Thursday, 18 December 2008

NOT PJ: Razing the Standard of Government

Bernard Darnton saw some creative writing advice that said, "Write drunk, edit sober." I think he’s half-way there…

Razing the Standard of Government

One of “Bomber” Bradbury's predictions for 2009 is that “Rodney's razor gang will slash and burn while the slash and burn is spun as moderate.” One of my predictions for 2009 is that Bomber will continue talking crap. Whose prediction would you give shorter odds to?

In the real world, Rodney's razor will turn out to be one of those girly razors made of pink plastic with lubricating strips and surrounded by moisturising soap. In fact we probably won't even notice the effects of Rodney's Intuitive Extra-Sensitive Silky-Glide Aphrodite 3000. It will completely avoid irritation and dryness. And John Key will have made sure that it's already blunt. And disposable.

This isn't meant as a criticism of Rodney Hide. Given the chance he would undoubtedly prefer something more effective. Metrosexual transformation is one thing but surely underneath the wheat-germ exfoliant and the alpha-pro-retinol eyelid cream there's still a red-blooded IRD-basher. No, this is the sad reality of life as one of several minor coalition partners. If Rodney suggested anything remotely worthwhile, National would vote with the Māori Party – and Pita Sharples is a man not fond of razors. There's a man who should get a haircut (and get a real job).

Digressing for a moment back to the Aphrodite 3000 and its supermarket-shelf siblings... There are about two hundred different types of razors these days in four hundred unnatural colours, made of all sorts of post-Space Age nanotechnology clever-bugger plastics to flex and mould to your contours (or something). There are dozens of new models every year. Who designs them all?

Nobody goes through school, diligently attending to his geometry homework (assuming such a thing still happens), hoping to be a disposable-razor designer. My guess is that lots of people want to be Formula-1 racing car designers. And then they apply to design school to hone the skills required of a cutting edge automotive design legend, dreaming of the back-handed compliment from Jeremy Clarkson.

And because of the free-student-loans bums-on-seats tertiary education system they all get in. No matter that the actual number of Formula-1 racing car designers required annually in New Zealand is bugger all. Well, less actually. Zero. The number of vapid airheads who want to be fashion designers is infinite. The number of vapid airheads who want to learn how to operate a sewing machine is bugger all. Well, less actually.

So the number of schools catering to misguided dreamers spending other people’s money multiplies. Arts colleges probably turn out hundreds of deflated designers who don't end up creating the new MacLaren or MacBook; they get shunted instead into the disposable razor industry or its soul-mate, the bloody-stupid-toothbrush industry: “If we put the bristles in upside-down it could trim your nose hair and read your horoscope too!”

We don't need Rodney “Hydroxy replenishing derma-scrub” Hide's emasculated razor gang. We need Rodney “Leatherface” Hide's chainsaw massacre. There are four hundred and god-knows-how-many government ministries, departments, offices, agencies, bureaus, commissions, boards, tribunals, registrars, and authorities out there. Any that can't be named by ten percent of voters should be closed tomorrow. Those that everybody's heard of, like the Ministry of Education, should have all the obviously useless crap like toothbrush design colleges trimmed forthwith.

* * Read more of Bernard Darnton every Thursday here at NOT PC * *


  1. Any that can't be named by ten percent of voters should be closed tomorrow. Those that everybody's heard of, like the Ministry of Education, should have all the obviously useless crap like toothbrush design colleges trimmed forthwith.

    Come the fuck on PC/PJ.

    Any that can be named by 10% of the electorate should be closed.

    More to the point: what the fuck has the electorate got to do with any of this?

    Any that cannot pay it's own way should be closed.

    Any that can pay it's own way should be sold.

    now: what's left?

  2. Well written post, Bernard.

  3. Point of order PC!

    A race car, such as a McLaren, is not designed by these weenie "designers" that NZ outfits seem so keen to "produce". Such vehicles are designed by Engineers. The required skills are specialist and take some years of hands on experience to acquire. The attitude necessary to undertake the task successfully is one an individual either has or does not have (in which case his existence within a design team will not last more than a few months).

    BTW The McL race car is the product of a dedicated team of individuals working intensely and closely together, each with important specialist skills and responsibility. It is a fine example of what specialisation of labour is about (and the construction is even more so an example).

    Now a lot of Kiwi kiddies dream the great dream of designing such a car (many more dream of driving one to a World Championship though). They are potentially capable of it. They are likely going to be betrayed by the education they receive and the culture they are immersed in. For a start, in race car engineering the purpose is to win. Losing is for the losers...


  4. That was one good post for an "Anonymous."


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