Tuesday, March 16

The Intrepid Reporter

The DP/IFP rally was certainly interesting. Im going to give some first impressions and I'm planning to write a longer piece tomorrow.

Dr Buthelezi was very relaxed. He arrived early and hung around outside the hall chatting with a few people. There was only one bodyguard I saw, and he didnt seem very worried or active. Hey, I got to shake hands with him, so that made my day. Another thing that struck me is his age. He is 85 years old, but you wouldnt say it by looking at him. You can feel it in his grip however.

Mr Leon arrived later with is procession in tow. I never saw him off stage so I couldnt watch him not wear his politicians hat. His movements when he speak seem to me to be contrived. He wants you to read into his body language the obvious message. It doesnt seem natural to me, and Im consequently not that convinced by his message. What struck me however was that he never stops the act when he sits on the stage and others speak. He is always doing something. Pulling out an article with a flourish, studies the article intently, puts on his glasses, takes off his glasses, shake his head vigorously at some comment by a speaker. Sometimes however, the mask slips as he scans the crowd and you can almost see the mind working. ("How many black people could we draw? Where are the cameras? Whats the crowds reaction?") Almost. He is a classy politician, and he makes the rest of his posse seem clumsy.

The iHP-140 recorded amazingly. Using the internal mike and sitting about three rows from the stage quality is crystal clear. I was worried about ambient noise, but it was no problem. It recorded about 50 minutes of speech on about 53 megabyte of mp3. About a meg a minute at 128 kbaud. Pretty impressive as I thought the internal mike was of inferior quality.


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