Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Among the hazards of librarianship...

...I have to read sentences such as this:

In the post 9/11 era there is considerable opportunity for the media profession to give insight into what has compelled one side to act in a way that has enraged and empowered another side to act in a manner that further caused hostility or anger to become entrenched.

God help us, the person who wrote this is a journalist.

We will notice that it was also a male. This is important - a woman would have notice if she'd skipped that many periods...

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Nightmare scenarios - part 1

Okay, so the nature of the job means I'm a few days behind most magazines, but cover a wide range.

The latest issue of the Listener has a story covering the scope of the power that the proposed Auckland super-city mayor would wield. It's no exaggeration to describe this position as the second or third most powerful in the country in terms of practical politics.

Of the six contenders mentioned with over 5% support, five were pale frail males. No real surprise there.

The sixth was Winston.

Dear God, can no-one put a stake through his heart, cut off his head, and bury him at the crossroads? Please?

There's definitely material for some stand-up comedy in this, if only through screaming in panic on stage for five minutes...

Monday, 11 May 2009

Know your heroes - part of a continuing series

Philip Mangano - the system got us into this, the system can get us out:

PHILIP MANGANO is credited with beginning to do what was unthinkable only years ago: eradicating homelessness in the United States. The silver-coiffed, dark-suited "Homelessness Czar" was appointed by the former president in 2002, and continues in the Obama Administration.

One of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2007, Mangano has persuaded 350 US jurisdictions to adopt 10-year plans to end homelessness, and spread his ideas to Canada and Australia.

Mangano fashions himself as an abolitionist, intentionally invoking the anti-slavery rhetoric.

The epiphany that convinced the former band manager to dedicate his life to working for the "poorest poor" came when he was watching a Franco Zeffirelli film about St Francis of Assisi. He calls homelessness a "moral, spiritual and humanitarian disgrace", a "human tragedy".

However well-meaning, he condemns attempts to simply help people survive on the streets - or to make them "prove" their fitness for housing through mental health and other programmes - as entrenching the problem.

His first targets were the hardest cases: the 10 per cent of homeless who were long term and mentally ill. Between 2005 and 2007, this group fell by 30 per cent from 176,000 on any given night to 124,000. The total number of people living on the street or in shelters fell 12 per cent to 671,888.

Why? This is why.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Women to avoid - psychics

Even the sexy, intelligent ones.

Me: "I saw a singer last night that made me run in circles and howl."

S.I.P.: "Hmmm, which singer would appeal? ... Some anonymous red-haired YouTube floozy falling out of her top?"

Me: "How the f**k did you do that?"

(About 1.00 minute in, the singer doing the chorus)

Man, if it were not for her... considerable charms... I'd be terrified of this woman.