Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Up Front Guide – How to Make a Stupid Law

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  • giovanni tiso,

    I've been waiting for years for PAS to get onto the subject of kitchen design, so I'll jump at the chance.

    A shiny donkey for the person who can help me with something I'd like to blog about: I saw years ago in a book or magazine this kitchen that looked like a library full of old leather-bound books. Strange combination, I thought, since that's where you cook and get stuff all greasy. But it got worse: it turns out they weren't actual books. They were just spines from old books from libraries (public and private) in Eastern Europe that had to sell all their books, and people in the States started buying them as decorative objects, sometimes - as in this case - ripping the books themselves apart (the shelves in this kitchen were fake, they had no depth, if you know what I mean.)

    Does anybody know what I'm talking about and could refer me to a publication or website? I would be grateful and, besides the aforesaid donkey, could throw in naming rights for our fourth child (which we are most assuredly not going to beget).

    Yours, etc.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    Almost, but not quite what you were looking for. Still, it is spectacularly awful. It'd go well with the decor in "Madison".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Poo coloured marble bathroom? Excuse me??

    One careless owner...

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1943 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    That's... I... But... Good Lord. Do pedophiles only operate effectively more than 60feet in the air?

    Suddenly, the moral panic around superhero comics in the fifties makes *perfect sense*. Batman was always brooding around on top of tall buildings, after all.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Giovanni wrote:

    Does anybody know what I'm talking about ...

    I know what you mean. We came across it when we were looking at kitchen designs as well. Our thoughts were pretty much how is it possible that anyone who likes books enough to want it to look like they have lots of them in their kitchen, could actually not just condone, but request and require that those books get mutilated in the process of creating the aforesaid kitchen. It is just soooo wrong.

    ...and could refer me to a publication or website?

    No, sorry. I think it was in a book (or possibly a magazine) from the library ... not much help I'm afraid.

    There are also some wallpapers and borders which look like they are shelves of old books.

    Cheers,
    Brent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Almost, but not quite what you were looking for. Still, it is spectacularly awful.

    Indeed. I did spot some of those, and in some cases I suspect they are actually made with the spines of real books, but it's hard to be sure. And they won't answer my emails :-)

    Cheers Brent, I wonder now if I saw it at a library down here. I'll ask.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    See now, why mess about with ripping apart real books and gluing them to your walls when there are so many excellent trompe l'oeil options?

    Plus, the really interesting bits are inside. That said, it would drive me bonkers to have printed matter on the wall. I'd be reading it over people's shoulders all day long.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    And of course you can order books by the yard.

    Contrary to popular belief, the most expensive aspect of creating an elegant library or study is not the furniture. It is not the impressive bookcase or the fancy lighting or even the cozy reading chair. Actually, the priciest design element of a library is almost always (what else?) the books.

    Positively Pythonesque bit: "If your bookcase or study could use a boost in the books department..."

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    'Faux' the new black.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And of course you can order books by the yard..

    YES! Thank you, just what I was after. "Our assortment of foreign-text collections is both beautiful and price-effective."

    The donkey is in the mail.

    That said, it would drive me bonkers to have printed matter on the wall. I'd be reading it over people's shoulders all day long.

    You're a writer, and every writer should be mandated to read Hrabal's Too Loud a Solitude (if a writer hasn't already).

    Bugger me, in looking for a link to the book I discovered somebody is making a puppet-based feature film. I'm there.

    Anyhow, second best opening line in the history of prose literature: "For thirty-five years now I've been in wastepaper, and it's my love story."

    I'll quite derailing this thread now.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    Really interesting post, Emma. But I'm afraid it has been so well 'jacked by Stuart Coates and the house decorated by six-year-olds on opium that I can't even remember what it was about.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Batman was always brooding around on top of tall buildings, after all.

    Yeah, Batman took it pretty hard when they banned Bat Rohypnol.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Hold that Donkey, Giovanni! Jolisa is pulling a fast one on you. If you read the text of Books by the Yard's site, you will see that they are offering books, complete books, not spines. This is not what you wanted.

    Anyone can sell old books. For the craftsmanship of false books, you need to go to the The Manor Bindery. I know they are not old, but at least they are fake.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Anyone can sell old books. For the craftsmanship of false books, you need to go to the The Manor Bindery. I know they are not old, but at least they are fake.

    You get a donkey! You get a donkey! You get a donkey!... EVERYBODY GETS A DONKEY!

    And Emma gets a bonus monkey on the lam (it's Spot The American Talk Show Night, clearly) for my role in the hijacking of her thread.

    Back on topic: Besides the theatre of it all, that Ms Hart so ably describes, Graeme's line of enquiry over the last few days suggests another possibility: namely, that the two laws in the news this week are in fact just headline-grabbing but otherwie blunted statutes designed not to be enforced, for the benefit of consensus building among gullible constituents and lobbyists that need to have something to show for their efforts. That would make National a rare thing indeed in politics: the sheep in wolf's clothing.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And Emma gets a bonus monkey on the lam (it's Spot The American Talk Show Night, clearly) for my role in the hijacking of her thread.

    Oh, I think we were well and truly jacked before you got here, but I appreciate the sentiment. Also the opportunity to mention the apartment block thing, because that does my head in.

    headline-grabbing but otherwise blunted statutes designed not to be enforced

    A police spokesman sort of accidentally told the Guardian they don't intend to police the Extreme Pornography law. Which, unfortunately, won't stop other people bringing embarrassing complaints. So everybody's happy.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    One careless owner...

    Rofflenui

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    the two laws in the news this week are in fact just headline-grabbing but otherwise blunted statutes designed not to be enforced

    Nothing like a good distraction while you are planning something really unpleasant (which in the circumstances seems somewhat inevitable anyway). Should keep us busy until late May..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    There's something in the water in Wellington, i tell you ...

    Not only did some Dozy Wellingtonians buy trains that were too big for the tunnels - and I'd really like to know how they realised their mistake - but more DW's bought new hospital beds that don't fit through the ward doors.

    How could meaningful legislation possibly be constructed in a city that's lost its tape measures??

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    How could meaningful legislation possibly be constructed in a city that's lost its tape measures??

    Perhaps not meaningful legislation, but certainly the "one size fits all" kind.

    Anyone can sell old books. For the craftsmanship of false books, you need to go to the The Manor Bindery

    Oh, genius. And the suggested applications: inside an elevator? Hiding a TV! A secret door... Actually, I can suddenly see a use for this stuff; Famous Five set-dressing for the best rumpus room ever. My detective-obsessed 7 year old would be all over it.

    But why is it always a false bookcase concealing a wallbed? Why not a false floorbed concealing a pop-up real bookcase? People have their priorities all wrong.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Hold that Donkey, Giovanni! Jolisa is pulling a fast one on you.

    Curses, Paul. You cost me a sale. I had him down for at least 10 yards. (Intellectuals - they can't just stop at one).

    You get a donkey! You get a donkey! You get a donkey!... EVERYBODY GETS A DONKEY!

    Which is all very well until they start enforcing the relevant section of the urban livestock law. Unless we can spin the donkeys as a fleet of low-emission hybrid vehicles?

    [Secretly, I've always wanted a donkey. We used to drive past one on the way into and out of Ithaca, New York, and I thought of it as a totem: The Donkey of Thesis Completion.]

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    One can finally use the phrase "peccable taste".

    Dude, your erudition has me gruntled.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    Unless we can spin the donkeys as a fleet of low-emission hybrid vehicles?

    No, while they are 100% biofuel compatible a donkey can't be hybrid, it's mules that are the hybrids

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Do pedophiles only operate effectively more than 60feet in the air?

    We're having some problems with pressure stabilisation and low-altitude maneouvring. My team should have this fixed by the time we roll out the MkII version.
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    I'll get me coat....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Is the 'how to make a stupid law' thread an appropriate place to have a very peeved moment about the axing of the pay equity inquiries? Well, even if it isn't, let me have the moment anyway, or I might implode in my cubicle:

    GAH! BAH! MEH! ARGH!

    Those smarmy gits. Shorter Tony Ryall: 'Hey women - fuck you!'

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Rich, you've got a lot of coats. Just sayin'.

    Danielle - gaaaah! WHAT? Just when Obama made it right for all the Lilly Ledbetters out there. Tony Ryall, crocodile.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

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