Posts by SpikeHegan
Hard News: Misadventure and Muppetry,
Hey Andin! Give me a recent Buddhist saying! Or even one of a modest vintage. I tire of these old Buddhist / Sufi / Daoist sayings.
Hard News: Misadventure and Muppetry,
Whoa, people. Stop. Take three steps back and get some scope on this.
What have we got splurging out of the Cabinet caucus right now? Let me count the ways:
Bashing beneficiaries. Ho hum. Might as well. Doesn't take much energy and always gets a bit of noise going.
Cutting back National Radio funding. That was the opener, guaranteed to get the media seething.
And of course, mining National Parks. As usual, Gerry Brownlee gets to deliver the big hit. Petitions, shrieking, suicide threats. But wait: if the government OK's mining in national parks tomorrow, it will be at least six years before a single truck rolls down any road, anywhere, to start the digging. Probably eight. This is not even remotely related to our need to increase our economic performance right now.
I'm pretty disappointed that no-one in the media or anywhere else hasn't wondered if this might be a giant smokescreen. That they are throwing out controversies all over the place to cover something else up. I suspect that it is simply that they are borrowing a billion dollars a month and have put forward no plan whatsoever to manage this reverse haemorrhage, no reports about where it is going, or how long it will continue, what it means for our economy in six months, a year, two years, whatever. Nothing. They have no idea and don't want to be asked.
But knowing Gerry Brownlee's track record of dirty tricks, it could be something else altogether.
Anyway, come election time they'll just can the whole mining thing, say, what good guys we are, we listened to you and we are going back to locking the schedule 4 land up again. Hooray for us!
Please - let's not be so naive. Somebody who has the time and contacts should start digging. I am convinced that something really bad is going down.
Brownlee's comment about the area under consideration is only .02% of the conservation estate was great for a giggle, though. If it's a 50 million litre toxic sludge lake, it would be a mighty significant .02%.
It immediately conjured in my mind the picture of a New Zealand's Next Top model would-be with a giant black hairy mole between her eyes. "What's the problem? It's only .02% of my skin surface!"
It is genuinely encouraging to see how many people are unwilling to let this roll over to become just an other yesterday's story.
I celebrate in song (to the tune of "The Judge's Song" from Gilbert & Sullivan's "Trial by Jury.")
When I Ehoa was called to the Arts my ambition it brimmethed over
A work or two I rapidly penned and found myself in clover.
I'd numerous tales of whaea and whales and scores of whakatauki,
Which extended my reach in many a speech from the reverent to the jokey.
And now I'm a laureate (Chorus.:and a good laureate too)
Yes now I'm a laureate (Chorus.:and a good laureate too)
Though my paragraphs were nicked...
Yet I'm the one they picked...
And the 50 K they flicked....
To a good.... laureate....too.
To minorities twain I do belong
Which enhanced my reputation
All the hetero Liberalsl grovelled so low
Twas moral masturbation
The critical eye passed calmly by
My plethora adjectival
For to so allude would be dull and rude and professionally suicidall
For now I'm a laureate (Chorus.:and a good laureate too)
Yesnow I'm a laureate (Chorus.:and a good laureate too)
Though my prose was second hand
Yet I'll take that 50 grand,
I might... buy back some more land!
Like a Good Laureate true!
Even in that little purple sphere of words.....
When I saw the glorious southern seascape, glittering by day with sun-stars and glowing by night under the gleaming Southern Cross and that arching canopy of a million stars...
do I detect another false step, a modern sensibility breaking through the thin fabric of his historicism? Take a look at the sky - the Sothern Cross is far from the dominant feature - Orion out-punches it ten-fold - but one that was significant, particularly to mariners, because it was the constellation you never see in the northern hemisphere.
Would an early New Zealander, not a mariner, have found the Southern Cross dominant? I think not. Also, were are not actually under it much of the time, if ever. It rather hangs around the bottom, looking sullenly Antipodean.
As for your earliear response to my post, J. you refer to a great story. I haven't tried to read Whale Rider, but there was clearly a pretty good story in it. Is it that WI is a great storyteller who desperately wants to be, and is not, a great writer? Stranger and sadder things have happened.
Pierre Menard. Haha - excellent! No reference to JLB should be let past unconsidered. Being a little short of cash I stood and read the Listener article in the supermarket, a particularly heroic effort since I had left my glasses at home - my eyes watered from squinting but I just had to check it out.
Menard achieved a perfect and completely original Quixote through years of effort; Ihi-my-Ra-for-me-would-you tried to dodge the bullet by actually crapping on the edges of the original writing, e.g. by jamming an infelicitous and redundant 'which was' in the flow of Lamb's prose, substituting 'city' for 'metropolis' and other childish tinkerings.
My immediate reaction, being a bit geeky myself, was 'How dumb!' Did he really think that tinkering with a couple of words per paragraph was going to get him through?' He would have had better luck crossing his fingers while he typed.
Let's be honest - WI is the product of an unspoken, unofficial affirmative action programme. He can't write, or at least not well enough to keep me reading to anywhere near the end of any of his books. His people don't sound like people and his places don't sound like real places. Astonishing that someone (was it Jolisa? I didn't squint at that bit) actually described it as a 'great book' and then went on to point out that some illiterate waif delivered rhetoric at the bedside of her dying father????!!!!
Sorry - you can't do that. It's not allowed. Illiterate waifs have to talk like illiterate waifs. It simply cannot be a 'great book' and have that sort of rubbish in it.
Now the 64K question: if the University is genuinely serious (cough!cough!) they must ask the good professor for an electronic copy of The Trowenna Sea so they can pay for thirty to fifty hours of someone's time to check the entire text for plagiarised content. Then let them accept that this was a minor oversight constituting .04% of the total text. I volunteer right now to do the work.
Until that is done, no-one can assert with any surety that this was, in fact, a minor act of plagiarism.
Finally, by not following through and doing what real, grown-up countries do when an author is caught out in plagiarism, which is pulping the work and stripping the miscreant of his honours, the literary and academic institutions of New Zealand concede that we are culturally second-rate.
This is an enormous insult to all the truly excellent artists who have been and are proud to call themselves New Zealand writers.