My latest rant

Sometimes I just need to rant. Be afraid, you are my captive audience.

Milkshakes a dying breed?

milkshakeWhy is it so hard to find a half-way decent milkshake in good old Invercargill?

Once in a blue moon, I have a hankering for a good, old-fashioned milk shake and it’s always the same old thing I want: caramel or jaffa with ice cream.

Bell’s used to be the place to go but not so much any more … the last time I tried one of their concoctions I ended up with something that was sickly sweet and hovering somewhere around room temperature.

Sass Cafe at least manage to produce something cold. Just a shame it was tasteless. Well, that’s not entirely true: there was just enough flavour to make it taste decidedly weird. Ick.

The next attempt was at Devil Burger, where it was back to sickly sweet and not cold. In fact, this time around it was almost warm-ish.

Double ick.

And the really sad thing? The examples above were the best of those I’ve tasted: dairies and coffee bars around Invercargill have been disappointing me with their manky milky offerings that are both close to room temperature and close to tasteless.

Is a good milkshake a thing of the past? And no, I don’t count those McDonald’s-style made-with-soft-serve-ice cream (and I use the words ice cream very loosely) as milkshake … they are more a pottle of processed slush and sugar.


What a bunch of boobs

Opinions are a lot like arseholes: everyone has one and most of them are full of shit. Right now, it seems every man and his dog has an opinion on breastfeeding and they are keen to share those opinions.

Mothers opt to bottle feed for many reasons: sometimes they are unable to breastfeed no matter how hard they try, sometimes mothers get sick, sometimes babies are born early and are unable to feed, sometimes life is just so hectic that it’s too much to take on, sometimes it’s simply a choice … that woman’s choice, not the choice of some breast-is-best psycho who thinks everyone should follow their line of thinking.

And if a mother chooses to breastfeed, then that is her personal choice, too.

bottleYes, I know the La-La Land League (or whatever the hell the Boobs R Us outfit is called) reckon every woman is able to breastfeed and, god dammit, she should be forced to perform her diarying duties with a certain level of glee until her child is approaching puberty but sometimes real life gets in the way.  They packed the shits over an anti-smoking ad that showed Piri Weepu bottle-feeding his six-month-old daughter and now that brief scene has been cut from the ad.

And there’s the mother in Manukau who says she’s hassled for buying formula in the supermarket and bottle-feeding her baby in public.

Oh sure, if producing milk was the one chore on a mum’s to-do list it would probably be a piece of cake, but these days mothers are more often than not working outside the home, they have other children, they get kicked out of hospital the day after popping out the munchkin … the list is endless.

Did you choose to breastfeed your baby? Well good on you. Did it go well? Again, good on you. Do you want a medal?

I support a mother’s right to breastfeed her baby, and to feed that baby in cafes and restaurants if need be. However, it is possible to be discrete (it was rather disconcerting when woman feeding her baby in a cafe I was at a few years ago just flopped both norks out at once and left poor old leftie just hanging there for all the world to see while bubs was having a feed on rightie).

However, I also support a mother’s right to NOT breastfeed.

And really, I think that as a nation we have much bigger things to worry about when it comes to the well-being of our children. Doing something about the appalling numbers of children being beaten to death in this country by parents, step-parents and other supposed caregivers would be a good start.


How stupid does he think we are/Readings, you suck

Stupid PeopleRight, it’s time for my first proper rant of the year. A double rant, in fact.

Part one of this rant is directed at Daniel Craig. Yes, he looks good in a pair of Speedos and doesn’t make a bad James Bond, but that’s not what I’m complaining about. It’s the whole The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo remake that has me mentally reaching for my imaginary Taser (oh, my mind is a truly scary place, but we’re happy in here).

Why did the aforementioned Daniel Craig feel the need to warn potential viewers to leave the kids at home? Did he think the average parent would decide a movie about a vicious serial killer, with a spot of rape and other assorted misogynous acts chucked in for good measure, would make great family viewing?

And even worse, the Daily Mail thought that him telling mums and dads to leave the kids at home was newsworthy.

The next part of my rant is directed at Readings, which unfortunately runs the one and only movie theatre in Invercargill: why does it take so long to get some movies in our city? They open everywhere else and we are left waiting like some third world backwater.

I was interested in seeing the remake of Dragon Tattoo, simply because I’ve read all three books and watched all three of the original movies and was interested in comparing this new version to those three incredibly powerful films.

It opened on December 21 everywhere. Well, everywhere but here.

I have no idea when it will make it to our fair city and I no longer give a flying fuck, having read all the bad reviews it has received (hmmm, maybe I should be thanking the morons managers at Readings for saving me a few bucks).

We might get the first one here some time before the wrap up filming on the sequel, which Sony has now confirmed will go ahead despite Dragon Tattoo’s poor performance.

This isn’t the first time a big note movie has been delayed here and it won’t be the last but I’m baffled at how it is we can get sparkly fecking vampires on our screens at the same time as everyone else but not anything that might appeal to grownups.

And Daniel Craig: stick to filling out the nice blue Speedos and doing Bond-like stuff. You’re no Sean Connery but you make a better replacement for him than for Mikael Nyqvist.



Lessons in sportsmanship

rugby-world-cup-2011-logoIt seems to have taken forever to get to the final of the Rugby World Cup and I’m pinning my hopes (and a small wager with a rugby-hating friend who trundled out the “it’s only a game” line after the 2007 quarter-final) on the All Blacks doing what they do so well: winning.

I had been feeling a little sorry for the French, being the target of so much ill will from the New Zealand rugby-loving public but after the nasty threats from French defensive coach Dave Ellis yesterday, I’m no longer feeling sympathetic.

Ellis has said a “crippling psychological impact should McCaw’s dodgy foot be – mysteriously – injured by a big French brute at Eden Park”.

When he was asked if France would try to limit McCaw’s time on the field he smiled and said:  “I’d like to think so. McCaw is major player. Somebody will stand on his foot, no doubt.”

So this is how the French think they are going to take home the Webb Ellis Trophy? By dirty play? By setting out to injure an opposing player instead of setting out to play a better game of rugby?

Mange de la merde you nasty bunch of feckers.

And go the All Blacks!


Are we any better?

chinaEveryone has been up in arms about the awful story out of China today about a hit and run incident involving a toddler. And rightly so.

The little girl had wandered off from her mum and was knocked over by a van. The driver didn’t stop and, even more worryingly, neither did a dozen or so passersby. No, they all just wandered past the critically injured little girl, leaving her on the road.

Awful, truly awful. But are we any better?

Okay, so the “let’s ignore it” attitude might be slightly better disguised but were the actions of those who ignored that little girl any worse than those of the family members of the so many children beaten and abused in this country?

Every time a child dies at the hands of someone who should have cared for them, there is always at least one person who should have known what was happening.

I don’t think we can be tut-tutting and wringing our hands over what happened in China until we do better ourselves.

And yes, I know the video of the hit and run is available on the net but I have chosen not to link to it. It’s disturbing and if you really want to see it, I’m sure you know how to use Google.


Nothing funny about this comedian

Finally, there is going to be a judicial review of a judge’s decision to let a comedian away with no punishment for sexually assaulting his four-year-old daughter.
scalesThis was a case that absolutely disgusted me for so many reasons: that a father could do that to his own child, that he could somehow think being drunk excused the behaviour and, most of all, that a judge could even suggest that his losing a a bit of work was so much worse that what he did to his little girl.

The “man” admitted his guilt so whether or not he was drunk wasn’t an issue, and his choice of career certainly should not have been an issue, either.

That he was discharged without conviction for a crime he admitted — a crime that is without doubt one of the most disgusting a father could commit — makes me both sad and angry.

Obviously, Judge Philippa Cunningham believed she her reasons for making that call back in August but it seems there isn’t a lot of support for her decision based on the fact that the father-of-the-year candidate (yes, that was sarcasm) had the ability to make people laugh.

“He’s a talented New Zealander. He makes people laugh, and laughter’s an incredible medicine that we all need a lot of.”

Stuff reports that Christine Rankin, a family commissioner, but speaking as a child advocate separate from her official position said the comedian may have been given credit for making people laugh, but the court’s decision to allow him to walk free without even a conviction “made people cry”.

We have far too many child victims in this country and surely the first step in reducing the number of children being abused, both sexually and physically, is to ensure they are treated fairly.

That little girl was sexually assaulted: her father’s career choice should have had no bearing on the outcome of the court case.


Bad boys, bad boys …

As much as I enjoy a good game of rugby, I’ve been a bit put out by some of the imbalances shown during this Rugby World Cup.

If you play for Samoa and wear a non-regulation mouth guard what happens? You get a bloody big fine (bearing in mind the team isn’t exactly flush with money).

Play for England and do dodgy things with the ball and what happens? You get a warning and a slap on the wrist. England can afford a $10,000 fine, Samoa certainly can’t.

Then there’s the behaviour of the England players and they have made their merry way around the country: the Queen’s grandson-in-law shoving his face in the cleavage of that chick in Queenstown and having a quick grope and a snog (and the subsequent lies the bent-nosed boofhead told, as well), the ferry jumping incident and the other arrogant shits from the same team who sexually harassed a young staff member at a Dunedin hotel. Because that’s what it was: sexual harassment. It wasn’t having a laugh or just a bit of fun, it was well over the line.

And now, finally, we hear that the sport’s governing body is investigating whether any members of the team breached the Rugby Football Union’s elite player agreement or code of conduct. Um, hello: nose in some sheila’s norks … surely that’s a breach of something? And let’s not forget that sexual harassment situation.

People have been sent home in disgrace from major world sporting events in the past for much less offensive behaviour.

But I guess it has been made very clear at this tournament, where the IRB has dictated that we couldn’t take an umbrella (or car parts) to the games and gave dire warnings of what would happen if we dared wear items advertising the sponsors’ competition, that keeping the sponsors happy is far more important than running a tidy, fair and safe tournament.

Most of us probably didn’t notice the advertising on the mouth guard that attracted the $10k fine. And most of us probably didn’t care. However, the ball tampering situation … that’s another story.


Please cover up


What is it with all these pop tartlets feeling the need to flash their bits about the place? Can’t they get by on talent?

After all the usual dramas in the past with Paris Hilton, Britney Spears etc being photographed out on the town without their undies on, and all the sex tapes from Paris Hilton (do I sense a trend there?) and others popping up on the net you’d think they’d know better than to put themselves in a position where their uncovered flesh might come back bite them on the bum (figuratively, not literally … because that would involve some weird flexibility issues).

Scarlett Johansson is the latest wee flibbertigibbet* be embarrassed by revealing photos of herself. Well, there were topless photos of some blonde bint who’s married to a Pomgolian footballer but I’d never heard of her and besides, it’s about as classy as one would expect from a WAG (no offence Zara, we all know that you’re not the slapper in your particular blonde-and-sportsman equation).

But I digress, enough about he of the crooked nose and back to Ms Johansson. She was one of a group of celebs who had their phones hacked and content stolen: in her case slightly revealing photos. Of course, they’ve been all over the web since then and in the scheme of things, they aren’t so bad. She actually took the photos herself, posing “tastefully” with her arse reflected in a mirror. I won’t point you in the direction of any of those photos but if you want a better idea of what they look like, check out the new trend of Scarlett Johanssoning.

She’s a very attractive young woman and a pretty decent actress (we won’t talk  about her singing though, because hearing her destroying Tom Waits’ songs makes me want to poke forks in my own ears).

And now we’ve got Rihanna upsetting that poor bloody farmer in Ireland by getting her norks out for a video. What is it with that woman? Ever since her ex went all Rambo on her she’s become pop’s wannabe bad girl, singing songs that seem to glorify violence and jet-setting around the world wearing, well, bugger all actually.

Maybe she thinks that if she flashes her bewbies, people won’t notice that weirdly square-shaped forehead of hers.

* Flibbertigibbet is a Middle English word that refers to a flighty or whimsical person, usually a young woman or pop tartlet.


Meth market munted?


This nasty old recession is making things tough for everyone out there, even our drug-addled citizens.

A story on the Dominion Post website today says prices for methamphetamine are on the rise but the product is in short supply and lacking potency. Which is, when you think about it, a lot like politicians: the less they do the more they cost.

But back to the meth-heads. According to a report compiled by brain boxes at Massey University,  nearly 70 per cent of regular methamphetamine users said they commonly used social welfare payments to buy drugs last year.

Work and Income head Janet Grossman said last night that it did not seek information from other agencies, such as police, to identify drug users who might be on a benefit.

“Our job is to provide people with the financial assistance they are entitled to – not to monitor how their entitlements are spent.”

Maybe someone should be charged with taking responsibility for monitoring how those entitlements are spent.  After all, there are plenty of people out there working in jobs where they will lose their jobs and income if they take illegal drugs.

There are plenty of industries where the workers must agree to random drug testing. Why not beneficiaries?


Justice for all … well, some …

I know there’s probably some law expert out there who can explain in a logical manner just how our system is just and fair but for the life of me I can’t see it.

A bloke appeared in court in Christchurch yesterday charged with with being a disgusting person in public. Well, okay, that wasn’t exactly the correct charge but it was what he did: I think we call all agree that pressing your face against someone’s bum without warning or invite is fairly disgusting. And it happened in a library no less.

Tut, tut.

Philip Broughton, the pervy dude in question, was under the influence of alcohol at the time so couldn’t remember what he had actually done. However, he has been round guilty, didn’t get name suppression and has been jailed for two and a bit years for what the judge said was “disgusting, bizarre, and humiliating for the victim”.

Fair enough, you might say.  But what about the “comedian” who ended up in court for performing a sex act on his four-year-old daughter. He eventually pleaded guilty but was discharged without conviction because for some reason, being pissed was an acceptable mitigating circumstance in his case.

I certainly believe his actions were even more disgusting and bizarre for the victim, a child who will grow up with the knowledge of what happened because let’s face it, the judge might have suppressed this guy’s name but I’m pretty sure the number of people who know who he is far outweighs those who don’t so the victim’s identity probably isn’t a huge secret either.

So why did he get name suppression?  The judge said the effects of a conviction “outweighed the gravity of the offending” and awarded a discharge without conviction and continued with name suppression.

She (the judge) also said: he had “paid an extremely high price already” … his television career had stopped, his income had halved and “his aspiring career has all but come to an end”.

Whoop-de-fucking-do. He was drunk, so what. So are plenty of other criminals when they commit their crimes. And doesn’t every one of us have a reputation to protect? A reputation that if tarnished could limit our career opportunities?

He shouldn’t get name suppression and a slap on the wrist just because he’s a half-arsed celebrity.

Mike King*  didn’t when he got pinged for driving charges so why is this nameless “comedian” given special treatment? I can buy the fact that the suppression is to protect his daughter but that doesn’t excuse the ridiculous “discharge without conviction”.

A doctor’s report presented in court stated  he was off the booze and did not have any “paedophilic tendencies” but that doesn’t mean he didn’t commit the crime of a paedophile.

Not every murder has every day murderous tendencies but that doesn’t make them any less a murderer when they kill someone.

* For the record, I admire the fact that Mike King has had some trials and tribulations over the years with his drug problems and so on, but at least he’s been reasonably up front about them. And he’s a real comedian, unlike the nameless bloke who has been described in the courts as a “comedian”, which in itself is something of a crime. He’s not funny.



Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.


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