@ Robyn Gallagher
I suspect this telethon will have a bit of appeal for people who are the Mr Vintage retro t-shirt wearing sorts: watching telethon, longing for Georgie Pie and Billy T James' giggling.
Here I was, wearing my "Know your enemy" t-shirt (with the picture of the pig in NYPD uniform weilding a baton), secretly feeling that no moments in life will ever equal the pure joy of sitting in Georgie Pie in Manners Mall, about to share my treasured memories of Telethons past (my wine coloured velvet jacket when I presented... the time I crushed Rob Muldoon's instep...) and I find I'm nothing but a bloody stereotype!!
Well, harumph, I say!!
So, is having the right parents a matter of luck, or hard work and intelligence?
I can't speak for you, but in my case it's entirely down to their impeccable good taste ;-P
You can easily come across millionaire yobbos, as well as cosmopolitan bohemians living on an oily rag.
Mmmm yes, but they're very much in the minority. I'm talking about *gag* "middle New Zealand", the people with the mortgage almost paid off, a couple of cars, maybe an annual holiday to Fiji. A generation ago they'd have been glad to see others being raised to their level, regardless of how they got there.
Now, as others have commented, they can seemingly only feel a sense of worth if they stamp on the fingers of those on the lower rungs of the ladder. And not just stamp quietly, either, but smirk knowingly at their "class mates" (TM me) as they bark loudly about how the "bludgers" are trying - and failing - to rise above their station.
Politics must wear some of the blame, as must the media, but they're only reflecting and amplifying what's there, I'm afraid. It seems we're becoming an ugly lot.
Chris Trotter's final point - that there is strong class element in the right wing attacks on these women - is 100% true.
I've long felt that many of the "isms" that various government bodies are set up to protect us against - racism, sexism, even ageism to some extent - are, in the majority of cases, just the "acceptable" face of classism (because in supposedly egalitarian NZ it's more acceptable to admit racial prejudice, say, than to hint that you think you belong to a better class of person).
Having been a dirt poor middle(ish) aged white male on many occasions I can attest that there's no apparent advantage in it, compared to being, say, a dirt poor middle aged Maori male... no old boy's network came and gave me the secret handshake and lifted me out of poverty. Instead I, and my family, were treated as though we really ought to take a good hard look at whether we had a reason to exist.
Meanwhile the fawning that goes on over the likes of Ron Mark in some circles, despite his detestable views, suggest race etc is no barrier if you elevate yourself to the right class, or do enough to mimic and amplify their prejudices.
At least English class is based on centuries of who one's pater was, what school they went to, etc. In NZ it's based on nothing more than "I've got a big income", which is often as much about luck as it is hard work and intelligence. And knowing that, people seem to think the only way they can maintain their place in the sun is standing on the heads of others.
I'll see your ceiling cat and raise you Spider Pig.
Now before you run accusing me of sexism (or something) let me elucidate my rationale:
- Views the world upside down
- Supported in that view by a very stupid man (Doh!)
- Supported a multinational burger joint (Krusty's, by appearing in it's TV advertising)
- Former name: Plopper
- Public appearances to date suggest it's a ham
Okay, I'll stop now...
They should have had it voiced over here in Australia. "Arse fires have nuthin too hard" sounds much better.
Looking forward to meeting Sally Wenley who sounds like good value.
Sally is an incredible sort and could just as easily hold her own on the obscenity / swearing segment. One of many incidents I recall was wandering down Ghuznee St (I think it was) and having to interpose ourselves between her and the door of a curio shop, the window of which was displaying an intricately carved and painted wooden rooster.
Sally was desperate to wheel in and express her earnest desire for "that beautiful hard cock".
Then there was the confusion amongst the Police, who were quite happy to arrest myself and the other drunk and disorderly member of our triumverate, but weren't too sure how to deal with the young lady wheeling from one bin on Princes Wharf to the next, yakking in each one after a long night at Lenins...
But you didn't hear any of that from me ;-)
She also happens to be an astoundingly good journo, but that's entirely eclipsed by her entertainment value.
Incidentally, I've lost her contacts so if Russell or Sacha could contact me offline, or pass mine to her... much obliged.
Journalists are truly regarded up there with car delaers, it seems.
Ahh you'd love the irony-fest we're having in Australia. Briefly, The PM is in all sorts of bother over having accepted a rusty clapped out ute as a "mobile electorate office".
Claims are flying around of forged emails, corruption at Treasury, political influence-peddling by car dealers and so on. It's all explained here for anyone really interested.
Anyway, one defence the PM wheeled out was some statement by the head of the MTA saying he hadn't been a naughty boy at all.
Which led one wit to comment it was perhaps the first time a politician had relied upon a reference from a used car salesman.
Incidentally, the media have done the expected an appended a "-gate" to the whole thing, making it "Utegate".
Yet when Rudd was tossing round money, first to beneficiaries and then to anyone who'd filed a tax return (inlcuding the since deceased and those now overseas) in an attempt at economic stimulation, could I get one journo to run with "profli-gate"? Could I heck.
Russell, belated sympathies and best wishes for your recovery.
As you say, anyone who is struck by incredible pain in the early hours should be checked. I was, and I didn't - even when my waking in a sweat and yelling certain obscenities very loudly as the pain hit disturbed my neighbours enough for them to complain.
As a result I was struck again whilst in Sydney, friendless, partnerless and alone in an office full of people I barely knew. I staggered, doubled up, to the doctor's office on the same floor only to be told the doctorate was in psychology and directed to a GP clinic across the road.
Waiting for Sydney drivers to stop and allow me to cross reduced me almost to tears. The GP sent me to a scan place for an ultrasound which first confirmed the diagnosis and then (turned up a notch I guess) supposedly blasted them. Some drugs and I was back at the office the next day with nothing emerging from any orifice.
Yet it was the worst pain I've ever experienced by a factor of 10... and I've crawled out of several car wrecks, been beaten till my eyes swelled closed, and of course kicked in the nads on occasion.
So the after-effects of yours suggest a further factor of 10. There really ought to be some sort of bravery medal.
Childbirth, schmildbirth :-P
I once tried this (writing like Lhaws) many years ago when reviewing one of his soon-to-be-remaindered 'books' for NBR. By the end of it all I felt like my neurons were so scrambled I needed to be strapped into some Joe 90-type mind-altering device and spun round at the speed of light in order to regain the ability to order breakfast, let alone write coherently.
So I stand in awe of you, sir, hat off, bowing low.
Except for this bit...
It is not a real column by Michael Laws -- however closely it resembles his prose style
They released a list of "one hundred things that you might not have known about the Bush administration".
That's just begging for satire. I'll start:
100: Likes dogs too. In fact, several have been delivered to Dick Cheney's office since he first found he needed a bypass. We're not sure why we've never seen any again, but we're sure he's just cuddling them. And hey, don't be implying anything... he's always eaten his meat raw and piddled on the President's leg.
99: Can finally reveal whole Cindy Sheehan thing was a gag. Income from fried chicken concession on road to 'Western White House' will fund Bush Presidential Library. First shipment of Archie and Jughead comics already ordered.