The Dim-Post

January 13, 2015

Goverment introduces lore to kerb homophonia

Filed under: satire — danylmc @ 1:54 pm

National leader John Quay has announced a sweet of tough knew measures to lesson the rain of homophonia in knight-classes, flour gardens, stationery stores, too-story buildings and even in caughts of law. 

‘It’s thyme,’ Quay said in Wellington this mourning. ‘This vial homophonia steeling our mite cannot be aloud to run its coarse. We must beet it at the route.’

The mane porpoise of the bills is to seas the prophets of homophones. ‘This will be a cymbal and a coo,’ Quay added.

‘It’s common cents,’ said United Future leader Peter Done, who will support the bills cite-unscene. Greens co-leader Rustle Gnawman holy disagrees, calling for both an inquiry and an enquiry into the affects of the axe.

 

The treachery of images; also, links

Filed under: books,media,satire — danylmc @ 6:28 am

I like this essay by Teju Cole on the issues around Charlie Hebdo and free speech. Also, this piece by Laura Miller questioning whether the critics describing Charlie Hedbo as racist know what they’re talking about. This problem occurred to me yesterday when a bunch of people I know linked approvingly to this column critical of Charlie Hebdo, explaining why its cartoons were racist and offensive, which included this point:

I know that the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo identify as left-libertarian atheists, and that they’re “equal-opportunity offenders” —the exact same background and mindset as Trey Parker and Matt Stone, as Seth MacFarlane, as your typical 4chan troll. I know that, ironically, the last issue printed before the shooting was mocking a self-serious right-wing racist doomsday prophet and his fear of a Muslim takeover

The ‘self-serious right-wing racist doomsday prophet ‘ referred to here is Michel Houellebecq. I don’t know a lot about French satire but I do know that this is a dubious way to describe a guy who is arguably the most acclaimed novelist in contemporary French literature, whose last book was a parody of a thriller in which a psychopath gruesomely murdered Houellebecq himself (which won the Goncourt award, the French equivalent of the Booker Prize). His new book Soumission does imagine a France surrendering to Islam. But, via the Guardian’s review:

Some in France have already complained that the novel fans right-wing fears of the Muslim population, but that is to miss Houellebecq’s deeply mischievous point. Islamists and anti-immigration demagogues, the novel gleefully points out, really ought to be on the same side, because they share a suspicion of pluralist liberalism and a desire to return to “traditional” or pre-feminist values, where a woman submits to her husband – just as “Islam” means that a Muslim submits to God.

But Soumission is, arguably, not primarily about politics at all. The real target of Houellebecq’s satire – as in his previous novels – is the predictably manipulable venality and lustfulness of the modern metropolitan man, intellectual or otherwise. François himself happily submits to the new order, not for any grand philosophical or religious reasons, but because the new Saudi owners of the Sorbonne pay much better – and, more importantly, he can be polygamous. As he notes, in envious fantasy, of his charismatic new boss, who has adroitly converted already: “One 40-year-old wife for cooking, one 15-year-old wife for other things … no doubt he had one or two others of intermediate ages.”

The novel ends in an almost science-fictional conditional mood, with François looking forward dreamily to his own conversion and a future of endless sensual gratification.

Houellebecq’s previous book was called The Map and the Territory, which is ironic because him and a lot of what’s happening in France are now subject to a classic map-territory problem: we’re confusing descriptions of what’s happening for the events themselves. It’s a reminder that the pundits confidently translating French (and Islamic) culture for us so they can tell us what to think about it all don’t necessarily have the faintest idea what they’re talking about.

January 11, 2015

How to actually strike a blow for satire and free speech

Filed under: satire — danylmc @ 12:37 pm

In the days since the Charlie Hebdo massacres I’ve seen a lot of rhetoric about the ABSOLUTE commitment western democracies have to free speech, and the CRUCIAL importance of satirists to be able to say anything – about anyone – no matter how offensive, and be protected by the law. People might be surprised to learn that in New Zealand satirists are not actually protected by the law at all, and can be sued for defamation and copyright infringement at will, while it is illegal to use images or footage from Parliament that subjects the House to satire or ridicule. So if some of the New Zealand politicians or newspapers standing on their soapboxes pontificating about how much they love satire and free speech wanted to actually promote those values and campaign to update our laws protecting satire so that they’re in line with that of most other western democracies (a simple members bill should do the trick) that’d be lovely thanks.

February 12, 2014

Labour planning dodgy electoral deal with immortal giant

Filed under: media,satire — danylmc @ 10:53 am

TV3’s political editor has broken another story about a political party rorting the MMP system:

It’s dirty. It’s dodgy. And it’s happening. Yes, the Labour Party who have stuck the knife in and twisted the boot attacking National’s electorate deals have done a dirty dodgy dirty deal themselves.

Yes. You heard right. And it gets dodgier and dirty. The deal is with Ymir, King of the Frost Giants. A being of pure malevolence formed from the frozen rivers of poison that run through hell. Ymir has a real grudge against John Key. And the bad blood flies both ways. It’s a grudge match. Also a perfect storm of grudge.

Behind the scenes Labour is stiching up a dirty deal with Ymir for the electorate of Ginnungagap, a formless void of ice and rime located on Auckland’s North Shore.

Details of this deal are kept tightly under wraps. The Electoral Commission won’t even admit that the Ginnungagap electorate exists. Journalists who vault their reception desk and smash open computers looking for proof of Ginnungagap are led away by security. That shows you just how sensitive these deals are. A week is a long time in politics.

Labour’s spin-doctors say there is no deal and that Ymir doesn’t actually exist. They say I’m locked in a psychotic delusion. Well I’ve heard that before. Hundreds of times. It means they’re scared. They know that hard-working families don’t trust immortal frost giants. And with good reason. Remember, when Odin wounded Ymir in the runup to the 2002 election Ymir’s blood flooded the whole world. Yes, that won’t go down well with hard-working voters.

At the end of the day this last ditch effort might just see Labour in government and a giant made of snake’s venom on the Treasury benches. Only time will tell.

April 23, 2013

The Dim-Post interviews Conservative Party leader Colin Craig

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 8:01 pm

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig cuts a likable, boyish figure: whether managing his billion dollar property portfolio, canvasing for votes in his home turf of Auckland’s North Shore, or lathering himself with soap as he prepares to show me around his new hi-tech pleasure dungeon, Craig is unceasingly cheerful and energetic. 

‘I bought this place to relax,’ he explains, a little sheepish about splashing out on such an indulgence. Craig is famed for his frugality, furnishing his home second-hand on Trade-me. But all the leather, chrome and rubber decor in ‘Colin’s Crypt of Agony and Ecstasy ‘ is brand new and gleaming, ready for use. ‘At the end of the day I’m wiped out, and I needed a way to wind down,’ he added.

And is it relaxing?’ I ask.

He grins and tosses me a towel and a leather ball gag. ‘You tell me.’

Craig is in pretty good shape for a man in his mid-forties. There’s a hint of a belly, but his arm muscles are defined – ‘All that political hand-shaking,’ he says, rolling his eyes – and the snarling wolf’s head tattooed across his buttocks still conforms to the ripe curves of his gluteal muscles. ‘The tattoo artist warned me it would sag,’ Craig said, adding simply, ‘He was wrong.’

Many people have been wrong about Colin Craig, dismissing him as a political lightweight or  a bible-thumping, homophobic misogynist reactionary dick, but Craig simply shrugs off the criticisms and when you see him squeezing into a red latex dress and tugging a chain-mail hood over his head you realise there’s more to Colin Craig than his critics are willing to allow. They underestimate him at their peril.

But what is it about the Conservative Party leader that sets him apart? I’d arranged this interview to try and solve this mystery, but as I hung upside down beside him, both of us screaming in exaltation and pain while hot wax from the candles strapped to our ankles ran down our thighs, I couldn’t decide what it was that separated him from other minor party political leaders. Was it his faith? His candor? His status as an outsider? Or his controversial statements about homosexuality and female promiscuity, which were as inflamed as our perineums after the wax pooled and hardened?

Craig denies that his statements on contemporary morality are dominated by his religious upbringing, or the fact that I was kneeling on his throat while grating his nipples with a citrus zester. ‘I stand by my statements, no matter how much blood I’ve lost,’ he explains, a little defiant. ‘And I’m very proud of my background,’ he adds, rubbing vinegar on his lacerated chest. ‘I’m not a regular church-goer, but I cherish the Baptist values I was raised with, and the Scottish emphasis on frugality which has been passed down to me.’

And Craig is certainly frugal, even in his hobbies. Every centimeter of electrical tape and every liter of urine that enters his pleasure crypt is closely monitored and accounted for. ‘And I’ll bring that same level of attention to detail to government if elected,’ he vows.

Craig also intends to repeal the anti-smacking legislation and get tough on violent criminals. He speaks at length about the need for greater efficiency in the public service, reducing waste, getting rid of red tape. The familiar litany of conservative policy platforms. Sometimes his voice fades as his knees press against my ears, but I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Craig’s political agenda isn’t what makes him special. It’s something else.

Eventually I opened my eyes, expecting to find myself staring into the wolf’s head, but instead I found myself face to face with Craig, his eyes rolled back, his cheeks flushed and his teeth clenched, and I finally realised what made him different from, say, Peter Dunne or Hone Harawira. It was those eyes: glittering, chromatic, fragmented: they captured the light and threw them back at me, and I gasped in sudden comprehension.

His eyes were fifty shades of Colin Craig.

(Written in solidarity with The Civilian, who is being sued by Craig for defamation.)

April 18, 2013

According to reports

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 9:18 am

Via Stuff:

Justice Minister Judith Collins is masking her disappointment over not being able to attend Margaret Thatcher’s funeral by throwing a wake. Government MPs “unable to attend” the London ceremony are invited to Ms Collins’ sixth-floor office tonight to commemorate the life of the former British prime minister. Ms Collins paid tribute to Baroness Thatcher last week as a “highly intelligent, brave, formidable woman”.

Dim-Post sources report that last night’s wake was a moving affair, which ended on the stroke of midnight when Attorney General Chris Finlayson solemnly led a white ox into the Justice Minister’s office. Collins then stretched the animal backwards over her blood-stained, heavy stone desk and deftly cut out its heart which she offered, still beating, to the massive basalt statue of Baroness Thatcher that accompanies her everywhere. Treasury officials estimate that this act of obeisance will keep inflation at less than 1% in the forthcoming quarter.

April 12, 2013

Labour leader calls on Auditor General to help him find his wallet

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 9:09 am

Labour leader David Shearer is asking the Office of the Auditor General to conduct an inquiry into the location of his wallet, which he placed on the table by the front door just next to his keys and phone when he arrived home last night but which wasn’t there when he needed to go to work this morning. 

‘My whole day is ruined if I don’t have my wallet. It has my swipe cards to get into work and my EFT-POS card to buy lunch. That’s why I always put it in the same damn place, and it’s why I’m calling on the Auditor General to investigate why it isn’t there today and who moved it,’ Shearer said in his formal letter to Auditor-General Lyn Provost.

The letter was also released to media, select members of Shearer’s family who have shifted the wallet in the past when they made iTunes purchases using his credit-card, and Karen from down the road who cleans the Shearer family house and does a good job but doesn’t always put things back where they’re supposed to be.

The Auditor-General’s involvement comes after Shearer failed in his effort to get Parliament’s Select Committee to help him find the wallet, which can’t have just vanished into thin air, can it now? And it must be somewhere inside his house because he remembers taking it out of his jacket pocket when he got home. The request was turned down by the National dominated committee. with Chairperson Todd McClay explaining that the committee had more important business to attend to.

‘We are dedicated to returning New Zealand back into surplus, boosting productivity and searching for Steven Joyce’s little electronic security dongle so he can check his email from home,’ McClay said. ‘He thinks he might have dropped it somewhere between the underground car park and his office. How the hell are we supposed to find it? The thing is tiny.’

The Auditor General has yet to respond to Shearer’s request because she changed her network password on Friday and now she can’t log in.

February 26, 2013

Key blames Solid Energy failure on previous Labour government and fabric of space-time

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 9:28 am

Prime Minister John Key has hit back against opposition claims that his government was ‘asleep at the wheel’ when it came to managing the troubled state-owned coal company Solid Energy, linking its problems to an SOE diversification strategy implemented by the previous Labour government and the phase transition that occurred during the earliest picoseconds of the creation of the universe in which the strong and weak nuclear forces separated from the electromagnetic force, allowing for the creation of solid matter. 

‘In 2007 Trevor Mallard called for the SEO’s to expand into new areas, and they started looking for ways to raise capital to restructure in response to that,’ Key said, citing a request for a billion dollar loan made by Solid Energy in 2009. ‘When you combine that with the strong headwinds this government is dealing with as a result of decisions made well before the formation of our galaxy then you have a problem that was not of our making.’

‘But this government is fronting up and dealing with the issues at that company, just as we are dealing with the disappointing situation that the universe is a large, complex structured environment and  not a tiny ultra-dense infinitely hot ball of plasma,’ Key added.

Key also pointed to debt decisions taken by the Solid Energy executives and the inadequate number of temporal dimensions in the visible universe as it currently stands. ‘Obviously the company was allowed to structure its own finances under the SOE act, but if we had fewer spatial and more time dimensions to work in we would have done things very differently.’

The Prime Minister also took aim at policy decisions made by Phil Goff and Annette King, who were Cabinet Ministers during the  nucleosynthesis of the Sun 4.5 billion years ago.

November 22, 2012

From the vaults

Filed under: satire — danylmc @ 8:24 am

Since the Hobbit is currently newsworthy, here’s a link to my Tolkien/Jackson satire piece written all the way back in 2008 (one of the first things I ever posted on this blog). But the comments thread is funnier. My term for people who take satire seriously and then contribute to it is ‘non-consensual satire.’

November 5, 2012

Vacancies close Friday

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 9:02 am

New Position

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

Are you passionate about the meaninglessness of language, the impossibility of knowledge and the non-existence of reality?

Are you keen to share your  hopeless, doomed skepticism with officials at the highest level of government?

Then you might be our person!

We are seeking a: Senior Epistemologist to join our team in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

 This is one of the three central agencies responsible for co-ordinating and managing public sector performance. Your role will be to brief the Prime Minister and other senior Cabinet Ministers on the uncertainty underpinning all of human existence, especially the uncertainty of managing departments and being accountable for their performance in a universe that cannot be proved to be real.

As Senior Epistemologist you will have responsibilities across – but not limited to – the following areas:

  • Did unemployment rise in the last quarter? How can anyone prove it did, and if they can, doesn’t that proof require an additional proof, and so on into infinity? You will play a key role in communicating the meaninglessness of negative economic statistics to the New Zealand public.
  • Did the Prime Minister say something embarrassing? How can anyone say anything when all experience consists of flawed, subjective memories? What are memories? And aren’t the Labour Party rubbish? Formulating positions on these issues, and then changing that position and denying that the first position ever existed while insisting that the whole thing is just a media beat-up will be a key part of your role.
  • If the Prime Minister appears to have misled Parliament and the public, you will build relationships with key media figures and explain to them that there is no Prime Minister and no Parliament, just probability waves fluctuating within a quantum vacuum, so rumors of leadership struggles in the opposition party are more newsworthy.
  • George Berkeley famously asked, ‘Does the reality of things consist in being perceived? Or is it something distinct from their being perceived, and that bears no relationship to the mind?’ You will apply this doctrine to Official Information Act Requests.
  • You will co-ordinate junior epistemologists and other communications staff to disprove the existence of various events, statements, official reports, statistical findings and scientific facts as the role requires.

Our ideal person needs excellent interpersonal, communication and relationship building skills, and a committed belief in the inadequacy of language and rational thought in understanding the world. Weekend and evening work will be required.

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