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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

PC world frikkin awesome 

A slightly belated response to rugby thug, Brian Lochore.

But first, what's with the National Star-Times today? "Labour to Glenn: Help us Again!" Wow, both a rhyme and an exclamation mark in the lead story on-line - sure makes Labour seem desperate. The sum total of reporting in the story: Mike Williams met briefly with Glenn in France. No new donation was forthcoming. Wow. Interestingly, one of the most insightful takes on Owen Glenn's in today's papers from none other than Coddington:
Just six months ago Glenn was uttering bizarre words about Labour's behaviour. He gave half a million dollars to the party, he said, to even the score over the Exclusive Brethren, but that didn't check out because his donation was made long before the 2005 election.

He also said Clark offered him a Cabinet post but no one believed that one. Clark's no fool and Labour allocates its portfolios by vote.

Then Glenn told the New Zealand Herald he was in line to be consul general of Monaco (when that position wasn't due), and don't forget the mystery about Glenn offering Sir Howard Morrison $1 million to stand for Parliament.

Why give this man credibility over Peters? He's become the Exclusive Brethren of this year's election.
I don't by any means think Glenn's actively malevolent, but he sure is eccentric and unreliable.

Then, "'Labour's finished' - Harawira". Err, Ok. First of all, Harawira is a big mouth fuckwit who likes to say controversial things. He should not be indulged in this by the media. Second, Parti Maori would be electoral poison for National if they actually continued to represent a Maori nationalist/separatist perspective. As they would for Labour, come to think of it. The alternative is that they become conservative, brown-skinned blue-bloods, and are crucified by their own supporters at the following election, a la NZ First's Maori MPs in 1999.

Now, on to this new PC world so bemoaned by some old guy who apparently coached the All Blacks once. I for one think many of the developments he so bewails are great.

- Society turning fathers into "male mothers" obsessed with safety instead of adventure, such that you're not supposed to take them on the back of motorbikes or horses. Well, leaving aside the fact that children probably still enjoy riding horses as much as they ever did, and that horseback riding is good exercise and actually encouraged for disabled kids, I take this to mean: "Fathers are now encouraged to think about their children's safety, and not recklessly endanger them." To which I say: good.

- He used to be able to go drinking while his children were left either (a) playing in the mud; or (b) in the back of the car. Presumably after one of these hilarious rugby parties, for the duration of which his kids were left unattended and with little to do, he drove home drunk. Nice one. I for one am glad that society now discourages parents from leaving their kids in order to drink piss with their buddies. It's called being a good, responsible parent.

- No one respects authority anymore, there's always someone protesting. Leaving aside the complete lack of connection between these two assertions, I suspect he's mistaken on the first count (some kids always gave their teachers and/or parents shit, and some still do), and I think the right to protest is one of the most important and valuable rights in a democracy. Presumably he actually supports the right to protest when it's exercised by his right-wing, pro-child-smacking mates.

- Adults are no longer allowed to dish out random violence against their children, and other people's children. Really ... enough said.

- " You as a father, with the aid of your partner - I can't say 'wife' these days, PC. You are the one who sets the ground rules." Well you can certainly say 'wife' if it applies, but partner is a pretty useful term too. I sense a certain implied patriarchy here, in which the father is the primary rule setter, and the 'wife' backs him up. (i.e., "It's the star of the show Wayne! And with him as always is Garth.") I actually value equality in parenting.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Another National Pratfall 

One of National's challenges over the last few months is that its official spokespeople keep revealing its true intentions, which are very much in the mould of the "nasty 90s National Party", rather than the "Labour Lite with a throw back to Think Big" vision articulated by Mssrs Key and English.

Yesterday, neo-liberal rightist Maurice Williamson announces tolls of $10/day for significant new roads (which an ingenious journalist surmises is indeed $50/working week) ... only to be cut down today by neo-conservative rightist and long-time foe Bill English who pulls the much lower, barely headline-worthy figure of $20 out of his southern ass.

Keep at it guys, you've clearly learned a lot since you last banged heads.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

I just realized I just don't care... 

I just watched 5 minutes of Obama introducing Biden, then the latter giving a decent spiel. Unlike the current incumbents, these two sure can talk. But, mild appreciation for scripted eloquence aside, I realized I just don't care about the US elections.

I don't trust their voters.
I don't trust their computers that supposedly count the votes.
I don't trust their candidates.
I don't trust their media.

And I don't really care what happens to the United States. Ideally, they would keep future invasions to a minimum, but both Democrats and Republicans are more than capable of some good war-mongering whenever they feel like it.

I'm reminded of that old line about "go fuck yourself with an atom bomb."

Now, the NZ election on the other hand ... I care about that a lot.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bobert's Olympic Date 

DC Red is right. I’ve been on holidays. It’s all I can do to put my pants on and quit drinking beer.

But somehow in there, with a complete lack of shaving and general personal hygiene, I had a date.

She was a former Olympian.

I only recently discovered that bench presses weren’t a bizarre type of printing device.

So of course we talked about the Olympics. I said, “Man, that’s a bad situation for the North Korean medalist who came up positive for the drugs in the 50m pistol.”

She said, “Yeah, well it happens.”

Then I thought, “Hold on…if a medalist tests positive for the drugs here in Canada, or the U.S., they often seal their fate by a bit of media embarrassment and then a likely drink-driving incident.”

But, in North Korea the average Johnny lives on 800 measly calories per day and I would guess that tremendous national resources are geared towards the Olympians in vain of the hunger and wretched poverty of their countrymen.

I would also guess that when Kim Jong Su was stripped of his silver medal, and also considering that Jin Jong Oh of South Korea won gold, there might be some harsh repercussions upon arriving in Pyongyang.

Let’s face it, entire families have been put in the DPRK’s jails when people have escaped to China or have created dissent against the Great Leader. So I would stand to guess, not confirm, but just stand to guess that the fan is going to hit the shit for Mr. Jong Su. It’s hard to guess what will happen, but I think that there might be a serious risk that he’ll be detained, or worse.

I said to my Olympian date, “Perhaps, the IOC could overlook the drug violation in light of the massive risk this might pose for this man? I mean, unless they are prepared to offer him asylum, what would the harm really be for testing positive to a drug that slows down the heart beat?”

She said, “Well, it happens.”

Hey lady! It doesn’t just fucking happen! And if the man’s safety is put in danger because he is now a national disgrace, I think that there might be serious ethical conundrum here.

Shouldn’t the IOC have the fucking good sense to realize that while sport might be neutral, how the athletes arrive to the stadium is far from it? And that if a little dope test lands the man in a North Korean jail, can you really say, “Ahh, he should have known better?”

She said, “Well, it happens.”

I said, “I want to see other people!”

I got up, left the bar, went home, took off my pants and I still haven’t shaved or bathed since.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Diaries of a desperate house husband 

Now that the title has your attention, I offer a couple of reflections on what west Auckland suburbia is like during the weekdays, since for the the last 6 weeks I've been located at home, on a very short leash indeed.

1/ Direct-to-home shopping seems very popular in our neighbourhood. A particularly dodgy street nearby has at least three or four of the brightly-coloured trucks associated with these enterprises going in and out daily. The irony is that said street also features at least four cars/SUVs/bongo vans on every front lawn, so why on earth they don't drive to the shops is an interesting question.

2/ It is possible to break into our neighbours' house during the day, smashing the glass in both the front and back doors, and for Mrs_Red and I to hear and see nothing.

3/ There are a surprising number of indigent street youth, wearing wannabe gang gear (y'know, red bandannas and such) milling around. I always imagine they're looking at my newly replaced front fence and planning when to tag it. Bastards.

Sure has been quiet around here. Yamis is having a love-in with his Freeview. Bobert is presumably on summer holiday. Chuck Z was last heard of heading to a Pacific Island. The blogger formerly known as Bennyasena continues to be marked by his absence.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Do I know what irony means? 

National, having presided over a vast increase in structural unemployment in the 1990s, now professes to know nothing of it. Apparently, by some remarkable convenience, there are now exactly as many jobs as there are adults of working age in New Zealand.

As for requiring those on the DPB to work or train 15 hours a week ... there's a pretty bloody narrow window between 9.30 am and 2.30 pm in which to travel and work without the weight of childcare responsibility.

Nine years in Opposition and this is the best National can do. Long may they be confined to the Opposition benches.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sport, but not as we know it 

I'm bedded in to watch the Olympics. Even splashed out to get the freeview box so I can pick and choose a bit more.

I have a question though. Why the fuck is football in the Olympics? It is not the pinnacle of the sport and it is an age group competition. You can only play in it if you are under 23 unless you are one of the three exempt players. That to me is prejudicial for starters to those aged over 23 and it's also a steaming pile of shit on the Olympics themselves. Clubs don't want to release their players and fifa didn't even bother to make it an international window when clubs would be forced to release their players despite the fact that it's essentially before the start to most professional competition seasons.

The IOC should tell fifa to fuck off completely. You bring full open age squads with all players available or you don't come at all. Why isn't basketball under 23s? Or hockey? or swimming or anything else? What makes football so special?

To tell the truth football, basketball, softball, baseball and pretty much every other team sport shouldn't be there either unless they can prove that it is THE PINNACLE of their sport. Which it is for most of them I guess.

On another note... 34 medals in the swimming pool!!!!!

WHAT THE FUCK? 50m free style, 100m, 200m, 400m, 1500m, 10km marathon swim, plus the relay versions and then you can add in all the different strokes over the same distances, plus medley replays.

If you throw in the one for water polo, 2 for synchronised swimming and 8 for diving it means there are 45 medals decided in a large puddle of water. That's bullshit. Track and Field only has 47.

If they are going to have that many for swimming then they may as well add in the 50m sprint in athletics as well as the 100m backwards, 100m hopping (2 feet and one foot events separated of course), the blindfolded run, the wheelbarrow race, the frisbee relay race, the race with arms outstretch like and aeroplane, the 200m windmill arm race, the 400m bouncing a ball while running race and the handstand race.

I suggest though that they get rid of the butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke as freestyle is the fastest. Why the hell would you do something a slower way and then turn it into a competition. They may as well add in the piggy back 100m sprint if that's the case. All though I guess thats what the cross-country event is in the equestrian only there's no pigs on backs, only toffs in suits.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

National in "we're actually still right wing" shock 

Sure, there's more heat than light in the media analysis of the "shocking" revelations that National is still actually a right wing party, and - as in 1990 - are willing to promise a "Decent Society" while secretly-planning vicious neoliberal assaults on the fabric of the country - but it is nice to see the media change tack after countless months of bashing Labour at every opportunity.

A nice breather, really, although I still don't need Duncan Garner and his ilk to tell me who today's winners and losers are.

I already knew Lockwood Smith was a right wing arsehole, for example.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Chuck D 

Today is the birthday of my namesake Chuck D, the hard rhymer, leader of Public Enemy.

Chuck D is the godfather of black consciousness in rap music. He brought uncompromising politically charged lyrics to the rap world, changing it from its house-partying nonsense of a musical format to the valid mode of social expression for the black urban underclass in the US. He carries on the work of the man whose face graces our BIR pages, the 'str-8 shoota' Malcolm X.

My life changed after I first heard his voice raging out on the 'Burn Hollywood Burn' single at an impressionable age. Public Enemy's second album, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, remains my all-time favourite album, due largely to the intensity of Chuck D's efforts to raise my consciousness. Well, my consciousness was raised and stays raised, and my debt to ChuckD remains.

Happy Birthday Chuck D, most of my heroes still don't appear on no stamp.

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