Vaccines are dividing us – and not a moment too soon

One of the more positive spinoffs of the uncivil war between the vaccinated and the anti-vaxxers is that we as a species are being divided. If ever wedges needed to be driven, it’s between friends and families. For too long we have felt beholden to get along. We have been indoctrinated into believing that even toxic blood ties are sacred and that having moronic friends is better than no friends at all.

These fallacies are now coming apart. We are witnessing a battle between modern science and benighted beliefs, spurred on by increasingly fractious levels of intolerance and arrogance reflected in equal measure by those with feet in either camp. And it’s only just getting started.

Even though we might be united in our aversion to, say, racists or vegans, we have begun hurling the identical epithets and arguments deployed by both sides. “You’re a sheep! Don’t be so blind! Do the research!” The sheep slur is, admittedly, tossed out mostly by the anti-vaxxers, even though many of them swear by Ivermectin, a drug literally used on farmyard animals.

People who have been friends forever are ignoring calls and looking at one another through narrowed eyes. “I never thought you’d be one of Them,” they say. Heads are shaken and invitations declined on the grounds that masks will/won’t be worn. And if you are mad enough to go out with your mates, you tell yourself before you leave home that you’re not going to get riled up. You’re not going to mention Covid. You’re going to talk about other things. You’re going to remain calm. The booze and chatter flow easily for the first hour. Then someone, and there is always one, says, “So who’s been vaccinated?” You quickly try to turn the conversation to Afghanistan, but it’s too late. Not even the prospect of some good old Islamophobia or America-bashing can avert disaster. The fall of Kabul is a picnic compared to the rest of your evening.

Loyalties are roughly shouldered aside in the stampede for the moral and intellectual high ground and the risk of violence escalates quickly. If you’re having people over, best to collect the knives and hide the heavy objects.

My own sister was among the hesitants. Even though she’d already got Covid and passed it on to our octogenarian father, she still wasn’t sold on the idea of getting vaccinated. People have died from it, she said. I countered this by comparing her paltry figure with the massive number of unvaccinated who have died. However, information like this is easily dismissed with the erudite response, “Kak, man.”

I eventually talked her into getting jabbed and convinced her to drag the old man along, which was pretty damn noble of me considering that I was doing myself out of a possible early inheritance.

The disconnect between believers and sceptics is nothing new, as evidenced by these early conversations:

Copernicus: Hey guys, did you know the earth is spinning?

Dobry: That’s the wine, you fool.

Copernicus: And we revolve around the sun.

Janek: Liar! We can see the sun moving across the sky.

Lukasz: Put his eyes out!


Alexander Fleming: Fellas, I’ve discovered something that can cure your syphilis.

Angus: Let me guess. You found it in one of them mouldy old dishes in your flat?

Alexander: Actually, yes. I call it penicillin.

Hamish: No, thanks. I’m not a guinea pig.

Finley: I’ll stick with leeches. It’s my choice.


Benjamin Franklin: Dudes, I discovered last night that lightning is an electrical discharge.

Roger: Electricity is the devil’s work.

Peter: Nothing wrong with candles.

Donald: My father says lightning is God’s way of showing he’s angry with us.


Alexander Graham Bell: Chaps, I’ve come up with a way of talking to folk in other towns.

Charles: That’s impossible. Are you high?

Alexander: No, seriously. It’s called a teleph…

Humbert: Pfft. Nothing wrong with sending letters.

Andrew: Who do you really work for? Stone him!


Roberta from Salem: It’s true, your honour, I’ve not been feeling myself lately.

Prosecutor: You are possessed by Satan!

Roberta: Er, no. I think I might be epileptic.

Prosecutor: Talking in tongues!

Judge: Burn her!


Herophilus of Chalcedon: I must dissect a human cadaver to learn more about…

Antivaximus: Not allowed, mate. You can cut up a rat, though.

Herophilus: But there are things in the human body that we…

Scepticemia: Heretic! There’s nothing to see in there.

Appolonius: Cut his tongue out!

The hive mind is braindead

Google thought it might be a fun idea to let the world know the top ten things people in different countries have searched for over the past year. Well, it wasn’t. It was a terrible idea. It might be fine for countries that have citizens who spend their days searching for truth, happiness and the meaning of life, but for a country like ours, it’s just downright embarrassing.

South Africa’s top trending question of 2019 was, “Why were cornflakes invented?” Look, I think it’s healthy that people ask questions. Don’t take anything for granted. Keep asking until you get answers. But cornflakes above what happens when you die? Or is there a god? Or why can’t you get a decent bunny chow in Cape Town?

“Why were cornflakes invented?” doesn’t strike me as a question that a mentally sound adult would ask the global hive mind. Please let it not be. I can only imagine that every ten-year-old with a smartphone has googled this question at least once. If I had had a magical device that answered everything at that age, I might have also wanted to know why my mother was feeding me cornflakes for breakfast rather than, say, a plate of chips covered in bacon and cheese and why it was even necessary to invent this abominable cereal killer.

A lot of children in our country are lucky to get a pebble to suck on in the morning and they wouldn’t have been among those asking this ridiculous question. Anyway, a pebble is probably healthier. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s yummy weedkiller Roundup, has been found in corn-based products made by Kellogg’s and other companies. Sugar disguises the taste of the cancer, but still. Perhaps it is understandable why so many people wanted to know why this crunchy poison was invented. I don’t know what the answer is and I’m not going to google it because then I’ll be just like the rest of you and, quite frankly, I’d sooner eat cornflakes.

Third on the list was, “How many votes for a seat in parliament?” This was googled multiple times with increasing frequency by Kanthan Pillay in May this year. The question is unlikely to trend again until the next general election.

Number 4 on the list was, “How did Cameron Boyce die?” I would have imagined that #5 would have been, “Who is Cameron Boyce?” But no. It was, “How long is a rugby match?” Guys, you might think your women are quite happy playing with their phones while you watch the game, but they’re trying to find out if they have enough time to slip out for a quickie with Dave who doesn’t have a telly. Please don’t google “Who the fuck is Dave?”

Question 9 was, “What is media?” I presume this was asked by people who live in caves and have never seen a newspaper or any kind of electronic device. I’d like to meet them some day. If you’re one of them and you are reading this, send a smoke signal. I’ll be along shortly with a bottle of tequila. And maybe a shotgun.

Coming in at #10 is this gem. “What is teenage pregnancy?” Quite frankly, I don’t know how all these people managed to type this into Google given the amount of drool that must have been dripping onto their device.

Bumping cornflakes into second spot, the top search of the entire decade was, “How to make slime.” I thought it would be obvious. Chop politicians up and feed the bits into a blender.

Countless South Africans also wanted to know “How to lose weight in 3 days.” My lifestyle is predicated upon leaving things until the last minute, but this is on another level altogether. Who looks in the mirror on a Tuesday and realises that terrible things will happen if they don’t lose 30kg by Friday?

Our troglodytes who struggle to grasp concepts like media and teenage pregnancies also wanted to know “How to grow hair fast?” and “How to draw eyebrows.” Making me slightly less ashamed to be South African, the 5th most asked question of the decade was, “Where am I?” It’s a question that frequently crosses my mind, but never to an extent that I have thought to google it. Perhaps I have never been drunk enough. No, that’s not it.

Topping the trending searches list for not only the year but also the decade is “load shedding”. No surprises there, then. It used to be that people were curious to know more about this fresh hell lurching into their lives. Now we know. And yet, we don’t. Schrodinger’s power station.

Thanos, too, features on both lists. Derived from Thanatos, the personification of death and immortality. South Africans are not complete morons after all. They want to know about Greek mythology. No, wait. This Thanos is a comic-book anti-hero. Sigh.

Coming in at #9 for the decade is Teacher’s Day, presumably searched by teachers under the impression that this is the one day of the year when they are legally entitled to come to work drunk and engage in sex-for-marks orgies with teenage girls who haven’t yet got around to googling what pregnancy means.

It’s hard to believe that nothing related to genitalia made it into the top ten searches. It’s just not possible. Not for South Africans. We are endlessly fascinated with our and other people’s bits. I imagine if you’re not very bright and you eventually manage to find out what teenage pregnancy means, you will sooner or later stumble upon Pornhub and go blind in a relatively short space of time.

This can only be a good thing.

A letter to the ‘General’

Dear Harry Knoesen,

I know you can’t see me, but I have just saluted you in proper military fashion. Because I don’t have a beret, boshoed or staaldak, I have a tea cosy on my head. Not ideal, I know, but it’s better than disrespecting you by saluting with nothing on my nut. That kind of sloppiness would get you a month in DB back in the good old days.

I am saluting you because you are an officer. A general, in fact. Even though you gave yourself this rank in your own organisation, the National Christian Resistance Movement, you are still a general in my eyes. Just this morning I started the Anti-Dishwashing Movement and, after a brief promotion ceremony in the garden, I demanded that my wife calls me Brigadier Ben and obeys my every command. Then she went off and had her own ceremony and made herself a Major-general and now everything has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Condolences on being arrested by the Hawks at your Middelburg home. They are not really known for doing arrests so it’s just pure bad luck on your part. Did you know they had been investigating you for the last two years? Probably not, otherwise you might not have been sitting in the lounge wearing your wife-beater and sleeping shorts. Not the best image for the head of a private militia dedicated to violently ending the scourge of democracy and returning the apex race to its rightful place.

The cops say they found an “explosives factory” and lots of guns and ammunition at your house. When I was a teenager, I had a catapult that I wasn’t allowed to have so I kept it at a friend’s house and only fetched it when someone needed to be shot. Don’t you have any friends? What about your soldiers? Couldn’t one of them have looked after your arsenal?

The communist-controlled media tells me that your organisation is nicknamed the Crusaders. I like it. Catchy. Reminds me a bit of rugby, for some reason. There’s also that other group, Cash Crusaders, but as far as I know they don’t have an armed wing. Cowards.

When you came up with the name you were probably thinking more of that time when the Catholics declared a holy war on them uppity Muslims. Then again, there probably aren’t many Catholics among you. In the old days, if you fought in the crusades you were automatically forgiven for your sins. It was a penitential exercise, unlike what you’re going through, which is more of a penitentiary thing.

I imagine your crusaders have a fair amount of sins to be forgiven for. I’ve done some terrible things with a head full of brandy. Okay, I never got around to blowing up national key points or driving black people into the sea. Sorry about that. The sad truth is, I get quite friendly with the darkies when I am drunk. Do you think I might be possessed by demons? Maybe I’m just drinking the wrong kind of brandy. I shall switch to something cheaper and have an exorcism just to be safe.

I heard you made a video saying the South African government hates whites and that we have to strike first. I don’t know, boet. From what I can make out, the government hates everyone. When it comes to plundering, looting and ruining people’s lives, they don’t discriminate. As for us striking first, well, I can’t speak for you, but I seriously lack rhythm. White men can’t toyi-toyi. I suppose we could try the langarm, but I fear the enemy might not take us seriously.

In the video you call yourself an “English Afrikaans Boer”. Are you related to the Knoesens of the Derbyshire Dales, perchance? They come from a long line of potters, painters and medieval mass murderers. Lovely people. Mostly.

You also say, “Yes, I am talking war. If Malema can say what he wants because he is black, then as a white general of my own movement, I can also say what I want.” Damn right. That’s the beauty of our Constitution. Freedom of expression, freedom of speech, equality for … hang on. Aren’t we meant to be against this whole treating everyone equally business? Are you saying you want the same rights that Julius Malema has? Isn’t that what the darkies used to say about us? I’m so confused.

You said on Facebook that when you take back the land, you will make sure all white South Africans get “a free piece of land large enough to build and live on”. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but could I please have a free car instead of a piece of land? I am useless at building things and growing stuff. I don’t know how to use a spirit level or a plough and if I want meat I would rather go to the Spar than shoot a lamb in the face. On the other hand, if you want to extend your war to the Indian Ocean islands – and I think you should – then I would like to put my name down for a piece of land in the Seychelles. Somewhere on La Digue might be nice.

I believe you were a member of the Middelburg council for the ACDP. That must have been frustrating for you. Did you leave because they were too liberal? Calling for the return of the death penalty is one thing, but why stop at hanging? For two hundred years, the feudal authorities in Japan boiled, burned, crucified and decapitated their criminals. We need to be more like the ancient Japanese. Unless you think Japanese are the same as darkies, in which case we need to be less like them.

So, listen. Tell me about this Riana Heymans woman who got arrested a few days after you. Is she one of your “special” Crusaders? You know what I mean. Praise be. She’s quite attractive in an unpleasant sort of way. Is she single? I once wrote some marital vows based on Blood River that would work well for her.

By the way, I read somewhere that you were in the army? Makes sense. I don’t think we met. I was a signalman. I told them I was colour-blind and they still put me in signals. No wonder we lost the war.

Good luck, ou pel. As they say, when days are dark and friends are few … sorry. I didn’t mean to say dark. Everything will be all white on the night. Vasbyt.

A Letter to Kallie Kriel, Caucasian-in-Chief of AfriForum

Hello Oom Kallie. How is it going with Oom? Is it okay with Oom if I call Oom Oom? I believe it is a mark of respect in our culture, although if someone calls me Oom I want to punch him in the mouth. Maybe there is something wrong with us. When I say us, I mean we English-speakers. Not we white people. There is nothing wrong with white people. This is a well-known fact. Even scientists have proven that God chose white people as his number one race.
I just love being white. Don’t you? It’s the best colour. You can wear anything with it and never have to worry about your broeks clashing with your hemp. By hemp I am obviously referring to the marijuana that many young white people carry around in colourful fabric bags these days. Does Oom smoke boom? I hear it is very good for the cancer and also the appetite. Is it true all the Boer generals smoked it and that is why the Third Boer War never took off? Too much sitting around chatting and laughing. Still. It’s probably a good thing otherwise we’d all be speaking Australian today.
Congratulations on your recent tour of America, a country that until recently was enemy territory for you. Now that our hero Donald Trump has made the White House white again, America can once more take its rightful place in the world. Blood and soil, Oom. Blood and soil.
You even got a meeting with the US Agency for International Aid. That would never have happened while the Kenyan antichrist was president. Did they give you money? I bet they did. You should use it to stock up on dog food. When the genocide moves from the farms to the suburbs, you are going to need lots of dogs. As you know, darkies are more scared of dogs than they are of white people. You can thank democracy for that.
I could hardly believe my ears when President Ramaphosa said you and the man who plays Chewbacca to your Han Solo, Robin to your Batman, Donkey to your Shrek, Gollum to your Frodo, Tonto to your Lone Ranger, Gromit to your … whoops. Where was I? Yes. Ramaphosa said that instead of trying to mobilise the international community against your own country, you and Ernst Roets should “come back home for inclusive dialogue”.
Sounds familiar. You probably remember better than I the day that Zulu King Dingane invited Piet Retief and some of his men around for a spot of inclusive dialogue, then shouted, “Bulalani abathagathi!” The Voortrekker leader said, “Two sugars please,” but it wasn’t the right response and they were all killed. If you don’t understand Zulu, Oom Kallie, now would be a good time to learn.
Speaking of which, you need to get your sidekick to change the title of his self-help book. Kill the Boer sounds too much like advice. South Africans take things literally, especially the illiterate ones.
I’m not sure I agree with you that the government is complicit in farm murders. Bludgeoning is heavy work and you’d be hard pressed to find a civil servant prepared to lift a finger, let alone a blunt instrument, for less than six figures and a promise of jobs for at least five members of his family.
I must admit to being a little curious about your strategy for getting the government to reverse plans and policies that might level the playing field and nudge Afrikaners off their perch as apex predators. I’m talking purely in the financial sense, here. I don’t mean Afrikaners go around biting people’s legs off, even though they do share some characteristics of that other apex predator, the great white shark. As you know, most Afrikaners have electroreceptors on their foreheads, much like the white shark has the ampullae of Lorenzini on their snouts. If you stroke them, their mouths fall open and they go into a kind of trance, rendering them quite harmless. By the time they come to their senses, some may find their land has been expropriated without compensation.
Warn your people, Oom. Warn them not to let strangers stroke them on the forehead. By strangers I think we both know who I mean. And there’s nothing more strange in this world than people who aren’t white. Am I right? Of course I am. It’s no coincidence that white rhymes with right. Those people what wrote the dictionary knew what they were doing.
Your organisation – which I’m guessing stands for Afrikaners For Umbrage – only has a couple of hundred thousand members. Even though your motto is, “Laat jou stem hoor”, which apparently means, “Let your guns sound with the roar of a thousand lions”, I can’t see how you can take us back to the good old days through a campaign of righteous Christian violence. Not with those numbers. And certainly not without the help of the police and army. They won’t even help normal people, let alone you guys.
Thing is, I have heard talk among white people, or, as some communities affectionately call us, whypeepo, of a growing discontent within the ranks. The ranks being mostly bikers, diesel mechanics and others unfamiliar with the ways of the common apostrophe. They use cryptic phrases like, “Wait. It’s coming. You will see.” I never ask what it is that’s coming, finding it safer to lower my eyes and back away slowly.
The truth is, Oom, I am a bit of a coward. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not a leftie or a liberal. I am just a simple coward. I know I should be standing shoulder to shoulder with you and Solidarity and the Suidlanders and Dan Roodt and the people who only sing the uit die diepte van ons hemelpart of the anthem at the rugby, but I also know that we are heavily outnumbered and I don’t want to have to fight my way through forty million black people only to get to Simon’s Town and find the last boat has left.
There is a good chance I am wrong because I have been married twice and know all about being wrong, but I would sleep easier at night knowing that Steve Hofmeyr and Julius Malema might one day marry were it not for their height rather than their political differences. Is that wrong? Do I need an exorcism?
This crazy dream of mine is unlikely to come true as long as you keep saying that apartheid was not a crime against humanity. I do agree with you, though. Puffy pants and rhinestone studded denim jackets were a crime against humanity. Having the barman put Pepsi instead of Coke into your brandy is a crime against humanity. But apartheid? Okay, sure. It couldn’t have been much fun not being allowed to visit the beach or a park or cinema, theatre or restaurant, but they had things we didn’t have. Lots of brothers and sisters, for a start. And they weren’t forced to go to school. Or the army. Not a bad life at all.
As you pointed out, the security forces only killed around 700 people while the National Party was running the show. Hardly a crime against humanity. On a good day, the Israelis take care of that many Palestinians before lunch.
And apartheid wasn’t our fault, either. There would have been none of that business in this beautiful country if there had been no black people to start with. But we have forgiven them for making us do the apartheid and it is time they stopped talking about it.
Actually, Oom, there’s something called the Rome Statute that recognises apartheid as a crime against humanity. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking of the marble statute of that kaalgat oke David with the little willy and wondering how a statute can recognise anything.
You and many of your followers are doubly blessed. Not only are you members of the master race but you are also beneficiaries of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This is what the darkies must mean by white privilege.
Anyway, Oom Kallie, I must go and find my passport in case of the genocide. If the airports are closed, I will see you at the harbour.