Driving Around South Africa With The Roof Down,
Keith Gottschalk, Jack Magazine
South Africa is a land of contradictions and paradox, reports Keith Gottschalk in Jack Magazine. "You want clichés, we got clichés," he writes. "The first world-and-third world in one country, like Brazil. The 17th most-wired country on the planet, but with one-fifth of adults illiterate. Feminists, fundamentalists, and polygamists. Vocal greenies and a vocal gun lobby. Five communists in the cabinet and the best due process on the continent." While Americans and Canadians fly to South Africa "at bargain prices for world-class surgeries," the country struggles in the throes of AIDS. While its constitution grants official status to 11 languages, it's nearly impossible for South Africans to find a CD or hear an advertisement that is not in English. Unfortunately, South Africa's stark differences in culture, politics, and society do not create a harmonius yin-yang, but rather gross inequalities and cultural compromises, as one part of the population advances and the other -- significantly larger -- battles to survive.