Friday, August 20, 2004

Fuse Pieces

These first appeared in fuse, the NZ Herald Student mag. They were accompanied there by an embarrasing mug shot. Anyhow, here they are:

Poisoned Pot

It has been an odd week in the news. In the absence of speeding politicians or party formations things have taken a turn for the strange.

We're talking about the poisoned pot warnings. Apparently the police are warning cannabis consumers to beware of the weed.
Turns out the cops conducted an aerial spraying campaign over Coromandel growing regions. Unlike conventional crop-dusters though they have been spraying pesticide. This poison makes marijuana harmful if smoked.
Luckily, as the cops aren’t evil in this country, the pesticide also turns the plants blue - so you’ll know what not to smoke.
Sounds simple really - avoid the blue buds. Except growers, ever-resourceful people that they are, appear to have been using yellow food colouring to turn the blue plants back to a more conventional green.
Which leaves smokers in a bit of a sticky situation, if you’ll excuse the awful pun. You’d think it would be easy enough to avoid the danger by just making sure you avoided Coromandel green. Putting aside the sacrilege this statement might represent to devotees of such, the problem is you can’t always be that sure where that pot you just bought came from. There is no buyer beware in an underground market. It is very hard to trust your supplier when he or she touts their product. It doesn’t matter what low-grade food-coloured cabbage they might be getting for you because they are always going to tell you it is the meanest, cloned, northern lights skunk, bro. Just look at those crystals. Or something like that - it has been a while since I was last doing that but I’ll bet it still holds true.
Oddly enough this potentially dangerous fiasco is good ammo for those wishing to see cannabis laws relaxed. The police never intended to hurt the smokers, only the producers. If the current approach to policing pot starts endangering normal occasional users it might provide a good moment to step back and have a think about what it was they were trying to accomplish in the first place.
Not only are pretty much law abiding citizens being criminalized by the laws at the moment - both through the kind of associations they have to tap into to get hold of weed and the risk of conviction they face by indulging, but now they are also being endangered because the lack of an above board supply system means most people will have no idea where their hitherto harmless joint came from.
Blue weed and Crop-dusting cops - it’s either Monty Python or Reefer Madness. But lets just hope no one gets hurt in the process.

That was piece no1. apart from looking like I was trying to be down with those crazy pot smoking kids it wasn't too painful


Parekura Horimia has announced that he intends to shed 30 kilos by Christmas. You may have seen the photos of him in half undress, showing us the before to what he hopes comes after.

I haven’t seen so much flesh since my first flurries on to the Internet. And I was left with the same feelings of unease and that this wasn’t the kind of image I wanted to be found with on my computer.
Turns out the Minister for Maori Affairs is new to Weight Watchers and is losing puku to highlight obesity amongst Maori.

Fine project. And good on him too, it has to be in his health’s best interests. However it is a dangerous move to put your belly on the line - if, right in the glare of the public eye, he doesn’t make the target, then he’s cooked politically.

You only have to remember Donna Awatere Huata. Ms Huata lost a lot of weight. Heaps in fact. And incidentally, though maybe not coincidentally, she also gained some omni-present wrap-around sunglasses the made her look like a bad guy out of the Fifth Element. But just as her husband told the world how much better their sex was as a result (thanks Wi, much appreciated mate) it emerged that it wasn’t her sterling will power that had cut the girth, but was in fact a stomach-stapling operation.
Which wasn’t what she’d told the Women’s mags. And like Samson losing his powers with his hair, everything went quite to custard for Donna afterwards.

Since then she has been heading through half the Courts in the Country fighting fraud charges and an ACT party attempt to have her booted from Parliament. You’d think the accompanying stress may have lost the weight for her, but it was too late - the operation, and the integrity-damage, was done.

So it is a brave man who makes his personal the political. Especially seeing that Horomia is mainly known for two things- being fat, and mangling his words when he speaks in Parliament. Perhaps cutting out the one would serve to highlight the other, and he wouldn’t want that.
Although I sincerely do wish him the best it really doesn’t look good for him. Apparently to help him through the Weight Watchers programme he is relying on the decidedly un-svelte Annette King to help him count his points. Better not throw out the Mu-Mus quite yet.

It is more difficult than I'd imagined to say anything at all in a 400 word limit. But that is an economical way to take a swipe at Horomia, Wi Huata, Donna Awatere Huata, Annette King......


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