Thursday, August 9, 2012

Born to be mild

Steppenwolf, of course. Easy Rider, of course. The song "Born To Be Wild" has become a cliche, a laughing stock, a parody of everything it might have once stood for or said. It was, it's said, the first heavy metal song, and the lyric provides the first use of those two words used in conjunction. It's dragged out by broadcast journalists every time they have a story dealing even vaguely with motorcycles. It was the standout track on Steppenwolf's 1968 album, and used as the first big song on 1969's movie "Easy Rider". 'Nuff said.

It seems the NZ Police want us all born to be mild, if their Special Tactics Group spokesman is to be believed. When being questioned about the veracity of the Kim Dotcom search warrant and the methods used to execute it, the STG chappy said (in court) with some indignation, that Mr Dotcom was "belligerent and disdainful".

As opposed to what, Mr Gun-Totin' STG person? Mild, and polite? Fawning, and obsequious? Timid, and grovelling? Of course Dotcom was belligerent and disdainful. (Actually, he wasn't belligerent. He physically surrendered. Dotcom was belligerent and disdainful because he is a highly intelligent person - you don't get to develop and run a business turning over hundreds of millions of dollars if you're stupid - and knew what was going on. He knew the NZ Police were toadying to their FBI colleagues. He knew the guns and helicopters and total overkill was all theatre, and all gobshite.

The rationale used by the anonymous coppers in court for the guns (we saw a 10 year old photo of Mr Dotcom holding a shotgun! Shriek! Panic!) and hugely overmanned attack on his home (we needed men to neutralise his cars because we'd seen a YouTube clip of Mr Dotcom driving at 260kph on Germany's autobahn, so considered him a flight risk) is pathetic.

As for when he was physically arrested... well, what a balls up that was on the part of the Special Tactics group. They knew where the Panic Room was, because Dotcom has shown a visiting constable all of the house's features a few days prior to the raid. This co-operation on his part, of course, made the zealotry for guns and shock and awe all the more rational. But, even knowing where the Panic Room was, it took the arresting team 13 minutes to track him down. Despite the fact that the Panic Room's door was left unlocked. Then it took a lot of yelling and gun-pointing and noise to persuade a fat man to hold his hands up, to push him to the ground, to punch him (yes, I believe him on that one) and to accidentally trample his fingers (Yes, I believe the cops on this one. There was so much chaos that it's highly likely it was accidental).

The whole thing was bullshit. And the NZ Police Commissioner should be asking some very hard questions, and making the answers very public. Bet he won't, though.

ON TO ME: Diagnosis: cluster headaches. Have to carry powerful anti-cluster-headache drugs with me at all times. Might get a man-bag. And I can go back to work, once I get the letter from the doctor. woo hoo. Monday week should do it.

READING: Ken Follet, "Fall of Giants". Big, fat book. Good start.

LISTENING TO: Steppenwolf, "At Your Birthday Party". Excellent.

PRODUCT: Sounds fm. They're doing a lot of TV advertising right now. Tuned in when I was in hospital. Like listening to my own album collection. And they don't just play the "popular" tracks from albums. They play stuff I haven't heard in years.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fever, and Que Sera Sera

Yes, two topics!
First, "Fever". Made famous by Peggy Lee back in 1958. A thousand other people have covered it (Beyonce being the most recent), but no-one else has managed to get the raw sexuality of Peggy Lee's recording. Yes, "Fever" is the rooting song.

Anyway: fever. I've not blogged for a couple of weeks, because I had a fever. Huge one, too: pneumonia. Now, I learnt a couple of things from this experience.
A fever isn't just hot. The night before going to the doctor, I was experiencing bouts of deep cold, accompanied by uncontrollable shivering. This was unpleasant, so nature, in all its deviosity followed it up with heat. Lots of heat, and sweat.
So, Jenny dragged me to the doctor the next morning (Almost literally. I was terribly weak.) and while I was there I passed out. Excitement! People rushing about! Jenny getting the fright of her life (sorry, sweetheart)! Mucho vomiting, too!
Then hospital. Again. I am really getting sick of that place, weak-kneed pun intended. So, yes, it was pneumonia, and I said "but it hurts". They looked at me as though I was a moron - a look I've been getting a lot, lately. "Of course it hurts," they said. "It's pneumonia".
Well, hell. Who knew. I've been accustomed to hearing about Old Man Jones, who mercifully died of pneumonia after spending 20 years battling scrofula.
It seems that pneumonia kills many old people. They have cancer, beri-beri, malaria, whatever. The disease weakens them, they contract pneumonia, and they die. Well, we think. Ain't that a mercy. Instead of having to battle Limping Leprosy, pneumonia has peacefully carried them off. Ha! Pneumonia hurts. A lot. There's no mercy about it.

Que Sera Sera: another 1950s number, this one first made popular in the Hitchcock movie "The Man Who Knew Too Much", in 1956. Doris Day sang it in the movie, and it became a big hit. Much as I love Doris, I prefer the Connie Francis version, which came out in 1962, when I was 10.

Also, Connie was hot. Ter.

Anyway. Christchurch has a few things to celebrate, post-earthquake. The residents have been given ample opportunities to see just how much of a hollow man their Mayor is, and Gerry Brownlee has strode the area like a colossus. So much so that his bulk has actually kicked off 17 after-shocks. He hasn't said much worth listening too, though. He has merely eclipsed the sun occasionally, and harrumphed.
But the new plan for the city centre does look like it could work very well. Brilliantly, in fact.
I just have one small quibble.
CERA. Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority. Great acronym. Well, it would be, if we pronounced Canterbury as "Santerbury". For some reason or other everyone pronounces CERA with a soft "C". SERA. But the "C" from "Canetrbury" is hard - Kanterbury.

Immanuel Kant.

So the "C" IN CERA should be hard. KERA.

Can't wait to get back to work. Seeing the Neurologist today to get my facey thing signed off, and to see if I can get Magic Drug to stop future headaches. Wish me luck (which I, as a rationalist, don't believe in). Hearty thing's under control. Pneumonia has largely gone, just in recovery mode.

READING: "D-DAY", Stephen E Ambrose. Very, very good. "Pale Horse Coming", Stephen Hunter. One of his very best, and a replacement copy for the one I loaned out to someone who obviously thinks it's too good to return.

LISTENING TO: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, "Beat The Devil's Tattoo". Constantly surprising.

WATCHING: TV: "The Fades". Brilliant Brit writing, acting, directing. Great ghost / apocalypse yarn. MOVIE: Have finally seen "War Horse". Not as damp-making as I feared. Good flick, but I'm glad I didn't spend $16 on a movie ticket.

PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT: Gu chocolate Millionaire Pancakes. Holy crap. I never knew chocolate, caramel, oats, and magic could ever taste so good. These were given to us by our neighbour, recently returned from Australia, so they may not be available here. Storm the Bastille until someone imports them!