On pinning down Peters

June 13, 2013

Trans Tasman observes John Campbell’s attempt to pin down Winston Peters:

For those who have been around for a bit, Peters’ mix of belligerence and incoherence is getting more and more like 1970s-80s trade unionist Jim Knox. Certainly Campbell, whose mien is usually bubbly and engaging even with the most difficult subjects, gave an impression of a man in a wrestle with a particularly large and truculent molasses-coated rhinoceros. . .

My memories of Knox are mercifully dim, but I can recall enough to suspect Peters won’t be flattered by the comparison.

Over at Opposable Thumb, Denis Welsh also paints a word picture:

 . . . But the days are long gone when he seized on something really meaningful, and it’s a sign of how impregnable the National government has been to his usual tricks that all the old shark can do now is sink his increasingly blunt teeth into a fellow minor party. Shark bites minnow: this is news? The more Peters attacks Dunne, the more he shows how weakened he has become. And as it also grows clearer with every day that he has no more of substance to throw at his victim (admitting he hasn’t got all the dirt he needs would have been unthinkable once), so we witness the sad spectacle of a veteran showbiz star no longer able to wow the crowds in the same dazzling way. The old soft-shoe shuffle, so slick before, looks worn and creaky now. One is reminded irresistibly of John Osborne’s play/film The Entertainer, in which a faded music-hall performer past his prime keeps wheeling out the same tired old jokes and routines, to increasingly thin applause. Peters has so lost the plot this time, in fact, that he’s in serious danger of rousing public sympathy for Dunne. . .

A truculant molassess-coated rhinoceros; an old shark with increasingly blunt teeth; the old soft shoe-shuffle . . .  looks worn and creaky now.

These aren’t descriptions of a man on the way up and in politics if you’re not going up you’re going down.


Did you see the one about . . .

June 26, 2010

 Going post-espresso with Chemex – Half Pie takes a scientific approach to coffee.

The tyrrany of power point – Alison Campbell at Sciblogs on the pluses and minuses of technological assistance in communication.

All White on the Night – Opposable Thumb takes us down several pegs.

Blocking out the still small voice – NZ Conservative on the necessity of boredom and also Churchill become non-smoker via air brush –  fags (of the tobacco kind) are censored but S&M isn’t.

The decline of civilisation – Not PC on questions. While there Roll it experimental housing- University of Karlsruhe is also worth a look.

A blog of one’s own – Schroedinger’s Tabby turns two.

Public Opinion – Quote Unquote on modern media.

Houston we have . . . . a lot of snow – Laughy Kate reports on gameshow recruits.

 At the end of the earth  Latitude 44 muses on cultural identity


Did you see the one about. . .

May 2, 2010

Burning down the house –  David Slack at Island Life nearly did.

10 quirky science tricks for parties – exactly what it says from Peter Griffin at Sciblogs .

We don’t know how lucky we are – Ofsetting Behaviour reminds us that a simple GST is better.

Chicken pop hole – toilet humour at Private Secret Diary.

Does anyone still work in Wellington? – Quote Unquote’s observations on a trip to the capital.

Broad sweeping generalisations – Laughy Kate on visiting the aunts.

Hilarious – Opposable Thumb isn’t amused by comedy festivals.


Did you see the one about

February 28, 2010

If homeopathy beats science  at Forthesakeofscience – Hat Tip: Grant Jacobs at Sciblogs

For control freaks – Quote Unquote has a couple of remote controls which might save a relationship.

Safety at Work – Something Should Go Here with a sign every workplace needs.

Judges could discourage dopey court lies – Stephen Franks has a sensible suggestion.

More Naps – Offsetting Behaviour on how long you should nap for and how siestas help memory.

Full Cream Fifties – Opposable Thumb on  cholesterol’s influence on music.

Let’s get some perspective on mining – Whaleoil puts the numbers into pictures.

Key to Victory – Liberation has a series of posts analysing the 2008 election.


Did you see the one about . . .

November 11, 2009

Witi’s work of fiction – Cactus Kate on word theft.

Note to Trevor Mallard – The Hand Mirror correctly spots homophobic and misogynistic behaviour combined.

Is that clear?  Opposable Thumb heard the answer to our problems in mixed metaphors.

How is your spelling – PM of NZ found an on-line spelling gym.

Amusing Signs – at StripySock Studio

Are We There Yet? – Jardis, guest blogging at Kiwblog, wonders is feminism is stuck on destination rather than opportunity.


Did you see the one about . . .

September 14, 2009

The 12 Wierdest Hotel Rooms  at Motella – which includes another reason to not like Barbie.

In defence of Donald Rumsfeld at Quote Unquote – the known knowns, the known unknown and the unknown unknowns.

Labour’s 16th apology at goNZo Freakpower – I agree with all but # 14.

A case for a Commission for Social Exclusion  at Opinionated Mummy.

4000 years  on at Opposable Thumb where a future archeaological dig discovers signs of a primative culture in the south.


Blogger on blogs on radio

August 25, 2009

Denis Welch devoted his weekly media spot on Nine to Noon to blogs and the Tumeke! blogospehre rankings.

He discussed how blogs break stories and influence the media.

His conclusion was that there haven’t yet been many stories breaking out from the blogosphere to the mainstream media but politicians have been breaking-in to the blogosphere.

The discussion is online here.

He didn’t mention his own blog Opposable Thumb.


Did you see the one about . . .

May 24, 2009

The invisible hand at Anti Dismal

Seventies pessimism: Polemical Poets 1978  at Bowalley Road

Beatles’ karaoke a viral hit in ad land at Dave Gee

Bob Jones’  appreciation corner at Cactus Kate and also on the same subject ( the entrepreneurs summit): Yes We Can Do  at Opposable Thumb.

Sex, sleep, eat, drink, dream  at Quote Unquote

Oh Dear  – on the frustrations of dictionary definitions – at Mr Gronk


Descent

April 27, 2009

Today’s contribution to poetry month was prompted by the outbreak of swine flu.

I found it last year at Opposable Thumb.

It’s Descent by Romanian poet, Marin Sorescu.

DESCENT

When you are ill you weigh more.
Your head sinks into the pillow,
Your bed curves in the middle,
Your body drops like a meteorite.
“He’s so heavy,” say the relatives,
They turn you on the other side
And nod meaningfully. “He weighs like the dead.”

The earth feels its prey
And concentrates upon you
Its colossal force of attraction.
The iron in you hungers to go down.
The gold in you hungers to go down.
The gravitation of the whole world has its eyes on you
And pulls you down with unseen ropes…

You look like the bell the peasants
Take down before their exodus, burying it very deep,
Marvelling at the sight of the bell digging its grave,
Eagerly biting the dust.

You are all lead
And unto yourself
You have become exceedingly all-important,
Surrounded by endless mystery.

        Marin Sorescu 


Graciousness

November 22, 2008

It’s not easy to step back from your own polticial views and praise politicians whose policy and philosophy you oppose.

Denis Welsh does it graciously at Opposable Thumb:

I find it hard to see John Key flushed and grinning like a
schoolboy at realizing his boyhood dream and not smile
too. Other people’s happiness can be contagious, and he
is so manifestly happy at getting the job of Prime
Minister. Good luck to him. So far, 10 days on from the
election, he has not put a foot wrong; he seems to be
putting into practice exactly what he planned to do,
namely, govern as inclusively as he can; and he has
clearly learnt a thing or two from Helen Clark, who pretty
much laid down the template for political management
under MMP. I have no illusions about the direction in
which a National-led government will take New Zealand
(see previous blog) but it would be churlish to deny Key
his moment and not to wish him well.

And Chris Trotter becomes in contrast to his Mr Hyde  from last Sunday, as Inquiring Mind  puts it, Dr Jekyl again:

To my eyes, Mr Key and Bill English have allowed the National Party to assume the mantle of sweet moderation, and his Cabinet choices reflect not a betrayal, but a very fair reflection, of the public mood…

. . .  But, for my money, Mr Key’s most adroit move has been the appointment of a feisty, 39-year- old, former solo mum with a whakapapa as his minister of social development.

Ms Bennett and the prime minister both pose a formidable symbolic problem for the Labour Party. They speak to an ideologically unmoored working class about the power of aspiration and the possibility of self- improvement.

I need to take some lessons from these two because I’m still tending more towards Michael Bassett’s opinion of Helen Clark here  and here than a more gracious view modelled on those Welsh and Trotter take of Key’s first few days in office.


A poem to have flu by

August 21, 2008

Robert Frost said, “A poem begins with a lump in the throat.”

The flu which is cutting a swathe through schools, work places and homes also starts in the throat. It graduates from there to the rest of the body until even the bits without nerves are suffering.  

Our household has stayed flu-free (touch wood) but several friends have been afflicted. So too has Opposable Thumb   who found this from Romanian poet Marin Sorescu:

DESCENT

When you are ill you weigh more.
Your head sinks into the pillow,
Your bed curves in the middle,
Your body drops like a meteorite.
“He’s so heavy,” say the relatives,
They turn you on the other side
And nod meaningfully. “He weighs like the dead.”

The earth feels its prey
And concentrates upon you
Its colossal force of attraction.
The iron in you hungers to go down.
The gold in you hungers to go down.
The gravitation of the whole world has its eyes on you
And pulls you down with unseen ropes…

You look like the bell the peasants
Take down before their exodus, burying it very deep,
Marvelling at the sight of the bell digging its grave,
Eagerly biting the dust.

You are all lead
And unto yourself
You have become exceedingly all-important,
Surrounded by endless mystery.


Not even a bronze

August 7, 2008

Is this because children aren’t allowed to keep the score anymore? 🙂

NZ Medal Count

Gold: 0 Silver: 0 Bronze: 0

Hat tip: Opposable Thumb


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