Posted inGeneral

Is identifying with Nazism problematic?

As those who have been reading the Sunday Times over the past couple of weeks may know, St. John’s College, one of Johannesburg’s most prestigious private schools, was recently embarrassed by a mock Nazi demonstration conducted by some of its pupils at a school assembly. What happened was that for “Moustache Day”, one of the […]

Posted inGeneral

Pretoria or Tshwane?

To me, it’s a no-brainer. There was never a pre-existing place called ‘Tshwane’ that Pretoria replaced. Instead, an entirely new population centre came into being, in due course assuming city status. It was named ‘Pretoria’ by its founders, and that it was what was called for over 140 years before it was arbitrarily renamed Tshwane […]

Posted inGeneral

My bruising encounter with the PC brigade

Every now and again, as a columnist for the SA Jewish Report, I drop a proverbial brick in a hornet’s nest and end up diving for cover. Thus it was a couple of weeks ago, when a column I wrote poking fun at a newly established Jewish women’s lobby group generated far less amusement and […]

Posted inGeneralNews/Politics

Zuma’s privates and the black male sexual potency myth

Tom Sharpe’s comic novel Indecent Exposure mercilessly lampooning white racism in South Africa was predictably banned under the apartheid government. I managed to get my copy during a visit to Sun City, where such contraband was legally obtainable (since it fell within the boundaries of the ‘independent’ homeland of Bophuthatswana). In one scene, a distraught […]

Posted inGeneral

Game of Thrones and the brutalisation of popular entertainment

Few would disagree that the hit fantasy-adventure TV series Game of Thrones is, from a purely aesthetic point of view, an outstanding achievement. Its production values are top notch and the acting and scripting are of a consistently high standard. Certainly, it is a yardstick by which the impressive advances made in television entertainment over […]

Posted inGeneral

Death of a school friend

The first time I encountered Robert Jackson, as a seven-year-old in the Sandown Primary School playground, I hit him in the teeth and made him howl. This was ironic in that during our respective school careers I was a first-class wuss whereas Rob had a reputation as something of a fighter. The second irony was […]

Posted inLifestyle

The twilight of testosterone

Something truly extraordinary is happening in the US labour market. At the beginning of 2010, it was revealed, that for the first time in the country’s history, women held a majority of the nation’s jobs. The dramatic rise of women within the ranks of the gainfully employed shouldn’t be seen as solely an American phenomenon. […]

Posted inNews/Politics

Elections 2014 — last chance to save SA?

When the Zimbabwean parliament voted overwhelming in August 2005 to endorse constitutional amendments that would further restrict private property rights and allow the government to deny passports to its critics, exultant Zanu-PF MPs danced and cheered in the aisles. Several apparently even did cartwheels. Similar displays of vindictive glee had reportedly taken place previous, such […]

Posted inGeneralNews/Politics

Christians – the world’s most persecuted faith group

While Jews agonise over anti-Semitism and Muslims rail against Islamophobia, both of which are supposedly on the rise everywhere you look, remarkably little is being heard on behalf of arguably the world’s most persecuted religious group today, namely Christians. I say “arguably”, because anti-Buddhist persecution in Tibet and Myanmar/Burma is also an unhappy reality. Still, […]

Posted inGeneral

Mandela and the Dalai Lama

So damaging was the fall-out over South Africa’s denying the Dalai Lama a visa when he wished to attend a peace conference a couple of years ago that it was hard to imagine such a blunder being repeated. At the time, it was perhaps the most egregious example of the last administration’s penchant for shloeping […]