Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

New Zealand blogging has been quiet for the last few days. Which is a good thing. As Cactus Kate says, “Anyone who blogs over Christmas I have decided is a wee bit sad.”

Among the other local bloggers I follow, Fundy Post managed a cracker on Christmas day, with a massive serve to Glenn Cardy, the vicar – actually no, he’s an archdeacon now, just like Richard Prebble’s lovely dad was – at St Matthew-in-the-City. Cardy is the one who hired Saatchis to put up that challenging billboard of a post-coital Joseph and Mary which challenged some believers so much that they vandalised it.

No one came out of that looking good – not the fanatics and certainly not the egregious Cardy. (I met him when he baptised my eldest and he really is the sort of pleased-to-be-me progressive Christian that gives progressive Christians a bad name. Sort of like a Bob Lowe for the Noughties.) One wonders how much Saatchis charged, and what the parishioners thought they had got for their money. UK blogger Mick Hartley, among others, noticed and lifted Cardy’s profile even more. Which, one suspects, was the point of the exercise.

Chad Taylor is conducting “an experiment in making previously unavailable fiction available to readers”. There are five pieces on his website, including a chunk of his latest novel, The Church of John Coltrane, the sequel to his 1994 novel Heaven. I have a copy of the whole thing which I am part-way through (though I have forgotten almost everything about Heaven and cannot now refer back to it to get my bearings as my copy was one of the casualties of the Great Book Robbery of 1998 when almost my entire library was stolen. Yes, I know, who would steal books?). The new novel is, as we literary types say, shit-hot so I cannot understand why it has been published only in France. New Zealand publishers truly move in mysterious ways.

Phil Parker talks sense about wine fashions.

Home Paddock doesn’t approve of Helen Clark being made a member of the Order of New Zealand.

Karl du Fresne gets a bit snippy about Snoopy. Maybe I don’t go to enough malls – you try when you’re surrounded by cows and horses – but I quite like the cheerful Christmas ditty that enraged him so much. However, he goes on to make some eminently sensible points about modern Christmas music in general. (In our house it was Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Would have been A John Prine Christmas too except my wife can’t stand country music. But when she’s out. . . )

BK Drinkwater is still on sabbatical.

As is Laughy Kate, but that’s because she is still infesting our house and I won’t let her near the computer. One tries to do one’s bit for humanity.


James said...

The St Matt's ad was created by M&C Saatchi who have done their ads for years for free. Here's "what the parishioners thought":

Stephen Stratford said...

Thanks James. I did think that the ad might have been done for free - but the materials wouldn't have been free. There would have been a cost to the church for the billboard, and Saatchi has another entry into the next awards round for pro bono stuff. Call me cynical...

And here is Glenn Cardy preaching, possibly illustrating my point:

Still, it is a beautiful church. IMHO the most beautiful in New Zealand.