Saturday, 27 December 2008


Richard fairly ranted against cyclists in his Blog. They can be a nuisance but a bicycle is a legitimate form of transport. Jetskis however are a complete waste of space driven by sales manager types who are wannabe bikies but lack the gumption to buy a Harley. These arseholes transport their expensive hunk of junk to peaceful and pristine water environments and then race up and down spewing out fumes and noise being totally oblivious to everyything and everyone around them.

I live in Point Chevalier in Auckland, close to the water where there is a marine reserve. The water is safe for swimming and there are marker buoys controlling boating and the speed that boats are able to travel at. The boaties comply with the rules. It seems however, certainly in the minds of these cretins, that the rules don't apply to jetskiers. I have seen them race into shore at maximum speed thinking it funny to make a big splash. I have seen them race past swimmers, narrowly missing them. I have seen them travelling too close and too fast to kids in kayaks and trailer- sailers. I have, on more than one occasion gone out and remonstrated with them, ending up in abusive slanging matches. Its a funny thing when morons are confronted and know that they are in the wrong - they don't apologise, they just get very defensive.

The thing about jetskis is, is that they serve no proper purpose. Sure, the bimbos in Baywatch used them, but probably to show off their assets better. Real surf lifesavers use rubber dinghies and surf skis (non motorised). Jetskis are used in our lakes, rivers and close in-shore at our swimming beaches and marine reserves - usually in idyllic settings. They are not unfortunately used in Cook Strait or the open seas because they are unstable and practically useless as marine transport. There seems to be an inverse correlation between the environment and the noise the machines make with the morons driving them delighting best in revving up in the most peaceful of settings.

A couple of years ago , not far from where I live, across the harbour a jetski ran over and killed someone in the water. It was another jetskiier who had fallen off his machine. Divine justice?

Monday, 15 December 2008


George Bush was shoed out of a press conference in Iraq. Bush joked about it (as we all would) but there is cultural significance in the act of throwing shoes at someone which Bush does know (In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. When U.S. Marines toppled Saddam Hussein's statue on Firdos Square in 2003, the assembled crowd whacked it with their shoes.)
What if the journalist threw a bomb, a knife, a double bass? OK, I assume that all the journalists were searched or screened before they came into the press conference but, given the significance, why didn't the authorities confiscate their shoes then?
Obviously it was a slipper-up.

P.S. Well done Muntadar al-Zeidi — I hope you are OK. I salute your bravery.

Saturday, 13 December 2008


I've just been listening to Van Morrison's Astral Weeks album (The Old Girl is out so I can listen to my '70's music' in peace). How evocative music can be, bringing up old memories set in place and time kind of like Proust's madeleine experience. Astral Weeks was recorded in 1968 when 'Tantum Gloria' was the latest hit in my world, so I missed it first time around. I 'discovered' Van's Astral Weeks and other music of his in my first year of university. Tony used to refer to him as the 'Irish Slug' (unfairly) and I'm sure that Richard was too fixated on Penderewski to have even been aware of Irish music let alone Van! Anyway, whilst listening I was putting people and situations in place around the times that I listened to Astral Weeks and Van Morrison's other '70's' music. The things I remember are obviously important to me as they have in some way shaped me. The things that friends remember may well be quite different as their influences vary.


Well why not since Robert's been banging on about the Catholic Catechism and its virtues even while there's a backdrop of priests, b...