The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Friday, December 31, 2004

Snap Shot of Korean Life 

Time for some lunacy before the New Year arrives...

Mailboy Slayed By Delusional Diablo Addict

The mail delivery boy at the Pixel Pirate Stingray (venture electronics firm) head office has suffered severe head and chest injuries after he was beaten with the office vacuum cleaner pipe late friday morning. Early reports from the scene name the culprit as Bang Ka-pow, an electrical systems designer for the company.

Work colleagues claim that Bang had been seen earlier in the morning searching the building for weapons and gold, and mumbling something about the demons that work here and how he needs to get to the next level. "We just assumed he was aggresively looking for a promotion" says a co-worker who wishes to remain anonymous (Song Ah-sol). Bang is known to be an avid fan and player of the popular computer game Diablo in his sparetime, all of his sparetime in fact.

Witnesses say he had been sighted in Goosefinger pcroom several times throughout the previous weekend and everynight during the week and he appeared agitated, moaning and cursing at the computer.

As the delivery boy was struck down with several sweeping blows to the torso Bang was heard to scream "new high score... now, where can I trade this Samurai Sword for some decent body armour?".

Bang has been taken into custody by the local police, although the investigations appear to be going slowly after arresting officers were overheard asking Bang something about how he killed the cave troll in the fields of the dead on level 6.... or something or other.

Dickens Longshafter or Yamis

Friday, December 24, 2004

Worst Films of the Year 

Again, I'm cheating: these are the worst films I saw for the first time this calendar year:

10. SHREK 2 (2004)

It's exactly like the first film. Except slightly more grating and childish.


What the hell happened to the Coen brothers? The lesser Baldwin brothers (Stephen and Daniel, for those wondering) would have done a better job.

8. THE VILLAGE (2004)

I have a simple request: if you insist on making a character, say, blind, make sure that her actions and abilities are consistant with said ailment. Unless you are making DAREDEVIL or something. Oh, and another thing: STOP WHISPERING!

7. MONSTER (2003)

Theron is very good, the the film she is stuck in is a lumpen, ugly mess. It fails to draw us into the horror of what this woman did, let alone get anywhere near explaining it.


I'm a left-wing type guy, but my God do movies that champion left-wing causes suck. Why are they so earnestly and ridiculously dogmatic, take-this-medicine-you'll-like-it condescending and just plain dull?

5. 50 FIRST DATES (2004)

Sandler and Barrymore were excellent together in the superb THE WEDDING SINGER. This sentence couldn't be less true for their tepid, joke-free reunion.

4. SILMIDO (2004)

The Korean film based on a true story of how 30 odd convicts were trained by the military in the 60's to assassinate the North Korean president should have AT LEAST been historically fascinating with great macho acting. Nope. Instead it has characters that change motivation from scene to scene to fit the cliches and atroicious direction. Disappointing.


One of those films where you expect a twist, and then when it never comes, you realise you've been watching the worst thriller in recent memory in the hope the last 10 minutes would justify to your decision to waste 90 minutes on lazy thriller staples and hammy acting. Clue: it doesn't. In fact, it makes it even worse.


God, is this or a putrid excuse for a celebration of love and romance, or what? It features the creepiest child actor since Martin Short played a 10 year old in CLIFFORD, and a whole bunch of generally interesting actors vanillafied by Richard Curtis' banal, vapid, dishonest views of male-female relationships. It's all about the big gesture, right? Bullshit.


This is a Korean film you will never see. And for a bloody good reason.

Motor ticking type men's sexual organ model masturbation tool 

Korean Government Saving the Yoof from fun.

[The harmful things of the youth are]
The harmful things of the youth is the things which has worry to damage the youth's mind and body seriously without restriction of the youth's use such as sexual tools which promote licentious act to the youth and kinds of toy which promote lewdness/violence/brutality/speculation to the youth and the notified thing by the commission on youth protection's decision according to the standard provided by a Presidential decree.

[The kinds of harmful things of the youth]
The commission on youth protection notification No. 1997-7 (Oct. 18th, 1997)

Sexual organ enlargement tools for men's use
- Vacuum men's sexual organ enlarging machines, etc.

Sexual organ training kinds of tool for men's use
- Men's sexual organ wearing ring product (BIO SUPER RING), etc.
- Men's sexual organ wearing jade product (topaz), etc
- Vigor(health) briefs for men's use (VIGOR / BIO BRIFF), etc.

Women's sexual organ stimulating kinds of tool for men's use
- Uneven special condom (GAT-101), etc.
- Injection condom (AMOR LONG LOVE), etc.
- Goblin condom (another name = LOVE), etc.
- Another name magic ring, etc.
- Women's sexual organ stimulating band (Hercules), etc

Masturbation tools for men's use
- Motor ticking type women's body model masturbation tool , etc.
- Cup model one time use masturbation tool (Love ship), etc.
- Air and water pouring type vinyl pack masturbation tool (PINKY PAK), etc.

Masturbation kind of tool for women's use
- Motor ticking type men's sexual organ model masturbation tool (PILOT BOAT), etc.

The commission on youth protection notification No. 1999-23 (may.11th, 1999), enforcement (May. 18th, 1999)
- Laser pointer
Yep, I know what you're thinking. "Where can I get a Goblin Condom from and how much is it?"

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Year in Review: Films 

Obviously, seeing as I live in Korea and thus have access to only a small selection of films from elsewhere - much, much worse than even New Plymouth, if you can believe that - I can hardly give a definitive Top 10 list of films from 2004. Hell, I've only seen 36 films with a 2004 release date, and 8 of them are Korean (you better believe I have an Excel spreadsheet....girls dig it, really).

So instead, I'll give you a Top 10 list of the best films I have seen for the first time this calender year (sample selection: 137 at time of writing), and a Bottom 10 of same (in a latter post). Ready?

Top 10:

10. BLOODY SUNDAY (Paul Greengrass, 2002) ***1/2

Devastatingly realistic portrayal of the tragic real life event in Northern Ireland. Manages to be documentary-like without ever resorting to hey-look-at-me-I’m-so-real-and-this-stuff-happened-exactly-like-this-isn’t-this-uncanny! posturing. Instead it takes an effortlessly relaxed, natural performance from James Nesbitt (who I keep wanting to call James Beattie for some reason) and spins a genuine sense of dread and a strong, affecting emotion. Director Paul Greengrass would take his shaky camera off to film Matt Damon running away from things in THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, but it is much more suited to this disturbing film.

9. ALMOST FAMOUS (UNTITLED CUT) (Cameron Crowe, 2000) ***1/2

Okay, so I had seen the theatrical cut before. And I don’t think the Director’s Cut is significantly better, as there is only so much time you can devote to someone else’s recollections as a teenage boy – meeting David Bowie and Led Zeppelin or no – before you are shipping them off to the retirement home to continue the conversation with the nice nurse Alice. But the elongated film, with 35 minutes of extra stuff, does deepen the nostalgia and strengthen the characters, emphasizing that for it’s setting of real life rock stars, boozing and decadence, the film is really about how people just want to be noticed – preferably by the person you love, but if that’s not an option, then just a lot of people will do. The most amazing thing in the film: Kate Hudson is good. Really good. What happened?

8. COLLATERAL (Michael Mann, 2004) ***1/2

I’ve always loved Michael Mann (platonically, of course, though I haven’t seen him in a bathing suit yet). Simply put, he makes great films for guys; at least the kind of films for guys that don’t involve serious waxing of hard to reach places on the part of the actors. His films are tough and no nonsense, but with an unshakable sheen of class and style, and here is no exception. The script is no great thing – it’s functional, does the job, gets from the beginning to the end without stumbling over itself – but Mann’s direction and the acting carry it into something macho-cool. Tom Cruise is not an actor I generally like: watching him prance around in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 as if he was Chow Yun-Fat (which he really, absolutely, is not, no matter how many doves float around his head) just reminds you how narrow his range is: cocky, likeable characters are his thing, not much else. But since 1999, Cruise has started to prove me wrong. He was pretty good in EYES WIDE SHUT, fantastic in MAGNOLIA and now here, he is perfect for the role. I still think critics go too far overboard when they see a leading man play the bad guy – bad, it seems to me, is the easiest role to play – that’s not what Cruise does here. Here, he actually plays a goddamn loser trying to be cool, a hitman with the great looking grey suit who’s crap at his job. Don’t believe me? Check out the film again, see how many things he fucks up.

7. SPRING, SUMMER, WINTER, FALL…..AND WINTER (Kim-Ki-Duk, 2003) ***1/2

Long titles are cool; the sure as hell beat THE “X”. We need more long titles. THE VILLAGE would have been so much better if it had been called SHYMALAN REPEATS HIS LAST THREE FILMS BUT WITH CORSETS AND A SUPERHUMAN BLIND GIRL. Anyway, this is a Korean film about a Buddhist monastery in the middle of a lake surrounded by hills , and it charts the life – through 5 short segments of about 20 minutes each, set during the seasons of the title – of a young boy as becomes a middle-aged man. Beautifully shot, quiet and undeniably spiritual, even for a heathen like me, it makes small elemental observations of the human spirit and spins them into a delicately crafted ode to doing what’s right, even after you’ve done something completely wrong.

6. DOLLS (Takeshi Kitano, 2002) ***1/2

So it’s basically about a guy and a girl who walk around the beautiful autumnal countryside dressed as traditional Japanese marionette dolls; the girl is crazy because the guy broke up with her once upon a time, but he’s no sharp crayon in this resplendently shot box. Interweaved with this are two other delicate, intriguing stories of obsession and the intractability of time, how our actions haunt us even though we thought we had no choice at the time. There’s no blood in this Kitano film – well, there’s a little bit, but it’s a Kitano film, for God’s sake! – but instead a ton of mediation and stuff that sits well with the splendor of the camerawork.

5. NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (Hayao Miyazaki, 1984) ***1/2

This guy is an animation genius (THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE being an example of animated genius), and it’s nice to know that his talent extends right back 20 years; this means that in 2024, I will still be able to drink more than yamis and not look like an extra from BRAIN DEAD the next day. To the point: Miyasaki has two things that are unequalled in modern animation. First, he is able to push his environmental concerns without ever having the audience feeling like they are chained to a tree with vegan Greenpeace dude lecturing you about the dangers of, I don’t know, lactose (stereotype ahoy!) and though it NAUSICAA doesn’t have the subtlety and elegance of SPIRITED AWAY, it is still a heartfelt plea to take care of the world that has been entrusted to us. Secondly is his amazing habit of having characters that refuse to pigeonholed into good and evil, but are rather driven by a particular set of personal ethics that happen to encompass both at the same time. Again, another Miyazaki film, PRINCESS MONONOKE, has the best example of this (the desperately loyal Lady Eboshi), but NAUSICAA can be seen as an accomplished trial run for this sort of complicated character machinery.

4. THE SCHOOL OF ROCK (Richard Linklater, 2003) ***1/2

Oh, how I wish THE NEWTON BOYS didn’t exist, because then I could start this summary with the lazy cliché that Linklater has never made a bad film. So, instead I have to use the cliché that this is the role that Jack Black – the earnestly goofy, passionately obsessed man-child – was born to play. He totally kicks this pleasant, formulaic film into the stratosphere by merely being himself; in other words, by mugging and rocking and taking the piss. And of course, the music being worshipped is worthy of destroying the education of a bunch of (in the case of this film, winning and entertaining) muppets. The final credits song is better than the AC/DC original, by the way.

3. OLDBOY (Park Chan-Wook, 2003)

Shakespearian Korean revenge psycho-action-drama based on a Japanese manga, this is a trippy, hallucinatory mind-fuck of a film that would probably be remembered merely for it premise (man is locked in a small room for 15 years without ever seeing his captors, and then suddenly released for no reason) if it didn’t have such a strong emotional core, a devastating climax and such brilliant acting from all concerned, but especially lead Choi Min-Shik. Imagine David Fincher directing a collaboration between David Lynch and Phillip K. Dick, and you get the idea.

2. AMERICAN SPLENDOR (Shari Springer Berman; Robert Pulcini, 2003) ***1/2
Biopics are generally dull, sedate, complimentary affairs, covering too much time and not enough genuine excitement, and never being worthwhile as educational tools because so much dramatic license is used that if I was acting in the movie of my own life right now, I would have shagged Zhang Ziyi and been to the moon by now. So thank God for AMERICAN SPLENDOR, which sweeps aside so many of those concerns in one easy soundbite – documentary mixed with drama. So we get to see the superb Paul Giamatti act out his cantankerous side as the unusual comic creator Harvey Pekar, and then we get to see the real Pekar to show us that the film isn’t over exaggerating his uniqueness. The film is goddamn funny as a bonus.


Loving someone is a precarious thing. Sure, while you’re in the middle of it, it’s fine; all affection and dizziness, discovery and sex. But then, invariably, that all stops. How this happens can come in one of a million different ways, but the end point is the same: a deep sense of loss and pain, dislocation and self-doubt. This is the best film about why the latter is worth risking for the former that I have ever seen. While everything fades eventually, the happy memories are more tenacious than most – and they eventually transcend the bitter, screwed up ones. This is the first Kaufman written film I have really liked, and it’s a beauty. Before, he seemed like nothing more than a guy full of clever ideas who couldn’t write a third act because usually if you are trying to show everyone how smart you are, you can just leave the pub and go home to your Star Trek DVD’s. But a film requires some sort of closure, and Kaufman has never successfully done that till now. And the whole film clicks resoundingly into place when it arrives. Great film.

Re-electing Labour in 2005 

I wanted a relatively dramatic title for what's probably my last post of 2004, and this one seems to fit the bill. It follows a fairly positive account of Helen Clark's Prime Ministership by Colin James in the Herald, in which he notes that on Thursday, Clark will surpass Lange as the second-longest serving Labour Prime Minister behind Peter Fraser. So good on her for reaching five years and 13 days, but I'd be pretty pissed off if she wasn't able to challenge such dubious tory records as Bolger (7 years) and Muldoon (8.5 years). And in the spirit of giving free election campaign advice (see my earlier exhortations to one John F. Kerry), I'd like to suggest the following ad to Ms. Clark and her campaign team.

-- Opening Scene: clouds of smoke, distant screams and sirens
-- Scene 2: clouds role back to reveal footage of chaos in Iraq
-- Scenes 3-4: some stock footage of chaos and calamity in Iraq
-- Scenes 5-6: close-ups of fatalities (pref. at least one "white" casualty).
-- Scene 7: white text on black background: Don Brash would have sent New Zealanders to die in Iraq
-- Scene 8: appropriate quote from Don Brash
-- Scene 9: Vote Labour.

Crude, controversial even perhaps, but we all know there's no depths to which Tories won't sink to regain office, so go get 'em and keep New Zealand on a relatively positive track, with a competent ministry and good economic foundations.

Monday, December 20, 2004

dc_red's big book of complaints 

Holy shit the weather is truly atrocious. While the good people of Auckland and Port Waikato complain about a little hail, the weather here continues to be unrelentingly cold. Bone chilling in fact. This morning I awoke to a balmy 5 degrees. Yesterday the temperature varied from a low of 6 to a high of 11, and I'm sure that doesn't take account of the polar winds that buffeted us from every angle. The most hilarious thing about the MetService's page is that, while otherwise accurate, it forecasts "extreme" UV risk, and states:

Reschedule outdoor activities for early morning evening. Seek shade between 11am 4pm. Re-apply sunscreen regularly.
Is this someone's idea of a sick joke?? How exactly is the sun supposed to penetrate through the thick, unrelenting layer of dark grey cloud, and then onwards through my two thick sweaters and toque? And who is actually outside for more than the few minutes it takes to run from the car to their place of work? We're practicing sun avoidance here, alright, because it's too fucking cold to be outdoors! Wankers.

A couple of years back Yamis returned to Auckland for "summer", only to be met with rain on something like 35 of the first 40 days he was back (Dec/Jan). While I felt sympathy for the poor bugger at the time, I'd rather be a bit damp than living in this bizarre Antarctic version of hell.

Just for point of reference, two days out from the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere, it's 9.3 degrees in Vancouver right now. If I wanted to be cold at Christmas I'd move back there. In fact, it's hard to be cold there for long because they have a little thing called indoor heating, and don't rely on such C19th technologies as coal-burning home fireplaces!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

New Zealand Selection Policies A Joke 

Bluebeardnz, Yamis, Urak Hai and Yamis' mate seen debuting on the recent tour to the Northern Hemisphere.

The strain clearly taking it's toll on Rigor and Lehmann doesn't take the race seriously enough and winds up coming a distant second.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Seditious axe-wielding maniacs? 

In today's reporting on the charge of sedition laid against Timothy Selwyn, the person alleged to have planted an axe firmly in the window of the Prime Minister's electorate office, the NZ Herald and Stuff run a near-identical comment on his "having made the headlines four years ago after writing an article in Craccum in which he denied that suicide was a selfish act." Blah, whatever, our Mr Selwyn is a more exciting character than that.

I recall him writing something else in Craccum about "an interactive Once Were Warriors themepark." Which was pretty evocative....

Update: for commentary on this issue more informed than you'll find anywhere in the mainstream press, see the comments of norightturn. A few choice excerpts:
The man responsible for the axe attack against the Prime Minister's electorate office has been charged not just with criminal damage, but also with "seditious conspiracy". For a taste of the dubiousness of this law, it was last used in 1914, to prosecute conscientious objectors who refused to fight and die in a struggle between two German monarchs.

"Seditious conspiracy" is an explicitly political crime, criminalising people gathering or planning to "excite disaffection against... the Government" or encouraging "violence, lawlessness, or disorder" in the abstract. It is a ridiculous and archaic law, as can be seen from its underlying assumptions: "exciting disaffection" is a crime, so by implication we should all feel affection towards our rulers. But since when the fuck have we been expected to love the government?!? And why, other than sheer naked self-interest on behalf of our rulers, should it be any sort of crime to encourage people to be discontented or resentful towards them?

Yes, I recall trying to "excite disaffection" against the Bolger/Richardson/Birch/Shipley governments with some regularity. Not that I ever had much success. But I'm not sure I would have slowed down if I saw Ruth Richardson crossing the road. Community service and all that...

Norightturn ends on this note:
Sticking an axe through a window is a crime, and can be prosecuted under laws against property damage. It should make no difference who the window belongs to, or what political opinions the attacker espouses or propagates. Otherwise, we open the door for the police to engage in political persecution (which is exactly what they are doing here). It's a timely reminder of the danger of letting such archaic laws survive; their existence is an invitation to use, which is why they must be repealed.

Take a note, blowhards of the world (Murray McCully, Gerry Brownlee, Stephen Franks, and others who I am sure are big fans of this sort of legislated nonsense.)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Lydiard memorial 

There are discussions at the moment about how New Zealand should best go about remembering Arthur Lydiard - the country's greatest ever coach and amazingly the person credited with starting the jogging trend, not just here but world-wide.

Here's my suggestion - why not have a day where people can attempt (run, jog or walk) his famous, or should that be infamous, Waiatarua running track through the Waitakere Ranges.

Not only would it promote getting people out and exercising - something Lydiard staunchly advocated - but serious runners could have a crack at the course.

It would be an appropriate way to remember a great New Zealander!

In other news I've been calculating how much money I earn per breath - after tax I have to breathe 357 times to earn a dollar.

Then again I don't bring in $50m in advertising revenue either.

Now this press release by the Poleece this morning is classic:

At about 7.45pm a 43 year old heavily intoxicated male was hit by a train travelling north. He was seen walking along the tracks by the train driver who sounded the horn and activated his emergency brakes.

The man appeared to not notice the train or the fact that the horn was going. He was found lying next to the tracks by the driver, who thought he had been injured. Ambulance staff attended and declared that he had no serious injuries as a result of the impact.

He was taken home (for his own safety) by South Auckland Police staff, who consider him to be one of the luckiest persons in the country.

Wonder if he has a hangover?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

So just who is sitting on the internet? 

I'm often curious as to who makes up the masses of folk sitting there at work or home surfing the net or on a laptop in Swaziland or wherever and have long had suspicions (or rather it's been pretty damn obvious) that conservatives and right-wingers (same thing more often than not) make up a decent chunk of those online.

On the 10th of December the latest NZ political poll came out (National Business Review-Phillips Fox poll) giving Labour a healthy lead over National, even factoring in the margin of error. It's worth noting that other polls have come out in the last few weeks with larger survey groups and they suggest support for Labour in the 46-50% range.

Here are the NBR-PF poll figures:
Labour 43%
National 36%
New Zealand First 8%
Greens 5%
United Future 3.8%
ACT 1.9%
Other 2.3%

The poll of 750 voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent.

Now flash to a few days later to the poll conducted online at and look at their results:
National (3245 votes, 41%)
Labour (2595 votes, 33%)
Greens (552 votes, 7%)
ACT (378 votes, 4%)
NZ First (375 votes, 4%)
United Future (327 votes, 4%)
Maori Party (213 votes, 2%)
Progressive Party (83 votes, 1%)

Of course it's worth mentioning that probably attracts a slightly dis-proportionately rightish type crowd but as there is a reasonably small selection of NZ media I think most of us surf all of the NZ news sites rather than just the extreme left wing sites like the.... um.... well fuck?!

Now in some ways that makes many of their polls rather useless. Or at least it shows how 'unreflective' they can be of NZ society. Though everybody knows that anyway, it's just nice to have it as plainly spelt out as all that at least. Now at least I have confirmation that I'm not completely out of touch when I go voting liberal in one of their polls and am stunned to find out I'm in the minority ;)

In conclusion, and to get back to my 'research point' that really inspired this effort in the first place, I guess you could say that the internet is populated by office workers, the wealthy, activists, uni students and expats. I'll let you guess who they are voting. Let's just thank god that the retired haven't worked out how to use it yet. Then polls would start showing mass support for Winston Peters and free walking frames and heavily discounted sherry :(

Regarding other polls, this one seems pretty damn clear what the masses think.

Does TVNZ newsreader Judy Bailey deserve a salary of $800,000?
Yes (1441 votes, 19%)
No (6017 votes, 80%)

According to my calculator she will now be getting 769 dollars a minute if you take the apparent 4 minutes she is reported to have on air each night and at 5 nights a week for the entire year. And I take it she works less than 5 nights a week on average and goes for the odd holiday or two.

Not bad for scary storytime to the masses.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Spead the Good News 

Russell Brown, who as Bennyasena points out below has remarkably similar views to us on the issue of farting, linked to this article on "the good news from Iraq" ... or rather, the fact that those insisting on the existence of "good news" do so from the comfort of their armchairs, and not the discomfort of the sand, or a bombed house with no running water. Nice one, dumbasses.

In other news, there are still oil tankers breaking apart in Alaska.

This article illustrates most dramatically one of the possible consequences of standing for office in Ukraine.

And some poor guy was killed in a road rage incident on Glebe Point Road in Sydney, just a few hundred metres from where we were staying, and eating out most evenings. It has the feel of a dangerous city, what with all those bars on windows everywhere. Must say lying on Manly Beach beats working in Dunedin any day though.

First to smell it.... 

Russell Brown writes in his blog today:
That thing up about body odour being an issue in smokefree pubs: it's for real. In the crowd about three metres back from the stage at the Checks show on Friday night the air was alive with the various aromas of eau de teenage hormone; the sort of smells that have hitherto been masked by ambient tobacco smoke.
And when the guy in front of me farted it was just horrible. I took a step back and tried to ignore it, but I had to give up and go further back.
Good work Yamis.

The following is from Yamis' satirical April 1 blog Farters' Rights:
...I am a farter. I love going down to my local and having a social fart over a pint of beer. I fart for about 3-4 minutes solidly, and then wait a couple of minutes before farting again. I repeat this gas release for anything between 30 minutes and 6 hours depending on whether or not I'm having a big night or notBut I'm not rude or anything. I always ask at least one other person at my table if they mind if I fart or not. Usually I catch them off guard a bit and they say something like "umm worries.

By about 10 or 11 my farting mates have arrived and the place is packed with about half the patrons just squeezing them out like nobody's business. It's mad. You can see the gas in the air and it just wafts about, with the air conditioning struggling to cope with it all. People are getting red eyes as the smell seeps into their corneas and the odd person hacks away quietly as it all gets a bit too much for the poor blighter..."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sunday Boredom 

Good god, I'm bored. Just watched the local rivals win the football league in Korea on penalties so it's not been the greatest day. And some of the amber fluid consumed last night is still messing with the brain.

I promised my cousin I'd blog about the night (it was her leaving parteee) but don't really know what the hell to say. There were 25 of us, we drank a large amount of alcohol and then danced like idiots. I suppose I can go into detail though which is where it gets fun, but then again is it fun reading about people you don't know getting drunk and having a great night but not breaking any laws or getting naked?

On a different note though, this guy is seriously on my wavelength. And linking to us as well.

Show me the stats!!!


Me? How dare you?!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

NZ Domestic Cricket Round 1 

Well the first round of the State Shield has just been completed and here is a list of the standout performers. Basically anybody who scored more than 70 or took 3 or more wickets in an innings.

Otago v Central Districts (CD won outright by 7 wickets)

Otago 1st Innings 193
Schwass 15 2 50 3
Sulzberger 12 5 14 3

C.District 1st Innings 291
Jamie How 105
McMillan 21.3 6 74 3
Wilson 21 7 48 3

Otago 2nd Innings 278
Cumming 125
Schwass 18 9 33 3
Sulzberger 28 8 67 3

C.District 2nd Innings 181/3
Jamie How 108


Auckland v Northern Districts (Auckland won outright by an innings and 89 runs)

Northern 1st innings 237
Tama Canning 6 for 44

Auckland 1st Innings 418
Tama Canning 115
Darryl Tuffey 4 for 74

Northern 2nd Innings 92
Kerry Walmsley 7 for 28


Canterbury v Wellington (Match drawn, Wellington take first innings points)

Wellington 1st innings 384
Matthew Bell 86
Chris Martin 28.3 6 63 4
Paul Wiseman 29 7 63 3

Canterbury 1st Innings 298/8
Stewart 82
O'Brien 25 2 91 4

Wellington 2nd Innings 153/7
Chris Martin 16 4 44 4

and a bit more interesting news...
Captain Stephen Fleming hopes more Black Caps will challenge his vice-captain for the end of series spoils in the New Zealand summer, acknowledging the side has a couple of key players "simmering" in the background – Daryl Tuffey and Shane Bond. [yeah right, as if Bond will last moe than 3 overs before breaking down again]

New Zealand's only century maker in the tests was allrounder Jacob Oram embarrassingly one of only three Black Caps – the others were Fleming and Mathew Sinclair – to make a higher score than Australian tailender Glenn McGrath's 61.

Australia was all too much for opener Mark Richardson who announced his retirement yesterday, citing mental tiredness.

"I tried to talk him out of it," Fleming admitted.

"He wasn't recognised enough in terms of the runs he provided. He wasn't flashy or flamboyant but he was recognised as one of the top 10 players of the world for a long time.

"He was different .... a surfer, an ex-spinner. He could be complicated but also extremely interesting over a beer.

"I'm disappointed to see him go."

... the status of Mills' fellow pace bowler Ian Butler is under a cloud after Bracewell's younger brother Brendon launched a scathing attack on the little-used Northern Districts right armer, claiming yesterday he was a "selfish bloke ....the sort of character Johnny doesn't want in the team.

"He is one of those blokes who gets a dose of the sniffles and infects the whole team with his misery."

John Bracewell would not comment on his brother's outburst yesterday but should face further scrutiny when the team returns home tomorrow.
Nothing like a bit of bitchiness amongst grown men is there?

Regarding the opening issue now that Richardson has called it a day (prematurely surely). The selectors might be looking at Jamie How after his centuries in each innings for Central Districts v Otago in the first round of the State Shield. I don't know when the last time a NZer scored hundreds in both innings opening the batting in first class cricket. Maybe not that long ago but it doesn't happen much in any batting position in NZ.

This guy has what all good openers need though when facing the new ball on a greentop.

Friday, December 10, 2004

American Guns Doing What They Do Best 

Chalk up another victory for peoples rights to arm themselves to the hilt in the wonderful US of fucken AYE?!

Or is that chalk up a few more body outlines?

I saw this guy playing for Pantera several years ago. Alas another one bites the dust.

Former Pantera Guitarist Killed on Stage
By JAY COHEN, Associated Press Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A gunman charged onstage at a packed nightclub and opened fire on the band and crowd, killing top heavy metal guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and three other people before a police officer shot him to death, authorities and witnesses said.

Police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio identified three of the victims of Wednesday's shooting as Abbott, who played for the band Damageplan, and two other men, Nathan Bray and Erin Halk.

She identified the gunman as Nathan Gale, 25, of the Marysville area northwest of Columbus. She said there was no information on a motive or if he had any connection to the band.

Damageplan had just begun its first song at Alrosa Villa when the man shot Abbott five or six times at point-blank range, a witness said.

Abbott, 38, one of metal's top guitarists, and his brother, Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, were original members of Grammy-nominated thrash rock pioneers Pantera, a popular metal band in the 1990s.

The witness, 22-year-old Chris Couch, said he was standing about 30 feet from the stage when he saw a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt walk up to the stage, followed by a bouncer and another club employee.

The man in the sweatshirt climbed onto the stage, started yelling and opened fire on the guitarist, then shot a bouncer who pulled him off the musician, Couch said.

Police spokesman Sgt. Brent Mull said that after shooting at band members, the gunman fired into the crowd. Mull said the gunman was shot and killed by a police officer who arrived shortly after the shooting began.

"If the officer wasn't as close as he was, I think this would have been a lot worse," Mull said. "It was a chaotic scene, just a horrific scene."

Mercurio said the officer who killed the suspect was patrolling nearby when he heard the call about the shooting. He entered the club through a back door and was directed to the stage, where he saw one person lying dead and the suspect holding onto another person, Mercurio said. The officer shot and killed the suspect.

The name of the fifth person killed was not immediately released. Mercurio said family members were still being notified.

Thursday morning, a dozen yellow roses, still in plastic wrap, lay near the entry to the low-slung beige building that since 1974 has hosted mostly heavy metal acts. The club, just off a freeway exit on the city's north side, sits amid motels, small businesses and office complexes.

After the shooting began, Couch and a friend headed for the exit along with a tide of hundreds of fans.

"It was definitely a grudge. It was against something," Couch said.

Amanda Stankus, 19, who attended the show with Couch, said she initially thought the shooting was part of the show. "I just saw the guitarist fall down, and we decided to get out of there," she said.

The Abbott brothers produced Damageplan's debut album, "New Found Power," which was released in February. Other band members are vocalist Patrick Lachman and bassist Bob Zilla.

"Damageplan carries on the tradition Pantera started, the ... hell-raising tradition we were all about," Vinnie Paul Abbott told The Dallas Morning News in October. "We do play some Pantera songs. Me and Dime wrote them, and we feel like we have the right to play them. But the focus is on Damageplan.

"It took a while for some of the Pantera fans to accept it; we knew that was gonna be the case," he said. "Change is something that people have a hard time accepting. But me and Dime intended on doing this our whole lives."

A message left with Atlantic Records, which oversees the record label on which Damageplan records, was not immediately returned.

Damageplan's Web site said Darrel and Vinnie Abbott grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area where their father, country songwriter Jerry Abbott, owned a recording studio.

Telephone numbers for both Darrell and Jerry Abbott are unlisted and could not be reached early Thursday by The Associated Press.

Pantera, known for its brutally hard, fast and aggressive sound, recorded four albums in the 1990s. They attracted a massive cult following and the band's third release, "Far Beyond Driven," debuted at No. 1 in 1994, surprising chart-watchers and critics alike.

Pantera was nominated for Grammys for best metal performance in 1995 for "I'm Broken" and in 2001 for "Revolution Is My Name." The video "The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits," made charts earlier this year as one of the top 10 in music video sales.

Dozens of messages were posted to the Dallas band's Web site after the shootings.

"This is the worst day in metal history," one posting read.

"The metal world feels your pain," another wrote.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Bloggingitlive from Sydney 

dc_red reporting from the SCG

Attended last night's game at the SCG. They wouldn't give me a press pass (despite my obvious devotion to sports reporting) so I had to shell out $47(AUS) for the benefit of a seat. Plenty of kiwis around, and ozi-kiwi relations were fine, which was pleasant compared to the barracking the occasional ozi at Eden Park receives. Just a bit of banter back and forward, all good.

Nice ground with good views from everywhere, as you'd expect, although the scoreboard was more concerned with advertising Queensland vacations than replaying any of the action. Which perhaps wasn't surprising given the dodgy LBW decisions that went against New Zealand (McCullum being the most obviously cheated - AGAIN - although Styris also looked hard done by in this humble blogger's opinion). On the other hand, given the reasonable weather in Sydney - compared to the ongoing Antarctic conditions in Dunedin - I don't know why Queensland is trying so hard to advertise itself to Sydney-siders.

Now to the game ... great start by Australia, with Oram in particular taking a hammering. He had a truly shocking game - one of those days, don't let it happen again! In the end, I guess Adams might have been more use, he was bloody good in the field after poor old Harry hobbled off. Oram doesn't seem to throw from the outfield very well either, I observed while he stood in front of us for half the innings. Full credit to Harry for coming out to bat with a buggered shoulder, especially when Lee was keen on firing a couple of short ones at him at around 150kph. Speaking of Lee, one of the (few) replays clearly showed Lee chucking. Dirty bastard, I can spot a bent elbow from 120 yards. And I don't care how many degrees it is.

New Zealand bowled well in the middle and later stages, with Vettori and Mills doing well, foreshadowing their later efforts with the bat. I thought Vettori was unlucky not to get a 2nd LBW, especially when Hogg and Symonds were awarded everything they appealed for. Bastards! Or Bastard umpires, I should say. Stryis was surprisingly good with the ball too.

On to the NZ innings ... Astle looked out of form again and it was just a matter of time until he edged one through to the slips. Doesn't like it short and rearing up outside off. Sinclair was OK until he tried to force the pace and got out. Fleming dicked around for a while and never looked like going on. Then it was on to the LBWs, before Cairns got amongst them from a while, but always looked like holing out to midon or midoff, which duly happened once he hit 50. Great efforts by Vettori and Mills (and Harry) but in the end we couldn't quite pull it off.

I guess that one terrible over by Oram really separated the teams. Onwards and upwards, even though dc_red and ms_red are now $96 poorer. And that's Ozi dollars mind you.

God forbid, a journalist with an opinion? 

TV3 has come to the defence of its newsreader Carol Hirschfield who, shock horror, was seen at a demonstration protesting against the continued imprisonment of refugee Ahmed Zaoui.

TV3's boss Mark Jennings said Hirshfield's presence did not constitute political bias, although the company required its reporters to remain politically "disinterested and neutral".

Yes you read that right - journalists are supposed to be "disinterested".

I see TVNZ gleefully ran the story, perhaps they should look a little closer to their own backdoor?

If society can't rely on journalists to be out there questioning authority and championing causes who the fuck will be?

Surely it's a journalist's job to out there creating a stink and adding their voice to public outcries when they percieve injustices are being committed.

Is Carol allowed not to eat meat or might that prejudice the stories she presents on the sheep and beef industries?

The whole - "she was only there supporting her husband" - sounds suspiciously like PR bullshit, I don't know why Jennings' doesn't just say "our reporters are human beings, and they are entitled to do what ever the fuck they want in their own spare time".

Do the public realise that journalists are journalists because they do give a shit about what goes on around them?

Granted, you don't want mainstream journalists wearing their Labour 2005 elelection t-shirts as they cover the National Party's annual conference but surely there's a difference between that and protesting against the continued imprisonment of someone who has never been charged?

Someone who the Government has refused to tell the public why they are being held?

This is New Zealand not fucking Guantanamo Bay.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Civil Union Bill Is Gay 

(Bloggingitreal brings to you this guest commentary from concerned citizen Coran Lill on the pending civil union legislation)

The Civil Union Bill carry on has been irritating me.

Largely because of some people's desire to abbreviate it into the awkward looking CUB.

And also because of all the straight trendies jumping on the band wagon and trying to get mileage out of it.

Like some self-styled media commentators and the patronising way they write about the gay cause.

If you give same-sex couples a civil union and you give opposite-sex couples a civil union but you don't give same-sex couples marriage, then that's discrimination.

It's like apartheid. You can have a beach. And we can have a beach. Just don't come on ours. And that's fair?

Or underpaying women in the workplace. She's on $12 an hour. He's on $14 an hour. How about we give you both $2 an hour more to sort it out. And that's fair?

You either do something properly, or you don't bother.

Especially when it comes to legislation governing love.

And the reason why the Labour government hasn't been able to do it properly is because there's not the momentum there for a full, once and for all recognition of gay rights.

Why not?

Partly it's because the majority of people will never be ready for broad changes to human rights. It's always a bit risky politically.

But there's a feeling out there that it's another bit of rushed legislation that's being pushed by an agenda rather than by the electorate.

But even if people were gagging for change, Labour's just about used up its quota of social engineering power this term and in my opinion needs a fresh mandate before it can do any more tinkering.

Without that, it's in danger of eating away at its electorate support.

Some might say that beggars can't be choosers and that gays should just be grateful for what they get from the state.

That one in the hand is worth two in the bush, so to speak.

I say that the gay community should neither compromise what it really believes in nor what it really wants.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

English Premiership Round-up. 

...because it's a damn sight easier than the whole prediction thing.

My selected style this week is to complete all reviews in a single sentence. Tune in next week when I actually think of something clever.


Aston Villa played the worst half of football of any team I have seen this season and we still couldn't win (this sentence limit is a good idea, because this could have turned into a rant about our inadequacy in front of goal, our inability to demolish teams that deserve to be demolished, the way we manage to make every game a close game even when it isn't) (parenthetical thoughts are counted as part of the single sentence, by the way) (Yes, even two).


Both teams start with the letter C and the similarities don't end there; apparently they both played like crap on Sunday (I have the feeling the semi-colon and I are just at the beginning of a beautiful friendship).


Everton came from behind twice during the game to win; as a Liverpool supporter, there are several jokes right there to be made, but unfortunately all them require an extra sentence.


The most predictable result of the weekend was that Birmingham didn't score; the most surprising was that Arsenal didn't concede.


Norwich have drawn 9 times this season already; obviously, this wasn't one of those 9 times (sorry, but it's Norwich!) (Against Fulham!)


Christiano Ronaldo took a break from falling over a lot (yamis will have to dig up the accompanying gif) to score for the first time since he last stopped falling over, and Rooney took a break from scoring with the judicious use of the credit card to score on the field; Southampton didn't even get a tip for their pillaging here.


West Brom remain last, which what you'd expect from a team that has a striker who can manage to miss from literally 1 meter out and who, like right here, can concede 2 goals in the last 5 minutes to lose.


Tottenham fans moved the knives away from their wrists for at least another 7 days (they lost to the Liverpool reserve team in the Fizzy Pop Cup, you see; favorite thread title on the Spurs website: "We're F***ing Shit!") by managing to actually win a game they were expected to win.


Apparently, Newcastle produced one of their better defensive efforts of the season for the first 60 minutes of this game - now look at the score and wonder how it could possibly be that they have the worst record for goals conceeded in the Premiership.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Aussie Beaten by Plastic 

New Zealand Legomen defeat Australian Cricket Team

Piss off surfer bum.

Disclaimer: I like surfers.

And suck on this ya dirty heckling mongrels!!! That's it, gape in awe you convict spawn!!!

On another note, apparently we were mentioned in a blog roundup in the Dominion Post. Anybody know what the hell was said?

Also after Vettori's bowling effort yesterday he gets to stay firmly in the Legend of Late role.

And more props for the discussion board. Needs more registered members and more people using it. I can do like 15 posts a day, like... y'know, but even I have my limits.

Sunday, December 05, 2004


And to think, I got his autograph at Eden Park. Bloody nut job he turned into. It's no wonder he used to go out there and bat like he was trying to get a hundred in 30 balls all the time. I guess he just stopped giving a shit about the game.

Cronje and the match-fixing scandal
Kirsten reveals all on Cronje
December 3, 2004
Gary Kirsten has made some startling revelations about Hansie Cronje which offer insights into his obsession with money and his involvement with match-fixing.

A report in Brisbane's Courier-Mail newspaper says that according to his new autobiography Gazza, which was co-written by the South African-based journalist Neil Manthorp, Kirsten got a hint of Cronje's fixation with the folding stuff during a visit to Dubai in 1999, when both players had gone out separately to dine with their wives. Kirsten went to one of the best restaurants in the city, while Cronje chose Burger King.

Talking about his reaction to Cronje's choice, Kirsten writes: "I smiled back and shrugged my shoulders. He continued the conversation by asking why I would want to waste money on an expensive restaurant when you could get perfectly adequate food for a quarter of the price in a cheap restaurant.

"It was a small example, but it was the moment I knew something had gone very wrong and it disturbed me. I couldn't get the idea out of my head he would rather eat a burger than have a very pleasant meal. He was very wealthy but far too driven by it. I think our relationship changed a bit that day."

Kirsten also provided a detailed account of the famous incident in Mumbai in 1996-97, when Cronje asked the whole team deliberately to underperform in a one-day match against India. Kirsten said that Cronje addressed the entire squad, with only Bob Woolmer, the coach, not around.

"We have been offered a lot of money to throw a game, he [Cronje] said. I swear you could have heard a pin drop at that moment," writes Kirsten. "Nobody moved a muscle. In retrospect I think I had gone into instant shock. Even if I had wanted to speak I would have been unable to. Hansie carried on talking slowly but clearly.

"I listened but it was out of respect for the captain and a strange fascination with what he was saying rather than any intention to carry out instructions. I knew within a few seconds I could not be involved ... but I listened. He had been asked to create the perfect fix. He spelt out the details of how the match had to pan out, with a spread of scores we needed to be within every five overs.

Gary Kirsten: 'How do batsmen get out deliberately?'

"I started sweating. It was a bad dream. I kept thinking, 'How do batsmen get out deliberately?' It was ridiculous. After eight overs we needed to be one wicket down - me - and we needed to have under 25 runs on the board. The idea was absurd. I have never got out deliberately in my life. He mentioned a couple of times it would be worth 60 or 70 thousand rand [about $15,000] each.

"The whole talk lasted about ten minutes but it felt a lot longer. Eventually Daryll Cullinan and Andrew Hudson spoke out. They both spoke along similar lines and they represented all our views. Hudders said we were ridiculous to even think about it, let alone talk about it. The same feeling filtered through the room and the meeting was clearly over. There were no waverers or doubters."

Kirsten also says that he increasingly became uncomfortable with the repeated references to match-fixing that Cronje kept making. "There was just a bit too much banter about the subject around the team. The captain of six years' standing was talking about match-fixing a lot and joking to his players about being involved. It wasn't really possible to know whether he was being serious or not.

"In retrospect he appeared to be handing out invitations all the time in the form of silly little comments like, 'If you make nought today someone will get very rich.' The power of wealth and the greed for money were his weaknesses, and he was more heavily addicted than any of us knew. Perhaps as a senior player I should have acted but hindsight is a perfect science and life isn't."

Cronje was banned for life after being found guilty of match-fixing, and died in a plane crash in June 2002.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Why the Brazilians took my passport and my wallet 

From the perspective of the student who just choked up $90 for a Brazilian visa, one that according to the little fellow at the consulate “gets me no further than the beach,” Canada – Brazil relations can kiss my half-French-Canadian ass. The song and dance that I had to perform to get the green-light for Brazil was both excessive and irritating. That’s me going to the World Social Forum in January, so I’m committed to going to Porto Alegre regardless of Visa hassles, but let’s think about this from the perspective of Joe Six-Pack who wants to “go no further than the beach” for a fare helping of wine, women and song. And then let’s consider Brazil’s perspective, a country like most with temperate climates, which has to deal with unfair international treatment from the North and their fat, pale, pimply tourists.

From the perspective of Mr. Six-Pack, a vacation often entails a resort that has ample sun, sand, booze, and pretty things running around. For the most part, the -frozen Northern tourist wants nothing more than to be defrosted by tanning-oil-bearing mermaids in warm waters. Now and then the middle-class tourist will hit up an eco-tour, or travel to do relief work, but this is the exception to the rule. Of the millions of tourists that went to Cuba and Mexico last year, most of them went straight to the drinks bar in the pool.

So, when $100 is dropped on the getting of a Visa, compared to $0 for Mexico and $20 for Cuba, Brazil is shooting themselves in the foot by discouraging the tourist dollar with a high Visa. Now, let’s flip the world on its head for a second and think about their, the Brazilians, perspective.

Canada has put a lot of effort into keeping Brazilian goods out of the country, and hence Brazilian workers out of work. Canadian Beef, Wood, Steel, and Aeroplanes are all happily protected by Ottawa. Brazil says, “Oye! According to the WTO agreement that you made us sign, we can undercut your costs, and we don’t even subsidize our industries.” They continue to add, “You subsidize your industries, and then you tariff ours, hence practice outright protectionism which goes against your precious free trade accord…..piss off! Here’s a hefty Visa fee to help us recover our losses you syrup-drenched, beer-swilling hosers.”

Brazil’s approach to the U.S. is about the same, but more of an eye for an eye. As the Brazilian embassy in Washington states on its website, “a non-refundable processing fee of US$ 100.00 per visa will be charged to US citizens in reciprocity for the identical fee paid by Brazilian citizens who apply for a visa to the United States of America.” Oh, and remember when the U.S. required all Brazilians to be photographed and fingerprinted on the way into the country (along with everybody else who doesn’t look or talk exactly like their President)? Well Brazil set up cameras and got the finger-print ink ready for every U.S. passport carrier they saw.

There is a lot of talk coming out of the U.N. that Brazil will have a major role in the Security Council. Northern nations, and their beach-bound tourists, should know that things work different in the south, and that Brazil’s approach to international affairs is painfully direct and often points out the wonderful ironies and hypocrisies of other societies.

So, am I a hypocrite for complaining about an expensive VISA while I read a newspaper and eat a steak on a regional jet? No, I’d call myself more of a masochist, as I know I’ll get a strange sense of satisfaction when my VARIG regional flight lands on that sunny Porto Alegre beach, I eat a sword of beef, drink a tall bottle of Kaiser, all the while having my $90 Visa in my pocket.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Anger Rising 

Perhaps if it didn't take google just .07 of a second to come up with 13,200 hits after entering catholic church paedophile into its search engine I might take their call for morality a little more seriously.

Bennyasena results in two hits.

Whether it be New Zealand, Australia - pick a point on the globe the pictures the same - there are legacies of abuse and legacies of this church doing its utmost to conceal it and relocate offenders.

One positive to emerge around the bill was the rational, intelligent and encouraging position taken by New Zealand's only Muslim MP, who says that although he doesn't endorse homosexuality:

"I do endorse equality and justice for everyone, and for me that takes precedence over my religious beliefs."

"New Zealand is a secular state and I respect that."

Thank fuck someone does.

Is it ironic that Don Brash is calling for a referendum on the civil unions bill because of morality at stake regarding the "institution of marriage"?

"I did have an affair, that's absolutely correct, and I acknowledge that. It's not something I'm proud of." Brash, March 2004.
So was it just the one affair you've had then Don?
On a lighter note I've been following the trial of alleged terrorist Jihad Jack in Australia and was wondering if the police there had considered whether there was a relationship with this guy?

Lost the Will to Blog 

I'm pressing the mouse to my forehead while I type with my left hand and I'm about to click the trigger...

I had a few things I was going to mention last night but was having problems so I was left itching my testies wondering what to do. And now that it's working again I can't remember what I was going to write about.

I know I was going to write something about how the Rabbitohs might be moving to North Sydney Oval next season. They look like they are very close to signing an agreement and have been given the green light by their fans. They want to get Redfern (their original ground) renovated but it's a dump and the council won't put any money into. Why doesn't Russell Crowe just buy them (he's a big fan)? I'd like to see him play for the Rabbitohs and Sonny Bill Williams line him up a good one.

What I want to know is though. How can South Sydney play in North Sydney? Wouldn't that be like the pope praying in a mosque?

About a week ago I saw the local government valuation on my house (bought in January) was 70,000 more than it was 3 years ago. Not bad considering it was only worth 140,000 3 years ago. Only problem with seeing your 'investment' (actually it's not an investment it's about all I could afford as a place to live) go up in value like that is that everybody else's has as well, so unless I want to go and live in Hamilton any money I might ever make is pretty well useless. Although they reckon they're gettin a nice wee indoor sports stadium down there in Hamiltonia. I don't mid Hamilton actually but my cousin who lived there for a couple of years reckoned there wasn't much to do. He probably just got frustrated because he couldn't bone any of the locals.

And that'll do me.

Having dinner with some of the supporters from the local professional soccer team I used to support tomorrow night. The team was relocated to Seoul this year which didn't go down too well and these guys have been working their guts out trying to get the local council to put some cash up for a new pro team for the city. On a funny note though, last night saw the return league of the Asian Champions League final between Al Ittihad from Saudi Arabia and Seongnam not far from where I live in Korea. Seongnam took a 3-1 lead into their home match and proceeded to lose 5-0 in front of a sell out home crowd!!! The funny part is though that they are owned by that nut job that does the mass weddings. You know, "the Moonies". He's an evil fucker only interested in brainwashing and money. Kind of like us teachers. Haha.

Anyway, tomorrow (today probably by the time you read this) we are eating sam gyeop sal and drinking lots of maekju.

So see ya when I see ya and allow me just to push people to the discusion board once more. Fourteen registered folk already and even some posting to go with it!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Shove your referendum up your arse 

So the opponents of the Civil Unions Bill (CUB) have suddenly become advocates of referenda to decide minority rights ... nice one, jerks. Minority rights, and the duty of the state not to discriminate against minorities, exist independent of popular sentiment. As the Bill's chief defenders argued in the Herald today:

Mr Benson-Pope argued the Government had a legal responsibility to remove discrimination in the law.

New Zealand has human rights laws that say lesbian and gay people should not be discriminated against.

Mr Barnett said New Zealand's relationship laws did discriminate because these offered no legal status for same-sex couples, and civil unions solved that problem.

"If they are subject to a referendum then New Zealand's whole human rights law is under threat," Mr Barnett said in a statement.

Three political parties had in their election manifestos undertaken to support such legislation.

Four polls showed majority public backing for the proposals, he said.

And, moreover, there's no indication that popular sentiment is against the CUB, as Russell Brown at Hard News has been pointing out over the last couple of days.

JustLeft and NoRightTurn have been speaking out on the issue.

Plus, look at the scoundrels promoting the referendum: legendary blowhard Stephen Franks, NZ_First benchwarmers like Peter Brown, Darth George, Don "man of principle" Brash (his only principle being tax cuts for the rich, as NRT pointed out), the Catholic hierarchy, and so on. Wankers the lot of them.

Word to Stephen Franks: let's put public access to farmer's land to a referendum shall we?

Word to the Catholic Church: a referendum in C19th NZ would have supported banning Catholics from public office, if not criminalizing them altogether.

Word to all these tossers: a referendum today could well support abolishing the Treaty of Waitangi.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

NZ Series Averages 

Here's the batting breakdown from the two tests against Australia (with averages followed by number of innings, and any not outs).

Specialist Batsmen
Richardson 12 (4)
Sinclair 17.75 (4)
Fleming 24.25 (4)
Styris 14.75 (4)
Astle 31.5 (4)
McMillan 16 (2)

Batting Allrounders
Oram 62 (4, 1no)
McCullum 16 (4)

Specialist Bowlers
Vettori 25.5 (4)
Mills 16.5 (2, 1no)
Martin 4 (4, 1no)
Wiseman 26 (2, 1no)
Franklin 10 (2)

I think this confirms what we all knew - the top order failed the team, and although Astle largely redeemed himself in the second test, he couldn't push on, and allowed himself to be dismissed by swatting at a part-timer in the second innings. Richardson is a class player out of form, but I think we can forgive him for that. Sinclair is a mess, as Yamis notes below. Fleming isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, contrary to what the media will tell you, McMillan is a chocolate teapot, and yet again Sytris failed to contribute much.

The batting allrounder category tells an interesting story - Oram was the only Black Cap to score a century in the series, while McCullum was badly, badly cheated by the umpires in both innings of the first test. I won't hold that average against him, especially since he kept bloody well.

The specialist bowlers (and I include Vettori, since he is selected on the basis of his bowling, but just like Glenn McGrath, he can hold a bat) did nothing remarkable, although Vettori, Wiseman and Mills all helped out a bit.

Now to the bowling. New Zealand succeeded in capturing the grand total of 20 wickets, or basically half as many as you typically need to win. Hmm, a telling statistic that. However, Australia only batted 3 times, so the maximum number of wickets available was 30 (of course, a stellar bowling effort in the 2nd innings of the first test would have required Australia to bat again, but nevermind).

Of the 20 wickets we took, Vettori took 10 (for 341), indicating that he was pulling his weight. If the rest had shouldered as much responsibility, we might have had a hope.

In order of declining usefulness, then.

Vettori 10/341 (avg 34.1) (3 innings)
Wiseman 4/175 (avg 43.75) (2 innings)
Martin 5/281 (avg 56.2) (3 innings)
Mills 1/99 (avg. 99) (1 innings)

Franklin 0/120 (2 innings)
Oram 0/188 (3 innings)
Styris 0/33 (1 innings)
McMillan 0/23 (1 innings)

Well that should sort out some averages artificially reduced by the Bangladesh series. I must say Oram was unlucky in the second test though. He bowled accurately and menacingly but without luck.

The Icy Hot Stuntaz 

Oh yeah baby they're back and the mad flava crew are rollin with their icy hot rims.

Check out the Icy Hot Stuntaz

They were bad a few years ago and they're still bling blingin it. Know what I'm sayin?! Nah me neither biiiaatch punks!


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