‘Life of Brian’ forty years on

Life of Brian

Too Right
A regular column by John Black
The Black Sheep Blog

Monty Python’s Life of Brian, that classic, scabrous machine gunning of Christian piety has turned 40 years old. In the spirit of Easter, Event Cinemas Queen St scheduled a screening on Holy Thursday night. There was (to my knowledge) not one single complaint.

I decided to go along to see if it still holds up. It is hard to describe the impact this movie had on me when I first saw it aged 14. Raised in a mass attending, fish-on-a-Friday, Virgin Mary revering Catholic home, to see that same Virgin Mary played by a middle-aged man in drag (Terry Jones) was as shocking as it was hilarious. Or hilarious because it was shocking. At the time of its release, there were serious efforts to ban the film as blasphemous, successfully so in Ireland and Norway. The Pythons used this to their advantage, “So funny it was banned in Norway” was included in advertising – in Sweden).

But having long ago thrown away my Catholic Church membership card, and professing Christians in the general population having declined to the same numbers as model train enthusiasts or square dancing aficionados, I wondered if it would retain its capacity to shock.

The answer turned out to be yes, but not in the way I first presumed.

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Caption competition

Ooops… the CGT bubble just burst.

Reading between the lines of ProjectLoveNZ

My questions to ProjectLoveNZ failed to get many satisfactory answers. They said no when I asked if they see themselves as a New Zealand version of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, but they were unable or unwilling to tell us what actions they intend to take and how they will define something online as toxic, racist or hateful.

The repeatedly stated that they would “oppose the spread and remediate the impact of toxic narratives.” But we were left to read between the lines as to how they are intending to do that.

To aid us in our speculation here are some tweets from ProjectLoveNZ’s twitter feed.

Does this mean that they will be going after publishers to hold them to account for comments made on their platforms? They have already asked internet providers Vodafone NZ, Spark NZ, 2Degrees and Orcon to work with them.

A company called MEGAprivacy has already said yes to working with them and I can only wonder why a group that says that they will not be spying on New Zealanders would need a company like this to work with them? If they are just an “observatory” as they claim then why would they have the need for encrypted cloud storage? What will they be storing and why does it need to be kept so secret? quote.

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Dressing up & dressing downs

By Brian Rogers

The parade of silly hats: We’ve noticed an increasing trend amongst politicians to dress up for the camera for the purpose of dramatic effect.

No longer is it enough to turn up to an event or announcement wearing a pin stripe suit or flattering skirt. These days, politicians are milking any opportunity to dress for effect, using whatever props might catch a bit more attention. It’s an insult to the intelligence of the average voter.

On the television news we were insulted with yet another parade of politicians at a press conference about housing, all topped off in hard hats. Now unless press conferences have become a lot rowdier than when I last attended, or the group was off next to a “Village People” concert, there was really no need for that rabble to be wearing hard hats. (And if they were going to Village People, why was no one dressed as the Indian? Racists.)

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You asked & we listened: BLACK pudding Breakfast pack

As a special treat the Whale Meat Company created the black pudding breakfast pack.

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The two faces of the NZ Human Rights Commission

More and more people are starting to notice the two faces of the NZ Human Rights Commission, currently led by Commissioner Paul Hunt. Hunt, before he became Commissioner, supported Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is infamous for his antisemitism. Paul Hunt has chosen to remain silent on antisemitism within UK Labour, which is a very worrying stance from the man selected to head the NZ Human Rights Commission. quote.

Should a person steeped in British left-wing activism be shaping our human rights policy?

[…] Hunt’s fellow rapporteurs 20 years ago included representatives from Russia, Belarus, Cameroon and Egypt, all of which are ranked as “not free” by the international organisation Freedom House.
So we may be entitled to feel just a tiny bit sceptical about the credentials of UN officials professing to champion human rights.
But wait, there’s more. When Hunt wasn’t busy polishing his human rights credentials, he was dabbling in British politics.

[…] Hunt’s writing on social justice issues aligned closely with the policies of the Corbynite socialist (aka “progressive”) Left of the British Labour Party.
Last year, Hunt put himself forward for election to the party’s National Policy Forum. The aim was to “ensure Labour has an election-winning manifesto”. In a pamphlet, Hunt wrote that he could help strengthen and deliver Labour’s “exciting social policies”.

Of course he’s entitled to embrace whatever brand of politics he likes. But at the same time, we’re entitled to ask whether Hunt, a man steeped in British Left-wing activism, is the right person to shape New Zealand’s human rights policy.
We’re also entitled to ask whether there was no suitably qualified candidate from a New Zealand background – someone with an intuitive understanding of New Zealand society and unencumbered by imported leftist ideology.

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