Can someone please explain to me the appeal of Game Of Thrones? Vincent and I watched the first episode (granted, often not the best episode by which to judge a series), and it seemed to us to be sexist (I know, this is common to 90% of what's on tv), extremely badly written, poorly lit (specifically, the lighting was like a bad porno), and hammy. We decided we'd rather just have sex ourselves, and then read some Harry Potter, or maybe Lord Of The Rings, finally. But I must be missing something, or why would every other person in the world be watching and loving it? Has 30 Rock really ruined all other television for me forever?
Now, even if you can explain that, I defy anyone to explain this incredibly badly and misleadingly titled article about the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, which is currently before parliament. This bill, if passed, would give employers the right to ask their employees to work through their breaks, even paid breaks, if "reasonable". I'm still trying to find the bits of my brain that came flying out of my ears when I first read it. As far as I know, this hasn't been in the news; no-one has thought it might relate to the recent protests at Burger King branches in the city which have been exploiting immigrant workers and paying them less than minimum wage. The same employers who would be deemed suitable to make decisions on behalf of their staff as to whether or not the lunch rush is more important than having an unpaid half hour break. This makes me both furious, and exasperated. Very few people can go into an interview and make demands; it's difficult to ask questions that relate to pay and working conditions. And the most vulnerable members of the workforce; those vying for unskilled work that will have them (because New Zealand is a racist colony that finds an Asian accent problematic but a European accent just fine), the people already being exploited - those are the same people who are going to be most affected. I'm already bracing myself for the onslaught of professionals and their war stories about working through lunch most days, plus starting at eight and finishing who-knows-when before they can get to Les Mills for a quick spin class and then grab something quick from Nosh and go home to their Ponsonby villas... But every worker has the right to a break, and if the people "we" elected to represent us disagree, we have to convince them otherwise.
Tonight Hone Harawira was on Campbell Live, ostensibly to explain the comments he made today. The word he used is one that no-one has the right to use; no-one. But dear lord, I'm glad he's in parliament.