Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Confession Time

Folks, I didn't think I would be able to contain myself for much longer. So now, I must make a confession before some other keen blogger reports the truth.

I confess that I have, at various times, given advice to Labour Party ministers on policy and strategic issues. I have corresponded by email with those Ministers. I have made asides that could be construed as suggesting that I would personally benefit from the implementation of that advice.

I admit, further, that I am staunchly right-wing, and that some Ministers have taken my advice into account and implemented those policies.

Before the scandal erupts, I should state categorically that some of the advice I provided was of a controversial nature to certain fringe political groupings. In the main, however, the advice that I gave was mainstream and broadly accepted by mainstream New Zealanders. Given my relationship with other parts of the Labour Party--one of intense acrimony--the fact that some Ministers have considered my advice is a sign of an obvious and fundamental rift within the Labour Party.

I may well be accused of having the Labour Party in my back pocket. The Labour Party may try to play down this outrageous scandal, but my conscience does not allow me to suppress it any further.

Political Bloodsport

Every party has its cringe-inducing types. Some party lists are more cringe-inducing than others. The question is not whether the party has a potential embarrassment in their ranks, but the precise numbers of time-bombs that are just waiting to go off.

Take Brian Connell. National Party MP who succeeded Jenny Shipley in Rakaia, and then proceeded to announce in the middle of an election campaign, in 2002, that he intended to lead the National Party. Bold statement. Stupid statement. Cringeful statement.

There is a fine line between political naivety—the off-the-cuff comment made before one has learned the rigours of office and dangers of making stupid statements—and being stupid. It’s a fair call that Brian Connell ranks as downright stupid. Michelle Boag did the National Party a minor disservice when she didn’t throw her weight behind her namesake, Stu, to take over Jenny Shipley’s seat. To be fair to Michelle, she did more than redeem herself by bringing in Don Brash, John Key, Judith Collins, and Allan Peachey into the fold. Even with Brian Connell there, it’s hard to cringe at the Nats performance when they’ve got a stellar cast of superstars.

Act’s Muriel Newman is a nice enough lady. But not superbly sharp. Politically immensely stupid. A few years back, I was sitting in an Act MPs office, when Muriel wandered in, wanting some ideas on what to talk about during a slot she had in Parliament to discuss tariff reforms. I told her to go through the Tariff Schedule, and observe that while the Government imposed no tariff on the importation of nuclear reactors—which had a zero duty in the schedule—they were proposing to maintain a tariff on the importation of shoes. Muriel got quite excited at this, and went off to look at the schedule. Unfortunately, when it came to speaking in the House, she got slightly confused, and didn’t mention the shoes. Instead she proposed raising the tariff on nuclear reactors.

New Zealand First. Where do we start? Well, Winston holds his own. Ron Mark is a very solid performer. Brian Donnelly always knows his brief. And the list ends there. Simon Upton rated Doug Woollerton highly when the latter was his long-time electorate chairman in Raglan, but I’ve always found his slow, hokeyesque drawl to be deeply annoying. Useful in a party chairman to keep things in order by boring the elderly members off to sleep, rather than engage in a controversial remit. Peter Brown is a well-meaning guy, but has the intellectual grunt of a dead camel. Taking a stab at Dail Jones, he’s simply a git. The others I don’t know, but any party that nominates Jenny Bloxham among its ranks, at any stage, ever, has suffered enough cringe-inducing behaviour to last a lifetime. One aspect that Winston has managed well, however, to control the potential embarrassment, is to get them all to shut up. It works well.

I’m politically coloured with respect to the Greens. They all make me sick. Whether it’s Sue Kedgeley’s downright hypocrisy, Rod Donald’s slipperiness, or Keith Locke’s ideologically-driven fruitiness, I can’t honestly say that there is a single MP in their line-up who I could dine with. Ian Ewen-Street was a nice guy, but he got disillusioned with the Greens’ socialist agenda. Jeanette Fitzsimons is far too stupid to ever run a political party. Rod Donald knows this, which is why he runs it. And that is very disturbing, if the Greens and Labour are ever in a position to form a Government. Labour don’t trust Donald, and rightfully so. They trust Jeanette, because she’s too naïve to understand what Government’s doing. But with Rod behind her, Labour—and the country—are in deep trouble.

Jim Anderton’s platitudes used to make me irate. Now it’s his downright tedium that is so frustrating. He makes me cringe.

And now for the Labour Party. Phil Goff, Damien O’Connor, and John Tamihere are the only ones I’d have over to dinner. Paul Swain, Mark Peck and on a good day, Michael Cullen, I’d stop in the street to chat to them. On a bad day I’d push Paul Swain over, inject booze into Mark Peck, and punch out Dr Cullen. I would harangue them all for selling their souls for being part of such a regrettable bunch of drop-kicks that includes such lecherous and/or pathetic political specimens as Steve Maharey, Parekura Horomia, Marion Hobbes, Judith Tizard, Dover Samuels, Jill Pettis, Darren Hughes, Mahara Okeroa, Ann Hartley, Helen Duncan, Dave Hereroa, Nanaia Mahuta, and Dianne Yates. I mean, really. What a sad, sorry bunch of losers they are.

And among that Hall of Inane, we must add Labour’s candidate for Pakuranga. Michael Wood is a classic example of the mediocrity that infects Labour today. You can even see his blog, at , to get a clear feel for the absolute banality that plagues the Labour Party list. They are not the great intellectuals, the keen debaters, the achievers of Modern New Zealand. No, dear readers. They are union hacks, with no concept of economic reality. This is the best that Labour can bring out, and it is a savage indictment on the party of superstars that David Lange once led.

On the bright side, Michael brings entertainment to this election, for the simple reason that he is just so weak. He is easy pickings. On-line, his defence and explanations for Government inaction come across as a minor party apparatchik using the standard propaganda that he’s too thick to understand.

Oh, how I would love to go to a Pakuranga electorate meeting and launch into him. You know. Make him cry. Teach him an important lesson about the real world: that if he’s ever going to contemplate a serious political career, then he needs to harden up, get smart, and think real.

Michael, of course, is not alone. On Labour’s list this year, only one new candidate stands out, and that is Louisa Wall. Even then, her only distinction is that she’s photogenic, and in that sense, at least raises one of Labour’s exceptionally low standards just ever-so-slightly.

So I encourage you to go to your meet-the-candidate meetings. Ask tricky questions of Labour’s candidates. Get them to explain why Labour MPs lie so much about what National is doing; why Labour offered such a shitty budget, and is now bribing non-taxpayers with taxpayers money.

Yes, folks. Watch the fuckers squirm. And don’t let them off the hook. Quiz them about Maori excesses, about the wananga, about the sad and sorry state of tertiary and secondary education, about what has happened to the $16 billion of extra tax revenue that the Government has collected this year over 1999, and just when Labour is going to admit that it’s hard-working taxpayers, and people with initiative and creativity who make a strong economy, and not Michael Cullen.

Grill them. Take them apart on every issue. That is the beauty of democracy. And Labour will learn that it can’t simply pass off such a pedestrian bunch of losers onto the electorate again.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Absence Explained

Today I have returned from holiday, only to find that many of my readers are disgruntled that I have not kept my blog going. Why, they all ask, have I not updated my blog?

Because, you fuckers, I WAS ON FUCKING HOLIDAY! You don’t like that? THEN EAT SHIT!

I don’t take holidays often. I find that it’s prudent to avoid holidays. Whenever I do take a break, I invariably end up in some kind of trouble. Like in a jail cell, or with work in crisis, or suddenly discovering that I have become a key investor in a racehorse/ski chalet/goat farm/seedy bar. Yes folks. All different and unique stories that have one key characteristic in common: I was on holiday, and drunk at the time.

My first day away from the office, I got a call from my PA at ten am, asking me the whereabouts of a certain document. “It’s on my fucking computer,” I answer.


“No fucking idea. Google desktop it.”

Two more calls later over the next hour, and I instructed her that for all further requests for information, she was to ask my director. An hour later, I had my director calling me, asking for the same stuff, plus a few other things my PA hadn't yet managed to ask me.

“Don’t know. Look on my fucking computer,” I answer.

“Where?” he asks.

“Look for it. It’s there. Unless it’s not there, in which case I haven’t written it yet, which I’m not going to do before I return from my holiday anyway, so if you can’t fucking find it, then there’s nothing to be done about it.”

My director sighs his ‘I’m barely tolerating you’ sigh.

“Oh, and by the way,” I say.


“There is one document that I haven’t yet completed.”

“Oh?” My director asks.

“Yes,” I say. “It’s my request for annual leave. Which means that given that I haven’t actually applied for annual leave, then technically I’m not on annual leave right now. Which would probably explain why I’ve been receiving so many phone calls from you fuckers over the past two hours. Since I only have about three genuinely useful and productive telephone conversations each work day, you’ve already used up your limit. So I’m going to call it a day today, and not count today as annual leave. And any further calls I get between now and when I return from annual leave, I’m going to deduct from the annual leave that I had originally intended to claim.”

Suffice to say, I continued to receive phone calls over the next five days, and I have arrived back at my desk with no more paperwork on it than when I left, and have no intention of filing a retrospective request for annual leave. After all, since I had not managed to get drunk enough to make any ridiculous personal investment decisions while on holiday, I concluded that I hadn’t actually been on holiday at all.

It so happened that while I was away, the refit of the top floor of our building was completed. Due to some cunning bureaucratic sleight of hand, my team managed to secure part of the top floor. I don’t recall precisely how this happened, but it was something along the lines of when drunk at after-work drinks, I diplomatically suggested to my chairman: “I’m moving to the top fucking floor.”

The refit of the top floor took a couple of months to complete. The HR manager, in whose good books I have yet to make an appearance, spent some time deciding the furniture, décor and office layout. Painstakingly, she spent some weeks consulting broadly about the appropriate seating plan, paying keen regard to the intricate principles of feng shui and office politics.

I arrived this morning to see the new structure. This time, I spoke to my director who had so generously given me a week’s extra leave. I said to him: “Nice office lay-out. I don’t care where I sit, as long as it’s in the corner next to a window. Figure there’s no point in me being on the top floor if I’m not in the corner, next to the window.”

My director began to launch into a pre-prepared speech about the effort that the HR manager had put into the seating arrangements, and made a reference to feng shui.

“I’m sorry,” I say to him. “You must have mistaken me for a Chinaman. If I’m not wrong, there isn’t a single person on this fucking floor who is Chinese. Feng shui doesn’t matter to fucking anyone. I’m going to a meeting, and then I’m going to lunch.”

So off I trodded to my supposed client meeting. On my way, I get a call from the HR manager.

“Your director says you want to change the seating plan,” she says.

“No,” I reply. “I just said I didn’t care where I sit, as long as it’s in the corner, by the window.”

HR Manager then tries to launch into a detailed explanation of her rationale for seating various people in various places. I interrupt: “I’m sorry. That’s not my job. That’s your job to sort that shit out. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable, am I?”

“Why couldn’t you have told me last week?” she asks, exasperated.

“Because I was on fucking holiday last week!” I say.

“You didn’t file for it!” she says.

“That’s not the fucking point,” I say, “and nor is it the point that I don’t intend to file for it. What is the point, I think, is that I’m giving you plenty of options here. Four options, in fact. There are four corners.”

“But you can’t have one! People have already moved to their new offices!”

“Then move them again before they get fucking attached to them,” I suggest helpfully.

HR Manager begins jabbering about procedures and protocols. Again, I interrupt her: “Look. You are the HR Manager. You are empowered to make these important decisions that affect the smooth performance of the workplace environment. Since I actually make money for this firm, and since you are just a fucking overhead, I think you should make an important decision.”

And with that, I rang off, turned off my cellphone, went into a meeting, then went to lunch, and returned to my new corner office on the top floor. Four other people had been moved to accommodate me.

But there were some stressful moments there, I tell you. So stressful, dear reader, that I think I need a holiday.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Labour Isn't Listening!

Amusing to see that the Labour Party's newest up-and-coming star, Pakuranga candidate Michael Wood, has disabled the comments feature on his blog. Apparently, he's not prepared to engage in debate anymore.

Poor Michael. And he was doing so well!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Miss Coromandel: The Second Part

I must admit that I am somewhat perplexed at the extra traffic that has been coming to my blog since I posted the first part of my Miss Coromandel story. Comments have emerged from a range of sources: David Farrar suggested I was trying to compete with Cathy Odgers on the outrageous dating front; Cathy contends that she’s much more polite than I; and some randomly pompous pinko commies that have no lives outside of their blogs have, in all of their envy, claimed that the kind of world that I inhabit does not exist.

I don’t think it’s too extreme to purport that whether I actually exist is akin to whether God exists. It is an act of faith to believe in God; if you have seen evidence of God’s work, then you are more likely to believe in Him. By the same token, those who know and have seen people like me have faith that I exist. I guess the fundamental point in all of this—and it’s a subtle theological point—is that like God, I don’t fucking care whether you believe I exist. If you don’t have faith, then you’re not in the elite circle, and you’re not sharing the joys and privileges of being in that circle. The difference between my circle, and God’s circle, is that mine is full of hot, easy chicks who will do anything to associate with a guy as cool as me.

It begs the question, really. If the pinko commie hordes who have never experienced being cool don’t believe that coolness exists, why do they obsess with the question?

But this isn’t story isn’t about them. It’s about me and Miss Coromandel.

In the last episode, I reported that Miss Coromandel left my apartment forty dollars wealthier, without having performed any sexual favours of the evening. The rest of that morning passed relatively uneventfully, except for the arrival of a very hot booty-call, whose name I do not remember, although she did have a talent for performing a certain bodily function with considerable expertise, which is a story on its own, and not directly related to Miss Coromandel.

On the Tuesday of that week, I got a call at the office from Miss Coromandel. She asked me if I’d like to see her again that week. I responded that regretfully, I was out of town on business for the rest of the week. She asked about Friday night.

“Friday I’m going to visit my sister,” I answered.

I don’t have a sister. I never have. If I did have one, I don’t think I’d be on sufficiently good terms with her to make social calls. Even if I did make social calls, I certainly wouldn’t be blowing away my whole fucking Friday night by going to see the stupid bitch when I could be shagging hot chicks. The real motive was that I had a hot date planned that Friday.

“Oh, that’s nice,” she said. “Why are you going to see her?”

“Because, ummm, she’s just had a baby boy, and there’s a family gathering. His name’s Adam.” This was particularly creative, I thought. In the space of less than a minute, I had created both Man and Woman. It was no wonder that chicks think I’m a fucking God, and that the ones who don’t are as ugly as literal sin. But I thought I’d roll with it: “And since Sunday is the Seventh Day, that’s my day of rest.”

Miss Coromandel rang off after a few more moments of prattle, and I resumed my work.

Friday arrived quickly. Hot Date turns up at my place for pre-dinner drinks. She drinks gin. I have a rather fullish bottle of Bombay Sapphire remaining from the previous week’s party, which through some holy intervention was not consumed by either of the comatose drunks before they passed out.

Within thirty minutes of some very stiff drinks, Hot Date and I are well on our way to getting boozed. Conversation isn’t entirely stimulating, but that’s not even a secondary consideration, given how hot she is. As the Bombay begins to repudiate its own bottle, as it were, she’s becoming an even more exquisite species. She’s into me, thinks I’m amusing, and before long, pre-dinner drinks has turned into pre-dinner sex.

It is my opinion that pre-dinner sex has many benefits. It is invariably better than end-of-night sex, because there is always the risk that at the end of the night, one of the parties will be so exhausted through a combination of booze and simply staying awake, that staying awake is no longer possible. Pre-dinner, neither of the parties have been sapped of their day-time energy. Dinner is much more relaxing. No more point in being nervous, because you’ve already fucked the chick opposite you. And if you need a break between sessions, then dinner is the perfect interlude. I’m not the nervous type anyway, but strongly recommend the practice. Hot sex with Hot Date is the ultimate icebreaker.

So off we tread to dinner, which is cheaper on account of not having to fork out for expensive shite that would in non-post-shagging circumstances have been intended merely to impress Hot Date. And what do you think a guy does, once he’s already fucked Hot Date and taken her to dinner?

Yes indeed. He takes her to a karaoke bar.

The usual bar line-up greets me at the door, with the barman giving that knowing grin that this is yet another outstandingly tidy specimen of the female species accompanying me inside, and I order my regular and a gin. A table is cleared for me, and I sit down and start suggesting songs for Hot Date.

Hot Date is not absolutely keen to sing solo, which is fine, as singing, and music for that matter, defeats the entire purpose of karaoke. I’m a wee way through my third drink by the time I am aware that somebody is hovering behind me.

“That’s not your fucking sister,” bleats the somebody.

I turn and recognize the somebody. I figure at this point that I have got myself entangled in what is commonly known as an “awkward situation”. Let it be said, not being a person famed for his tact and empathy, awkward situations tend to come my way often. I am well used to them. I have developed management strategies to deal with them. Albeit without tact and empathy.

“Miss Coromandel,” I say, standing as a gentleman should when a hot chick has entered his presence. “I would like you to meet my sister. Sister, this is Miss Coromandel.”

“You’re such a fucking bastard,” Miss Coromandel refrains. “You told me you were going to see your sister with her new baby.”

“And my sister was tired of dealing with all the family and new baby, so I said I’d take her out to sing a song. Is that so wrong?”

The verbal barrage from Miss Coromandel was explicit. Too explicit to place on such a respectable and honourable blog as this. Suffice to say that I was morally appalled that a girl so young would have such a vocabulary. Suffice also to say that I did not expect a young woman who allegedly represented all that was clean and beautiful about the great province of the Coromandel would direct such verbal filth in my direction.

My rescue from this awkward situation came from unexpected quarters. It was Hot Date herself who stood, and slapped Miss Coromandel squarely in the face. Hard. It was extremely erotic. I did my best to stifle a very loud laugh, but did not succeed. Then Hot Date spoke:

“Fuck off, you nasty-mouthed little slut. He’s here with me. Get your shit together, and piss off.”

And so Miss Coromandel turned, with a tear forming in her eye, humiliated, with no response and no more fetid language. Which was a great relief, since my ears hurt when I hear a hot chick swear.

I have never been more proud of womankind for standing up for what she believes in, as I was right then, with Hot Date. If I wasn’t such a philandering bastard, and didn’t get so bored with the one woman so easily, and could afford another divorce in as many years, then I would have married her. Instead I suggested we bail from karaoke and go back to my place and fuck. She agreed to that plan, with the slight amendment that we sing a song first.

The week proceeded uneventfully, until Tuesday. I had been out of town for work—genuinely, this time—and got back to my office and checked my voice messages. Interspersed with calls from clients and associates were three hysterical communications from a voice I now knew far too well. The gist of the messages was: “You’re a bastard, and you’re a fucking bastard, and I fucking hate you. And you're still a bastard.”

This was a new experience for me. I have never had a beauty queen leave obscene messages on my office phone. It was amusing, I admit, but it was the kind of novelty that soon wears off.

Tuesday night, in my apartment, I had retired to the cold chastity of my celibate chamber, and gone to sleep. At 2am, my intercom sounds. I go and see on the video screen that Miss Coromandel was standing downstairs, outside. She did not have the expression on her face of a chick who is sober.

She buzzed the intercom a few more times. I watched for a bit longer, willing on more tantrums and tirades. In time, they came. “I know you’re fucking up there, you fucking bastard. I fucking hate you!”

And then Miss Coromandel turned away. I went back to bed.

The next morning, Miss Coromandel calls me again at work. This time I’m at my desk, and can answer. I pick up the phone: “Yes.”

“You’re a fucking bastard, and I fucking hate you.”

“Why?” I ask.

“Because you fucking lied to me about going to see your fucking sister, when you were fucking that chick.”

“Yeah, so I lied. So what?”

“You’re a fucking liar,” Miss Coromandel explained.

“Yes, probably,” I say coolly. “And are you calling me from your work now?”

“Yes,” she says.

“Fair enough. Look, I understand that for some reason you’re angry with me. That’s fine. But it’s probably not a good idea to call me and scream down the phone at me while I’m at work. Especially if you’re doing it from your work. I don’t imagine it’s very helpful for the people who are working around you, for them to be able to do their work, is it?”

“I don’t fucking care!” Miss Coromandel answers.

“Right,” I say. “Do not call me at work. Ever. Is that clear?”

“Fine,” Miss Coromandel says. “I won’t, then.”

“Good. So thanks for calling. Bye.”

And would you believe, that to her outstanding credit, which I didn’t think she had, Miss Coromandel never called me back. This stunned me. An irate, scorned, vengeful young woman merely needed to be told never to call back again, and she did precisely that.

The epilogue to this story is brief. I did see her again in town a couple of weeks later. She started screaming at me, as did a group of friends she was with. In the middle of a pub. It was mildly irritating, but quite entertaining. Like the feeling you get when you tease a neighbour’s big dog, except the dog is stuck on the other side of the fence, and all it can do is bark. When they collectively paused for breath, I said loudly:

“Miss Coromandel, why did you bring your ugly friends out tonight? There’s not one of them I’d like to fuck, and that’s saying a lot, because I’m pretty drunk already.” And then I pulled out a pen from my pocket, turned over an oversized beer coaster, and drew on the back, and held it up.

“What the fuck is that?” one of them asked.

I turned it around and inspected my quick handiwork, to make sure it was legible. I had drawn a big circle. Satisfied, I said: “Can’t you fucking read the number zero, you stupid bint? Yes, that’s right. THE EAST GERMAN JUDGE GIVES YOU ALL A FUCKING ZERO!”

And then they all shut up and disappeared.

The final time I saw Miss Coromandel, a couple of months later, she was much more polite and proper. She had calmed down. She was in preparations for the Miss New Zealand title. She insisted that I buy her a drink, and flirted with me as she told me what a bastard I was. I agreed, and very civilly wished her well for her next big pageant.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Miss Coromandel Saga

Yes, Tucker Max did it first. No need to tell me that. But his Miss Vermont story has encouraged me to document my perspectives on the virtues and general mental stability, or otherwise, of chicks who are successful at beauty pageants. My conclusion, on the basis of my experience and Tucker’s, is that they are invariably fucked in the head.

Now, I do not object to women who are psychologically disturbed. My view is that that is a chick’s natural state of being. The purpose of a beauty pageant is to show a woman in all her feminine glory: hot, semi-naked, virtuous, and willing to please a man by showing that she is concerned for the future of mankind. It shouldn’t be showing off a woman’s essential foibles.

I have a strongly biblical heritage. That heritage serves me well. I am a moral conservative, in all things except my own behaviour. I will tell gays that they will fry at the end of Satan’s fork for an eternity if they continue to invite God’s wrath by willfully engaging in sin and decrepitude. I have a religious objection to women who go to work and get fat on big lunches, when they could be doing much more for humanity simply by keeping themselves, and their houses, much tidier. I object to feminism, as a movement, on purely ethical grounds.

Women’s liberation, as far as I’m concerned, merely means women are free to stay hot. And beauty pageants are the apex of liberation. If more young girls were put through the rigours of beauty pageantry, then I would receive far fewer complaints from feminazis who view my thoughts as misogynistic and sexist. The hot ones wouldn’t even understand that sentence, but sway and swoon at the length of my words, and assume that I must be highly educated, and ergo, earn ridiculous amounts of money, which I could use to buy them flash stuff which they could adorn my bedroom floor with, as long as they continue to please me.

The great advantage of a beauty pageant is that it encourages women to be really hot, while lowering their self-esteem. As far as the contestant is concerned, everybody who sees her anywhere is a potential judge. Any slight reference to chicks with buttery thighs, or the many benefits of rhinoplasty, sends her into fear and panic.

But apart from all these really positive aspects of beauty contests, there is a downside. And this is where I begin to discuss my brief relationship with Miss Coromandel.

Miss Coromandel was sitting with a group of friends when I walked into what was an otherwise seedy karaoke bar. It is difficult for me to describe just how seedy this bar is, other than to say that it is the coolest karaoke bar in Wellington, and for a while I was one of its most valuable patrons. That makes it very seedy. Without blowing my own trumpet, it is fair to say that when I arrive at that bar on a quiet night, the manager gives a sigh of relief that at last his five previous hours of unprofitable business will suddenly become much more lucrative. Hence, when I arrive, the manager, the karaoke DJ, and the two waitresses ignored what they were otherwise doing, and lined up to welcome me into the bar.

Miss Coromandel saw that I was getting a reasonable degree of attention, which, if I were a chick, would have made her envious and catty. Instead, on account of my non-chickness, I was instantly exciting to her. I grabbed my usual, which was waiting for me by the time I reached the bar and had greeted everybody, gave the DJ a nod, indicating that he was to put up my preferred first song, and pulled up a pew next to Miss Coromandel’s table.

“Do you own this bar?” she asked.

“I have a financial interest in the bourbon price not going up, but I don’t own it, no.”

She giggled. I didn’t think what I said was particularly funny, but she began to giggle at everything I said. No, it wasn’t a giggle. It was a titter. The kind that Japanese girls do whenever I say something ridiculous in Japanese: they don’t actually understand what I’m saying, but find it bizarre that I’m saying it.

Didn’t particularly mind this strange mannerism, since she was seriously hot. Brunette with outstanding tits—I don’t necessarily prefer brunettes over blondes, or even a non-fanta-pants kind of ginga—but hers was natural. And legs that seemed to go up to my armpits.

Eventually, once I’d placed a bottle of “champagne” on the table—Miss Coromandel had insisted on “Lindauer Champagne”, her friends disappeared. I pour a glass for her, and she says to me: “Did you spike my drink?”

I’m still sober enough to find this question shocking. “Errrm, no. Sorry.”

“Damn,” she says. “I wish you had.”

Okay, so I begin to realize she’s a little bit strange. She’s also nineteen, and the reigning Miss Coromandel, which she’s talked about at length, irrespective of the boredom that it’s inciting in me. I compensate for the boredom by ordering three drinks for myself at a time, and perving at her tits.

I sang loudly and obnoxiously, got considerably more boozed, and at 3am decided to bail.

Miss Coromandel followed me out.

“So, where to next?” I ask.

She pulled me against her. “I want you to take me home and fuck me.”

“That’s a good plan,” I say drily, not quite sure whether she’s meaning her place or mine. Before I know what’s happening, she’s ordered a taxi, and we’re quickly moving towards her place. During the discussion, which doesn’t involve many words, since she’s groping and telling me how much she wants me to fuck her, she reveals that she lives with her younger brother, and that her mother and her lesbian lover live in the house next door. She makes a comment about how lesbianism is a revolting curse and blight on her moral principles.

“So you don’t do chicks, then?”

“Of course I do!” she says. “We could have got Brandy to join us, if you wanted.”

Not remembering which of the other chicks was Brandy, I let the slight inconsistency in her argument slide. We finally arrive, I pay off the driver, I realize that I have built up considerable pressure in my bladder, and start pissing on the nearest tree. “Which is your place?” I ask, trying to keep track of the house numbers.

“This one. Come on up when you’ve finished,” she answers. And after my Austin Powers-like pissathon, I do exactly that. I go up and knock on the door.

No answer.

I knock a little harder. Still no answer.

I’m not an extreeeemely patient guy at the best of times. And this chick was gagging for it. So I rap on the window. A kid answers. He’s about thirteen. I say to him: “Where’s your sister?”

Kid disappears momentarily, and opens the door, and leads me through to her room. She’s asleep. I prod her and say: “Okay, well, I’ll be off then.”

I go back towards the door, and she says: “Come back in, silly!”

A bit puzzled, I get my gear off and climb into bed next to her. By this time, she’s fallen fast asleep again. And she’s snoring. Realising I’m not going to get my rocks off, I start dozing myself.

Two minutes later, there’s a knock on the bedroom door. I’m starting to think that the scenario is slightly unorthodox. A hideously ugly woman opens the door, and sticks her head inside. “Miss Coromandel, is everything alright?”

Miss Coromandel stirs. From her mouth comes the most impressive string of expletives I’ve heard in a long time. “Fuck off, you ugly dyke bitch!” was the abbreviated version.

Ugly dyke bitch closes the door, and all is quiet again, except for Miss Coromandel’s resumed snoring. Ah, I get it, I think. It’s a snoring competition. Two can play this game. So I go to sleep as well.

My sleep doesn’t last long, as I wake up noticing that Miss Coromandel is fondling me again. It’s not an unpleasant experience. It continues its natural course, and pretty soon I am rating Miss Coromandel quite highly.

I make a quiet departure the next morning, having acquired her phone number, and return to my place. I don’t expect to call it again, since one night stands are best left for the one night. It’s a good policy that has held me in good stead over all these years.

The week passes. I move apartments, and am holding a gathering for a few friends to let them know where I live, so that they can pop in and either contribute to the booze, or drink mine. About a hundred people turn up, which is a reasonable turn-out on a rugby night. I’m in top form, getting increasingly plastered.

My apartment at the time was on the twelfth floor. The intercom goes, and I pick it up, and who should I see on the screen, but Miss Coromandel with one of her chick friends. I look around the room, and observe that there are slightly more males to females already, so think it’s worthwhile to invite them up.

Miss Coromandel is looking slightly worse for wear, having imbibed vodka somewhere else earlier in the evening. But she’s still hot, even if I know now just how slutty she is. She heads straight for the fridge, pulls out a couple of beers, and then out onto the balcony.

Now, I’m not the kind of guy to strictly observe party etiquette. But I imagine that there are certain ways of behaving at beauty pageants, which Miss Coromandel apparently found somewhat constrictive. She did not follow the same rules at my apartment. After she’d thrown the second empty bottle of beer down onto the busy street, I decided it was time to have a little talk.

“Miss Coromandel,” I say. “It’s probably not a good idea to throw beer bottles down onto the road. It’s the middle of Wellington, and people are walking past, and you may well hit a car.”

“Oh, you’re so fucking boring,” she ripostes confidently.

“No, if you’re going to hiff something down, make it a champagne glass, or something. Less glass in that, and much less likely to injure somebody than a bottle. And if the neighbours complain, then I will get in trouble. Since this is my first night here, I’d rather not alienate them completely.”

At that point, Miss Coromandel grabs my shirt, and asks me if I will fuck her straight away. I say something about her snoring, take a swig of my drink, and then talk to the rest of the party.

An hour later, we’re all in the pub. I am extremely intoxicated, which is my habit when I’ve hosted a party. I’m slightly aware that there is a pair of guests who are comatose on my new lounge floor, but I’m not in a state to care where they chunder. They’re respectable drunks: the kind who clean up after themselves. Far more respectable than me.

I’m not particularly aggrieved that Miss Coromandel seems to be quite keen on another of my party guests, and make my way back home. As I do so, I make a booty-call, to a chick who promises to be over in a couple of hours. I get back into my apartment, prod the two comatose guests to check that they are still breathing, and then roll them over onto their backs, so that if they vomit they will choke themselves to death, and therefore limit the amount of spew on my carpet.

I retire to my bedroom, and nod off for a bit. Intercom sounds. I answer. It is Miss Coromandel, sans friend. I think of telling her to piss off straight away, as booty-call is due to arrive soon, and I’m not sober enough to work out the implications of Miss Coromandel meeting booty-call. I let her in anyway.

Miss Coromandel goes straight into the bedroom, and starts getting her gear off. It’s an amusing sight, but being the older guy, I am stern with her. “No, you can’t stay over, Miss Coromandel.”

“Why not?”

I try to think of a suitable lie to tell. The silliest possible fib pops in my head. I ignore that it’s one in the morning, and say to her: “My ex-wife’s lawyer is coming over soon for me to sign some documents, and if he sees you here, then that information will go straight back to my ex-wife.”

The preposterousness of both the logistics and the timing of the fiction escapes her attention. “Oh, okay. Can you give me money for a taxi?”

“Sure,” I say. I try to recall how much the last taxi fare to her place was. It was about ten bucks. “Will twenty do?”

“Oh, it’s probably forty,” she says.

Keen to get her out, I hand it over, give her a kiss on the cheek, and send her bailing. I think to myself that there was probably time to fuck her before booty-call arrives, since booty-call is ridiculously punctual, but there’s more relief in getting rid of her without her setting fire to something, than actually having sex with her again.

And that’s the end of part one, folks. Will there be a part two? Keep returning to this blog, and you will find out!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Moral Dilemmas

I don’t consider myself to be an alcoholic. Merely a guy who frequently drinks more booze than my body can safely handle. The difference may be merely semantic, but it is there, all the same.

Boozing does not just interfere with my private life. It constitutes my private life. There are some things that are greatly improved with alcohol. Other areas of activity should be treated more responsibly. Accordingly, I only sing karaoke when I’m drunk. I don’t drive a car, because it obstructs my drinking schedule.

On Thursday night, I went to have a couple of drinks with a cousin. I try not to get heavily intoxicated on week-nights: work, as Wilde famously stated, is the death of the drinking classes. So it really was going to be just a couple of drinks.

Cousin was delayed. Claimed he had to go and pick up a mate’s car. So I wandered into a bar in Takapuna and started eyeing up some of the ridiculously hot, and very young talent on offer. Three drinks later, and I was feeling really quite merry. And then cousin arrived, and caused me to slow my imbibement.

My cousin is fifteen years older than me. He makes a gazillion dollars a year, has a very shallow view of women, has a string of expensive waterfront properties, and does his fair share of boozing. He often asks me for advice. Thursday evening was discussing a business venture he wanted my thoughts on.

So the conversation started out civilly, with me chiding him about his recent break-up with his girlfriend of four years. Cousin has been getting stick from many family members about this, but my criticism was from a different angle. Which is why he prefers drinking with me, rather than the rest of the herd.

“So let me get this straight. You took current girlfriend to Europe on a five-week holiday with you, and sent her home ten days into the holiday so that she could pack up her stuff before you got back?”

“Yes, that’s right,” he answers.

“And you came back a week after her?”


Now, other family folk have given him grief because he didn’t end his five-week holiday at the same time as her. Some even called him callous. Not me. “You stupid fuck,” I tell him. “You’re a free man from that point. Why didn’t you spend the next three weeks shagging your way around the Mediterranean?”

“Because the family felt I should feel guilty about treating current girlfriend so coldly.”

I almost punched him at that point. What I realize—and what other members of the clan probably know but would never admit aloud—is that women are evil. They thrive on knowing that the naughty man is getting grief from all quarters for him being a bastard. What they don’t accept is that all men are bastards, and that when we treat women badly, we’re just being honest with ourselves. True to nature. And it’s why chicks dig us for our bastardly nature.

“And shafted girlfriend doesn’t know about new girlfriend, you think, Cousin?” I ask.

“No,” he says. “So if you see her at the pub, don’t mention it to her.”

I give that knowing smile, which is about to reveal another nugget about human nature, from the peculiarly worldly aspect that I have in my head. “Bet she fucking knows already, mate. Bet she knew you were fucking the other one six months ago, but stayed quiet because it was her way of manipulating you. All chicks are evil, and they do much better than us in not letting on what they actually know.”

“So you’re not pissed at me for dumping ex-girlfriend?”

“Fuck no,” I said. “You dumped her before she let herself go. You did yourself a favour—not having to put up with a chick who had lost the sole reason you hooked up with her in the first place—as well as herself, because now she can go and hook up with another guy, because she hasn’t lost it.”

Cousin is pleased with that insightful analysis. “Yeah, well, new girlfriend is fucking amazing, mate. We connect not just on a physical level, but emotionally as well. Old girlfriend was quite young—she’s only twenty-seven. New one is thirty-five.”

“Stop that bullshit already,” I admonish him. “You might be an outstanding salesman in your professional life, buddy, but I’m not buying into any part of that argument. Firstly, it’s fucking dangerous to be talking about an emotional connection. You’d only be saying that if the new one was manipulating you in ways that you don’t currently understand. There is no such thing as an emotional connection: just hot chicks who give you a hard-on. Start talking emotional shit, and next thing you wake up, realizing you’ve married some repulsive whore without a pre-nup. And I certainly don’t approve of you trading in a 27-year-old girlfriend for a 35-year-old one. That’s trashy, and a waste.”

“But she’s still hot, the 35-year-old.”

“But for how much longer?” I argue. “You know the answer to that. It’s bad policy. Bad, bad, bad. Sure, dump your girlfriend after a few years. But get a YOUNGER one!”

A few drinks later, with business discussions concluded, cousin dropped me back to my place.

And the whole way back, I started scheming in my head, a cunning means of scoring his ex-girlfriend. And when I finally decided not to, it was because even tho’ she’s still very hot, at the age of 27, she’s just too old for me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

David Lange's Legacy

As the curtain closes on the strange and wonderful life of David Lange, opinion writers are beginning to eulogise him in the popular press. The obituaries will flow when he finally shuffles off his mortal coil—as one of the most extraordinary characters of post World War II public life in New Zealand. Inevitably, many commentators will lionize him. Unlike Muldoon—who didn’t seem to mind making unkind comments about the recently departed—Lange has done his homework. Lange may not have mended all the broken fences that invariably occur in a political lifetime, but he has at least met with all his former adversaries, and given them pause for thought about the inimitable impression he made on New Zealand culture and society.

It is the nature of politics that all Prime Ministers are most powerful in their first term of office: Michael Joseph Savage held his place on the mantelpieces of blue-collar New Zealand, despite serving just five years as PM, while his much more effective and productive successor, Peter Fraser, toiled away for nine years, and is greatly forgotten as the true architect of the welfare state. The premiers with the most longevity spent their first terms reforming, and their future terms consolidating. And in this respect, Lange was no different.

David Lange swept to power in a generational seachange in 1984. Bringing with him such relatively bright-eyed, youthful ministers as Geoff Palmer, Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, Mike Moore, and David Caygill, his first cabinet was some fifteen years younger, on average, than Muldoon’s last. Fresh ideas brought fresh thinking to the great issues of state. In his first term as Prime Minister, Lange led the construction of some genuinely ground-breaking pieces of legislation. In 1984, New Zealand was out of pace with the Western world. Bob Hawke in Australia, Margaret Thatcher in Britain, and Ronald Reagan in the United States had already set their shoulders to the restructure of the modern state. Under Muldoon, New Zealand may not have gone backwards in absolute terms, but equally, had never started moving forwards.

And then along came Lange. Lange was a quintessential performer. As a criminal barrister, he relished jury trials in South Auckland. He had the intellectual authority to speak to a brief, and the personal charisma to sway the hearts of his audience. But Lange was also a pragmatist of the highest order. And he brought all of these features to his parliamentary career.

Despite his theatrical mould, like Muldoon, he was exceptionally uncomfortable in a confrontational environment. Muldoon held the bully tag, particularly at the end, yet colleagues will state that despite never hiding his prejudices, in a one-on-one situation, Muldoon could not manage personal acrimony. Lange also avoided conflict, except where it was public and entertaining.

By 1984, the need for change was so fundamental, this great avoider of conflict could distract the left wing of his party with foreign policy while the right redrew the macroeconomic map. And the speed of economic reform was such that the Party’s left was constantly trying to play catch-up: before they had even understood the consequence of economic reform, it had already taken place.

Hence such reforms as the Reserve Bank Act, the State Sector Act, the Public Finance Act, and the State Owned Enterprises Act. Respectively, the legislation changed the way monetary policy is governed, the role of the Public Service, the funding of the Public Service, and the commercialization of key parts of the Public Service. They were essential reforms that constituted the bulk of what the Fourth Labour Government did for New Zealand, and have remained intact, largely in their original form, ever since.

The reform agenda, of course, didn’t go far enough. The two natural consequences of the core state reforms were flattening of the tax system on the one hand, and liberalization of the labour market on the other. Neither activities were going to ever occur under a Labour Government: Lange recognized this too late. His eventual “cup of tea”, which thwarted his chance of becoming a great Prime Minister, had disastrous effects on the New Zealand economy. What Lange misunderstood then was that once you start the ball rolling, it takes enormous efforts to stop it again.

Yet despite Lange’s alienation of both sides of the argument—on the one hand for not stopping the juggernaut, and on the other for not allowing it to run its full and natural course—there is still enormous affection for the man. Compare Lange’s memory with Muldoon’s, and the public sentiment is very different: Lange departed willingly, and confessed he had made a mistake (albeit, admitting to the wrong mistake). Muldoon had to be literally declasped from power under the threat of political and bureaucratic coup, and spent another eight years in Parliament telling everybody that they were wrong to ever remove him. And in later years, Lange has admitted all of his human frailties. We forgive him his humility.

Lange shared much more of himself to the public than he needed to regain public affection. His battles with depression, alcoholism, and ill-health were all laid bare. He redeemed himself with the Left after hammering his own record as Prime Minister. In doing so, he was both truthful to himself, and finally found the one place on the political spectrum that had eluded him while in power.

More than anything, the sense one has of David Lange is a man who needed to be loved. A man who was more persuaded by the power of argument than he was with the logic of that argument. Until 1984, Lange was opposed to following the Left’s demand for a nuclear free New Zealand. To suggest that he cottoned onto the nuclear in order to distract the Left from Roger Douglas’ economic agenda is to misread Lange: Lange did not have that capacity for cunning. It had much more to do with Lange’s passion and excitement with the theatre of debate.

Hence the Oxford Union forum in 1985, in which Lange, at the very climax of his domestic and international popularity, enthralled both the student union, and Jerry Falwell, with the overwhelming power of his rhetoric. The question, the moral defensibility of nuclear weapons, was suitable as an academic debate. It was appropriate at that great zenith of oratory, at the Oxford Union. During his speech, Lange thundered:

“We in New Zealand, you know, used to be able to relax a bit, to be able to think that we would sit comfortably while the rest of the world seared, singed, withered. We were enraptured! And the fact is that we used to have the reputation of being some kind of an antipodean Noah's Ark, which would from within its quite isolated, preserve, spawn a whole new world of realistic human kind. Now, the fact is that we know that that is not achievable. We know that if the nuclear winter comes, we freeze, we join the rest of you. And that means that there is now a total denouement as far as any argument in favour of moral purpose goes. It is a strange, dubious and totally unaccepted moral purpose which holds the whole of the world to ransom.”

The elegance and strength of Lange’s words would have left Churchill himself speechless. He typified all that is great about true oratory: he spoke with a fire and ferocity, and entertained, and moved. Figure this:

“And one of the immoralities of nuclear weaponry, surely, is that it creates such a level of depersonalisation that the infinite capacity of destruction is unleashed by a few. Much more is there a moral posture in the conventional event where the humanity of a situation has to be constantly assessed, and where there is always a possibility of restraint, because individual people say, dammit, I'm not going to go ahead and do that, because it is absolutely immoral, contrary to the whole ethos of humankind, to do that. You don't get the checks and balances along the nuclear trail.”

Again, who other than W.S. could have carried that off?

David Lange did exactly that. And he did so as only a recent convert to the anti-nuclear debate. He rose to the occasion not because he vainly wanted to hold the world lantern for the deliberations, but because he had the loudest and most eloquent voice. In reality, he was probably as astonished as the rest of us that the leader of little old New Zealand was leading the charge from the front.

As much pride as we felt in David Lange, the debate itself was a non-issue. The enormous cut-back in nuclear weaponry occurred not because New Zealand had a loud moral voice, but because one of the runners in the race dropped dead. Lange resigned in August, 1989, some three months before the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

Lange was an accidental hero of almost-history. His great asset—his need to explore and vocalise life’s absurdities—made him New Zealand’s saviour as he tore apart the most preposterous aspects of Muldoonism. It was exactly that trait that Richard Prebble suggested made him such an outstanding Cabinet chairman: whenever issues got heated, he would defuse the situation by interjecting with a ridiculous story. As a consequence, Prebble attests, cabinet issues were resolved freely when Lange was in charge. Lange was the darling of the media, with most of the Press Gallery claiming that his weekly press conferences were the “best show in town”. No matter what had been on the Cabinet agenda, Lange would regale them with one-liners and stories. That was Lange’s element.

But it was also Lange’s downfall. Australia’s Bob Hawke—who served twice as long as his New Zealand counterpart—was infuriated by Lange’s need to veer off serious issues. Hawke found him frivolous. At the height of the ANZUS conflict, Lange was taking the piss at US Ambassador H. Monroe Browne’s penchant for racehorses. An apposite target for a social cartoonist, but not exactly the stuff of international diplomacy if a Prime Minister wants to be taken seriously. Great comedy, poor politics.

How does Lange feel about the contribution he made to New Zealand life? Time will tell, and his memoirs, to be published in the next fortnight, may reveal all. Hopefully, it will paint the true Lange: the both frivolous and extremely talented man, with probably the most eloquent ability to express himself in both oratory, and the written form, ever seen in New Zealand. And his compassion: he had within him the power to forgive even those who continued to loathe him.

Lange let bygones be bygones. After experiencing the rough ride of premiership, he forgave Muldoon his madness. Lange, after all, went on his own terms. And he did so because of his inordinate love of people: he thrived on human interaction, and had perhaps the most remarkable memory for other people, and fascination for them, of any person I’ve ever met.

I sat next to Lange several years ago, at a government inquiry at which he was a witness. Next to him was an official, and Lange asked him about a minor piece of gossip. The official feigned ignorance, and I piped up the answer. Lange turned to me and made some minor gag about the general worthiness of my profession, and then preceded to hold up the entire proceedings for ten minutes as he related how he had recently been swimming in the pool at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence in Fiji, and only after he had been paddling three or four laps did he realize that he was not alone in the pool.

Returning to the edge of the pool, he fumbled for his glasses, and discovered a bevy of young women in the swimming pool with him. He started talking. It turned out they were nuns, from a nearby convent, who often used the HC’s swimming pool for recreation. Lange retorted that only a former New Zealand Prime Minister would get caught in the swimming pool with a convent of not-particularly-modest nuns.

In that respect, Lange was quite wrong. Only David Lange would have been caught like that; and only David Lange would have recounted the absurdity of the story in front of an official government enquiry. By the time the serious business began, he had distracted, amused, and delighted his audience.

And that spark that he brought to us far beats any discontent that any of us had for any of the mistakes he made as Prime Minister.

What about the other twenty percent?

Interesting article on Stuff about eighty percent of Kiwi women being under pressure to "look pretty". On the literal face of it, this is a good omen. Sadly, not all good omens work.

I would like to state categorically that there are far too many overweight, ugly women in New Zealand who have taken it upon themselves to eschew their God-given duty to look hot. It's hard to know who to blame for this: Germaine Greer, the Welfare State, or simple laziness. Each of these factors has a contribution to make for some of the hideousness that infects whole tracts of New Zealand society, but it is by no means the whole answer.

Yes, Germaine Greer made some silly noises forty years ago about how women had the right to be free from traditional patriarchal society, and be considered as more than just male chattels. From my perspective, that seems like a wholly irrelevant point. Yes, we have more women at senior levels of business, politics and law. But what distinguishes Helen Clark, Theresa Gattung and Silvia Cartwright is not just that they rate highly on the fugly factor, but that they haven't fulfilled their prime biological duty of spawning children. After all, children get in the way of careers. Children maternalise women. They make use of a woman's native instinct to nurture--to cook, to clean, and to be a good wife.

As a formula for the rest of society, women exclusively at the elite--as much as the feminazi brigade may try to impose on us--does not work. To get to the top, Clark, Gattung, and Cartwright have had to suppress their irrational natures and start thinking like men. They have not always been overwhelmingly successful. Hence the Prime Minister breaking down at Waitangi when a cranky Maori lady was mean to her, Telecom's CEO getting her hair done every morning with no positive effect, and the GG being a not-too-well disguised pinko commie liberal.

And the formula doesn't work because women are required for the purposes of procreation. As much as the radical feminist group attempt to lock men out of the debate, men too are a fundamental part of this process. Yes, it's nice that we have a society in which some women can deny that they have breasts that evolved for a breast-feeding function, or claim that just because a woman has a clitoris, it is the man's role to stimulate it. Both silly arguments that aren't borne out by reality.

Left-wing feminists will point to such successes in society as proof that women can do it. Yes, women can do it. Again, that's not the point. They're merely distractions from the other half of the female population that are encouraged to raise children on their own, excluding men, and using males simply as sire-beasts. I'm not particularly concerned that males get objectified by this scenario: rather it's the hard-working, middle-class, predominantly employed men who pay for the consequences of children borne into non-existent families, and create the cycles of dependency that the Left needs to push its anti-human social agenda.

If men were still in charge of social debate, then there would be no discussion whatsoever of the right of a parent to give a child a whack for misbehaviour. Instead, the policy argument is being driven by obsessed theorists who have no concept of family practice. This little nugget of a non-issue is advanced liberal sociologists who miss the point: there is a remarkable difference between a father or mother in a traditional family unit who exerts reasonable physical discipline, and the psychotic acts that those from broken family units inflict on innocent children. Children do not die from biological fathers exerting reasonable discipline. They almost invariably face serious harm from a part-time male visitor, high on drugs, who decides for no reason to beat the shit out of the kid.

So why the debate on smacking at all? Because, yes, it is a social agenda, and the women driving it have suppressed their maternal instincts in the name of that agenda to such an extent that they do not care to see reason. The fact is that it is the rise of the welfare state that encourages many women to exclude responsible men from their lives, and expose themselves to irresponsible men, who, in turn, were invariably creatures of the welfare state.

Psychologically normal women, who intend to take care of themselves and function in a normal society, and contribute to society by making use of all their biological and professional talents, are in abundance in capitalist societies. Auckland City, as a microcosm of the capitalist world, demonstrates all the virtues of successful women who understand what they can contribute to both the business world, as well as enriching their personal lives. Contrast that with small-town Masterton, where a large proportion of women under fifty are single mothers who never intend to do anything other than subsist on state support.

The southern Wairarapa is an icon of a socialist society. It is also the classic example of social discontent. It ranks highly for violent crime, teen pregnancy, poor education and health statistics, high unemployment, drug dependency, and ugly women.

Auckland City, on the other hand, is a city that encourages and thrives on success. Unemployed people cannot afford to live here. Education and health is largely pretty good. And women understand that their primary means of attracting men is to stay hot. They learn quickly that if they want a family, they need to choose a partner who can support them during key stages in their lives.

Which is why the rising trend of women's concern for their physical appearance is extremely positive. It shows that they no longer have faith in the State taking responsibility for driving them into welfare dependence. To get what they want in life, they need to go and achieve it on their own: good mind, good career, hot body.

Not that Helen Clark would agree with this argument, but if Germaine Greer had come out and proposed this model for feminist society, there would have been far less discontent from disenfranchised men.