight. I'm not talking about peons like myself, I mean people like my project supervisor Steven Robins (http://www.mg.co.za/article/2008-01-15-beware-the-man-for-all-seasons) who challenges authority and popular notions and misconceptions about the state of our country. It is amazing how much he juggles at one time. An incredibly prolific guy. As friendly as can be too!

It's been a good year with some fun interesting and bizarre outings. Of course, it also had a fantastic soundtrack. Without question the most significant musical group for me in the last 6 months was 'It Hugs Back'. I bought their record in June and it has since never failed to bring me back down to earth. Quite possibly one of the most peaceful albums ever recorded! Very positive music. It was mixed at Abbey Road - there are definite Beatle references on it - more so than in most other bands. The album was released on the Too Pure! label, which is also home to the almighty Stereolab!

They also have some pretty nifty music videos - http://www.ithugsback.co.uk/videos.html

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