Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Year's... Stuff

Josh writes:

In any properly-ordered world, the final search term of 2005 would have been the spectacularly baffling furniture felching incident. But the world is mundane, and this hit arrived at the insignificant time of 1:08AM on New Year's Eve. In fact, 2005 went out with the return of our friend pictures of men's penises. I suppose there's some poetry there.

The holiday period's pretty much over now -- bloggers return to their posts like migrating birds returning home to bitch about fucking trees on Queen Street or some pointless shit; workers return to their offices unable to believe that their holiday went by so fast; and road death statistics are as usual the talk of the town. Just over 400 for the year, apparently. Now, I don't have the numbers handy, but last I heard, the murder rate in New Zealand was somewhere in the seventies, which means that your chances of dying in a car crash are over five times greater than they are of being murdered.

And yet whenever the police crack down on speeding or other dangerous driving habits, the refrain is always the same: "why don't you leave us good, honest, hard-working people alone and go after the dirty criminal scum?" The obvious answer ("because you good, honest, hard-working people are considerably more likely to kill someone than the P-smoking, 'less-than-human' criminals")* is inevitably ignored.

With quite some mental effort at times -- as I recall, a little while ago the police actually ran full-page ads in the Herald making just this point. There was one with a big picture of a burglar, and another with a big picture of a snarling dog, and the text was basically "you get all worked up about these things, but you're more likely to die on the roads -- what's that about?" And what did people say? Why the exact thing that these ads were trying to convince people not to say: "why don't you leave us good, honest, hard-working people alone etc etc."

That takes some determination, which I guess I can respect.

No, no actually I can't.

* Best left for another rant is the discussion of why it's not OK to refer to criminals as "animals" and "less than human" and beat them with rubber hoses. Short version: because that's what the fuckers do.

No comments: