Dear Editor

Lowering the toe

Your latest cover by Dr Jack (nose73) is outstanding! Pity the other cherub hasn't got titties - in view of the top one having a willie!
Myke Ashley Cooper, Tulbagh

Yeah, you might also have noticed that, by your account, the cherubic fellow’s right big toe is missing. But then, as they say, art is in the eye of the beholder. – Ed.

Wicked pleasure

With my ex-lover no longer funding my addictions I, in my pensioner's penury, need to pick up my own bills. In the post, then, will be my (non-bouncing) noseweek subscription cheque for R220. However, we need to deal.
In nose72 you carry a smalls ad from low-life scum suggesting that other low-life scum join them in the enjoyment of cruelty to animals. The 15-word "Kalahari hunting" ad bloodthirstily bags you R80. That's barely more than one-third of a subscription cheque. Which d'you want - to give the wicked pleasure of noseweek to an ageing pensioner or to promote the sadistic pleasure of slaughtering "blesbok, impala, springbok, gemsbok"?
Your choice. If you continue to go, inhumanely, for the killing fields, there'll be no cheque from me. Deal?
Gorry Bowes Taylor

I happen to agree with your sentiments about “relaxing hunting weekends”, but then I also enjoy the occasional steak or chop – and, while I hate to think of it, I know the route they’ve taken to my plate is certainly not less cruel.
We offer advertising space for sale, subject only to the condition that the ads are legal and not seriously misleading. You and I are free not to take up their offer – and to write letters critical of their business. But should you be able to bribe us into depriving them of their right to promote a point of view we don’t like in a smalls ad? I think not.
I trust you’ve been persuaded by the liberal logic of our argument and look forward to receiving your R220! We even offer a small discount for pensioners whose ex-lovers no longer fund their addictions … Deal? – Ed.

Bad hair day

The shampoo advert on page 33 of nose72 is misleading. The before and after photos are the same but have just been retouched in Photoshop! Makes you wonder whether the before photo even had grey hair.
I expected better of noseweek.

What is it with you people? As the exasperated ad agent who placed the ad put it when asked for comment: “Of course the “before” picture is Photoshopped. Every fucking ad is Photo-shopped; otherwise we’d have to pay the model for two pictures – and for another hairdo!” If you’ve tried the stuff and it doesn’t work – that’s a different story. Please let us know. – Ed.

Farmers face another shock

Surprise, surprise, that Landbouweekblad’s news editor Nico van Burick should have covered for Grain SA's Bully Bothma. Van Burick has also uncritically reported on the biotechnology seed industry’s take on GM crops in Landbouweekblad. Oom Jan back on the farm who relies on Landbouweekblad for guidance on life could be in for another rude shock.
Andrew Taynton

FNB and OUTsurance

I was following your expose of FNB’s massive home loan scam (Nose70) and OUTsurance’s record on payouts (Nose72) when it occurred to me that both are owned by FirstRand. And it caused me to have a retake on Outsurance’s advertisement: “We make molehills out of mountains.” And pay out accordingly?
Avid noseweek reader
Cape Town

Parking off

I recently spent a holiday in the Mother City and happened to park in Long Street while my passenger went to the Publicity Bureau to collect brochures.
Within minutes someone was up against my side window in a red and yellow striped waistcoat, giving me a menacing look. I wound down the window and was told that if I did not pay a parking fee I would be fined. I was relieved of R3.50 without any ticket or receipt. When I asked for a receipt the attendant brusquely pointed at a hand-held electronic device.
There were no signs indicating what the parking fees were. I think R3.50 for a five minute stay is excessive, to say the least.
Your article "Baywatch" (nose73) suggests parking revenue at R10 to R15 million a year. In the light of my experience I think you have hopelessly understated the amount.
Brian Utterson

Ratel-ing the cage

Obviously, if a company is illegally selling ammunition (nose73), that's worth reporting on.
However, this business about Ratels and algorithms looks like garbage to me. The Ratel is an obsolete weapon. If its radios contain the most modern codes in the SANDF,that merely indicates that the SANDF doesn't take its codes seriously. However, if a radio "algorithm" (that is, a mathematical coding formula) was accidentally supplied to Jordan, that shouldn't be a big deal - just change the algorithm. They should be changed frequently anyway, or it's pointless to pretend that they're secret. (Most of the code systems made with such care on South African military radios in the 1980s are now easily simulated - or broken - on a personal computer.)
Incidentally, I doubt that the CIA (more likely the National Security Agency, which handles virtually all US electronic espionage) was particularly interested. They've had the run of South Africa's military radio networks ever since the old SADF decided to adopt the Swiss CRYPTO radio system - because CRYPTO, it later transpired, was (in part) an NSA front corporation.
Paranoia where paranoia is due, dear chaps.
Mathew Blatchford
University of Fort Hare

Give school a break

Aren't you being a bit hard on St John's College? Every worthwhile school tries to establish and maintain a particular ethos. If all schools were successful in turning out only fine upright citizens it would lead to a shortage of the ruthlessly amoral and avaricious liars required for certain senior positions in banking, insurance, politics, and even in the Law. I believe that everyone is born with at least a trace of inherent integrity, so for people to feel comfortable in these positions it's clear that any remnants of morality have to be purged, and if this can be achieved during school years, so much the better. As your every edition exemplifies, no one would ever prosper and we'd never have much progress if all of us were honest and caring.
Tim Anderson
Newlands, Cape

Unchristain Saints

Clearly, the behaviour of the St John's water polo team is well below the standard expected of teenagers attending a church/Christian school, and coming from what some might designate 'decent homes'.
Sadly, Christians do sometimes behave badly, but let's not be hasty in branding these teenagers 'CHRISTIANS'. People are too often labelled “Christian” on the simple assumption that 'neither Buddist, Moslem or Jew, therefore Christian'. I cannot imagine a genuine Christian behaving as these hoodlums did: which is the point made at the close of your article in nose73, when you referred to the expected behaviour of the good bishop in exercising his authority in the awful situation.
'Christian' can be used as a verb and as a noun, and it follows that it is possible for non-Christians to behave in a 'christian' manner. The noun, however, has a very specific meaning: 'a follower or a disciple of Christ'. No-one is born a Christian - anyone can be “born again” a Christian.
Paul de Rosiere
White River

Get involved, Bishop

I agree heartily with your sentiments regarding the need for Bishop Brian Germond to become involved and have written him a letter expressing this view. With it I have enclosed all the details from noses71, 72 & 73. What a sordid saga!
Prof. Jos Lurie

Advice for canting Cameron

What a bizarre alternative “morality” the apologists for St John’s seem to support - a “morality” in which victims must accept a “degree of blameworthiness” for their own injuries; in which a grieving mother deserves to be bullied and manipulated; in which “community service” is regarded as an appropriate punishment for thuggery; and in which morally bankrupt plutocrats take pride in silencing the mainstream press and playing games with the law.
Let me give canting Roger Cameron and that grotesque Cardinal Richelieu wannabe, Michael Spicer, a word of advice: Please stop using words like “Christian” and “gentleman” when referring to your tainted institution. “Gentlemen” is not a synonym for torturer and the founder of Christianity was not Heinrich Himmler.
Angry Educationist
Saxonwold, Johannesburg

Rupping yarns

Amazing that Tino Rupping (nose73 Letters), while criticizing your alleged lack of follow-up on the road reserve story, should take a gratuitous sideswipe at Harold Strachan. That suggests an underdeveloped sense of humour, limited insight and no knowledge of the Durbs atmosphere that Harold so entertainingly captures. But then Rupping lives in Parow. Ag shame.
John Deane

Nobel prize for Strachan

The South Pier was just like Strachan said it was.
The Nobel Prize for Literature went to the wrong Harold.
Paul Preston

We have always regarded it a singular honour to host Harold’s writing in our publication. – Ed.

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