Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • Hard News: Friday Music: Grey Fucking Area,

    If we are going to talk all Hitlerian, the real reason the right are having fainting fits over this video is because it challenges a central tenet of the right's narrative. The painstakingly constructed big lie by a middle aged and middle class corporate media to feed to a middle aged and middle class audience of the cult of John Key as universally adored and loved in a tranquilized, hard-news free New Zealand is completely undercut by a roomful of young people.

    Intrusions of reality into our media's la la land are always treated as phenomena inexplicable except in terms of distant externality.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The silence of the public square, in reply to bob daktari,

    Political interviews and debates seem to be about shouting over your opponent making snide comments, simplistic point scoring, being plain rude and saying anything that doesn't actually involve policy or often the actual truth

    Also called popular democracy in action.

    One the beefs I have with this site is it's middle class nose holding at the idea that healthy politics might something other than a genteel discussion between like minded members of some 1950s Hollywood version of the Roman senate.

    Policy analysis and debate can occur in forums other than one where you have two candidates desperate to be elected trying to persuade a hall full of partisan followers - TV is just a bigger hall.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Steven Joyce: Prick or Treat,

    But for reals, it is just the absolute laziest analysis in the world.

    Expel Trevor, he can be the Admiral Byng pour encourager les autres.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher,

    However that is a terrible statement. What the hell does a “New Zealander” look and sound like to you because to me it sounds and looks like anybody from New Zealand. Dismissing someone over their looks and sounds is a bigger mugs game than trying to defend the indefensible.

    George Bernard Shaw said "... It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him..."

    Whyte has an accent - increasingly common to many of the elite in this country - that to me is a signifer not of a New Zealander, but as a member of an exploitative settler class that happens to set down here for a while because it is the best place to make money.

    You can't create an unequal society without also creating competing visions of what constitutes being a New Zealander.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher, in reply to MxDEJ,

    How about because civilised, careful, fact-based debate might work a little better without the side-order of name-calling?

    because Whyte doesn't deserve the privilege of being taken seriously. The man is a privileged prat right from his hoity toity accent down to his white cracker Matha's Vinyard preppy dress style.

    Maybe if he actually sounded a bit more like a New Zealander and didn't look like he had an enormous carrot permanently stuffed up his arse he'd be taken a bit more seriously.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: Fulminating and fermenting,

    I drank a lot of tasty alcohol free beer

    A low alcohol beer is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: Fulminating and fermenting,

    Lagers are funny things for the home brewer. For what is probably the most popular style of beer in the world and which lacks much in the way of taste (decently hopped Pilseners exempted) they are actually quite difficult to make well. Also, for a style of beer best drunk in hot weather, you can only really make them in winter (unless you have a way of chilling down your fermenter) and then you have to “lager” it for weeks on end (conditioning at a low temperature of around 4 – 6 c) before bottling / kegging.

    Sage words. I stick to the more forgiving golden ales, which are still a fine drink in the summer. I have given a lager a go and as you say, the biggest issue for lagers is temerature control. You can use a heat exchanger - they are a piece of cake to knock up at home, you can make one using a chilly bin, copper piping, an acquarium water pump and a modified fermenter. Of course, you have to be on your toes 24x7 to keep the chilly bin topped up with ice and water gets everywhere. All in all, it is an almighty rigmarole of specialist yeasts and anxious thermometer watching. Because I make my own cheese (the neighbours have a couple of obliging cows, unpasteurised milk from happy heifers = cheese win!) I now have a second hand and ancient food display chiller which would probably do nicely for lager, but lager is one of those things like tomato ketchup and peanut butter - you can make it at home, but why bother?

    Nice stout recipe. I like to add a 250ml cup of cold filtered coffee to my stout, and I use a lot more sugar than you - my last stout had 500ml molasses, 500ml dark muscovy sugar and 500g lactose. Mind you, it is a quite alcoholic wee drop.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: Fulminating and fermenting,

    I have put aside a 10x10m square of land down on the farm to grow barley (and hops) to turn into beer in a paddock to pitcher experiment.

    I expect some potential issues with the malting and kilning cos I don’t (yet) possess a barley roller and a kiln, but I have made my own tun from some instructions I found on instructables.com and I have on standby 3 hives/squadrons (I name my bee hives after famous squadrons – “617 hive, the Jam Busters”, “487 Hive, the Manuka Mosquitoes” and “No. 75 Hive, the Sugarhawks”) of honey bees so I can use my own honey from my own honey bees as the sugar. Anyway, it is a lot of effort to produce 50 or so litres of beer but it is the fun of it all, really.

    If it all works out I might post on it. Otherwise, I will never speak of it again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?,

    Some of there more controversial articles seem to get plenty of attention from Public address commenters.

    It’s opinion pieces are designed to troll, not inform. Sure, trolls are gonna troll but do i want to pay to read trolls? The flame wars are lot funnier on reddit. And why would I pay for John Roughan’s uninformed ideological bullshit when I can get it direct from the National party research unit via David Farrar?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?,

    The Herald’s specific problem is it isn’t a very good newspaper in a globalised marketplace. It is, for all intents and purposes, a red top in disguise. The thing is, if I want a bit of Daily Mail in my life I don’t need the Herald because I have got the dailymail.co.uk whilst for serious international stuff I have got the Guardian. Actually, the Herald’s owners have got to be worried about the possibility of the Guardian Australia reaching across the Tasman and setting up a local bureau. All the Herald is good for is local sport and local news (their political coverage is hopeless). Their editorial and opinion writers often betray an astonishing ignorance of the facts. Personally, I would never subscribe to the Herald because but I would subscribe to a properly resourced Guardian NZ site because it would come with a huge stable of quality writing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

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