First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Finally. Dan Brown gets the hammering he deserves



Finally. Dan Brown gets the hammering he deserves

The books of Dan Brown are read by people who haven’t read a book since high school – which is why, of course, they’re such big sellers. And because they’re such big sellers, critics remain in awe.

Lately, book critics have been remarkably reticent to give hotshot Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown his due. At worst, Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol, is written about in tones of respectful surprise, the reviewer dropping one or two references to clichés and flat characterisation before going on to agree with every other reviewer – this book, with its three million sales, is the saviour of the publishing industry! The equivalent of the phenomenon in South Africa is John van der Ruit and his Spud series, which despite (or perhaps because of) its complete lack of literary merit has broken all local sales records and thus neutered the critics.

Along comes New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd to hand critics their balls back. Dowd, her frequency pitch-perfect on the irony-meter, accuses Brown of being deathly scared of the Masons, even while he brazenly lobs word-bombs over the walls of the harmless Vatican.

“His book is a desperate attempt to ingratiate himself with the Masons,” writes Dowd, “rather than to interpret the bizarre Masonic rites and symbols that illuminate — as in Illuminati! — how the ultimate elite private boys’ club has conspired to shape the nation’s capital and Western civilization ever since George Washington laid the cornerstone for the Capitol building in a Masonic ritual wearing full Masonic regalia, including a darling little fringed satin apron.”

If only someone would do this to Van der Ruit.

By Kevin Bloom

Read more: New York Times


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted