Media

Pantomime of the parvenu

South Africa is a particularly fractious society. Rarely does a week pass without something stirring the country’s intellectuals from their silences. The noise generated by this fractiousness says more, perhaps, about South Africa’s collective neurosis, than it does about anything else. What is amusing to behold, though, is the theatrics of intellectuals that play out…

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The Spear: SA will not overcome fear by giving into it

Brett Murray’s defaced The Spear stands as a monument to intolerance. After thousands of ANC supporters marched to the Goodman Gallery where it had once been on display, the gallery has agreed it will not be displayed publicly again. While representations of the painting now enjoy the ubiquity of the web, what price have we…

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Some sympathy for the editor, please

I too dislike the painting. It offends me for reasons I can’t quite fathom. I do know as satire it resembles the blow of a club more than the rapier thrust. Yet I am appalled by the Taliban-like reaction to it. Brett Murray must have an inkling of how Salman Rushdie felt. The spotlight, however,…

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The ANC’s bullying will fail to quash freedom

There has been much gnashing of teeth at the decision made by the editor of City Press, Ferial Haffajee, to remove a photo of Bretty Murray’s The Spear from the newspaper’s website. When it comes to the media, the ANC has brought all its indignant rage down on one publication – it has been useful…

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The promise of technology in South Africa

The pace of change and technological evolution has accelerated greatly over the last decade. It’s not only remarkable how dramatically the technologies in everyday use has changed, but also how easily society as a whole has adopted these innovations. The adoption of these technologies has been unequivocally positive – for individuals, the business environment and…

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How do we galvanise outrage over Mdluli?

What do the racist tweets, e-tolls, the POIB and rhino poaching have in common? Recently they have all been the focus of public outrage. Outrage is a useful thing. It was outrage that saw Jessica Leandra stripped of her endorsements and title, outrage that put a temporary halt to e-tolls, and outrage that has forced…

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Beware the oracle

Chris Moerdyk states in his News24 opinion column of May 7 2012 that the editor of the magazine Health Intelligence (Mr Colin Levin) agrees with him (in an editorial on page 1 of Edition 15 – May/June 2012) about the latest food labelling regulations going “too far in their noble intention to (protect) consumers from misleading…

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Press clubs are for public engagement, not political intolerance

Following the fracas after Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson refused to enter the room or speak at a Cape Town Press Club breakfast until an opposition MP had removed himself, there is suddenly talk of the press club being some kind of front “infiltrated” by opposition politicians. ANC national spokesperson Jackson Mthembu, the office of the…

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Dear Jessica: Thank you

Dear Jessica, I feel sorry for you. Really I do. You got up on Friday and tweeted that it would be a good day, without having any idea that by the end of it you’d have lost your sponsorship and your FHM title and been reported to the Human Rights Commission (HRC). So I’d like…

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What’s your booze culture?

It’s Friday, the day on which – Phuza Thursday notwithstanding – many South Africans start drinking in earnest and, if some statistics are to be believed, don’t sober up until Monday morning rolls around. I was reminded the other night of how uncomfortable I feel around drunk people. Now I’m not talking pleasantly tanked and…

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