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Liesl Jobson

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Call Out the Hatemongers

Update on 18 August 2010:

On 12 November 2009 I published this blog in which I made reference to, inter alia, Bert Oosthuizen. The allegations made of and concerning Bert Oosthuizen were made in error. I retract these and apologise to Bert Oosthuizen for any harm that my statement caused him.

Because there is more nonsense out there than a body should have to endure – David Bullard, for example, who truly should know better – it is gratifying when hatemongers get called out on their caustic prattle.

At the same time when the so-called brains behind the South Africa Sucks blog was arrested last week, the hackles rose: is Big Brother finally coming to pluck out the tongue of Free Speech?

“The so-called Uhuru Guru,” writes Women.24′s Lili Radloff, a regular target of his bile, “has been identified as a certain Bert Oosthuizen who lives in Joburg.” There’s more to his dollops of meanness than meets the eye.

Lili puts it very nicely on her blog:

Now I think it’s fair to say that Bert doesn’t like South Africa, the government and black people in general. And he also doesn’t like me much.

To which I can only say, take a number and stand in line, buddy.

The baser part of me thinks people like Oosthuizen should be locked in jail. And yet, being a believer in a free society I was rather alarmed at the thought that the police can apparently just barge into your house, confiscate your happy-making interweb shit and throw your ass in the chookie.

Sometimes I really curse the fact that I believe in freedom of speech. Because God knows, not everyone deserves a voice.

    However this opens out, I hope that SA Sucks gets turned off, once and for all. Maybe in its wake we find a platform for people explore their fear without resorting to the dehumanising racism that needs to be ended.

  • Read Lili Radloff’s full piece here

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Getting Boekbedonnerd in Richmond

Wagon Wheel, RichmondLilac Tree, RichmondExcelsior Garage, Richmond

Ten days ago, I left home at 4am and drove 800 km to Richmond, with my friend, Isabella. Truth is she drove in her very nice BMW, and the combination of a nice car and being driven was too marvellous for words.

My contribution to the road trip was to unscrew bottles of water, holding the bag of biltong open periodically and reading aloud from a rather lovely collection of short stories, The Children’s Hours: Stories About Childhood. I glanced up now and again to peer at a passing windmill or admire the vastness of the sky.

I find reading aloud one of the best ways to really hear how a story works. Some other part of the brain must get engaged. Or would that be the ears, maybe?

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Doorknobs & Bodywhat?

doorknobs & bodypaintDoorknobs & Bodypaint is a quirky name for a journal. Their submissions guidelines are no less eccentric. For example, the editors are currently looking for stories under 250 words for their next issue. Additionally, the sub-theme is “exuberance” and the year is 1929. Within the story, you must use this text: uninhibited enthusiasm. Make of that what you will but I dare you to have a go. Submissions close October 26th.

Similarly, the journal Tattoo Highway, invites writers to respond to a given picture. This device also appeals to me. I entered some years back and won second place there back in Issue 11, receiving a $20 Barnes & Noble voucher for my effort.

It might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but for me it does indeed raise “uninhibited enthusiasm”. Working from prompts, whether a list of words, an image, or a set of odd-sock criteria is all a way to trick myself into writing. I approach the page as a kind of game, a way of getting the story underway while my inner critic is checking to see that I’ve obeyed the rules of the game.

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