It's probably a truism that one shouldn't sit down to write a blog at 3 in the morning. It's is possibly equally risky to actually read a blog that was written at that time.
Yet here we are.
I have, for the third time in as little as seven weeks, a filthy cold. I've managed maybe an hour's sleep tonight, but to balance that I've managed to bring around 758 sneezes and 8,423 coughs to a successful conclusion: four of the first and three of the latter during the the writing of this sentence aslone.
Naturally, because I occasionally make an effort to be a considerate person, I'm "sleeping" in the spare room, otherwise the gorgeous Jenny's sleep would be as shattered as mine.
I am a handkerchief user: I always have a neatly folded and ironed hanky in my pocket. In the past 24 hours I have washed and dried every one of my snotties twice... and I have about thirty of the bloody things.
However, you really don't need to hear about my bodily secretions. You're here to be entertained. Or, of course, you may be wanting to find out what's on my mind.
Well, a fairly viscous fluid, actually. But apart from that...
Yesterday, in a haze of dampness, I watched a DVD that would largely be of interest to New Zealand viewers: Nicky Hager's documentary called "The Hollow Men", about the electoral hi-jinks the National Party got up to in the 2004 election. It was interesting, and I probably would have been enraged in 2005, but it's now a quirky bit of dismal history. What I did find engrossing was the little 20-minute Q and A at the end: Nicky Hager talking about the dismal state of our journalism and journalists. Nice to know someone agrees with me.
Actually, watching a bit of stuff from around the world, I don't think we're any worse off than most. Most of the Western world is being treated as morons by their news providers...
There are, he argues, journalists and reporters. Almost all of the PYTs on the tele are reporters: they'll ask for a comment, or for a politician's already-prepared 10 second statement, and then won't challenge it. I have, in the past, actually called these individuals "Repeaters": they merely repeat what they're told. He says that 80% off our print workers are also reporters: non-critical summarisers of statements. The rest do make an effort at being journalists: seekers of truth, miners of facts, presenters of ideas and knowledge. They are the nobility of a debased profession. I have a friend or two currently going through journalism school, and I believe that both of them have the intellect, integrity, and courage to rise above the reporting / repeating standards that the Packers and other ratings-driven money-grubbers have reduced the media to.
Politicians and PR press-release writers (the latter being the scummiest of the lot) exp[end a lotof time and intellectual capacity treating us as idiots and drooling morons. And, because we accept it, we prove them right. Just look at the ghastly intellect-sapping farrago that is the Fox Network: pretty, shrieking, ninnies assaulting their audiences with slogans and catch-phrases... which isn't too different from our two main television providers.
I understand that Al-Jazeera's standards are higher: I don't know yet. I will find out, and report back. The BBC's certainly are. I wonder if non-English-speaking television channels serve their audiences as badly as our lazy lot?
Listening to: Steppenwolf, "At Your Birthday Party". Late 1960s acid-rock for a cold-fried brain.
Reading: Well! I just read an Anthony Horowitz teen book. The man is clever, clever, clever. And I'm re-reading John Connolly's "The Reavers". Brilliant.
More "Paper Heroes":
“All folk from Buildings South Seven and Eight are taken to cleaning. Day on, night on, two shifts, cleaning they are.”
“That’s what I want to know. We will kill him after he tells us. His Scarab is torn, the Listeners think he is already dead. What cost now? What risk? We need to know why they clean their barracks, why they clean the Tower.”
The Henry’s headquarters is an elegant white tower, overlooking the Bay. 500 or more years old, it still stood, beautiful, with a central core tapering to a point, and four vertical wings that flare up the sides. It is an architectural wonder, and it is the home to the Henrys. They have cleared the land on every side out to a distance of two hundred yards, and this area is flooded with light most nights. At other times, when the power supply is disrupted, the Tower is in darkness, and the Free Folk creep to the building, and leave the shrivelling livers of dead men.
In the Tower live the Listeners; the cadre of Henrys who plot and follow the Scarabs as they move about what is left of the city. They have the mighty Apple-tek to help them in their work of monitoring and healing and punishing. And right now they are concentrating on nearly 7,000 Unders as they work to clear all rubble, all waste, from the Tower to the Rail. The question that Night wants answering this grey morning is simple: why?
By the time the sun had reached its zenith, he had his answer. The Henry had died messily, but surprisingly bravely. Sam, Night, and The Doc had been alone in questioning the man, and his bitter death had shaken them all.
But now they knew: the Chief was coming. Himself. The Equus. Coming to where Free Men lived.
There were plans to be made, sacrifices to be contemplated. For if there was nothing else certain in this shitty world, there was this: The Equus must die.