Articles and opinion pieces

Weekly Mail & Guardian Articles and Thoughtleader blogs


Femen: are these naked breasts Islamophobic?

A follow up article published in the Weekly Mail & Guardian, which focuses on Femen’s Islamophobia, Aug 2013.

Femen: from enthusiasm to disenchantment

Article on the “radical” feminist movement Femen: an inside story based on interviews with former members, Jul 2013.

Mars One: Reality bites

Article on the Mars One initiative, Jan 2013.


Afghanistan blogs

In 2010 and 2011 I did some community development consulting work in Afghanistan, living in Kabul with some travel in the region. These blogs were inspired by that experience. My boss, a highly intelligent young Afghan, died, and I did not take up a renewal of the contract.

Happy endings in Afghanistan 

Apostasy and ducks in Afghanistan

Fear in Afghanistan

Trust in Afghanistan

Forgiveness in Afghanistan

En route to Afghanistan


South African cultural politics

A number of blogs focus on South African cultural politics. 

Sentletse, be careful where you dip your pen

Response to an anti-semetic piece by an otherwise intelligent young blogger.

On attacking Tutu: bile, heaps of audacity and heartburn

Response to attacks on former Bishop Tutu by ANC beneficiaries.

The Ancestors strike back

Response to a racist piece written by a senior government official in the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa, under the logo “Ancestral Drums.”

Bosluisbasters and other hybrids

On the politics of language and identity in South Africa.

Alien nation: middle class linguistic migration

On the politics of language and identity in South Africa.


Die Beeld opinion pieces (“Deurlope”)

For some time I had a regular environmental column in Die Beeld, an Afrikaans-language daily newspaper in South Africa.  It became rather wearisome as I had to restrict myself to an environmental topic and finally ran out of ideas as to how to link this with cultural politics and space exploration.  For much of this period I lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, giving me an enlightening experience of American culture and politics.

Nuwe elite dink verkeerdelik hy is veilig

The elite and poverty in South Africa, Apr 2003.

Wildsbokke se klein sege voor groot dood

Bush, Iraq and environmental politics, Mar 2003.

Net een voorval tydens ‘n oorlog in Irak

The destruction of archaeological heritage in Iraq, Feb 2003.

Ontdek ‘n spul ontgogeldes by Anglikane

Afrikaans churches and resistance to change, Jan 2003.

Wie gaan vir Amerikaanse Droom betaal?

Who is going to pay for the American Dream: About the credit card cult and borrowing in the US, Nov 2002.

Duitse taximan bly weg van Bush, Hitler

German attitudes towards Operation Enduring Freedom, Nov 2002. During a visit to Berlin.

Skrikwekkende, blye oesfees in die VSA

Halloween in Pittsburgh, Nov 2002.

Diere moet benut word sodat hulle kan oorleef

Tensions between conservation and animal rights perspectives, Oct 2002.

Dis gevaarlik om die VSA se aandag te trek

A critical look at American culture and the Borg.

Bittereinder klets met joiner-vriend in Sydney

The stupidity of ethnic extremism, Aug 2002. The article was probably a bit obscure, as the subeditor seemed to have missed the point of the piece somewhat, ending up with a misleading title.

‘n Naarheid wat taalstryd in perspektief plaas

Ethnic politics and human need in South Africa, Jul 2002.

Die kosmos en ‘n toekomsblik vir Afrikaans

The future of Afrikaans in an endless universe, April 2002.

Jy neem jou intrek in jou eie krater op Mars

Wealth and the colonisation of Mars, May 2002. A rather foreward looking piece, given current initiatives and thoughts about Mars colonisation.

Harde, treurige lewe van Alaska in die winter

Alaska and Native American resource rights. Written after a visit to Alaska as consultant to a Native Alaskan group about negotiations with the Halibut Fishing Commission, Apr 2002.

Die lyding wat ‘n droogte in Limpopo bring

Droughts, suffering and migrant labour in southern Africa as a system , Mar 2002.

Visie van `Star Trek’ nie heeltemal vergesog

Star Trek and the colonisation of Mars, Feb 2002.

Vir almal wag die emmer op die horison

Gene therapy and longevity, Jan 2002.

Koloniale uitbreiding in SA byna per abuis

The close to accidental nature of colonial expansion in South Africa, Dec 2001.

Magsrol van immigrasie in moderne lande

The political implications of mass migration into the developed countries of the world, Dec 2001.

Laat rotse die besoedeling in aardkors bêre

Carbon sequestration, Nov 2001.

Onversetlikes kan volkie ‘n kopskoot gee

The negative impact of ethnic politics in South Africa, Sep 2001.

‘n Blik op SA deur Louis Trichardt se oë

Perspectives on South Africa by the pioneer Louis Trichardt, Aug 2001.

Die waarheid en ander Antjie Somers-stories

The nature of environmental disputes, Jul 2001.

Die VSA se Groot Vretery staan my nie aan

Bush and American perspectives on consumption, Jun 2001.

Nasionale Parke en Makuleke sit wéér vas

Tensions between the South African National Parks Board and the Makuleke community about community-owned land inside the Kruger National Park, May 2001.

Diereregte-aktiviste vs. natuurliefhebbers

About animal rights activists versus nature conservationists, Apr 2001.

`Natuurvolke’ wat `helpers’ ten prooi val . . .

About the exploitation of First People groups by supposed helpers, Mar 2001. This came after a drawn out battle with a German “activist” Hartmut Heller, who sold videos that he had made of Bushmen, supposedly to collect money to help them. I happened to have contact with this community, who revealed that they know nothing of this. It was exploitation, pure and simple, under the guise of radical activism.

Volstruisboere sal goed vaar op Mars-plase

Global warming and ostrich farms on Mars, Feb 2001

Nog min bewys deur nuwe bewaringsbeleid

The participation of local people in conservation, Jan 2001.

#language #desmondtutu #tutu #hybridisation #creole #antisemitism #anc #afghanistan #kabul


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