Posts by James Butler

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  • Legal Beagle: Gordon Campbell…, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Those wondering about the title of this article

    I call dibs on this gag.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Reinventing Beatles,

    I’ve always liked a good cover version.

    I'm going to re-tell an anecdote which I have used over the years as an excuse for my sparse (but deep! Honestly!) appreciation of pop music:

    When I was a child I seldom heard pop music in the house. One day when I was 9 or 10 I heard the sound of an orchestra, playing a tune I kind of recognised, coming from the stereo; I asked Dad what it was.
    "Oh, that's this record - "Ron Goodwin And His Orchestra Play The Beatles". You know, when you listen carefully, The Beatles had some good tunes - it's just a pity they couldn't play or sing properly."

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Tooled Up for Food,

    Attachment

    Cor, check out the patina on that one!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Tooled Up for Food,

    Attachment

    Le Creuset, c. 40 years old - almost the only thing I inherited from my Dad that doesn't have wheels. Story is that it was a wedding present for his attempted first wedding, which fell through at the last minute. But he got to keep the cookware, so.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: It's Complicated, in reply to BenWilson,

    I think it’s more about consent than maturity – that’s an incredibly subjective idea. Furthermore, having sex is in itself a driver of maturity, a rite of passage.

    Yep - arguably the most robust defence of ages of consent is similar to that of anti-polymarriage laws, that the intention (never mind the effect) is to protect coercion of the less powerful by the more powerful. Both of these are blunt instruments. When/if anti-poly laws are overturned in progressive Western countries, it will be at least in part because our society is less tolerant of oppression of women in general than it once was, so the extra protection of mono-only marriage is no longer necessary. I'm not sure what the analogue would be for ages of consent.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: It's Complicated, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    The surprising thing about that piece of received wisdom for me is how accurate it actually is to what are generally considered acceptable age differences in Western society (quirks of gender aside).

    I always thought it should be exponential rather than linear, but yeah.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: It's Complicated,

    I thought the law was "half your age plus 7"? That's what my my classmates at high school said.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A Golden Age for the Arts?,

    Late to this but:

    I've been thinking for a while of auditioning for Voices New Zealand, the national chamber choir, and have been keeping an eye out for when the next round of auditions would be - they're usually every three years or thereabouts. What did I discover this weekend? I've been waiting in vain - they haven't been holding rounds for some time because they don't have enough money to fly the audition panel between cities. Sigh.

    I was complaining about corporate sponsorship and naming rights a month or two ago. I take it all back.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dressing for the Road,

    I commute about 6km each way in Auckland, and unless I'm going to work via the gym I wear street clothes - jeans or denim shorts, t-shirt or casual cotton shirt. When my commute was 15km each way I wore regular exercise shorts and a t-shirt, and SPDs. I have clip-on platforms on my SPDs now, and hardly bother with the shoes anymore - I don't ride far enough for them to make a difference, and these days I'm much more likely to run errands, go to the gym or choir practise before or after work so regular shoes make most sense.

    Grant Peterson at Rivendell can be relied on for interesting and contrarian opinions on most cycling topics, and sure enough he has some things to say about clothing.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Not in my name, and not in his either,

    I haven’t been a Christian for some years, but recently I have been “working” in the vocal ensemble at St Matthew-in-the-city on Sunday mornings. I had some qualms about endorsing an institution that I don’t believe in, but their devotion to social justice and equality has won me over (I’ve always thought their famous billboards tended towards cheap shots at the expense of actual reasoned debate, but the intent is genuine and their advocacy is real). If people must believe, then I’d rather they believed this way, not that I really have a say.

    I know there are other churches around the country with similar stances – St Andrew’s on The Terrace comes to mind – and there was a letter in favour of marriage equality signed by priests of many Protestant denominations circulating around Facebook a while ago. But traditional protestantism is shrinking in this country (something that I’m conflicted about as a sympathiser rather than a believer), and as it does so I think it’s inevitable that congregations will become more polarised; those who care less, one way or another, are those most likely to drift away.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

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