In June of 2018 one of my favourite Canadians, Melody Zacharias, invited me to write a chapter for a book she is publishing later this year called “Let Them Finish”. [Edited 17 November 2018: You can buy the book on Amazon.com, and all proceeds go to charity.] [Edited 4 July 2021: You can read the fullContinue reading On writing important things
Two vastly different reasons for remembering the date today, and both have resonance. 14 August 1989: (Picture credit: Alex Jay on Twitter, but I’m not sure where he got it from, because it’s a photo of a frame from a public television broadcast.) State President PW Botha, the second-last apartheid-era leader of South Africa, theContinue reading 14 August
In less than a month, the Calgary Men’s Chorus is sending a contingent to the GALA Choruses Festival in Denver, which is in the same country where 49 people were killed last night in a gay club by one man armed with an assault rifle that he got without a background check, despite being onContinue reading Reflections on the Orlando Massacre
For the last month or so, my Twitter feed has been inundated with vicious hatred, towards feminists in particular. Whether it’s related to this hashtag is immaterial: bullying is wrong. Rape- and death-threats are wrong. Doxxing is wrong.
Since I originally read that Terry Pratchett is a Humanist (albeit a “bad one”), I liked the sound of the description, and I’ve adopted it where appropriate. I’m more of an irreligious person nowadays, but I’ll get to that. In Pratchett’s own words, “I think if there is any intelligence behind the Universe, it isContinue reading So here it is
My name is Randolph, and I am a racist. I was brought up in a country that institutionalised racism at all levels of society, and even now is battling to recover. When Nelson Mandela was freed (I was only 13 years old at the time), many of my white friends and their families wanted toContinue reading I am a racist
I was at first jubilant to hear that Julius Malema is now banned from singing Dubul’ibhunu (translated as “Shoot the Boer”). And then I realised that a court judging this as hate speech is setting a dangerous precedent. How quickly I forget that my own uncle had to flee South Africa in the Apartheid yearsContinue reading Fascinating conflict
If you believe all the news, we’re completely bankrupt. There’s no money to fix potholes and traffic lights in Johannesburg, with the (2010® FIFA® World® Cup®)®* fast approaching. There’s no money to run and maintain Eskom, our electricity provider. There’s no money for the pebble-bed nuclear reactor in the Cape. Then there’s the wonderful storyContinue reading South Africa is bankrupt
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Come 22 April 2009, we enter a new phase in South African politics. While it's not as ground breaking as the 1994 election (in which I was a few months too young to vote), it's the end of the honeymoon period of Nelson Mandela and his protégé, Thabo Mbeki. I'm talking about the newest four-letter word: Zuma.