Reading, writing and reason by Trevor Plumbly

A codger’s lament I decided to let the brain off the leash this week and wallow in an old-fashioned moan. I’ve found that one of the gifts of age is the ability to use hindsight as a diagnostic tool for heaps of today’s ills. The popular conception is that age brings wisdom, but even in my case that’s not strictly true; however, for those keen to foster the myth, some subtlety of phrase dealing with younger folk is always a good option. For instance, I never use ‘in my day’ because kids… Read More

On a train going nowhere by Trevor Plumbly

Looney tunes Recent events have caused me to ditch the ‘Pennies from heaven’ stuff and I’m beginning to think the world’s going to hell in a handcart.  ‘Imagine all the people, living for today’ sounded good, but I reckon that’s what’s causing most of the problems: too many people talking at the same time. There’s little doubt that democracy was a pretty good way to run things until politicians realised its potential. It was OK in Ancient Greece when a tiny percentage ran things while the rest didn’t know or care what… Read More

I’ll be with you in a tick! By Trevor Plumbly

Wise council I fumbled past 81 last week and decided to look around for amusement instead of reality. If you’re not careful, at that age, there’s far too much to be serious about. Fortunately, it’s local election time down here in Auckland and that’s always good for a few laughs, mainly provided by the wild card candidates. Not protected by party training wheels, they sometimes wobble and get forced to wing it, which brings an element of farce, largely driven by the unlikelihood of them ever getting elected. I found it was… Read More

Paved with good intentions by Trevor Plumbly

             Crime and nourishment Administering justice has been a disaster since the days of Cain and Abel. After God failed to sort it, we’ve been struggling with it ever since. These days, the threat of the fiery furnace or more earthly punishment doesn’t seem to work that well; every time someone rattles out the latest crime statistics, an army of apologists strike up a salvo of mitigation ranging from poverty to post colonisation trauma. Quite frankly I’m getting a bit sick of it: poverty of some sort or other, has always been… Read More

Mincing words by Trevor Plumbly

Z is for zombie It struck me the other day, whilst ruminating over the Glenlivet, that language has lost a lot of value since the folk at Silicon Valley decided we needed electronic assistance to resolve things that a reasonable education equipped us to cope with. Sure, life and language evolve and some stuff needs to go; I, for one, don’t want to revisit the formality of the 19th Century, but where most of the population’s concerned, the ability to express themselves clearly seems to be taking a dive. I notice that… Read More