Monday, January 29, 2007

Blood diamonds...

Although it may be deleterious to my reputation as a death-or-glory free-marketeer, I have always been quite censorious about 'conflict diamonds', seeing them as a very easy way to fund extremely destructive and bloody civil wars across Africa. The extent of the problem was never in doubt: Congo-Brazzaville, for example, was once in the top ten of diamond exporting countries, despite not producing any of her own - they were all smuggled over the border from the DRC.

As an ethical little so-and-so, the only diamond I have so far purchased was from Canada, and I saw the little laser I.D. mark as well. So I guess I ought to be all approving of the new Di Caprio film all about the iniquities of the trade. Hum. It's really unreasonable of me I know, but if a film is set in 1999, and stars Leonardo Di Caprio, who looks like 17 in most lights, and 30 at a stretch (he's actually 32) should his character really be identified as a Rhodesian mercenary? He'd only have been 10 years old at independence for God's sake - I know that country has a thing about ludicrously under-aged 'war veterans' but this is just getting silly.

His accent sucks too. Mainly because no-one seems to appreciate that there's a difference between the South African accent (even the mild Cape Town one) and the white Zimbabwean one. Try comparing Duncan Fletcher (if you can ever get him to say anything) with Kevin Pieterson (if you can ever get him to shut up). How depressing - I'm reduced to moaning about realism in a Di Caprio film. I hate January sometimes...

UPDATE: Aaaargh! Di Caprio says he has to get involved because 'TIA' ie: This Is Africa. There are two of these acronyms that are used between 15-20 times a day in Zimbabwe by whites, and have been for fifty years: AWA, or Africa Wins Again, and TAB, or That's Africa Baby. No-one has ever said TIA, ever ever ever! Oh and he refers to black Africans as kaffirs. That's a much more South African word, in Rhodesia mostly they said munts or Afs. Petty petty petty.

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