Category: morthos


So, I can no longer, in good conscience, vote for the Labour Party. I’m not going to cross over to the Right, so that leaves out National, ACT, the Libz, New Zealand First, United Future, Gordon Copeland’s Untitled Party of the Future Christian Heritage of Latter Day Saints and Vicars, Destiny and the others.

I like a lot of the Green MPs but don’t like the actual party, and Jimbo is, I think, dead and simply put on display by the current Government (has he done anything recently?). The Maori Party voted against the Civil Union Bill (and as a Civil Union Minister that offends me)…


Who am I going to vote for next year?

Bloody Labour Government abandoning its principles and clinging to power. Believe me, if National get in next election I’m blaming the Labour Party.


The Slippery Slope

So, on Monday morning the news was ‘Peace activists arrested.’

By Monday lunchtime it was ‘Terror suspects arrested.’

Monday night: ‘Suspected terrorists arrested on firearm charges.’

Today the phrasing is ‘Suspects arrested on terror-related charges.’

Terror-related charges?

There is nothing funny to say.

Apathy Jack doesn’t write:

Today’s video is ‘The Mesopotamians’ by They Might Be Giants. It combines Ancient History and Pop with a charcoal animation style; points everywhere for everyone involved. It’s the latest video (the fourth) from TMBG’s latest album ‘The Else’ which feels like an odd follow-up to ‘The Spine,’ probably due to the professional polish given to it by the Dust Brothers. I’ve learnt to love it, and you will too, if you know what’s good for you.

(As per usual, linked to rather than embedded because of the drop in quality that comes with embedding. Or just because.)

The Richard Burton Effect

Let me get it out of the way first. I did go see Jeff Wayne’s latest version of his only hit, ‘War of the Worlds’ and, yes, I was a little disappointed. When the holographic ghost of Richard Burton is a better actor than the main cast and the singing (with the exception of the Parson’s Wife) is terrible-bordering-on-dire then you know something is wrong in the world of stageshows.

And no, I didn’t attend the V Movie Marathon. I’m sure it was grand but I had a prior engagement. And I’m not so keen on sleep deprivation anymore.

And yes, I do know the identity of Anika Moa’s lesboid ex-lover.

Which is why I want to talk to you all. I’m sure most of you realised that the article was just a PR puff piece designed to get Moa back on the musical map. What was bizarre was that it really did read as if Moa was hitting on the interviewer.

‘I like men… but I prefer women,’ Moa said, sliding her hand up my thigh and winking like Rowan Atkinson in that Shakespeare sketch he used to do in the days when he was edgy.

Which really sums up the Herald at the moment. A few months ago we had the credulous story that low-level vibrations cure smoking addiction and the week before last the preview of the new play ‘Murder by Chocolate’ ended up being an advert for Cadburys.

Contentiously, languages shape reality (just as some notion of reality shapes languages) and the discourse within languages feeds back into how language will change and shape our future concepts. That puff piece about Anika Moa (and wasn’t it huge and strangely focused on what she was and had been wearing) shows that our standards aren’t just slipping, critically, but sliding sideways into a world where such discourses as Climate Change Denial aren’t just an affront to good science but seemingly credible spin.

But I digress. Surely the most important question now is whether ‘Fall in Love Again’ is going to be re-released with the following lyrical changes.

There’s a girl in every town
No wonder I get around
I’m seeing me for the first time

After such a cheap joke Brother Morthos was promptly shot in the head until certified dead. The executors of his estate wish to proffer their apologies and promise that Zombie Morthos will not transgress such social mores again.

The preceding paragraph is, of course, a lie.

Helpful Hint #41

When seeing people you know socially but not musically at the Silver Scrolls you should not admit to being responsible for ‘1 + 1 + 1 It Ain’t 2.’

Harry Potter: The Definitive Verdict

So, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.’ I’ve read it. I am, as far as I can tell, the only person on this blog who actually knows what they are talking about in regard to the book, the series and the pornographic calenders the ‘special’ pre-orderers get.

So, is the book any good?

No. Not really.

It ends, and it ends in such a way that it isn’t open to a sequel and that you know the villian is dead, which is fine. It doesn’t contain a single surprise in its 600+ pages, however, and some (read: all but one chapter) of the prose is, quite frankly, not just a bit crap but a whole lot of inadequate English

But, then again, the comment about the prose doesn’t mean much, does it? Most books you find on the shelves are poorly written. I mean, Rowling’s prose is, even in its unedited state (because when she was subject to editing she was a much better writer), is much better than that, say, of Dan Brown or John Grisham. Rowling, at least, has complex characters who change over time. Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon just gets to have sex.

And it’s not even that well described.

So, Brother Morthos, was the series any good?

Frankly, yes.

Harry Potter is, osteniably about magic, in the same way that ‘War of the Worlds’ was osteniably about Martians. Both use a metaphor to explore ‘issues.’ Yes, that sounds like mumbo-jumbo po-mo, but its one of those things that has been true of literature well before Virgil got around to writing ‘The Aenid.’

People like metaphors. They really do.

So what was Harry Potter about? Well, school, obviously. But also racism, authoritarianism, equal rights and a whole host of ‘socially relevant’ topics.

And they’re not brief, lightweight treatments, either. The equal rights (in regards to gender, class et al) starts in earnest in book three, the abuse of institutional power in book four, and so forth. Rowling devotes large tracts of her increasingly big books to showing the injustices of the world, injustices children readers should be aware they are growing up with. Notably these injustices are performed not by evil adults but rather by people who simply don’t question their beliefs. Rowling may not be a Kurt Vonnegut (who specialised in not having villians at all) but she does show that, Voldemort aside, people who do evil are not necessarily evil themselves.

Fans of genre literature like to claim that Fantasy and SF (Science Fiction) deal with ‘issues’ better than mainstream literature because it’s easier to critique things via analogy than to try and deal with them directly. This isn’t actually true, but people who wear anoraks like to blieve it so that they sleep better after a marathon session of comic books. Still, it does make it easier to relate morality; you don’t find real-life Voldemorts but if you understand why they are immoral then you might be able to question the Don Brash’s of our world.

One virtue to Fantasy over that of SF is the deus ex machina angle. Yes, I’m fond of ‘magic.’ Not so much magic but that fact that most Fantasy doesn’t pretend to be scientific. Nearly all the supposed SF you will read is as based in science as dragons are based in biology. At least in Fantasy you don’t get the prolonged attempted to justify a flight of fantasy; just drop in the conceit and let it drive the story. I think this is the reason why people prefer Fantasy to SF; no one really cares whether paedophile Arthur C. Clarke worked out how to get Sarah Silverman to Mars and back without suffering radiation poisoning. The endless justification of technology tends to hide the fact that these writers can’t depict fleshed-out characters.

So, ‘Harry Potter and the Seven Books of Increasing Length and Decreasing Quality…’ They were books, are books and films and will, I suspect, be exasperating popular for decades to come. Rowling may not be ‘big shakes’ and her contribution to child literacy has not just been overrated but quite possibly imagined. Still, the books aren’t slight, they aren’t worth dismissing and they were worth reading.

If only because the books are entering the lexicon of our society, and responsible citizens are always well-informed.

I should point out that I’m not really a fan of either genre now; ‘…Deathly Hallows’ is likely the last fantasy book I have any intention to read, and whilst I’m always up for an Iain M. Banks book I don’t go out of my way to read SF. I’m not sure why I’m pointingt this out; possibly for some future archivist to go ‘Hmmm, so that’s when the music died…’