Monday, October 28, 2013

The Grillo Brand

Friends come and go, enemies accumulate. I've argued friends into enmity over religion, sport and fluoridation, to name a few topics off the top of my head. Seeing how popular the Jeremy Paxton interview of Russell Brand is around the place, I'm preparing to take a hit to the circle in order to triangulate this village idiot in the public square.

Since first encountering the persona of Russell Brand, not a long time ago admittedly, I have considered him a clown. It's as if someone had taken Brit comedian Ross Noble, forced him into a perm and Boy George make-up, and then gave him a wanker transplant.

Maybe it's the born-again addict schtick he waves about the place, giving high functioning dope fiends a bad rap with his disease-ification of joie de vivre. Perhaps it's the humourless earnestness, without the rudimentary acting talent of Brangelina to balance it out a little.

But this most recent bit of theatre goes beyond absurd. Such rants should be taken as seriously as a first year BA student pontificating over Jager shots in the uni pub, with which the appearance bears a striking resemblance.

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and Brand knows even less. Strangely, this is a point of pride for him. Ignorance may yet be bliss. In this, he follows Italian politician Grillo, the anti-political politician. Or the Weimar Republic with its splintering political factions. All in all, not a good omen.

Sure, he could do all that boring stuff like reading the details; the sum of our histories, perhaps a bit of his namesake Bertrand Russell. He definitely needs to stay away from Jean-Paul Sartre. You only have to look at South-East Asia's recent past to see where following him leads. Camus at a pinch would help. The Trial Fall is short enough for even Brand's attention span.

No, it must be Revolution, sez him. We must burn the village to save it. Well, Russ, nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of thousand all you'll end up with is a burnt village. A homogenised wasteland, like the Australian outback or Colin Craig's wardrobe.

Never fuck with entropy. The second law of thermodynamics will always win. It will be how things end, not with a bang but with a whimper (literary reference there, Russ).

Destruction is easy. Creation is hard. I wouldn't want to live on a planet ruled by Russell Brand or anything like his vacuous populism. I'd rather be ruled by lizards than amoebas.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

All's Fair in Love and Mayor

Revenge might be a dish best served cold, but Schadenfreude seduces the palate quite nicely too. Succulent indeed is the pleasure as the private prosecution against John Banks continues to trial.

Not only is Banks the second government coalition leader to lose his ministerial warrant this year, he is also the second 1990's National government cabinet minister to end up on trial, the former Police Minister following former Justice Minister Doug Graham in front of the judges. All in all, it's not a good look.

Unfortunately for the Christian Right, adultery isn't illegal. Fraud and perjury is.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Five STVs and a Shoo-in

One symptom of a political junkie is when a sizeable chunk of one's social network is standing in the local government elections. The ones who aren't MPs, anyway. And good on them. Better the devil you know.

Even so, I am finding it extraordinarily difficult to give a fat rat's crack about filling in those pumpkin-coloured electoral papers. This may be because I live in a three-horse town (they sometimes gait past my gate).

It's not Auckland or Otautahi, where things actually matter. Nor is it Wellington, with a choice between a disappointment of a mayor with her base deserted, or a has-been 70's cricketer who can't stop bodylining his audience. Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich indeed.

Sure, there are issues facing Kapiti. The debt per resident in the previous year was $2642, compared to Wellington City's $1843, but that can largely get resolved by moving the rates base away from an anomalous land only rating (the only council in the province with a rating system that excludes capital improvements), and introducing a business differential (at present, rates in Kapiti are the same for business and residential. No other council in the region has this policy either).

Jenny Rowan gets my tick as mayor of Pram, mainly on the basis of actually having met her once in person (Call it the Peter Dunne Effect). Gru Gurunathan was number two, because of his visibility in the local rag. I have never read his columns (or at least, none were memorable) but at least he's visible.

The rest of the list was ranked based on the meaningless blurbs submitted in the accompanying 68 page electoral instruction and candidate information booklet (WARNING: MAY CAUSE NARCOLEPSY), and the only article I could find on local candidate meetings:

David Scott 3, Ivan Sage 4, Jackie Elliott 5, Ross Church 6, Gavin Welsh 7. Yeah, I know I didn't have to rank Jar Jar Binks, but he's still preferable to Darth Nutter.

I have yet to decide on electing 5 At Large District Councillors. I wouldn't recognise any of the 15 candidates if they were lying in the gutter pissing lager. I don't like this At Large vote, anyway. Stuff what Local Government NZ thinks. I may just leave this blank out of plain, unadulterated apathy.

There is only one candidate for the sole ward seat, so no democracy needed there. Janet Holborow, elected unopposed.

Seven candidates vying for four seats on the community board. Two of them are also running for councillors jobs. David Scott is running for mayor as well, so screw his triple-dipping arse. In fact, none of them matter. Do not care. Will probably ending up ranking them out of drunken spite.

Flipped a coin for the sole Regional Councillor. Nigel Wilson 1, Chris Turver 2.

23 candidates for 7 District Health Board positions. Not even bothering to try to sort that snout trough out. If DHB elections disappeared from the ballot, no-one would notice. I'll probably leave that blank too. Ta for the useless formalities, Labour!