Posts by TracyMac

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Magnificent melancholy,

    Hah, I literally gave away my Yamaha mini-system - purchased in London in 1998 - last week. The only thing wrong with it was the lack of modern connectivity, and the 3 disk CD changer being a bit temperamental.

    I went the full-blown 5.1 audio receiver route - no TV, but I have a projector now. Another Yamaha, and pretty compact as far as modern receivers go. Sounds great with QAcoustic speakers.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Up Front Guide to Plebs,

    To be honest, I think this boils down simply to the fact there is no federal human rights/anti-discrimination legislation for queers in Australia. If I go to rent a house in the Northern Territory, I can simply be denied just because I'm a big old dyke.

    We did it the right way around in NZ - once the underlying antidiscrimination principle had been established across the board, it was only a matter of time before the marriage laws and bizzaro adoption crapola was sorted out. For those not in the know, for many years gay single people could adopt - and did - while gay couples were not permitted to. Also, couples where one parent had a biological child could not have their same sex partner adopt the child, without relinquishing their own parental rights.

    In Oz, they've spent so much energy on this same sex marriage thing without the underlying rights (sure, yes, there are reasonable rights given out piecemeal in most of the states, but marriage is administered by the Australian Commonwealth) and it drives me nutty.
    1. I'm not ever getting married, so I'm not interested that specific thing. However, I am interested in having full rights - whether I choose to exercise them or not, just like straights - anywhere in the country I happen to be living in.
    2. NOT having equal marriage rights serves to rub every queer's nose in the residue of their second-class citizenship every single day. Whether or not they ever intend marriage.
    3. Turnbull is essentially a socially liberal dude (let's not talk economic policy, mines, NBN, or asylum seekers) who is only going through the expensive charade of the plebiscite to appease the Nats and have something to wave at the ultra-nutbag (i.e. Bernardi) wing of the party. He's obviously not going to place his gonads on the line for a bunch of whinging queers who mostly won't vote for his party anyway.
    4. I'm still pissed off with the mendacity of the Australian Labor Party, who could have done it if they weren't wasting time on constant backstabbing and leaders with the social conscience of gnats.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The real problem with the ‘Kiwimeter’,

    I think these criticisms are pretty spot on. I almost didn't do it because, yes, I didn't want to be measured on "how much" I might be seen to be "kiwi".

    As for the other issues, I just realised I answered them along the lines of "how true is this statement to you?", although they weren't exactly phrased that way.

    As for the "Maori special treatment" question, again, I interpolated my response to the dog-whistle, and not to whatever "special treatment" might be deemed as (sure, let's go back to the days of no kohanga reo or land claim settlements!)

    I came out as a "globalist", which I'd say is pretty accurate, since I don't think NZ is currently that different or better than other OECD nations. The bits I'm proudest of - other than our still-damn-good human rights legislation - are the bits currently being eroded by the wonderful govt (similar to the trend around the world). Me, I like much of our culture - not so much the sports - and of course much of the parts of the country that aren't being converted to dairy paddocks are pretty damn scenic. (Yes, we need some dairy/beef/wool paddocks - but let's not race to the bottom with feedlots and irrigating/superphosing otherwise marginal land.)

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The unstable Supercity,

    When I saw the ridiculous figure quoted for IT costs, I wondered if SAP was involved.

    Yet another example of useful bespoke software that would probably just do with some freshening up and modernisation chucked out in favour of a monolithic PoS that needs hefty and expensive customisation by expensive and rare (at least the competent ones are rare) consultants.

    I have yet to see a SAP project delivered without the cost increasing by a factor of 10. I have yet to see a SAP project realise all of its supposed benefits.

    Interesting reading recently was the in-depth investigation into the failure of Target in Canada. In no small part due to their throwing out the custom stock control system (still) used by Target US, and replaced with a SAP system implemented by Accenture. A stock control system that didn't even validate the length of a barcode number to have some kind of error-checking.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The flagging referendum,

    I'm in the "I won't vote for clipart" group.

    But as for those here saying petulantly that they won't vote for anything Key endorses, grow up. Fair enough if you were against the whole process and the lack of proper consultation. But if that wasn't a concern, even if Key endorsed the "best ever design", you still wouldn't? Come on. I detest his politics and constant mendacity, but in general we get things done better by basic cooperation rather than a constantly adversarial attitude - especially when you fundamentally agree on the result you want.

    I have to concede there isn't much this govt comes up with where I would fundamentally agree on its goals, though.

    As for becoming a republic, there's nothing about that that means we need to change our flag. Of course, most countries in that position have done so, to get rid of colonial relics. I can't imagine Canada changing theirs if they went the republic route, though.

    Finally, can I mention how offensive I found the sight of the unendorsed Lockwood Logo the other day, flying from the Auckland Harbour Bridge instead of the Tino Rangatiratanga flag? I mean, genuinely offensive. If they were going to take something down, the old relic should have been removed instead.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The K Road Story,

    Downtown has the ferry terminal and Ramen Daikoku. And that's pretty much it.

    I was actually glad I was in England when Brazil closed. Such a loss.

    K Rd has been an important part of my life, as a schoolgirl wagging double-English, fulminating with young feminist ire at the strip clubs, attending a strip club, buying lunch and fruit from Norman Ng's for my workplace down Pitt St, going to Staircase regularly when it migrated from downtown, working behind the bar at Lasso, the women's-only night and welcoming in the trans and working girls, getting completely obliterated one Sunday evening at Guadalupe (one of the few places at the time serving cocktails on a Sunday), eating at Ken's Yakitori and the burger place next door...

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Jean's Laneway, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    I keep banging on about this, but yeah, I do mind if a lead act can't be arsed getting on the stage till after midnight. Obviously not for a multi-artist event, but if it's not kicked off by 11, meh. I don't count limp warm-up acts either.

    It's not just a function of my age. I was working full time in my late teens, and I was knackered by the end of the week. I used to really get the shits with the uni-student or marginally-employed types who seemed to assume we could all start partying in the wee hours. This is why good pub gigs were better to attend. (And yes, when I went night-clubbing, I'd arrive around 10 - had to get the energy going!)

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny,

    If we want to stay away from national partisanship in local body elections, I think an MMP-syle system would be a backward step. Perhaps less backward than the current situation, but STV works fine in terms of proportionality.

    Speaking of the Australian mess, I can think of no reason why the states persist as separate entities. They made sense during the settler period, but now it's just another layer of bun-fights. If the UK can manage with local councils and national govt with 3 times the population, I don't see why Australia can't.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Doug Myers ... declared that libraries were not a public good because it was no use to him if a poor person could read books

    Yes, I recall that. And now I earn 6 figures, as a previously poor person who relied on public libraries at the time, I still revel in the fact that my paltry spending power since has never knowingly gone to any of his enterprises. (Probably indirectly via tax handouts, alas.)

    I don't think of myself as someone who typically holds grudges, but yep, that one got to me.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: The year the…,

    Mariah Carey and caterwauling - such an appropriate juxtaposition. She's alright when she's not doing the really annoying vocal acrobatics, but I don't think she's managed an entire song without them.

    I vote for Boney M as well. Disco and Christmas go campily-well together.

    As for a "vinyl-only mix" promoted via digital means, I'm afraid my eyes rolled a teeny bit. I am contemplating buying a turntable, but mainly to play my remaining few vinyl records - Joan Armatrading's Whatever's For Us, the White Album, and Split Enz being highlights. Can't see the point of vinyl only these days.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 624 posts Report Reply

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