Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Thread, It Is Open

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  • BenWilson,

    Sure sign of the feckless middle-class elite, apparently

    Yes, it's part of my disaster survival kit that I have instant coffee. You never know what the disaster could be - what if it's a proletarian revolution? I can slip the instant to the front of the cupboard, video myself dismantling the machine with a baseball bat (actually I was contemplating that anyway, the fucking thing broke, and man vs machine rage is seriously addictive), and be the people's hero.

    Edit: Man, I never knew quite how addictive. That youtube is a parody scene, and there are like dozens of them. It's the new Downfall subtitles.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Steampunked Coffee machine. As has been said, espresso machines are already steam punks on the insides. This one is onboard a boat, giving it a nautical flavor.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to steven crawford,

    I like on Flickr how that photo is both the youngest and oldest photo in your set.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    And does this country really need any more house builders? If we're going to invest in mass training, make it in this century's high-value export industries.

    Why not just adequately fund tertiary education (i.e. ensure it is both free and universally available) and then let it sort itself out?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Why not just adequately fund tertiary education (i.e. ensure it is both free and universally available) and then let it sort itself out?

    Aren't you a dangerous radical? I agree, but only so long as we introduce at least two more tax brackets for top earners.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Why are human beings so prepossessed with lying. Civilization is built upon layer upon layer of lies, to the extent that to successfully assimilate and contribute one must not only be adept in the practice but more significantly able to successfully ignore/ obscure truth to function adequately socially. Why do we allow our greatest liars to lead us? Why do so many insist on the monogamous tradition only to sabotage that coupling with their greatest whoppers? Does this pattern need to be turned around or is it a benign societal tumour, and if push came to shove could this mass tendency be reversed so your children live in a more honest world?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I like Leigh and I think The Standard can play a useful role, but it was depressing reading a post about the de-funding of TVNZ 7 and seeing sneering comments about how I'd be too much of a lackey of the boss class to comment on it (ironically, I had already written a blog post about the issue) -- and that was from one of the regular bloggers.

    I'm wondering if they're looking at Kerre Woodham as a precedent, if some of her comments on the Granny and ZB are anything to go by. We know Russell is more 3-dimensional than that.

    As for Kerre herself, I think Al Franken's analysis of Democrat-turned-Republican Dennis Miller comes to mind:
    "People have said to me, ‘What happened to Dennis?’ Nothing happened to Dennis. He's the same Dennis. He's always had a conservative streak on certain issues." In other words, Miller was probably a DINO or a 'Fox Liberal' to start with.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    @ Jackie. Well, don't blame us--you are just so damn likeable!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Civilization is built upon layer upon layer of lies, to the extent that to successfully be assimilated and contribute one must not only be adept in the practice but more significantly able to successfully ignore/ obscure truth to function adequately socially.

    Wot trewth you talkin' bout boy?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I'm happy to furnish you with some random examples of platforms for untruth:

    This is God punishing you....
    This house will last 150 years...
    No Phyllis you look great in that frock...
    It's the best purchase you'll ever make....
    Brutus is an honourable man....
    I'm working late at the office...
    You're a very special, clever little so and so...
    I left my last job because....
    No honey I would never so much as look at another woman...
    One day you'll realise your school years were the best years of your life...
    Energizer keeps going and going...
    Santa is watching you....
    Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?...
    When you're my age you'll understand....
    The customer comes first...
    We're just good friends...
    Before God we are all equally wise and equally foolish...

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Aren't little white lies social lubricants, Chris? Where's the gain in hurting Phyllis's feelings?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 822 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I'll go you one better. How about this?

    In America, we have wrestled with the idea of divine sanction since the country’s inception. Some of us believe we have a God-given dominion over the earth; others argue that we’re bound to a larger Gaian system and are, at our best, caretakers.

    My heart is with the caretakers. But I believe that humankind made a subconscious collective bargain at the dawn of the industrial age to trade the resources of our planet for the chance to escape it. We live in the transitional age between that decision and its conclusion.

    The author castes the net a bit wide. I'd say if you were going to argue that You'd have to say " some of humankind". As for a role for us I would have thought glorified janitors is more than we deserve right now.
    Anyway found it here Ta ALD
    Dinner awaits TTFN

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Certainly Carol is weighs on me, for where is the gain in sending Phyllis out looking like that, knowing other people may be thinking the same thing I am? Don't we want Phyllis to look her best?

    Social lubricant as you say; a societal machine that requires bullshit as lubricant, can we do no better?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to chris,

    platforms for untruth

    The world is not a fair place. Still amazing, but.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to chris,

    Well, if you must go down that track, Chris, I would suggest keeping the diplomacy/honesty ratio very high indeed.

    It'd be an interesting thought experiment - what would happen if we were to conduct all our social interactions with total honesty? Would it be better or worse? My feeling is that it would all turn to custard pretty quickly.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 822 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I agree Carol, but this example is culturally specific, as for example in China locals would have no qualms giving and taking this kind of superficial analysis with absolute honesty. Their lying occurs more in situations requiring collective analysis. This discrepancy in terms of highlighting the respective subjectivity of the platforms implies a potential for total truth, yet for some reason all cultures (as far as I know) find avenues and justification for lying.

    It’d be an interesting thought experiment – what would happen if we were to conduct all our social interactions with total honesty? Would it be better or worse? My feeling is that it would all turn to custard pretty quickly.

    You find out who your true friends are fast, family dynamics are reconfigured and it becomes pretty damn hard to hold down almost any job you'd care to name (not from situations where you'd tell your boss exactly what you think of him/her, but simply that almost all jobs require us to routinely lie)

    The world is not a fair place. Still amazing, but.

    Tis true,

    I agree Andin, janitors at best, and our roles somewhat undermined in that those who would janit responsibly seem to be those with very little to take care of, whilst those with the opposing attitude, possess the greater portion of the earth.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to chris,

    a potential for total truth, yet for some reason all cultures (as far as I know) find avenues and justification for lying

    If lying is defined as a departure from some absolute truth, then yes it will be everywhere

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Anonymous Author,

    justification for lying.

    Propped up on one elbow, her neck extended at an unusual angle, she met my gaze. "We all lie a lot," she stated. "We experiment with the science of deception; forge fact from fiction; extract truth from fable. Most of us do so as an instinctive, face-saving social tactic – a protective reflex to advance our cause in the world." She blinked. Her pupils dilated as they refocussed. I lay next to her on the floor. "But you do it," she accused, "simply to hurt others. You fabricate to wound and destroy."
    "I do not," I lied. And it was only mildly ironic that my features were unable to express pensive torment.
    I remembered the fifteen words with which to console the afflicted: Choose the aspects of reality you wish to include and those you wish to omit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Anonymous Author,

    Is that William Gibson? I like it, anyway

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    It’d be an interesting thought experiment – what would happen if we were to conduct all our social interactions with total honesty? Would it be better or worse? My feeling is that it would all turn to custard pretty quickly.

    Does my bum look big in this ?

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    I should add that my life's confusion begins with:

    Colleague: How Are you ?

    81st: [Tries to describe how he is at the same time knowing his colleague doesn't want to know and almost immediately fighting back the question why ask ? Finishing with the introspective rebuke why try to answer......?]

    Getting to the end of the corridor at work is still a challenge.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Russell Brown,

    depressing reading a post about the de-funding of TVNZ 7 and seeing sneering comments about how I'd be too much of a lackey of the boss class

    Forgive me if I'm saying something rendered obsolete by later contributions - I haven't read the whole of the thread yet - but...

    There's a great film by Neil jordan, Angel, in which... well blah blah... it allegorises the Irish Troubles anyway, there's a bit where a man who's been pursuing violent vengeance is apprehended by a sympathetic detective who tries to work out his motives and dissuade him from further violence:

    [Detective] Mr Bloom: By the way, I'm Jewish.
    [Suspect] Danny: Are you a Catholic Jew or a Protestant Jew?

    That to me sums up T' Standard. Absolutely everything has to be filtered through their idiotic "class war" mythology. Sometimes it's simply amusing because of its sheer comedic dissonance, but other times, they decide that anything is allowable - racism, homophobia, rape apology, is secondary if it's all in the service of a good cause. Yes, now and again they turn up something good, but I've long since decided that the signal to noise ratio is too low to for me to bother taking anything there seriously.

    And when they shout "Solidarity!", I hear "Whadarya?!" That I find downright sinister.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    I should add that my life’s confusion begins with:

    Colleague: How Are you ?

    Wanna know how an aspie deals with that (in oblique reference to another thread)?

    Badly.

    Hmm, let's see, I know that is simply a social nicety, and I should just say "Fine, thank you, and how are you?" But really, I have this twinge in my knee and the weather is pretty dreary, but on the other hand, I've just had some fairly good news from my mother about how her second husband is dealing with his latest blood transfusion that is part of the palliative therapy for his leukaemia, which, sadly is untreatable, but he's taking it stoically, at least for now and his death within a couple of years in inevitable, but he's given her a good life and I have to say, she's created a lovely garden at their place and my brother has announced the date of his remarriage, which is nice, and his fiance is wonderful and I have to admit that her daughter is hot, but I really shouldn't say that...

    Several internal struggles and grimaces later, I manage to blurt out, "Uh, fine. And you?"

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn, in reply to Kracklite,

    That's why it is a spectrum disorder ;-)

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to 81stcolumn,

    Does my bum look big in this ?

    And how totally arbitrary is it that the socially appropriate answer is not:
    [ enthusiastically ] Oh, yessss! ?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

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