Wednesday, November 24, 2010


There seems to be little point in blogging at the moment - there is hardly anything happening in my life that is worth blogging about.

There's plenty happening in other people's lives however. The mining disaster on the West Coast has taken up a lot of air time in the last few days, and rightly so. Things aren't looking good there to say the least. Yesterday's developments were described as "two steps forward and three back", but even that seemed to be putting a positive spin on things. It's a very close-knit community down there; I just hope we can find out something in the next 24 hours. It must be hell for the friends and families of those who are trapped. As for what the miners themselves have been through, that doesn't bear thinking about.

On Saturday I attended the monthly autism group which was interesting as always. The topic of discussion this time was adverts; people had to vote on their best and worst. I like to think I'm immune to advertising. Although it probably influences me more than I imagine, I'm pretty sure I'm less susceptible than most. I can see that a lot of ads (car ads being a prime example) are trying to press some kind of emotional buttons, but they're wasted on me I'm afraid. I'm particularly unimpressed with ads for banks, who are all trying to out-Kiwify each other, even if most of them are Australian-owned. ASB (owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia) have ditched Goldstein and jumped on the Kiwi bandwagon. TSB (who really are a Kiwi bank) used to run an amusing series of ads, one of which featured someone let loose on a solo plane flight with no training; they've since gone down the "real Kiwis only" route too. On a similar theme is Resene's "Colours of New Zealand" paint advert which, if I'd thought about it, would have got my vote on Saturday for the worst ad. Lake Wakatipu blue, it's so much bluer than bog-standard blue. How can you get away with such crap?

Worst of all must be ads that use sportsmen and other "great" New Zealanders to endorse medical and financial products. These ads aren't just crap, they're downright dangerous. Being a great rugby player or cricketer or golfer doesn't give you the authority to promote products that, should they go wrong, can wreck people's lives. One example was Colin Meads' endorsement of Provincial Finance. "South Island based. Solid as, I reckon," he said. Yes, solid as a house of cards during the South Island earthquake. Provincial was one of the first of New Zealand's many finance companies to go under.

This weekend I hope to meet up with Richard and two female members of the autism group to talk about flatting. I'm a bit unsure about sharing a four-person flat. It might be fine but I'll need to give it some thought. There will be plenty to discuss at the weekend.

An hour after I posted this, it was confirmed that there had been a second explosion (much bigger than the first), ending all hope of finding any of the 29 miners alive. Devastating news. I found yesterday's extended news bulletin quite moving.

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