Saturday, November 19, 2005
Phillip Bush - November 17, 2005
One of the comments on Greg Sandow's book in progress: The Future of Classical Music?
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Maoris are assumed to be different - at least by the treatyist brigade and their hangers-on.
Maori are a sequestered, self-interested group driven by a never-ending sense of entitlement at the rest of society’s expense. Maori have more rights than other people, but no responsibilities to anyone other than themselves.
It is time this nonsense was ended and the abolition of Maori seats would be a fine first step. Not, as the professors would caution, when Maori themselves in the fullness of time conclude they are tired of unfair advantage, but as soon as it can be arranged. Apartheid, by whatever smokescreen we care disguise it, is not acceptable anymore.
That done, we could commence a real debate on the wretched treaty, which has long outlived its relevance and which, mutating like a toxic virus and sprouting principles ad nauseum, serves purely as an instrument of division. It is a zombified relic of a time long gone, and a sure sign that, as a nation, our condition is schizophrenic.
Apartheid Unacceptable (Time for Real Debate on ‘wretched treaty’) Dave Witherow – Otago Daily Times columnist, 28th Oct, 2005.
Dave in full flight, and surprisingly getting away with this without a screed of follow-up letters to the Editor.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
The people in Scotland St are more robust, even though one of the main male characters is narcissistic – at least he’s energetically so, and provides some of the high comedy moments in the first novel in the series.
It would be interesting to write a novel in this way, revealing a section a day, no going back, no ability to repair mistakes, no way of getting a character out of a difficult spot by rewriting (Smith’s usual method is just to forget the character!). And the pressure of having to keep up. If I thought a weekly column was an achievement, what about a daily chapter!
My wife and I went to Lindsay Crooks’ funeral yesterday, a jam-packed affair that almost filled First Church to overflowing. It was a disappointment somehow, if one can say that about a funeral. It seemed almost as if the surfies had taken over (the aging surfies, for the most part – surfing is obviously a sport a man can carry on in through his mature years). There was little about Lindsay’s art, which surely, in the end, will be what people remember him for (the photo on the cover of the hymn-sheet of him with one of his cut-out works is delightful, but it’s matched by three of him on the back on the beach). His art and his warmth and ability to make friends wherever he went. Good, solid friends, by the look of it – even those who only had a small acquaintance with him (like us) were struck by his easy and always genuine friendliness. Certainly the friendship angle came out solidly: people who’d known him for years, as friends, were much to the fore. I was surprised that out of that huge crowd no one took the opportunity to speak up in regard to his art – his brother mentioned it in passing, while giving a eulogy (he couldn’t have avoided it) but always, always it came back to the surfing. And it was the surfies who were giving the ‘wake’ rather than the arts community.
But the other thing that was disappointing was that there was no preaching, even speaking, from the minister. Yes, he prayed, effectively and sincerely, and we sang a hymn, and Lindsay’s stepson or godson, (I’m not quite sure who he was) sang a very definite praise song, but what a lost opportunity for the minister to speak. I can only wonder if he was cautioned off it – by the surfing community, perhaps (‘they won’t want any preaching; they’re just ordinary blokes, you know?’). Of course I’m bound to be wrong in that. Whoever made the decision, however, it was the wrong one. People’s hearts are seldom more open to listening to words about eternity than when they’re in the middle of a funeral – even I am, and I’ve been listening to eternal words for decades, and hearing them too. It’s a time when the bubble of life is easily burst, and we know – we really, really know – that our time on this earth isn’t eternal, it’s severely limited. In some cases, as in Lindsay’s, far more limited than it ‘should’ be (and in Rod Donald’s – and in his case the fact of his dying so suddenly and without apparent cause is even more of a message to semi-deaf ears).
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Orthodoxy - G K Chesterton
Monday, November 07, 2005
The Everlasting Man – G K Chesterton – chapter 8
The analogy between scientific and theological enquiry is not complete. Theology does not enjoy the luxury that experiment grants to science, of being able to deal with essentially controllable and repeatable experience. It has to look to the given and unrepeatable revelatory events in which God has chosen to make the divine nature known. The closest scientific analogues are cosmology’s reconstruction of the unique history immediately following the big band and biology’s reading from the fossil record the story of the unique evolutionary development of life. Theological enquiry is also not simply concerned with quenching the intellectual thirst for understanding. Its insights demand response and carry implications for human conduct.
Belief in God in an Age of Science – John Polkinghorne – chapter 2
I find it interesting that Polkinghorne uses these two 'analogues' to explain the problems of theology, even though in some circles both analogues are classed more highly than as revelatory events.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I stick the cutting on the noticeboard in my office. Action Plans are all very fine I know, but it’s how we respond to day-to-day events that will really matter. The Action Plan can’t possibly encapsulate everything we plan to do.
Ahead of the Class by Marie Stubbs – chapter 2