In December 14 of 2003, I read an on-line article that made me quite angry. In short, the article told the story of the time-honoured tradition where kids are encouraged to write letters to Father Christmas (or Santa Claus). The Post Office in South Africa had made an address available to which children could send their christmas lists. Andrew October, a South African journalist, lodged a formal complaint and claimed that this could “break the fragile spirits” of South African children.
I found this preposterous. Believing in Father Christmas is one of my most treasured childhood memories, in spite of the fact that he hardly ever brought what I wanted, and Andrew October was doing his best to take this memory away from as many children as possible.
I wrote a weblog calling him a “mal-adjusted and incompetent idiot” and a “recognised moron”. Today, October sent me an email threatening with legal action. It was all the more terrifying because the email came from one of those yahoo email addresses. The email is reproduced below.
But, because I’m a nice guy, I’ve decided to remove the nasty parts of that weblog. However, I still am of the opinion that October’s attention-seeking actions (NOT him though) were feeble-minded and idiotic.
See below for the email.
From: AndyO@Yahoo Reply-To: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Liable Content Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 15:51:07 +0000 (GMT) Please note that a comment placed at the link stated below will result in liable legal action being taken against you should you not remove it within twenty four hours (24hrs) as of Friday February 20th 2004 at 18H00 South African time.</p> Please regard this as a polite warning and please act accordingly. http://www.cpbotha.net/weblogs/cpbotha/archives/001051.html The content that is deemed inflammatory is: Andrew October, Cape Town journalist, you are an idiot Those of you who personally know Andrew October, Cape Town journalist, are already aware of the fact that he's a mal-adjusted and incompetent idiot. Those of you who don't know him should read this article. Andrew October, Cape Town journalist and recognised moron, is doing his best to destroy Christmas for the children. Urgh! Posted by cpbotha at December 14, 2003 02:33 PM Kind regards Andrew P. October Cape Town, South Africa ===== Andrew October Freelance Journalist :: IT, Technology, Gourmet & Entertainment. ______________________________________________ email :: REMOVED contact :: REMOVED website :: http://www.isoap.co.za _:: “Assume you’re a genius and you will be” :: ______________________________________________ * I am a FastChat user. Use email@example.com to FastChat a short message to my Nokia 3650 phone. * Got MSN Messenger? Join me on MSN (username: firstname.lastname@example.org). * View my Nokia 3650’s online MobiPics picture album: http://www.isoap.co.za/3650 * View and download my online CV at http://www.isoap.co.za/cv