We've received our voting papers in the mail. We now have the ability and duty to vote for a Mayor for the newly-created so-called Supercity, and a whole bunch of Councillors.
The problem is this: the mayoralty is pretty much a two horse race - Banks or Brown. Neither horse is at all desirable. I'll vote for Brown, because the thought of Banks getting in just makes me want to vomit. But it's a vote against Banks, not a vote for Brown.
See - neither is a visonary. Banks has a billboard saying "Vote for him, and he'll get the job done". But nowhere have a found anything that tells me what he thinks the job actually is. Brown is just as coy: "Come on, Auckland. It's your turn". My turn for what? A dose of the clap? For a rich a-hole in a suit to make me redundant... again?
So Brown's getting my vote because a: he's not Banks; and b: he's apparently a left-winger, as opposed to Banks' ardent right-wing politics. But he's a poor choice.
Had friends around for lunch on Sunday: the gorgeous Jo and the splendid Marty. Great beer (Harrington's, from Christchurch. Quite possibly the best beer being brewed in NZ), excellent wine - all NZ, of course. Average food. I tried a new chicken dish, and it didn't co-operate with me. Lesson One: never try a new dish when you're having friends around.
Listening to: Well, as Metallica are rocking in Christchurch this evening, and donating a bunch of tickets to people who've worked hard with the earthquake crisis, I thought I should be listening to something loud. I have no Metallica! So - I've settled on Neil Worboys and the Real Time Liners, "Day to Day". Great Kiwi blues.
Reading: Katherine Neville, "The Eight". Yes - the one that was a huge hit in 1988. OK, so I'm a wee bit slow in grabbing hold of a trend, but there you go. I'm really liking it, too.
More "Paper Heroes":
to thrill at the sudden explosions of steam, to shriek in horror and concern at the occasional dead, floating fish.
Planet Earth has been tamed, and much of it has been returned to wilderness. The seas are filling again with great schools of cod, snapper, and tuna. The whales, majestically arrogant, bring their calves in for their nanobots, and sharks still cruise, happily cruel, while keeping a wary eye out for marauding dolphins. There are few mysteries left for mankind to ponder. Nearby space is now well travelled: there is talk of sending a manned vehicle to Alpha Centauri, to follow up the astonishingly loud microwave signals recently detected there. There was, it seemed, intelligent life that used Alpha Centauri as a way-station as they went about an interminably long voyage.
Closer to home, sub-orbital craft carry people around the world, above the troposphere, at speeds in excess of Mach 6.
It’s a rare passenger who gazes from his window onto the blankness of ‘Merika, and doesn’t experience a delicious momentary thrill of excitement.
What’s happening there? Why is the continent so dark, so blank? As called for so many decades ago, the Commonwealth’s back has been turned on ‘Merika. Little or no intelligence gathering has been made. Satellite inspection has been forbidden – an embargo that has come under great pressure since the dying began. ‘Merika is the modern world’s Mordor, with the modern world itself one great Shire, basking in the sunshine.