Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Parallel universe or double vision?

Anniversary…
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Tengo: You know, a year ago it was, I had an operation.
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Komaki: I know.
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Tengo: Even now, I’m not sure whether I died on the operating table, and that I’m now just imagining I’m alive in this Murakami-like parallel universe.
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Komaki: 1Q84?
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Tengo: Precisely. I mean, I even LIVE in Murakami’s suburb, Koenji.
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Two moons, or one?
Komaki: But there’s a simple test. Are there two moons in your sky? There were in Murakami’s.
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Tengo: Yes. There ARE two moons in my sky. Have been ever since I woke up from the operation a year ago.
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Komaki: So who are the REAL inhabitants of your parallel universe? Am I alive or dead?
____________
Voice-over

Komatsu should worry indeed that he might not be alive. But it could be merely that Tengo has double vision that he sees two moons and therefore thinks he lives in a parallel universe. However, novels are rarely THAT simple, and you can be sure that Murakami never intended such a plain explanation.
...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The fate of the Napier War Memorial Hall

Heritage meets a councillor...
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1957
Heritage: It’s a war memorial. The names of those who died were on the wall. Your council passed the motion to take down the wall and the 600 names and turn the hall into a conference centre. Why?
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2017
Councillor: Makes sense. You have a building. Prime location. A conference centre generates income.
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Heritage: But you already have a city that thrives on tourism. It makes money.
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Councillor: Go for growth.
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Heritage: Even if it means erasing the names of the dead and appropriating the monument paid for by citizens so a few conference organizers can get richer more cheaply?
_________
Voice-over
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A “what on earth have you done?” situation. Taking down names of the war dead, desecrating an architectural icon. Ignorance and commerce rides roughshod over the subtleties of history and aesthetics.
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We are reminded of the Biblical story of repurposing a temple into a hawker hall…
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And Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover and found the temple courtyard filled with livestock, merchants and the tables of the moneychangers. And he said, “My house shall be a house of prayer but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Donald as Jabba the Hutt?

In the script writing department…
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Jabber, jabber...
Alec: Donald reminds me of Jabba the Hutt.
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Trevor: Who? Donald Duck?
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Alec: No, you know which Donald I mean.
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Trevor: Because he’s physically slug-like, or his lack of moral compass? And all the other stuff.
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Alec: There are similarities, I grant you, but are we going to stoop to his level of carricaturing opponents?
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Trevor: Well his political strategy is to keep on throwing horse manure at opponents and hope some of it sticks.
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Alec: It’s not strong enough for a dedicated article. Keep up the policy attacks and the legal angles.
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Trevor: Well, we still need the metaphors of psychological deviance, general ignorance and language impediment metaphors running as subtext.
____________
Voice-over

There are several approaches to challenging an incompetent leader. Mounting logical arguments against unsound policies should be paramount of course. But in these times this is not sufficient to combat a chronically untruthful and incoherent individual and his retainers. Media-generated metaphors harnessed to satire and humor are powerful, as Trevor Noah, Alec Baldwin, Stephen Colbert and Melissa McCarthy regularly show us. Keep it up!
...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Priming the pump

When the interviewer knows more than the interviewee…
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Bill: It goes without saying, that when you are in any position of responsibility you have to watch what you say.
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George: And then he comes out with this claim to have invented the expression, “prime the pump.”
New Deal 1933
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Bill: An expression as old as pumps themselves. And in economics it was used by FDR in 1933.
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George: Do you think he knows that his take on “I” stands for ignorant, incompetent, incoherent?
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Bill: Doubt it. He doesn't research and doesn’t read.
___________
Voice-over
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T: That all goes into tax reduction. Tremendous savings.
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Economist Journalist: But beyond that it’s OK if the tax plan increases the deficit?
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T: It is OK, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two years where you’ll…you understand the expression “prime the pump”?
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EJ: Yes.
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T: We have to prime the pump.
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EJ: It’s very Keynesian.
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T: We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that expression before, for this particular type of an event?
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EJ: Priming the pump?
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T: Yeah, have you heard it?
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EJ: Yes.
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T: Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just…I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.
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The Economist, 12 May, 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017

Rugby then and rugby now

 Rugby junkies reminisce on the way things were…
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Wilson: Roy played on the wing.  Trialed for the All Blacks in 1939 but the war intervened. Could have gone to South Africa.
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Colin: A runner?
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Wilson: He was light. Fast. Ran like the wind. Different kind of rugby back then though.
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     laughing,
    running
    and ducking
Colin: Don Clark was a hero of mine in the 1950s. Listening to the All Blacks beat the British Lions ear pressed to the radio in 1959. Maybe his style of rugby was pivotal. End of an era.
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Wilson: In what way?
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Colin: It’s back then versus today. Running versus rucks. Deftness versus drugs.
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Colin: Funny you mention South Africa. That’s where Don Clark ended up. Archetypal New Zealand farm boy ends up there. On the other side. Bit ironical, that.
__________
Voice-over
Tackle, ruck, maul – is that a sum-up of rugby today? A game that morphed from a laughing, running and ducking game (LR&D) into a tournament of sweat, blood and tears, example, Jonah, first jumbo winger leading to a legacy of lookalikes? But it always was a contact sport. Survival of the fittest.
...

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Seasonal Salutation from the White Rabbit

Where are you summering this year?
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"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time" (John Lubbock, “The Use Of Life”).
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or… "In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible” (Sarah Dessen, “”Along for the Ride).
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WHITE RABBIT WHITE RABBIT WHITE RABBIT