Best of 2005, Part I
171 posts later (all accessible via the archives section) and the last day of the year it seems appropriate to reflect on what contribution to humanity this blog has made in 2005:
27 April: Year Zero: Trying to make a comment on Sir Humphrey's to put them right over their conservative and pro-American ravings I found I had to have a blog first to do it - so that night (thanks to free blogging with blogger.com) that's what I did. From one of the first postings:
"The intention is to convey ideas, provoke debate, provide a forum for discussion and irritate people and institutions that deserve to be so disturbed, always with a view to reform and advancement of ourselves, our society, our state, and our world. Kia ora."
That continues to serve as the mission statement of this blog.
27 April: Election date book: With the Crown's budget fast approaching notional betting opens on speculation of the date of the election - the odds being updated regularly. I had fixed an earlier date thinking Labour was not dumb - but they were, left it to the last minute and only just scraped in. Many people (mostly other bloggers) participated and a large proportion picked the 17 Sept. date early on - a smart group of people these bloggers.
27 April: Al Zarqawi revealed as US hoax: With the conservative pro-US right-wingers parroting every piece of spin out of the Pentagon as if it were lasered into tablets by Almighty God Himself, I had these observations about the supposed American bete noir that sent Sir H's populace into apoplectic rage:
"Zarqawi is the new Dr Evil for America. Does this towel-headed Saracin Pimpernel even exist? We heard the same, scarcely credible, slipped-through-our-fingers story when the Yanks levelled Fallujah.
It suits the simple-minded to have a single Dr Evil character that they can lay the blame on for what is an insurgency of greater complexity and popularity that they are prepared to admit."
And you know we have heard the US reporting crazy stories that he has just managed to ellude them yet another time throughout the year - and yet nothing at all approaching evidence or proof. 100,000+ troops, GPS, 1 Trillion dollars of military expenditure and they still can't get him...? What happened to the computer of his they supposedly got? What a joke.
5 May : On the language of immigration: One of my better and terser pieces. I know this because Russell Brown took exception to it. Basically our immigration numbers are too high and are the wrong people. This was put in strident and doom-mongering (yet accurate) terms. But no-one picked up on the Enoch Powell reference for the conclusion:
I don't so much see the river Tiber frothing with much blood as a squat tiolet down which we are flushing our heritage and future.
11 May: Definition of a blog:
"The least popular people using the widest possible medium to convey the most unfounded ideas to the smallest possible audience for the minutist of effects."
11 May: Urban social apocalypse: On the Auckland Regional Council's attempt to cram everyone into apartments:
If Auckland had a slogan it would be "planning for yesterday - tomorrow"
15 May: Gormsby show 7 periods too long: One of my better TV reviews:
"If threatening children with anal rape and raving about "half-castes" and "gooks" is your average white middle-aged Wellingtonian man's vision of the future of New Zealand comedy then why has New Zealand On Air given them only a mere $1.1 million for their ground-breaking seven part "comedy" series?"...
26 May: Sedition charges: First of a few posts on my sedition case. Depositions hearing, pre-trial appearances etc. No Right Turn cares - he's done more work than my lawyers on it. As for everyone else? They don't seem to care that if you state your opinions against the government they can arrest you and put you on trial in this day and age.
1 June: We down with whitey?: Amalgamating anti-Maori arguments in the comments section from other blogs I consolidated it here "...because I really can't be fucked having to recycle abbreviated content on every blog to put you ignorant red necks in place individually."
7 June: Chinglish number one, ok! Critiquing an Asian immigration conference paper is easy and amusing when the English is execrable and they purport to: "grow us up". I put the whole issue this way:
We have a very liberal dilemma.
1. We want to maintain a free and open society where people can be who they want without restrictions on language, beliefs and associations.
2. We want an egalitarian society that has minimum and universal standards allowing all to participate culturally, economically, socially and politically.
3. We want to safeguard and encourage our existing infrastructure, institutions, culture and lifestyle, ie. Our heritage.
In conclusion: "every foreigner added does not make us more unique - it usually detracts from our uniqueness."
7 June: Martyn Bradbury's first guest blog: My Leftie comrade, Mr Bradbury, begins a series of irregular guest spots. He spouts his usual trendy Leftie angles (that I sometimes even agree with) and the bile and vitriole of the unreconstructed conservative hard-core rightists comes spewing out under the cover of anonymity.
17 June: Old/Single/Young: The Century's 3 Great Demographic Challenges: Something intellectual for once! First World/Old, China/single, Africa/young.
21 June: HOV/HOT/TOLLS: And no sooner was that posted than the official debate seemed to turn to High Occupancy Vehicle lanes and tolling inner lanes of motorways. Just a matter of time wasn't it.
27 June: Marx, Pakeha, Debt, History, Property and... crash?: The colonial system and how NZ has continued it's basic tennets unaltered to the present day. One of the more thoughtful posts as was the following:
27 June: If NZ history was 24 hours in a flat: This is something David Slack at Public Address is likely to rip off in one form or another. A sort of role-play that puts the history of NZ in terms of one day in a flat:
"Maori first arrived at the flat that is NZ at midnight...
The first time anyone even saw of a non-Maori was about 4pm. Just drove past really, everyone finished their dinner around 7pm when quite a few started arriving in flash cars with new toys and wanted to doss on an ad hoc basis as permanent guests of the flatmates...
Can someone who arrived after 9 at night understand that their behaviour and arrogance is insulting. Do they think the entire history only begins when they paraded onto the scene, waving their new roster around and claiming they were now the head tenants and the old flatmates had to do what they were told or else they would not be allowed back into the house?
28 June: Don't Panic!: The economic plasma screen bubble is beginning to crack - other bloggers have info on this too.
30 June: Political Feng shui: An analysis I found of political logos was very revealing. LABOUR: "Engulfed by fire... tarnished reputation." NATIONAL: "Power of the sword... glimmer of fighting strength... doused by other members of their own party." NZ FIRST: "Winston is a rooster."
10 July: Dirty, filthy, swearing, aggro, street scum: Attacked by disgruntled littering prostitute on way home. Ahh, life in the big city. So rich with diversity.
14 July: Brown's land of the light weight crowd: The only book review of the year and it woulkd have been the best anyway:
"Dedicated to "the bloggers," media personality and Labour Party apologist, Russell Brown has had his smirk come to life in a shambolically uneven historical homage that would sit smugly with his complacent white middle class acolytes whose ignorance of it's failure on almost every level is, inevitably, a prerequisite of their membership...."
20 July: TV Review: A gamble of two half-wits?: Pushing the boundaries of the name suppression order of Marc Ellis became a bloggong sport for a time. This was one of the closer shaves - at least according to Brown's Listener column if I read it correctly.
25 July: ELECTION DATE: PM Confirms 17 September!: Gotta love that Westminster system whereby the PM can call it anytime they like eh? The winners were: Greg Stephens, Vernon Small, Michael, Molesworth & Featherston, David P Farrar, SageNZ, Ashley Clarkson, Phantasm., Kevin List, Dave (Big News). I had it at 3-4 by that time so it wasn't that much of a surprise having been the favourite for several weeks. Election book opens with Nat-Lab head-to-head largest party vote. $1.85 Labour $1.90 National. Centrebet had it the other way around - they got it wrong in the end too, and I got it right after a wild ride it ended up about the same. I never had National ahead at any point by the way.
27 July: Labour's home to Dr Cock-up: Intense personal criticism of the failings of the individuals responsible - that was part of the reason for this blog as explained in the mission statement and this was the first real attempt to put it into action.:
"COCK-UP No.1: Dr Lisa Ferguson/Leaky homes. COST: $52m to date. INCOMPETENCE: Nov.2002 to resignation July 2005 only resolved 344 out of 3,300 claims whilst staff partied and owners fumed.
COCK-UP No.2: Dr Ruth Frampton/Painted Apple Moth. COST: $50m to date, $50m over next 2 years. INCOMPETENCE: May 1999 to resignation in May 2002 let moth spread from 1kmsq that would have cost a few million to half of Western Auckland costing $100m and aerial spraying tens of thousands of people."
These people are responsible and yet they get no adverse criticism in the mainstream media. A real shame. The comments section attracted someone who may or may not be Dr Frampton or her very close colleague. Amazing who actually reads this stuff.
Will post Best of 2005, Part II soon.