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back to article Mandela memorial. Yup, let's SNAP A SELFIE, say grinning Obama, Cameron

The word "selfie" officially entered the English language this year, but in etiquette terms taking a photo of yourself is still a social minefield. Many may think doing so at a memorial service is a faux pas, but not for President Obama it seems. Nor UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Denmark's premier Helle Thorning-Schmidt …

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Looks like it was her phone

I thought Obama was forbidden to use an iPhone?

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Re: Looks like it was her phone

He is forbidden to use an iToy. That's not a an iToy it a BlackBerry Z10. Trusted by super powers everywhere.

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Was he afraid that all of the press photographers there might somehow miss him and he might not get a photo of himself at the ceremony?

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Anonymous Coward

Former prez George W Bush took the time to pose for a shot with U2 frontman Bono

Hey, cause the deaths of thousands of Iraqis...get a picture with Bono!

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Re: Former prez George W Bush took the time to pose for a shot with U2 frontman Bono

I'm not certain which of them is more embarrassing...

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Re: Former prez George W Bush took the time to pose for a shot with U2 frontman Bono

Laurel and Hardy used to make people laugh, whereas this pair of arseholes just want to make us cry.

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Anonymous Coward

What story?

It was a memorial service not a funeral - big difference; memorial services can be very jolly affairs (I remember one composer of religious music who arranged his own memorial service music in advance - it was a calypso) because they are supposed to be the celebration of somebody's life and achievements. And it's clearly the Danish PM who is taking the picture, with the help of the rather famous person on her left. Cameron is just doing a Blair, i.e. trying to get in the same picture as the Prez.

No, the story here looks like being that, thanks to Snowden, yet another Scando-Germanic politician is using a BlackBerry.

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Re: What story?

The story is that these muppets are so self obsessed they even take selfies at a memorial service. Its about Mandela, not you publicity seeking whores.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What story?

Ok two things: Memorial services should be happy events, by all accounts there was a party atmosphere. Also, it was a selfie, hardly publicity seeking for someone else to photograph you taking a photograph for your own consumption, is it?

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A bit jolly weren't they?

I wonder how many of these world leaders realised that the only one who will be remembered in a positive light will be the one being memorialised.

Or is that why they're so jolly - with Mandela gone they won't look so bad in comparison.

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At least the First Lady looks... Say, I wonder where Bo and Sunny are staying now that Barack is sleeping in their house.

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Unhappy

Just another example of the doctrine of ME

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Anonymous Coward

Context is everything....

Yes I know Obama can't burp without it making the headlines of the tabloids....I suppose this comes with the territory.

But come on guys a bit of perspective and context before turning this into an international scandal.

The whole memorial lasted over four hours and included some "breaks" between the speeches - how do we know that this shot was no taken during one of these?

And, as others have already mentioned this was NOT a funeral but a memorial to celebrate Mandela and if you care to look at other pictures and videos there was much celebration, dancing and rejoicing going on.

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Re: Context is everything....

as others have already mentioned this was NOT a funeral but a memorial to celebrate Mandela and if you care to look at other pictures and videos there was much celebration, dancing and rejoicing going on.

If you watched the footage, as you claimed, you'd have heard Cyril Ramaposa asking the crowd to be a bit more circumspect - "let's not embarrass ourselves, behave". Indeed, Bishop Tutu berated the crowd on their rowdiness , saying “You must show the world that we are disciplined. I want to hear a pin drop.”

Pity the overseas guests didn't set an example for the crowds to follow.

The whole memorial lasted over four hours and included some "breaks" between the speeches - how do we know that this shot was no taken during one of these?

Is it unreasonable to expect someone chosen to represent you and your nation to be able to act with dignity and decorum (no burping) for four hours without the need for "breaks"?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Context is everything....

Is it unreasonable to expect someone chosen to represent you and your nation to be able to act with dignity and decorum

I and IMHO my nation shouldn't be represented at a memorial to a terrorist.

Yes you can flame me for saying it, but you can't rewrite history and the actions of that man so that his acts never took place. Those who plan, and implement acts of violence deliberately designed to maim and kill civilians are terrorists. They should be shot and have their bodies dumped into the sea as shark food, out of the doors of an aircraft. It was good enough for Osama, it's good enough for all such individuals.

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Re: Context is everything....

They should be shot and have their bodies dumped into the sea as shark food.

As long as you put Blair and Bush at the top of the list.

Be careful what you wish for.

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Re: Context is everything....

...Indeed, Bishop Tutu berated the crowd on their rowdiness , saying “You must show the world that we are disciplined. I want to hear a pin drop.”

-that was about the booing that came when the declared-innocent of rape current south african president zuma took the stage.

Pity the overseas guests didn't set an example for the crowds to follow.

-which example woudl that be? leaders from all other the world coming together in a way they normally would never do and create connections and learn about each other during the memorial of a man now remembered as a great facilitator and bringer-together of people? why would it have been so much better if they all just sat on their arses and stared blankly ahead until it was time to go home and continue the status quo?

Is it unreasonable to expect someone chosen to represent you and your nation to be able to act with dignity and decorum (no burping) for four hours without the need for "breaks"?

-if someone representing me and my nation went to such a comming together of world leaders during such a bringing-everyone-together event and all they did was act with dignity and decorum then i'd expect them to be voted out of office before their return flight landed.

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Re: Context is everything....

@obnoxiousGit

Your name is quite fitting it seems. If you bothered to find out about Mandela's history rather than tar him with your ridiculous accusations, you'd know the Mandela's campaign was against the infrastructure of the apartheid regime - military installations, power plants, telephone lines and transport links. These bombings were carried out at night to minimise civilian casualties, if fact Mandela himself stated that they chose sabotage not only because it was the least harmful action, but also "because it did not involve loss of life [and] it offered the best hope for reconciliation among the races afterward."

But hey, let's not have the fact he was fighting to free his (and my) people from a brutally oppressive regime disrupt your drooling slack-jawed dim-witted view of the world, just do us all a favour and don't breed.

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Re: Context is everything....

While it does seem more believable than a complete re-invention of his public image, from what you've written it sounds like you're basing this on Wikipedia, which isn't always an accurate resource for political history.

Equally, assuming this is accurate, while he did work to minimise civilian casualties he was still targetting civilian installations. Even in the best of cases, this would result in some civilian casualties, which could arguably mean he crossed over to terrorism under some definitions

Of course, if you *do* want to argue that then it would be difficult not to classify the US drone strikes as being terrorist activitiy, seeing as they haven't had any such restraint with regards to bombing civilian locations when aiming for a target. And like you say, he was working to disrupt a brutally oppressive regime which wouldn't have hesitated to kill off civilians if they thought it would get them what they wanted

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Re: Context is everything....

"Those who plan, and implement acts of violence deliberately designed to maim and kill civilians are terrorists"

So isn't that just about every government and military force at some point then?

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Re: Context is everything....

@ Chizo Ejindu

Your name is quite fitting it seems

Oh look it's someone else making the same tired old statement about the name I choose to use, because I dared to state a view they dislike... it's a factually based view... but they dislike it anyway, so out trot the same old comments.

your drooling slack-jawed dim-witted view of the world, just do us all a favour and don't breed.

Nothing new here, you're just another who is willing to excuse acts of murder, and exalt the murderers, as long as it suits your world view.

No doubt a man who thinks he is entitled to get personally offensive towards someone who expresses a view he dislikes, such as you, would have fitted well into an ANC terror cell perfectly. Maiming and killing anyone who dared to say things you personally disliked.

I'm absolutely certain the world already has enough offensive, ignorant arseholes, so do us all a favour and don't breed, we don't need anymore.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Context is everything....

As long as you put Blair and Bush at the top of the list.

Now there's a bold claim, that Blair and Bush deliberately targeted civilians.

If you can prove that I'll fully support them being put at the top of the list.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Context is everything....

Certainly, as a founder of uMkhonto we Sizwe, Mandela was in the ANC faction that favoured violence to overthrow the State. Whatever the rhetoric about minimising civilian casualties, the fact is that MK bombed 'soft' civilian targets in the 80's. During the post-apartheid TRC hearings, the bombings were denounced as acts of terrorism - c.f. Robert MacBride.

The armed struggle was a symptom of a deeply divided nation. In the lead up to the first democratic elections, South Africa was practically in a state of civil war, and the ANC was not adverse to using violence against civilians (necklacing / people's courts) to further it's political aims.

The great thing about Mandela is the way he was able to transition from freedom fighter to statesman. As the first democratically elected president of South Africa, he rejected violence and espoused ubuntu and forgiveness. His example pulled the country back from the brink. He became a leader for all South Africans - a truly remarkable achievement.

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Re: Context is everything....

leaders from all other the world coming together in a way they normally would never do and create connections and learn about each other during the memorial of a man now remembered as a great facilitator and bringer-together of people? why would it have been so much better if they all just sat on their arses and stared blankly ahead until it was time to go home and continue the status quo?

How many of the local dignitaries did you see taking selfies?

The Cape Argus said today: "It was meant to be the ultimate send-off, fit for a global icon, but the official memorial of Nelson Mandela was reduced to a damp squib with unruly crowds, bad planning and a political embarrassment."

I would venture that unruly crowds do not excuse Heads of State acting like 12 year old girls.

Ah well, nice to know the kind of behaviour I can expect to get away with at Arlington on Memorial day or the Cenotaph on Armistice day.

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Re: Context is everything....

I took my information on the 'bad' things Mendela did from Wikipedia, so far. It says that he tried to avoid civilian casualties during his terrorist Bomb/sabotage activities.

I'm interested to read more to decide for myself what he was like so recommendations for websites/information would be appreciated. I can use a library with old fashioned paper too if it comes to it. I expect there'sat least one biography that covers these aspects of his life without bias.

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Re: Context is everything....

"Now there's a bold claim, that Blair and Bush deliberately targeted civilians."

If you fight a war where you're defending your nation against an aggressor who is actively attacking you with the intent of subjugation or genocide, accidental civilian collateral on the attacker's side is one thing. As far as I'm concerned when you attack a nation on the basis of a invented lie for political and financial goals, as Blair and Bush did, every civilian casualty is deliberate by definition.

Blair and Bush are war criminals, and they need to be brought justice for their crimes.

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Re: Context is everything....

@AC 13:02

I agreee that MK's remit was violence against the State after the failure of the political process to make headway with the regime. And i also agree that in the 80's MK bombed soft targets which is terrorism, by which point Mandela had been in jail for almost 20 years. However obnoxiousGit stated that Mandela is a terrorist by his definition "Those who plan, and implement acts of violence deliberately designed to maim and kill civilians are terrorists." I have seen no evidence to support that Mandela planned acts of violence to deliberately maim and kill civilians.

I did use Wikipedia for my quote, but i have a far better source for Mandela's actions - my mum who was born in South Africa in 1948 and lived through the horrors of the apartheid regime up until the late 60s when she managed to escape to the UK. Her assertion is that Mandela targetted the government and infrastructure in his bombing campaign, not random civilians. And i'm far far more inclined to believe my mother who lived through that period in history than a random internet nobody shouting from his soapbox.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Context is everything....

And i'm far far more inclined to believe my mother who lived through that period in history than a random internet nobody shouting from his soapbox.

Thula wena. Don't care what you believe, I know the truth first hand.

This 'random internet nobody' was born in Johannesburg in '58 and I've lived there all my life. I know the realities of the struggle. I know people who lost loved ones in ANC bombings and I know people who lost loved ones to the SADF.

MK was initially tasked with a sabotage campaign. When that failed, the organisation turned to a strategy of "guerilla warfare and terrorism". In the course of carrying out that directive the organisation committed human rights abuses against it's own members as well as it's opponents. They were self declared terrorists.

Madiba supported armed struggle. A watered-down, Disneyworld version of Mandela is an affront to his memory.

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@AC

My apologies if I offended you, my comment was aimed at obnoxiousGit, not you! I should have worded it much cleaerer, i thought the implication was clear. I could tell immediately that you knew what you were talking about and was agreeing with you entirely. Please accept my apologies.

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Re: Context is everything....

As far as I'm concerned when you attack a nation on the basis of a invented lie for political and financial goals, as Blair and Bush did, every civilian casualty is deliberate by definition.

Nope deliberately targeting civilians requires you to actively make a decision that you are OK with civilians being killed or maimed for you to achieve your goals, so I can't agree.

However:

Blair and Bush are war criminals, and they need to be brought justice for their crimes.

I do agree with that, because it was all based upon lies, and lies which were clearly lies when they were being told by Bush and Blair.

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Re: Context is everything....

@ Chizo Ejindu

my comment was aimed at obnoxiousGit

You should have saved yourself the trouble of personally attacking someone who said something you disliked.

Facts are facts, Mandela was a terrorist. I do not believe my country should be attending his memorial.

That doesn't mean I think apartheid was a good thing, or that I think your people getting the equality they should have always had was a bad thing. I think neither and am happy to celebrate that such views and practice is no longer accepted by anyone.

I'm not going to water down my views about those who deliberately target civilians though, just because progress is made in human rights. Mandela wasn't the only player in the end of apartheid, there were many. His part started out with violence, violence which targeted civilians, and he should no more be forgiven that, than all of our Irish terrorists are. Be they republican or loyalist. Or anymore than any of the Islamic terrorists are. Deliberate targeting of civilians is wrong, and in the view of many of us who did our time as legitimate targets for such actions, are unforgivable. We would rightly have never been forgiven for acting in such a way, by you or anyone else, recent events have correctly re-enforced that.

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Re: Context is everything....

Nope deliberately targeting civilians requires you to actively make a decision that you are OK with civilians being killed or maimed for you to achieve your goals, so I can't agree.

"If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America." - Nelson Mandela, 2003

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Re: Context is everything....

"If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America." - Nelson Mandela, 2003

If the words of a man who chose to deliberately kill and maim civilians are of value to you, then I feel sorry for you.

I would suggest you try and make your own mind up about the acts of others, and the intentions and motivations behind those acts. That way you will have at least achieved some sense of personal reason with the world in which you live, instead of blindly accepting the reasoning (thoughts and words) of others.

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Re: Context is everything....

Hypocrite much? It's well established they lied to invade a country to steal it's resources. Every one of the hundreds of thousands lost is on them. You don't consider terrorism terrorism if they are 'on your side' ? or just don't like terrorists that get their own hands dirty?

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Anonymous Coward

This is news now is it? "Man takes photo." Wow.

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Does no-one remember the "working funeral" concept from Yes Prime Minister? The whole point of a funeral of a famous world leader is for other world leaders to gather and conduct governmental business outside the media spotlight. So I'm sure that's what Obama was attempting with Thorning-Schmidt.

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Amazing how many leaders...

saying what a wonderful man he was are the same leaders who said he was a terrorist back in the 60s, 70s and 80s and did their best to supress anti-apartheid demonstrations. I believe Geoge Dubbya still had the ANC listed as a proscribed organisation as late as 2008.

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Re: Amazing how many leaders...

Technically speaking, it was Congress who had to remove the ANC from the banned list. Since Mr Mandela's inauguration, Mr Mandela and his government were granted waivers by the Secretaries of State under President Clinton and President GW Bush for visits to the United States. Mr Bush signed the law rescinding the ANC's PNG status in 2008. Embarrassingly late for the USA.

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Re: Amazing how many leaders...

Why do you think there's now a G8 summit on tackling dementia?

They've obviously realised they'd forgotten their old views, and are trying to figure out what to do about it...

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Bono

Can't take Bono seriously as a social/political activist since he started to mingle with the political elite.

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Re: Bono

Although, to be fair, if one *is* trying to be a political activist, one can be much more effective if one mingles with the political elite.

// just need to try not to get any on you...

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Re: Bono

This would be Bono the guy who owns half a hedge fund based in Holland to exploit tax efficency? The Bono that thinks we should all pay more taxes to give to his pet causes (however worthy they may be).

Nothing but a has been hypocrit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bono

Bono is persona non grata in some parts of SA after provocatively encouraging the singing of an Aparheid era song that was deemed hate-speech by the Constitutional Court.

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More amazing

The more amazing photo is that of President Obama shaking the hand of President Raul Castro.

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FAIL

Looks like a who's who gallery...

...of shameless narcissism, considering the occasion.

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Give 'em a break

It was hardly a formal occasion.

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Oh grow up...

I hadn't realized El Reg was now an official affiliate of Fox news

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Read All About It:

Funeral selifies endorsed by Cameron, Obama!

Sun headline in funeral selfie "gaffe" shocker!

Made my morning ;)

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What would Mandela want, people sitting there glum or people celebrating.

Dammed if the do, dammed if they don't.

Don't see you writing stories about the inappropriate street parties, carnevals etc that are happending across South Africa.

Rubbish Register story. I know you're a red top, but no need stoop to the Jeremy Vine level or reporting

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Is it just me, or does it seem more like Obama and Thorning-Schmidt are taking a selfie and Cameron is photobombing them?

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