• Message from James Clarke

    "South Africa's Best Humour Columnist"

    - SA's Comedy Awards September 2008

    “South Africa’s funniest columnist.”

    - Financial Mail


    The name is Clarke. James Clarke. I have been told by people who know their way around the electronic world with its iPads, USBs, processors, modems, 500 gb hard drives, Blackberries and microwave ovens, that as a writer I have to have a blogsite. Otherwise, I am told, it is like passing oneself off as a CEO and you haven’t a leather chair that tilts back.

    Yet after four years of having a blogsite I still don’t really understand what it is or how it helps sell my books which is my major concern in life apart from not stepping on cracks when walking on the pavement.

    I am also told that on a blogsite it is customary to refer to oneself in the third person. This enables one to grossly exaggerate ones attainments without appearing to have done so personally.

    Not being one to buck the system...

    London-born James Clarke is your average tall, dark, handsome fellow who writes books – fiction and non-fiction. As a humorist he has been compared with PG Wodehouse and James Thurber. (The Daily Bugle in Des Moines said “compared with the works of PG Wodehouse and James Thurber, Clarke’s writing isn’t worth a row of beans”.)

    He long ago settled in South Africa where he became a mover and a shaker in the world of the environmental sciences. As a youth, being a mover and a shaker, had made it impossible for him to follow in his father’s footsteps as a bottler in a nitro-glycerine plant. Hence he turned to journalism.

    But around the time he retired a few years ago he found a new pursuit as a humorist. He wrote a daily humour column in the Johannesburg Star (now syndicated) and began turning out books of humour in the UK and South Africa.

    Clarke very recently moved boldly into the electronic publishing world. It was, he said afterwards, like a non-swimmer diving into a pool without first testing its depth.

    In November 2011 he re-issued his latest book of humour, “Blazing Saddles”, as an Amazon Kindle e-book under the title “Blazing Bicycle Saddles”. For a mere US$4.99 you can download a copy of this seminal cycling book in a matter of seconds by clicking here ....


    He did this with the full realisation that he is totally at sea in the electronic world with its telephones that take movies and receive faxes and sports results.

    The original edition of “Blazing Saddles”, published by Jonathan Ball, has been out of print for two years. It reveals the true story of how six retired men – five of them journalists – year after year set out (intrepidly) from the African continent on a series of exploratory expeditions cycling into “Darkest Europe” to bring back to the people of Africa tales of its funny natives.

    Clarke will also shortly be publishing, via Amazon.com, another of his action-packed autobiographical books – this time an account of his Second World War exploits as L*E*A*D*E*R of the Yellow Six Patrol of the 1st Streetly Boy Scouts in the English Midlands. He recounts the patrol’s ceaseless campaign to defeat Adolf Hitler’s plan to invade England.

    You can read about “The Yellow Six” within this blogsite.

    Clarke, apart from moving and shaking, is a travel writer and proud father of two highly successful daughters – one a biologist and the other an environmental impact analyst. He and his wife, Lenka, live north of Johannesburg.

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Hey, Did You See What Obama did?

President Obama swatted a fly during a televised interview a few days ago. And then he congratulated himself on his quick reflexes.
The fly, which as far as I could make out had done nothing wrong except settle on the presidential knee, lay there on the carpet twitching in its death throes for all the world to see.
Yet the media have been shamefully silent about the morality involved in this spontaneous act of violence and has given not a thought to the probable impact of the President’s action on impressionable minds.
Isn’t the world violent enough already? (Answers on a post card please).
Thank heavens then for Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Its members don’t wear leather, they don’t eat meat – they won’t even drink milk because that would be exploiting cows. And they certainly don’t go about swatting flies and mosquitoes. They all walk funny but that’s only because they have to avoid stepping on ants.
Peta is yet another forthright and courageous animal rights group in America and it has demanded an apology from the President.
As President for Life of Densa, the club for those who haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell of getting into Mensa (the society for those with high IQs) I want to congratulate Peta and offer it my full backing. Peta! I am right behind you marching shoulder to shoulder.
Densa firmly believes flies have rights just as cockroaches, slugs and politicians have rights.
Flies have feelings (otherwise why was this one twitching?) and flies are sensitive towards other creatures. Do you ever see a fly eating a LIVE animal? No. They wait until an animal is stone dead and, just to be sure, they even hang around until the carcase is rotten and suppurating and stinking.
And did Obama give a moment’s thought about whether this fly was perhaps a daddy fly with 4677 children (now tragically orphaned). Children now without a bread-winner (OK. Yes. I should have said, “now without a green meat-winner”) and 89 500 grandchildren and 1 456 000 great grandchildren crying themselves into their pillows at night?
And yet, as I say, the media has not seen fit to criticise the President. Is this because they are a bunch of liberal pinkos who believe Obama is the new Messiah?
After all, what did this fly do? He, or she (She? OMG. What if this fly was a mummy fly about to fly home to feed her 40677th baby?) … he or she merely sat on the presidential knee.
Maybe he (or she) wanted to impart a vital message from the insect world?
Even if it merely wanted to impart a tiny globule of fresh dog’s dropping – maybe from the White House lawn itself, left there by the President’s dog, Bo – did it deserve to die for THAT?
It was an abuse of power.
What if George Bush (remember him?) had settled on the President’s knee – would Obama have, with one blow sent him sprawling to the floor? On television?
By viciously striking an innocent creature 1/10 000 000th smaller than himself Obama showed a facet of his character that must have disappointed many. Yet the media have shown no sign of outrage.
The Stoep Talk Organisation wishes to distance itself from The Star which, like all the other newspapers, has not even raised an editorial eyebrow. Yet look at how indignant it was when B52 bombers swatted Iraq. And look how, only a month ago, it roundly criticised North Korea because it threatened to drop atom bombs on people’s heads.
Is it that size counts after all?

2 Responses

  1. man there are more things to worry about we zimbabweans are hungry unemployed and you find time to grieve over a fly???

  2. obama obama!!! doesn´t a peace nobel extends to treating well flies?!?!

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