THIS JUST IN - TRANTOR IS A BIG PLACE Okay, New York might not be an entire planet-sized city, but it's as close as we have to one. First impressions after having wandered around Times Square, Broadway and 42nd St are that when it's not actually raining, people should put their goddamn umbrellas away, someone could lose an eye with all those pointy bits. Also, overheard in an Irish pub where Andrew Ian Dodge and I were having lunch, a complaint from some Irish git about "letting English people in here". This is in New York! He was lucky I had just arrived and didn't feel like getting into an impromptu lecture on Irish politics. New York so far seems much safer than I thought. Guliani apparently did a lot to clean the place up, and the effects show. Still too many lawyers though, with ads in the subway reading "Call 1-800 DIVORCE" and "Hurt or injured? If so, you could be entitled to a large cash settlement!" The firm of Sue, Grabbit and Runne is obviously firmly ensconsed here. Shakespeare knew he would get a big audience response with his famous line "First thing we do - let's kill all the lawyers!" But we can't do that - it would be like someone had set off a neutron bomb in the Upper West Side. Physically, the place looks like Liberty City from Grand Theft Auto III, or the opening credits of "Hill St Blues". It's gritty and crowded, but there's a real sense of dynamism in the street. Along with the usual tourist stuff, I'm hoping to meet people, particularly young ladies. I figure that's how you really get to know a place, by getting to know folk. Physical geography is all very well, but it's the people that really make a place special. Speaking of which, Meryl, send me your phone number, I'm at pacificreporter@hotmail.com Judith, I'll give you a call after havdala tonight, if that's okay. If I don't get you, I'll try tomorrow morning. I am, of course, being a Bad Jew today. Here I am in the capital of Judaism, on shabbat, and I'm not in shul! My excuse is I just arrived last night and am still a bit jet-lagged. And although I normally wear a kippa, today I'm wearing a Yankees cap so I don't piss off any Orthodox who see me, in their eyes, publically desecrating the Holy Sabbath by taking the subway, handling money and eating non-kosher food. So I'm a coward, call a lawyer and sue me. I have some phone numbers from the ads in the subway... There's a great disturbance in the Blog at the moment, details of which have been Revealed Unto Me, but about which I shall remain silent, as I regard the Journalists's Code of Honour as Sacred and Inviolate. Also, Andrew Ian Dodge has offered to pay for the next lunch we have, so I won't spill any beans that may have come into my posession. It's a hell of a story! Unfortunateky we're stuck with this one, which is Kiwi in the Big City. Time for me to venture forth from the Easy Everthing and head off into the milling throng, in search of Truth, Justice, and a good, cheap hamburger. Also women. Did I mention I'm an excellent cook ladies?


NOW REPORTING LIVE FROM THE IMPERIAL CAPITAL Have just touched down at JFK. Weather cold. City is farging HUGE! Airport security consists of unsmiling, heavily armed federal employees, but thankfully I was't frisked. They're still driving on the wrong side of the road, and despite my having left struict instrctions, they're still behind the curve on this whole War On Iraq thing. As I've gone without sleep or any sustenance other than airline food for more than 24 hours, I doubt I will be able to make much sense, so I'll register more complete first impressions tomorrow. New York is amazing though - within literally minutes of my arrival, I have been plunged into a maelstrom of secrets, envy, thwarted love, insults and broken relationships. It's all very dramatic. Fortunately I'm on the sidelines watching, so hopefully I can get away without taking a bullet. When the truth emerges, I will say "Ha! I knew the whole story and didn't spill the beans". Professional journalists, ladies and gentlemen, hiding the facts from the unwashed masses for the past 200 years.


THIS JUST IN FROM "ANGRY OF MAYFAIR" My brother Murray, ladies and gentlemen, with yet another culturally-sensitive communication from the multi-ethnic, inter-faith paradise that is the People's Democratic Socialist Paradise of Aotearoa/New Zealand. I think he's pissed-off about something.

Designs for new Manukau parks furniture have drawn criticism from a Mangere Community Board member who says the seats wouldn't fit the average Pacific Islander. Anne Po-Wihongi says the new picnic tables must accurately reflect Manukau's population by having wider seats to suit larger people. "We are big people with big bodies which are not going fit on those narrow seats," Ms Po-Wihongi, a Cook Islander, says.

Ok just turn the lights off when you leave because I'm gone. That dot on the horizon, thats me, watch me fade. NOW the Pacific Islanders in South Auckland had jumped on the already overloaded cultural sensitivity wagon. I fear its axels wont hold up much longer. New public seating in South Auckland, home of more Samoans than Samoa, has been declared "culturally insensitive". Because.. now can I type this without smashing the keyboard... the seats are not big enough for the average Pacific Islanders arse. If only I could write fiction this good. Ladies and gentlemen I shit you not, apparently these seats were "designed for Europeans". A comment which I do find racially offensive by the way. I can find Europe on a map but that's where my relationship with Europe begins and ends. Until Geoffrey Palmer came up with his Treaty Claims Court BS idea in his six weeks as Prime Minister, thus making it financially attractive to be a victim for life, my race was New Zealander. Next person who just got off the boat that calls me a "European" in my own country will be winning today's surprise door prize of a smack in the mouth. Do I look like I stuff my pants with socks, have more oil in my hair than the Saudi does in the ground and surrender whenever the Germans fart? I digress. To be fair, its true, these seats are too small for the average Pacific Islanders arse. That's more the fault of Colonel Sanders than any white racist plot I'm afraid. If you can't squeeze your tubby backside into a public picnic table maybe you should consider that less time at said picnic table is whats called for, not bigger tables. And if it comes down to it and you think that New Zealand is the last bastion of the Klan, the planes go both ways lardarse. Wonder if I could get a job on Winston Peters staff? Thanks Murray, your contribution has been noted. For myself, I'm not really that fussed. A local authority should provide amenities for the population it serves, and as it happens, Manukau is heavily Polynesian, and Polynesians are in fact much larger than the standard-model Pakeha. There are solid (heh) reasons for this, mostly having to do with life in the Pacific Islands having selected those with highly efficient metabolisms for survival in times of famine, which was almost always. Those who could store food and use every scrap of energy from it made it, while the supermodels and winners of the Savai'i Mr Punyverse Competition died off. Natural selection favoured the big-boned. Hence today's Polynesian tendency towards being truly enormous. Couple a genetic disposition towards storing as much fat as possible against the day when famine strikes with the exisatence of supermarkets, fast food restaurants, and a truly unfortunate taste for mutton flaps (essentially a sheep's fat arse, deep fried) and you have some extremely big people. Not entirely their fault. So they need some big public amenities to fit their bodies? They pay taxes like everyone else, and constitute the majority in the area? I say do it. Besides, I myself am built more for speed than comfort, and larger, more robust seats would not be a bad thing as far as I'm concerned. Coming up next - why the current width of airline seats is culturally unsafe!


FRENCHMAN'S PENIS THREATENED BY RUSSIAN LEADER Vladimir Putin seems to be running out of patience with the French for some reason. Ever since the theatre seige he's been mutteruig darkly about genocide, Islamic Caliphates and war to the knife. I think he may have beeing hanging out at Little Green Footballs. How long before he starts quoting Victor Davis Hanson in his speeches? John Derbyshire as Special Advisor on Chechen Affairs? Now it seems he's had just about enough French whimpering about Russian tactics in Chechnya, and let fly with what appears to have been a direct suggestion that if the Jean Crapaud asking him these stupid questions wasn't dickless, he could be very soon altered to fit that description, so to speak.

Putin became agitated Monday after a reporter from the French newspaper Le Monde questioned his troops' use of heavy weapons against civilians in the war in Chechnya. Chechnya is predominantly Muslim. "If you want to become an Islamic radical and have yourself circumcised, I invite you to come to Moscow," Putin said. "I would recommend that he who does the surgery does it so you'll have nothing growing back, afterward," he added.

Dude, you are so hard core! Great to have you on board! Have you been reading Chris Textor at Whacking Day by any chance? I think I can get you a guest blogger gig with Andrew Sullivan.

EU spokesman Jonathan Faull, who was not at the press conference, said that if reports of Putin's remarks were true they were "entirely inappropriate."

Sounds like a man in desperate need of a blowjob to me. Is there some clause in the EU bureaucrat employment contact stipulating that applicants for jobs must have their senses of humour surgically removed?

"They talk about setting up a worldwide (Islamic state) and the need to kill Americans and their allies," Putin said. "They talk about the need to kill all...non-Muslims, or 'crusaders,' as they put it. If you are a Christian, you are in danger. "If you decided to abandon your faith and become an atheist, you also are to be liquidated according to their concept. You are in danger if you decide to become a Muslim. It is not going to save you anyway because they believe traditional Islam is hostile to their goals."

Okay, he's definitely been reading LGF, and I think he may have been posting some of the more radical entries in the comments section, I guess I'll have to look up some of those IP addresses for .gov.ru endings

EU officials said Tuesday they had made "strenuous efforts" but failed to win Putin's signature on a joint declaration on Chechnya. The Russian leader refused to sign because the document referred to human rights in the republic.

Yeah, it's pretty irrelevant. Already they're running pretty low on rights in Chechnya, and the way Putin is talking, they may not be many humans left to apply them to when he's through with the place.
MAORIS ON THE WARPATH Seriously. Murray gives us the lowdown on the latest move in the great game of "Pin the Blame on the Honky": Bucklands Beach has been denuded of sand and the council plans to barge sand in from the Coromandel to replace it. Seems to make sense as Bucklands Beach is a popular area in summer and relies on its holiday trade. The sand is coming from the down-wind side of the Hauraki Gulf where silting is a problem and the sand may well just be getting taken back to where it started from anyway. But wait! This is New Zealand, land of the bizarre! Yes folks, from the team that brought you the road stopping taniwha, this plan has been declared "culturally insensitive". Apparently the Auckland tribes feel that the sand from the Coromandel tribes isn't good enough to mix with their sand. That odd rumbling noise you hear is the sound of three and half million people making the Marge Simpson noise while our left wing, tree humping, hand knitted cardigan, bone carving wearing "so-called" leadership allows the nation to be lead around by its trendy nose ring by the most outspoken 1% of 10% of our population. Someone somewhere is laughing themselves silly and it aint me. Granny Herald reports it all with a straight face, which can't be easy.

A Ngati Whatua representative said the Coromandel sand was unacceptable because it included elements of blood and bone from another tribe's area. North Shore City's Birkenhead Northcote Community Board will now seek views from the wider Ngati Whatua community on appropriate sources of sand. The suggestions that the board look at obtaining local harbour sand and consult widely with iwi were made by Jane West, a Ngati Whatua representative and environmental consultant. [ ... ]The sanding project needs resource consent from the Auckland Regional Council, and Ms West said it was unsatisfactory that the ARC had to remind the city council it would not get consent without consultation and wide iwi support. "They [the city council] ask us to do dawn blessings and that, but when it comes to this side of our culture it's one for the too-hard basket."

This would be the side of your culture where you pluck spurious "cultural objections" to projects out of your arse in an attempt to extort "consulting fees" from Pakeha groups who would rather pay off racial shakedown merchants like you than tell you to go to hell and get accused of insensitivity or racism? Thought so.


CAN WE GET ANDREW IAN DODGE UP ON OUR BLOGROLL? He's very good, and has been kind enough to link to us a few times, and it's only fair that we add Dodgeblogium to our list of reccomended blogs. Go read his site, you won't be disappointed. In return for this, A.I.D. has promised to leave a couple of New York's virgins unmolested for me when I get there. What - me have an ulterior motive? That's a desperately sick lie and you know it!
THE ANTI-WAR LEFT ABUSE WAR VETERANS Yet more proof, if proof were needed, that the Left has lost the plot so completely that at some stage they'll need to be led quietly off the stage and driven to a maximum-security Home for the Bewildered, where they can get the sympathy and drugs they so obviously need. GREEN PARTY STRATEGIST: I say chaps, I've got a wizard wheeze - let's all go down to the Shrine and hold an anti-war demonstration at the Rememberance Day service! And let's bring along a hijab-wearing Muslim woman who can heckle the old veterans! We'll get on TV for sure! GREEN PARTY: Yay! Brilliant! let's go! Woo hoo!

RSL identity Bruce Ruxton branded an anti-war protester a witch-like woman who would scare the enemy in battle, following an ugly exchange at Melbourne's Remembrance Day ceremony. Mr Ruxton, the former president of the Victorian RSL, told protester Reta Kaur: "Why don't you just go away, you old hag, go away," as she tried to hand him an anti-war leaflet at the Shrine of Remembrance.

Bruce Ruxton, for those of you who don't know, is...well....look, he's been the head of Australia's main Veterans asociation, the Returned Services League since he came back from Mafeking or something, and he's a bit - er, conservative. Frankly, he's a bit of a nong, but in this case he's basically right. They were having a Rememberance Day service at the Melbourne Shrine, and there's this madwoman shrieking about murder. I mean, really, there are limits surely. Brucie clearly thinks so, and he wasn't backing down afterwards. He never does. Not his style.

Later today, Mr Ruxton said calling Ms Kaur a "hag" was too good for her."She just wants to get on her broom and go," he told radio station 3AW. "I had just finished walking out of the southern entrance of the shrine ... and here is this woman dressed like a witch, I don't know where she put her broom. It was just not right. You'd go to war to get away from her. (If she was in battle) the enemy would run away screaming."

In Bruce Ruxton's heyday, Aussie satirical TV programs tried lampooning him, but dropped the idea after a while because it was impossible to top the real thing. Ruxton just fixes his bayonet, charges over the top and never, ever, stops.

Ms Kaur, the founder of the group Women for Peace: No Weapons No Wars [ ... ] described the ceremony as an horrific experience, particularly when four vintage aircraft flew overhead and cannons were fired to mark the occasion. "I just broke down and wept (at) the lies, the glorification," she said. "And when the planes flew overhead, the cannons, something broke inside me. I just wept. I was weeping, I was howling loudly. I was saying women die, children die."

If Rememberance Day services are so horrific, here's a tip - DON'T GO! Also, we have the usual leftist making mock of uniforms that guard them while they sleep, and their profound misunderstanding of soldiers. It's pretty clear that the Left thinks of the military as being comprised of bloodthirsty kill-bots, slavering for an opportunity to napalm schools and rape Third-World livestock or something. My experience of the military (and bear in mind I'm the only one in my family that hasn't worn a uniform) is that they're the last ones who want a war. Who do you think gets killed first when the guns begin to shoot? Oh it's Thin Red Line of Heroes then, eh?

Ms Kaur said she attended the ceremony, her first, at the invitation of the Australian Greens' Victorian election candidates. The Greens later said they meant no disrespect.

I can't see the Greens getting the use of the RSL hall for their campaign meetings in future somehow.... And consider what would happen if the positions were reversed.

Police have been called in to investigate an incident at the Lakemba Mosque in which worshippers at an Eid al-Fitr service were heckled by Liberal Party supporters. New South Wales Liberal Party candidates handed out leaflets condemning terrorism, and accusing Muslims of "promoting war". One man, wearing a large cross, shouted at worshippers that they were glorifying and supporting terrorism. Muslim community leader Keysar Trad approached the man and told him to go away. The Christian protestor later told reporters that the Islamic service was an horrific experience, especially when he heard the call to prayer in Arabic. "I just broke down and wept at the lies, the glorification of terrorism. I was saying that women die, children die". Liberal Party candidates later said they "meant no disrespect".

Could the reaction to such an event be perhaps a tad different? I think it might.
I AM ASHAMED TO BE A NEW ZEALANDER TODAY Our Glorious Maximum Leader Helen has set out New Zealand's position on war with Iraq.

New Zealand's navy and air force are to join the war on terror but will not be available for any conflict with Iraq, Prime Minister Helen Clark has vowed. Denying the deployment order was in preparation for a US-led attack on Iraq, Miss Clark said she had an "understanding" with US leaders that the New Zealand forces would be used only in and around Afghanistan. "They are roped off," Miss Clark said. "It's quite a different operation – they are working under the Canadian leadership of the Maritime Interdiction Force, and the Canadian position on Iraq is the same as our own."

As Tim Blair says: supine. This is what happens when you get a country ruled by what appears to be the NZUSA Executive of 1972, with a foriegn policy that first crawled out of a bong around 2am at a student flat in Tinakori Rd. Unfortunately, democracy in New Zealand is not stuctured in such a way that we can launch recall petitions, so I'm afraid that only leaves violent overthrow of the government as a viable option. Unless it's a long weekend, in which case, the revolution will NOT be televised. Please accept my personal apologies on behalf of the large number of non-idiotarian Kiwis. Apparently our government doesn't think civilisation is worth getting out of bed to defend.
APOLOGIES FOR NOT WRITING I think I'm finally beginning to understand Fran Leibowitz and her fixation on procrastination. I got up this morning, and the radio news rather signally failed to announce that while I was asleep, my book about Tongan history and politics had written, proofred and published itself. The news went on to not mention that the first reviews were in, and it was a smash hit, with Knopf offering me a three million dollar advance on my next book, and that Spielberg and Scorsese had gotten into a knife-fight in the SKG studio carpark over who was going to get the film rights. Yasser Arafat had failed completely to die overnight in a freak snowboarding accident near Hebron, and France was obstinately clinging to the delusion that it had won the Hundred Years War and was not, in fact, a British province. And the less said about the People's Democratic Socialist Republic of Aotearoa/New Zealand under the enlightened guidance of Ingsoc ideologists in the capital, Helengrad, the better. But worst of all - the blog hadn't been updated, and hits were down. No one was visiting Silent Running, and it was ALL MY FAULT! Well, allow me to apologise, but I'm getting ready to fly to New York, so I need to make sure my arms are in good working order [rimshot]! Thank you, thank you, I'm here through Friday. Enjoy the veal, and don't forget to tip the waitresses! But seriously folks, there's a lot to do and much as I love each and every one of you, please try to understand that actually getting on a plane and flying to New York kinda takes priority over this incessant mental pressure to keep blogging. "Feed me Seymour...feed me..." the blog keeps whispering to me. Which is a bugger, because it interferes with the other voices in my head, the ones that keep urging me to kill. To give you an idea of my schedule, have a look at my on-line appointment diary. This was Wind Rider's suggestion, and I'm sure he didn't think I'd take him seriously. But if you are in the Big Apple (and I'm sure no actual New Yorker ever uses such a naff expression) during the period November 15th until December 1st, feel free drop me a line. It'd be great putting a face to some of the names. I will endeavour to blog my experiences in the Capital of the World, but if you get nothing but silence, that's probably because I'm holed up at the Waldorf-Astoria, attempting to re-create Peter O'Toole's preferred death scene.
"I have no intention of uttering my final words on stage. Room service and a couple of depraved young women will do me nicely for an exit".