Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Again: Is everyone okay?

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  • Ross Mason,

    Stephen, I can't help it ......

    THe Demon Drink

    Verse 1

    Oh, thou demon Drink (sic the "D"), thou fell destroyer
    Thou curse of society, and its greatest annoyer,
    What hast thou done to society,let me think ?
    I answer thou hast caused the most of ills, thou demon Drink.

    Verse 2. (Paula has been reading this)

    Thou causeth the mother to neglect her child,
    Also the father to act as he were wild,
    So that he neglects his loving wife and family ddear,
    By spending his earnings foolishly on whisky, rum, and beer.

    Verse 3. Could be an Ad here. It's not OK

    And after spending his earnings foolishly he beats his wife -
    The man that promised to protect her during life -
    And so the man would if there was no drink in society,
    For seldom a man beats his wife in a state of sobriety.

    Verse 9. Just to make sure you know he nae like the filthy Irish

    The man that gets drunk is little else than a fool,
    And is in the habit, no doubt,of advocating for Home Rule,
    But the best Home Rule for him, as far as I can understand,
    Is the abolition of strong drink from the land.

    Etc.

    William McGonagall is a "poet" close to my heart. Discovered via Spike. But people forget he was a great chronicle of his time. The Tay Bridge Disaster gives a pretty complete Engineering Report of the bridge failure.

    But he is so so bad. He has become more famous because of it.

    Poor Islander......

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    ???????
    Have just listened to Robyn Malcolmson's Mum on TV talking about her rescue. She mentioned she had been counselling people about the Sept Earthquake and would ask them if they were happy being on the 5th floor. She would then mention that the building (CTV) was safe and on lead rubber bearings.......

    I will talk to my engineering friends tomorrow to check if this was right or not.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Stephen, I can’t help it ……

    The Demon Drink

    Ha, I thought you didn't do poetry?

    Anyway, that doesn't follow the old AAABB, AABBCC, AABBCC, AAABB, AAABBB, AAAAAABB, AABBB, AABBCCDDEE, AABBBBBBBCCDD rhyming pattern of Stephen's offering. Also known as the 'Mandelbrot cluster'.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I saw my friend Kath yesterday. She and her partner had taken the opportunity to get out of Chch, along with her mother, for a couple of days respite. She was in Riccarton at work when the earthquake struck, and hotfooted it almost immediately over to check up on her very elderly mother, and her children. All were okay, if shaken. They live in the Eastern Suburbs (north of New Brighton) and she says that they are feeling very isolated. They are going to have to wait a number of weeks for power because the underground cables are so badly damaged that the power company is putting up overhead lines. She's outraged about that. She feels abandoned, basically. I told her about how much saturation of coverage those of us with power, both in Chch and the rest of NZ are experiencing so that at times, it must feel like everyone had more information about what was happening in her city, than she does. She raged about the lack of portaloos. "The City Council has 750 portaloos. Where are they all? " she wanted to know. I had to remind her about the big picture. That many people had died, that Chch is a spreadout city and how hard it must be to communicate with people who don't have power. She was shitty that the radio suggested people go onto websites that had useful information. How can we do that? she wondered. She doesn't appear to have one of those neighbourhoods where everyone is pulling together - there's no liquefaction, no-one's house has been broken or destroyed, so I guess that there is no reason for them to come out of their homes, where they have been basically ensconsed for the last few days. You're in it, I told her, so it's hard for you to be looking at it objectively. I told her not to read the Herald yesterday, but she did anyway. Nothing I haven't seen before, she said. I guess the only thing is to keep ringing her every day and making sure she's okay. Sorry for the long post, but I seem to be the only person she has to vent to about all these things that, while ultimately, given the extent of damage to her city, aren't huge things - like life and home ripped asunder - are the things that she frets about.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Biobbs, in reply to Ross Mason,

    William McGonagall is a "poet" close to my heart. Discovered via Spike. But people forget he was a great chronicle of his time. The Tay Bridge Disaster gives a pretty complete Engineering Report of the bridge failure.

    But he is so so bad. He has become more famous because of it.

    Heh. A former colleague once called me "the McGonagall of the Biological Sciences" after I wrote a poem about the area of science I work in. (It was based around that "in days of old all knights were told" poem).

    Those who haven't seen Spike's McGonagall biopic, your life is incomplete. You cannot appreciate McGonagall fully unless you've seen it. I think Spike was determined to make the film as McGonagall himself would have. It's the battiest thing Spike ever did, even by his standards.

    McGonagall also featured in Stephen Pile's wonderful "The Book of Heroic Failures". Sadly out of print now, which would delight Pile ("even as failures, we were failures" was his lament at the time about the unexpected success of the book and his Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain). But I have a copy, and of the sequel.

    And Kia Kaha Otautahi! I am so moved by all the humanity on this thread and over on Emma's, from the people in my old town and their supporters from all over the world. I can't do much to help from 12000 miles away, but you are 150% awesome and so is PAS for letting everyone share their stories.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Aw, Jacks – you give Kath a hug for me. Of course, what she’s feeling is totally human – this is probably sick to say, but at least when you’re up to your arse in mud and your house is a pile of kindling you’ve got something immediate and practical to focus all that adrenaline-high energy on. David has a workmate who was flying to a family wedding in the US on September 14, 2001 -- and he, his wife and kids ended up being grounded at LAX on 9/11. He said the worse thing was spending three days basically stuck in a hotel room with too much information pouring through the television, but still feeling utterly impotent.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Ha, I thought you didn't do poetry?

    McGonagall is not the flowery type where it takes dictionary, 13 thesauraus and dope to figure what the it is all about.

    WM is much much better when heard with a brutal Scottish accent. Yes, his rhyming has to be heard to not be believed. Sometimes when he gets into explaining things in detail he just adds more words. Almost prose until he gets it all out. He adored Queen Vic.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Thanks for that, darling. I'm sort of stuck between thinking she's been pretty selfish, and then realising that, like you say, she hasn't got anything hugely practical to focus on.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Well, I've got an acquaintance who is guilt-tripping herself for accepting an open-ended invite to stay with her brother in Nelson. FFS, she has no job to go to, her neighbourhood is basically intact (she's turned off the gas and electricity, locked up and thrown the dog in the back of the car) and I'll be buggered if I know what hanging around and working herself into a state would achieve for anyone. Don't think I'm the only one giving her a stern talking-to. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Russell, could we please get a thread for the political dimensions. Coz my response to Craig, whilst polite and to-the-point, is not definitely appropriate for this thread.

    We’re running out of places to take the other side of this tragedy, and some of us would much rather discuss that than the human element because detachment is how we deal with this shit.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    +1,000 on that -- at the best of times, I suspect there's a good chunk of PA readers who find Dorkland navel-gazing about as interesting as a discussion of the finer points of debate at the Council of Trent.

    We might have to wait until Russell has recovered from wedding reception-itis, though. Lucky bugger. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    So long as it's done respectfully, I don't think it's inappropriate to discuss the political implications of how we move forward at this point. It's still going to be about the welfare of the people of Christchurch, ultimately. And they're going to need us to have their back for months if not years to come.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    It seems to come in waves. The shock of the event is fading. It is similar to the wait for the funeral where one can survive OK. I think when the funerals start then I suspect we will be in sympathy mode again. Totally. What gets me going are the harrowing tales. Both survivor and non. The sheer randomness is the stunning part. Millimetres meant dying or living. I hate to call it luck or providence. Its pure unadulterated the four dimensions space/time. The ecstacy of survival juxtaposed with the sheer terror of death and outpouring of compassion is hard to take.

    I think just let it go as it is. It is a reflection of the calender of the events.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    So long as it's done respectfully

    Which is not goging to happen so long as some can't resist the childish urge to add phrases like "Dorkland navel-gazing" to their posts after publishing them. It is fair to comment on political reaction but the evidence suggests that's best done somewhere other than this thread.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Sacha,

    It is fair to comment on political reaction but the evidence suggests that’s best done somewhere other than this thread.

    +1.
    Thanks Sacha. In spite of contributing to the poetic derailing, I find the thought of politicising this thread somewhat disturbing.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    I’ve asked for the comment to be deleted. I’m sincerely sorry if “Dorkland navel gazing” offended you, but really I don’t think another go around about how the Christchurch quake affects Auckland local body politics – or the constant plaint that Auckland doesn’t get its fair share of the central government pie – is either tasteful or constructive. Certainly not here and now. Plenty of time for politics - local and national.

    Fairly or not, Public Address does get some stick for being awfully Auckland-centric. (I’m certainly trying to recruit a pool of non-Auckland based guest posters for Muse because there’s a lot going on that I practically just can’t cover. I’d certainly LOVE to hear from anyone who has a first-person perspective on how Christchurch’s creative communities and arts institutions are bearing up, and what’s next. I'll be patient, because not everyone has David's ability to turn out shapely prose on a phone in the middle of the night.)

    Should have chosen my words with more tact and sensitivity, but I don’t think the observation was out of line.

    Finally. and FWIW, I do get that Fran O’Sullivan isn’t particularly admired in these parts but being called a right-wing douche on PAS because she wrote (IMO & YMMV, of course) a fairly unexceptional if debatable business column wasn’t childish and uncalled for?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’m sincerely sorry if “Dorkland navel gazing” offended you

    Not personally, but then that wasn't my point. Thanks for the apology. Yes, "douchery" was not a moderate or helpful assessment from Matthew either. Deep Red did immediately introduce a note of balance just as I did on Twitter.

    Us aspies can tend to struggle with appropriate tone sometimes, but mass death is surely an obvious one. Think of it as discussing politics amidst a funeral service. If anyone does not feel they can trust their own judgement, best just zip it, surely.

    a fairly unexceptional if debatable business column

    And I've suggested politely we debate it elsewhere. Feel free to argue why you think that suggestion is unreasonable.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    So long as it’s done respectfully, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to discuss the political implications of how we move forward at this point.

    However, as we well know, political discussions in PAS tend to veer toward the disrespectful. And in the circumstances, I don't think it's fair to put highly-charged debate into a thread that's mostly meant to be about the human side. Not everyone wants to see it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    as we well know, political discussions in PAS tend to veer toward the disrespectful.

    And please remember that the next time you're tempted to link to something overtly political. One of our moderators is caught up in the quake but I'd like to think we are all responsible adults here.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    This story resonates particularly strongly with me.

    More of ‘The Clinic’s’ missing named.

    As did several others coming in from family and friends, of a lost father of 4 in the CTV building, and many more besides.

    YMMV, but while the more flippant interludes have helped keep us sane (IMO), I for one am not ready to move too far away from the human tragedy.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I'd be right behind starting a new thread for arguing about the politics. Here in Chch political talk is a bit like white noise. We can't really get our heads around it. Or I can't. And today, I'm suddenly not coping well at all.

    I'm bugging out to relatives in Dunedin who have offered to come and fetch me, bless them. And my flatmate is back and can feed my cat so I'm free to go.

    I think there will be a lot of Chch people like me who have a delayed reaction. Until today I've mostly felt fine, hardly even cried. But today I feel like I've been hit by a truck, emotionally. Hoping I have enough braincells left to pack a bag, but not counting on it.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart, in reply to Lilith __,

    Lilith - several people I know, myself included, hit that point yesterday. Thank goodness for sunshine today.

    I hope you can enjoy and recuperate during your get-away :)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Wow, Emma's on NatRad, cool! So that's what you sound like.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Robert Urquhart,

    Thanks Robert. All the very best to you also. Being away will mean I can stop feeling I need to be staunch and can be as wimpy and weepy as I like, hurrah!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    a fairly unexceptional if debatable business column

    Any other time I wouldn't have blinked. It was, as you say, unexceptional (on any analysis of the overall message). But attaching that particular barrow to this particular set of circumstances at this point in time was just naff, IMHO.

    It could've waited a couple of weeks and been a little less raw without being any less pertinent. The economic repercussions of what's happened to Christchurch will be with this country until the babies born in its immediate aftermath are in at least primary school and probably well beyond, so it wouldn't have mattered a jot if Fran had left well alone until the middle of next month.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

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