Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Like a girl Jesus

You might start with an fish course – a Bluff oyster with ponzu, a Hiroshima oyster, mackerel. Then there’s American lobster or New Zealand crayfish, cooked to perfection and served with a beautifully silky sauce americaine, reduced for three days. You might have a lamb cutlet served with a foie gras sauce and an egg poached in red wine that spills over the plate. There is some of the best sashimi we’ve eaten anywhere. In short, if you care about food, you must go.
No. If you care about food, you should consider that a lot of people do not get enough of it. You might start by donating $80 to $100 to a charity which fights poverty here or overseas. You might want to ask the woman who cleans your office what she would do with $80 or $100; not that you are going to go without your degustation, but just to see how the other half lives. Then there's McDonalds:
The company denies the mascot is a bad influence on children. In fact, it says, he is quite the opposite, since he now extols the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. "Ronald is an ambassador for good and delivers important messages to kids on safety, literacy and balanced, active lifestyles," it said in a statement.
Yes, that's prime, organic, free range tosh. Ronald McDonald's job is to pull in the children, to start them on a life-time habit of eating bad food. It is cheap food, compared with your degustation, but cheap is all most people can afford.

Then there is the prejudice against poor people which many of us middle-class people have:
Aspiration and social mobility are the useful mirage, laying blame squarely with individuals who should try harder to escape their families and friends, instead of seeking great fairness for all. It suits life's winners to pretend this is a meritocracy: we well-off deserve our luck, anyone can join us if they try.
Polly Toynbee is talking about the Old Country here, but the attitude is much the same here; even amongst the left, who have abandoned the working class and who call Chris Trotter a racist patriarch for reminding them of their betrayal.

Oh well, enjoy your meal.

Next in our series of Inappropriate Songs for Boganette's wedding, here is Game Theory, accompanied by a home-made video featuring every effect in the box.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Starting from the ZERO

InkLnk is giving the opportunity of owning 2% from the company by completing two years service, and it is going to enter the Internet social world soon. The company been established in Dubai, Your job is doing some marketing through the internet and inviting more people to increase our data base so we can get into the challenge with facebook and twitter, and remember Facebook revenue is 1.9 billion Dollar in 2010 while it’s just 7 years and 3 months old, and twitter worth 10billion Dollar while it’s less than five years old and they both started from the ZERO, so the 2% does really worth working with us.

About the job:
1- You will be responsible about inviting and doing marketing for InkLnk social website.
2- Just one hour a day and it’s all through the Internet.
3- Owning 2% from the company by completing two years service.
4- A laptop and $200 NZD will be given every six-months to the top employee.
5- Meeting dinar at the Stamford Hotel every two weeks.
6- You can work from any where in the world, and any time during the day.
7- You will get InkLnk Shirt as soon as you sign up with us.
8- Providing you with a communication and marketing course in Europe during the summer Holiday when it’s needed.
9- Visiting Google Company in the USA to increase your Experience in the future.
This could be your opportunity to get a free shirt.

Wings, the band the Beatles could have been

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Exit, pursued by a bore

I'm done with satire, commentary, opinion. The world is too absurd to let it pass by. I'm going into Drama.

For next year's Wellington International Arts Festival I shall be writing a verse play, based on the works of Paul Holmes. If I were to pitch it Hollywood-style, I would describe it as like a mixture of Murder in the Cathedral, Waiting for Godot and Under Milk Wood.

It will be set in a the day room of bleak old people's home (a home for bleak old people [boom boom] some might say) in which four retired newspaper columnists, two male and two female, sit in faded arm-chairs. They each speak in turn, in what becomes a droning rhythm, much like the columns they used to write. Their names are not disclosed. Here is the first draft, based on a recent work by Mr Holmes.

Wellywood is cute.

It's hokey.

It's small town.

To Wellywood or not to Wellywood.





Wellywood is just dumb.

It's provincial.

It's just too derivative.

Who wants a capital city called Wellywood?

Maybe that would be a good thing.

Since when are fires confidential?

But that's Treasury.

London looked green and warm and beautiful.

They are such young, fresh men.

I loved seeing them play table tennis.

Obama plays a good bit of table tennis.

Cameron was no goose either.

Sitting behind him are two young members.

Chris Tremain.

That attractive woman next to him whose name I've no idea of.


Behind him.

Looking sour.

Faces of the past.

That seating arrangement has to change.


Holly and the Italians

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We don't need to talk about Kevin

From memory she'd put a US stamp on it for local posting. My suspicious mind started ticking over more. Perhaps some drug was concealed behind the stamp. I told him that if he wanted to take this letter then I wouldn't be travelling with him. Eventually Kevin acquiesced. "Fine, we'll throw it away then," he said. "No, we'll buy some English stamps and post it in England so at least the letter arrives," I suggested.

By now Kevin was well and truly over this letter he'd so innocently accepted and I'm sorry to say it ended up in many pieces inside the rubbish bin of our London hotel. For the record, it didn't seem to have contained drugs.

Welcome to Shelley Bridgeman's Drug Hell. One wonders what the message the letter contained: "yes, yes, of course I will marry you," perhaps, or "please accept my deepest condolences." Not that Shelley was concerned that the letter should contain drugs, only that she might be caught with them. Not that Kevin cared for her idea that they post it in England; he ripped it up.

But then, that is the sort of response one could expect from Shelley and Kevin. Every week, several times every week, Shelley has a new story to tell of her vapid, selfish, view of the world. She burst on to the commentary scene with her now famous thesis that poor people are ugly and stupid. Since then she has granted us numerous insights into her life and mind, such as her Disneyphobia:
We were lazing in our room when one of us realised the innocuous-looking table lamps amid otherwise non-Disney-esque interior decoration featured prominent Mickey Mouse ears. It had taken us days to recognise this but then it was impossible to not see it. And trudging back to our room after a busy day we discovered the same iconic design woven into the intricately patterned, faux-Victorian carpet in the corridor.

Were these symbols merely commitment to the theme and subtle little in-jokes for observant guests? Or were they subliminal messages intended to infiltrate our subconscious and sway us to commit to the brand for life?
What a short stange trip it's been. Along the way, Bridgeman has brought us such gems as "I think I prefer contemplating the holocaust in solitude" (a favourite of Boganette) and the classic "My husband's job is more important (read: more highly paid) than mine; it would be churlish of me to not support him in his efforts to provide for his family. "

For readers curious to see how Shelley and Kevin live, assistance is provided by NZ Homes and Gardens:
In 2002, while on assignment for a lifestyle magazine, Shelley experienced a design epiphany.

She came away from a well-appointed home impressed by the vast amount of art on display and resolved to begin her own collection and commission more pieces of furniture.

“Over the years I’ve found a piece of furniture and art for every spot,” she says now. The house has become a veritable art gallery, with room for work ranging from Michel Tuffery’s pressed corned beef tin bull to a Martin Poppelwell white earthenware bunny sculpture (“most people don’t realise it’s ironic,” says Shelley) and the Ralph Hotere El Toro lithograph that was bought to celebrate the couple’s tenth wedding anniversary.

Most people don't realise it's ironic; indeed, many of us are wondering whether Shelley's articles are subtle works of satire. But then one sees the photographs and understands that, if Shelley is a satirist, then she is suffering for her art. One might also notice the absence of bookshelves:
Once I've read a novel it goes straight to the Caring Shed too. I know I'll never re-read it and I've never understood the penchant for displaying novels in bookcases. Whatever the message - I can read? I have great taste in novels? I have a large budget for books? - it's not one that resonates with me.
But what is the secret of their success? What is it that keeps Shelley and Kevin and that peculiar little daughter in Hoteres, ironic bunnies and off-white bed linen? The answer is to be found in Shelley's most recent article:
But I guess I was surprised that other people aren't as mistrustful as I am. My radar is perpetually tuned to look for the catch, to be vigilant for people who might be furthering their self-interest at my expense. My days are spent fending off both real and imagined dangers. 'What ifs' and worst-case-scenarios have taken up permanent residence in my head - and, quite frankly, it's exhausting.
In short, they are awful, suspicious, selfish people who fear that everybody else might be as ghastly as are they. The price of designer furniture is eternal paranoia.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dirty back road

My current fascination is Globe Genie, an MIT joint from one Joe McMichael, which came to my attention via @ballardian. It takes you to places with Google StreetView, places such as Wattle Road, West Bromwich, England; somewhere near Wichita, with not a lineman in sight; Germantown, New Brunswick, with not a German in sight; Wellington (Kansas); the plain in Spain; Riverdale, twinned with Nowhere; un cul-de-sac near Metz; Eureka Springs, Arkansas - seven miles away from McGriddles; somewhere in England; a road in Somerset where strange things happen to cars; the Netherlands, supposedly the most densely populated country on earth; a tunnel in Norway; Antarctica.

Is anybody else reminded of the Boyle Family?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


This is the one thousandth Fundy Post. Thank you, gentle readers, for reading.

Somewhat appropriately for a blog which is supposed to be about religious politics, this post is published on the predicted day of the Rapture, which begins at 6pm for readers in New Zealand; times will vary for international readers: check with your local prophet. Equally appropriately, the Rapture turns out to have been invented, in 1830, by a fifteen year-old girl in Scotland, and prompted by the founder of the Plymouth Brethren. However, in the event of my being entirely wrong about all this, I leave behind the picture above, which shows that hot girls do go to heaven. It is taken from Hal Lindsey's There's a New World Coming (PDF) a curiously psychedelic and erotic rendition of the Endtimes: just wait until you see the Whore of Babylon.

So, there you have it; this has been the 1000th post, appropriately millenarian. Assuming that we are all left behind, normal posting will resume tomorrow. By then, you may have obtained a lot of clothing abandoned by the godly; but ask yourself, do you really need nylon slacks and Fair Isle sweaters?

Friday, May 20, 2011

A pool full of strangers

It has been a strange day. In the morning, I was alerted to someone blurting out passive-agressive Tweets about me; they were tragically counter-productive. Protip: if someone says something bad about you, do not repeat it to everyone who follows you on Twitter.

Later, it rained in the postgraduate studio at School. It rained boiling water, normally a sign of the Endtimes or similar. It began with the sound of trickling water. Then came a downpour, through the ceiling tiles and on to some drawings. The rain spread across the ceiling, finally settling on a light fitting from which to pour electric rain. I looked for the source. Upstairs in Dance Studies was a lavatory. It had become a sauna with boiling waterfall feature. The dancers were like, OMG. The architectural historian rushed in where architects fear to tread, and rushed out again. I did what I could; had I been an architect, I probably would have earned CPD points.

Later still, I went to the library and, to my horror, found the Old House Journal, surely the most awful magazine in circulation. I could not resist. About mid-way through, I found 9 Strategies for Period Kitchens.
Strategy #1: Add vintage appliances to realize a Depression-era vision.

Margaret Keilty had been searching for a house with then-husband Raymond Shove for some time, but the ones they toured never seemed quite right. “What is it that you want?” Raymond would ask her. “I’ll know when I see it,” was always her response.
Clearly, he had to go. And he did. Two paragraphs later, Raymond has been shoved and Mark has replaced him:
Margaret and her partner, Mark LaMonica, immediately began looking for a vintage stove to accompany the refrigerator, and found a 1923 Bengal gas-and-coal combination. “It’s a cream and green porcelain and cast iron number that sits on little legs, with a shelf on top and nickel plating everywhere,” Margaret gushes. The couple found it in a nearby town, where someone had been using it as a plant stand. Margaret and Mark took the Bengal apart and gently cleaned it (taking care not to lose the patina), hooked it to gas, and now use it every day. They also worked to undo some of the cosmetic changes (like room partitions) that Margaret’s ex-husband had installed in the kitchen, and restored the plaster and refinished the floors.
So Margaret and Mark undo Raymond's cosmetic changes, and live happily ever after in Sharon Connecticut. Raymond Shove now lives in Buckeye, Arizona. Details are available on Mylife (note that Margaret and Raymond are both 63, while Mark is 48; do the math).

Anyway, what is a Depression-era vision - food, a job, FDR? Moving right along, the current edition of Old House Journal also features, surprisingly, Kate Pierson's kitchen, one she shares with Monica Coleman.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gross moral turpitude, and other pleasures

So where are all the feminists demanding that a woman's body is her own? Where are the civil libertarians protesting the infringement of this woman's freedom of expression? Where are the liberals upset that private proclivities are being judged as public menaces?

They are nowhere. They have allowed this wanton attack upon individual freedom because it suits their peculiar morality. Worse, this woman did nothing criminal nor even morally wrong. No one was hurt or harmed. She did what she did in her own time – titillated straight men in a magazine format.

I find myself in agreement with Michael Laws. There, I said it. I'll say it again.
Michael Laws is right, in the matter of Rachel Whitwell. She has been barred from teaching, for life, because she posed naked for Penthouse, a magazine that is quite legal and widely available, and because the makers of Penthouse chose to make something of her being a teacher. And where are the liberals? Well, there is the estimable Matthew Taylor; there may be many others but they haven't been discovered, not by me.

At the other end of the moral universe is the SPCS (remember them?) and Family First:
“To pose for a porn magazine simply lets the side down.”
But what of the New Zealand Teachers' Disciplinary Tribunal? How did it come to this decision, to prohibit Ms Whitwell from teaching, for the rest of her life? Well, let's take a peek at decision 011/07, the Whitwell case:

The connection with the teaching profession was made even more explicit with the Respondent obviously draped over a school desk, leaving no doubt that there was a premeditated connection between the Respondent as a pornographic model, and her role as part of the teaching profession. Clearly the Respondent’s participation in a pornographic photographic feature has become a focal point of repeated publicity. It has become high profile, heightening the potential damage to the teaching profession. It was also noted that the majority of the teaching profession are women, who may find the Respondent’s activity and close connection to the teaching profession particularly distasteful.

Finally, in the context of the impact on the wider profession the majority of the Tribunal reflected again on the Respondent’s warning not to impose Victorian standards on today’s modern society which had different values. The majority of the Tribunal considered this issue very carefully and debated it at length. Without a doubt, it was agreed that teachers are expected to set and inculcate the values and standards of the communities they serve. It is true that these values and standards change and evolve over time. The majority of the Tribunal was also guided by the evidence presented by the school, and the reactions of the community served by the school. It was also noted that Rule 9(1)(o), was a broad test that covered actions that brought or were likely to bring discredit to the profession. This signalled a clear intention by Parliament to capture a wide range of activity with the aim of preserving and protecting the integrity of the profession. Accordingly, the majority of the Tribunal concluded after extensive deliberations, that the Respondent on this occasion had over stepped the mark and engaged in serious misconduct that was likely to bring the profession into disrepute.

On the above bases our conclusion is that the Complainant has made out its allegation that the Respondent has behaved in a way which constitutes serious misconduct.

A grave matter, I am sure you will agree. The complainant should be thanked for bringing this matter to the attention of the New Zealand Teachers' Disciplinary Tribunal. That person should step forward and receive proper acknowledgment for this public service. Now, who is that person?

It is one Dr Peter Lind, who happens to be Director of the New Zealand Teachers Council. Yes, you have it right: the sole complainant against Ms Whitwell was the head of the body which deals with complaints against teachers. Rum, you might think, that nobody in the profession complained, that no concerned members of the public complained, that not even the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards complained. Perhaps they were all busy. Fortunately for public decency, Dr Lind made the complaint on everyone's behalf.

And what of the witnesses to this matter? They were:

Neil Kevin Mallon who is one of the New Zealand Teachers Council’s Case Co-ordinators, Aaron James Montgomery who is employed by the Council as a Systems Administrator and the Chair of the Board of the school which employed the Respondent for a time (and to whom we will refer as “Ms F”).

A Council staffer, the Council's IT guy and the Chair of the Board of a school for which Ms Whitwell worked, for a while. Not that Ms Whitwell was working for the school at the time of her posing, or for any school for that matter; she was busy undressing and had no time for teaching.

But wait, there's more. It was not just that Ms Whitwell had posed for Penthouse that prompted Dr Lind's ire; it was also that, once he had made his complaint, she had spoken to the New Zealand Truth about the matter, and done some more posing:

Very broadly speaking, there are three aspects of this. There was an editorial piece in which the magazine focused on the fact that the Respondent was a New Zealand teacher and that her featuring in the magazine was the subject of an investigation by the New Zealand Teachers Council. It sought to portray this as a contest between outmoded values on the one hand and personal freedom on the other. There was a narrative feature concerning the Respondent which emphasised much the same points. Neither of these pieces could be described as high water marks of journalism. Finally, there was a series of photographs of the Respondent. One area of controversy between the parties during the course of the hearing was the extent to which the Respondent was in any sense responsible for the emphasis placed in all of this on her being a teacher. In relation to this, the Complainant pointed both to the references in the editorial and the narrative to the fact that the Respondent was a teacher and to aspects of the photographs. The Respondent’s position, as it emerged, both on the papers and at the hearing, was that XXXXXXXXX was responsible for making the link and that she herself had no control over their editorial or narrative pieces and should not be held accountable for them. Frankly, the Tribunal regards that contention as an attempt to stretch its credibility beyond endurance. By the time of the XXXXXXXXX shoot, the Respondent was well aware that the fact that she was a teacher was an integral part of the magazine’s interest in her, and, by agreeing to pose for the magazine, must be taken to have consented to and been complicit in the presentation of her as a teacher. No doubt the magazine’s staff determined the way in which she was described, but it is in the Tribunal’s view nothing short of disingenuous for the Respondent to say that she cannot be held responsible for this description. Quite apart from anything else, the photographs include one of the Respondent draped over an old fashioned school desk. In the Tribunal’s view, the Respondent must assume responsibility for her being presented as a teacher and the emphasis placed on the New Zealand Teachers Council’s investigation. As to the photographs themselves, they depict the Respondent in various states of undress including totally naked.

Good grief, surely not; and in the Truth of all places. She's gone and done it again. The Director made a complaint agin her and did she realise the gravity of her actions, did she seek to reform her behaviour? No she did not. She flagrantly took off her clothes, again. Hussy. And what's more she made fun of the Director.

And that, gentle readers, is what this is all about. The prudery, self-regard and pomposity of the Director and his Council have been brought into the public realm; so the brazen hussy who did this act ( in various states of undress including totally naked) must be punished.

The charge against her, quite fittingly was one of "bringing the teaching profession into disrepute." Whenever a professional body talks of someone bringing its profession into disrepute, you can be guaranteed that floods of self-justifying cant will follow.

And where, as Michael Laws asks, are the feminists, the liberals? Looking the other way, it seems. This feminist liberal cannot help but think that if Ms Whitwell had done something pervy - some BDSM erotica or whatever - then there would have been hordes of other liberals complaining about vanilla privilege, the latest opportunity for overprivileged people to claim they are oppressed. But because she posed in an old-fashioned way in an old-fashioned dirty mag, the liberals won't touch her. If she had done erotica (the name for middle-class porn), she would have been defended as someone who was celebrating her sexuality; but appearing in a magazine like Penthouse is simply participating in the kyriarchy, allowing oneself to be objectified into male stereotypes of female heterosexuality.

No, no no: too much male gaze going on there; Penthouse is the sort of magazine that builders read, after all.

Schools kill

100 years ago we had a good education system, based on the three R's Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. The world hasn't changed you still need these skills in the modern world.

100 years ago they did not have calculators and computers, everything had to be done using the human brain hence I believe childrens minds were stronger and more disciplined.

What we have had is trendy liberals tinkering with the education and we have lost control, in our day a whack around the behind with a cane or a leather strap was used as a corrective measure to get children back on the straight and narrow. Today children are physcoanalysed for bad behaviour and prescribed pills to recorrect this bad behaviour.

Lets get back to the basics and the KISS principle Keep It Simple Stupid.
And lets not change things which are already working.

100 years ago we had a good education system, with good discipline and good behaviour. Most young men did military training at school and did their compulsory military service, hence New Zealand were one of the best equipped armies to enter WW1, notably the Egypt and Gallipolli Campaigns where NZ lost alot of their youngest and brightest young men.
Words of wisdom from Higher School of Thought (New Zealand) in response to the lastest ramble from La Coddington. Education leads to violent death, says Higher School, a stranger to syntax. Blame everything on the schools, says La Coddington, an omnivore:
Middle New Zealand is comprised largely of fashion victims buying stuff they don't need with money they don't have to impress people who don't care. And our grandchildren will pay for it.

Meanwhile, grinding slowly through the courts, the lowlife, the greedy and the ignorant - who take advantage of the vulnerable, the greedy and the ignorant - are being held to account.

It's partly because of these debacles, and fools who believed you could buy property with zero-deposits, that we're all paying the price.

It all comes back to education, and therein lies the rub.
Aye, that would be it. We need to put the yoof on low wages so they won't become crims or fashion victims. And train them to be killed.

Maybe the most searing indictment of our education system is that we are prepared to tolerate the mutterings of people who cannot string together a coherent set of thoughts.

She's a rebel

In the lead-up to the Double Down's invasion of these shores, nutritionists were on the warpath, calling for the burger to be banned or at least have restrictions applied so as to protect the vulnerable.

Being told that food was "dangerous" was anathema to those who regard themselves as having an ounce of common sense, hence the queuing outside KFC's door.
Sille Kerre sticks it to the nutritionists, because they are, like, telling people what food is bad for them. One wonders what part of the word nutrition Kerre does not understand. Kerre thinks she is a rebel because she takes sides with a corporation which is motivated by profit against a group which wants to improve people's health. Kerre speaks power to truth.

Kerre is a kolumnist, which means she can say what she likes without having to bother with facts or evidence or research or girly-swot stuff like that. No, she is free to say what she feels, regardless of what harm it might do. Last week she blamed child abuse on slappers. You see, Kerre is over child abuse. You see, it's all about her. Kerre eats a burger; she doesn't have to worry about public health. Kerre victimises single mothers; she doesn't have to think about the consequences of her words.

Next week, Kerre will have something else to say, someone else to attack. Her targets are easy; those without a voice; those who are trying to do good. Kerre is a bully. Kerre is an idiot. Kerre is a Herald on Sunday columnist.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Middle class blood lust for pleasure and profit

It seems I am Mr Smug the Defamer, a middle class sanctimonious clown, a member of the aesthetic left. I am rather flattered by the last, but I curious to know what is wrong with being middle class. It always seemed to me to be quite a useful quality (I tried to find some answer to this problem, and many others, in the comments to Mr Brown's post: I may have this wrong, but it seems that the answer to a political question is to put a macron on it).

I am also somewhat surprised that Mr Bomber should think I worship Professor Chomsky. It's Rorty, Berlin, Gray and chaps like that on my bookshelves, Mr Bomber; not forgetting Sellar and Yeatman, Osbert Lancaster and Stephen Potter.

I read some Chomsky a while back; he seems a very insistent chap. I am really not at all sure about this anarcho-syndicalism thing of his: it seems his utopia would require endless meetings and committees, a bit like the RSA. Besides, these chaps who talk about giving the Workers the full product of their labour never tell us how they would know how much that would be. They seem to think that things have fixed values, as if there were an essential quality to a product which could be determined and given a price. How would one know what the value of something - say, a sleeveless jumper - would be? If the weather is too hot, a jumper would be of little value; if the weather were cold, it would be a very useful thing for a chap to possess. That value has little to do with the labours of the workers and much to do with snugness.

Anyway, that's enough dismal science from me. I suppose I should be more concerned about being called, along with Mr Brown, a sniveling apologist for Western foreign policy. I am concerned, because I was not aware of there being such a thing as Western foreign policy. I thought the various Western nations had their own foreign policies. Unless, of course, by "Western" Mr Bomber means the films of Mr John Ford and his like; in which case I am still further perplexed. Perhaps Western foreign policy is something like The Man who Shot Liberty Valance. Perhaps it will turn out that President Obama wasn't responsible for the killing of Osama Bin Laden, that it was the work of President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Talk about the passion

Ms Morse last night told the Weekend Herald her action was a "significant message of dissent".

She said she had gone to court only to ensure no precedent was set.

"When young men and women go off to war, they go off under the flag of the nation. So when you burn the flag, you are sending a strong message."
Yes, you are sending a strong message that you are a dick. Remembrance services are attended by returned servicemen and servicewomen who want to remember those who did not return, their friends who died. Whatever the rights and wrongs of war, those people and their loss should be respected. Ordinary people go as well, to show that respect. These ordinary people were themselves once respected by the Left, but they have been forgotten by the likes of Ms Morse.

Instead, the Left shouts and screams, makes gestures, gets indignant, then offended, then self-pitying. The Left has become child-like. Self-important poseurs like Ms Morse talk of dissent and resistance, as if they were in danger, as if they were courageous, as if they were principled, when all they are doing is showing off.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Government is finding new ways to redistribute wealth. The Government can do this because the Left has abandoned ordinary people, preferring identity politics, Post-Colonial Theory and other parlour games.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Blook about your life

Did you read that thing in the Guardian a while back about novelists failing to come to terms with Internet? No, me neither. Well, I started reading it, but it is quite long and there are lots of other stories on the Guardian site, like the one where Greer mutters about Gehry (she is qualified to do this on the strength of being Australian; architecture is a public art and you don't need to know anything about it to make a critique) or the interview with Eric Hobsbawm.

You see, my point is... are you still there? Yes, that is precisely my point. Internet is distracting, the webby part of it especially so. In fact, I was just distracted by Twitter, just now. What was I saying? Oh yes; Internet causes the mind to wander.

Internet is not very accurate, either, especially the webby part of it. Take, for example, the excellent Novel About My Wife, by the estimable Emily Perkins, novelist of this parish; or, as the New Zealand Woman's Weekly has it, Novel About My Life. And it is not just there that Ms Perkins has been msrepresented: Britannica also has renamed her book.

So, a book which really got to grips with Internet would have to be inaccurate, unfocused, distracted, repetitive, badly edited, repetitive, endless....

Here are four gentlemen from Athens, Georgia making their first national TV appearance:

Collapse into now

[Jeff] Hayward is fascinated to see the virtual holus bolus transfer of the Princes St branch of the Labour Party and the University Labour Club to Parliament and, moreover, to Cabinet. “They wield a great deal of power now, and their ideas are really starting to gel. Even though they used to sing The Red Flag once a year, they’re worlds apart from the old Labour Party. They’re well educated, young, radical, but not left-wing radical. They’re proving better capitalists than National ever was.

“Helen Clark went through the same branch, but she’s the old ideological voice of the party.

“Phil [Goff] is one of the inner group, of Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble and Mike Moore. Even though he’s only 32, he’s highly regarded. They’re always popping in to consult him.

One Wet Saturday in the Life of Hon. Phil
Metro, Number 53 November 1985; p150

REM promo directed by Sam Taylor-Wood and featuring Aaron Johnson; giant squirrel at 2:27

Ordinary people

No one will be able to read the harrowing transcripts of the inquest without feeling a jolt of human sympathy, and often surprise that people, even in these extreme circumstances, turn out to be modest, generous and thoughtful.

From the testimony of Dr Wynne-Evans: "Yes, as I went in to each new carriage, I said something along the lines of, 'I'm a doctor, does anyone require my help?' At which point, I was told more than once that my help was required in the train next to the train I was on, that there were people there that needed my help more."
These people have not been honoured by Hone Harawira or by Ranginui Walker. Nor do they trouble themselves with the people left behind.

Meanwhile, over at Tumeke, Mr Angry has something to say.
Let's remind ourselves. This week the West killed an unarmed elderly man in front of his daughter using information to locate him taken under torture at a cost of $1.2Trillion while killing anywhere between 100 000 and a million and you want a rousing round of USA?
Ah yes, it was the West what done it, at a cost of $1.2 Trillion. The West killed an elderly man. Mr Angry has nothing to say about people like David Gardner. Well he wouldn't, would he?

The Left, for all for all its professions of solidarity and concern, has little time for ordinary people. The victims of Bin Laden are of no interest to the likes of Dr Walker. The people who were forced to throw themselves to their deaths from the Twin Towers are not Hone Harawira's problem. People on tube trains who lose their limbs to bombs do not matter to Bomber Bradbury. What matters is blaming the West, blaming Whitey, blaming Late Capitalism, blaming Amerika.

What matters is posturing and provoking. What matters is showing what a strong man you are, how fearless, how staunch you are. Who cares about people on trains and in offices? Who cares about ordinary people, little people, those who go to work and have families and ordinary lives?

What matters are the Freedom Fighters, the men who killed and maimed those ordinary people so that their own people could live in fear. Lenin, Uncle Joe, Mao, Che; the RAF, the PLO, the IRA; and now Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

This land is their land.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Full fathom five Osama lies

Am I outraged, jubilant, disgusted, triumphant about the killing of Osama Bin Laden? None of the above; I am relieved he is gone but uncomfortable with the circumstances of his passing. I want it to lead to something better and hope it does not lead to something worse. My concerns are with the rule of law; my feelings of solidarity are with his victims and their kith and kin.

Liberals: can't live with us; can't live without us.

Moving right along, here's a story from Auckland University:

Staff and students were shocked yesterday at the Law and Arts Graduation ceremony when university officials barred entry to the ceremony to one of the University’s top-achieving students.
Vernon Tava, who graduated with first class honours, Masters in Law, was told to remove the small yellow rosette pinned to his regalia which called for staff and students to unite to defend the university.

The rosette was part of a staff and student campaign to prevent the vice-chancellor removing important academic conditions of work from their collective employment agreement.

Tava was told that unless he removed his rosette his degree would be withheld and he would be prevented from crossing the stage. When he refused to surrender the rosette he was threatened with disciplinary action.
Now read on. Two points seem to be worth making here: 1) it is really nasty to prevent a student receiving his degree; 2) it is really stupid to pick an argument with someone who has a first-class Masters degree in law.

Pic unrelated. Here is REM: Discoverer was made by Michael Stipe's sister, Lynda, with AutoCAD.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The empty page

"The council once asked us for an assessment of outcomes, not output," says Ian Stringer. "Output was how many books we'd stamped out, and outcome was something that had actually resulted from someone borrowing a book. So say someone took out a book on mending cars and then drove the car back, that's an outcome; or made a batch of scones from a recipe book they had borrowed. It lasted until one of the librarians told the council they'd had someone in borrowing a book on suicide, but that they'd never brought it back. The council stopped asking after that."
Between the society that gave us libraries and and the bureaucracy that demands outcomes of us there is an unmeasurable distance. Regrettably, the people who want the outcomes are in charge.