Cracker by Damian Christie

Summer in the City

Holiday's are a shocker, aren't they? At least in terms of news, in most other regards I guess they're pretty sweet. Parliament closes down, sure, and responsibility for the entire Government is covered by the duty minister, who this year was Trevor Mallard. Lucky New Zealand, eh, good to know he's at the helm should anything important crop up...

Taking its cue from the Beehive, the news media around the country shut down too. There's no late news, breakfast news, no hard hitting interviews, savvy analysis, even such seminal fora as go into a state of hibernation. Instead we get subjected to second string radio hosts, talkback discussions on the best way to prepare a side of corned beef; silverside. (Golden syrup, brown sugar and an onion apparently, in case anyone's interested).

But I can't believe that around the world, or even within our own fair shores, that the number of reportable news reduces by the same proportion as our current affairs output. Which means, if you follow my reasoning, that we, the public of New Zealand, are gently shephered into a holding pen labelled 'blissful summer ignorance'.

The build up to a war in Iraq is progressing with all due speed, and the screeches of the Washington hawks didn't diminish markedly over the past month.

Tony Blair, who normally leaves the bird-impressions to his harpy of a wife has been playing a game of hokey-tokey with the UK's commitment, and most recently been doing a good imitation of a pigeon, doddering around in circles and shitting a lot in his own habitat.

Fortunately the public of the UK, who are in the large part opposed to any unilateral/bilateral action against Iraq, may in the end be the factor to sway Blair's political mind. Bush on the other hand, with a reasonable majority in his favour, has nothing to lose and everything to gain. "After all", he is noted to have said "this is the guy who tried to kill my dad".

Everytime I watch or hear more news about the build-up of troops in the region, coupled paradoxically with the ongoing reports of nothing (I first wrote this before they found some empty chemical warheads in a bunker, so stay tuned...) from the UN weapons inspectors and the International Atomic Energy Agency, I get angry. And there's nothing I can do about it. I haven't felt more frustrated and impotent since the last time I tried to have sex.

Meanwhile, in the red corner, there's North Korea. They've got nuclear facilities, they've kicked the UN monitors out, they're openly baying for the blood of the capitalist running dog Americans. "Look at us, we've got nukes!" they cry. "No you haven't, you silly Koreans, stop being such show-offs" the US administration calls out in reply. It seems that to win against the US at the moment, all it takes is a bit of reverse psychology. If it continues to take it to Uncle Sam, it looks like North Korea will end up with negotiations, talks and inevitably some form of appeasement. America can't afford a war on two fronts, and there ain't no oil in them thar hills...

It's enough to send me muttering to myself and pacing around around the house with worry. If only it weren't summer. Pass the coconut oil. Mmm.