Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rhetorical eruptions

A guest post by Steve Whitehouse, a founding friend – a funding friend, in fact – of Quote Unquote the magazine, and occasional satirist.

Rhetorical eruptions set to continue, say geologists
Emergency supplies of opinions are being rushed to New Zealand’s main centres following the violent eruption of Mount McLauchlan in the Hauraki Gulf.

An eyewitness on the RNZN survey ship Hooton reports that “giant flashes of viewpoints are illuminating the night sky on matters ranging from quantum physics to early childhood education and the Arab Spring. We’ve also detected traces of Ryanite in the atmosphere, a sure sign that the event is far from over.”

GNS geologist Gordon McCabe said, “Normally the mountain emits about 10 opinions a month, but in the last 24 hours alone it has issued more than 100 points of view. Some of the recent outbursts have registered as high as 5.2 on the Hickey scale. We’ve seen nothing like this since the Muldoonocene extinction nearly 40 years ago”.

The phenomenon appears to have been triggered by a lahar from Lake Boag which caused clouds of sulphuric steam to rise from fissures along the Edwards fault. This in turn seems to have set off Mount McLauchlan. The resulting swarms of outrage have been detected as far away as the Odger Observatory in Hong Kong.

Plumes of belief have risen into the Mora-sphere and are being carried South, blotting out alternative points of view.

In the Wairarapa, the Perigo River has burst its banks. Residents of the hamlet of Coddington have retreated to higher ground and taken shelter in the picturesque Church of St Ayn where they are refusing any government assistance.

In Wellington, frustrated bloggers and commentators have been aimlessly roaming the streets in a desperate attempt to express themselves. A Kedgley-Farrar two-stage rocket has been fired into the upper atmosphere but with no discernible effect.

Meanwhile, the relief comments being issued by the government to fill the vacuum have come under criticism. “They’re just tired, out-of-date, failed ideas from the neo-liberal 1980s which have been stored in a warehouse in Remuera,” said Josie Trotter of the Aro Street Innumeracy Foundation. “What we need is new, evidence-based policies from the 1930s.”

The only part of the country not to have been closed down by the pall of smug is Dunedin where the Auckland eruption has activated an experimental opinion machine designed by Otago University.

“The Flynn-a-tron, which we have installed on the slopes of Dougal Heights, has turned itself on and we don’t know how to turn it off,” said a university spokesman. “It is apparently working its way through the alphabet. It has so far emitted definitive interpretations of subjects starting with Aristotle and, as of yesterday, it had reached Libyan politics and even the Tennessee Valley Authority.”

Attempts to inject irony into the system by Sir Winston Jones have so far failed.

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