The Dim-Post

January 9, 2012

Suck on this, eggheads

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 11:55 am

Via Toby Manhirethe Prime Minister affirms the nation’s cultural values in his message in The New Zealand Literary Heritage Trail booklet:

Heh. Really puts chumps like Michael King and Janet Frame in their place. Sure, they may have written The Penguin History of New Zealand, or An Angel at my Table, but did they ever throw a ball around a field better than a bunch of other guys?

63 Comments »

  1. “I have always believed we should enhance the literary skills of our young people” – John Key’s answer to “Is our children learning?”?

    Comment by Robbie — January 9, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

  2. Perhaps Mr Key was thinking of this?

    http://mrjohnclarke.bandcamp.com/track/announcement-of-all-black-team-recorded-1995

    Comment by Josh — January 9, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

  3. Fair enough. He is just stating a sad truth. For that matter, probably true of most countrie. Literary giants are not the same as popular heroes. Another way of looking at it would be to compare sales of a sporting hero’s ghost written biography, with , say King’s History of NZ.

    Comment by Leopold — January 9, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

  4. John Key has his own literary awards, but he has never attended them: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Literature/Prizes/PrimeMinister/

    Comment by Old Scrumpy — January 9, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

  5. They should hire Key to award Nobel Prizes. ‘While your achievements will never surpass those of Richie McCaw, your work on malaria vaccines/discovery of the Higgs Boson etc is still fairly nice.’

    Comment by danylmc — January 9, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

  6. The Penguin History of New Zealand had sold 250,000 copies as of June last year. I’d be surprised if many ghost-written sports bios have done better than that.

    Comment by Philip Matthews — January 9, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  7. i so hope he wrote that dribble hisself and owns it

    Comment by Cnr Joe — January 9, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  8. Leopold – tell that to the late Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic…

    Comment by bob — January 9, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  9. Imma let you finish, Poindexters, but San Dimas High School Football Rules!

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — January 9, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  10. I believe Colin Meads All Black was the best selling NZ book ever, though that may have been back in the day.

    What this pamphlet proves is:

    a) The PM is a dick
    b) He should have outsourced this little job
    c) The PM is a real dick

    Comment by Paul Rowe — January 9, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  11. The Penguin History of New Zealand had sold 250,000 copies as of June last year

    Stupid people, they’re just little birds in Tuxedo’s.

    Comment by Phil — January 9, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  12. Fair enough. He is just stating a sad truth.

    I agree – some people don’t want to hear important people say it, but it’s true, for now. A lament that perhaps wasn’t needed from the PM for tact’s sake, but it’s out there now.

    Comment by StephenR — January 9, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

  13. he said “may” which in my mind is not the same as “do not deserve”, but don’t let the Key Derangement syndrome cease on my account!

    Philip @ 6, I thought that was Leo’s point?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — January 9, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  14. http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/sports-writing

    Alex Veysey’s Colin Meads: All Black (1974) was the work of one of New Zealand’s foremost sportswriters. For some it is still the benchmark by which all sports biographies in New Zealand are measured. It sold more than 60,000 copies, including 3000 overseas.

    and

    eading New Zealand sportswriter Joseph Romanos noted that a ‘great’ All Black’s biography could expect to sell 20,000 copies. According to Booksellers NZ this level of sales is in the silver category for Premier New Zealand Bestsellers, ranking alongside great contemporary writers such as Maurice Gee and Patricia Grace.

    Comment by Paul Rowe — January 9, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

  15. Fair enough. He is just stating a sad truth.

    Kind of a weird time to state a sad truth. It’s like congratulating the All Blacks and then adding, ‘Shame many of you will suffer from terrible back pain for most of your lives.’

    Comment by danylmc — January 9, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

  16. There is no way to satirise this. This is a trap. ITS A TRAP.

    Comment by morgue — January 9, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  17. That can’t be true. Surely, it can’t be true.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 9, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  18. It’s obvious what’s going on here. We had a similar thing happen under Clark. When she was at the end of her tether, she made comments that appealed to the UN, strongly hinting at a position as an ambassador.

    Key has only in his second term but he’s already putting out the signals to the All Blacks that he wants a position with them once he’s out of politics. Although I haven’t agreed with most of the crony-capitalist policies he’s brought in, I still wish him the best of luck on the field.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — January 9, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  19. Ah ha ha ha. Humour yes?

    Comment by merv — January 9, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

  20. “The Penguin History of New Zealand had sold 250,000 copies as of June last year”

    I wonder how many of those sales are made up of required text or school purchases and is it the Keith Sinclair or Michael King version? For my money, the former is much better as is Bill Oliver’s history which I think is called The Story of NZ.

    In truth, the text Danyl quotes from was probably written by some drone from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and passed by the PM’s eyeballs very fast before signing.

    Otherwise, nice trolling Danyl – if it is possible to troll on your own blog? Lot’s of leapers.

    Comment by Tinakori — January 9, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  21. I can just see him at the sports awards: “While our sports heroes may never challenge the intellectual and cultural achievements of our authors, we still need role models to inspire us.” Really knows how to warm up a crowd…

    Comment by Psycho Milt — January 9, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  22. In truth, the text Danyl quotes from was probably written by some drone from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and passed by the PM’s eyeballs very fast before signing.

    It’s badly written, so sounds like his own work. If anyone at Culture and Heritage wrote it, they’ve no business being employed there.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — January 9, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  23. In truth, the text Danyl quotes from was probably written by some drone from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and passed by the PM’s eyeballs very fast before signing.

    I suspect it was someone in the PMO, but could easily have been the PM dictating extempore. Sounds like him.

    Comment by danylmc — January 9, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

  24. The New Hampshire Primary beckons our prime minister…

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 9, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

  25. Very apt Josh @ 2. John Clark has steel in his humour.

    Comment by ianmac — January 9, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

  26. Looks like we should send some All Blacks to the Frankfurt Book Fair.

    Comment by Old Scrumpy — January 9, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  27. Having many times written words that sounded really good in the office only to see the horror of their true construction revealed on publication, I am sure that the drone who wrote this intended to console the literati rather than dismiss them.

    Comment by Margaret Pope — January 9, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

  28. How old is this? He’s been Rt. Hon. for a while now.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — January 9, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  29. It’s badly written, so sounds like his own work. If anyone at Culture and Heritage wrote it, they’ve no business being employed there.

    If the writer was trying to write like Key they should be promoted!

    Comment by Richard — January 9, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

  30. How can you tell if it is literature? Rather than just plain old novel writing? No one wants to read it by choice.

    Now days ‘literature’ is written by elitist, for elitist, to win elitist awards. Usually with some quote on the cover from another poncy git exclaiming how this author (you’ve never heard of) is the next XXX (another author you’ve never heard of).

    Yet the books that sell the absolute most number of copies and are read by millions are the most denigrated – Mills and Boon – yet it those authors are doing something right – writing things that people actually want to read, rather than selling the obligatory copy in every public library in NZ. You know the ones – ‘great literature’ books that look as new and as pristine as the day they were first bought over a decade ago – where as the 2 year old romance novels are falling apart from overuse.

    Funny how no mystery, romance or science fiction/fantasy ever make the lists of ‘great literature’ but top the most popular books. I am certain the modern most popular books will be remembered and maintained by future culture where as most the modern award winning novels will all but be forgotten/ignored.

    Literature, like any art form, has become elitist – maintained in the most by grants from the taxpayer, the vast majority of which couldn’t care less if the NZ Ballet or NZSO folded. I have to agree with them. The ballet or opera or symphonies were the popular music 100 – 200 years ago, and needed no subsidies to exists – because people wanted to go to see them. Now each seat of each performance of the NZSO has more subsidies that the people that actual want to attend the performance paid. Bloody ridiculous if you ask me – but I imagine you are one of them (i.e. elitist) so are happy to have the taxpayer subsidise your particular hobby even when “the rate of child poverty in NZ is so high” – bloody hypocritical elitist lefties.

    Comment by Stephen — January 9, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  31. oh Stephen…..i suggest you get back to rimming your mate Key!…i mean the Rt Honerable arsehole!

    Comment by Kerry — January 9, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  32. bloody hypocritical elitist lefties.

    I think you’ll find “not a thicko” isn’t characteristic of any particular political outlook.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — January 9, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

  33. “Funny how no mystery, romance or science fiction/fantasy ever make the lists of ‘great literature’ but top the most popular books. I am certain the modern most popular books will be remembered and maintained by future culture where as most the modern award winning novels will all but be forgotten/ignored.”

    On the other hand, observable reality.

    Comment by The PC Avenger — January 9, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

  34. Plato’s version of Socrates has the philosopher saying in Apology that sportsmen give ‘the semblance of truth’ whereas he provides reality. John Key should read and consider Apology before he tries to counteract Plato.

    Comment by Gerard — January 9, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

  35. Or option B: what a dick.

    But we knew that and most of us didn’t vote for him

    Comment by sheesh — January 9, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

  36. I don’t like defending Mr Key (or the jobsworth who was told to churn out some pablum for the PM to sign), but the sentence does not state that sportsmen deserve more praise. And with regard to Plato, Athens, even in its golden age of philosophy, still regarded athletes as worthy of more praise. (It is ironic that the Grove of Academe where Plato and Socrates hung out was named after one celebrated athlete, Academus, who was probably all muscle from the top of his head down)….(some jameasian dots….)

    Comment by Leopold — January 9, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

  37. edit above: I was thinking of the folk trawling the waters of the dimpost, not so much the electorate at large!

    This does place Lloyd Jones in a bit of a quandray.Interesting to note that the All Blacks respect is a set quality that has not changed since 1905 through Cavaliers and modern day night rugby SBW commercialism and all…Glory glory glory!

    Comment by sheesh — January 9, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  38. Peter Jackson to direct ‘New Zealands’ Cup’. Please send scripts with claim of copyright to:

    Comment by sheesh — January 9, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

  39. He was going to praise New Zealand literature – but then he took an arrow to the knee.

    Comment by Ethel — January 9, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

  40. Leopold: “but the sentence does not state that sportsmen deserve more praise”

    I can understand exactly what he was trying to say and you’re right. It’s more that he said it poorly and probably insultingly for many of the people to whom he was trying to promote, which is below standard for someone who’s been selected to lead and represent the country at the highest level. If he put his name to it then he did say it as far as I’m concerned, even if it’s an indication of the people he trusts to speak on his behalf. Anyway, this is probably a couple of years old and probably worth little more than a slight embarrassment.

    Comment by MikeM — January 9, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

  41. Hes a dick and of story

    Comment by Peter — January 9, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

  42. I was most amused by I/S’s take on this (http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2012/01/part-of-problem.html). It becomes quite predictable how certain types will react to the poorly chosen words of others if the start form the point of the other being stupid, venal and evil in all circumstances.

    With only a mild desire to say something inflammatory that relies on stereotypes, doesn’t the dedication and hard work toward their profession by the average All Black set a better role model than the often self-indulgent and entitled attitude of much of the arts community?

    Comment by Richard — January 9, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

  43. @Richard, maybe the Helen Clark painting thing is another example. (Same idea, anyway.) At the time she might never have thought about the connection between scribbling her signature on something to make it more valuable for a charity and how it’d be seen as her claiming it as her own, which doesn’t make it okay because it was lazy on her part. But it really gave those who disliked her something else to scream about.

    Comment by MikeM — January 9, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  44. Is this the man whose advertising billboards in the 2008 election said that we need more police and teachers and LESS bureaucrats??

    He directly says they may never challenge,,, For one thing, it demonstrates poor use of language. “May” can be used to mean something along the lines of “perhaps” or “shall”. “You may not proceed past Go” kind of thing.

    Stephen – you say “No-one wants to read it by choice”. Funny how you know everyone’s thinking. Wish I was as smart as you are.

    And even if it is a “sad truth”, saying it in the way he has, it ensures it always will be. Unless people like us stand up and tell him what an utter prat he is.

    Comment by Good Gravey — January 9, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

  45. It becomes quite predictable how certain types will react to the poorly chosen words of others if the start form the point of the other being stupid, venal and evil in all circumstances.

    John Key isn’t stupid. He is, however, a member of, or willing to pander to, the rugby culture in New Zealand, regardless of its toxic side-effects.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — January 9, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

  46. @Good Gravey – perhaps you should attend to the poverty of your own grammar and syntax (how’s ‘wifey’ by the way) before you presume to criticise others; even such dullards as swarm about the PM’s office.

    Alas, this early piece of PM populism reflects nothng more than the lower decks attitude that the bulk of the population holds towards their literate betters (not you Good Gravey).

    Comment by Percy Flage — January 9, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

  47. “Alas, this early piece of PM populism reflects nothng more than the lower decks attitude that the bulk of the population holds towards their literate betters”

    Quoted for satire.

    Comment by Adze — January 10, 2012 @ 12:12 am

  48. Reminds me of the 60s furore when John Lennon remarked that the Beatles had become more important than Jesus Christ. John Key is right in a way: when you have a media that revels in trivia rather than substance – when you have a media that thinks whatever an All Black does (or doesn’t do) is front page news and more important than most other things then other achievements will tend to be overlooked. But is JK lamenting this situation and promising to try and change it? Na, he’s just saying “c’est la vie” and putting it in the too hard basket, along with “closing the gaps with Australia”.

    Comment by Mike — January 10, 2012 @ 7:18 am

  49. sadly, nz society in general has not matured past the ‘wanting to hang out with the cool guys in the 1st XV’ stage.

    it is just writ large at boardroom level and it’s nothing more than an almost pathological desire to bask in the all black’s glory. because, you know, giving away a huge chunk of shareholder money to your mate’s with blazers on makes you fkng important and SOMEONE.

    sigh.

    Comment by amc32 — January 10, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  50. Idiot/Savant isn’t stupid. He is, however, a member of, or willing to pander to, the elitist do-gooder, holier-than-thou, I-know-what’s-best-for-you, champagne socialist culture in New Zealand, regardless of its toxic side-effects.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — January 10, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

  51. Sorry, I was so busy LOLing that I forgot to add a smiley!

    “Tribal? Moi?”

    Comment by Clunking Fist — January 10, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

  52. Ah, yes, the ‘toxic side effects of Sport’ – those terrible societal outcomes like increased physical fitness, leadership confidence/development, and association with local community organisations.

    Comment by Phil — January 10, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

  53. Hmmm. So is Key saying that young people now need heroes like Zac Guildford to write a book about his life to inspire them? Or do they need Key to write his own autobiography about coming from a down and out State House to working his way up through a state-funded education and then a leeching international financial money-trader “so-called-job” to multi-millionaire know-it-all.

    Comment by Mark — January 10, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

  54. Clicking on “like” button next to 52.

    Mark @ 53, not to mention “all this success whilst part of a persecuted racial minority” eh? LOL
    I guess being an orphan left him without a male adult role model and contributed to him becoming the vicious, twisted, baby-eating megalomaniac (or “banker”) he is today?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — January 10, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

  55. @mike & @mikem – good points.

    sadly, nz society in general has not matured past the ‘wanting to hang out with the cool guys in the 1st XV’ stage.

    Ahem, do many of the comments here suggest that some parts of NZ society haven’t matured beyond making a point of looking down on the cool guys in the 1st XV because they not intellectual and sophisticated enough?

    Comment by Richard — January 10, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  56. I imagine two scenarios that resulted in this text. One is the Prime Minister sitting in his office, very late at night at some point during the Rugby World Cup/Election trail thinking “Shit, I never delegated this job to anybody and it’s already a week late.” then, thinking, through the chronic lack of sleep “Well, everybody’s talking about rugby right now, that’s part of our election strategy, that’s what I’ll do” and dashing off a few words and sending it off. End of story. The other possibility I imagine is some staffer who didn’t like him very much, who was leaving after the election anyway thinking “Excellent, I’ll mention the rugby, that’s consistent with our comms strategy. They’ll never pick up on it since they’re far too busy to actually read anything we send right now. Bwahahah!”

    Comment by Amy — January 11, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  57. @ 55

    no, i just look down on the automatic assumption that someone who was good at rugby once upon a time is going to be a good acquisition as a future director/board member. ‘cos the silky skills displayed at 2nd 5 don’t always translate to good financial decisions.

    Comment by amc32 — January 11, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  58. amc32, you are so right, there IS that assumption that All Blacks will make good Board members, that why so many of Boards of the NZX50 are stacked with former All Blacks. (See my eyes roll?)

    My own opinion: most folk in the community admire the dedication and hard work that goes into reaching the pinnacle in sport.

    People do admire artists. Just look at how excited folk get to see some wiggly painting by that Dutch bloke who was so disturbed he cut his own ears off. Then there’s that other delightful favourite of mine who is responsible for the piss-Christ. He fantasises about the firing a revolver into a crowd to see what the reaction would be. Not to mention that lovely lady who’s soiled, unmade bed attracted many visitors (and taxpayer funding) to the Tate Modern. I don’t think enough money is set aside to get braying portaloos to Europe. Think of the exposure we as a nation get!

    Comment by Clunking Fist — January 11, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

  59. that why so many of Boards of the NZX50 are stacked with former All Blacks.

    Are they? I’ve been trying to find some kind of list or comparison online, but haven’t found any so far.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if former All Blacks are sometimes appointed for publicity reasons and (when this happens) they’re pushed into public view a lot.

    Comment by MikeM — January 11, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

  60. @amc32 How many All Black directors of NZX50 companies can you name? In particular name one 2/5 on a such a board.

    Comment by Richard — January 11, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

  61. The Board of the NZRU is stacked with former AB’s, but that’s not a listed company, lol.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — January 12, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  62. @Percy: Wifey is fine. Your point??

    Comment by Good Gravey — January 12, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

  63. This makes me think of one of my favourite New Zealander’s, Geoff Alley, brother of Rewi Alley. He was New Zealand’s first National Librarian (can you get any nerdier than that?) and he also happened to be an All Black, played Lock on the AB’s tour of South Africa in 1928.

    http://stats.allblacks.com/asp/Profile.asp?ABID=11

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5a9/1

    I would tell you to read his biography written by W. J. McEldowney but John Key said most of you motherf****rs can’t read.

    Remember kids: If it’s popular, it must be right! Choose the winning team! Argumentum ad populum!

    http://tinyurl.com/6wd39kh

    Comment by Nick — January 13, 2012 @ 12:58 am


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