Thursday, February 4, 2010

Party on, Garth 2010

Ready for some philosophy?:

There are three things I acknowledge, and accept that they exist, but which I have never been able, for the life of me, to get my head around. They have always remained far beyond my understanding, no matter how much I ponder them or how old I get.

The first is child abuse, paedophilia and cruelty to domestic animals; the second is male homosexuality; and the third is vegetarianism.

Firstly, Garth, let me say that I'm glad that you've come to the realisation that, say, homosexuality and vegetarianism exist; although, as a vegetarian, or something approaching one - mmm, scallops - I'm slightly vexed to see myself mentioned in the same context as a paedophile.
I have written often about child abuse and paedophilia, have touched on male homosexuality but find it expedient these days simply to ignore such an infinitesimal minority, and every time I encounter a vegan or vegetarian (I'm told there's a difference) I simply shake my head in wonder.
Let's give him some credit. He has managed to distinguish between paedophiles and homosexuals, which is more than we might have expected. I like his explanation for not "touching" more often on male homosexuality, homosexuals being a far more "infinitesimal minority" than pedophiles. I suspect that the lack of writing on homosexuals has less to do with their minority status and more to do with the fact that the editor sat him down and told him that it was the twenty-first century, and he wasn't allowed to do it anymore because advertisers would complain. As for the vegan/vegetarian distinction, that's just the sort of quality, Google-led research I've come to expect from Garth.

As someone pointed out to me, the combination of an allegedly strong disgust toward animal cruelty and a complete dismissal of vegetarianism might be considered paradoxical, or worse - albeit not uncommon. In fairness, however, he does specify that he opposes "cruelty to domestic animals", neatly resolving the paradox and leaving him free to punch cows and kick chickens to his heart's content.

That leaves cruelty to domestic animals, examples of which laid before us in the media from time to time, are enough to turn my stomach.

[...] The cruelties which sicken me are those perpetrated, invariably by males, which torture defenceless domestic animals, inflicting on them fathomless fear and excruciating agony.
I love how again he has gone to the trouble of specifying "domestic" animals. Meanwhile, torturing defenceless farm animals - or, I don't know, circus animals - inflicting on them fathomless fear and excruciating agony, is fine, as it leads eventually to pies.

Other than that, he's right, of course: I can't comprehend domestic animal cruelty either. It seems to me that it's almost completely a mental health issue, and that locking someone up in prison for five years isn't exactly the best way to solve the problem, although it does seem like that's the 'Kiwi way' these days. But I digress.

Garth talks about this for a while, before taking an... interesting diversion:
I can no more understand why anyone would torture and slaughter a Jack Russell terrier that I can understand anyone doing so to a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, an exceptional example of which has been part of our family for the past five years.
Okay... what?

Almost all my life there has been a cat in the house. I have always liked cats. They are independent creatures, content to look after themselves and as long as you feed them they will do their own thing.

The incumbent, a chocolate and cream long-haired Birman, has been with us for nearly 12 years. She is beginning to show her age but remains mistress of the household, particularly where the dog is concerned.

Archie - for, being of royal Scottish descent, that is his name - learned early not to mess with Madam - and a right little madam she was, too - and only later discovered she liked to tear round the house playing hide and seek, but only ever on her terms.

For years I resisted my wife's entreaties to get a dog, fearing the physical and emotional commitment it would entail. But I gave in and all I can say after five years is that the experience has been hugely enriching.

How marvellous it is to have pets in the house, little creatures which never talk back or argue with you and which are enormously loyal, trusting, guileless and affectionate.

Well that was weird... but then I suppose we've all talked to an elderly relative and had the same experience of conversation suddenly veering off course. Then again, most senile old folk don't have columns in the country's leading daily newspaper, a column which has swung from righteous rage at animal abuse to advice on getting a dog.

Next week: vegetarian paedophiles.


  1. I've missed this. Welcome back.

    I find it a little disheartening than a red blooded kiwi bloke like Garth only ponders male homosexuality, completely ignoring female homosexuality. I myself often find myself pondering female homosexuality, which frequently leads to me 'touching on' it, if you know what I mean...

  2. Er, James, cows and chickens are domestic animals too. I think Garth meant wild animals, of which there are precious few in NZ, unless he's going to start kicking the shit out of kiwis. On the rest, it's simply the subedited rantings of an Alzheimer's sufferer. I have one in the family myself, so I recognise it.

  3. "as it leads eventually to pies."

    I 'LOL'ed at that one.

    As a male homosexual, I'm grateful Garth keeps his opinions to himself.

    Honestly, the Herald's editor must just crack up at Garth's columns these days. If anyone is indeed reading them.

  4. hahahah god ive missed this blog, glad to see the rage is still burning strong!

    I can't wait till next thursday to see what rants garth will surprise us with next.. i mean... just wow.

  5. I bristled at that “male homosexuality” distinction too. It seems as if female homosexuals are OK, because as a straight man, Garth finds them titillating; but male gays go into same category as paedophiles because they both make him go “ick!”. I think many “red blooded kiwi blokes” such as good old double-G here don’t ignore female homosexuality as such, they just don’t really consider it gayness but instead something that maybe one day they’ll have the privilege of watching.
    Truth be told, I was so offended by the lumping of (male) homosexuals and vegetarians into the same group as paedophiles and other abusers that I almost didn’t read the rest of the column. I really wish I had trusted that instinct.

  6. This is a true classic, even for Garth. Setting aside the bigotry (I can already hear the calls "stop being so bloody PC you queer loving kiddy fiddler...") it's ramblings with seemingly no point. I must check with the talkback-listening father in law to see if this latest magnum opus is a representative world view of the elderly curmudgeon...

    I add my LOL to the "pies" line.

  7. I used to work on an in-house newspaper with its own senile columnist, and I quickly learned two things:

    One, you don't edit his copy. It's not that it's sacred, it's just that changing so much as a comma will get you into a half-hour discussion and defence of your actions with someone who's your senior by 40 years and immeasurable pay grades.

    Two, you don't argue with him. If you do so, he'll say "You may very well be right, I often think I'm a bit out of touch, perhaps we can discuss it with your editor". Then you've let your editor in for the same kind of meeting experience described above, only it's likely to be drawn out over a period of months, and he/she will not soon forgive you.

    Just offering an insight into how GG keeps making it into print in this fine rambling form.

  8. Garth is truly awesome.

    How can one "not understand" vegetarianism?

    How is "child abuse, paedophilia and cruelty to domestic animals" "one thing"??

    And how the hell can a spaniel be of "royal Scottish descent"???

  9. Given that Garth also has a well-deserved reputation as a misogynist, it seems that he simply doesn't like anyone who fancies men. Hetero men and lesbians are a-ok.

    Bearhunter: Cows and chickens are *domesticated* animals, but I don't know if they would generally be thought of as domestic - that is, pets living around the house. Of course, you could have a pet chicken, but that doesn't make every chicken a pet.

    Maybe that's not the distinction Garth is making, but I'm not sure what he would conceivably mean apart from that.

  10. EDITORIAL CRACKPIPEFebruary 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Wow, he didn't mention abortion as one of the things he can't get his head around.

    Also this: "How marvellous it is to have pets in the house, little creatures which never talk back or argue with you and which are enormously loyal, trusting, guileless and affectionate.".. sounds like how he wishes women would be.

  11. James, how does “given that he has a well-deserved reputation as a misogynist” lead to “he simply doesn't like anyone who fancies men”? Wouldn’t a true misogynist shun the company of women and prefer men? I find it so interesting that the men who think that women are inferior are usually the men who believe that women are the only suitable partners for men. Closet gays or inferiority complex?

    And he probably thinks he covered abortion under “child abuse”.

  12. So, by omission, he's totally cool with cruelty towards adults - women and men. Or perhaps women come under the animals banner.

    For my part, I acknowledge and accept the existence of old narrow-minded oppressive sexist vegetarist (?) conservative repressed unimaginative right wing dull humourless privileged white male nonsensical rantmongers with access to publication, but have never been able to get my head around them. They have always remained far beyond my understanding, no matter how much I ponder them, or how old I get.

  13. As a vegetarian queer man I always knew I was outside the realm of Garth's universe. But yes, it is sort of nice to see the old codger has educated himself as to distinguish gay men from paedophiles. Perhaps he didn't get the Teabag Memo.
    Fisking Garth George is such a fun sport and I'm pleased you do too.

  14. On the plus side, surely this is a clarion call to New Zealand's lesbians to do something - anything - to irritate GG sufficiently to include them in his naughty list. Go team!

  15. Despite how many LOLs I get out of reading Party On Garth I still hope the Herald puts him down soon.

  16. I fear that would give them an excuse to create a Garthy memorial edition, which, I fear, may tip me over the edge. Then I'd have to kill everyone in the entire world.

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