Friday, March 17, 2017

Dear God #2


Trump Annex
Office of The President of the United States of America.
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA
Telephone: You’re Crazy, right? Twitter: #millionsofpeopleloveme.


Dear God

How is the family? Son well?

Having a great time here. It’s great. Of course, we have the frustration with the criminal media. They are still trying to justify getting it so wrong. Still! Can you believe it? Stupid. That’s what they are. Bad hombres.

Anyway, let’s move on.

God, we should talk. I have a deal for you. Now, you know how you have always wanted a piece of Saudi Arabia? Well, come November I think I can put a deal together that’s the best deal I have ever done. And nobody does a deal better than I do. I do great deals. That right. The deal is this. I have this army—a great army—that is doing nothing. Where is the commercial sense in that? If you are not shooting bullets nobody is making bullets. The Free Market suffers. The Arms Industry suffers. And when that happens everybody suffers. Yes, they do.

So, what you and I are going to do, God, is to put an end to suffering. Yes, we are. We are going to start a war. A war with Saudi Arabia. A great war. Nobody has built a war like I will build this war. I will use my army. All you have to do is move in when my army has taken the country and turn all the Arabs into Christians so they don’t come back at us. You get all those new Christians. I get the oil.

Nobody loses. Right? Except maybe the Arabs.

I say we will do it in November. I will have run out of executive orders to sign by then.  Do we have a deal? Do we get our people together to talk it through? Maybe hook up your son with mine? Better still, Ivanka? That would be great.

By the way, thanks for the great idea on how to do the all-time job on the legacy of Obama. Came to me last night. Must have come from you because I was sitting in my shorts and bathrobe watching Cecil C. Sackrider on late night television at the time.

Inspired, God. We make a great team, God. Yes, we do. A great team.


Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fryday Feminity and Feminism


This week we had International Women’s Day. I imagine that to many women it does not mean much. Even in this internet age the great majority of women would know March 8 as just another day, and in some cases and in some religions they struggle to be recognised, let alone celebrated.
For others, however, it was proclaimed as a day of affirmation of (variously) women’s rights, equality and equity. None of which Fryday has an issue with. Though it would rather have been spared the excruciating and embarrassing attempt at female solidarity and pride by the National party’s female caucus lead by Paula Bennett. The proliferation of proclamations claiming that the world would be a better pace if “ruled” by women also began to get a bit tiresome. Have none of them heard of Donald Trump?
What did strike me as interesting though was the juxtaposition with another announcement this week. That was that VietJet Aviation, a privately run discount airline also known as VietJet Air, listed on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange. Why is that interesting for any reason than it being another example of thoroughly modern communist country truly embracing capitalism? Well, it is because this airline is renowned, or notorious depending on your perspective, for once having had bikini clad flight attendants. The airline was fined by the Vietnam’s aviation authority, but a video of the bikini-clad girls dancing down the aisle went viral and VietJet received international publicity that it could otherwise not hope to emulate. Ticket sales soared. The carrier eventually expects to eclipse state-run Vietnam Airlines in the domestic market, and it also has big goals for its international operations.
Wonder what I am getting it?
Am I offended by its overt sexism? Am I even befuddled by the curious juxtaposition of bikini and gather belt and stockings (see photo)? Yes, I guess.
But what really intrigued me on the International Women’s Day is that the person that contrived this, authorised this and took VietJet to new heights is a woman, CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. What is more, Thao is the only Vietnamese to make Forbes' list of the world's 100 most powerful women.
Now, I am going to go out on a limb here and state that as much as Ms Bennett’s video was well-intentioned it did come across as almost an apology for being a woman. It was less of a celebration than a condescension.  Whilst I would not I think ever see Paula Bennett and or Judith Collins in bikinis, I would hope that they would acknowledge that Ms Thao’s approach, whilst different, is no less compelling as a manifestation of the fact that feminism and femininity are powerful weapons.
On a broader front, let us also now consider that the criticism and claims of sexist and sexism can often be countered by the judicious and astute use of sexuality, as Ms Thao amply proved.

Friday, March 3, 2017

FFFL

Among the cute animal footage, the quizzes and the omnipresent and now largely repetitive slagging off of Donald Trump in Facebook, even the casual voyeur can often find something of real merit. I am not talking of the so-called inspirational and aspirational quotes that proliferate. Nor am I talking of the plethora of posts that threaten to reveal who we were in a past life or, macabrely, predict when we shall die.
No, I am talking about the posts that invite us on a shared journey into our earlier lives. This life, not a past one. They usually comprise photos of the way we were. In extreme cases, and I am guilty of this, they may even be our baby photos, though, in my case, what interest my low-slung nappies and slobbering lips had to the Facebook Fraternity was certainly called into question.
But, what is fascinating about some of these posts is not what they are, but what they represent. I have a very good friend: a woman with a fine and now adult family. She and I have been friends for about 40 years, though we lost touch for a long time—time enough for her to have her family, for them to grow up, and for me to have forgotten what she looked like 40 years ago.
Last week I was reminded.
Her daughter, a beautiful young woman in her own right, posted a photo of herself as a young child—perhaps four—dancing with my friend, her mother, then probably in her 20s. Being a photo, one can only imagine the exuberance of that dance. However, it is patently there. And there is also in that photo a sense of the now—not the past, as short as it was, nor the future that would challenge them both. But of the moment, of the present, of the share joy of being together, captured so many years ago in one photo and shared just last week by the daughter to celebrate her mother’s birthday.
And to share the love.
The term share the love can these days be rather trite. Nevertheless, it can often be an expression of sheer and sincere intent. Facebook, for all its faults, can be good for that,
Thank You Mark Zuckerberg
Thank you Sarah.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Fryday About Nothing


Occasionally Fryday is torn between its self-imposed responsibility to deliver a new piece every Friday and the demands on its time from other projects. More rarely, Fryday simply wakes with nothing to say and, because nothing is planned or written before Friday, time soon runs out to write anything at all.
Such is the case today.
I woke with nothing to say. I can fall back on Trump, as indeed many would like to do. But, I covered him last week and I detect that most of us are all a bit trumped out, so we need a break. I could talk about the Port Hills fires, but they have been well and truly—and rightly—canvassed; the horror of the fires and their impact is apparent for all to see. 
There are of course, always the Fryday staples: Hamilton, Whetu, useless objects, and the various correspondents, such as Cecil C. Sackrider, Fryday employs around the world. But, I can’t think of a more useless object than Donald Trump, and all my correspondents seem to be busy. Fryday can be a very lonely place when not populated by these people.
So, there is nothing to galvanize my thoughts on this day and, yes, as predicted, I am running out of time.
Perhaps I need a change of scene and a change of pace. A journalist acquaintance tells me that next week he is off to the Cook Islands to do a travel piece. Lucky bugger. Travelling and being paid for it. That’s perhaps what I need. I read an article this week on the slowly developing North Korean tourism industry. It is apparently tightly controlled, but it is there. I wouldn’t mind trying that. However, my preferred destination is, and after once visiting it will always be, Paris. That is where I would like to go next. And if North Korean President for Life Kim Jong-un is affronted by that then he has at his disposal (pun intended) several demonstrable mitigation options. Apparently, poison being one.
So, as I look at the clock above my desk, I see that it is 6:50 a.m. NZT (2:20 a.m. in Pyongyang, so I won’t wake Him) and I still haven’t written a word on Fryday. 
That means, there will be no Fryday this week. I have simply run out of time to write anything.
And if you are wondering why I have taken 399 words to reach that conclusion, just put it down to Fryday’s attempt at delivering “fake news”. According to Mr Trump, apparently everybody’s doing it.
Job done.
Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dear God: The Trump Years: #1


Trump Annex
Office of The President of the United States of America.
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500, USA
Telephone: You’re Crazy, right? Twitter: @millionsofpeopleloveme.

2/10/17

Dear God

You have got to be right, right? Am I right?

Of course I am. Hey, I am terrific, right? But sometimes, God, you also got to be wrong. Am I right? You know I am.  You know the feeling. You’ve been there. You created Mexico, for God’s sake. How wrong can that be? Right?

And sometimes—not often—I get it wrong. That’s right. I get it wrong. I admit it. There I said it. Knock yourself out. I said it. I am wrong. That’s right, I was wrong when I said I would be the greatest President God ever created.

I know you got a lot of smart people, around you God. But to say they created me? C’mon! Not in their wildest dreams. Not in their wildest dreams could they have created me. C’mon! It’s like throwing Saint Peter into a property deal in The Bronx. They’d kill him down there. They love me down there.

I created me.

You know, people say to me. All the time they say to me. Mr Trump, how can a man like you who is worth millions and millions of dollars, who has done the greatest deals of all time—yes I have—who wears the greatest ties—aren’t they? Aren’t they great? How can you be so modest?

And you know what I say? I say, look at me. I am terrific. I have everything. I own modesty. Yes I do. I own it.

So, God, that is why I say you created me. ‘Cause I am great like that. I let it go. I give you the credit for me. After all, and after Mexico, people got to believe that you got something right. Am I right?

Donald J. Trump
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America.

PS: Are you on Twitter?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friends


I have always supported the commonplace view that birds of a feather flock together. People of agreeable disposition tend to gravitate to each other for the sheer pleasure of it and out of mutual respect. Less agreeable people, and I know the description is subjective, tend to do the same. They gather for a time to complain, bleat and generally bemoan the fact that the rest of the world does not share their opinions (which they inevitably state as gospel) and indeed won’t take them seriously.
I think you know the type.
The distinction between the two groups is that generally within the first group friendships ensue and endure; for the second, such friendships are rare—ultimately even mutual malcontents get sick of each other. Loyalty rather than self-interest is not a strong point for this group.
I have been thinking of this today because yesterday was Facebook Friends Day and because a group of my friends is in some serious strife resulting in them being vilified and judged. Some of those who have been most vitriolic in this instance are, in my view, very much in the second group and a second commonplace saying “those who throw stones…” comes to mind.
What my friends may or may not have done is not for me to judge. There are those more professionally qualified than I to do that, and to their credit they do so based on what is put before them and not on conjecture, assumption and envy.
My only judgement, the only one I am qualified to make, is whether my friends should remain my friends. I have made the decision that they should do so. In fact, I never seriously considered otherwise. They were my friends yesterday and nothing so far presented to me suggests that will change tomorrow.
Yet the suggestion can be made that in making my decision I, somewhat ironically, lack judgement.
I have little time for that, and for one compelling reason: people who imply that, do not understand friendship. Friendship is not finite but nor is flimsy. It is not vacuous; it is not a whim; it is not shredded by circumstance, and a strong and genuine friendship does not—I repeat—does not make you vulnerable. Instead it lifts you, consoles you, accommodates you, strengthens you, and, in many ways, makes you.
So, here’s to friends. They and loyalty are for now and forever our saving graces.
And no matter what else is happening in the world at this time, nothing, but nothing, can Trump that.

Friday, January 27, 2017

What The Inauguration Taught Us.

The author of this august journal has nothing more to offer on the Trump debacle. Indeed, he, for it is a he, is as tired of it as you probably are. Perhaps we have already gone too far when the press conjugate on the possibility of a Secret Service agent having prosthetic hands to better grasp whatever weaponry is harboured in his trousers.
No more
We are going to build a great wall. Yes, we are. I build tremendous walls. It’ll be great.
However, Fryday is close to the Trump Camp, through no fault of its own, and it is our understanding that there is soon to be revealed a body of correspondence between the 45th President of the United States and God. It appears that He, God, has much to learn about The Art of the Deal.
But, that is for the future and Fryday has no control over that. What it does control, however, is the present and the recent past. And the recent past, the inauguration, has presented us with one photo that Fryday feels to be more poignant, more telling, than the millions of others that captured the nadir of reality television. This one photograph must seer our minds and forever brand our history.
Look upon it and weep.
Weep upon what the world has lost and what awaits.

There is class and there is not.