Thursday, October 27, 2005

Here's a Few Things

Josh writes:

OK, so the thing about the cats was bollocks, but this appears to be legitimate: Cows make fuel for biogas train. It's from the BBC and everything:

Still bubbling and burping, and carpeting you with an acrid stench, came the organs and the fat and the guts. Enough, from one cow, to get you about 4km (2.5 miles) on the train.

A tanker collects the organic sludge and makes the short journey to the biogas factory, where the stinking fuel is stewed gently for a month, before the methane can be drawn off.

There's a video, too, which should only be disturbing to those of you hypocritical enough to not want to think about where that last steak came from.

Speaking of hypocrisy, just when you thought Winston Peters as Foreign Affairs Minister was the biggest joke Parliament could play on us, out comes National, assigning Wayne Mapp the position of "Political Correctness Eradicator".

Say it with me folks: Political Correctness doesn't exist. It used to, back when the words meant something. For a while it was something good, then it went a bit overboard, but now all it seems to be is a generic catchphrase, such that "political correctness" now means little more than "left-wing stuff I don't like". Yet here's the National party, sending one of its own off on a quest to slay this mythical beast -- isn't this the party that got all up in arms about people treating Taniwha seriously? Nevertheless, I wish Mr. Mapp well as he departs. Just watch out -- it might be a Boojum...

And finally: Aaahh, that feels sooo good. Surprised it took someone that long to come up with it.


damian_nz said...

Brash was great on the radio last night. Chuckling away, and having a great old time sharing how hilarious it was that he had a minister in charge of eradicating political correctness.

until the interviewer asked him to point out some examples of political correctness, at which point he ummed and aahed and pointed vaguely in the direction of the human rights commission all the while saying he didn't have specific examples 'at hand' right now.


phats said...

I think it's fair enough. Do you remember the northland health campaign a while back that had the bottom three-quarters of a Maori woman's head on the card?
As I recall some fuckwits decided this was offensive to Maori and wanted to redesign and reprint all of the material, costing large amounts of moneys.
Therefore I propose that some people make stupid decisions based on some warped idea of political correctness, and they need to be held accountable for it. Given that this sort of behavior is more likely to occur in local or national government agencies (as it's hardly helpful in the private sector if you are aiming for a good bottom line) then the processes which are used to make these sorts of decisions, and the people that make them should be transparent / ie publicly available information.
Having someone publish any examples of ridiculous behavior that they can find is a good incentive for people to do their jobs properly in the first place, unless they enjoy being mocked.

I think it's a good attempt at a solution.

phats said...

Just to clarify, though, I don't know of this 'Wayne Mapp' at all. It is kind of a stupid-sounding name...

damian_nz said...

the problem is, one person's 'stupid' is another person's very important. belief in god is a good example of this - some people think said belief is ridicilulous whereas other people make said belief one of the cornerstones of their existence. we don't call it 'political correctness' when we grant people the right to believe what they want, we call it 'tolerance.'

there's a disanalogy going on there too phats - the government is supposed to represent 'everyone'. private sectory companies aren't. they can be as rude and as obnoxious as they like.

jnzed said...

I agree with Josh that PC is a meaningless rhetorical term.

If people disagree with something, they should say *why* they disagree with it, not just call it names. Calling things names is what we did in Primary School...

The trick we need to learn is how to be 'tolerant' but also have robust debate and disagreement. Sadly I think New Zealanders' form of politeness makes this more difficult for us than other cultures. As a result, we often don't raise issues we are uncomfortable with, and thus resolve them - instead we let them fester until they become a running sore...