Category Archives: Blood Pressure

Howard Hughes, Kimbra and the Search for The Holy Grail – Blood Pressure No. 3

There’s more than a hint of Pythonesque surreal humour to the circumstances surrounding the arrest of German/Finnish/Irish/Ugandan/Patagonian businessman and underwear designer, Wilshelm von Parking – also known as Kim Dotbra.

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In early 2010, Dotbra was granted New Zealand residency, having provided Immigration officials with evidence of his financial bona fides and assurances of free fittings for the Megauplift Bra (pat pending), the revolutionary undergarment, designed by Dotbra ‘with manbreasts in mind’.

The ‘Kimbra’, as it was beginning to be known, soon became a best-seller and, needing more space, Dotbra and his associates reluctantly left their cottage in Helensville for a 300 room château in Coatesville.

Later that year, United States law and corsetry officials applied to New Zealand Minister of Corsetry and Earthquakes, Gerry Brownlee, to have Dotbra extradited to the US for numerous breaches and infringements of the Bustle, Brassiere, Bustier, Corset and Undergarment statutes, as well as non-payment of several parking fines.

As a result of co-operation between US and New Zealand law enforcement agencies, at 3am on 20th January this year, US Navy Seals, the SAS, the Armed Offenders Squad, several Mossad agents, Peter Jackson and a film crew and , for some reason, a Mr Whippy ice cream van, stormed Dotbra’s palace, overcame resistance ‘with minimal loss of life’, arrested Dotbra and his associates and imprisoned them on Soames Island.

Yesterday, however, all of the charges against Dotbra were rejected in the High Court by Justice Fingers, the judge with no thumbs, resulting from new evidence presented by Dotbra’s legal representatives, Sue, Grabbit and Runne. Several authenticated documents were produced to show that Dotbra is the lovechild of Howard Hughes and Brunhilde Playtex, the lingerie heiress, and that Dotbra is the legal owner of the patents to the Jane Russell ‘Outlaw Bra’, the cantilever sports stand design and the ‘Spruce Goose’ flying plane designed by Hughes.

Asked what his plans were, a jubilant Dotbra, smiling broadly, told reporters, ‘I’m off for a cup of tea with my good friend, John Banks.’

A Deserving Case – Blood Pressure No. 2

There’s a scene toward the conclusion of Clint Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven’ where Will Munny (Eastwood) is about to consign Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman) to oblivion.

Looking up at Munny from where he lies on the floor, Little Bill says bitterly, ‘I don’t deserve this..to die like this. I was building a house.’  To which Munny replies, ‘Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.’  And Munny is right, of course. Little Bill is caught up in some history that he helped to make. He may have had it coming – but we all have it coming –  and Little Bill was getting his then. Deserve had nothing to do with it

The National-led government, with help from The Maori Party, Peter Dunne (United Future) and John Banks (ACT), has certainly polarised political opinion in this country with its policies and legislation. The partial sale of some state-owned assets, in particular, has been the focus for much opposition, including a drive for sufficient signatures on a petition to seek a referendum. Other hot issues – such as teacher/student ratios, the treatment of ACC and WINZ beneficiaries, unemployment levels, reducing Police numbers and protection of our natural environment –  have served to awaken our interest in both the processes and personalities of a democracy under duress.

There’s a lot of negative criticism of John Key, his cabinet and their allies in the House. Peter Dunne has been roundly vilified for casting his deciding vote in favour of the asset sales. He’s been branded a traitor by some. The Labour Party, too, has come under fire for a perceived lack of opposition and its inability to rein in National by providing a clear alternative.

So. Do we deserve the politicians we get?

There’s a layer of cynicism that surrounds the kernel of voter apathy that likes to give currency to that idea – and when times are tough and Ministers under pressure make mistakes, those on the sidelines see a discernible mediocrity and speculate about culpability, party intrigue and changes of leadership. What also happens – is that some on the Left –  still bearing the scars from the last election, point to those who either didn’t vote Labour or, sin of sins, changed their vote to National. QED; We got the politicians we deserve.

But let’s remember that they are politicians, working inside, not outside, of an evolved system that has historical expectations of its constituents and moderates the behaviours, aspirations and actions of those constituents to meet its own needs, mores and boundaries. If you went to buy a second-hand car, you wouldn’t expect to be greeted at the sale yard by Bertrand Russell or Nelson Mandela, would you? You’d be met by a car salesman who, pretty much, would behave like a car salesman – or at least, like your idea of a car salesman. Politicians, mostly, meet the same criterion of expectation.

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Peter Dunne, for instance, has behaved exactly like my idea of a politician. He has been a Labour MP and Minister, an Independent, a member of the Future Party, then the United New Zealand Party and now the leader of the United Future Party. He has held ministerial positions, as a coalitionist, with both center-left and centre-right governments. But like Richard Prebble and Roger Douglas before him, Peter Dunne provides the best possible example of how the system changes those within it more profoundly than any change that may be wrought by them – and not vice versa. I don’t like him much and I don’t care for his politics. But he’s not a traitor. Just like Little Bill, he’s got caught up in some history that he’s helped to make and he may well have it coming.

If man makes history and history makes man – and if history itself is made by our subjective intervention into an objective reality –  then surely we must all own the political, philosophical and economic belief systems that we have all evolved with? If we deserve anything, we deserve our system, our democracy, our constitutional monarchy, our allegiance to a Crown on the other side of the globe. The politicians are a product of that system and they contribute to its continuance. But the politicians are us and we are the politicians. We must all  accept some responsibility for the failures and crises of our system. So let’s not join the reactionaries who provide simple answers to complex questions and who would have us believe that our only responsibility is to punish the irresponsible. Instead, whether we want to make a qualitative change to the system or just exchange it, let’s accept a broader responsibility for what happens. Make that intervention yourself. Join in. Be rigorous in your participation. Be accountable. That’s what you deserve.

Blood Pressure No.1

Your Prime Minister has a soft spot for Katy Perry’s tits and would like you all to use more condiments – reports ‘Parky‘ – Wilson Parkingson, from John Key’s office where, this afternoon, he spent an hour on line answering Get Stuffed readers’ questions. Or he may have said he had a soft spot for Katy Perry’s hits and would like you all to be more confident. Parky couldn’t really tell because Mr Key has a somewhat ‘unpredictable’ attitude toward the English language.

Asked about class sizes and whether he’d like his own son’s class to get any bigger, Key replied, ‘It’s hardly relevant as Max goes to King’s College and won’t be affected by anything Hekia does. Next question.’

The next question enquired as to whether or not Mr Key was sincere in his concern for the safety of Hector’s Dolphins and other marine mammals placed at risk by his government granting licences for mining and petrol exploration in marine sanctuaries. ‘All of the information we have from our marine biologists is that dolphins are incredibly smart. We’re sure that they’ll get the message, once there’s a few decent explosions, and re-locate’, he said.

Key also revealed that while Phil Heatley was away, he would be ‘covering for him on housing matters.’ He explained, ‘I feel I am very well qualified to speak on housing as I have several very fine houses of my own.’

Then asked about the strategy to drive down crime figures, Mr Key stated that it was ‘Year 10 arithmetic’. ‘Look’, he continued, ‘Its simple. If we reduce the number of police, not only do we make a saving on salaries, there will also be fewer arrests made with a consequent drop in crime figures. Jeez. I mean it’s not difficult.’

The next issue proved to be a bit of a ‘toughie’ for the PM. Asked why he felt he had a ‘clear mandate’ for the asset sales when more than half the electorate voted against them and there were demonstrations up and down the country, he replied, ‘Blue’. Pressed by Parky for an explanation, Key angrily pointed to the paper in his hand and rasped, ‘It says here the next question is; What’s my favourite colour? And the answer’s Blue. Alright?’

Mr Key was then asked if he felt comfortable with both ACC and WINZ  moving to significantly reduce their numbers of long-term clients. ‘Clients. Ha! That’s a good one’, he scoffed, ‘Look, like the Police, its a numbers game. If we cut off their benefits, we save money, the blud ..er.. clients die sooner – rather than later – and the numbers decrease. We’re paying the staff whopping bonuses as an incentive to get those results. Just like the new mixed ownership SOEs. We’ll double the fees of the directors to ensure we win the numbers game.’

The PM then relaxed as questions about his likes and dislikes were asked. Either Katy Perry’s breasts or her music were a ‘like’ along with The Wiggles and Hayley from ‘Coronation Street’. On the ‘not like’ list were having to sit next to Bill English in the House, remembering where all his houses were and trying to avoid ‘those bloody pests from The Bank of America calling me to find out what’s hot and what’s not.’

Finally, Key was asked who he thought would make a good Leader of the Opposition.’ Most likely, me, the way things are going’, he sobbed.

A word from the author;

‘Blood Pressure’ will be an occasional sallying forth into the political and financial tragicomedy that entwines itself around our daily endeavours. I will refine my sights as we progress but I needed to get underway with a barn door.