Government Free Day (In defense of cigars)

I propose #GovernmentFreeDay in response to the recent government announcement (made on #SmokeFreeDay) that it plans to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products in early 2017.

If it had be2016-05-12 12.17.14en cigarettes alone that had warranted the action (a mass-marketed, truly toxic and deadly pastime that is a clear burden on the taxpayer) I would get it. But they had to remind us we’re in the terminally uncultured antipodes didn’t they? They had to tar cigars with the same scornful brush.

Cigars are a craft item. A luxury item. A religious item. To smoke a good cigar is to pray. To create a holy space (holy meaning separate in the original Hebrew), a sanctuary where you can poke around in rooms in your mind you never knew existed. They are an indulgence – a glorious one – and as such are generally consumed infrequently. They pose a minor health risk that would fall well behind wine consumption in the middle classes.

Hitler’s appraisal of the Weimer republic was to call it a wasteland.

The push to destroy the cigar proves the complete aesthetic emptiness of the committed ideologue. The power hungry seldom can identify beauty. Hitler’s appraisal of the Weimer republic (an explosion of art and culture without which we wouldn’t have Hollywood) was to call it a wasteland.

So I propose #GovernmentFreeDay. This would be a day where fascist, bullying taxes and outright bans are dropped and adults are treated as adults and are left to make their own decisions.

#GovernmentFreeDay should coincide with the birthday of a defender of personal freedoms and would offer a good opportunity to teach our children that those who seek to ban things are generally nasty individuals who should be shot with balls of their own shit. 

Find Me A Māori Bride

There are three kinds of people in New Zealand: those who are comfortable on a marae, those who have never been, and those who are pretty used to being told off there. They’re the ones who slow their walking pace so they have someone to follow, mouth the words to songs they don’t know and laugh when everyone else laughs despite not having understood a word of te reo. It’s usually someone who’s been made to be there – a school trip, a work trip, a family gathering, or – god forbid – a tangi They’re the ones getting told off for playing on their phones while people are speaking, or checking their work emails during meal time. They’re the ones Find me a Maori Bride is made for. They’re also the ones it was made by…

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There Were Brave Men before Agamemnon

A neo-noir that riffs on the archetypes of James M. Cain’s “The Postman Always Rings Twice”.

A shell shocked British soldier fresh from the Great War turns up on an isolated New Zealand farm and into the arms of a domineering German land owner’s young and seductive Maori wife. The couple decide to get the old man out of the picture in what should’ve been the perfect crime…

A throwback to some of Hollywood’s best thrillers, transplanted to the breathtaking landscape of New Zealand, “There Were Brave Men before Agamemnon” is a sexy, bloody, edge-of-your-seat melodrama with more twists than a corkscrew and a denouement you’ll never see coming.