Saturday’s smiles


In sympathy for the people marking NCEA exams, here is a collection of metaphors and similes supposedly collected from school essays:


Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.


His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a tumble dryer.


She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.


The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.


McMurphy fell 12 storeys, hitting the pavement like a paper bag filled with vegetable soup.


Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.


Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the centre.


Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.


He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.


The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.


Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left York at 6:36 pm travelling at 55 mph, the other from Peterborough at 4.19pm at a speed of 35 mph.


The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the full stop after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.


John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.


The thunder was ominous sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.


The red brick wall was the colour of a brick-red crayon.


Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.


The door had been forced, as forced as the dialogue during the interview portion of Family Fortunes.


Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.


The plan was simple, like my brother Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.


The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.


“Oh Jason, take me!” she panted, her breasts heaving like a student on a 31p a pint night.


He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a landmine or something.


Her artistic sense was exquisitely refined, like someone who can tell butter from “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”.


She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.


It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before.


The knife was as sharp as the tone used by Glenda Jackson MP in her first several points of parliamentary procedure made to Robin Cook MP, Leader of the House of Commons, in the House Judiciary hearings on the suspension of Keith Vaz MP.


The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a lamppost.


The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free cash point.


The dandelion swayed in the gentle breeze like an oscillating electric fan set on medium.


It was a working class tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with their power tools.


He was deeply in love. When she spoke he thought he heard bells, as if she were a dustcart reversing.


She was as easy as the Daily Star crossword.


She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature British beef.


She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.


Her voice had that tense, grating quality, like a first-generation thermal paper fax machine that needed a band tightened.


It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

Hagar: PR threatens democracy


Pupblic Relations can do as much to hamper communication as to enhance it but this is a bit rich  coming from Nicky Hagar:

The manipulation of public opinion through sophisticated public relations techniques poses a threat to New Zealand democracy, Wellington investigative journalist Nicky Hager warns.

Mr Hager gave a keynote lecture, titled “Imagining a world where the PR people had won”, at the Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand conference at the University of Otago.

Public relations methods had long been used to influence public opinion, but in recent years there had been “a really huge and important change” which now posed “a threat to democracy”, he said in an interview.

I don’t necessarily disagree with his view, especially given the blow out in communications staff in the public service. But there is an antidote to the PR poison and that’s free and intelligent media which delves beyond press releases.

And isn’t there more than a little of the pot calling the kettle black in his proclamation when he wrote a whole book using selected emails to prove his foregone conclusion?

John Ansell showed how he operates here and Hager’s response is here.

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