Episode Two: Love, Lobola and Taxis

For this episode, I chatted to my dear friend Stanford, who is a man of great wisdom and who always offers valuable insight into the heartbeat of South Africa. In this episode we discuss lobola, the Republic of Henley on Klip, the vast differences between Joburg and Cape Town minibus taxis, male circumcision  in South…

Review of Kill Yourself & Count to 10 by Gordon Torr

Reproduced in full with kind permission from the Sunday Times. For an entire generation of South Africans, the Border War and the workings of the SANDF remain mostly a mystery. It was not, and I believe still not, taught in schools. For the 80s kids and born-frees, there’s an entire history barely documented and shrouded…

Review of Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Never mind the beer ad guy – Lauren Beukes may be the most interesting author alive right now. Broken Monsters follows in the tradition of Moxyland, Zoo City and The Shining Girls in using cities as characters, backdrops and plot points. In Broken Monsters, Detroit is both ruined and beautiful, the corpse of a model to which artists and…

Review of The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Usually a book can be allocated its genre within a moment of reading the blurb and glancing at the jacket. But then there’s The Shining Girls, which gleefully refuses to pick a genre box to sit in, and decides that it will timeshare in several.

Feminism Isn’t a Hobby

Today, people will be wearing black in some kind of attempt to soothe their consciences about the appalling treatment of women in South Africa on a daily basis, made manifest in the tragic rape and death of Anene Booysens. Like with the rhinos and the POI Bill, today people will express their sort-of pissiness with the…

The State of South African Literature

“Why don’t you stock more local authors? Why can’t I find any South African poetry? Why are there so few black authors?” These complaints come my way every now and then, and are often brought up at store level. While these are very valid questions, the answer is more complicated (and a little bit sadder)…

Why the Anti-SOPA Movement Matters

I have said before that I am a supporter of Anonymous and all their crazy folks, and today is a good day for a display of fierce, lively internet democracy. The internet is the only true democracy on the planet, since no one rules it other than its own members, and where everyone has a place to say what…

The Price of Books

Everyone loves to complain about the price of things without really thinking about what it costs to make it happen. How can a book cost R200, wails the consumer (nearly always while spending the same amount on silly cocktails).  How dare the bookstore charge this! How disgusting, knowledge and stories should be free to all!…

This is Your Revolutionary Reading

Today, South African media is taking to the streets to protest the battering-ram speed of the Secrecy Bill being pushed through. In my heart, I want to believe that this will get stomped on by the Constitutional Court but it seems far too audacious to hope for that much right now. At the least, we can be…

Greenpeace: anti-intellectual, anti-environment, anti-reason

As part of my attempts to be as awesome as Penn and Teller, I would like to point out the problem with Greenpeace. Look at this article here on why South Africa shouldn’t even consider nuclear power, and should instead be looking toward technologies that currently do not work and cannot support industry. Then read…