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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Shit storm

Shit my Dad PM says.
NZ Herald:
Prime Minister John Key denied in Parliament yesterday that he had said British football star David Beckham was "as thick as batshit".
Having made the denial in Parliament, any conflicting evidence could see him referred to the privileges committee for misleading Parliament.
It was reported by Radio New Zealand that he made the comment to a group of students at St Hilda's Collegiate in Dunedin last Friday. According to the report, Mr Key said Beckham was handsome and nice but was also "as thick as batshit".
The issue was raised in question time by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. In the House, Mr Key said Mr Peters was relying on "hearsay".
Mr Peters: "Yes or no, did he not say at a meeting with schoolchildren that David Beckham was as thick as bat ..."
Mr Key: "Categorically I did not say that, no.
"If it helps in terms of clarification, I am reluctant to swear in Parliament but if the member is asking me whether I used the word 'batshit', I did not."Asked later what he did say, Mr Key said it was a private conversation and he would not repeat it. He refused to say whether he swore.
Say it ain't so...

For anyone unfamiliar with the English language, like John Key supposedly, the term is "thick as pig shit". "Bat shit" refers to being mentally disordered as in the common expression "bat shit crazy".  But he knows this already doesn't he? His answer appears to be a matter of symantics:

Duncan Garner:
Key has categorically denied, in Parliament, using the word 'batshit' in reference to the claim he called David Beckham "thick as batshit."
So that's confirmation he called Beckham, as "thick as ... (insert word here)"
What was it Prime Minister? It's simple and you know the answer.
It's something that is recent enough to recall, as you made a bunch of school girls giggle.
It's clear John Key made a rude and unbecoming remark about Beckham - the superstar.
His denial over the word 'batshit' has only confirmed what we all know - that the Prime Minister insulted the star soccer player.
So what was it? He's obviously as 'thick as something.'

Trivial shit really; but being the PM the microscopic scrutiny is a constant and Garner is right on this - he has to put a line under it.

All these gaffes are accumulating into an unfavourable image of his persona: unprofessional, flippant and underscores Bill English's oft-repeated observation that Key flits from cloud to cloud in a bubble. Trying terribly hard to be a normal bloke, but over-shooting, is an occupational hazard in the role of PM and is far more acute with this multi-millionaire money trader with mansions in Hawaii casting a long shadow in the mind of the public. That is quite a reputation of high flying to unwind into something more acceptably proletarian for popular consumption. Sometimes the over-compensation is probably planned and scripted, other times it is not and it gets him into trouble. The risk is it adds up and people start saying he's acting like a clown and begin asking the question: "doesn't he want the job anymore?"

On the issue of the word 'shit' I have noticed that in the last year the word - as a stand alone - has had a lot of uptake across the mass media, esp. on the radio. This was set off in no small part after the grey and sober Phil Goff said "bullshit" during the last election campaign (I think it was). That seemed acceptable. The word shit on its own however has not been so embraced... until this year.

With bullshit (or pig shit or whatever) it is a reference to an animal, but when someone says shit on its own it could be human shit and I suggest it is this taboo that is the basis of the objection to its use. However this prohibition has been tested recently and in pushing the boundaries to make shit an open word there has been push back. The TV networks and some others have refused to use the word. Perhaps this was done to highlight or exaggerate how offensive the word is? But I have noticed that about the traps - especially on Radio Live - shit is the new bullshit.


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