Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Free advertising

Congratulations to Michael Chow for getting the NZ Herald to copy and paste his PR on the opening of Il Bordello into their paper.

Qantass



"One moment please sir, while I check your ID against the Paedophile and Sex Offender Index"

Candlelit Rome

Half the reason of living in the sticks is the wonder of seeing the night sky. Which is why I'd never live in Coromandel. The electromagnetic radiation let off by Orkland ruins any chance of stargazing on the upper left Coromandel peninsula. It glows without warmth like a nuclear accident.

New Scientist reports that Rome is the latest major city to go brown. This is a great synergy of saving money (smaller power bill), aesthetics ("look at all that air up there"), and responsible consumption. David Crawford, director and founder of the International Dark-Sky Association, sums up the rules:

"Shine light down, not up or sideways; don't over-light; turn off lights when they are not needed; use energy-efficient lights and fixtures; and impose curfews. Illuminated adverts could be switched off at night, for example, as could lighting in parking lots."

It is certainly more practical than my suggestion to remove streetlights and get everyone night-vision goggles.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sue this Jew

Borat says bring it on. He goes on to defend his Motherfatherland:

"Since 2003 ... Kazakhstan is as civilised as any other country in the world... Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hat and age of consent has been raised to eight years old."

More here. Happy Monday.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Urban myth no more

One third of Wellington's parking wardens have been suspended after allegedly not ticketing their mates' illegally parked vehicles. Proof at last that they are all a wunch of bankers. I hope the suspended group includes the bastard who ticketed my car only five minutes after my coupon expired and the tosser who fined me for parking on yellow lines for five minutes while doing a voluntary magazine drop.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Sad rabbits

The ongoing Sydney court case of alleged rabbit fucker Brendan McMahon has got much weirder. The charge of bestiality has been dropped. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, "it was because prosecutors are unable to prove he used his penis to penetrate the rabbits, a requirement of that charge."

McMahon has been cleared of any mental illness, yet a combination of religion, mysticism, P and cannabis gave him the insight that he is a "tool for the universe". Using his "third eye", the mortgage broker communicated with the rabbits and understood their sadness.

It seems all he wanted to do was contribute more to nature. In hindsight, I hope he one day finds that doorknocking for SPCA donations might have been a bit more constructive.

Leading by example

"Give me a second chance" is the wrong thing to say, Winston. This is your second chance mate. You blew your first chance when you were Treasurer, a job specifically invented for you. Now you're giving a bad name to Foreign Minister, an important role distorted to mean whatever you want it to mean. Bad mana.

The media and opposition feeding frenzy on Winston Peters will ease a bit once he does one thing; admit that NZ First are part of gum'mint. Sitting next to Labour in the House is a bit of a giveaway. Saying things to Stuff such as '[Peters] "can't wait to get home" to respond to attacks by National' and a quick look at NZ First's press releases entrenches this obvious fact.

Since the proclamation that the NZ First leader has formed a confidence and supply agreement with Labour on October 17th NZ First has had 18 press releases, compared with 34 for the same period last year. This year's post-election missives are all rather pussy compared with 2004's vitriol.

Here's one from Ron Mark in 2004 decrying the recruitment drive for Asian 111 emergency call centre staff. "“The police move to recruit more Asians in their Auckland call centre confirms New Zealand First'’s repeated claims that Auckland is Asia'’s latest colony,"” said Mr Mark. New NZ First president Dail Jones laid down a nasty one on Labour's immigration policy: "This is very opened ended indeed and could apply to tens of millions of people."

Contrast that with the limp offerings in the last few months. Ron Mark and Winston attacking the Nats, Pita Paraone picks on a poacher, and Doug Woolerton demands clarity from the Minister of Agriculture. Just admit NZ First is part of a ruling coalition. Shut down the debate and move on, as Helen Clark might say.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Throat-slitting bad, cannibalism OK

The throat-slitting gesture at the end of the All Blacks' new haka has received "a negative reaction" in Britland. One would be hard pushed to call me a Rugbyhead at the best of times, but the Brits calling for a ban on haka 2.0 are pushing it uphill. Little attention was given to all the poking tongues in the old haka, which symbolised eating one's opponents, so why all the hoo-ha now? Wooses.

Like Politics, Rugby is a very poorly disguised version of war. Kapa o Pango's composer Derek Lardelli is absolutely right in saying, "They are gladiators in the arena. If they win they are heroes, if they lose they are taken apart." Just ask Don Brash. For their parts, the Brits are welcome to respond with some aggressive Morris Dancing before the big game. With all the fear and loathing about bird flu, waving hankies could yet become a potent symbol.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Kazakh Attack

Kazakhstan has the third worst sense of humour in the world behind Germany and Vatican City. You'd think that Kazakhstan would be grateful to Borat for raising their country's international profile. Alas, not so. After arriving for the MTV Europe Awards in a Air Kazakh propeller plane controlled by a one-eyed pilot clutching a vodka bottle, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry has threatened legal action against Sacha Baron Cohen aka Borat "to prevent new pranks of the kind."

If this wasn't bad enough, there are suggestions that Borat's humour is part of a conspiracy to ruin Kazakhstan's reputation as... as... well, I'm not too sure but the Foreign Minister is really pissed:

"We do not rule out that Mr Cohen is serving someone's political order designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way," Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev told a news briefing.

Now that's funny!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Changing brands

Some commentators reckon that Nandor Tanczos' brand is all wrong for where the Greens should be heading. Perhaps he should have get a haircut, a non-hemp suit and a sensible tie:


Vanilla Nandor

Like fuck. Coming from a minority religion myself (Jedi), I am unimpressed with such crass rationale. It's as offensive as suggesting Simon Power should become Rastafarian:


Jah Simon

Grammar check

The SST has a problem with grammar:

NZ has no room for complacency say stop anti-terror cop

Friday, November 11, 2005

Apres toi la deluge

The Sydney Morning Herald reports how the state of Massachusetts has joined the EU and the US Library of Congress in moving from Microsoft proprietry Office programs to OpenDocument format. Who knows, perhaps one day NZ will regain the electronic initiative as well.

No surprise there

You Are Scary

You even scare scary people sometimes!

What killed Rod Donald?

Stuff quotes Christchurch pathologist Martin Sage reckoning Rod Donald died of viral myocarditis (Hattip frog). This is an entirely appropriate diagnosis. Rod spent his life around toxic clean-ups. Then, in 1996, he became an MP. You can't get much more toxic than Parliament Buildings. At the end of the day though, a more precise cause of death exists. Politics killed Rod Donald.

You never hear of former politicians celebrating a 100th birthday. It just doesn't happen. A life in politics guarantees a shorter lifetime. Whatever we pay politicians, it will never be enough. If a week is a long time in politics, how long is one of their years? No wonder John Tamihere gave a rousing concession speech on election night. His relief was understandable. Witness his transformation:


Circa 199?


2004

Hearing former MPs such as Stephen Franks waxing lyrical on re-learning the beauty of this country around them on National Radio, you might get a glance at the shadows of MP life. The job is not fit for humans.

Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate this. Anyone driven to represent one's peers is crazy by definition. Chips on the shoulder are awed like medals. Whatever drives you. Then there's the alcohol, bizarre love triangles and Christmas parties. The mental and physical dangers of a politician's lot are bad enough in themselves. What about the MP's families?

"Looking back on his career, Rod acknowledges that it's hard to reconcile being an MP with being a good parent and partner." - Rod Donald.

"A definition of an MP is a person who abandons his family to go to Parliament to talk about the importance of families. " - Richard Prebble.

If our MMP representatives are any indication of our nation's families, NZ is a No-Man's Land of familial desolation, separation, isolation and estrangement. A look back at a history of MPs' lives shows a litany of suicide, divorce, infidelity and broken principles. One of the more colourful examples is the tale of William Larnach, he of Larnach Castle in Dunedin. The MP ended up killing himself in his office after he discovered his son was fucking his third wife. Thank you, Michael King!

If there is one benefit of having lots of queers, trannies and lesbos in Parliament, it is that there is a certain harm minimisation at work. Until the Adoption Act changes, or IVF gets cheaper, most of them will remain childless. At least that puts them on the same moral compass point as the slinkies, dinkies and empty nesters.

But there's no way I'd support a law saying that Family Men and Women cannot run for MP. At the end of the day it is a personal choice. If you do it, make it count. Go for co-leader, Nandor. You can do it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Two Degrees of Separation

There's a disclosure meme going round at Cathy's and DPF's. What a good idea.

In my time with Prebble's Rebels and volunteer in the ACT Research Unit in the late '90's, I had the pleasure of meeting:

DPF; Blogfather, not sat down with enough alcohol with this guy yet ;-)

Cathy; several grey hairs came about being editor for Rebel Yell and worrying whether Cathy's piece on Trevor Mallard would see me in court. "A duck that needs to be shot down" was one of the lines I recall. Pretty tame compared with today's blog vitriol but enough to spook me clear of defamation for a while.

G-Man; I recall Greg's vehemence as he read Creative NZ grants lists out loud!

Clint Heine; made a better president of Prebble's Rebels than me. Good on ya, mate!

Aaron Bhatnagar, met a few times back in the '90s.

Rodney Hide, raconteur par excellence. Best moment was sitting round the office listening to Rodney telling the story of Donna Awatere Huata's dad.

Through various other noble causes:

Met Keith last year around the VUWSA bar. Studiously avoided him when he was trying to crucify me about J Day. Keith mistook 'not returning phonecalls' for a disappearing act. Little did he know I followed an old Mossad boss' advice: "No comment" is a comment. Say nothing.

Sat in the same POLS tutorials as Matt. Bumped into him a couple of times since then.

Met Lewis on the NZ Flag petition trail earlier this year.

Had occasion to meet Bloggreen in my parliamentary travails.

Have had a few meetings with Tim Barnett and Tony.

Introduced myself to Russell Brown at his launch of the Great NZ Argument earlier this year in my traditional greeting; blurting out staccato sentences and acting like a twat.

I met beNZylpiperazine last year and will one day let him drag me along to Toastmasters classes again!

Bumped into Whig at that Nuffield Street brick shithouse ACT used as offices in Orkland a few years back.

I've met Gary, Jordan and many others at bloggers' drinks a while back.

This list is far from perfect. I will have excluded bloggers who I have met but not caught their name, seeing how bad I am with proper nouns and short-term memory. Apologies. I think the Japanese are onto something handing out business cards as often as handshakes. Then there's those pseudo-anonymous bloggers out there whom I think I know but don't know I know. Maybe next time.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

His heart gave out

A Scoop alert has just arrived bearing shocking news. Greens co-leader Rod Donald died last night of a heart attack. At 48! I'm completely pole-axed. And what a way for Nandor to re-enter the House...

It's been a while since an MP has died in the line of duty. Was Norman Kirk the last one until now? His heart gave out too.

So long Rod Donald.


UPDATE: DPF has cleared up the query on MP deaths. It still makes Rod the first party leader to die on the job in nearly thirty years.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Maxim-ised

It looks like Maxim Director Bruce Logan has fallen on his Clipboard and has been put out to pasture. Strange, there was no mention of it in Maxim's latest newsletter put out the same day.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rodent Idol

Scientists have discovered that mice sing ardent love ballads to chat their girlfriends up. Male mice get turned on by the smell of female mouse piss and start singing ultrasonic riffs, raps and melodies at about ten syllables a second.

Take that, Eminem!