Thursday, May 28, 2009

Taser on, Garth

Garth George is, not for the first time, a worried man. He's "beginning to wonder whether we are descending into a state of lawlessness in this country which, if not arrested, might lead to outright anarchy." Here's what he has to say:

The prime example of the sort of behaviour which should be of concern to us all is that of those arrogant negroes who last Sunday invaded white-only areas of buses, disrupting the lives of tens of thousands of other people who were going about their lawful occasions [sic].

These selfish, thoughtless louts defied transport authorities and a police cordon just so they could sit at the front of the bus.

This contemptuous behaviour towards the police is indicative of a breakdown in law and order which, unless it is nipped in the bud, can only get worse, for already the leading dickheads of this push to have public transport desegregated are threatening to do it again on a larger scale.

Oh, hang on, that's not Garth George of 2009. That's Garth George of 1955. Of course, I'm not conflating the civil rights movement with the questionable claim that it is in Auckland's long-term interest to open up the bridge permanently to foot and cycle traffic. It's the wider argument I'm interested in, the one that has been spouted by every authoritarian since the beginning of history: deference to authority is the chief and only civil virtue. But it only gets worse. Garth's not only in favour of people unquestioningly obeying the law; he's in favour of the physical assault of those who peacefully protest it.
What a shame that the police haven't already been provided with Tasers. Confronted by a cordon of cops with zappers on their hips, these nutters might have had second thoughts.
Jesus. Garth goes on to talk about the hard-on he got the very first time he saw an armed policeman, in the United States, and asked if he could 'touch it'. Freud would have a field day:
From that day for several months every time I so much as jaywalked I felt an itch in my back.
Three cheers for being gripped by fear of the police! I remember walking past the Houses of Parliament at Westminster and seeing the 'bobbies' there; gone are the ridiculous blue hats, friendly moustaches and truncheons. In their place are black, military-style uniforms and submachine guns. It made me truly value coming from a country where all the police have to wear sky-blue shirts, and where my local police station is a quaint cottage. The idea of peaceful protesters who have brought their children to walk across the bridge being tasered to maintain respect for the law is not only awful, but downright contradictory.

But the bigger idea is that a lot of social change comes from civil disobedience of one sort or the other. People like Garth George have opposed every progressive change in the history of humanity, grumbling away about respect for traditions and inconveniencing the majority. Quite how Garth could get so angry at the hour-long disruption to drivers (is there anything more ridiculous than the moaning of drivers about cyclists?) beggars belief. But it's his willingness to countenance an armed police force to reinforce 'respect' that really marks him out as a basket case - as if we needed any more evidence.
The irony of the bridge affair is that it needn't have happened. There is no reason the bureaucrats who run the bridge could not have dedicated a couple of the eight lanes for pedestrians and cyclists for the entire Sunday, save that saying "no" is always the easiest option - for them.
The irony of Garth's column today is that he concedes that the marchers' cause was essentially fair - at least to the extent of having one day out of every 18,250 to cross the bridge on foot. The arrogance of the authorities, including the police, to think that they can irrationally make decisions and suffer no consequences reeks of the authoritarian spirit. Whatever you think about the justice of the bridge cause, surely we liberals can all revel in the rejection of Nanny State by those two thousand martyrs on the weekend.

Now, back to marking.


  1. It was on a Sunday too for Christ's sake. Sorry Garth, were you late to Church? Did someone cut in front of you in the queue for heaven?

    I think he's just mad the police wouldn't let him on the bridge at the same time to see how many 'hippies' he could run over.

  2. Today the bridge, tomorrow the Bastille!

    Perhaps we should taser boy racers, P users and drink drivers too. Hmm.

    I wonder what Garth thought about the Hikoi.

  3. "I observe the diseases of a Commonwealth that proceed from the poison of seditious doctrines, whereby men are disposed to dispute the commands of the Commonwealth, and afterwards to obey or disobey them as in their private judgments they shall think fit; whereby the Commonwealth is distracted and weakened... [like] a crazy building, such as, hardly lasting out its own time, must assuredly fall upon the heads of posterity."
    - Garth George of 1660

  4. Why won't society come to it's senses and OUTLAW BICYCLES! The link between cycling and anarchy is clear, just look at the road code! Motorists are forced to remember hundreds of rules, and obey them at every intersection, while our two-wheeled counterparts laugh, riding their un-licensed vehicles past our stationary cars as we wait patiently for the next green light.

    And yet, if I were to run one down for getting in my way, I'D be the criminal! If we let these cyslists win, we can look forward to a bleak future, a country run by CYCLE GANGS where honest men fear to tread.

    No, we must use the thing they fear most.. Electricity! These lycra-wearing technophobes need to be taught about authority, the "Garth George Way"!

    Disclaimer: The "Garth George Way" is a registered trademark of TaserCo.

  5. The only opinion I come close to agreeing with is that posed by the phony Garth George. I will concede that at least 90% of the cyclists that use the roads do so in a courtous and safe manner. Hoever, the remainin 10% are such fucking retards that my head may explode just thinking about them.

    Rather than decending into an expletive laden rant, I'l sleep on whether I have the time to detail all the ways that cyclists (both motor and regular) tilt the living crap out of me...

  6. Fellow cyclists don't be put off by JP_Rocks and other such motorcar extremists. They hate our freedom.

  7. James, my sanity is depending on you writing some EXTREMELY scathing commentary on the Herald's coverage of the budget tomorrow. Editing the Herald is currently one of the few things preventing me from going completely politically insane.

  8. The 'armed offenders squad' look more like something in a Hollywood flick than anything the Brits could offer.

    M16s and ski masks. Very quaint.

    As for Garth 'moustache of hatred' George - what the fuck is the bridge to do with him? He lives in the sticks.

  9. If George truly believes that deference to authority is the ultimate virtue, the hypocritical old shitehawk should think about where such blind acceptance of authority leads. Perhaps he could read a few of these:
    before dismissing civil disobedience.

    That said, the bridge invaders wound me to fuck up, since I couldn't get over the bridge and had to miss seeing my daughter for another week.

  10. I too shall "revel in the rejection of Nanny State" this weekend by taking a dump on your front lawn (well, your Mum's). Through this act I shall seek to finally bring an end to centuries of inequality, whereby animals can shit wherever they like but I am forced to use a toilet (or am I?).

    I trust you will support my cause for interspecies equality, particualrly given your recent cocnern over pigs in crates.

  11. This is easily the most mental thing Garth has written since you've been covering his reign of terror.

    I mean really, Tasers. I'm actually in support of them being introduced, but what they have to do with crowd control is beyond me. If it's violent resistance you want Garth, the tools are right in front of you - A baton, nightstick, heavy duty flashlight, sock full of quarters, we have the technology.

    I'm pretty sure that tasers are only meant to deal with situations where an officer is confronted with a violent, possibly lightly armed assailant, not a crowd of pedestrians. Oh but wait, that bicycle could be used as a weapon, and he's coming right at us, ELECTROCUTE AT WILL! What a psychopath...

    Personally, I'm waiting for the day when every police officer can be armed with a standard issue pitchfork and/or flaming torch. After all, there's no justice like angry mob justice.

  12. Yeah tasers are a good idea, because they will only be used for armed offenders. Never protesters or anything.

  13. LOL I clicked 'Garth George' (4.45pm) and I shouldn't have. I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do to IT.

  14. I wonder what Garth thinks of the new gay-friendly rainbow technicolour sky tower?

  15. I wonder what Garth thinks of James' laziness..

  16. I'm thinking James can have the day off on her majesties fo-birthday

  17. 7 hours of work a week must really be weighing the old man down. Poor James.

  18. Fo-birthday? Faux-shizzle!

  19. Thats 7 hrs into a four day week- totally understandable that he cant keep up blogging duties

  20. You do rock JP! I couldn't even figure out what fo-birthday meant...

  21. Come back James - we miss you!

  22. Hey, no-one tell Garth we're the most peaceful country on the planet, it might spoil his mood.

    (Garth's beloved USA comes in at 83rd!)