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Open mike 29/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 29th, 2021 - 116 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

116 comments on “Open mike 29/12/2021 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Leftist ends the year on an exemplary high: http://werewolf.co.nz/2021/12/gordon-campbell-on-the-obscure-bill-that-erodes-our-system-of-justice/

    Classic political analysis brought to bear on a Labour Party intent on eliminating civil liberties to prove to voters that it can out-flank the Nats on the right. Gordon Campbell provides novice journos a textbook lesson on how to expose Labour's lack of credibility.

    So

    it is hardly surprising that the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill slipped into Parliament in late November, virtually unnoticed. This was unfortunate, because the Bill quietly erodes the principles of natural justice in this country. In essence, the Bill formalises a system whereby, in an expanding range of courtroom situations, people will be unable to know, let alone challenge, all the evidence being used to prosecute their case.

    If the Crown decides for example that the revelation of secret information might disrupt our international relations, threaten our national security, undermine our economic well-being or unduly disturb departmental best practice, then the accused may end up being prevented from knowing all the evidence being weighed against them. Good luck with defending yourself when you don’t know what the courts are relying on to decide your fate.

    What would the title of the legislation be if Labour were honest? It would be called the Protest Leader's Elimination Bill. That would tell the truth about Labour's intent. Stack the courts in favour of the prosecution. Labour's century-long campaign to ramp up state power to achieve total control of the populace thus obtains a final solution – to the problem of democratic freedom.

    • Gezza 1.1

      I read that article yesterday with considerable disquiet.

      If Campbell’s right, it too broadly dispenses with habeus corpus, the cornerstone of our legal system’s right to a fair trial.

      One hopes that it will be rigorously challenged by the Law Society, Green Party, all other parties, & scores of civil libertarians in Select Committee. And that the media will cover it properly. They never know, one day one of their journos might be on the receiving end of it.

    • Anne 1.2

      From the linked article:

      IMO, protecting the principles of natural justice should be a higher priority than protecting the flow of classified information to the security services.

      Add to that sentence… protecting the principles of natural justice – and the rights of citizens wrongly suspected of subversion – should be a higher priority than protecting the flow of classified information to the security services.

      From experience (in my case on the say-so of another) I can assure you that natural justice has never taken precedence over matters pertaining to security concerns. In other words all that has changed is the government is legislating for something that has been the abiding principle for many decades.

      Having said the above, I take issue with your final paragraph. To infer as you have that Labour has been running a century-long campaign to ramp up state power to achieve total control of the populace… " is conspiratorial nonsense.

      • alwyn 1.2.1

        You shouldn't need the words "wrongly suspected of subversion" in your proposed change.

        It is quite sufficient to say "protecting the principles of natural justice – and the rights of citizens – should be a higher priority" ie all citizens.

        • Anne 1.2.1.1

          I concede alwyn "and the rights of citizens" is more appropriate. Thanks for pointing it out. My mind was trapped in my own experience three decades ago.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.2

        smiley But Anne, Labour have always been statist control freaks! If I was wrong about that you'd be able to cite instances of protest leaders joining the Labour Party, being allocated safe seats to campaign in, becoming MPs and then cabinet ministers.

        Okay, so Goff was PYM – but he never got a reputation of being a leader of the rabble in those days. He was a follower.

        Anyway, you tacitly concede my point by failing to provide an innocent explanation for why Labour is doing what they're doing. Here's one you could try: incompetence. Faafoi doesn't know what he's doing (according to this theory), he's just operating on autopilot advancing an agenda provided to him by his advisors. If I were a conspiracy theorist I'd call them the Deep State. Instead, I suspect they represent the shallow state; public servants who believe state security must prevail over civil rights. Deeply shallow folk.

        • Anne 1.2.2.1

          No Dennis they have not… always been control freaks.

          That is a wrong interpretation of their principles and policies down the decades. For example, Michael Joseph Savage was a gentleman with no aspiration to hold power for power's sake. He wanted to raise the standard of living for everyone and not just the chosen few. He and his ministers had to introduce legislation to make it start to happen.

          The only thing that has changed is the strategies – taking into account changing modern day conditions. But the principle is still the same… to raise the standard of living for everyone. Unfortunately the "chosen few" have almost all the money and power so there will always be a need to redress the balance by way of legislation.

          Some people may disagree with the way Labour goes about it, and that is part of being a democracy, but it is NOT being "control freaks".

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Good to see James taking this initiative on behalf of the govt:

    Climate Change Minister James Shaw has agreed to visit Southland and meet Groundswell NZ leaders. However, a date is yet to be set for the farmer protest group to have their first official meeting with a government minister. Shaw released a letter from Southland MP Joseph Mooney, which invited him to the electorate to ‘’meet with Groundswell NZ to discuss their concerns around the National Policy Statement for National Biodiversity, Significant Natural Areas, Freshwater and other legislation affecting rural communities”.

    The letter was sent to Shaw on August 5… Shaw replied on October 11, saying: “I appreciate the invite and your offer to facilitate and host this meeting. I have asked my office and officials to identify an appropriate time for the meeting.’’ A spokesperson from Shaw’s office said the Minister had been advised the best time to meet with Groundswell NZ would be once the exposure draft of the proposed National Environmental Standards for Indigenous Biodiversity had been released next year.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/127346045/minister-shaw-agrees-to-meet-groundswell-nz-leaders-next-year

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Looks like Africa's going Green:

    While several countries in Africa, like South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are developing green hydrogen plans, Namibia is the more advanced.

    In simple terms, the renewable energy from the sun and wind will be used to separate hydrogen molecules from desalinated water. Those hydrogen molecules in their pure form or in derivative green ammonia can make up a variety of products, including sustainable fuels.

    The preferred bidder, Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, is set to start production in 2026 and will have the rights to the project for 40 years, once the necessary feasibility processes are concluded. The firm says the four years of construction are likely to create 15,000 direct jobs and 3,000 more during full operations – and that 90% of them will be filled by locals. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59722297

    • Blade 3.1

      I breath high concentration molecular hydrogen, and drink molecular hydrogen infused water. It's way of the future. I also believe cold fusion power is close to becoming a reality.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      Yes. If all goes to plan I may find myself becoming heavily involved in hydrogen projects this year.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        Hitch yourself to a balloon, fill it up. You can get nicely high doing that. Stratospheric, even. Ascension has been a cultural trend for several decades eh?

        But on a serious note, sounds interesting. Scouting the current opportunities or already have options in mind? Your expertise is engineering? Or project management? Both? I'm just curious so if there's confidentiality involved just a scenario summary would be cool…

        • RedLogix 3.2.1.1

          Setting up a global Hydrogen Centre of Excellence for one of the major process control system vendors. Still some factors outside of my control involved – so no promises yet.

    • bwaghorn 3.3

      Excellent, I'll bet in ten years battery vehicles will be fazing out, they ar a blind ally , hydrogen fuel made by fusion is the future.

      • dv 3.3.1

        Already happens. We get 100% of our energy from H fusion. (Only trouble its 90 m miles away)

      • weka 3.3.2

        have a look at the cautions around efficiencies and sustainability.

        • RedLogix 3.3.2.1

          Everyone in the hydrogen game is well aware of the efficiency issue, but that's by no means the only component in play.

          And I'm seeing 'sustainability' as another one of those poorly defined 'progressive' words that can be stretched to cover off almost anything.

          • weka 3.3.2.1.1

            bwaghorn isn't afaik in the hydrogen game. Buyer beware.

            Yes, I know you don't understand what sustainability is, despite many attempts to explain it.

            • RedLogix 3.3.2.1.1.1

              I'm upfront and probably more transparent than any other regular participant here – other than maybe Lynn- and I realised long ago that would make me a target for the cheap shots.

              As for 'sustainability' – the version you promote pretty much means running into resource limits more slowly – but not allowed to innovate past them.

              • weka

                I'm not taking cheap shots, I'm pointing out that there are plenty of explanations of what sustainability is but you don't seem to understand what it is. That's ok, I'm sure if you tried to explain technical aspects of your work some people might struggle to grasp it. Sustainability requires learning a new way of thinking, lots of people don't get it.

                As for 'sustainability' – the version you promote pretty much means running into resource limits more slowly – but not allowed to innovate past them.

                no, it really doesn't.

        • bwaghorn 3.3.2.2

          Could it be worse than mining flat out to build batteries that will be dumped in some third world shit hole 10 years later!!

          • weka 3.3.2.2.1

            I agree. This is why I write about the Powerdown 🙂

            eg in NZ, we have good hydro infrastructure. What would it look like if we largely worked within that capacity?

            We can also do grid tied solar, solar hot water, passive solar, none of which require batteries, but do require a bit of behavioural change.

            The interesting thing about living on solar with batteries is you soon get acutely aware of how much power you use, when you use it, and what actually matters. This isn't a bad thing, and it's what we need.

  4. woodart 4

    I see richard prebbles latest effort at rewriting history is something about deregulating broadcasting. I have yet to see him explain away his efforts at deregulating housing, and how it cost kiwis hundreds of millions to fix badly designed and built houses, and how it led to a shortage of low cost housing , which plagues NZ today,..For those who came in late, there will be footage of prebble ,on parliament steps, tearing up, and burning the housing regs as they were. NZ's housing problems can be directly sheeted home to prebble and the act party. something that should be taught in schools….

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      We really should rename the right wing the wrong wing, what lasting good have they ever achieved.

    • alwyn 4.2

      If anyone is rewriting history it would appear to be woodart.

      ACT was led by Prebble from 1996 until 2004. He retired from Parliament in 2005. During his time in Parliament as an ACT MP they were never part of the Government. They were on the cross benches during the National led Government from 1996 until 1999 and in the Opposition from 1999 until 2004 when there was a Clark/Labour led Government.

      Just how could Prebble and the ACT party be responsible for NZ's housing problems? You are dreaming.

      • dv 4.2.1

        I could have sworn that Prebble was in the labour govt.

        Ah yes 75 to 93.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Prebble

        OOps

        • alwyn 4.2.1.1

          Indeed, Prebble was a Labour Party man from 75 to 93. Woodart was however blaming ACT for the problems, and they weren't even in existence then.

          His precise words were "NZ's housing problems can be directly sheeted home to prebble and the act party."

          The only Government Prebble was part of was a Labour one as a Labour MP. That was from 1984 to 1990. Do we blame Labour? If so should we complain that it was the fault of the Housing Minister?

          Hm. That would be Phil Goff for 3 years, Helen Clark for 2 years and Jonathon Hunt for 1. No Prebble in the job though.

          • dv 4.2.1.1.1

            Oops.wink

          • woodart 4.2.1.1.2

            so, in your self-appointed job of know-it-all-ism, do you deny prebble on the steps of parliament burning building regs, and telling the reporters that building derugulation would be the key to success, and do you deny that a budding act party taking that deregulation mantra on board and using it in their manifesto? I never claimed he was an M.P. at that time, that was you, as, usual, NOT reading properly, and running off at the keyboard in your usual haste to be a smartarse.

            • alwyn 4.2.1.1.2.1

              I have no idea whether he did any of those things and I don't really care. I am one of those people who think that the Government of the days passes the laws of the country and not that the Opposition does so.

              I realise that this tends to spoil the rants of some of the more fantasy promoting members of society but that is just tough s**t.

              I suppose my views are in some ways a variation on Richard Feynman's statement.

              "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."

              If you are going to argue that some party is responsible for laws that they never passed, and never were in a Government so that they never could pass them I would have to say that you are wrong. I would also tend to think that the second clause of Feynman's statement can't apply to you.

    • Patricia Bremner 4.3

      Woodart, it was the fourth National Government (with Ruth Richardson Treasurer,) loosened housing rules that led to leaky homes, and increased state house rents to market related charges, this so impacted the poor that Food kitchens appeared for the first time since the '30s. Bolger and Shippley were Leaders of that debacle.

      At the time one of the National women MPs gave out recipes for basic meals. Trouble was she was saying "Now from your store cupboard (Pantry)take…" this aimed at people who ran out of food Saturday waiting for money on Tuesday. That was also when Bolger famously said "A lunch is only two pieces of bread with something between them".

      Our school started a” Breakfast and homework club" We also provided apples a snack and children could make a sandwich for lunch. Fillings were basic marmite cheese or fish paste. About 30 to forty would be there Thus Fri Mon, with 12 to 15 other days. We had music playing so conversations were private.

      It was an eye opener to see how those children were more settled learned and were more open and hopeful. Teachers would contribute to it as they saw the difference. Policies should always start with the children in mind.

      That Government put the surcharge on superannuation as well. It lasted two terms.

      • alwyn 4.3.1

        The last sentence is incorrect Patricia.

        Sorry, but the tax surcharge on superannuation was introduced by the Lange Labour Government in 1985. It was not introduced by the National Government of which Ruth Richardson was a prominent participant. The surcharge was very belatedly removed by the National Government in 1998.

        • Patricia Bremner 4.3.1.1

          You are correct Alwyn My badblush

          • alwyn 4.3.1.1.1

            Well that may be but National certainly weren't very honest about the topic. As far as I remember it they promised to remove the surcharge in their 1990 manifesto. Then then reneged on the promise throughout their first 2 terms and only removed it 8 years after it was first a firm promise. I was living in Australia from 1989 to 1996 and I was very surprised that the surcharge was still there when I came back.

            In 91 and 92 it could be pretty easily justified. The books were in a terrible mess when they took over. However after they had been in office for a full term that claim really doesn't cut it any more. If you haven't fixed a problem after a full term you simply aren't being competent or you aren't being honest.

            • Patricia Bremner 4.3.1.1.1.1

              It all started with Muldoon his loans and the pause before he handed over the reins. I think Lange let the cat out of the bag about devaluation, and money flew out the country until it happened and was returned afterwards. Right mess. Cheers Alwyn. Though one term to turn things around is a big ask. Some problems are so entrenched and so many livelihoods have been upset already. Our next big test.. Omicron out in Auckland

      • greywarshark 4.3.2

        Patricia
        And you could provide a semi scientific finding on its efficacy. It's taken Covid to make government to listen to science instead of going for gut feelings with orchestrated reports as to value or ear-whispering from wealthies of the wrong wing plus Treasury.

        • Patricia Bremner 4.3.2.1

          smiley

          • alwyn 4.3.2.1.1

            I reread the rest of your comment and what you are saying in fact confirms what you quote Bolger as saying.

            You quote him as saying "A lunch is only two pieces of bread with something between them".

            Then you say what you were providing as a least the main part of the children's lunch

            " children could make a sandwich for lunch. Fillings were basic marmite cheese or fish paste"

            That sounds as if Bolger was pretty much on target doesn't it? Given his background of course that was probably exactly what he, and his children, of which he had nine, did have for lunch. He was himself one of 5 kids born to a couple who had emigrated in 1930 from Ireland and he left school at 15 to work on the farm. I doubt there was very much spare money for a fancy lunch in that family.

  5. joe90 5

    A wee something to jigger the day.

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1475125013464428545.html

    • weka 5.1

      Faarrk, there's a lot in that.

      Biggest thing I am with is what are we doing about masks in NZ? I see a lot of people internationally saying shift to more technical masks, but I don't know what to buy or even if I can buy them here. Anyone got a good explainer on that?

    • RedLogix 5.2

      I've come to the conclusion that the only reason why COVID is still around is that too many people are making too much money and power from it. So yes it will likely to be around until enough people figure this out.

      • Blazer 5.2.1

        surpriseSo is it a big …hoax?

        • RedLogix 5.2.1.1

          No.

          • Puckish Rogue 5.2.1.1.1

            I agree.

            Pfizer is not going to want to give this up, they have too much invested.

            Theres also a lot of media, politicians, other corporations that'll want to see this continue.

            • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1.1

              And lots of people who want to keep their loved ones alive, them too.

              Pfizer are going to make coin no matter what. The research into this vaccine put them onto the fast track for others.

          • Blazer 5.2.1.1.2

            So not a hoax…just a money making construct.

            ' the only reason why COVID is still around is that too many people are making too much money and power from it.'

            The ONLY reason.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2.1.1.2.1

              Remembering it's the CCP's fault in the first place, Covid's been so profitable, and messed with freedums to such an extent, that vested interests (?) will be plotting to keep it going forever, just like they will with the next crisis.

              Thank goodness for Western freedum fighters (Trump, Johnson, Bolsonaro) – it's only these 'clear thinkers', and Tucker Carlson, that give me hope. /sarc

  6. Gezza 6

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2021/12/japan-maps-out-plan-to-release-contaminated-fukushima-water-into-ocean.html

    “…Under the government scheme, Japan aims to set standards for compensation for damage caused by what it described as harmful rumours on local industries such as fishing, tourism and agriculture while reinforcing monitoring capability and transparency to avoid reputational damage.

    Japan also expects the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to compile an interim safety assessment next year, based on its review over the safety of the treated water, the competence of local analytical laboratories and regulatory frameworks, the government said.

    In an effort to improve transparency to gain the trust of the international community, Japan asked the IAEA in April to conduct a review to assess and advise on the handling of the water.

    A decade after a massive earthquake and tsunami ravaged the country’s northeastern coast, disabling the plant and causing the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, nearly 1.3 million tonnes of contaminated water have accumulated at the site.

    The water, enough to fill about 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools, is stored in huge tanks at an annual cost of about 100 billion yen (NZ$1.3b), and space is running out.

    Japan has argued the release is necessary to press ahead with the complex decommissioning of the plant. It says similarly filtered water is routinely released from nuclear plants around the world.”
    … … … … … …

    One hopes they are right & that discharging this treated contaminated water into the ocean won’t have any harmful effects on the oceanic ecosystem.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      The primary isotope involved is tritium or Hydrogen3.

      Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, which allows it to readily bind to hydroxyl radicals, forming tritiated water, and to carbon atoms. Since tritium is a low energy beta emitter, it is not dangerous externally (its beta particles are unable to penetrate the skin), but it can be a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin. HTO has a short biological half-life in the human body of 7 to 14 days, which both reduces the total effects of single-incident ingestion and precludes long-term bioaccumulation of HTO from the environment.

      The very slow rate of the planned release, the vast dilution within the massive volume of the Pacific over time means that any actual radiation will be far, far below the background level. The only possible concern is bio-accumulation, but even that stretches the case as no-one demonstrated this occurs for tritium. Nor is this release unique, tritium has been released by nuclear processes as a part of normal operation for decades – with absolutely no evidence of harm.

      All of this information is readily available to anyone writing an article on the topic, but mentioning it would of course spoil the scare factor.

      One simple reality that gets ignored here all the time is that this planet we live on is bathed in a low level of background radiation all the time – and every living thing has evolved in it's presence. The idea that it 'damages DNA' is one of the pervasive fearmongering myths often propagated. DNA gets damaged all the time, from all manner of causes both from ionising radiation and other oxidants- yet all living creatures have molecular repair mechanisms that work to repair this damage all the time.

      Indeed there is good evidence from places where due to altitude or geological conditions people live their whole lives with substantially elevated background radiation levels. And remarkably enough they show reduced rates of cancer. This fact has been well known for decades but has been consistently denied and censored.

      So when you see articles like this, and there will be the usual steady trickle of them, that do not include any relevant science or even mention the word tritium, feel free not to be overly frightened.

  7. joe90 7

    Remember how someone said COVID infections in children are relatively mild?

    The post mortem of fourteen month old who died from COVID revealed serious brain damage. But relatively mild brain damage, I guess.

    /

    Findings

    Lesions included microthrombosis, pulmonary congestion, interstitial oedema, lymphocytic infiltrates, bronchiolar injury, collapsed alveolar spaces, cortical atrophy, and severe neuronal loss. SARS-CoV-2 staining was observed along the apical region of the choroid plexus (ChP) epithelium and in ependymal cells of the lateral ventricle, but was restricted to ChP capillaries and vessels in some regions. SARS-CoV-2 infection of brain tissue was confirmed by RT-qPCR in fragments of the ChP, lateral ventricle, and cortex.

    Interpretation

    Our results show multisystemic histopathological alterations caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection and contribute to knowledge regarding the course of fatal COVID-19 in children. Furthermore, our findings of ChP infection and viral neurotropism suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may invade the central nervous system by blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier disruption.

    […]

    Major complications include neurological manifestations that occur in up to 67% of severely affected patients [[3]]. Neurological sequelae may be acute or chronic, and may include headache, vomiting, dizziness, hypogeusia and hyposmia, persistent fatigue, memory dysfunction, gait disorders, and meningitis/encephalitis [4,5,6]. A post-mortem case series detected SARS-CoV-2 in the brains of 53% of patients who died of COVID-19, with viral proteins in cranial nerves and in isolated cells of the brainstem [[7]]. As suggested previously for SARS-CoV, neuroinvasion of the brainstem cardiorespiratory centre may promote respiratory failure in COVID-19 [[8]]. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has been demonstrated in cortical neurons and in cerebrovascular endothelium [[9]]. Although detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is uncommon, it has been reported in two adults [[10]] and one infant [[11]].

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanam/article/PIIS2667-193X(21)00038-7/fulltext

  8. observer 8

    Road chaos update:

    Usual problems – holiday traffic, crashes, same as every year.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/12/auckland-traffic-commuter-chaos-as-debris-blocks-road-car-breaks-down-on-harbour-bridge.html

    Fantasy problems – the Covid checkpoints. (Wasn't it supposed to be civil war?).

    A large helping of humble pie on the menu for Seymour, Luxon and a couple of commenters here. They must be so disappointed.

  9. Fireblade 9

    NSW has recorded 11,201 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours. 625 people in Hospital, 61 in ICU and 3 more deaths.

    • observer 9.1

      But NZ should totally be like NSW, they said. Open up and let business thrive, they said. So what happens when Covid spreads like crazy?

      "Concern is growing at the impact of rising coronavirus cases on New Year’s Eve plans in NSW.

      Australian Cruise Group executive director Sudhir Warrier, who is in charge of the cruises in Sydney Harbour during the NYE fireworks, said ticket sales are badly down this year. He told Sky News earlier this morning:

      "Business has completely dried up in the last 10 days or so, consumer confidence is totally shattered."

      (Guardian Australia)

    • Koff 9.2

      Living with the virus is such fun….not! Check out Denmark's outbreak, now one of the world's worst and the hospitalisation and death rate is rising too, albeit there is a lag…30 deaths there 2 days ago, population the same as NZ. As one commenter in the Sydney Morning Herald stated that even if Omicron is 70% less severe tban Delta as one non-peered British survey suggested, a 400% increase in transmission rate means just as many or more deaths per million. Denmark comparison with Australia by Aussie Doctor Crabb depicted here:

    • weka 10.1

      thanks. I think that confirms I'm better off today with my closely fitting double cloth mask than the surgical one that has gaps at the side.

      • joe90 10.1.1

        At the moment I'm getting around the ill-fitting ear-loop surgical mask by double-bagging my stubbled dial with a large behind the head tie cloth mask with a removable filter. I'm also fiddling around with duck-billed N95s under the cloth mask should things go pear shaped. Thinking about some sort of eye protection, too.

        • mauī 10.1.1.1

          I would go for the long bird beak face covering if I were you, and if you want maximum protection, you can use a thick layer of vaseline on any exposed skin to stop it getting into the pores…

          • joe90 10.1.1.1.1

            Now, I realise you're a detestable POS who could only image anyone giving a rat's arse about you, but as a family we're committed to doing everything we can to reduce an extremely vulnerable and much loved member's aggregate risk. And despite the ignorant, sneering reckons of filth like yourself, if the science said Csixteen masks and goose fat were the go, we'd be in.

            (a seasonal bot could be fatal so this ain't new)

  10. Puckish Rogue 11

    Pop culture thoughts

    So first to my predictions:

    Spiderman: No Way Home breaking a billion at the box office happened and The Matrix Resurrections sucking happened but I'm going to go a step further and predict Spiderman: No Way Home will take in more at the box office by itself than the three MSheU movies of phase 4 combined (basically I'm predicting it'll take 1.2 billion)

    Also Spider hasn't been released in China yet still did bonkers at the box office (like The Joker) something studios to think about maybe…

    So what does this all mean?

    We've all heard 'get woke go broke' but in reality it should be 'get woke and leave more money on the table except for a few movies that did actually lose money and not forgetting the TV series cancelled' but that doesn't really roll off the tongue

    Disney Star Wars didn't just leave money on the table, it also tanked the next film in the spin off series, the Han Solo movie (remember that) plus it stopped dead in the track all the other plans for movies

    So is it all bad news?

    Spiderman to me is the anti Ghostbusters 2016, its fun, it treats the source material and fans with respect, tells a good story and isn't woke (well its a little woke but nothing major)

    What is interesting to me is that it feels like two movies added together, you have the first 30-40 minutes of typical Marvel/Disney 'humour' and then it gets a bit more serious (though the jokes work better)

    So is this enough to turn the entertainment ship around…yes, yes it is.

    It won't happen overnight as there are far too many movies in production to change, yes we'll have to put up with Disney ruining all other superhero movies (hey you like nostalgia, heres nostalgia and cameos)

    But I believe that eventually studio heads will stop listening to people that listen to twitter and will go back to wanting to make money, that Gordon Gekko (or the spirit anyway) will decide that giving the paying audience what they want will make them more money, that not insulting the paying audience is the way to go, that people go to the movies for entertainment and escapism not reeducation and blame and if the product Hollywood puts out provides that then the audiences will pay

    Spoiler warning:

    • McFlock 11.1

      Except the studios have always been about making money.

      Not sure how "woke" Solo was. It was pretty good, in general, but the plot points were a bit run of the mill – omg lost love turns up, betrayals, betrayals predicted, yadda yadda. Some funny bits in it though. It also fell into the trap of providing the origin story for darn near every single wardrobe item in the original movies, lol.

      Matrix – well, the first matrix was pretty good, but went downhill from there. Latest one looks mildly interesting, but I won't rush to see it.

      Damned if I see what your problem is with ghostbusters. I lived through both the north korea/invisible car Bond flick and the Clooney batman, ffs.

      • weka 11.1.1

        lol.

        I don't know what the problem is either and PR won't say.

        PR, what exactly is woke about MCU phases 1 – 3? Be specific, because then we will know what you are talking about. And no, I don't want to watch a youtube of some dude spending 30 minutes explaining something you could outline in one comment.

        • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.1

          There was wokeness in 1 -3

          Thor never fought Hela, in fact she destroyed his hammer.

          Black Panther was, according to the media, the single greatest achievement in movie making and the first time a black person had been in a movie, let alone a super hero movie (sarcasm)

          Captain Marvel was, funnily enough, Marvels inferior response to Wonder Woman, why they didn't go with a Black Widow movie is something we'll never know

          Avengers End Game…well…theres this scene (if you're going into battle why do you take your helmet off)

          • weka 11.1.1.1.1

            There was wokeness in 1 -3

            Which bits were woke?

            Thor never fought Hela, in fact she destroyed his hammer.

            So you want the films to be always faithful to the comics? How is changing the storylines woke?

            Black Panther was, according to the media, the single greatest achievement in movie making and the first time a black person had been in a movie, let alone a super hero movie (sarcasm)

            So nothing about the film, just the publicity around it.

            Captain Marvel was, funnily enough, Marvels inferior response to Wonder Woman, why they didn't go with a Black Widow movie is something we'll never know

            The original CM is inferior? What about the film?

            Avengers End Game…well…theres this scene (if you're going into battle why do you take your helmet off)

            What's woke about it? As opposed to bog standard put the pretty chicks up front, which has been happening forever (assuming this is what you meant). Or did you mean there are too many chicks?

            • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Marvel phases 1-3 consists of approximately 23 movies. I am not going to go through every single one to point out where and how its woke.

              The links I post to talk about why its woke and, more importantly, give examples of clips of the movies but since you don't want to watch them (your loss) I have to do my best.

              'So you want the films to be always faithful to the comics? How is changing the storylines woke?'

              I do prefer movies to be faithful and respectful to the source material but if they move away from the source material then at least be respectful

              For example, Thor gives up his role of leader for Valkyrie completely negating the lessons learned about being king from his father and then he becomes fat Thor because…I don't know funny or something

              'So nothing about the film, just the publicity around it.'

              The movie itself was nothing special (though Chadwick Boseman was very good) but yeah it just wasn't publicity, the whole marketing campaign made the movie itself into a cultural touchstone, that you had to not just like it but love it and if you didn't then you must be racist

              'The original CM is inferior? What about the film?'

              Yes the Captain Marvel is vastly inferior to the Wonder Woman movie. One of the reasons is because Captain Marvel is similar to Rey Skywalker (Palpatine) in that both of them suffer the same problem as being really boring.

              The reason they're boring is that nowadays woman in superhero movies arn't allowed to be flawed, weak or have to try.

              For example Luke Skywalker has to train to become a jedi, the first time he faces Vader he loses a hand and doesn't defeat until the end of the third movie and still loses to the Emperor until Vader steps up

              Rey on the other hand beats up anyone she meets, resists Kylos mind tricks (with no training), defeats Kylo (trained by Luke remember), moves a landslide (with no training), uses mind tricks on stormtroops (again no training), can fly the Falcon (remember Luke couldn't), can repair the Falcon (Han couldn't)

              There are more examples but that should be enough. Basically in Disney movies women are already strong and powerful, they just need to remember (thats also pretty much Captain Marvel) because men are holding them back

              Its like playing a video game on the easiest setting, theres no challenge and it all becomes a bit boring when there are no stakes

              • weka

                Marvel phases 1-3 consists of approximately 23 movies. I am not going to go through every single one to point out where and how its woke.

                I'm not asking you to. I'm asking you to describe maybe three times something was woke and how it was woke. At the moment you are asserting wokeness, and then describing things I wouldn't call woke. You've failed to make the argument.

                'So you want the films to be always faithful to the comics? How is changing the storylines woke?'

                I do prefer movies to be faithful and respectful to the source material but if they move away from the source material then at least be respectful

                For example, Thor gives up his role of leader for Valkyrie completely negating the lessons learned about being king from his father and then he becomes fat Thor because…I don't know funny or something

                Sure. How is that woke though? Rather than just a move away from the original?

                'So nothing about the film, just the publicity around it.'

                The movie itself was nothing special (though Chadwick Boseman was very good) but yeah it just wasn't publicity, the whole marketing campaign made the movie itself into a cultural touchstone, that you had to not just like it but love it and if you didn't then you must be racist

                Again, you're not describing the film as woke, but the promotion and media around it. Is there anything about the film itself that is woke?

                'The original CM is inferior? What about the film?'

                Yes the Captain Marvel is vastly inferior to the Wonder Woman movie. One of the reasons is because Captain Marvel is similar to Rey Skywalker (Palpatine) in that both of them suffer the same problem as being really boring.

                The reason they're boring is that nowadays woman in superhero movies arn't allowed to be flawed, weak or have to try.

                For example Luke Skywalker has to train to become a jedi, the first time he faces Vader he loses a hand and doesn't defeat until the end of the third movie and still loses to the Emperor until Vader steps up

                Rey on the other hand beats up anyone she meets, resists Kylos mind tricks (with no training), defeats Kylo (trained by Luke remember), moves a landslide (with no training), uses mind tricks on stormtroops (again no training), can fly the Falcon (remember Luke couldn't), can repair the Falcon (Han couldn't)

                Thanks!! That's a really good explanation. I'm curious now if this is something specific to female characters, or more a feature of how contemporary characters generally are written (as compared to say Luke Skywalker). Or both.

                There are more examples but that should be enough. Basically in Disney movies women are already strong and powerful, they just need to remember (thats also pretty much Captain Marvel) because men are holding them back

                Its like playing a video game on the easiest setting, theres no challenge and it all becomes a bit boring when there are no stakes

                This is a good point. I'll keep that in mind next time I watch.

                • weka

                  Its like playing a video game on the easiest setting, theres no challenge and it all becomes a bit boring when there are no stakes

                  What are some films (any genre or time period) where this doesn't happen with the women characters?

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Alien and Aliens, Mad Max Fury Road, Terminator 1and 2, Ghostbusters, Spy, The Hunger Games, The Harry Potter series

                    Some of my favourite movies of all time

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Essentially its denigrating male characters to specifically make female characters more impressive.

                  Rey beats Luke.

                  Leia also is better with a lightsaber than Luke.

                  Thor gives up leadership to Valkyrie and becomes a fat joke.

                  Red Guardian becomes a fat joke.

                  Loki suddenly becomes a weak, snivelling, coward.

                  Kate Bishop defeats the Kingpin.

                  In the Falcon and The Winter Soldier the Falcon wouldn't even fight against the terrorist Karli (gender swopped by the way)

                  Captain America Steve Rogers is now Captain Rogers

                  Did you know Dr Strange was going to appear in Wandavision:

                  • “Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Doctor Strange,’” says Feige. “But it would have taken away from Wanda, which is what we didn’t want to do. We didn’t want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie — here’s the white guy, ‘Let me show you how power works.’”
        • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.2

          The phase 4 is when the M She U comes into its own.

          Wandavision removed Dr Strange because they didn't want a man overshadowing Wanda

          Look at the treatment of Loki in his own tv series

          Apparantly the big shock now is when someone reveals their helmet or face covering to reveal a women, its heavy handed, not subtle and not interesting

          My main point is that if Iron Man, Thor, Captain America (not sure why Hulk doesn't work in his own movie) had started off as woke then we wouldn't be talking about woke marvel because it wouldn't be the behemoth it is now

          If Bond had started off as whatever he is now he wouldn't have gone nearly 60 years

          Predator wouldn't have been around nearly 30 years

          Dr Who

          All the rest of the franchises.

          They wouldn't be as popular as they are now.

          People don't respond to woke in moves and by that I mean popular movies, movies that people like going to

          You can certainly have woke movies but woke and popular never get off the ground so for these people to get their message across they insert it into other franchises

          You want a woke, popular franchise then by all means start one up, just stop ruining already popular franchises

          Show some creativity is all I'm saying

          • weka 11.1.1.2.1

            If Bond had started off as whatever he is now he wouldn't have gone nearly 60 years

            Bond in the books is a cruel, misogynistic killer. Sure they could have made a film like that, but guess what, women don't want to watch that anymore. Craig was a move in a better direction in terms of the original Bond without being basically a retrograde 1950s dude.

            There are all sorts of problems with No Time To Die, but if it had been woke, the Nomi character would have been an actual character rather than a lame attempt to address the whole only white dudes are 007 thing. I suspect at least some of the problems with the film are due to the pandemic. It did have a pasted together feel to it.

            • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.2.1.1

              It was going to be even more woke however, due to test screenings, they did a lot of reshoots and changed the scripts.

              Phoebe Waller-Bridges (also provided the voice of the robots rights robot in Solo) ideas were toned down.

              So yes, in effect, it was pasted together. Search the first trailer then the last trailer and you'll see exactly what I mean.

              • McFlock

                Bond is moving with the times. There's a lot of shit they did in the 1960s that would nuke a movie at the box office today. Making him slightly less of a complete sociopath doesn't a "woke" make.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I disagree.

                  The books are still popular so they still resonate with people.

                  I recently received a box set of the James Bond movies and books (not including the Craig era) which I'm working my through and I'd very much like to see more faithful adaptations

                  I do admit to liking Roger Moore though…

                  • McFlock

                    We all have our flaws.

                    Moore might be the weakest Bond for me – not much of an edge of violence. Connery and Craig tended to fight, or just move, with aggression.

                    I quite like the Craig movies. Was surprised they did the rope trick in casino royale – that was in the book. Didn't remember the joke about scratchning his nuts though.

                    Yes, there's an audience for the same of stuff, time and time again. But that audience dies out. The Bond franchise has spent at least 35 years tweaking itself as the world changes – it's one of the reasons I like it.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Tweak yes but killing Bond, thats a step too far for me and the way he just gave up at the end

                      No not my Bond

      • Puckish Rogue 11.1.2

        Basically how bad the Disney movies and how turned off the fans were bled over into the Solo movie (first Star Wars movie to bomb) and as for wokeness lets not forget that droid going on about robot rights or Landos 'gender fluidity'

        The failure of this movie led to more movies being cancelled (probably a good thing)

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Star_Wars_films#Unproduced_films

        The Matrix is easy to deal with. There is only one Matrix movie, the first one. The rest are fan fiction.

        'Damned if I see what your problem is with ghostbusters. I lived through both the north korea/invisible car Bond flick and the Clooney batman, ffs.'

        Firstly it was really bad. Every male actor without exception was either dumb, cowardly, cruel or a combination of all three.

        Compare Annie Potts to Chris Hemsworth to see what I mean

        Its biggest sin is that it wasn't funny. The actors are talented, the director is talented but this wasn't any good.

        But my personal issue with it is headlines like this:

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/ghostbusters-the-bros-who-hate-it-and-the-art-of-modern-misogyny/2016/07/14/1dfba61a-49bd-11e6-bdb9-701687974517_story.html

        https://ew.com/article/2016/06/09/melissa-mccarthy-mocks-male-ghostbusters-haters/

        That to criticize the movie is to criticize women, that you can't possibly dislike the movie, the movie can't possibly be bad

        Oh no its sexist men, men who hate and fear women that derailed the film.

        The movie sucked, it was no good, not funny, it was a reboot that no one asked for or wanted.

        Also yes invisible car bond and bat nipples were really bad. They both deserved to go on hiatus. No argument there.

        • McFlock 11.1.2.1

          Who judges a movie by the headlines it draws?

          Anyway, the holiday schedule being what it is I went out and watched the latest matrix. You'd hate it, lots of existential confusion followed by infinitely mounting odds that were eventually overcome by (spoilers) the power of love managing to break the established laws of the universe.

          Hang on, that was the first one…

          • Puckish Rogue 11.1.2.1.1

            What I don't get is that Hollywood and especially Disney love money yet they've lost out on so much money you'd think it has to be deliberate

            Think about it, you buy Lucasfilm for 4 billion but you run the franchise so badly you only get four profitable films out of it and Solo tanks so badly they won't make any more movies for years

            You spend another 4 billion on Marvel studios and proceed to make people bored of superhero movies (yay lets put out The Marvels, thats what everyone wants)

            Hollywood needs to stop listening to the people listening to twitter and go back to cocaine and wanton excess and make some good entertaining movies

            • McFlock 11.1.2.1.1.1

              Well, Disney is in it for the long haul. They buy an IP not for the movies alone, but the streaming of past titles, spinoff series (that can experiment with different ideas while also marketing the rest of the library), and merch licensing.

              Solo only tanked on the opportunity cost break-even projections. Ony in the world of those funny finances is a hundred million more income than the 300mil budget "tanking". But the people who predicted that opportunity cost probably predicted it as badly as they predicted how many people would go see Solo, lol.

              But hey, maybe you know better.

              • Puckish Rogue

                It tanked so badly it stopped movies being made and there are no plans for any in the near future.

                I damn well know that if I had Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in the same movie I'd have made sure they had a scene together, preferably in the Falcon

                I'd also put a kibosh on actors shitting on fans

                And no more 'subverting expectations' unless it's making a good movie

                • McFlock

                  If I tanked that badly, I'd have a hundred million dollars more than I started with lol

                  But the cusp of it seems to be that you don't want surprises and you want lazy callbacks to yesteryear.

                  I quite like script surprises. Genuine ones, not heavily foreshadowed or part of the well-trodden story arc the movie is plodding along with. Unexpected takes. Asking ethical or moral questions, exploring them, and then not answering them.

                  And then blowing shit up.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    No not true.

                    One of my favourite movies of all time is Predator.

                    Starts off as a typical bombastic over the top 80s action movie, changes tack to slasher horror and ends as a lone survivor fight to the death movie.

                    I do like surprises but I'd rather those surprises came in new franchises or if they must do it with existing properties then do it well, put some thought into it

                    Todays script writers and directors are simply not as good, or not allowed to be as good, as they were in previous decades

                    The best picture winner at the Oscars are a bit of a joke but start at the 2020s and work your way back through the decades and then tell me if we're not in one helluva slump

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award_for_Best_Picture#2020s

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, I'm not seeing what makes you think "slump".

                      BTW, predator is just a teen slasher with guns. Arnie is the one who takes a prisoner in the camp, and survives with that virtue intact.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I'll explain it to you then.

                      Look at all the current movies of today, go back a decade or two and compare the movies nominated

                      IE compare the 2020, 2019, 2018 offerings to 2005, 2006 and 2007 and see which eras movies were better (or indeed more popular)

                      No no you're selling Predator short.

                      Its a bombastic action movie upto the terrorist camp then it morphs into a slasher horror then, after the scene with Billy buying time on the bridge, it turns into a survivalist movie where Arnie turns the tables on the Predator

                      The Predator had the advantage of superior technology but once that technology was negated Arnie had the advantage with his greater knowledge of low-tech traps and in the end Arnies experience saw him take out the physically superior but inexperienced and prideful Predator (at least thats how I saw it)

                    • McFlock

                      The virgin trope character uses her wits and guile to kill jason or whomever, too.

                      As for the oscar movies, meh. Seem to be more movies in the offing in later years, but other than that I still don't get what you're actually pointing out. I mean, if you're saying it's a woke thing, in the heat of the night and driving miss daisy were pretty woke for their time, too.

                    • Puckish Rogue []

                      There's always a place for woke in movies.

                      Blockbuster tentpole movies isn't one of them

                    • McFlock

                      Well, the Xmen franchise started pretty woke, so I'm not sure how much that holds up.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      The Xmen movies would be pretty hard not to make woke considering the subject matter

                      They did manage to make more than a few of them suck though

                    • McFlock

                      Still, pretty good track record for a woke blockbuster movie franchise.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      It does all right, its no Bond, Marvel, Star Wars franchise and currently the Xmen movies themselves are in a bit of slump

                      Xmen apocalypse was a really bad movie and the less said about Dark Phoenix the better

                      Especially given Hugh Jackmans not playing Wolverine anymore.

                      Of course now that Disney own the rights to the Xmen we can only imagine the movies will get back on track angel

                    • McFlock

                      New batman might be interesting. Justice League went off the rails with the "find the macguffin and keep it away from the cgi bad guy" trope, amongst other things.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      'New batman might be interesting. Justice League went off the rails with the "find the macguffin and keep it away from the cgi bad guy" trope, amongst other things'

                      I quite liked the Snyder cut, maybe a bit too long but by all accounts much more improved on what Warners put out

                      I'll reserve judgement on Robert Pattinson but he is a good actor so you never know

  11. greywarshark 12

    Has the blog looked at this? If so could someone tell me where as I should know something about it instead of at present, I've a great big voic.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/458770/can-the-transport-sector-keep-up-with-nz-s-space-race-plans

    …with officials warning it will not keep up with ambitious plans to grow the aerospace sector unless it gets extra resourcing.

    What? How does ambitious ideas for space work in with our needs to deal with climate change control, and the fact that nearly all our business activity sends profit into the pockets of overseas investors, and what we actually make is commodity stuff that the smartarse laboratory rats are planning to create artificially, so eating into our national income! This place is going quietly mad, except for outbreaks of noisy mad.

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