Karl du Fresne writes about Winston Peters and tosh…of which Peters is a world renowned exponent of.
SOME people are in the fortunate position of being able to write or say almost anything and get away with it.
Take art critics, for example. Most contemporary art is, almost by definition, incapable of being explained coherently. It follows that a critic can interpret it any way he or she chooses and sound authoritative, at least to the gullible.
Often the artists themselves have no idea what their works mean. Some of the more honest ones admit it.
The critic therefore has total freedom to decide what the artist’s creation represents – and if the critique is phrased in words whose exact meaning is impossible to pin down, so much the better.
Much the same applies to wine writers, some of whom are in danger of displacing art critics as the most infamous creators of pretentious tosh.
Because the flavour, aroma and texture of wine is subtle, nuanced and hard to capture in words, a wine writer can use outrageously fanciful descriptive terms and appear knowledgeable. I know, because I used to be one.
Tosh writers all of them…but the best of them all?
Then there’s Winston Peters. Even art critics and wine writers should bow to him as the acknowledged master of verbal flummery.
Words cease to have any meaning when they tumble out of Mr Peters’ mouth. The sounds that emerge resemble recogniseable language but they reveal nothing.
It follows that it’s usually pointless trying to get sense out of him. An interview with him is as futile as a dog chasing its tail. Yet journalists keep on trying, as John Campbell bravely did on Campbell Live a couple of weeks ago.
Campbell is a very accomplished broadcaster, but perhaps he needs to be gently reminded that Albert Einstein defined insanity as trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.