A columnist's job, I am reliably informed by the trustworthy, anonymous hordes in the comments sections of news websites, is to provide informed and intelligent commentary on the news. Of course, this is nonsense. Judging from most of the columns I read, a columnist's job is to observe the news, spit and froth with emotion of some kind, and quickly immortalise the mood in print, rather like Salvador Dali rushing to his canvas upon awaking from a dream. Other columnists (stupidly, in my opinion) sometimes take a different tack and try reasoned analysis of a given situation.
Still fewer actually report facts. A tiny remainder attempt to cast light on the hypocrisies and ironies of a particular person or event through the mediums of parody and satire. Idiots.
In the spirit of fair play, I thought I'd give the informed and intelligent commentary gig a go. Unfortunately, given a 24-hour news cycle and access to the infinite news source that is the internet, informed and intelligent commentary is, well, difficult. So I have decided to offer my spot-on opinions on stories without actually reading them.
The first story I have an opinion on is headlined "Companion keeper". "Casino backs down over Bible – the SkyCity Casino worker under fire for carrying a Bible at work can keep it in her pocket." This, in my opinion, is a smart move on behalf of SkyCity. Supernatural entities are known for their displeasure over those who disrespect their holy books, and with SkyCity being closer to God than most organisations (on account of the City's location in the Sky, where God lives) I believe they have done well to tread carefully.
The next story I have an informed opinion of is "ACC pawn in game". ACC Minister Judith Collins told ACC bosses to "go after" Michelle Boag, Labour MP Andrew Little has claimed in Parliament. I agree with Little. "Going after" is a good strategy. You should always watch out for pawns. If they make their way right across the board they can turn into queens. Are Judith Collins and Michelle Boag queens? If so, what does that make Andrew Little? I suspect he is a rook. Rooks need to be careful: they can only move in straight lines, and as such have difficulty avoiding bishops bearing court summonses.
Following this welcome exploration into the Game of Kings is a slightly more tawdry piece: "Hanover probe the biggest – SFO." This worries me. Probing is a genuine problem and casting it in a positive light is not something I think the media should be engaging in.
Then again, it is good to see the media finally devoting some attention to the epidemic of unwanted body cavity violations that those of us who watch the skies are already well aware of. If New Zealand had an Air Force, SFO's wouldn't be a problem.
Now we come to "First boy-racer car crushing." This is an outright tragedy. Some poor boy has had his promising racing career cut short by being crushed by his own car. It is some solace that this is the first such incident, but it does raise the spectre of more to come. I hope the Government has a strategy in place to deal with the inevitable wave of sentient vehicles acting murderously towards their innocent owners. I've seen Christine. I know how this ends.
My attention is now drawn to a story entitled "NZ slammed in US `slavery' report." Clearly it is unfair for the US to slam NZ. We are a much smaller nation and being slammed by someone the size of the US smacks of bullying. I am a firm proponent of equal weight restrictions during slammings – this means the best slammer wins, rather than the heaviest. However, the real tragedy in this story is that the US felt the need to use slavery to produce their report. This is, frankly, disappointing. I would have thought that with a black president race relations would have advanced a little, but apparently not.
In sports news, we have "GDP stronger than expected." GDP, for those few not in the know, is immensely important for some reason. The sport consists of watching GDP grow, which he can only do if fed enough public servants. The happy news is that GDP has grown by 1.1 per cent in the first three months of this year, helped by a "big boost in manufacturing". Manufacturing what, I can't say. I assume steroids of some kind, because really, is it natural for someone to just keep growing year on year? Sooner or later GDP will have to stop growing, or explode.
Either way, I'm sure it will be hugely if somewhat messily entertaining for all you sports fans.
Joshua Drummond is a Hamilton freelance writer who is thinking about investing in a pocket Bible.
- Waikato Times