Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sunday Scribbles XIV

CREDIBILITY. TV3 News has little, if any,left. I realise that I've been foolish in watching the news on either TV1 or TV3 for in-depth reportage. The management of both channels gave their newsrooms over to the entertainment departments a long time ago. Hence, the pretty people, the pretty sets, the gadgets, the vapid and breathless presentation, the desperate emptiness of the hours.

But there was always a pretence of news: a charade I participated in. I made sure I was always on hand to watch "the news". I took part in this game because it suited my ego, my inbuilt desire to be "informed". Ever game needs two players, and I was firmly on the team.

No more. I have now stopped watching the news as news. I shall continue watching, probably, because it is relatively good entertainment. So, if I refer to "the news" again, please know that I am only doing so in order to indicate that I've seen the programme called "the news". I almost defi nitely haven't seen "news".

What has brought aboiut my distancing myself from the news? A few weeks back both TV1 and 3 carried stories - over several nights - about the naming of a new product to be spread on out toast. Yep, gool ol' Vegemite 'n' Cheese. This wasn't news. It was, perhaps, an amusing tit-bit for one time after the weather report (don't let me get started on Oafish Jim Hickey. Please.) Instead - on TV3, anyway - it got repeat stories. Clever marketing. But really, it should have been a paid advertising campaign.

Then there's the launch of Microsoft's Windows 7. Again, multipile fawning and admiring stories on TV3's news. Why? It's a commercial launch of a product that just might be crap. Theirlast one - Vista - was. And I don't recall seeing any critical stories about it, or any pressure on Microsoft to admit their bumbling and asking them to make some sort of financial compensation to all the suckers (and businesses) that bought into the hype. The same might happen here. I've heard / seen nothing that looks at the product critically.

What power these organisations have. What irresponsible use of power they demonstrate.

So, on my little 'pooter, I'll carry on with Open Source programmes. Hell, they work. And they're free. And thery don't get fawning, hand-wringing TV "news" programmes rushing around, doiing their bidding. Perhaps being ignored by TV news programmes now carries the stamp of credibility.

On my desktop I'll persevere with Microsoft's XL. It's flawed, ikt's erratic, it's difficult... but it has the advantage of being familiar. Kind of like a moronic, bumbling uncle. It's also what the rest of the world has, so if I want to email anything, I have to send it to my desktop, convert to MS Word, then send it. Sigh.

CLEO, our only surviving cat, is becoming more and more clingy and talky. She was always a sweet animal, with a gentle disposition. Now she's almost sacchirine. She is, of course, lonely. I think we may have to get a small companion for her.

READING: Still on the Lancaster bhomber book. Extraordinary.

LISTENING TO: Lisa Miller (who?), "Version Originale". I'd never heard of this artist before seeing the CD. It is, quite honestly, brilliant. Cool, small ballads, a la Nora Jones... except she has a personality and a story to tell. Perhaps a blend of Jones and Lucinda Williams.

WORD OF THE DAY: Obvious. It shoud have been obvious to me years ago that the news programmes had become venal, simpering tools of the Establishment*.

*My stars! I haven't written / thought / said "The Establishment" like that for decades. Perhaps I should go looking for my leather head band, my beads, my fringed leather jacket, and my faded Wranglers. Weekend hippiedom, here I come. Don't bogart that joint, you bastard! Peace, cool, cosmis. The Establishment. With capitals, yet. Oy!


Today he would have to kill the animal.
His thumb stroked the safety catch, and he brought the butt of the rifle into his shoulder. He reviewed his position: he was anchored to the ground. His toes had purchase on the soil, his hips made a firm contact with the ground, his elbows were wedded to the earth. He looked down the barrel at where he knew Old Tom would come, and then, for the fourteenth time, made sure the rear leaf-sight was on the 600 metre mark. He looked through the bronze sights, and found the splash of white were his bullet had creased the beech tree two days ago.
Arthur had never tired of the astonishing way the deer materialised. Even badly hurt, as he was now, he simply became. Arthur’s breathing calmed, and eased. He started tidal breathing, using the top third of his lungs only. He was sipping the air, just a whisper going into and out of his lungs, barely enough to sustain consciousness. His life narrowed, becoming nothing more than the eye-line down the barrel, through the sights. His vision greyed out, and tunnelled, with the rifle’s front sight crisp. He looked through the sights and, if he were to be asked, he could have honestly claimed that he could have counted every single hair on Old Tom’s hide, at the spot where the bullet needed to hit for a quick, clean kill.
Old Tom’s flank was sheeted with dried blood, and he held his right rear hoof off the ground. He lowered his muzzle to the clean water of the stream, and drank deeply. Then he straightened his great neck, looked toward the East, then turned so he stood in sharp profile. The great red deer lifted his muzzle into the air, and roared, a cry of triumph and pain, of glories past.
The sound of the shot came a split second before the sound of Arthur’s sob. The bullet slapped into the great buck’s shoulder muscle, and ploughed carnage through his lungs and heart. The deer stood still, snorted a gout of blood onto the silver ferns, and slowly lay down, and died.
It took Arthur Tomlinson until noon to bury the great animal, and he shed a tear for every minute he laboured.

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