To be honest, I don't really want to do this. However, life is filled with things none of us wanted, and in this case, I'm obligated to speak up.
Hi. My name is Wogan. I'm a native South African (one might even say, a touch patriotic), and I currently live in Cape Town. I was 5 years old at the time of South Africa's first general election, in April 1994.
My family history stretches as far back as 1850, when my paternal ancestor landed at the Cape of Good Hope. Someday I'll piece together everything that happened since he stepped off the Eclipse. I imagine it's an interesting story.
I consider myself a working-class South African. I have not gone to university (though I could barely afford it, if I tried). I entered the workforce the year after my 18th birthday as an intern, and have been employed ever since.
I first became "aware" of politics on 9 December 2015. Zuma, with no apparent provocation, fired the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene. The resulting shockwave of that dropped the USD/ZAR exchange rate quite a bit (10% overnight), which derailed a project I was working on.
It was the first time that "some political noise" in the news had had a material impact on something I was trying to do - the first time that politics actually mattered, in my world. And so I started paying more attention.
Of the many, many things I've seen since, there's one thing I have not: In South African politics in particular, nobody seems particularly concerned with truth or reconciliation anymore.
But those are the things I care about. Personally, my politics are best described as "libertarian capitalist" - I believe in the agency of individuals, and I believe in economic growth as the driver for solving many of our problems.
I believe in finding the truth about things, not just buying into comfortable narratives. And I have seen a lot of narratives flying around - especially on the adrenaline-fueled echo chamber that is Twitter.
Not a day has gone past over these last few weeks where I have not seen at least one thing that has made me facepalm. Be it an issue in South Africa, a story coming out of Trump's America, or just any piece of news that's been twisted to serve an agenda.
At almost every instance of that, I've thought about writing a longer-form opinion piece than Twitter's 140 characters would allow, but have stopped short of doing so. I do have a main blog (which focuses on technology and my projects a lot more), and I wasn't comfortable doing this on Facebook, for various reasons.
And so, Observation Point is born. This is really just a space for me to brain-dump how I think and feel about what's going on in the world. Somewhere permanent that I can write these things down, and refer back to them later.
I'm inspired, in no small part, by the stories of people like Dave Rubin, Colin Moriarty, Lauren Southern, Blaire White, Jeff Holiday, and others. People that have simply started - used the tools at everyone's disposal to get their opinions out there.
Frankly, my opinions are kinda boring. I know I'd get more attention if I took a radical left approach (pronoun all the things! safe spaces for everyone!), or if I took the hard-right approach (we need racial purity again! nationalism is best -ism!).
But my opinions are a lot less inflammatory than that. I believe, pretty simply, that in every interaction it's crucial to find common ground. The more common ground we have, the more we can get along.
Any discussion, idea, argument, belief, regulation, law or policy that moves us closer to finding and establishing common ground, that respects the rights and liberties of individuals, and that encourages economic growth, is something I can (and will) get behind.
Common ground seems to be in dwindling supply lately, and so this blog is my (very small) attempt to do something about that. If nothing else, I'll keep these records for myself.
I'm on Twitter at @woganmay, in case you want to follow me there.