- TV reviewer rages (not news-rage, but still rage) at rubbish TV programme.
- TV executive rages at rubbish reviewing of rubbish TV programme.
- Herald reporter rages at rubbish criticism of rubbish reviewing of rubbish TV programme.
- News-rage journalist rages at rubbish reporting of rubbish criticism of rubbish reviewing of rubbish TV programme.
So perhaps if both Ms Bowron and Mr Shaw continue to let loose their anger, not only will our television and newspapers improve, but their home lives will be immeasurably richer. It certainly works for me.
Don't worry, things are fine: There are a couple of strange economic pieces today, in the wake of Friday's job summit. First, an odd, NZPA-sourced article talks about a report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research that claims the recession's effect on jobs will, despite dire warnings from all around, be "totally sweet". In an example of lazy journalism to rival just copying out a real estate agent's ad and calling it an article, someone at the NZPA has just quoted paragraphs of the NZIER report, and mixed them in with paraphrased paragraphs of the NZIER report. There seems to be no information about the organisation, and the NZIER website is just as dull as it sounds. Anyway, the headline of the article is "Jobs-first emphasis judged impractical", and it starts by saying that the groups is warning "it may not be possible to protect jobs during the downturn". It then says that probably employers won't make people unemployed, but then they might, but then they will all get their jobs back anyway eventually. Why any of this is an argument that the government shouldn't bother to try and stop people losing their jobs is beyond my expertise as both an economist and a reader of the English language. I don't care so much about the NZIER - this isn't an economics-rage blog - but I don't see any point in writing an publishing articles that are so inscrutable.
Right above it is an article entitled "Finding a niche in the midst of crisis", about businesses with niche markets doing relatively well despite, or because of, the recession. I'm not averse to a bit of good economic news, but it seems to me to be a bit like saying, "Icecream bandits stole all my icecreams, but at least they left me with one Eskimo Pie." Anyway, infrastructure "winners" include Avondale's Etel Transformers have added 30 new staff to meet the upsurge in demand caused by recession spending - well, that will make a serious impact on the 10,650 manufacturing jobs lost in the year to December. Walrus NZ is another company doing well by importing orthopedic braces to "unusual places such as Mexico and Switzerland". I have heard that, in Mexico, the men only come up to your knee and the women howl at the moon like wolves; in "unusual" Switzerland, women got the vote in 1971, and cuckoo clocks and racism are sources of national pride.
'The Liberal Party': The ACT party have a proud history of standing up for what they believe in - the great legacy of the giants of classical liberalism: John Stuart Mill, Thomas Paine, John Locke, and so on. Like that time when Richard Prebble changed his mind about government funding for the arts because the people in Wellington Central, where he was running for parliament, like going to the opera. Anyway, you may not be familiar with Paine's great work The Rights of Man - after all, you're not an ACT MP - but David Garrett is, so he should be. "We've got too hung up on people's rights," says Garrett, a claim that would possibly raise a few eyebrows in ACT HQ if they were actually 'The Liberal Party' and not a sorry collection of failures who should go and get into business if they love it so freaking much and who need National voters to give them a pity electorate vote even to get them into parliament...
Anyway, I seem to have lost my composure. *Ahem*. The occasion for Mr Garrett's claim is the legal opinion provided by the Attorney-General that ACT's proposed 'three-strikes' law may violate the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits "cruel, degrading or disproportionately severe punishment." Mr Garrett was clearly a bit taken aback by this. As a former Sensible Sentencing trust legal adviser, he clearly has a massive hard-on for punishment, and to be knocked back by a member of the National government - they were supposed to be friends! - has obviously hurt his feelings quite badly. But on a serious note - what the hell? To be fair, he is willing to grant violent offenders the right "not to get tortured", which at least puts him a step ahead of his friends in the United States.
That's not an opinion: A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Noelle McCarthy and her new (well, resited) column on the Opinion page of the Herald. Immediately I felt slight bad - she's clearly a decent writer, and I can't imagine it's her fault that her column was moved to the page where there ought to be actual discussion about actual things, rather than shoes. So this particular rage ought to be construed as aimed at whoever makes these decisions, rather than the lowly hacks who write the pieces. But come on! At least last week, although the article was about shoes, the shoes were a kind of metaphor (I am assured) for talking about the economic crisis. This week it's just about travelling around the bloody country visiting tourist spots! Again, I don't have anything in particular against the article itself - I can even see myself reading it, possibly in a glossy supplement, on a sunny Saturday morning on the deck, accompanied perhaps by a fine glass of Obikwa, fresh from the Tetra-Pak. But please, if there is one place where it shouldn't be it is on the Opinion page - it's not even a bloody opinion!