Thursday, January 22, 2015


Dear Charlie Hebdo,

         Watch out the shooting or perhaps it could be bombing for a change is not yet over if you continue mocking religions like Islam.

With almost your entire staff wiped out who is the Charlie now?

         Your publication kept pushing the boundaries of freedom of speech to the extreme so it was not surprising that you stirred up extremists of a different kind.
         With your blinkered view you never stopped to think of the wider ramifications of taking the mickey out of what millions hold dear. You were so stupid it never occurred to you that what you were doing to sell a magazine could result in innocent people being taken out when the inevitable back lash occurred.
         Or worse still you didn’t care.

         Who is the Charlie now?

         In 2006 you thought it was funny to include the infamous Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that resulted in 250 people being killed in world wide protests. Your cover then had a crying Mohammed saying: "It’s hard being loved by assholes."

         Who are the assholes now?

    You learnt nothing from the 2011 fire bombing of your offices. Threats to the life of Charb your editor in chief did not stop your anti Islam slander campaign. You were no doubt emboldened by the policeman consigned to guard him. Tragically he suffered the same fate as Charb and the others when the AK 47 wielding gunmen walked in.
         You frightened the whole of France and sent waves of terror through many other countries as well. 
         You were too stupid to realise that this kind of school boy humour was not a bit funny and hit the Muslim fraternity where it hurt most, although perhaps the French have a more basic type of wit than the rest of us.
         Will you Frogs think this old war joke is funny: "The Germans took France in three days. But that was only because it was raining."

         Who is the Charlie now?

         You were also too stupid to realise that by far the majority of people are unsophisticated and as such are not equipped to appreciate most jokes, especially ones aimed at their religion. The only way they know how to react is with violence.
         Many Muslims consider any portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed as blasphemous. But you were determined to provoke them as far as possible by drawing him in the nude.
         Try this freedom of speech exercise. Go into a pub anywhere and verbally attack the nearest group for something as mundane as making too much noise. Then see if you are lucky enough to come out with just a bloody nose.
         Try telling racial jokes in a loud voice next to a table of people of a different colour to you. But first make sure you have a very good medical aid.

         Who is the Charlie now?

         Well this is exactly how Charlie Hebdo has been playing fast and loose with freedom of speech on the world stage. The result was as inevitable as the pub examples I have just given.

         Free speech can be terribly costly if you don’t have the brains to exercise it with discretion. And that puts you in the same category as the people you believe don’t appreciate the funny side of your extremely malicious cartoons.
         Even your own Foreign Minister in France at the time Laurent Fabius asked: "Is it really necessary or intelligent to pour oil on the fire?"

         Who is the Charlie now?

         As you know your reporter Laurent Leger, one of the survivors of the massacre at your offices, told CNN in 2012: "We want to laugh at the extremists. They can be Muslim, Jewish, Catholic. Everyone can be religious, but extremist thoughts and acts we cannot accept."
         As it turned out the two gunmen who left 12 members of your staff in a bloody heap had the same philosophy. They were not prepared to accept your "extremist thoughts and acts."
         When you published again after the shooting he came out with these laughable remarks: "I want a magazine to fight against idiocy, against human stupidity."
         Well if you don’t mind me saying so he and the rest of you survivors should start the fight in your own office, because that’s where it’s needed most.
         How about a cartoon to illustrate this?
         Apart from the fact that 17 people died in France almost immediately before and after the raid on your offices there were other deaths in protests in different parts of the world. Yet you were not at all contrite.
         Once again all you thought about was your magazine and to hell with the fact that your Charlie hate speech was now pretty well out of control spreading death all over the place much like the Ebola virus.

         Encouraged by being hailed as heroes by the narrow minded free speech media across the globe your front page was again designed to provoke Muslims. This time it had Mohammed crying and saying: "All is Forgiven."            
Renald Luzier with the cover he
is so proud of
Renald “Luz” Luzier its creator stuck his neck out when he told a press conference: "It’s not the one the terrorists wanted us to draw. I’m not worried at all (Who is he kidding). I trust people’s intelligence, the intelligence of humour."
         If ever this was misplaced trust this must be it. I can’t see any life insurance company in the world giving him a policy.

         Who is the Proper Charlie now?

         As if that was not enough to stir the hatred pot even further your sick jokes inside the magazine showed jihadists saying: "We shouldn’t touch Charlie people – they would look like martyrs and, once in heaven, the bastards would steal our virgins."
         The cover was reproduced in the media in Western nations and Latin America. However a lot of them were either wise or too scared to do this.
         Not surprisingly it did not appear in Arab and other countries where Islam is prominent.
         Alright the shooting enabled you to up your normal 60 000 print run to 5-million. When a joke goes too far you might be in the money but it doesn’t help if you are dead.
         Your misguided media supporters are still clinging to the old saying: "The pen (in this case the pencil) is mightier than the sword." Well you had the best practical lesson that this is complete fiction.

How Argentinian cartoonist Bernado Erlich saw it
         It’s ironic isn’t it that your magazine started life named Hara-Kiri. That’s an honourable Japanese way of committing suicide. There’s nothing honourable about the way you are doing it – taking innocent people with you.
         To then rename it after Charlie Brown, the main character in the lovable Charles Shulz comic strip to get round a banning order, was a travesty.
         Below are a couple of Charlie Brown cartoons that sum up your stupidity perfectly.

         Rosemary Page’s comment in Rochester’s Democratic & Chronicle was even more to the point when she stated: "The staff of Charlie Hebdo is being hailed as journalistic heroes, but to me they are foolhardy hatemongers."  

You are undoubtedly the complete asshole and the only Proper Charlie now.

         Jon, a former newspaper journalist who believes in free speech that is censored with a reasonable dose of common sense before it gets published.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


         Surely South Africa’s cricket supporters as well as its sponsors
Justin Ontong
have a right to expect that its best team should be fielded for all international matches.
         But that’s not happening. Our cricket authorities seem to think that it’s perfectly acceptable to pick any old team regardless of its strength, particularly when it comes to the shorter forms of the game.
         Take the current three match T20 series against the West Indies. The visitors fielded their strongest eleven while our selectors headed by the unimpressive Andrew Hudson left out most of our best batsmen and bowlers.
Top run makers like Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, possibly the best batsman in the world in the shorter forms of the game, were “rested” whatever that means.
 Our leading fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were also consider in need of a rest.
Steyn with Player of a Series
We were so blasé about the opposition even though the West Indies were the 2012 T20 World Cup winners that our cricket experts evidently felt that our second team or was it our third team would easily beat them.
It’s supposed to be an honour to play for your country but our cricket selectors are cheapening it and making it pretty worthless.
Our teams get weakened even further by what appears to be a need to fulfil a racial quota. This results in certain players like batsman Farham
, who are clearly not of international standard, getting picked time and again because they are of the right non-white colour.   
South Africa lost the first two matches of the current series and as I write the third match due to be played today has been reduced to an even bigger farce because the selectors have decided to rest Faf du Plessis, the captain in the first two games who was also by far our leading run scorer with a century in his last outing – no mean feat in just 20 overs.
The captaincy for this last match has been given to Justin Ontong, who shouldn’t even be in the team based on his playing record. He has not managed to reach 50 once in any of the 43 matches he has played for his country. As a bowler he has been equally pathetic with just one T20 wicket, one in Tests and nine in one day games.
         Fortunately for him he gets in on being the right colour. That takes precedence over ability in many spheres of South Africa life and is a sure recipe for mediocrity. It’s also the reason why South Africa’s chances of winning the up coming World Cup One Day tournament in Australia and New Zealand are practically nil.
         (See my Post Cricket in Black and White)
Cricketers who represent their countries have days, if not weeks between their international matches, yet our Protea players seem to be given more matches off for a rest than they actually play.
It’s cheating the public. They want to see their idols in action not sitting in the stand. But above all they want to see their team winning, not being beaten when they know their country could have fielded a much better side.
It’s time they started showing their disapproval by staying away from the grounds. The sponsors too should threaten to withdraw their support unless the best available team (allowing for injuries) is picked at all times.
This kind of robbery needs to be given OUT immediately as it has no place in any game which depends on the support of thousands of fans.
Yours disgustedly,

P.S. The weather report is that today’s match is likely to be washed out by a thunder storm that is predicted for Durban. That’s the best thing that could happen as the game will be a washout whatever happens.