Friday, June 27, 2008
This is why I think parents should on no account be allowed tasers.
- Among Judith Collins' attacks on MSD Bureaucrats at questions time: "Well, is it not true that the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research also noted: 'Nearly 50 percent of MSD’s policy papers were of average quality or below.'...?"
I laughed. Is it not true that 'average' means 50% are above and 50% below? They might well mean something else there, but nonetheless. Also, is it not true that the quote might be taken to imply more than 50% were of average quality or above?
- A "pan industry open letter to all political parties" (I note none of the signatories actually directly make pans) had an attachment making industry-by-industry comparisions of ETS subsidies between Europe and NZ. With dinky little clip art pics for each industry. Which doesn't do much for their credibility with me, but does prove they are indeed employers.
- George Carlin, as everyone else has said by now, died. Not just a comic, but possibly the nicest poster boy for free speech I can think of. Transcript of the seven dirty words monologue from the FCC vs Pacifica case. I may have used the wrong version in this Critic article I once wrote about swearing.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
New Hood: The Adventures Of Tom Tagger
It probably helps if you're familiar with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, which you're not. FWIW, here's this from the preface to Tom Sawyer:
Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.While we're quoting this particular genius, here's a nice bit of Parliamentary language from The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg:
"And so, if the Chair will examine the test-remark in the sack, we shall know which of these two frauds--[The Chair. "Order!"]--which of these two adventurers--[The Chair. "Order! order!"]--which of these two gentlemen--[laughter and applause]--is entitled to wear the belt as being the first dishonest blatherskite ever bred in this town--which he has dishonoured, and which will be a sultry place for him from now out!" [Vigorous applause.]"
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Pics of the Weeks: May 2008
I've been reading Mark Twain. The compilation has some "opening remarks" from Kurt Vonnegut at the start of it - I believe they were published when he was alive but given it refers to a couple of pieces that aren't in the compilation it doesn't seem to have been written specially. Vonnegut notes a slew of US satirists who started in the newspapers with a juicy quote I add here when I have the volume to hand.
So many of America's funniest writers have come up through newspapers [he rolls off a few names] that it may be correct to think of them as editorial writers gone berserk.He doesn't specifically mention Ambrose Bierce, more or less comptemporary to Twain. But then, Bierce probably didn't crack - I gather he was like that the whole time.]
It is as through they had written solemnly and respectfully about mankind's problems year after year. And then, one day, they couldn't stand it any more. Nothing would do but that they jeer at their luckless readers for belonging to such a stupid and vain and unlucky and greedy species.
Anyhow, in wondering if this reading would influence my output it did strike me that if Tom Sawyer et al were around today the would be tagging something. When I put this idea to the office it was pointed out that Tom Sawyer would have everyone else tagging things for him.