April 28, 2005

So Many of You, So Few of Us

MediaCow writes to our dear readers…

We have had a posting hiatus at DogBitingMen. But we’ve not been idle. Nor have we done a Lindsay and stormed out of the “braindead” blogosphere.

We have actually been enjoying reading your own blog. No, really. We have.

Besides that, this is what we’ve been up to…

Olivia Kember has been involved in an all-consuming email discourse that started when she mentioned a celebrity’s name in passing during a former weblog posting. We’d link to it, but the emails are scary. Send more.

She has also been busy writing beautiful columns like this.

Ben Thomas has been falling down and getting up.

David W Young has been doing some odds and ends for this week’s New Zealand Listener (interview with Radio NZ political editor Kathryn Ryan and business column online, feature article on gay-parented families offline).

Mr Neil Falloon has been researching and writing a 22,000 word expose for Investigate Magazine on Russell Brown’s punk kid brother David Slack. Falloon, a widely-respected conservative blogger who recently found God, promises “nothing that you didn’t already know about Slack from his own columns and the revelations of the New Testament, but framed in a fresh, more offensive way.”

On Wednesday, Parenting Guru and Father To Everyone David W Young was a guest on Russell Brown’s Wednesday Wire radio show (95bFM), discussing gay-parented families.

Today Radio Personalities Ben Thomas and David W Young will appear with gay television icon, Simon Weak Chin Pound on bFM’s Thursday Wire, at around 12.15 (95FM for Auckland listeners, or live streaming on

(No, we don’t really expect you to listen. But it’s polite to tell you of these things.)

Tomorrow is a big day in the DogBitingMen calendar. Political columnist Ben Thomas and sidekick David W Young’s weekly column about politics will debut in the National Business Review.

On Saturday, television panelist David W Young will sit Eye to Eye with Willie Jackson (9 am TV One).

One day soon we will write something that is not crap. For you. Our dear readers. We would have done it today but we were obviously too busy blowing our own trumpets.


April 14, 2005

Finally, an Explanation

Olivia Kember realises...

So that's why our most senior policemen, working to protect the most important citizen in the country, with, presumably, the best technology available, have truncheons.

April 13, 2005

You’re Bored Because You’re Boring

The writers of DogBitingMen take a long hard look at themselves…

Olivia: We seem to have gained the
internerd equivalent of hate mail from last week’s flurry of postings where we attempted to emulate “ϋber-bloggers” by posting multiple times each day.

David: What’s “hate mail”?

Ben: It’s like fan mail but less accurate. Falloon, get ready to pen some angry correspondence to one Stephen Thomas Cooper.

David: What’s Stephen Thomas Cooper?

Neil: More importantly, what shall I skewer him on - his
crappy journalism awards? The tabloid he works for?

Ben: Neither. This one is a Labour Party rube – a circus side-show frontbum of no consequence in the social democratic movement, let alone wider society.

David: Like Clayton Cosgrove?

Ben: Worse. I’m not sure Stephen Thomas Cooper is even an MP.

Olivia: We can hardly waste the fragile, unspoilt bandwidth of the internet on such a person.

Neil: If we were to go after nobodies, Cosgrove would start his telephone harassment campaign against us again.

David: I liked the time he called us to ask if our fridge was running.

Olivia: Anyway, who is everyone else criticising at the moment?

Neil: The Jewish community gets a lot of abuse.

David: When I was editor of a student rag, I wrote a story that exposed a Holocaust denier on campus.

Neil: Therefore your credentials for a volte face are impeccable. That's what you like doing, isn't it David?

David: That is the most amoral and unprincipled thing you have ever typed into a pretend-conversation. Using the poncy term “volte face” in italics does not make it any better.

Ben: Besides Neil, didn’t you learn from John Tamihere’s disgusting comments? Even Rodney Hide is apoplectic about them. On his vote-winning blog Rodney says Tamihere’s comments were “beyond the pale” and “a form of Holocaust denial”. Rodney says “he must resign now”. He’s even dredged up those “Maori Holocaust” comments Tariana Turia made in 2000.

Neil: At least he didn’t let it ruin his enjoyment of the Arms Fair the weekend before last. He was very chirpy holding a semi-automatic weapon in that photograph.

Ben: ACT exhibited at the Arms Fair in October last year, too – in fact, their table was opposite a prominent display of privately-owned Nazi memorabilia including flags, helmets and payslip books. I’ll bet that if that stand was there this year, or if Rodney was at the gun show in 2004, he would have given the stallholders a fiery piece of his mind.

Neil: Most certainly. A latter-day Simon Wiesenthal like Rodney would never stand for that sort of carry-on.

David: Although this is all very interesting in a mean-spirited and crude “guilt by association” sort of way, it doesn’t solve the problem of who we lash out toward.

Ben: What about the inscrutable Stephen Ching? What do we know about him?

Neil: Nothing that’s not potentially defamatory. The smart money says to wait for Keith Ng’s interview with him to be published. Or maybe the third part of Ian Wishart’s interview with Tamihere, if it exists – Ching is not popular with the Labour Party’s grass-roots organisation.

Ben: Or perhaps conservative blogger Aaron Bhatnagar will become the new Wishart and get the goods.

Neil: Is now a good time to mention the new weekly column about politics that debuts on Friday 29 April in the National Business Review?

Olivia: Do you mean the new weekly column about politics that debuts on Friday 29 April in the National Business Review with the double-banger byline of “David W Young and Ben Thomas”?

Neil: Why yes, that’s the exact new weekly column about politics that debuts on Friday 29 April in the National Business Review that I was talking about.

David: Ooh! That’s super. And rather handy, what with me leaving my day job and all that. So should I withdraw my application for an artist’s benefit then? Or do we do this one for free like blogging?

Olivia: Some people do blogging for free?


Ben: I liked writing book reviews. Maybe we don’t have to savage anyone.

Neil: We could review David Slack’s new book, and kill two birds with one stone.

April 06, 2005

Another one for the list

Olivia Kember writes:
And another thing. Aja Rock should be banned. And if you know who she is, be very ashamed.

No More Gaps

MediaCow writes:

Trawling around New Zealand blogs, we came upon this entry by Jordan Carter on his website 'Just Left':

I won't be commenting on the John Tamihere situation. Just in case you were wondering.
Like the Pope, Jordan Carter has delivered a cruel and distressing end to a period of intense concern and turmoil, during which we couldn't sleep through wondering What Would JC Say? At this difficult time, we wish to make clear seven ennumerated points:

1. We are bitterly disappointed that Jordan has chosen not to share with the world his views about John Tamihere. Because there's nothing more incisive than the analysis of a party hack.

2. We won't be blogging about it either. Just in case you were wondering.

3. Therefore we will not be referring to the rumour put about by some that says that Tamihere posed for 15 photographs after he took part in an interview that he wasn't sure was on the record. (We also won't acknowledge that we are confused by this story because the photographs in Investigate are credited to Fotopress.)

4. We will not be mentioning our visceral dislike of Investigate magazine which is revivalist crap apart from its book reviews.

5. We will not be saying "JT has been telling us these exact things off the record for years". Too many other people are doing that; it lacks originality.

6. We will not be passing judgment on the triumphant glee with which many in the right greet the downfall of someone who really is their ideological friend. And we'll refrain from pointing out that no party in parliament is likely to gain any votes from this debacle (other than, perhaps, the Maori Party).

7. But wasn't Muriel Newman hilarious on Eating Media Lunch?

April 05, 2005

I've Got Your Capill Right Here

Mr Neil Falloon writes...

I think it is odd that many of the same people who complain about hate crime legislation (because a murderer being a bigot doesn’t make his crime any worse than that of a non-bigot murderer) seem to think that Graham Capill being a dickhead preacher makes his child abuse worse than garden variety child abuse.

“You do reap what you sow. Failure to take decisive steps while children are young and the consequences of their wrong doing are small, can lead to the ruin of that child's life. Children are too important to allow social engineers to "experiment" on the way children are brought up” – Reverend Graham Capill, leader of the Christian Heritage Party.

Reverend Capill's long-held (and oft-proclaimed) stance on moral issues makes his subsequent fall from grace not any worse, merely more bitterly funny.

He is a Presbyterian by conviction who attended an Anglican church because the Presbyterian Church had become too lax on moral issues. At the time he moved churches, a newspaper article shows that he rhetorically asked, “how is it possible for a Christian political party to uphold standards of morality in society, when the church stands by, and even promotes, false teachers and those who are sexually permissive?"

… the Christian politician must adopt the very highest ethical behaviour. The moment inconsistency is discovered, that will be the end of one’s impact. Actions speak louder than words. It is imperative that our message to the nations is backed up with a life that testifies to that. The politician’s life is under a microscope. Political opponents are looking for a mistake. Think what would happen if the Hon. Rev. Fred Nile was found engaged in some fraudulent practise, or caught in some immorality. His opponents would have a field day; the journalists would consider it a scoop! – Speech by Reverend Graham Capill.

Salty Liquorice

The second in our series of literary-themed articles was written by David W Young during a brief stint in Copenhagen last year:

The people I'm staying with were kind enough to fill the bookshelves of my bedroom with their eclectic collection of books in English. I'm not a big fan of Danish television. After I get home on my bicycle in the evenings, whether its from work or a hygge Danish cafe, I like to read - accompanied, of course, by salty Danish liqourice.

I started by reading Christopher Isherwood's 'Tales from Berlin', which form the basis of the musical Cabaret. Wasn't everybody so polite in the 1920s? It's really quite lovely. It's just a pity they had to live through the 1930s next.

I then read 'The Great Gatsby' - F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel based upon the premise that the American dream had been corrupted by the desire for materialism. This was educational: I wasn't aware the American dream ever had any other components other than a desire for materialism.

Next up were the Harry Potter books and a collected volume of 'Lord of the Rings'. (Mr Neil Falloon, a self-proclaimed "book snob", insists that I include the following: "The only thing worse than adults reading fantasy novels written for children is the same people reading fantasy novels written for grown-ups. The term 'book' is technically incorrect for this medium - the fact that Harry Potter stories have many pages and professional binding does not mean they are 'books' any more than dressing a monkey in a tuxedo means it is a man.")

Now I'm running out of choices on the bookshelf. There's one intriguing little self-help book called 'If Life is a Game, These are the Rules', which I've steered clear of.

So I'm reading a complete compendium of Sherlock Holmes short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sherlock really is a most annoying bugger.

Every bloody time he meets somebody, he immediately says something like: "I note that you came from the East in a buggy, and that you spent a lot of time typing today, although it is hard on your eyesight."

There is a pause, and then the person says, "why yes, you're exactly right, but however did you know that?"

And Sherlock explains how the three symmetrical dots of mud on the subject's trouser legs, the pinched nose and shiny shirt cuffs tell the whole story. (And when there's absolutely no human way he could know something, Sherlock resorts to: "As you know, Watson, I just wrote a paper on the shape of hats/the ashes of differentcigars/the paw prints of mongooses/the callouses on workmens' hands".)

I wish, just once, the person being examined would tell him to piss off. Sherlock is just a show off. He's a coke-addicted, closeted homosexual with one little party trick.

If Sherlock met me today, I have no doubt that he would say: "You come to Denmark from the Southern Hemisphere and you're getting used to riding a bike, although you're not excellent at it yet. You live in a house with a young child and three cats. You have poor lighting in your bedroom, your office chair does not meet OSH standards, and you do not find me amusing."

Watson, the dumb bugger, would say (despite having spent the majority of his post-soldier life tagging along with Sherlock): "Ho!" (He always says 'Ho.') "Ho! Holmes, what is your reasoning?"

And Sherlock would say: "Elementary, my dear Watson. You see it all before you, yet you do not understand." (He's an arrogant tosser, too). "Look at the big pores on his skin and his frizzy hair - he's obviously adapting to a new climate. I deduce that he therefore comes from the Southern Hemisphere. The wear on his jeans shows that he has started riding a bike recently, and the three mud splatters on his shoes shows that he hurtles through puddles - not something an established rider would do. His eyes show signs of tiredness - there must be a child where he dwells that wakes him each day at 5.30am (I have recently conducted a study on the bags under mens' eyes). And there are clearly three different types of cat-hair on his Robyn Matheson jersey."

"His eyes are reddened, so clearly he reads each night in poor light, and theway he stretches his neck shows that he spends a lot of time sitting in an uncomfortable seat."

And Watson will say: But how do you know he doesn't find you amusing?

"Coz he just punched me in the mouth."


April 04, 2005

Please Ban the Following

The 27 true authors of DogBitingMen write:

Hello Fu*kface.

We know that our elaborate pseudonyms of "Olivia Kember", "David W Young", "Neil Falloon" and "Ben Thomas" fool nobody. It is no secret that we are in truth a cabal of 27 socially and economically liberal homosexual men striving to create a more morally permissible environment for sin. That is our agenda.

Sometimes, though, we forget our principles and advocate the use of the state's monopoly to stop people from doing things we disapprove of. (We call these our Muriel Phases. Named after nobody in particular). This urge to ban certain activities comes to us particularly during election years, when our influence in national affairs peaks (we are after all "opinion leaders" and an organised block of swinging voters in the highest income bracket.)

Here is a suggested platform for politicians desperate for votes.

We will vote for you if you ban the following:

- use of the term 'MSM' to mean 'mainstream media'.

- digs at Australia.

- young people at bowling clubs. (Includes people who are young at heart. Which, incidentally, is how we delicately refer to Russell Brown.)

- references to women loving shoes. Especially by women who proclaim to love shoes.

- monosyllabic Auckland restaurants - Red, Live, White, Rice, Fish (although it must be acknowledged that this is a slight improvement on single Italian word Auckland restaurants - Rocco, Bella, Andiamo, Prego, Aquamatta, Estasi, etc.

- anyone in the media using the word 'bling'.

- "irony" - not actual irony but 99% of the things that people think are "ironic". Summed up in the painfully try-hard little brother ad on bfm for the painfully ironically named kidswear line called "little shit". In the ad, the kid says to his father, "dad, can't you be more ironic?". There are also little shit posters which should be banned. Not because showing a young kid smoking is immoral, but because they're so self-consciously smartarse they make us spew.

- references to the Pope's urinary tract. These produce a difficult mental image.

- the entire town of Wanganui, including mayor Michael Laws. We've had enough of all of you. Just piss off and get out of our newspapers.

- moral panic about a child stealing a bottle of Coke from a dairy. What do the politicians expect - that the Armed Offenders' Squad will beat the kid to a pulp?

- the word "shrill" to describe the quality of debate against the position you hold yourself. It's so last week.

- bloggers thinking they are media. The gossipy old woman in our staff lunch room doesn't consider herself media, even though she reaches as many people as half the bloggers in New Zealand and also addresses interesting subjects ranging from what the government is doing wrong to what she plans on having for dinner (she is almost as prolific as New Zealand's uber-bloggers).

- slutty outfits on children. One primary school-aged girl was seen with a teeshirt that said, "I've lost my keys. Can I borrow yours?" That child's parent has failed as a human being. When we were growing up, "inappropriate childrens' clothes" meant that they had been made out of curtains by Julie Andrews. Now it means your daughter dresses like a streetwalker.

Please note that we have not finished banning things yet. We will be back later with more things to ban. Banning things is fun.

Fresh Tendrils

Ben Thomas writes the first part of a supposed DBM series (soon to be forgotten) of literary reviews...
I have been reading books from the Library. This is a magnificent building in the middle of Auckland that gives you books which you do not pay for, so long as you undertake to return them once their purpose is used and spent. Freed from the confines of ownership and its attendant responsibilities, I brought home a stack of texts on Saturday and spent much of the weekend juggling them and hurling them into walls to see what sound they would make. It was a true tragedy of the commons type situation.
Thomas Pynchon is a great and mysterious writer. He has won various prizes for his mammoth, impenetrable post-modern novels such as Gravity's Rainbow and The Crying of Lot 49. He has never, over the course of a 40 year publishing career, given an interview or been photographed. An article in Time in 1978 says one self-proclaimed college colleague of Pynchon's, 20 years previous, recalls that he was a lean man who ate spaghetti and soda pop for breakfast, and may have majored in physics or literature.
Anyhoo, I picked up a short story collection, Slow Learner, from 1984 (the stories were written much earlier) which has the only introduction ever written by Pynchon for his work. In it, he reflects:
"I will spare everybody a detailed discussion of all the overwriting that occurs in these stories, except to mention how distressed I am at the number of tendrils that keep showing up. I still don't know for sure what a tendril is. I think I took the word from T S Eliot.... My specific piece of wrong procedure back then was, incredibly, to browse through the thesaurus and note words that sounded cool, hip, or likely to produce an effect, usually that of making me look good, without then taking the trouble to go and find out in the dictionary what they meant."

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