Friday

Texting While Driving is SAFE!

The Minister of Transport is proposing a law change to make it illegal to use a mobile phone while driving. This is just the kind of PC bullshit we voted Labour out for - so why is National doing it? Everyone knows that using a phone whilst driving a vehicle is okay and perfectly safe.

And I can prove it. I witnessed the following (true story!):

I saw a Courier Driver coming down Wyndham Street. As anyone who has stumbled out of The Crow Bar or WBC knows, it's a 30 or 40 degree gradient. The street intersects at the bottom with Queen Street, where I was waiting to cross.

The traffic light went Orange, so the driver sped up. Not fast enough, because the light went red. But the driver didn't care and swung his van through the intersection, turning right into Queen Street. We had the Little Green Man, but we were wise enough not to Cross Now.

He was only a few metres from me, and I was close enough to see that he was steering with one hand ... and texting on his mobile phone with the other.

No-one was killed, no-one was crippled, ergo Texting While Driving is SAFE!


(NB - if viewing this via Facebook you will need to click original link to see videos)

Wednesday

Paula Bennett Is On Facebook



Judging by the reaction of most of my Facebook friends, I am at odds with the prevailing view on Social development Minister Paula Bennett. Or maybe only The Left can be arsed getting their knickers in a twist over it.
Once again my blog on the subject failed completely to elicit any responses,
but Chris certainly did via his Facebook page. Here's a smattering of opinion:
Chris:- Kia kaha, Paula Bennett! Beneficiaries are scum of the earth who should be afforded no special privileges whatsoever, in fact we should treat them the same way that we treat suspected Iraqi terrorists, i.e. set the fucking attack dogs on them. You go, girl.
Andrew and 5 others like this.
Peter
:- Apparently not only is John Key a cunt, he also has some spare cunts that can walk and talk independently. Like sentient Muppets.
3 hours ago
Chris
:- Yeah, I suspect it's only a matter of time before National cut all the Creative N.Z. and N.Z. On Air funding, too, 'cos we all know that musicians and artists are a pack of lazy mongrels living off the state and scrounging for handouts. Fuck 'em all, and if they complain, then Paula Bennett can make a database of them and publish it online in much ... Read more
3 hours ago
Shayne
:- I think once they finish refurbishing eden park they should use it for roll calls, mass work seminars (This is how you clean a police car!) or the occasional public flogging. bring back Work For The Dole!
2 hours ago
Jo
:- I'm presonally awaiting the elimination of Arts and any creativey stuff from universities, thereby allowing more funding to allocated to the REAL areas like business, engineering, and law. And also preventing those bohemian scum from having any aspirational ideas.
2 hours ago
CheapSex AtSquid
:- I love how The Left are so aggravated on this issue. It's like the 80s all over again. http://cheapsexandotherstories.blogspot.com/2009/07/pot-calling-kettle-black.html
2 hours ago · Delete
Shayne
:- yes. i'd have to agree cheap sex. being on the dole truly does insulate one from the real world...
2 hours ago
Chris
:- The Left? You don't have to be on the left to be a scrounging bloody dole bludger, mate, you just have to be out of work or a single mother! Fucking spongers... put them in the army, I say!
2 hours ago
Chris
:- Oh, and being an ex-dole bludger now with a cushy minister's job seems to have insulated Paula Bennett from the real world quite nicely - apparently having shitloads of money'll do that for ya quite quickly...
2 hours ago
Jo
:- No no no - she still lives in West Auckland - she knows what's happening on the streets. She doesn't need to read carefully researched reports to know where it's at.
2 hours ago
Chris
:- She's doing for the single mums what Margaret Thatcher did for all the grocers' daughters... nuffink.
2 hours ago
Lady
:- they are questioning me about working odd labouring jobs under the table while still getting handouts for my 2 children...how the fuck else am i suposed to survive? I wana kick some1 in the cunt!
2 hours ago
Natasha
:- I had an unbelievable 90 minute meeting / interrogation with WINZ 3 weeks ago, to sign up for a temporary "Sickness Benefit" ( that's what they put pregnancy under); After going to the wrong desk where the woman sighed and said "DPB, over there" (the third time Studylink has made a comment like that to the quite married me); and at near full term ... Read more
2 hours ago
Chris
:- Apparently Paula's got a nice big minge that needs a new bootprint or two - proceed with the kicking forthwith!
2 hours ago
Chris
:- WINZ seemed to get a lot nicer there for a while but it's apparent that orders from the top are now to be arseholes to all and sundry again. Sigh...
2 hours ago
Shayne
:- i can remember working on a building site and this old codger came up and started going on about "solo mums - bloody bitches!". i suppose it's a continuation of the bloody maoris/coconuts/chinks school of thought. obviously all these people ARE to blame for our social ills and impending economic ruin of course... but my mum was a solo mum. i grew up in a street FULL of solo mums. they are different from us you know...
2 hours ago
Jo
:- Natasha - have you thought about actually giving birth at the WINZ office, just so they can be really sure that you have got a baby, and you're not just making it up to get out of working at Macs? (I myself only had a baby to take advantage of the 14 weeks amazingly well-paid parental leave on offer. I sent him back after that.)
2 hours ago
CheapSex AtSquid
:- watch out - it can't be long b4 WINZ use FB to prove ur not actually seeking work (ie ur on FB too much).
2 hours ago · Delete
Lady
:- haha thats funny jo
2 hours ago
Jo
:- Maybe we SHOULD send our babies to the government after 14 weeks (or whatever the current mandatory breastfeeding period is) - then they could get the kids into the Macs training schemes nice and early, and ensure that very few people ever actually try to get stupid things like tertiary educations or become musicians.
2 hours ago
Natasha
:- Haha, yes we're having number 2 for the extra 60 bucks...I did seriously consider it Jo, but settled for getting all pissed off, ringing the 0800 number, finding someone who agreed that yes, the dunedin branch is not "entirely helpful",and gave me a few pointers, which led me to being able to march (sorta) back in, and while presenting forms for the extra things we are eligible for, asking why I hadn't been fully informed of my rights. She signed off and got rid of me as soon as possible.
2 hours ago
CheapSex AtSquid
:- but don't most solo mum's take their infants to McD's anyway...?
2 hours ago · Delete
Rachel
:- I can't get the dpb. despite leaving my violent ex. cos I am too "able to earn" I'm also bloody exhausted and earning less than those women are receiving every week....
2 hours ago
Natasha Griffiths
:- and shayne, dunedin taxi drivers are always good ones to strike up the solo mums debate as well...
2 hours ago
Geoffrey
:- she can fuck off
2 hours ago
Geoffrey
:- she is a fucking hypocrite... sorry to swear on your page bruv but really she's rubbish
2 hours ago
Natasha
:- yeah just as we thought the baby boomers could start to die off after milking absolutely everything, then complaining profusely at subsequent generations asking for anything, we've got a new generation of fuck heads who have what they need and feel they can tell everyone else to move along. I'm not sorry for swearing cos chris swears all the time. I've seen him.
2 hours ago
Chris
:- I'm sure you've heard me, too, Natasha... I think I've even done it in a couple of songs.
2 hours ago
Jo
:- Well, you know, Paula did pull herself up by her bootstraps. (My favourite line - the Listener article titled 'The girl from Struggle St'. Give me a f**king break!) So clearly everyone can if they really WANT to. I mean, it's not like the quality of life of the upper middle class is dependent on the existence of a vast pool of under-employed badly paid labour or anything!
2 hours ago
Chris
:- Yeah, and I'm still waiting to get prosecuted for stating on facebook that Clayton Weatherston is a murdering arsehole, thereby apparently jeopardising his chances at getting a fair trial. Rot in jail, psycho boy. And Paula Bennett can suck a fat one, the evil fascist bitch.
2 hours ago
Jaq
:- I think we all need a nice cup of tea and a lie down.
20 minutes ago
Jo
:- Facebook - the 21st century Mrs Merton Show. "Let's have a heated debate ..."


BTW - if you're interested in joining the Labour Party in bagging Bennett you can join this Facebook group.

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black

The National Government are trying to force this mother into prostitution.

I must confess to being a little startled to see both John Campbell and Mark Sainsbury (7pm on TV3 & TV1 respectively) so strident with Social Development Minister Paula Bennett last night. Both were keen to fan the flames of outrage that a Minister should publicize the details of exactly how much two beneficiaries were getting, when said two beneficiaries had gone to the media claiming the Government weren't giving them enough money.

I was startled because an hour earlier both networks had confirmed (via their political reporters) that it was standard practice for Ministers (both Labour and National, in previous decades) to normally leak this type of infomation to reporters 'off the record' and let them run the story. Bennett's crime seems to be that she just issued a press release to ALL media, instead of a quiet whisper to a favoured Parliamentary hack.

No, you say, Bennett's crime is that she is bashing beneficiaries when she herself was on the DPB not so long ago. Okay, I'll grant you that but I still have to side with Bennett when she says that was then and this is now. Hypocrite! you reply.

Not really. Welfare benefits were set up to help people in times of need - to act as a safety net - not a cocoon to insulate you from the real world. Trust me, I was on and off 'the Dole' a lot when I was in my early 20s so I know how seductive it can be getting all that money for nothing (it was so nice I once claimed it twice). You get used to the income stream and pretty soon you begin to believe that you've 'earned it' because you're contributing to the community in other ways. In my case I was 'contributing to the Arts' via my role as manager of various bands and breakdancers. In the case of Natasha Fuller she contributes by volunteering two days a week at her children's school.

In hindsight I'd guess Fuller has contributed more than I ever did, but at the time I felt I was entitled to the measly $126 a week* the government gave me. And that's the problem. We now have generations of people who feel they are entitled to that money, that they deserve that money, and shouldn't be expected to demean themselves by taking a job that is beneath them. How will working on minimum wage at McDonalds get me any closer to my dream job of being a TV Presenter? ask today's youth.

Well, the reality is that we can't all be TV Presenter's, DJ's, Party Promoters, Fashion Designers, Make-Up Artists, or whatever else it is that today's youth aspire to, so "f#ck you" if you think my taxes are going to pay for you to sit on your ass while you wait for that dream job to land in your lap. Cos it won't. Take that job at McDonalds** and get some frikken life experience in the real world - you'll meet real people (both customers and co-workers) and you'll learn what it's like to actually work for a living. You don't have to stay there forever but while you're doing that you'll be suitably inspired to chase your dream job, really chase it.

Bennett's mistake has been that she hasn't communicated very well. According to the Herald On Sunday who originally reported the story last weekend:
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announced in May's budget that the Training Incentive Allowance (TIA) - a key stepping stone off welfare for DPB and invalid beneficiaries since the late 1980s - would apply only to high school level or lower courses. But universities and polytechnics knew nothing of the changes until students tried to enrol in the past few days.

So a whole bunch of beneficiaries are now finding they can't get the TIA to go to PolyTech or Varsity. Boo hoo - take out a student loan and Boo Ya! you're in. It really is that easy... what a shame Bennett hasn't made that clear.

[* Fuller gets $715 a week, but she has 3 kids to raise.
** Irony Alert - the Government are going to provide a significant TIA to McDonalds to subsidise jobs for the unemployed]

Saturday

The Rich Get Richer When They Get Government Support

There's a great story in Rolling Stone that gives an insight into how Goldman Sachs managed to record a US $3.44 billion second-quarter profit. [Hey, let's take a minute to absorb that: in 3 months they made US $3.44 billion profit. In a global recession]. Apparently ex-Goldman Sachs senior staff move into the Whitehouse (and have been for decades) to either act as advisors to Treasury OR take up key roles in the Administration.

In September of last year, then-Treasury secretary Henry Paulson (ex Goldman CEO) made a momentous series of decisions. Although he had already engineered a rescue of Bear Stearns a few months before and helped bail out quasi-private lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Paulson elected to let Lehman Brothers — one of Goldman's last real competitors — collapse without intervention. The very next day, Paulson confirmed a massive, $85 billion bailout of AIG, which promptly turned around and repaid $13 billion it owed to Goldman. Thanks to the rescue effort, the bank ended up getting paid in full for its bad bets: By contrast, retired auto workers awaiting the Chrysler bailout will be lucky to receive 50 cents for every dollar they are owed. Immediately after the AIG bailout, Paulson announced his federal bailout for the financial industry, a $700 billion plan called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and put a heretofore unknown 35-year-old Goldman banker named Neel Kashkari in charge of administering the funds.

I strongly urge you to read the linked article, Matt Taibbi's "The Great American Bubble Machine" in Rolling Stone Issue 1082-83. Here's an excerpt:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

The basic scam in the Internet Age is pretty easy even for the financially illiterate to grasp. Companies that weren't much more than pot-fueled ideas scrawled on napkins by up-too-late bong-smokers were taken public via IPOs, hyped in the media and sold to the public for megamillions. It was as if banks like Goldman were wrapping ribbons around watermelons, tossing them out 50-story windows and opening the phones for bids. In this game you were a winner only if you took your money out before the melon hit the pavement.

The history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled-dry American empire, reads like a Who's Who of Goldman Sachs graduates. By now, most of us know the major players. As George Bush's last Treasury secretary, former Goldman CEO Henry Paulson was the architect of the bailout, a suspiciously self-serving plan to funnel trillions of Your Dollars to a handful of his old friends on Wall Street. Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton's former Treasury secretary, spent 26 years at Goldman before becoming chairman of Citigroup — which in turn got a $300 billion taxpayer bailout from Paulson. There's John Thain, the asshole chief of Merrill Lynch who bought an $87,000 area rug for his office as his company was imploding; a former Goldman banker, Thain enjoyed a multibillion-dollar handout from Paulson, who used billions in taxpayer funds to help Bank of America rescue Thain's sorry company. And Robert Steel, the former Goldmanite head of Wachovia, scored himself and his fellow executives $225 million in golden-parachute payments as his bank was self-destructing. There's Joshua Bolten, Bush's chief of staff during the bailout, and Mark Patterson, the current Treasury chief of staff, who was a Goldman lobbyist just a year ago, and Ed Liddy, the former Goldman director whom Paulson put in charge of bailed-out insurance giant AIG, which forked over $13 billion to Goldman after Liddy came on board. The heads of the Canadian and Italian national banks are Goldman alums, as is the head of the World Bank, the head of the New York Stock Exchange, the last two heads of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — which, incidentally, is now in charge of overseeing Goldman.


Tuesday

Someone Needs A Hug


I created a fake profile name and friended 500+ women who I don't know, nor do they know me. I was going to blog about the results of this anthropological experiment but it got too weird. But some results so far:

1] Women over 40 (meaning they're really over 50) are horney as, and will send you all sorts of 'sexxxy' stuff. (and yes, I've checked, they're not men pretending to be women online)

2] There's a lot of Anorexic women on FB, using the codename 'Ana' as their middle name, giving eachother 'thinspiration'

3] There's a lot of women out there with self-esteem issues. Like this girl who made all these comments (no-one else was commenting) about one of her own photos (not the one used above).
[name redacted] soo drunk in that pis:P
August 31, 2008 at 6:12am

[name redacted] im o soo high
August 31, 2008 at 4:15pm

[name redacted] NNNOOO PIC!!!
October 3, 2008 at 10:32am

[name redacted] FUCKEN HATE U!!! !
Which makes me sad......

Wednesday

It's 'Business Time' - screwed by Thai Air??


With all the airlines struggling to sell seats, and the supposed 'Price War' that has ensued, I thought I might publish an email I sent my travel agent upon our return from Bangkok. Thai Air had offered a hella deal on Business Seats, so we thought we'd sample the delights of 'Business Class'. While the seats and service (once seated) were great, actually getting the seats we'd paid for turned out to be a 7 hour marathon at the Bangkok terminal.
This is the future of airline travel folks, you get what you pay for (cheap seats) but sometimes not even that. Thai obviously sold more Business Seats than they had in the actual plane, and hoped some people either wouldn't turn up or could be fobbed off back in to economy.
Subject: Thai Air
Hi [travel agent's name redacted, it wasn't his fault],

We got back on Saturday night (approx 10 hours late) and had a great time overall, marred only by the final leg ie the flight from Bangkok to Auckland. I'll fill you in:

When we turned up at check in we were told that the flight was full and they only had one Business seat left. We expressed surprise since we had paid for 3 business seats and we expected to be seated in business.

The check in lady was all smiles and said they would ask if any of the business passengers would be prepared to move to economy (and be compensated) so that our family could fly together in business. This process took a very long time and an hour later we were still without any confirmed seats. Our bags had been checked but no boarding passes issued. Because we didn't have seats.

The language barrier kicked in early on and this added to our distress. We were seemingly being assured the matter would be resolved in our favour, but without much detail as to how. All we knew was that time was ticking by and the gate would close. We were offered one seat in business and two in economy, with compensation of approximately NZ $400 for each seat, which we declined. We were later offered two seats in business, and one in economy, which we also declined. We were later offered two seats in business, and one in business on an Emirates flight leaving two hours after the Thai flight, which we said we would accept if they could not get a third passenger to go back to economy (we were under the impression that some people had been bumped up because they were waitlisted for Business, or used their Starpoints, but as I mentioned the language barrier made everything unclear).

Then with about 10 minutes to go, we were happily informed that all three of us could travel together in Business on the Emirates flight, leaving two hours later, if we wanted to travel together. Which we accepted. A porter led us from the Thai Airways side of the enormous Bangkok Terminal right across to the other side to the Emirates desk. Where the Emirates staff were less than pleased. Their english was better and they explained that they had told Thai that their flight was full and the best they could do was waitlist us on business, and that they could not confirm seats. And now that we were in front of them they could confirm that it was highly unlikely we would get any seat (even in economy) on their flight. So we went all the way back to the Thai counter.

Again we had to wait a long time while they sorted things out. They then cheerfully informed us that they could get us to Auckland by the next flight out, leaving at midnight. But via Sydney ie the Thai Air Bangkok-Sydney flight. The Sydney-Auckland leg would be on Air NZ later, but we would be home by 8.30pm! Unfortunately both flights were full, so we would have to fly economy on both legs. Again, [my partner] indicated this was not acceptable, since we had paid for business seats. There were more smiles and some time later they came back and told us that they could confirm seats in Business, for both legs. Great, but now we had to wait another 45 minutes for the seats to be re-ticketed.

Long story short we spent over 7 hours in the Bangkok terminal, and only two and half of them in the Thai Business lounge. Our daughter was a mess by then, so naturally we were disappointed at how things turned out. Thai did give us meal vouchers for dinner at the terminal, which was appreciated, but the whole affair was quite stressful. The only silver lining was that we got to trial Air NZ's business service - their sleeper seats we found to be superior to Thai's.

Since returning we have had lots of of comment from all and sundry that this is how the airline industry work now: flights are oversold to ensure maximum profitability and undersold flights are cancelled (as happened to my brother and his two boys, in Amsterdam). If this is the future of air travel then surely it will only hasten the decline of the industry.


Cheers,

Nick

------ End of Forwarded Message

NB - when we actually got on the Air NZ flight there were PLENTY of business seats free so Thai Air LIED about that - how much of what else they told was a lie?
(BTW -the photo's are of the lovely Bangkok Terminal)

Saturday

Gerry Otimi - Part Two

I promised yesterday a follow-up on my run in with Gerry Otimi 25 years ago. You can find it right here.

I've set up a new blog called "Pump Up D'Angelo" since I've decided to make this blog (the one you're reading now) all about Cheap Sex and other stories.

Friday

Gerrard Otimi - I knew him first!!

From Gerry Otimi 19/06/09 1:30 PM
Gerrard Otimi was the top story on the Evening news on both TV networks last night, when it emerged he was the man charging Pacific Island overstayers $500 to stamp their Passports to give them New Zealand citizenship - thereby allowing them to stay in this country.

Well, that's what they thought he was doing but Gerry says otherwise. He says he was merely 'adopting' them into his 'whanau' and offering to help them in their quest for citizenship. Stamping their passports and issuing them with an official (but not) looking citizenship certificate was merely ... Well, I didn't hear his answer on that.

I'll let the Police decide whether he's broken any laws, but knowing Gerry as I do, I'm pretty sure he'll wriggle his way out of it.

My run in with Gerry came back in 1984 when I was promoting Breakdance competitions in Auckland. I held the first competition in 1983 at the Auckland YMCA in '83 and it was huge success. Up until then kids had been breaking/bopping (yes, that's what it was called back then despite revisionists now claiming they were always B-Boys) in the streets and in Auckland there was much consternation from Queen Street retailers about the kids dancing in shop fronts.

I solved that problem by booking the YMCA, putting up $1000 in prize money (a huge sum back then) and charging kids $4 entry ($15 for families of 6). It was MASSIVE!! We packed the place out and it was a great night. History was made, you should have been there. But you were white so probably missed it, right?

Anyway, I was clearly on to something and started organising more competitions. Gerry knew I was on to something too, and started a rival competition. But by virtue of being Maori and calling himself a youth worker (but he ran a calendar business) he went one better. He bent the ear of Auckland Mayor Cath Tizzard and got the council to fund a special stage for breakdancing in Aotea Square.

Good on him, I thought, and off he went -- holding free competitions every Friday and Saturday night in Aotea Square on his council funded stage. I continued with my plans to hold further competitions, and even a national competition.

The problem came in February 1984 when The Sunday News rang to tell me that Gerry had called me a Pakeha rip-off merchant and what did I think of that? Turns out Gerry had decided he too wanted to run competitions at the YMCA and charge people admission; but he had a problem: me.

By now I was giving away $1200 a night in prizemoney (and later $1500) but he was only giving away a trophy. A trophy named after him, and one you only got to keep until the next competition he held. With his new competition he would give away some cash ($350) but the rest would be for The United Youth Trust. We were all led to believe this was a charitable trust but as it later turned out (see Part Two) that was not correct.

So naturally I had to defend myself to The Sunday News and they got their story. There is a snap shot of it below but you can read a full page copy of it by clicking here. (Oh, BTW, I went by my real name back then, so now you know). Obviously there's a lot more to this story (complete with clippings about Gerry Otimi and the money he took from the breakdancers) so come back tomorrow for Part Two....

From Gerry Otimi 19/06/09 1:30 PM

"I Shot The Prick"

The interweb was abuzz yesterday when news emerged that the NZ Supreme Court had released an audio recording of the part of David Bain's 111 phonecall that had been suppressed from his trial for the murder of his entire family.

Bain had just been acquitted but many of the public still considered him to be guilty (my own opinion on his guilt or innocence has flip flopped so many times I now just STFU) and the release of this tape just proved it.

Why? Because on the tape he can be heard blurting out "I shot the prick" to the 111 emergency call operator.

Wow. That is pretty damning stuff. It had evidently been ruled inadmissible by the Judge after the Defence successfully argued that it would be prejudicial to their case. Which in itself was pretty damning.

So that afternoon the internet and talkback radio was ablaze with people incensed that Bain had clearly gotten away with murder. Murder? - he’d slaughtered his family!

What a pity then that no-one had actually heard the audio recording before passing judgement. When the media finally got hold of it by late afternoon it was obvious why the Court had suppressed it: it was garbage. If you haven’t already heard it for yourself you can hear it here. To me it just sounded like the gasping of a panicked person who’d rushed to the phone to call 111 and alert the authorities that his family was all dead. I could possibly accept that he’s gasping “I can’t breathe” (as others have suggested) but there’s NO way he’s saying "I shot the prick" as the Police allege.

And this allegation only surfaced in 2007, in time for this latest trial. In previous trials the alleged "I shot the prick" comment was missed (because it’s not there!), even after detailed audio forensic work on the recording to try and clean up the sound.

The whole thing is bunkum and if you were one who seized on it yesterday then you need to check yourself. Just because a Policeman says it is so doesn’t make it so. They make shit up all the time and will happily lie (either directly or by omission) to suit their own purposes. They’re fuckers, I hate them.

Which is also immaterial to Bain’s guilt or innocence...

FWIW: I still think he did it.

Monday

The Not So Cheap Flight To Tokyo

Oh, the mighty power of Facebook. Someone in the media should write a story about it.

On Wednesday evening I got a tip from a Facebook friend that Air New Zealand's Grabaseat site had some very cheap seats to Tokyo, for a limited time. I logged on and snapped up one of their $650 (all-inclusive) economy seats, departing this Sunday. (Yes, by the time you read this I'm already there!) I was immensely pleased because I’ve always wanted to go, but the seats were always too expensive (ranging from $1500-2200 + taxes).

The euphoria died on Thursday when I looked up TripAdvisor to find out what I could do and where I could stay. I’d forgotten that Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world. That’s the problem with cheap airfares – your brain tricks you into thinking the whole trip will be cheap, when it won’t. I emailed my friend in Tokyo (who for 10 years has been saying ‘You should come over’) and asked him if NZ$1000 cash (on top of my credit card) would cover me for my weeklong stay. He responded by asking what I planned to do on the second day, because Tokyo is expensive. I’ll be busking, I suppose.

He’s sorted me out with a hotel for what he assures me is the bargain price of NZ$200 a night. So now I’m excited again. I’ve just decided ‘fuck it – I’m going so make the most of it’. And that he can buy the drinks.

For someone who’s always wanted to go to Japan for the longest time you’d think I’d actually have an itinerary sorted, but I don’t. After 4 hours on TripAdvisor I was just as confused as when I began, so I gave up. None of the names or places mean anything to me, so I thought ‘bugger this – I’ll just decide what to do by reading the inflight magazine’. Yes, I know it’s stupid, but some of the best times I’ve had traveling have been when I just wandered around aimlessly.

There was one time, in San Francisco, that I ...

Friday

Strange TV

There's a couple of strange TV programming choices that caught my eye. Strange only to people with young children, so if you don't have any then this blog is 2 minutes of your life you don't have to waste.

TV3 start screening Family Guy this Sunday night at 8pm, right after the Simpsons. The first one is great, even if it does touch on 'adult themes' from time to time (Marge gets a boob job, Homer has an affair, Marge likewise). The second one is also great but is in no way way suitable for young kids. The current promo for the show on TV3 says it all: a doctor pulls a wheelchair out of a vagina (if you watch the show, like I do, you'll understand why). The problem for those of us with young kids is that TV3 are promoting both of those shows together, as a package. Meaning we're going to have whiney kids at 8pm throwing a tween tantrum and demanding to watch the show.

The solution may seem simple: be a parent and tell your kids its time for bed. Explain to them it's a cartoon for grown-ups and they can watch it when they're older. Much older.

Yeah, right. Those 'solutions' are for people who've never had children, or Ned Flanders. My 7 year old daughter has seen Family Guy (via C4 and a babysitter we won't use again) and loves Stewie Griffin. Every time the promo comes up she squeals and demands to watch Family Guy. I tried watching a few episodes with her but it was horrific: non-stop extended vomiting, a talking Dog trying to have sex with Lois, Lois in full BDSM gear whipping Peter who's restrained and wearing a ball gag.

Yeah, try explaining all that to a 7 year old. We stopped watching it after that.

So why should you stop watching it just because it's not suitable for young kids? The answer is you shouldn't. All I want is for TV3 to stop promoting both shows together, in the same on-air promo. They're the ones trying to build the idea that they're a package and it's already working on my kid. She's very excited about seeing Stewie again this Sunday. But it aint gonna happen.

In another weird scheduling decision TV2 are screening Girlicious at 11am on Saturday mornings. This is a 'reality' show (we all know that there's nothing real about 'Reality TV' don't we? It's all manipulated by the show producers) where attractive young women aged 18-23 vie to be in a new pop group being created by the people who created The Pussycat Dolls. Actually, the show makes some tenuous claim that it's PSD themselves who are forming this off-shoot, meaning at least one of them pops up at least once during this show for a minute or three, but that's BS.

Anyway, what's wrong with this show is that it screens at a time when a whole bunch of preteen and teenage girls are most likely to see it. And what do they see: contestants cat-fighting all the time, shouting bleeps at each other, and then trying to decide which outfit makes them look like the biggest skank. Great. And then after that they have to dance like hoes, swinging on poles or writhing on the floor or grinding up on some male models that the producers have seen fit to bring into the contestants house.

Oh look, surprise surprise, one of the contestants and one of the models have snuck off to a bedroom to hook up. And she's got a boyfriend at home! Great TV, but not really the messages we want to be sending to young girls is it? Again, the obvious answer is don't let your kids watch it, or watch it with them and discuss the issues raised.

Yeah, right.

Sunday

I'm On A Bridge! (Muthafukkers!!)

For the past month or so we've all been inundated with tweets and Facebook status updates saying "I'm On A Boat". Yes, very witty -- the first two times...

Today I went one better: I'm On A Bridge! No less than the Auckland Harbour Bridge, which is normally CLOSED to pedestrians and cyclists. I joined thousands of other Aucklanders this morning in pushing past the Police barricades and walking onto the Harbour Bridge via the Curran Street on-ramp. The Police tried to stop us, but they were hopelessly out-numbered (and they knew it) and we pushed past.

It was all very exciting, as you can imagine. We may not all be able to steal a million or four from a bank, but by crikey we can all cross a bridge if we damn well want to. The protest action was organised by Getacross.org.nz who have been agitating for bridge access for some time.

Once on the bridge you can see why 'they' (the Transit Authority) don't want to provide any access for pedestrians and cyclists -- the view is too blardy amazing! Especially on a day like today. If they did create an access lane it would be clogged with cyclists and pedestrians stopping to enjoy the vista.

Anyhoo, a picture tells a thousands words so I've downloaded some raw unedited photos to Facebook. You can see them here.


Monday

Pussycat Dolls vs Lady GaGa (UPDATE)

Just a quick update on my previous blog...

A Facebook friend said the Pussy Cat Dolls concert was 'good' - but was damning in his faint praise. He was surprised at the lack of any real 'show' ie there was no stage set, minimal costume changes, and the girls 'sang' over backing tracks ie no live band. This is fine for a Mall appearance, but when you're paying $130+ for a ticket you kinda expect more.

Evidently Lady GaGa (the support act) was great - she actually put on a show. You can read more about both performances in this NZ Herald review.

For more pictures of the show (like the ones below) check out The A List (www.thealist.co.nz)

http://www.thealist.co.nz/files/images/0-345.preview.jpg

Saturday

Pussycat Dolls vs Lady GaGa (VIDEO)

The big showdown happens tonight at Auckland's sold-out Vector Arena. The Pussycat Dolls take on newcomer Lady GaGa in a fight to the finish to decide who is the hottest right now?

Officially Lady GaGa is the support act, but she's selling more records and getting more airtime right now than headliners The Pussycat Dolls. Do I really care? HELL NO!

The PCD (hey, I'm down with the kids) make for way much better eye candy than Lady GaGa (or should that be LGG?) and musically they're not really that much different. I can't listen to 'My Poker Face' without being reminded of Boney M's 'Ma Baker', which just shows my age.

Sure, I'd like to perve at PCD at Vector tonight but both my age and my girth prevent me. Being fat and forty and sitting amongst rows of teenage (and pre-teen) girls is not a good look. Especially if their mothers are also present.

Seriously, I know a bunch of women in their late 20s and 30s who are going, and I can't wait to ask them what it was like. And just how many squealing girls were there, ruining it. Because the PCD are a great act, and I would have loved to have something like them perform at one of my Cheap Sex club nights last century. But Cheap Sex was for grown-ups and PCD are for kids. They're just really not age-appropriate are they?

I was going to call this blog 'Teach Your Children Well' and ask what are todays mothers thinking when they let their tweenage daughters get down to PCD, but then I thought ... WTF? Don't get me wrong, I think they're the devil incarnate and are corrupting our youth with their unambiguous sexual messages, it's just that I can't be arsed.

The battle is over, they've won. You're daughters will grow up to be sluts and whores. GaGaGagging for it.

Here's some vids to watch. Funny, but sad, but funny.







Friday

A Quick Lesson In Group Sex

Dear Willie Jackson, John Tamihere, and your Radio Live Listeners,

Just because a girl agrees to go back to the Motel Room of two Aussie rugby league players for a threesome DOES NOT mean she consents to also having sex with the other four guys that turned up in the room unannounced and uninvited. Nor does it mean she agreed to put on a show for yet another four team members who also turned up, but just to watch.

Because by your logic if a hot young woman picks you up in a Hotel Bar, takes you upstairs to her room, and then her boyfriend jumps out of the wardrobe and fuçks your a$$, and later uploads the video to PornTube, then you can't complain because you were obviously up for anything when you agreed to go up to her room.

Sex is meant to be fun for everyone involved. If someone isn't enjoying themselves then you're just not doing it right.

Regards,

Gene Simmons

Wednesday

Leviticus Says Homosexuality is a Sin

Today's blog is lifted wholesale from here but I think it's worth repeating:

THE GOOD BOOK

On her US radio talkshow Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, from one of her listeners:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law.

I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Law and how to follow them.

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. The passage clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia

Saturday

Two Great Clips From MEDIA MATTERS

Media Matters has documented numerous examples of how Fox News hosts and correspondents crop comments by Democratic political figures (and anyone else who doesn't hold to the 'Conservative' viewpoint) in a manner that misrepresents them completely. This might not surprise anyone ("Fair & Balanced"? yeah, right) but the following clip really is something to behold:
Fox Crops

this one is also worth a look:
100 Days of "Fair & Balanced"

NB: if you are seeing this blog via Facebook you need to click on 'View Original Link' below to see the videos.

Thursday

Do Facebook Have No Shame?

It's a rhetorical question because we all know they don't.

Facebook run ads, but they don't care how dubious. With all the frenetic activity of late regarding those Facebook "Quizzes" ('Top 5 Bands to Play The Powerstation', 'What Type of Penguin Are You?', etc etc) you may have been tempted to click on "Want a Girlfriend? Find out if you can be a good
boyfriend!"

Okay, maybe you weren't that stupid, but I was. I thought it was a quiz, but it wasn't. It was a link to a Russian dating site. A Russian dating site that sent my Mac into an apoplectic fit in it's haste to warn me that the site was the Dodgiest of Dodgy Sites and "could NOT be trusted!". I use a program called WOT so luckily I did not click onto the site proper, although the bevvy of attractive Russian brides waiting for me did look tempting.

You have to wonder how badly Facebook need the money that they accept this sort of advertising? Another ad they run is "Work-Out Technique ~ Do you want a 6-pack? There's a new way instead of doing repetitive sit-ups! Now you can get six-packs with a new proven method!". The ad features a photo of Edward Norton, lifted from the movie 'American History X'. Clearly they don't have the right to use that image, but Facebook don't care. They'll run the ad til either Edward Norton or NewLine Cinema tell them not to. But why anyone would run an ad with the image of a White Power Nazi, I don't know.

And if that isn't funny enough, there's always "You Smarter Than Rihanna? Take the IQ quiz and find out if you are smarter than this pop diva!" I guess the hook for that one (no pun intended) is that we all think we're
smarter than Rihanna now.

[And as a spooky aside:- one of my Facebook friends made the following comment on Facebook (after I'd written this blog, but before I'd published it)

BGE ~ I bet your ads on face book don't feature websites selling fake designer bags and competitions run by cigarette companies do they? (only in Indonesia...bless) ]

Monday

I Am Pathetic

In last Friday's blog I bleated about how I waste my time on Facebook babbling about nothing of consequence ... whilst at the same time promising to pull my finger out and actually blog about something real, namely my recent trip to a Melbourne strip club and brothel. Naturally I posted this breaking news on my Facebook page, which elicited the following witty comment from one wag:

"you just blogged about a blog that you're going to write.  
just write the blog."

Said wag is absolutely correct, although in my defence there was a subtext to the blog - namely that a lot of people waste a lot of time on Facebook talking about nothing. Like Seinfeld, but without the longevity.

Anyway, within minutes of me posting my blog and then cross-posting it on Facebook, Simon Grigg did exactly the same for his latest blog post.

His blog is brilliant and I felt quite deflated. Here I was, getting myself all fired up about blogging something real, and then he just quietly does it. I blog about how I'm going to blog, but he actually blogs. Damn him and his succinct precis of the immorality of our obsession with Swine Flu while the 3rd World continues (as always) to suffer a thousand times worse.

You can find his blog here, but to whet your appetite I'll lift one of his quotes:


We met at lunchtime, not to talk of heart attacks and Lego, but of flu. There have been deaths in Mexico. There has been one in the US. Our Indian partner said: "There were 2,000 deaths, mainly children in Africa and Asia, yesterday."

Our medical student looked shocked: "I didn't know swine flu had reached that part of the world." "It hasn't," said our partner. "I'm talking of deaths from malaria. But that isn't news, is it?"

We were silent for a while. Time to get things in proportion.


Oh yeah, and BTW: Grigg is actually planning a Box/Cause Celebre reunion party. Not just thinking about one (as I do all the time with Cheap Sex) but actually planning one - as in booking a venue and organising DJs.  I think I first realised my life had been wasted when Obama got elected. He's not that much older than me, and he's the President of the U.S.A. 

I'm a guy who blogs about blogging. One day. Maybe next week.


Friday

Damn this Facebook!

What is it about Facebook that makes the undisciplined jabber so much? I'm on it all the time, with very little of real consequence to say (and you're just as bad, you FacebookWHORE!) (you know who you are), whilst others clearly log on either fortnightly or monthly.

I've just got back from a week in Melbourne, where I had limited internet access. Yet somehow I still managed to provide Facebook status updates - about visiting two strip clubs and a brothel no less! I will blog about those experiences, because there's obviously more to it than that (no, I wasn't visiting my Mum, thankyouverymuch), but I can't help but wonder if I should just STFU a lot more these days...