Posts by Alfie

  • Hard News: Together Alone, in reply to Jean Hughes,

    These people keep reminding me that ‘be kind’ is deffo the Public Address word for 2020. I am in first on this one eh Russell.

    Seconded. This phrase defines NZ's humane and intelligent approach to this emergency.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Together Alone,

    Hey... welcome back everyone. Not long ago PAS was one of my favourite NZ online communities and for those of us who refuse to use Facebook or practice read-only Twitter, a comfortable place to exchange thoughts with like-minded individuals. And generally no trolls.

    Our family has been watching covid far too intently for what seems like forever because our daughter was in Baden-Württemberg -- one of the worst outbreak areas in Germany. I've kept a little daily spreadsheet and the trend line is near vertical now. The first case in their area was 25th Feb -- as of today there are 5,348 confirmed cases in Baden-W. It's scary.

    We have Tash back home now (therein lies a tale) and the three of us are in day #9 of isolation. We're isolating by the book and apart from no cuddles for 14 days, it's working out well.

    We live on a beach north of Dunedin. While climate change will take out our village eventually, for now it's a damn fine place to isolate. The background track is distant waves and continuous birdcall. There are very few people, some safe walks along the beach or through the little forest. When you do come across other people, everyone is respectfully keeping their distance and speaking in quiet voices about how the world has changed.

    Everything feels different.

    It's been good to reconnect with friends in Europe and the UK (see what I did there?) and discuss the complacency of some governments. Boris & Dom's "kill off the old people" policy doesn't impress any of my UK friends. But then they're old. Like me. I'm so proud of the leadership Jacinda has shown throughout. I have confidence that NZ's response is science-based and can work. At the moment NZ is the best place to be in the world.

    I'd have to say that despite the darkness covid is bringing to the world, there's a shared sentiment that when this is over, we can rebuild the world as a better place. This is a giant reset. We all know that we're living through one of history's bigger bits.

    We're reading more books. And a super-friendly fantail visits us every day for a chat. I can't think of a better place for time to stand still.

    Stay safe everyone. And keep the fuck away from other people.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and…, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    Low grade leaf from male plants is more suitable for elderly...

    I'm not certain that subjecting the elderly to such knowing indignity would serve much purpose. Watching a room full of oldies all saying, "It has no effect on me either" might be funny, but anything from male plants is not low grade anything. It's compost.

    As a recently ratified old person I can attest that when it comes to strains and terpene appreciation, age really is no barrier. And regardless of age, nobody should be subjected to either male plants or bad bush weed. Life's too short for that sort of nonsense.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    About time... and kiwi as.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary, in reply to Joe Boden,

    The Drug Foundation’s idea about the government serving as a wholesaler, which would allow small growers to be in the market, is a good idea (and far better than the California model which is keeping small growers out of the market).

    Amen to that Joe. I've been wanting to hear this sort of approach from our government since I first read the Drug Foundation proposals, but so far the emphasis seems to be on large commercial operations.

    Is the 'mum & dad' small business model even a possibility under legislation being considered? I'd rather purchase from a boutique local grower than a multinational any day. And for all sorts of reasons.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Are we seeing the end of MSM,…,

    I couldn't agree more Ian. The last couple of days have been good for us serious news junkies. Finally the right wing pretenders on both sides of the Atlantic are both being unmasked in public.

    Johnson is going down trailing the most spectacular, Bullingdon-coloured flames. "Bring on the pig!" And it blows me away that despite the multiple crimes he has committed since taking office and for at least four decades prior, the actual thing Trump will go down for is trying to bribe the president of Ukraine to investigate two completely fruitloop conspiracy theories.

    Irony lives.

    Since the mosque shootings our little country has changed as well, mostly for the better. The level of public support for both the gun buyback and the general crackdown on right-wing extremists feels like a breath of fresh air. As a country we have united against racial hatred. Kiwis are good at this stuff and it feels good to belong to one of the last functioning democracies in the Western world.

    Even the climate crisis is finally being taking seriously. While it's probably too little too late, at least people are discussing the issue and individuals are increasingly trying to play their part. More than any other person, Greta Thunberg is motivating and raising the awareness of millions of people around the globe. I can't think of a more inspiring person in the world right now. Give her the Nobel already.

    Against this background of growing enlightenment and palpably changing attitudes, it's odd that some of our major media companies seem determined to remain mired in the past. Why would you continue to provide a platform for anachronisms like the hoskings, garner, richardson, hdpa, soper and the rest -- seriously shitty people with bad attitudes? Sense the mood of the crowd, old white media people. Enough of the hate, already.

    As individuals we play our small parts. I haven't visited the Herald since they put up the paywall, not because of the charges but because I refuse to put even a single cent into the pockets of their cabal of offensive pundits. I will not listen to any radio station which airs the same ugly people.

    One day the Herald may be forced adapt and adopt a more enlightened attitude. Until then, they're invisible to me. And that just feels right.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There’s talk of a Part 3 focused specifically on our options, which would help.

    I wouldn't watch it.

    Documentary filmmaking is an adaptive process. The jump from making 1:30" news items to structured one hour docos is a huge one. In this case it feels like an inexperienced production team started with a script (originally conceived as a Paul Henry vehicle) and refused to deviate from it, deliberately ignoring changing circumstances such as the downfall of the Wolf and all of the progress being made on our proposed legislation.

    TV3 received precious NZonAir funding for two docos and made a couple of half-arsed, poorly-researched programmes which were more like, Gee Whizz, Paddy tries a Spliff than anything informative.

    I agree that a grown-up doco is needed but in my opinion, TV3 ain't the people to do it. Every time either TVNZ or TV3 suck up doco funding, they tend to use their existing in-house crews and facilities which means they can make programmes cheaper than independent filmmakers. And they're taking precious funding from independents.

    Having not watched TV3 since Wheldon gutted their news and current affairs and sacked JC, I'd have to say it doesn't seem to have improved. I intended to watch the credits on the Gower shows, but TV3 do this super-crass thing and plaster their own self-promos over 3/4 of the screen, making all credits unreadable.

    TV3 have already had two shots at this subject. Any further NZonAir funding should be directed towards more talented local filmmakers.


    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary,

    We recorded it and watched the second part last night. If I was going to select a front-person for a cannabis doco, Paddy Gower would not have been my first choice. And he wasn't TV3's either. The programmes were originally written for Paul Henry according to media reports. His involvement would have ensured I didn't watch.

    It wasn't all bad. The drone footage was effective and there were some genuinely nice moments, like the lady from Ruatoria who said the hemp course was good, "But my plants at home are better." Even Rose Renton came across sympathetically.

    But too much turned into docu-drama as we watched Paddy on some sort of journey to discover himself.*

    *Spoiler alert: he didn't get there.

    The drawn-out inclusion of the Wolf sequence was badly misjudged. His local company went belly-up in January and the man's past is well-documented. Why waste airtime giving him a platform like this? The production company had eight months to fix this, or to at least inform us about the conflict between this person's business and interpersonal skills. Poor show.

    While the programmes were conceived and started shooting last year, I've worked on enough documentaries to know that there's always flexibility in post-production to adapt to changing circumstances. It's how you craft docos.

    What might have been an opportunity to inform an important public debate in the end turned into just another TV3 "once-over-lightly-but-it'-rates" vehicle.

    An opportunity sadly lost.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: E-cigarettes and the path of…, in reply to BenWilson,

    Sadly, it’s probably still safer to smoke weed than vaporize it...

    With oil mixes, yes. Safety is very dependent on what has been added. However when you're vapourising dry material there are no additives and you're only extracting the important bits. IMHO it's one of the purer consumption methods.
    (Five stars)

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: E-cigarettes and the path of…,

    Here's more info on the vitamin E acetate used to thicken black market THC oil, and why it should never be used in vaping liquids.

    Note that no credible vaping company in the US uses this product. It's only being added by a few bad guys in the black market to cut their products and to give the false impression that their oil is thicker and therefore higher quality.

    If Jenny Salesa wants to leave her mark, by all means ban vitamin E acetate in vaping products. No local products will be affected and nothing will change.

    Banning vape flavourings which have helped so many of us to ditch tobacco, when they have nothing whatsoever to do with the recent US deaths, is a foolish response which is pretty much guaranteed to drive a number of ex-smokers back into the hands of tobacco companies.

    Counterproductive. Much.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1390 posts Report Reply

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