Now here’s something an old hack would never have dreamt could happen: A typewriter revolution – typewriters reverentially dusted off from their obsolete past, and ushered into a welcoming present, wreathed with terms like the ‘typosphere.’
Feel like some wordplay for the festive season? Well try these from the Washington Post for a giggle. The newspaper published a contest for readers in which they were asked to supply alternative meanings for various words. These were some of the winning entries:
Negligent, (adj.), describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightie
Lymph, (v.) to walk with a lisp.
Balderdash, (n.) a rapidly receding hairline.
Testicle (n) a humorous question on an exam.
Oyster (n.) a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
Pokemon (n.) a Jamaican proctologist.
Circumvent (n.) the opening in the front of boxer shorts.
Willy-nilly (adj,) impotent.
Absent-mindedly listening to ‘Radio NZ National’ some years ago, my attention was suddenly focused on the words of an elderly caller.
She was reminiscing with then afternoon host, Jim Mora, about her favourite music. Apparently, she’d grown-up in the King Country milling settlement, Rangataua, just south of Ohakune.
The woman remembered fondly a band that used to play the occasional Saturday night in the local hall in the late 30s. Two things stuck in her memory – the small woman who played the piano, and the large Maori man who played the drums. Apparently, the woman had a ‘great sense of rhythm’.
Another day in Auckland and another tree falls. No, not just one but three – all native Puriri.
“Where will the wood pigeons go now?” an anguished neighbour asks as the chain saws roar and a wood chipper finishes the job, grinding once proud trees into garden fill.
Decades after the damage was done, it has finally become acceptable for economists to admit that neo-liberal economics is a politically manipulated means of ensuring that the rich and powerful become more rich and powerful. But with that madness in decline, another has sprung up.
This one is harder to define, but people are angry. Intolerance, and partisanship are on the rise. Hard-won laws of justice are threatened. I believe the New Zealand media’s response to US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, is our small contribution to a growing hysteria.
Media interests, particularly television, give us, or most of us, exactly what we want; the gossipy, exciting, human interest side of politics that requires no thinking. So much so that we tend to forget that Parliament exists to debate and determine the principles and policies that serve the public interest.
So I was pleased and pleasantly surprised when an editorial in the Otago Daily Times raised questions about policy: “What do we want our public health system to look like? Do we want it to be world class and free? Or a safety net with no-frills care for those unable to afford health insurance?” The answer to this question may not be as predictable as we think.