Why we'll have no second coming in Africa

In an outbreak of mass lunacy the people of Malawi have been killing people accused of being blood-sucking vampires. Malawi police are reported as having arrested more than 140 people for their part in these crimes. What is it that turns ordinary people into an insane, murderous, lynch mob? They don’t really believe in vampires, do they? Well yes they do. They believe in vampires the same way people in Nigeria believe in penis thieves. They’re not alone in this weird way, as Frank Bures writes in his book, The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World’s Strangest Syndromes. Bures writes about weird beliefs in a variety of cultures. I must

The Friday Rant: The Olive Branch

Dear Bill, It’s been a while since we spoke and I’m sorry, I should have called or sent a text. I know you’ve been avoiding me because I lost my temper, but it was a long time ago and we should let bygones be bygones. I hereby officially apologise for calling you a xenophobic Little Englander with the IQ of a brick and the foresight of a candle-struck moth. The usual banter should have sufficed, but Brexit was an emotive issue and you’d not let on how you intended to vote. I don’t blame you for the secrecy, but I suppose I was in shock. How else can I explain why I’d superglue you into the toilet, microwave your wallet, and etch “Paedo Lives Here” into your front lawn with weed killer? I’ll

If only we could still see them

When I was a boy I imagined the world of the future. Nowhere in my imagination were the wars, the famine, the brutality and mindless division of today’s world. It was the 1960s and mankind was reaching for the stars. The war to end all wars was still etched deep in racial memories and nobody wanted to go back to that. War was horror. War was bad. Yes they were still fought, but not with the rabid, boastful enthusiasm of today. The Americans tried to keep war going in Vietnam, but human hearts weren’t in it. Pictures of dead children on the cover of Time and Newsweek, the iconic image of a young girl set ablaze by napalm, this was a war that served only to prove war was evil. The arms trade c
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