Prophet or loss?
Do you think God or the Prophet will appear in any of your cartoons? I really liked the one about the virgins in the Danish paper. Can you top that?
No. No. (Although I think Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale about the emperor’s new clothes long ago saw the joke in the difference between those who believe and those who don’t.He was, of course, also a Dane.) – Ed.
Old Mutual’s big boob
Old Mutual’s “big boob” with the judges’ Christmas lunch needs to be put right:
how about the judges donating R25,000 (the cost of the lunch) to a recognised fund for victims of crime?
Living with murder
Whereas it is a lawyer’s job to get the best possible outcome for a client who has committed even the most heinous crime, the same does not apply to expert witnesses. When Dr Antonel Olckers joined the Ackermann defence team, it
couldn’t have taken her long to realise that she would be instrumental in setting a killer free. I am sure she has justified this to herself in a number of ways, but the truth remains: She too has the blood of the Smits on her hands and no money can wash it off.
The final chapter may yet belong to Judge Bosielo who would not wait one day for the truth. As always, noseweek has done a sterling job.
Tjaart van der Walt
Trick or treat
Your report on the “science” of cosmetics and the advertising industry went down a treat. They have more tricks, though.
One is to invent a scientific-sounding name like “Dermacalifragilistic”, or something that is very close to a trademark infringement such as “Boswelox”. I wonder how many people have concluded that Boswelox has much the same effect as Botox.
Your article on “false advertising” by the beauty products industry prompts the question: Where is the Medicines Control Council in all this?
Some time ago I was involved in a small business producing and marketing a brand of petroleum jelly. The wording on the label suggested that the product was beneficial to the skin when applied. We were contacted by the MCC and told that we could not make any claim regarding improved physical or mental conditions resulting from the use of any product unless it had undergone the required laboratory testing procedures of any new medication.
The cost of replacing all our labels and marketing literature, and the loss of the position in the market that we had created resulted in the product’s withdrawal.
If the MCC was so concerned about an innocuous product like petroleum jelly, why have they remained silent on the plethora of misleading advertising emanating from the cosmetics industry? Surely they don’t have any financial interest ... ?
Sea Shepherd wants you
Thank you for NoseArk’s excellent article on our campaign to stop illegal whaling (nose76).
Greenpeace has the faster vessels and sophisticated equipment. Nothing could make more sense than to combine forces with Greenpeace and other anti-whaling organisations.
However, all our attempts to implement this simple logic have failed; our letters were
met with arrogant refusals – or not answered. Once you are corporate and rich, the basic cause kind of fades away.
Paul Watson is presently in the US to talk to the relatively few supporters in order to raise money for a faster vessel, crucial for any continuous interception of the Japanese whalers early next year.
Paul will return to Cape Town to train crew and re-equip vessels to participate in the next anti-whaling campaign – where matters will get ugly and dirty. We would be delighted if we could recruit South African volunteers, crews, and possibly vessels to join us.
Dr Herbert A E Henrich
Member of the Advisory Board
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Save the whale, boycott Japan
We are calling on everyone who cares about whales to use their consumer power to send a strong message to the Japanese government and the fishing companies that continue to finance Japan’s whaling programme in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary.
It’s unbelievable that the South African port authorities complied with the Japanese government’s request to put the Farley Mowat’s crew under boat arrest when they sailed into Table Bay last month. They were on their way to intercept the Japanese whaling fleet in a whale sanctuary.
More people came to SA last year to go whale watching than to go game viewing in our National Parks. It’s the fastest-growing sector in the tourism industry worldwide. South Africa is not sending out the right message by obliging the Japanese.
If our government does not want to take a stand against Japan’s whaling programme, for political reasons, then it is up to us to take the battle to the supermarket shelves and not buy Japanese products until they stop killing whales.
To follow the progress of the Esperanza, the Greenpeace ship that has gone to intercept the Japanese whaling fleet, go to www.greenpeace.org/stopwhaling.
Smoke and fire
The hapless tourist arrested for starting the Table Mountain fire will probably be charged. The last Franschhoek fire caused much more damage (although nobody died), but, although the culprit’s identity is known – he works for the TCTA on the Skyfraam dam – he has not been arrested. This is the second time he has started a fire in the area. Do you only get arrested if there is sufficient public outcry?
The police have told residents that they are free to bring civil action against him. I believe that Bellingham are going to do so.
You recent article regarding the court transcription services provided by Infotech was on the mark.
I believe that Infotech obtained the contract by underhand means, and that they have no idea how to conduct this kind of business. What concerns me even more is that there is a human factor to this: How many innocent people could be languishing in jail because of lack of delivery of court transcriptions or bad workmanship by typists?
drivel by gus ferguson
THE SOUTH AFRICAN Publishers’ Collective has called on the government to place a 20-year moratorium on all creative writing.
This emergency suggestion is designed to allow readers to catch up as research reveals that there are literally tens of thousands of South Africans who have not yet read all the novels of Jack Cope. It will also allow publishers time to reduce or remarket unsellable stock.
This crisis was sparked from a report to parliament from the Congress of South African Book Clubs (COSAB). The report dealt with the exponential growth in the creative writing industry which has created a literary backlog of pandemic proportions. The shocking fact is that one in three South Africans is an established writer or has an unpublished manuscript or is working on one.
Curiously this proposal has been fully supported by the Union of South African Writers, the group that organised a three-week poets’ strike in 2003. USAW spokesperson, Ruth Dlamini-Firgood said that the moratorium will also allow novelists and poets a generous sabbatical to gain some real-life experience - in fact, to live a little.
Until the 60’s, she said, authors had pre-literary careers such as whalers, waiters, short-order cooks, mercenaries, farmers, chartered accountants, explorers and artisans. Today the average writer’s CV is a melange of workshops, writers-in-residence programmes, creative writing MAs and creative writing teaching posts.
Chairman Mao, she said, must be turning in his grave. n
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