Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Oliver adjourned to the local school, where children were tucking into their daily breakfast: pizza and chocolate milk. "I have never seen pizza served for breakfast," he said, shocked. Oliver then watched aghast as the dinner ladies whipped up a lunch of chicken nuggets and reconstituted "pearls" of processed potato. "It's that kind of food that's killing America," he announced.In which Jamie Oliver discovers America. Of course, if he were really as laddish as he makes out, he would know that left-over pizza is the breakfast of champions - when those champions had been drinking the previous night.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Jo Hughson, chairwoman of a complaints assessment committee - part of the new Real Estate Agents Authority - said the condolence card had with it a property summary report with the rating valuations, title and ownership details of the widow's Castor Bay property.In which a new depth is plumbed by an Auckland real estate agent.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
What I find wholly unsatisfactory is that the NZ government - the victim of Israeli state terrorist espionage activity in the form of the Mossad passport imbroglio five years ago - is signing up to a working holiday agreement with the Jewish State that will facilitate an exchange that is ripe for exactly the sort of Mossad infiltration that leads to a Dubai-type assassination. The people Israel will send over will be Jewish. The people NZ will send over, and that Israel will accept, will be mainly Jewish. The sort of people that regard it as their patriotic Jewish duty to the Jewish State to misuse other nation's passports and anything else they can get their hands on. And that's not the Israeli-born Jews I'm talking about either, that's NZ Jews as Fran O'Sullivan has explainedOddly enough, only last night I was having several drinks with an NZ Jewess and with Mr Dentith, the well-known conspiracy-theory theorist. It was he who alerted me to this post by Mr Tim Selwyn, the well-known ex-con. Mr Dentith heard of it from Mr Judd, the well-known Jew. I am pleased to report that I still have my passport.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
"Peter was really clear about it being an exact copy of the Hollywood sign because he wanted it to be a send-up. He and Richard epitomise creativity and innovation in this city and I'm going to go with their judgment."
Ms Prendergast defended the sign on Radio New Zealand this morning, saying it would be a great way to welcome visitors flying into the capital.
Jackson said he was "thrilled that Wellington Airport were paying tribute to the Kiwi craftsmen and women who created the movie magic that entertains all corners of our planet".
Wellington Airport chief executive Steve Fitzgerald said using anything other than a "tongue-in-cheek play" on the Hollywood sign did not make sense. "The idea of having a ... fun play on the most famous sign in the world has an instant recognition factor that anything else would struggle to match."
So that is why Kerry Prendergast is making Wellington so ugly: she is scared of creative people. It used to be that public art commissions were awarded to artists, but now creative people, the makers of monster movies and special effects, dictate public taste. I expect Sir Peter and Mr Taylor sit in their creative spaces of a night and chortle about what larks they will have, once Wellington Airport has a sign that sends up the Hollywood sign, by saying 'Wellywood.' Laugh and the world laughs with you, as they say.
Of course, Mr Taylor is not just an arbiter of taste. He and his Workshop are an artist themselves. They have produced the tripod sculpture in Courtenay Place, which is a terribly witty tribute to themselves. They also made that moving tribute to our chaps in Bomber Command, a masterpiece of the Franklin Mint Style, described thus: "a freestanding bronze sculpture of a Lancaster crew with a Lancaster coming out of the marble background." It cost a freestanding $100,000. For once, the old adage "a child of ten could do it" rings true: this is a work that is less than the sum of its parts, and those parts could be found in any small boy's toybox. Of course it had to be forced on to Auckland Museum by use of the mighty powers of sentiment and shame.
Speaking of a child of ten, the artist known as Weta is also responsible for the deeply moving Dyslexia Discovery Exhibit in Christchuch, which uses the simple trope of a near-naked girl to convey "Richard's empathy for those young people struggling with a learning disability." This is Art, you see. There is nothing smutty about it; those older people struggling with their obsessions should look away. And, being Art, it is made of bronze, although it may look like chocolate and remind you of those annoying Cabdbury advertisements: more Rolo than Rodin, as we Art Historians say.
You see, Richard and his Workshop are not just creative people, they are also successful people, who are in touch with the commonsense tastes of the common people. They realise that the business of Art is imitation. If you want a memorial to bombers, you will get bombers. If you want an instructional sculpture about reading difficulties, you will get "a young girl lying down, barefoot, reading a steel ribbon of words that float through the air, spilling from the pages of her book"
Being successful, creative people, they must congratulate themselves constantly, just like the people in the advertising industry. And the citizens of Wellington must look on their works and despair. They must bow before the mighty monster makers, and accept their monuments of whimsy. The creative people must be celebrated, for their industrious light and magic. Never mind that their latest work (a film called Avatar which apparently is an allegory of something or other - I have not seen it) was made possible by a $60 million taxbreak: there will be no monument to the unknown taxpayer.
- Entered Eden Park during Thursday's cricket international between New Zealand and Australia dressed as construction workers – wearing hard hats and reflector vests hired from a costume shop. Despite having no tickets or ID, the two reporters had unfettered access to construction areas and other restricted zones within the stadium, walking past at least six security guards and getting within arm's-length of Australian Doug Bollinger while he was fielding. At one point the reporters stood next to four police bomb squad officers as they surveyed the new grandstand. At no point were the reporters questioned or asked for ID.
The Australian players are particularly concerned about security right now, following threats by al Qaeda against this month's IPL tournament in India, and have demanded that rigid security be put in place before they take part in the tour.
- Took toy explosives and detonators, as well as alcohol, in a bag and on the body, into Waikato Stadium during the March 5 Chiefs-Reds Super 14 rugby game, with Red Badge security staff failing to search one reporter's bag. He walked freely around all parts of the stadium, approached the Reds' bench and shook hands with a team manager, entered the VIP corporate box area and spoke with boxer David Tua, got players including All Black Sitiveni Sivivatu to sign the bag containing the toy explosives and walked unchallenged through the players' tunnel, getting within a metre of the changing rooms before finally being asked to leave by a security guard.
Breaking news: New Zealand is not a police state. Sunday Star-Times journalist are able, if they so wish, to dress up as members of the Village People and hang around with sportsmen. They can even take concealed toy explosives with them.
Does anyone else find a certain Chris Morris quality in this reportage? Not, it seems, Superintendent Grant O'Fee, who said: "I am absolutely amazed anyone got near the players' tunnel, with or without [toy] explosives." The SST also managed to find an unnamed source (probably a bloke with no neck who hangs out in the same pub as the writers and who claims to have served in the SAS) to say "that shouldn't happen, full-stop. A person shouldn't get from one zone to another, especially near players. That's a poor breakdown, I'd be kicking arse."
Meanwhile, the Herald on Sunday is frothing about the SST's irresponsibility, possibly because the HoS could not get find any stories, other than a plane being diverted and the usual car-crash heroes story. Some points should be given for effort, though, for attempting to build the golden triangle of Celebrity-Property-Tragedy in a story in which the "talented" younger brother of the heir to a property firm flies his plane into a van.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
The reputation of football's playing fraternity was not enhanced yesterday when it emerged that 85 people had been shown the door by financially stricken Portsmouth while only two players had offered to take pay cuts to save the fate of the less well-off.This blog does not usually comment on matters concerning Association Football, but this story takes the half-time orange. Whilst appreciating that professional footballers have significant hairdressing expenses, one cannot help remarking something to the effect of "what a bunch of overpaid mercenary gits."
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
New Zealand-born author Ray Comfort, who is now based in the United States, has written his own introduction to Darwin's groundbreaking work on evolution, where he argues for intelligent design. Melissa Day, of Comfort's New Zealand Living Waters Ministry, said the group planned to give away about 10,000 copies of the book today on university campuses in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.He's back! Christchurch's gift to Intelligent Design, Ray "bananas" Comfort, takes on the Intelligentsia at a campus near you.
I, for one, welcome this bold attempt to provide the Origin of Species with an introduction. We can only hope that Mr Comfort's followers notice that there are many other books in the libraries of our universities and encourage him to write further introductions. Perhaps we might soon be able to read his introductions to Middlemarch, The Open Society and its Enemies, Learning from Las Vegas and The Joy of Sex.
Although the name The Charlatans was used when original members of the band were located in the West Midlands, many sources state that they formed in Northwich, Cheshire. This is because the band relocated to the home town of new lead singer Tim Burgess (who lived in Northwich) before the release of The Charlatans' debut single "Indian Rope" in 1990 on the band's own Dead Dead Good Records label. This means that, based on the definition of the hometown used by Guinness World Records, the band formed in Northwich and consequently Northwich is recorded as their home town in "Guinness World Records: British Hit Singles and Albums."It's that Wikipedia feeling: the uncanny sense that an entry has been amended by some pedantic nerd who wants the world to know he knows something the world does not, something which he will express in his own way.
Still, cracking good band, even if they did wear raincoats indoors:
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
This month's taxpayer-funded Art Monthly Australia magazine placed the photograph of the young dark-haired girl on the cover, sitting and with one nipple showing, to protest censorship of a recent photo exhibition featuring similarly naked children. "I can't stand this stuff," said Rudd, a staunch Christian whose centre-left Labor government won a sweeping victory over conservatives last year, in part on a vow to reinvigorate Australia's small but influential arts community.
A photograph of a nude six-year-old girl on the cover of a high-brow Australian art magazine today sparked an uproar after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called it disgusting, infuriating liberal art critics.Sometimes, I wonder why Australia bothers having a rabid, frothing Christian Right when it can get the same sort of service from its Prime Minister. Sometimes, I recall the days when the Independent was a serious newspaper.
This month's taxpayer-funded Art Monthly Australia magazine placed the photograph of the young dark-haired girl on the cover, sitting and with one nipple showing, to protest censorship of a recent photo exhibition featuring similarly naked children.
"I can't stand this stuff," said Rudd, a staunch Christian whose centre-left Labor government won a sweeping victory over conservatives last year, in part on a vow to reinvigorate Australia's small but influential arts community.
Monday, March 01, 2010
Mr Restellini is disliked by the French state cultural establishment for several reasons. He is an art historian (and an expert on Modigliani) but he has never taken the official French examination for museum curators. He is young and brash and speaks his mind publicly in a world that prefers discreetly poisonous intrigue. And he made his name in Japan and by running a series of successful exhibitions in the (now temporarily closed) Musée du Luxembourg, which belongs to the upper house of the French parliament.Discreetly poisonous intrigue... so, nothing unusual there.
Henry, from Essex, was the first man in Britain to have buttock implants. He hated his flat, skinny bottom but didn't have £7,000 to blow on surgery. So he approached an agency called Talk to the Press.
Launched two years ago by freelance journalist, Natasha Courtenay-Smith, the London firm receives more than 20 emails a day from people with tales to tell. Courtenay-Smith sold the buttock story to the Sunday Mirror and New! magazine and is seen in the documentary talking to Henry about a follow-up. As the narrator puts it, "For everyone involved, Henry's bottom has become a goldmine."Buttock implants, true life stories, PR agencies, instant celebrity; that's four reasons and I could go on; and, of course, women called Natasha.
Leon Mickelson was fishing for paua at Red Rock Beach in Hawke's Bay when he was swamped by a metre-high surge of water, followed by two more waves. He had no idea a tsunami alert had been issued.
"This wall of water just hit me. I was getting tumbled across all the rocks, it was unbelievable. The force was just unstoppable. There was no way you could fight it, you just had to roll with it."
The water then sucked him 20 metres out into the ocean, bouncing over rocks. "It was like being in a washing machine. It just completely and utterly caught us out."
Mr Mickelson, 30, managed to swim ashore, and suffered cuts and bruises.No news of the paua has been reported. Meanwhile, in other news, 700 people in Chile are dead, two million are displaced. On Nine to Noon Kathryn Ryan talked to a man who has a daughter in Chile; she is fine, but they have had some difficulty keeping in contact with her.
Coming up: is New Zealand media parochial? We talk to somebody with a book to sell.