Tom Goulter - Well-Fed Actor, Christchurch

Monday, May 10, 2004

Pun of the week: Take a picture, it'll last longer

As part of the play I'm in this week, it's been my task to seek out old newspapers from the time and place - Australia, 1960 - the play is set. Unable to find actual, real Australian newspapers, I've had to settle for copies of The Weekly News, a Christchurch-based paper. One piece caught my eye:


Our greatest historical document of all, the Treaty of Waitangi, was lost for many years and found at last in some obscure drawer, well on its way to being destroyed by rats. We were more fortunate than we deserve. For although rats throughly enjoy a meal of parchment, it seems that they possiby do not like ink and only the edges, not the actual writing, had been nibbled away. And so, at least so far, we still do have the New Zealand Magna Carta.
- Celia Manson
On the one hand, the sentiment behind the Waitangi/Magna Carta comparison has a gravity and earnestness sorely missed in today's debates. On the other hand, the "eaten by rats" part kind of offsets the whole thing just a smidge.

It's also fascinating comparing the house styles of this old tabloid-size publication and modern papers, particularly as the Weekly News, on the whole, is a far more professional and well-put-together piece than Chch's daily paper. (Their cartoons, for instance, may be the sort of cryptic-crossword "satire" - "satire", in this case, being as defined by Dave Barry as "not funny" - lampooned in vintage Onion issues, but at least they're not the kind of vile shit that I have to force myself to ignore on a daily basis).

Seguing nicely from the above, the New Yorker has a fairly comprehensive (by which we mean, fairly graphic and unpleasant) rundown on the Abu Ghraib abuses, while Whiskey Bar has managed to dig up a firsthand diary from Joe Ryan, an interrogator versed in interviewing, golfing and euphemism.
There is nothing wrong with being an occupying force; that is what we were in Germany and Japan....
Pay attention over the next few days. There will be some changes over here and we may be showing our "big stick."
Foreshadowing - ain't it grand?

And, in the interest of a fair and impartial cross-section of reportage:
After the prisoner began throwing rocks at the so-far unidentified soldier at a detention center last September, the GI defended himself by shooting his attacker, according to the New York Post.

Still, in fit of political correctness [sic] that has hobbled the U.S. military almost from the outset of the Iraq war, the soldier was put on trial and convicted of using excessive force.
- Fuckin' commie pinko faggot nazi political correctness.