When, for the first time, I read Jim Hopkins' column last fortnight - and what a load of feverish bollocks it was - my opinion of him changed significantly. I had thought of him previously as just slightly embarrassing, like the awkward uncle you only see at Christmas - the one who can't resist making groan-worthy puns and telling tortuous jokes. At least he's not boring, you think, but you still don't want to be seated next to him at dinner. Actually reading his column and finding that the cause of all this merriment is the worst, least-scientific kind of climate change denial is a bit like the scene in Father Ted where Ted stumbles upon Father Fitzpatrick's collection of Nazi memorabilia.
As usual, the conflict between my repulsion and... whatever emotion it is that makes you want to stare at a car crash... was won by the latter. A simple search for "Jim Hopkins" on the Herald site brings forth a smorgasbord of literary delights. For instance, his previous column was a bizarre rant about Hone Harawira:
You're a fomo, Hone; a foul mouth.
Not a white fomo or a black fomo, though you say you are both. But you're just a fomo, Ho. A bog standard, dime a dozen, no colour, no class, swaggering shock jock fomo.
But let's get back to the present. He obviously felt he was onto a winner last week, as he's writing almost exactly the same thing: the climate email 'scandal' means that climate change isn't happening. Presumably, if I told Mr Hopkins that the sky is blue because of the high concentration of smurfs in the troposphere, he would conclude from the falsity of my statement that the sky is not, in fact, blue. Except, unlike a normal person, he would compose a poem about it.
Christmas spirit yet to register in sales, say worried retailers - News Item.
The cheque book's on idle, it seems, the credit card on hold. We're spooked by the recession, and more besides. We'd rather keep the money, honey, than have a Wii fling. (Why didn't Tiger think of that?).
Yeah, the alleged drop in consumer spending has everything to do with global warming 'propaganda' and nothing to do with the economic recession and high unemployment. But now I guess it looks to the editors like you've written about something new, rather than the exact same thing you crapped on about last fortnight.
Someone should explain to our melancholy merchants that people don't spend when they're gloomy. And, boy, are we gloomy. The till's not ringing 'cos the heart's not singing. And the heart's not singing 'cos there's sod all to sing about, sunshine!
We can't even sing about that anymore without some sobbing celeb sanctimoaniously banging on about our bloody carbon footprint.
Memo to Mr Tindall and chums: It's hard to get a tingle in our Jingle Bells when there's a colossally wasteful, doom-on-steroids loath-in happening in Denmark. And tough to get the goodwill going with 30,000 and four hoarse men of the apocalypse screaming "Repent! Repent! The End is Nigh! Last chance to save the planet" at their taxpayer-funded religious rally in wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.
I think the point you missed here, Jim, is that the asteroid "did for the dinosaurs". I'm not certain that most people are primarily concerned with the survival of the planet per se. Unlike the planet, species living on it have an unfortunate tendency to die out during massive ecological crises.
That's why we're not shopping, Mr T. Because we're numb with despair. Because we feel hopeless, bludgeoned by shonky science and dodgy data into a state of abject grovelment - ashamed of our sinful selves and terrified our delicate little planet is going to hell in a (very hot) handcart.
It isn't and it won't. She's a tough old Mother, Earth. She's endured many truly enormous indignities - the cosmic collision that created our moon, the enormous asteroid that did for the dinosaurs, a rent in the land in Siberia that leaked lava, like blood from a wound, for one million years.
Though you do have to wonder what prompted these apocalyptics to unleash their millennial hysteria in the middle of our busiest retail season when people should be buying things and maintaining jobs. But if their deeply depressing opening video is any guide, those in Copenhagen would rather have children clinging grimly to trees than finding presents under them. Which makes it hard for retailers to eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive. But they must if we are to unlimber our purses.Yeah, why now? You would think that the planet would have the decency to stop heating during the festive season. I haven't actually seen anything telling anyone not to spend money because of global warming, other than maybe not buying a fleet of Humvees this Christmas. Next we'll be hearing that religious unrest in Pakistan is being orchestrated by Al Gore. Or that the cricket against Pakistan is somehow involved. Oh, hang on.
Perhaps the Black Caps can help with a win in Napier. Unlikely though, unless the ICC makes underarm bowling compulsory. We sank without trace at the Basin. Against a team who couldn't catch Osama bin Laden if he was edged off a gentle full toss. Seriously, Pakistan dropped more than Tiger Woods' standards.Seriously!
'Tis odd how everyone's in a tizz about his cheating but no one seems to care about scientists doing exactly the same in relation to a matter of much greater importance. Tiger's fictions affect his family, those fabricated in East Anglia and elsewhere affect all of us."No one seems to care" - no one, that is, but just about every single article that has been in the paper about the Copenhagen conference, not to mention at least three opinion columns in the New Zealand Herald. But now, like a distracted puppy, he's off on another topic:
Alas, as is so often the case, the more trivial a matter is, the more rapt our attention and prurient our interest. Which may well explain why, at the end of a very hard year, the extinguished poet laureate, Sir Jam Hipkins (honour pending) has forsaken his muse and embraced a more venal mistress, joining the burgeoning ranks of news readers, porn stars, nightclub hostesses and lonely hearts who have teed off, so to speak, with Mr Woods.So that's climate change fakery, the spending downturn, Tiger Woods' infidelity and the cricket.
[Excruciating "poem" begins - you'll have to brave the link yourself, sorry.]
Interestingly, the article sharing the opinion page with Hopkins is "Deniers don't have a rapidly melting glacier to stand on" - perhaps a headline that Hopkins could have improved. But at least that means that the Herald's coverage is fair and balanced, right?