What I did in the shower this morning: Part one

I was in the shower this morning thinking about sex… Hmm… Maybe I should rephrase that? I was in the shower this morning thinking about the coverage the New Zealand Herald has been giving to sex education, over the last couple of days.

On Monday we had Too much ‘grubby stuff’, so dad steps in and Sex ed shock for angry parents. Then on Tuesday it was Readers up in arms over sex education and the abysmal Sex at 14 – I learned all about it in class. We don’t need to go into detail about the articles as they are the standard “Someone think of the children” type rhetoric. We’ve seen it all before and it’s clichéd and near comical but in a sad kind of way.

Yesterday, his story generated more than 140 emails to the Herald, the vast majority of them from “shocked”, “disgusted” and “horrified” parents and grandparents who say schools are going too far.

No, I want to wildly speculate about the articles writer and why she went in the direction she did. Does she believe in what she is writing or is this just a case of creating some controversal product to generate a large number of page views? Is this kind of social conservatism a corporate policy? If so is it because of a genuine conservative management enforcing their values on the paper or simply to shamelessly pander to the conservative beliefs and fears of its readers?

Surprisingly today’s (Wednesday) articles didn’t really answer these questions. Not that I was expecting them to. There is an opinion piece, Dr Katie Fitzpatrick: Youths need quality sex education to counterbalance the previous articles. I presume it’s there so the Herald can claim they are giving voice to all viewpoints. The other article is written by Elizabeth Binning who has penned all the others and it could be seen as an attempt to redeem herself as a decent journalist and human being by sighting some facts and fairness. It starts out well enough by declaring in the headline Good sex education works – studies and with the opening paragraph of:

Good quality and comprehensive education programmes in schools can delay the first time a teenager has sex and reduce risk-taking behaviour, international studies show.

It ends however with the message that while International research shows good quality sex education programmes do work unfortunately here in New Zealand:

A 2007 ERO report into the teaching of sexuality in years 7 to 13 found “the majority of sexuality education programmes were not meeting students’ needs effectively”.

Now if you were a cynical person you might assume this final knife in the back to New Zealand sex education could just be the coup de grâce from a journalist who has been carrying on a one sided hatchet-job for the last three days. However since I’m not a cynic I believe that our Elizabeth has in fact been laying the ground work for not just debate on the subject but is calling for a coordinated and comprehensive sex education program throughout Nrew Zealand schools. It’s the only logical purpose I can find in this collective of terrible articles.

The furore coming from outraged parents over the last few days is proof that some people do not like their kids being taught about sex and are not shy in expressing it. It is these people who will get the most attention from the press and the schools who ultimately decide on what kind of sex education is taught. It’s these people who are the problem and Liz makes this subtly but abundantly clear by pointing it out not once…

The Ministry of Education […], said that while schools could decide on the kind of sex education they taught, they were expected to consult their communities first.

…but twice.

In New Zealand schools can decide the kind of sex education they want to teach, as long as they consult their communities first.

I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination to believe it would only take a vocal few from the “community” to derail a sex education program, they are unhappy with, to the point where it is no longer effective.

The result is widely varying degrees of education from school to school – with not all of the programmes necessarily reaching the “good quality and comprehensive” threshold.

So what is the answer? I have no idea but it certainly must be a joint effort between the Ministry of Education creating a range of effective programs and the schools and communities that implement them. It is also abundantly evident that parents who want their kids educated and protected must raise their voices in an equal manner against those who just want to hide themselves and their children from modern life and the reality of human sexuality.

So Liz, I tip my hat to you. At the beginning I thought you a professional “Troll” that put the biggest internet “Trolling Trolls” to shame. However on careful reflection it seems you are in fact an intelligent and gifted journalist who understands the power of the media to start a public debate. Elizabeth Binning, I applaud you for your committment to better sex education for New Zealand children and for the brilliance of your writing to further this cause.

I'm “shocked”, “disgusted” and “horrified”. Even I didn't get an "E" in maths.

Porn in the Library: A moral and ethical dilemma.

I don’t consider myself a prude, maybe slightly submissive with an overtly kinky streak, but certainly not a prude. But a story on AVN had me hunting through the desk draw for my righteous indignation. I couldn’t find it so had to settle for shaking my fist at the screen like Grandpa Simpson and bemoaning “Why won’t someone think of the children.”

It wasn’t about the fertility-friendly lubricant with a name that gives me the willies. Pre-Seed may be an accurate moniker but sounds like something you would only use in a sentence in conjunction with the term “Fertile and fruitful loins.”

No, what got me going was the Los Angeles City Council Committee Tackles Library Porn story.

Committee members are being asked to consider a motion filed Jan. 21 by Los Angeles City Councilman Ed P. Reyes that was inspired in part by an indecent at the city’s Chinatown branch of the public library, during which porn being watched by someone on the library computer was seen by other patrons.

As this is set in the US there is the issue of censorship and first amendment rights which I’m not going to get into. No, I want to bitch about the non-geographical issue of the morality (Shock, Horror) behind it. I use the “M” word because my initial reaction was an emotional one. “This is so very wrong!”  I didn’t have a logical argument as to why but simply felt the line of right and wrong had been crossed. Of course this line is totally subjective and since it’s my rant I get to decide where it’s drawn and what colour crayon to use.

So why so outraged? It can’t be I think books shouldn’t be associated with porn. When growing up where else was I going to find it? Authors: Harold Robbins, Shirley Conran etc. were my go-to people for smut and let’s not forget those publishers of filth Mills & Boon. I’m not kidding! I read enough to know if you wanted the sex scenes then 95% of the time they could be found between pages 95-110. While I truly believe that books are “sacred” (and manifest symbols and depositories of the imagination and knowledge) I don’t think it’s wrong to stick them under the legs of a table to raise it to a precise height so you can stand comfortably while banging away at a chick.

It can’t be I think a library is a sacred place. I remember my brother once telling me he had sex in a church and I thought that was totally cool. I’m not sure if he misplaced his virginity at the same time but I do remember he said, “sex in a church.” Not the sort of thing you’d forget, is it?  So if “sex & church” is OK then why would I be bothered by porn and a library?

It’s not the issue of looking at erotic images in a library either because who hasn’t done that (puts hand up)? If you get a little worked up then you nip to the toilet for a quick tug or diddle and job’s a good’un (quickly lowers hand). I hear having sex in a library is part and parcel of university life (if you believe the stories) but that usually happens hidden away in the stacks and you don’t find under-age kids there.

Maybe it’s simply because I consider watching porn directly associated with masturbation and something to be done in private. Now it would be fine to do in a public space if the public was watching voluntarily and of a legal age. But if they are not then you are forcing your sexuality on others and there are a few nasty words for that sort of thing along with a well deserved criminal record.

So in conclusion, and to make myself perfectly clear, watching porn in a library is wrong and you should not…

Hang on I just realised I’ve been talking about the act and not the person who does it. It must take some real balls or not give a major fuck to view porn where everyone else can see. Although it’s not stated in the article I assumed it was a man. What if I’m wrong and it was a (slightly dominant with an overtly kinky streak) woman. Would that make a difference?

So in conclusion, and to make myself perfectly clear, watching porn in a library is wrong and you should not do it but if you are a woman could I please have your number or email address?

The first thirteen firsts.

I woke this morning to the clock-radio and as I lay listening to the news, what do you think the last story was before they shifted to sports? It was a quick blurb on the Duke University “Fuck List.” They didn’t call it that, of course, because we New Zealanders are far too refined for that.

Duke University campus had been aware of a certain senior “thesis” that a recent graduate wrote, apparently as a private joke, about her sexual exploits with 13 student-athletes.

But I thought it quite an accomplishment that the story should make it all the way around the world to be broadcast on local New Zealand radio. Congratulations, Karen Owen, you’re “World famous in New Zealand.”

I still can’t believe she did this using PowerPoint. If someone emailed me a PowerPoint presentation titled “All the men I slept with at university.ppt” I’d probably just delete it and to hell with it. Who watches PowerPoint presentations? The only reason to view it is if you had actually slept with the woman and wanted to know your score. Then again, your friends could probably tell you how you did and already have it printed on some limited edition T-shirts.

But this did inspire me to write my own list of sexual escapades, in verse of course. I can’t match the author’s stats from my years at university so I thought I’d go with the idea of my thirteen “firsts”.

The first thirteen firsts

To K* and the lovely memory
The first girl that I ever kissed.
Who dropped her draws, showed me hers
“No wee-wee? So how do you take a whizz?”

For the universal and ubiquitous girl-next-door
First “sheila” to mouth my “Best mate,”
And taught, if you can’t get vaginal
Then oral’s a far from worst fate.

Then there was A at summer camp
Hay rolling in the barn.
She was much older, I underage
But don’t worry, it did me no harm.

H in the first year of High-School
First girl to ever make me cry.
Wrote her bad love poems, declared my love
But alas, “Thanks, but no thanks and good-bye.”

To special, special, special T
Who made me into a MAN!!!
Not a cross word about my 30-second wonder
In the back of her brothers van.

But redeemed with hours of practice
Refining technique of going down,
Overcoming my mild claustrophobia
And the initial fear I was going to drown.

Horny S who I reluctantly turned down
Because we all know cheating never pays,
But also know irony is a mother of a bitch
When my two-timing girlfriend dumped me next day.

Fun loving R who after a party
Offered up to me her number two,
But no matter how willing the flesh was
All the alcohol ensured I couldn’t do.

Another party and my first with TWO girls
Hot summer night, dancing and plenty pissed.
Ok, the truth. An unconsummated threesome
But they were both digitally explored and kissed.

The first time I had a one night stand
At her place, crazy-monkey-sex on the floor.
Next morning she looks at me with a sober light
No coffee and I’m kicked out the door.

Then that time, a total misunderstanding
Unaware I’m in a trans frequented bar,
We drank, we danced, we talked rugby
But more? No, it never got that far.

Then there was the time at a strip-club
Got a lap dance shouted by some of my friends
Blew me load, she was sweet, said not to worry
It’s a compliment and happens to a lot of men.

And… The first time I told M I loved her
One morning cuddling tenderly in bed.
She kissed me, said “I love you to,” then farted
And quickly pulled the covers over my head.

* Initials have been changed to protect both guilty and innocent.

The week that was.

So once again here we are at Sunday. The last day of the week, or the first depending on how your calendar was printed. I’ve never been fond of Sundays. I know its part of the weekend and a Bible sanctioned “sit on your arse and read the papers” day, due to God saying something like:

Have the day off and take it easy. I’ll see you Monday and we’ll finish up then. Oh, and could you pick up some muffins and coffee on your way into the office?

Yeah, I’m sure that’s what God would say. Give with one hand but ask of you with the other. Not that I’m criticising her. She would always pay for the coffee-run and never want the change. She’s cool and looks great for her age. You might think she’s had some work done but she doesn’t seem the type.

Oh right, I was saying I don’t like Sundays. I think it’s because I’m a “planner” type person and always thinking of the next step. So to me Sunday is always that day before the dreaded Monday. On Sunday it’s always on my mind that tomorrow “I have to go to school,” or “I have to go to work,” or “I have to get a good lawyer then go turn myself into the cops.” Sundays are worse than Wednesdays. Happy Hump Day, my arse!

So because it’s Sunday I don’t feel like doing much for the blog. So how about we make Sunday a day to reflect on the week that was?

Well the most important thing that happened this week was becoming a Great-Uncle. Fuck! That makes me feel old. I’m not old! OK I’m 38 and don’t have the head of hair I once did. But I play video games, listen to loud music (but not the shit that the kids of today THINK is music) and sit on the couch scoffing liquorice-allsorts while watching quality TV programmes like Warehouse 13. But now that I think about it I consider Joanne Kelly is way hotter than Allison Scagliotti, so…?

Anyway back to the week that was. David Garrett’s fall from grace, or is plummet a better word, must top this weeks news. On one hand it’s always nice to put the boot in to a politician who you don’t agree with. But I also feel sorry for him. What he did made his position untenable but I also see him as another casualty of a single past action that over shadows everything else he’s done in his life. But saying that, the new rule is:

It’s never a good idea to vote an MP into parliament who has more criminal convictions than yourself.

Next…

I learnt a new word this week: Fabulist. Thank you to Slate for that.

Definition of FABULIST

1: a creator or writer of fables

2: liar

Finally…

Something else I learnt this week was the idea of Islamic Science Fiction. I’m embarrassed to say when I first saw this I thought “Islamic Science Fiction, really?” I guess I’m guilty of forgetting that there is more to Islam than what we are presented with by the media. There are those aspects that don’t make great headlines or sound bites but show that for all our differences being a geek crosses all religious divides.

See you Monday.

And here is the News (Or stuff I made up after too much coffee and not enough sleep).

A vivid imagination is a wonderful thing. But take it too far and you’re likely to end up visited by those nice men in white coats or be the proprietor of a conspiracy theory website.

I have a harmless habit of trying to connect unrelated news stories as if they are pieces in some greater truth. The result usually makes no sense except to my own warped imagination and although I do enjoy theses fantastical flights of fancy I do feel grounded enough to know that they aren’t real.

Or at least I hope so.

The main topic of news today is the sad tale of David Garrett’s dream of becoming an international assassin and how it ended abruptly at an early age. Thus forcing him to settle on his second career choice of becoming a New Zealand MP and the law and order spokesperson for his political party.

But it’s the story of the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Bill that became the first leg to prop up my tripod of craziness.

This legislation, enacted in a day with the backing of all parties, creates an order-in-council mechanism.

This allows ministers to relax or suspend potentially every other act of Parliament – barring five dealing with constitutional matters – to the extent they may “divert resources away from the effort to efficiently respond to the damage caused by the Canterbury earthquake”.

Now not everyone is happy with this draconian legislation that’s created a dictatorship for Gerry Brownlee, the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery. While I agree with these commentators to a certain extent I don’t accept that we are heading down the same road as the coup d’état champions of the world, Fiji. Not yet.

Another story that caught my gaze was the extremely subtle headline Supreme Court: Corporations Can Buy Judges.

You’ve heard that a recent [United Stated] Supreme Court decision said that corporations can give unlimited funds to politicians.

But did you realize that it said that corporations can give unlimited money to judges?

So you have one story from New Zealand where power is given to one person in a time of urgency and another story from the US about the encroaching influence of money and corporations on the courts for the purpose of gaining favourable business decisions.

This of course is just the way the world works and nothing but politics and money that we see in one form or another every day.

But…

What happens if you throw in some random and unrelated story and start to let your reason and rationality slide a little?

Continue reading

Sex scandal: Australian style (Well that’s what the papers say).

I’ll be the first to admit that my moral compass, when it comes to things of a sexual nature, does not always point to true north. For example, I was at Jenny Swallows (NSFW) watching a blowjob video and what do you think I did straight after it finished playing?

  • A: Go to church and ask Jesus Christ to be my personal saviour and strike me down dead if I watched such filth again?
  • B: Dress up in the skins of my former victims and bite the heads off 13 cute kittens?
  • C: Organise a world-wide boycott of the letter “J” because things that start with J are bad? Thanks Jenny, you’ve ruined it for everyone.
  • D: Go watch some more porn and have a wank?

Wrong! The correct answer is I went to Wikipedia and looked up information on the band that Jenny used to dub over the video.

But if you read enough on the internet you’ve probably found the above response by someone who took offence at something they read or saw. This wouldn’t be so bad because I believe in crazy people having the right to be crazy. What irks me is when the media (turns and spits) jumps on the high-horse of morality and gives these crazy people a voice as if they speak for the general population.

I should probably get to the point of this rant shouldn’t I?

Matildas soccer player ordered to remove lewd Facebook photos

Lisa De Vanna evocative photos post on Facebook & annoyed many fans.

Lisa De Vanna Photos: Soccer Star in Sexy Facebook Photo Scandal

Lisa De Vanna Facebook Photos: Worst Role Model Ever

Facebook shame for Australia’s women’s soccer team Matildas

STAR Matildas soccer player Lisa De Vanna is being investigated by the sport’s governing body after lewd simulated sex pictures were seen on her Facebook page by a 13-year-old fan.

The girl and her mother were “distraught” after viewing the pages this week.
De Vanna, a highly decorated player, was told to remove the scandalous photos and set her page to private yesterday after the mother of the young Matildas fan laid a complaint with the Football Federation of Australia.

The players are clothed in the images but engaged in simulated sex acts.
The photos, seen by heraldsun.com.au, are too explicit for public viewing.

Although I have tried to find the photos in question I have been unsuccessful (damn) so I can’t say what they show. But can you really call a fully clothed woman “posing jokingly with a large blow-up penis” explicit? Am I so jaded that I look at this story and go…yawn!

But this isn’t just about the story and what it says but about the many questions it raises but fails to answer.

  • How did it get to the Football Federation of Australia in the first place? Surely if the photos were that bad why didn’t the offended mother go straight to De Vanna? A polite email to Lisa saying “Hi and by the way as a role model I don’t think photos like that are appropriate for the public gaze” should be the first course of action.
  • If they were so explicit why did the censors at Facebook not ban them?
  • Who besides maybe the pope would get “distraught” over a blow-up penis? If she were deep-throating a 12’ sex-toy that might be interesting but how do you become emotionally scarred from one of these?
  • Who says: “I wouldn’t want my daughter to follow the Matildas and Lisa after seeing these images.” Really, you wouldn’t follow your national team because of some risqué photos from one team member? I have a hard time believing that a real person could say such a thing and find it easier to believe that a reporter made it up to pad the story paraphrased, as it seems the lesser crime.

Sure I understand that sporting celebrities need to manage their public persona. Even if images are on a personal/private site they have to think carefully how it might affect their public image. But I don’t understand how something that should be treated with a laugh and an eye-roll by the media (turns and spits) is spun with words like lewd, shame and obscene into the most heinous of crimes. There was no nudity (shame that), no drugs, violence, infidelity or criminal activity of any kind. So are we and the media (turns and spits) so desperate for the next celebrity sex-scandal that this is the best we can do?

Do I dare say it? Is this because the sports star in question has a vagina? Are women held to a higher standard and any inadequacies in their deportment, especially of the seemingly sexual kind, to be met with the utmost of scorn and censure?

“Think sexy thoughts, think sexy thoughts, think sexy…”

It's cold in here. The brouhaha over full-body airport scanners rages on.  Earlier this week, a TSA employee at Miami International Airport was arrested for assaulting a co-worker who allegedly taunted him about the size of his penis, according to the Miami Herald.

I know I’m a bad, bad man because instead of thinking of this as an assault, work-place bullying or even sexual harassment, my initial thought was:

“The first rule of being a dude, is that you don’t diss another dudes junk. That’s what ex-wives and ex-girlfriends are for.”

Shame on me. :(

I get anal on a Sunday.

Sunday afternoon again reading the New Zealand Herald online, and a piece on what New Zealand considers its favourite films has me rolling my eyes and muttering at the screen… again.  I wouldn’t be so upset if I hadn’t, for a moment, thought that the space-time continuum had been torn asunder and I’d been flung into a parallel universe where things are different… but the same.

(Don’t get me started on the use of parallel universes as a plot device in Science Fiction, or we’ll be here all day.)

The Flicks.co.nz/Video Ezy poll gives The Shawshank Redemption the top nod with Space Smurfs Avatar coming in second.  But it’s the reference in the fourth paragraph that made me stop and actually feel embarrassed for those involved in this publication.

…the high placing of Steven Spielberg’s Avatar was a surprise.

Sure, sure, mistakes happen, but the article is only 374 words long (I was anal enough to copy/paste it into WORD to get a word count).  So didn’t anyone notice that James Cameron’s “visual opus” had been attributed to another director?  They may be two old white guys, with beards, who direct Sci-Fi films, and have the combined wealth to buy a (not so small) country.  But haven’t we spent months living under the global phenomenon of “James Cameron’s Avatar, James Cameron’s Avatar”?  The film is still being shown in cinemas so how did this slip through a national newspapers editing?

I’m starting to see a bit of a trend developing, with a love/hate relationship between the Herald and me.  Considering it’s my first stop for New Zealand news I seem to spend a great deal of time kicking it for what I perceive as failings in its content.

Maybe content is the wrong word.  It’s their paper and what they put in, point of view, and opinion is entirely up to them and I’ll agree to disagree on those things when the issue arises.  But factual errors that are obvious to the blind, or at least visually impaired (I’m registered with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind) is something that I can’t let pass.

I’m have no idea how articles are added to the Herald’s website.  But with the byline saying it was added at 4:00am, I’m thinking maybe that had something to do with it.  None of us are at our best at that time of the morning, and should be in bed.  If you are up at that time you are probably a Baker or else doing something that is surely punishable by jail time.

The only possible reason I see for this mistake to be made is a not so subtle allusion to the two men being the same person (a William Shakespeare/Sir Francis Bacon kind of thing).  But something that news worthy surely deserves its own separate story and not dropped willy-nilly into a report on a movie poll.

I’m not a lawyer, but…

Don’t you just hate it when you read that at the start of some random comment?  The writer then goes on like (insert any law practicing TV character) and gives us the benefit of their vast legal wisdom (which if you follow, you deserve to be in jail). The only redeeming aspect of this practice is that I’m sure it annoys the legal profession far more than the rest of us.

I bring this up because of the story in today’s New Zealand Herald.

The Government is considering how to better support [Police] officers following a series of “barbaric” assaults.

The idea that there should be tougher punishment for crimes against Police officers is just something that I can’t support.  Also reported in the Herald is the story of a Crowbar attack on young mum.  That her attacker should, in theory, be punished to a lesser extent by the Courts is something that just does not sit well with me.  If you want to increase penalties for assault, then do so. But don’t punish someone for hitting a cop, punish them for hitting a person.

[Prime Minister John] Key said a special case for police over ordinary citizens in assault cases was warranted because they were called out to dangerous situations.

He does raise a valid issue about the “dangerous situations” but what about those other people who are also called out.  Although their jobs are different from the Police should Ambulance officers, Fire-fighters and Emergency Room staff not also benefit from the protection of increased punishment for attackers?  While you could argue that these professions are not attacked as much as the Police, they also do not have the training or equipment to defend themselves from those who they are trying to help.

I’m not saying that because you’re a cop you have to expect this as part of the job, because no one who joins a profession expects to get their head stomped or their lip bitten off.  What I am saying is that those people who commit those crimes should be held accountable for what they have done, and not to whom.

Now for my “I’m not a lawyer but…”  At the beginning of the Herald article it’s written

…Prime Minister John Key has floated the idea of creating a special category of offence for assault on a police officer…

But if you go to the New Zealand Legislation site or to be more precise the Summary Offences Act 1981 and go down to “Offences Against Persons or Property” there is Section 10, which is entitled:

Assault on Police, prison, or traffic officer

Every person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding $4,000 who assaults any constable, or any prison officer, or any traffic officer, acting in the execution of his duty.

Now this is right below Section 9 “Common Assault” and at the moment they both have the same penalties which is fine and how it should be. While it does say that these are “unofficial versions of the following New Zealand legislation” I can’t see how I can be reading it that wrong.  So why is the Herald saying “creating” when it is already there.  Maybe I’ll have to stop reading the Herald and stick to Scoop.co.nz who report.

…the government was looking to increase penalties for crimes against officers.

Am I picking on the Fourth Estate again?  I’m sorry if that is the case, but I do take my news seriously and like it clear and concise, so I have time to go watch reruns of “Boston Legal.”

The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done! – Captain Jean-Luc Picard

I came across a story last month that I’m trying to keep my eye on.  Like most news it jumps into the public view and then falls away into obscurity when nothing new transpires or the world turns its eye to something new and more interesting.  It’s a small story that has no where near the sensation of Tiger Woods, the humanity of Haiti or the vast issues of the Middle East.

It’s about a library.

Or to be more precise, that the Tauranga City Council wants to charge all adults a fee when they take out books from the library.  As you can imagine not everyone is happy about this, and even the Mayor of Tauranga has come out and said “sorry” that this has to happen, but that budgetary needs to fund services are forcing them makes this an option.  Of course this is not a done deal yet and still up for consultation, and that is why I am following the story.

You might ask why this is of such interest to me.  I don’t live in Tauranga, so why do I care?  The answers simple, if they can do it there they can do it here.  Everybody, personally and professionally, is trying to stretch the dollar is far as possible and always looking to make savings.  My fear is that this will set a precedent and give other Councils ideas, and what may be extraordinary now could become common place in the future.

If you are wondering why I have written about this now and not when the story first came out, or wait until the final decision has been made, well there is a reason.  It’s because of a story I read about yesterday from the United States.  Residents of Tracy (California) will be charged $(US)300 if they call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency.  Now that is user pays.  If that wasn’t disturbing enough the story does not seem to be that big.  I Google and Bing “Pay For 911 Calls” and the results lead to the “local news” and even the MSNBC has it under “local news” with the source coming from a local station.  Tauranga’s decision to charge made the national six o’clock news.  I know there is a big difference between New Zealand and the United States, and to be honest I would like to keep it that way.

I know why I oppose it, but no matter how I try I can’t seem to articulate my reason beyond “Because it’s a library.”  I am in no way opposed to the future, change, progress etc.  The world turns and the human race moves forward towards a scary but wondrous destiny, and I’m cool with that.  But I also believe that there are some things that should be held sacred, some lines that should not be crossed, and I believe that we should not be charging for the simple pleasure of reading a book.  I could give you clichés about libraries being the repositories of knowledge, but we know this already.  This isn’t about the library but the charging for its use.  The concern is that this is where it starts but where does it end.

I have never been an overtly political person.  My leanings, whether they sway left or right, are mainly from a centralist point. Very few issues are of importance to have me railing against “our leaders” apart from those specific days when we go into that little booth and make our marks of approval or disapproval.  But to be honest I think this could be the issue that pushes me over the edge into political radicalism.  OK, that was partly said in jest. But I do believe if my local Council came for my library books I would make a stand and do something about it.  The humorous aspect of my “Politicalisation” being caused by library books is not lost on me, but in the end it’s what’s truly important to you that truly matters.