The Dim-Post

August 23, 2009

Creepy, fish fetishising obituary o’ the day

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 8:00 am

The Economist farewells Benson, ‘the people’s fish’, who was named Britain’s Favorite Carp in 2005:

bensonIn her glory days she reminded some of Marilyn Monroe, others of Raquel Welch. She was lither than either as she cruised through the water-weed, a lazy twist of gold. Her gleaming scales, said one fan, were as perfect as if they had been painted on. Some wag had named her after a small black hole in her dorsal fin which looked, to him, like a cigarette burn. It was as beautiful and distinctive as a mole on an 18th-century belle. Her lips were full, sultry or sulking, her expression unblinking; she seldom smiled.

The Telegraph covers the mystery around her death.

August 22, 2009

Changes to smacking law

Filed under: satire — danylmc @ 7:20 am

Smacking_picleftIn the wake of the anti-smacking referendum Prime Minister John Key will present Cabinet with options that respond to voter concerns. What are some of the proposed changes?

  • Alter font of Section 59 amendment from Courier12 to Times New Roman.
  • Establish designated ‘coffee houses’ in urban areas where children can be freely smacked without fear of police intimidation.
  • Initiate second non-binding referendum to ask voters if they understood question in previous referendum.
  • Key to meet with Sheryl Savill, the woman who initiated the referendum, listen to her talk for up to five minutes and look at no less than twenty of her cat pictures.
  • Larry Baldock to negotiate law change with Sue Bradford on pre-condition that Bradford be confined within a pentagram and bound in a straitjacket and hockey mask throughout the talks.
  • Key to address Families First meeting, stand at podium with shit-eating grin and demand to know who the fuck else they’re going to vote for.

What would Dagny Do?

Filed under: nz blogs,Politics — danylmc @ 4:45 am

Chris Trotter: Labour’s problem is that they are ‘essentially libertarian’.

I guess he stumbled across the word online someplace and liked the way it sounds.

August 20, 2009

More historical nitpicking

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 12:57 pm

Bryce has his recent address to Drinking Liberally up, and starts out:

The New Zealand left is possibly at the lowest point that it’s been at for over a hundred years. It is in a bad shape.

His point goes beyond party politics, but back in the late 80s voters had a choice between the Labour Party (Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, David Caygill, Michael Bassett) and National guest-starring Ruth Richardson. If you wanted to vote for a left-wing party you had to move to Wigram and vote for Jim Anderton. Jim Fucking Anderton was the great white hope of the left! Things today look pretty rosy by comparison.


Lange and Penance

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:02 am

PenanceVia The Standard, Brian Edwards suggests a parallel between David Lange and John Key:

Key’s role isn’t unlike what David Lange’s role was – to be the palatable face of the government’s free-market agenda. His role is to be nice, just as Lange’s role was to be the lovable raconteur, the engaging comic, the avuncular Methodist defender of the welfare state. Nice, warm, not scary.

Key is and Lange was the frontman. Whether Lange knew it when he was first chosen as leader is open to question. I doubt that Key is so naïve.

I doubt that Key is either as naïve or as easily bullied as Lange, but there are some uncanny similarities between the Lange/Douglas show and the Key/English show. And that will eventually spell trouble for Key and the National government. Trouble with a capital T.

I’m not convinced. For his first term as Prime Minister Lange was (weirdly) also the Foreign Minister; he was out of the country for most of the time and appears to have played little significant role in the financial and economic decisions made by his Finance Minister or the rest of his cabinet. I also doubt that he understood he was effectively leading a radical neo-liberal revolution until his second term (legend has it he began to have reservations when he saw that Labour almost won Remuera).

Key controls and leads his party to a much greater extent than Lange ever did, even if he hasn’t risen to the standards of micro-management set by Clark.He might be an effective frontman but he’s also a lot more.

Edwards also writes:

If I were Phil Goff, I wouldn’t be too worried about this. I’d be biding my time. After a while, people really start to take notice of the U-turns, to weary of the distractions, to see past the frontman to the real show that’s going on behind the scenes.

This is a recurring theme on Red Alert and The Standard as well. Just the other day Clare Curran wrote:

At some point, the rainbow coloured glasses will slip and people will wake up to the fact that the National Government doesn’t practice what it preaches.

Sooner or later the people will ‘wake up’ and realise that National are intrinsically evil and beg for Labour to rescue them! This prediction might even come true in 9-12 years, but opposition parties need to be a little more proactive than that. The other day Steve Benen at Washington Monthly published an email from Republican Party strategist Bruce Bartlett, who wrote:

I believe that political parties should do penance for their mistakes and just losing power is not enough. Part of that involves understanding why those mistakes were made and how to prevent them from happening again. Republicans, however, have done no penance. They just pretend that they did nothing wrong. But until they do penance they don’t deserve any credibility and should be ignored until they do. That’s what my attacks on Bush are all about. I want Republicans to admit they were wrong about him, accept blame for his mistakes, and take some meaningful action to keep them from happening again

Key understood this: his first year as leader was all about ‘swallowing dead rats’, inoculating his party against all the traditional attacks Labour employed against him, removing all the negative impressions that people had about the National Party. Goff needs to inoculate his party against the ‘Nanny State’ label they’ve been smeared with. That’s his penance – but it’s also a great way for a new leader to raise their profile. I don’t understand why he hasn’t done this.

The gelatinous cube party

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 6:50 am

There’s been a bit of commentary about Labour’s poor relationship with the Maori Party and the need for them to develop theyselves one of those mana enhancing relationships we keep hearing about. But when I read stories like this I find it hard to imagine that there’s going to be a Maori Party after the next election:

The email said Mr Hide had threatened to end Act’s relationship with National if Maori seats were allowed.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said last night that she was disappointed at Mr Hide’s position but her party’s support for the Government would not change . . .

“But we have no intentions of withdrawing support for the Government and we have no intention of withdrawing our ministerial roles. That’s not what we went into the relationship for.”

I have trouble figuring out if Sharples and Turia are simple-minded fools or political grandmasters playing the long game, thousands of moves ahead of anybody else, but surely the right of Maori to be represented under the Treaty is part of any ‘long game’ and a hell of a lot more important than ‘the relationship’; and in terms of party politics the Maori Party is WAY more important to National than ACT, a party that would disappear overnight if Key decided to take Epsom back or if councils put anti-psychotic drugs in the tap water.

August 19, 2009

Just to get things straight

Filed under: nz blogs — danylmc @ 3:50 pm

No, I am not writing the Tara Te Heke posts over on Kiwiblog. Are they for real? I haven’t communicated with David since he went on holiday but I kind of think so. (Just for the record, I think the major flaw in the ‘DPB Party’ is the historically low engagement beneficiaries have with the democratic process.)

Quote of the day; King of popsicles

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 3:45 pm

For some reason this:

Michael Jackson has been put on ice by his family because of fears that grave robbers will try and steal his body.

The singer’s embalmed body was secretly moved under tight security last week to a freezer locker at the Freedom Mausoleum in Glendale, California.

Reminded me of this:

Yes, they will trample me underfoot, they will trample my son who is not my son, and his son who will not be his, and his who will not be his, until the thousand and first generation, until thousand and one midnights have bestowed their terrible gifts and a thousand and one children have died, because it is the privilege an the curse of midnight’s children to be both masters and victims of their times, to forsake privacy and be sucked into the annihilating whirlpool of the multitudes, and to be unable to live or die in peace.

Salman Rushdie. Midnights Children

We used to bury our demigods in pyramids or cathedrals; now they get stuffed in the freezer so nobody can steal their corpse.

August 18, 2009

Poverty and tatters

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:26 am

I guess I should note for the record that I’m astonished and outraged at the large sums of money that some people are getting on welfare; there really is no excuse for a couple that stays on the dole for fifteen years and has ten children.

The thing is, the number of people cited by Paula Bennett as an example of systemic failure is vanishingly small, the amounts they’re getting are tiny compared to her overall budget and it’s impossible to have a perfect welfare system that cannot be taken advantage of. I can’t help but suspect that her audit is going to cost a lot more than it will save. I also think this sudden deluge of welfare and DPB based stories is now more than a coincidence and that these stories are being carefuly managed to prepare us for some serious changes to the welfare system.

August 17, 2009

Close

Filed under: personal — danylmc @ 4:21 pm

We doctors know

a hopeless case if — listen: there’s a hell
of a good universe next door; let’s go

- E E Cummings

It was a very near thing. I went running this morning and when I reached the busy road at the bottom of the hill I stopped just past the intersection and waited for the traffic to clear. There was a gap in the near lane and in the far lane a school bus rounded the corner moving slowly and indicating to turn right, so I jogged out into the road. I was in the middle when the the bus accelerated and speed on through the intersection; it was less than a dozen feet from me. I leapt out of the way and felt the gust of the wind at my back. Very very close.

The bus slowed and the driver leaned out the window and yelled at me, I apologised and ran on. I was shaking  I must have been wrong when I thought the bus was indicating: after all, no buses ever went left up Blackbridge road, and really, why would he indicate and then drive straight through? It was a stupid stupid mistake. I nearly caused a serious accident! I almost killed myself! If you subscribe to a  many worlds cosmology (which I sometimes do, in my ignorant half-informed way) then I’d just died in an awful lot of them.

Then when I ran back up the hill I saw that there was a bus stop on the left hand side of the road just around the corner: if a bus stopped to pick someone up they’d be indicating right to rejoin the traffic, if they didn’t switch it off in time then they’d look like they were . . . indicating to turn off at the intersection! Ah ha!

This was a slight relief but as I thought about it I just got angrier: countless of my parallel selves died in that accident, but in no alternate universe would the bus driver ever have admitted that he was indicating: ‘He just stepped out in front of the bus officer – he didn’t even look. Fuckin’ idiot – natural selection in action, that’s what I say.’ That’s my epitaph in countless worlds throughout the multiverse – the idiot that ran in front of the bus. That ain’t right.

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