South African rhetoric of the “challenge”

In South Africa it is taboo to refer to “problems”. This is especially true if you are a representative of government. “No, no, no Mr Interviewer … I would not say it is a problem. Rather we are faced with a challenge.”

People fear that they are in some way resigning themselves to the “un-solvability” of the problem if they utter the very word. Behind this fear lies a a fatalistic way of languaging the issue at hand. Instead, the rhetoric surrounding how we language a problem is pervaded by “challenges”. The other perspective on this rhetoric is that by admitting that an issue is a problem, you somehow admit some form of culpability in relation to the problem. And so, referring to a “challenge” displaces the responsibility for not having already solved the problem.

Parody twitter accounts, anti-stories & synthesis

I’ve been watching with interest the proliferation of parody spoof Twiiter user accounts over the last while. These spoof accounts have been generated by witty anonymous users to take cheap shots at large, global organisations who are doings things worthy of critique. One of the best examples is the BP Global Public Relations account.

Of all the parody accounts created, the PR-type accounts are the most common and they represent really cynical, sardonic and incisive viewpoints on what big corporates are up to. Anther example is FIFAGlobalPR. One source describes the BPGlobalPR parody …

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