Staying alive, free speech and a great vibe

The Burnside of life

GORDON BURNSIDE
Last updated 07:54 11/12/2012

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Tips for enjoying your motorbike or even just surviving the holiday season:

Always assume you are invisible when riding your motorbike, even when there is a big group with you. Hi-vis does not help, neither does a headlight, because there are times when a driver simply does not and can not see you, even though they look. If you could hear when you were dead, this is what you would hear over and over from the driver who killed you.

Always dominate your road space, make eye contact with drivers and make your bike look hard, so if there's a choice between hitting you or the bank, they take the bank every time.

Always know what is in or entering your zone from any direction and watch them.

Never assume you can ride in autopilot on a bike, like you might in a car.

Go on a rider training refresher course. There are regular local and really well-run courses. Do it no matter how long you've been riding and get your life in your own hands.

If you're a nurse in a London hospital or any hospital anywhere in the world, remember your patient is relying on you for all sorts of assistance; mostly medical, but also including privacy and confidentiality. Especially if the patient is an important person, like a queen, or a duchess or a housewife or horse trainer. People in places like, oh I don't know, maybe outside the hospital gate, (you might have to walk through them all to get to work) or in Australia, or in the world, want to know what and how your patient is doing and they are called "the press" or news media. Sometimes they might even ring up to find out.

In case you don't know, there are TV shows, radio shows, countless Youtube videos and Facebook pages all devoted to prank calls made by a caller pretending to be someone they are not. Millions, maybe billions of people watch them and they laugh like hell at the pranks and embarrassment. It's almost a business as big as the media and in any business anywhere, the telephone is the primary point of contact.

In any business it is in the owner's best interests to control and manage how the telephone is answered, and by whom, how and when.

That poor nurse in the UK who took that prank call and passed it on failed monumentally and, sadly, felt she had to pay the ultimate price.

If she didn't know any different then slaughter the hospital management, not the pranksters. If she did know different and was just casual about the rules, then the problem is hers and hers alone and dealt with as she saw fit. She fell on her sword, went down with her ship, committed harakiri; there are many names for dealing in that way with extreme professional failure because it has happened often.

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Tragic as it is, whatever the nurse's situation, no fault whatsoever should be laid at the feet of the broadcasters; even though they can not help but feel massive personal guilt.

If we're not careful with this there will be more than just the one person as victim.

If we're not careful with this the victim might even be free speech, perhaps lampoonery itself, and life without humour is really no life at all.

A special mention for the people of Waitara, their Community Board and Waitara Live. What an awesome afternoon and evening you put on with the Carols at the Beach last Sunday.

For those who didn't make it, you missed not just the superb entertainment, not just the food and coffee stalls; you also missed the fantastic vibe of Waitara, where all kinds of people of every shape and size all rock together, laugh together and enjoy together.

It's the way we roll out here, better than a brass band eh big fellas?

Chur! How meke? Tumeke!

See me on www.facebook.com/ burnside.of.life

- Taranaki Daily News

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