I've been focusing on positive things in this column for the past month. Trying to do my small bit to combat negativity.
Not everyone is on my same positive wavelength. Take Deborah Hill Cone. She really had a go at Clarke Gayford last week for reasons unknown (even to herself).
It was a nation-stopping opinion piece. An opinion so big Mike Hosking and everyone else gave their opinion on her opinion. Now I'm going to give my opinion on his opinion of her opinion. A classic opinion media circle jerk.
Hosking said Thursday: "I suspect that Deborah Hill Cone might have had a go at me over the years. I only say that because most people… have had a go at me over the years."
This got me thinking. Why do so many people have a go at Hosking? It's probably because Hosking has had a go at so many people himself. Same reason so many people had a go at DHC last week.
The issue is covered in The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 26, verse 52. Unhappy with a follower who had cut off the ear of a servant Christ allegedly said "return your sword to its place, for all who will take up the sword, will die by the sword". Which can mean "have a go at people and other people will have a go at you".
Doesn't mean you shouldn't have a go if you really feel the need. But if you do, it's all on for young and old. Negativity breeds negativity.
In the past I've had lots of goes at people. Thankfully as a real media bottom feeder mine is some kind of floppy lame sword made of foam rubber or toilet paper, inflicting little damage. Hosking and DHC on the other hand with their mainstream media positions have much more powerful swords. His is made from something like Valyrian steel and hers of dragon glass, inflicting way more damage on their victims and potentially themselves. The point is this. Whether your sword is floppy or hard getting it out has consequences. Keep it sheathed until you're sure. Which sounds way too sexual.
Anyway here's my three positive things for the week.
1. Avengers Infinity War is something to behold. There's so much going on. The sheer technical achievement is a true marvel. Not to mention the weaving of dozens of characters into time and space with humour and pace. Ten years of build-up culminating in a surprisingly risky plot. Any mention of which, would be a spoiler. #thanosdemandsyoursilence.
I saw Infinity Wars on iMAX 3D, my jaw hanging open the whole time. It was almost too much. I'm going to go to a normal 2D version today just to get my head around what happened. Five infinity stones out of six.
2. My next positive is 126 years old. In 2018 it seems odd to hype up a book first published in 1892, but I'm going to. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is the first compilation of Sir Conan Doyle's short crime stories. It saved my life in Noosa last week.
My two sons and I had terrible Wi-Fi at our hotel. It was a disaster. We couldn't get Netflix. We desperately needed something to keep our minds off our terrible sunburn. Sherlock was the only book available. So I started reading a mystery a night to the kids.
They loved it. Started calling it Dadflix. Started demanding Sherlock even when we got the internet going. The Red-headed League, The Five Orange Pips, The Man With the Twisted Lips. All brilliant short stories. I recommend you grab the cheap orange Penguin edition while it's hot. Get it from the best bookshop in the country, Time Out Bookstore in Mt Eden Village. Reading poncy old stuff like this to your children is bound to make them smarter.
3. Stuff You Should Know is coming to New Zealand. I've written before about Josh and Chuck's long-running informative podcast. Across over 1000 episodes they've entertained tens of millions with their witty explanations of how things work. Now they're appearing live in Auckland September 7th. Go see them if you can. If not at least listen to the podcast. It's free and fun knowledge in your ears while you're doing anything you might be doing.
That's my month of positivity done. Thanks for reading. I don't imagine many people did. You need the sword to get the big numbers. Maybe I'll whip mine out next week.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.