Much higher standards called for

2016-02-04 06:00

I READ the Fever of two weeks ago, feeling like someone had dropped an hallucinogenic into my coffee.

In question is the bizarre article on page 12 (an opinion piece that was not clearly marked as such) entitled “SA’s position of authority lacking on world stage” by one Charlie Keiser.

The first paragraph refers to “our industry” without explanation, as though we all know Mr Keiser. Sorry, but who is he and who does he represent? That might be worth mentioning to your readers.

Mr Keiser rants about “Ohbummer, that snake in Britain called Cameron, and that female Hitler pig called Merkel”, and then suggests that South Africans boycott “spineless American chickens”. I can only assume Mr Keiser is a local chicken farmer (?) but what do Britain and Germany have to do with South Africa’s import of American chickens?

At a time when South Africans are debating the line between free speech and hate speech, Mr Keiser has certainly indicated where he stands and so has the Fever. This man may disapprove of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (for reasons that are not stated), but to call her a “female Hitler pig” is disgusting and for the Fever to blithely publish such abusive, misogynist hate-speech as acceptable commentary is inexcusable.

Mr Keiser accuses the ANC of “passive veiled terrorism” (an oxymoron) and then makes the delusional suggestion that the “terrorists” in government should be “managing” neighbouring countries within a Brics-affiliated United Nations of Southern Africa (UNSA) – he even helpfully tells us it would be pronounced “oo-n-ser”!

There are too many contradictions and irrationalities in the article to analyse, but perhaps most ironic was Mr Keiser’s suggestion that the ANC “start heavily getting educated” while he repeatedly misstates “Brics” as “Bricks”. Mr Keiser needs to educate himself: Brics comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – there is no country involved that begins with the letter “k,” unless the Independent Republic of Keiser has inserted itself into the alliance.

I am a writer and avid reader and I have never read published commentary so incoherent, hateful and utterly devoid of intellectual merit.

One more thing - the boilerplate on the Fever’s letters page states that the Editor reserves the right “to alter letters so they are legible”. Even hand-written letters must be legible otherwise how could the staff type them.

I know we live on the slow South Coast, but we are not all brain-dead haters. Much higher standards please.

Mandy Tomson

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