Lyndon Hood - late, Lower Hutt

Monday, June 25, 2007

There were a couple of interesting arguments the other week, one where talk about food became political and one where no-doubt-unfair-on-somebody talk about culture and politics took a religious turn.

I have a couple of thoughts that were catapulted back into relevance by the latter. Hopefully they're not stale again, because that would suck for you.

Firstly, the oft-repeat truism that those who do not learn the lessons of history will grow up to be Brian Tamaki.

Watching his most recent performance one though among many was that, surely we sorted this business out already.

As it happens, we did. About 200 years ago. And again perhaps 100 years ago. No doubt plenty of times in between. I won't dwell on the details about who won when and who would have been burned at the stake almost every time, or point out there has never been a "Church of New Zealand", though I see that part of HRH Lizzie's title respect to New Zealand is "Defender of the Faith". No sir, I won't do that.

I will point out that some people have missed perhaps the best opportunity of the generation to use the word 'antidisestablishmentarianism' in context.

Actually, that's not the lesson of history that I wish to offer the Bish. During – I assume – one of those periods of religious sensitivity one Jonathan Swift produced a work called, and I present its full title:
An Argument To Prove That the Abolishing of Christianity in England May, as Things now Stand, be attended with some Inconveniences, and perhaps, not produce those many good Effect proposed thereby
Hopefully you get the jist.

While humbly begging to differ with an exaggerated version of whatever the threat to the established religion of the day was in 1708, he save some of his best hits for the average piousness of the population . It is rather hilarious and awfully pointed and makes an interesting counterpoint in methodology to the baby-eating thing.

And you have no idea how much better disposed I would feel towards Brain Tamaki if he had cited it for support.

The other story relates to Ian Wishart's polemic Eve's Bite. I often pass a bookstore on my way to lunch which had it on prominent display for some time. And, perhaps partly because of the odd combination of words in the title, I thought the same thing every time I saw it.

Someone in the French Department at Otago once told me a story. There used to be an eatery handy for campus called Mega Bite. They would always take visiting french people to eat there. Because 'bite' is apparently a French slang term for penis.

Tee hee he.

Come to think of it, the visiting lecturer at the time was called Yves. Basically pronounced 'Eve' - he quickly got sick of having to explain and took to using names like 'Steve' when ordering taxis.

Whether all this encourages you or puts you off from buying Mr Wishart's book I shan't speculate, but it always amused me.

New Hood: What Has David Bain Done to Anger Helen Clark?

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