Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunday Scribbles XXIII

It's Rock and Roll, baby Jesus: What do these albums all have in common?
In no particular order..
Revolver, The Beatles
Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd
Supernatural, Carlos Santana
Thriller, Michael Jackson
Grceland, Paul Simon
Rumous, Fleetwood Mac
If I Could Remember My Name, David Crosby
Nightfly, Donald Fagin
(What's the Story) Morning Glory, Oasis
Achtung Baby, U2.
That's the list of the Vatican's top ten rock albums. I have six of them. I don't know what implies, but I have a feeling it's nothing good.

The North Shore City put on a freeby outdoor movie last night: The Time Trraveller's Wife. Read the book, which was great, and I can't turn my back on a freeby, so off we went, chippies and bubbles in hand. A top night. Real community-bonding stuff. A pity that the arseholes in the yacht club adjacent couldn't have turned their music down. "Knock Three Times" at 800 decibels?

As I get a lot of my general knowledge and current affairs opinions and facts from the popular media, I do wonder why I'm not more paranoid than I already am. We watched "The International" the other night. I'm sureit's an accurate portrayal of the way multi-national banks do business, although I find it hard to believe that the ASB might have a team of hit men. But it does occur to me that our banks - the ones we entrust with our weekly wages, and a portion of our (ha!) savings, go on to invest those funds in questionable endeavours. I wonder just how successful an ethical bank would be? One that refused to invest in arms, in drugs*, in Big Oil, and so on... Nah. It'd bomb like a B52.

*Drugs: saw a line the other day that said that even the Mongrel Mob and their evil ilk pay GST. This does redeem either the gangs or GST. Actually, I'm reasonably in favour of GST. I BELEIVE it to be a fairer tax than most. This does not mean it should be raised to 15%. At its current, 12.5%, it's about 2.5% over the fairness barrier. Reduce GST, I say, and hit the property demons and the wealthy a little harder. I know that when I was on a higher income I would have gladly paid more taxes. But then, I listen to holy rock and roll.

Speaking of taxes: I also saw a complaint that the top 5% of incomes earners in New Zealand pay 40% of all PAYE tax. Gosh. I'm given to understand that the top 5% of earners actually take home a little more than 40% of all wages, so perhaps it's justifiable.

LISTENING TO: Film Music by Ennio Morricone.

READING: Eisenhower, by Stephen Ambrose. I so enjoyed his book about the first men to land on D-Day (Pegasus Bridge) that I got another one. This time, a biography. Thorughly excellent.

WORD OF THE DAY. Raining. yes, it is. Which means that this afternoon we're going to be gugely industrious, and watch a movie. It will be "Jar City", and Icelandic flick, which has been highly recommended.


And Arthur had to survive. His conscience, that damnable worm in his brain, wouldn't allow him to die. So many men's lives depended on his survival. So, every morning, after putting on the ghillie suit, he'd sling the armour shield over his shoulder, and put on his tin lid, the flat oval shaped helmet the British Army supplied their troops with. It was a cheap thing, machine-stamped out of mild steel, and served little or no real purpose. But the men felt better wearing it, and that was important.
Into a small bag that he had slung at his hip he'd put a flask of tea, which would be tepid by the time he came to drink it, and another packet of sandwiches and a couple of twice-baked hard-tack biscuits. The size of his palms, the biscuits were an unappetising brown, and as hard as nails. They would probably kill if thrown with enough force. He made sure his canteen was filled with clean water, pulled the armoured shield up on to his back, and stepped out to do battle.
Every morning, he chose another place to shoot from, although he did have a few favourites. Seventy yards back from the forward line the ruins of a church made a good nest: he could fire down onto the German's line, which – at its closest point - was precisely 293 yards away. He had other, closer, spots: but the church was where he'd got most of his hits from.
No-Man's-Land was a strange and terrible place. It was aptly named: no man in his right mind would voluntarily set foot into that desolate killing zone. It was heavily pocked and dimpled by shell craters, providing some cover for the brave young men who set out on the nightly patrols; young men who crept slowly and silently from shell-hole to barbed wire entanglement, to whatever cover they could find.
They went out on a irregular schedule. Occasionally they would encounter their opposite numbers from the German lines: young men like themselves, separated from each other by the twin barriers of language and fear.

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