General

There is an Adult World (or three) on my street

I live within walking distance of four Adult World stores. I counted. I find this strange as I do not consider my area to have red light district tendencies, but this is my current reality. A few weeks ago an Adult World opened up opposite Parliament, apparently for the umpteenth time as each time it gets closed…

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Celebrating our heritage beyond braais and traditional outfits

On September 24 we will once again celebrate Heritage Day in South Africa. This is a day on which South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions. Although the vision of this day resonates with me, in reality I experience it as incredibly superficial….

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Commissioner Street: An experience of interwoven lives

It’s hard to describe some cities. Perhaps we try to give it an identity based on how it is commonly experienced. But Joburg is a very, very fragmented place – its parts just do not seem to sum up into any kind of cohesive whole. Most cities at least have a river that helps to…

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Travels through Schizoville

On a recent trip to the Netherlands we had a first-hand experience of what Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari mean when they claim that the typical “malady” of today is schizophrenia — what Ian Buchanan calls “an everyday schizophrenia in which the absurd is simply ‘how things are’ ”. Once you have been alerted to it,…

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Don’t talk to me about race or blackness!

It was one of those easy and relaxed days over the weekend. I was in a group of family and friends enjoying drinks, snacks and good company. After all, we had been invited to hang out and just catch up. I was aware that this was an exclusive black group in a so-called former white-only…

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Is this what our future looks like?

There have been all kinds of signs that the future of our societies will probably entail much higher levels of control than is the case at present. The National Security Agency’s illegitimate surveillance, not merely of American citizens’, but of other peoples’ private communications as well, is but one premonition of the shape of things…

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Kate’s pregnant again! But wait, why do we care?

The world is abuzz with the news that Kate is pregnant … again! Besides the fact that most women are already jealous of her post-pregnancy blowout, why do we care? Like the five stages of grief, there is a protocol for receiving royal baby news (assuming you’re not a royalist): * Anger — Why am…

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What if Jozi offered you a rose garden?

Often in life, we complain about how little others do for us, how few good things happen, and how hard life is. This is probably true. So when I experience an exception to the rule, it really stands out, and I wonder who has made this possible. The exception worth nothing is the rose garden…

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Congratulations ice bucket people, we’ve raised $90m for animal testing!

Yaaaaay, ice bucket challenge! I’m totes throwing ice cold water over myself right now to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. I choose you, Pikachu, as the next one to do it! Yaaaay! And so the craze…

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Killing in the name of God

No thinking person can escape being horrified by the actions carried out in the name of God by religious fanatics across the world today. Killings, rapes, executions, wholesale slaughter, genocide, torture, and sometimes just ordinary nastiness — a litany of horrors that deny humankind the right to claim ourselves to be a uniformly emotionally intelligent…

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