Most days this newsletter comes out as a daily diary: minute by minute, hour by hour because it’s been the best way to cope with everything slapping up against the windscreen one thing after another.
Generally the poor windscreen wipers manage to keep up with all the cats and dogs and bits of limbs and offal and Simeon; a lot of Mike; so very much of Judith. But some days it feels as though all the day and hours are just melting together like a Dali picture. When that happens you think: maybe I won't do a diary today I’ll just describe the mood. The vibe.
So let's take the temperature of anyone who’s prepared to be sampled. Look, if you can take that thing up your nose I'm sure you won't mind if we just pop this thermometer in for a moment.
Let’s start with the general vibe - how are we feeling, nation?
Mood of the Nation Waiting for 4.00pm
Mood of The Opposition
Hello Pop-Up Leader Judith Collins, mind if we take you temperature? Crikey. I think we're going to need another thermometer. You're just steaming according to this.
(Hello readers of the free editions! Yesterday I did literal chapter and verse on the whole sorry business of Judith Collins once again teaming up with her odious old buddy to try to trash the reputation of Siouxsie Wiles and you can read it all here if you’d like to consider getting around to treating yourself to a subscription.)
Anyway has Judith been chastened by the sight of all decent New Zealanders recoiling in horror and saying how can you be so deplorable?
As if. She is doubling down and gunning the Thunderbird for the ravine, emboldened by her base telling her never mind the actual facts of the case and the indecency of what you’re doing, we’re going to act like this is a fair point you’re making and we’re going to cling to it like a baby to its blanky, wailing its crabby little lungs out and oh look we’ve filled the nappy again getting all excited about about Jordan Williams taking a private prosecution.
And so she has been saying to anyone who will listen, which is to say Mike Hosking, that she did not buy what Siouxsie Wiles had said that yes, the beach was five kilometres from her home, but she had cycled there which is a form of exercise and therefore within the rules.
Pop-Up Leader’s not having it: She wasn’t exercising, where’s the shoes?
I have a different question to where are the shoes? and it is: does Judith Collins know anything at all about a bicycle and how it works? It is all but impossible to avoid getting exercise when you ride a bike, and the way you dress for it is the very least of things. Just because some people dress for the peloton, it doesn't mean you need Lycra to get a world of healthful benefit from riding.
All of this leads to question: has Judith Collins ever come anywhere near a bicycle?
I asked Twitter for help
But as far as I can see, Judith Collins has never been even the tiniest bit bike-curious.
It's a terrible shame but it perhaps explains why she gets so hostile whenever the subject comes up. Pity, really, because if she wanted to pretend to care about the climate crisis, a bike could be her very best friend.
What's more, it can be quite astonishing to discover how much better it can make you feel about life and the people in it.
We can be, at moments, despite all our differences, united in our grief. At certain other times we can also be as one in our unbridled outrage.
Thus have we beheld a couple lie their way down to Wanaka and we have come together as one to say ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING US RIGHT NOW?
Could they possibly make things any worse?
Yes. Go for suppression.
Take it away, reader and fellow Substacker and longtime Blams fan Simon Sweetman.
Mood of the Roads
Alec Tang asks a very good question.
Such strange behaviour of drivers you see when you go out for your EXERCISE.
We do our best to make room for one another, and that includes stepping out into the road.
In the first lockdown, drivers seemed to go more quietly and carefully, recognising that this was going on. This time not so much, a bit more of the driving like the shops are about to close, making no room at all.
And as if that doesn’t seem rough enough, you see drivers on the Facebook local groups saying OMG these people are walking on the roads like they own them.
Cheers Bro. You missing Wanaka or you just always like this?
Big salute to Kim Knight who can get an accurate reading with no thermometer at all.
Mood of People beholding Appalling People
On Twitter, Donna Chisholm fixes her clear eyes on the bigger problem
We’re rightly outraged by “Wanaka couple” but the anti-vax bullshit spread by Billy TK, the privileged lawyer Sue Grey and countless others is doing much more harm. Son’s gf, being vaccinated tomorrow, said tonight she will do it but is afraid she will die. Facebook is culpable.
And reader Mark Graham testifies about the heartless exploitation of a tragedy
My 16yo son, who we’ve been resisting getting vaccinated, just told us of an 18yo St Mary’s student who died from the vaccine. We set him straight as best we could but I am outraged at Sue Grey from the @NZOutdoorsParty and her appalling, insensitive and irresponsible lies.
Mood of the Taxpayers Union
God save us from the cultural tyranny of the Taxpayers Union. Their position on music, as best I can make it out is: the combined work of Dire Straits, Coldplay and Adele should be music be enough for anybody.
On the Lockdown To Do list:
Set up another version of Taxpayers Union that speaks for the vast numbers of Taxpayers who are altogether happy to pay taxes and make this a nice better place worth living in.
Mood of the Prime Minister
Yesterday afternoon as she put the heavy sell on get out for your vaccine, like, today, like this afternoon, like right now even! I was thinking, boy, if this Prime Minister stuff doesn’t work out she is a gold plated Five Star career prospect for morning TV infomercials.
The Reading Mood of Lockdown
Anything written by reader Linda Burgess - Hi Linda! - is worth your time. Here’s her lovely Sunday essay from yesterday.
This is the best agonising-plane-ride story ever.
And in preparation for happier days beyond lockdown, this:
Big shout out to reader Phil O’Brien - hi Phil! - who was in touch last week to say nice things about the music. Mate, made my day! But I have to make a confession: this is one of my favourite songs. Hope it doesn’t change things.