This month Chris Horan explores the ravages of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Geoff Lealand offers his view of this year’s Academy Awards, and beautiful Nelson features with stories of its worst fires in 60 years. Max Cryer tells us in his book on superstitions, why witches don’t like…  onions. And there’s a surprise find – a 1989 Metro Poll of its readers which among other things, shows how far to the Right we swung in the 1980s and how much we lost…

Bullies please apply…

Bully wanted: Preferably a person who has a superior grasp of the basic skills and also the personality to communicate in a way that ensures success. The ability to instil fear of failure, to intimidate, to ridicule poor effort, to generate toughness and to inspire by constantly demanding high standards.

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Not the Swinging Sixties

In the big picture New Zealand prospered in the 1960s. Materialism boomed, the economy flourished, brand-new houses dotted the suburbs and pop music and miniskirts and thumbing noses at conventions, gave spice to the day.

But on the edge of the lupins and the sand hills east of Christchurch, Cheryl Nicol’s childhood memory of 60s life, was one of make-do. In her memoir, A Parallel Universe, as the title suggests, a different world existed.  Life was hard. The picture, is grim.

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Life, love and happiness

Oh for inspiration, for vision, for boldness and for a political party that has not only counted the pennies but has done the preparation and is ready to fly once it has the power. The steady-as-she-goes budget was hardly inspiring, it could have been devised by Bill English.

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Fair Go…

The Coalition was just five months old when commentators began their refrain: Stop whingeing about the defects of the last Government they said, as if these were minor failings. They most certainly are not and the licence given by them to Sir John Key to lambast Labour was very liberal –  he was still at it in his third term as prime minister.

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Why do people lie?

I’ve been stunned and amazed at the sheer number of President Donald Trump’s lies. Unfortunately for him the New York Times is counting.  It found that in his first 10 months, he told six times as many falsehoods as President Obama.  Trump told 103 separate untruths, many of them repeatedly, said the Times.  Obama told 18 during his  eight year  Presidency. For  some time, I’ve I wanted to better understand why people lie.

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Speaking Out

After much hesitation, because I did not want to offend, I put off for at least a year writing a letter to the Otago Daily Times on an issue that had been offending me for some time.

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May miscellany

After kiwiboomers contributor Ann Andrews’ story we also wondered about why people lie.

There’s an annual  World’s Biggest Liar  Competition… The website Mental Floss wrote: …held since the 19th century, the World’s Biggest Liar competition owes its origin to a pub owner named Will Ritson, who was known for the fantastic stories he would tell to keep his patrons entertained—and drinking longer. One of his most famous lies was that turnips planted in the region grew so big that people had to “quarry” into them for their Sunday lunch, and afterward, the mammoth root veggies were used as sheds for sheep. http://mentalfloss.com/article/89006/winner-2016-worlds-biggest-liar-competition

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Just a social drinker

We were both ageing duffers with time on our hands, and sunlight on our faces. We had met, as commuters do, at the bus stop, sighing almost simultaneously after just missing the bus into town.

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