Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODEATING - TONY JACK­MAN

IF YOU were supreme leader of all you sur­veyed, would you be like Kim Jong-il, the coun­try your play­thing, the pop­u­lace your toy sol­diers, de­mand­ing that each cit­i­zen do your bid­ding on pain of death? An Idi Amin, laugh­ing at his own bad jokes while he mas­sacres Ugan­dans? The tyrant of them all ( still), Hitler, ex­ter­mi­nat­ing the ones hated and mis­tak­enly dis­trusted, the ones who are “other”, whether Jew, gay, or gipsy?

There won’t be any­one say­ing yes to any of that, we must hope, although with ev­ery­thing go­ing on in our dis­cor­dant ex­is­tance we could be for­given for won­der­ing quite how many evil peo­ple there are in a world which not too long ago seemed a far kinder place.

Then we look East – not to North Korea but to Myan­mar, once known as Burma – for a bet­ter ex­am­ple of what it can mean to wield power, and be loved and ap­proved of rather than feared and de­spised. And south to our own, late, trea­sured ex­am­ple.

The mys­tery in­gre­di­ent in any of these sce­nar­ios is the peo­ple, what they think and how they re­spond to ei­ther tyrant or be­nign leader. This is fas­ci­nat­ing. The most chill­ing ex­am­ple, for me, has al­ways been Ger­many in World War II, where so many of the pop­u­lace gen­uinely fol­lowed Hitler de­spite his un­mis­take­able evil. No one with more than half a brain cell could not dis­cern that this man was se­ri­ously bad news, yet they fol­lowed him re­gard­less. Yet in other sce­nar­ios peo­ple ap­pear to be des­per­ate for kinder lead­er­ship and wait­ing and pray­ing for change to come.

The im­pos­si­bly com­plex mat­ters brew­ing in Europe re­minds me when evil raises its head in other parts of the world, there are worse places to be than in the deep Karoo, where the lo­cal prob­lems are no more com­plex than when the mu­nic­i­pal­ity will get its act to­gether, why farm­ers are re­quired to own white bakkies (there seem to be no red or blue ones, so one must as­sume there is a by-law re­quir­ing this) and when it will rain.

These things may seem triv­ial and rather sad, but they be­come pleas­ant, even up­lift­ing, when con­trasted with the may­hem hap­pen­ing on CNN. Af­ter watch­ing the af­ter­math of the Paris ter­ror at­tacks last week­end on CNN and on Sky News I came out of a chill­ing reverie to find my­self in a world of Vic­to­rian cot­tages with zinc

(GOOD) OLD SCHOOL: Once a chicken supreme’s been browned in a pan on the stove-top, it needs only 30 min­utes in a hot oven plus some time to rest and ten­derise.

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