Karl du Fresne’s Mysteries of Life: EXPLAINED!

by Guest Post

02112011 NEWS. Manawatu Standard columnist Karl du Fresne. Photo: SUPPLIEDBy Jonny Potts

Recently, fearless inquiring mind Karl du Fresne posed a series of stumpers in the pages of the Dom Post. These are the answers that eluded him.

Karl’s original questions are rendered in BOLD out of deference and fear.

Should parents who give their kids weird, unpronounceable and unspellable names be charged with child abuse?

I wouldn’t have thought so, though I have heard this sentiment expressed at dinner parties after certain types of bores have had too much to glug.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama – a Mugabe in the making, right in our own backyard?

I blame the parents. They’d have both been just fine if they’d just been given good kiwi names like De Frayne or D’Freznee.

We’ve had Dancing with the Stars hysteria, MasterChef hysteria, The Block hysteria and New Zealand’s Got Talent hysteria – what other ordeals has television got up its sleeve?

‘Ordeal Hysteria’.

Shouldn’t political commentators who double as media trainers be required to disclose who they work for?

Seems fair. You set the quiz right? Well, in my opinion, any word at all can precede ‘water’. Read your Joyce. Anyway we’re off topic.

Has Coro St become the most relentlessly miserable, depressing, downbeat programme on television?

Just you wait for ‘Ordeal Hysteria’

Cliches are an occupational hazard in sports journalism, but is “riding the pine” – meaning sitting on the reserves’ bench – one of the silliest ever?

Well that’s raised some eyebrows around the camp. A ‘please explain’ has been issued ahead of this weekend’s stoush and officials have been left scratching their heads.

Has John Key finally woken up to the fact that his smirk is an electoral liability?

This is a man who was known as ‘the smiling assassin’. His smirk is his fortune.

How much more prosperous would New Zealand be if all the time wasted on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube was spent working?

Internet eh? I give it a year.

Has the blogosphere become a forum in which frustrated Leftists impotently let off steam while the rest of the country calmly gets on with things?

Yes, if by ‘calmly getting on with things’ you mean ‘impotently letting off steam about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the blogosphere’.

Is Radio New Zealand’s Kim Hill capable of reading a mildly critical email from a listener without delivering a dismissive rejoinder?

Also, she talks like a blinking schoolgirl! I sure hope you address this worrying trend later on.

How many Fulton Hogan trucks does it take to protect a single worker mowing a motorway verge?

I give up, how many Fulton Hogan trucks DOES it take to protect a single worker mowing a motorway verge?

Had enough of the haka?

Way to leave me hanging, pal.

When will someone admit that Downton Abbey is really just a glorious spoof, never meant to be taken seriously?

No idea. I don’t watch it as I’m too busy working.

Is Wilson Parking the most rapacious company in the land?

All publicity is good publicity.

Closely followed by Wellington International Airport?

Just walk to the servo for your cab, mate. You can even catch the 44 by that motel.

How hard can it be for One News to put captions on screen so that viewers can identify the people talking?

Oh come now, Karl. As a seasoned newsman, you know just how difficult it is to get the film into your typewriter.

Why have so many mature, educated New Zealand women taken to talking with silly schoolgirl voices?

Maybe you could slick your quiff back, strut over from your side of the gym, and ask one?

Why do so many slow drivers speed up when they come to a passing lane?

Probably to provide killer print media content like this.

Man-Booker Prize winners excepted, do the media make too much fuss of New Zealand writers?

They sure do! Man-Booker Prize winners excepted, name six under 40.

Had enough of Air New Zealand’s gimmicky safety videos?

Here we agree. I am SICK of charming and professional communicators like Ed O’Neil, Betty White and Snoop Dogg shoving their levity and reassurance down my throat.

Given that National MP Tau Henare seems to spend much of his time sending inane messages on Twitter (for example, boasting about his prowess in the gym), isn’t it time he considered a change of career?

You don’t know what Twitter is, do you?

Te Radar is described as a comedian, but can anyone remember him ever saying anything funny?

You forgot to write it as ‘comedian’ with the he’s-not-really-though-is-he? quotes. That’s the standard format for this tired, toothless schoolboy put-down. (See also: “So-called comedian”)

Shouldn’t TVNZ’s Q+A require viewers tweeting comments to the programme to identify themselves, just as newspapers insist with letters to the editor?

Real talk: I just don’t believe you know what Twitter is.

Given up trying to remember all your computer passwords?

KARL1234. (I apologise if this is your actual password, though I imagine it’s just as likely to be your birthday or R05EBUD)

Household disinfectants claim to eliminate 99.9 per cent of germs, but what if it’s the other 0.1 per cent that kills people?

Have you considered a career on Twitter?

Since virtually all politicians cheerfully ignored the 87 per cent “no” vote in the 2009 smacking referendum, why should Labour and the Greens expect anyone to take notice of the asset sales poll?

If you’re having Political Science 101 problems I feel bad for you, son.

Has the phrase “systemic failure” (as in the Labour Department’s blind eye to problems at Pike River) become a routine excuse for not holding anyone responsible when things go tragically wrong?

I see it not so much an excuse as an admission the system is rotten.

Has television prime time been pushed back from 7.30 to 9.30pm, given that almost no programme worth watching starts until then?

‘Ordeal Hysteria’, coming to TV3, 7.30pm Tuesdays. A Touchdown Production in the tradition of ‘Charlotte’s Lists’ and ‘Karl’s Kwestions’.

Now that they’ve taken a caning over the overcooked Urewera raids and the ludicrous swoop on the Kim Dotcom mansion, will the police ease off on the heavy-handed, American Swat-style tactics?

No they won’t, due to a systemic failure.

Puzzled by all the media hype over the death of singer Lou Reed, whose existence barely registered with 99 per cent of the population?

OK this one makes me legitimately pissed off, so no more Mr. Nice Guy.

When will advertising agencies admit that a lot of TV commercials are made primarily to impress other advertising agencies?

Nothing good ever comes from professionals learning from one another and engaging in healthy competition. Go Harvey Norman Go!

Given their propensity for committing illegal acts in full view of referees and TV cameras, is it possible that rugby league players have the lowest average IQ of any sport?

What about sailors? First, they offer themselves as hostages to billionaires for the privilege of being used as ballast on increasingly bizarre and deadly monuments to wealth and prestige. Then they race in phony competitions that are nothing more than a parade for the hubris and vanity of their benefactors. And they LOSE, leaving us all ashamed to be citizens of UAE.

Will John Banks finally realise his time is up and bow out of public life with whatever little dignity he still has left?

* Sorry, in the time it took me to write this response, that dignity has evaporated *

What peculiar conceit motivates people to post a comment on a blog when there are already hundreds there? Do they seriously think anyone’s going to read it?

I too detest the right of reply and the assertion of self. Any opinion worth hearing is published weekly, in print, by the same person, forever.

When did it become fashionable for men to wear suits two sizes too small?

Also, what’s with women and HATS?

Given the striking resemblance between them, could US Secretary of State John Kerry be the love child of Herman Munster?

Oh I see, ‘given the striking resemblance between them’. Gotcha. No.

Given up trying to make sense of the self-service checkout at the supermarket?

Nope. The trick is: Don’t just refuse to engage with everything you find initially challenging.

Irritated by emails signed “Talk soon” from people you’ve never met and are unlikely ever to have any verbal contact with?

You’re a card, mate. Talk soon.

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Gwynn December 9, 2013 - 10:34 am

What I don’t get is that for someone who thinks Twitter is a waste of time, Karl seems to spend a lot of time paying attention to what’s going on there.

Ben December 9, 2013 - 7:01 pm

Maybe we should cut him some slack. It must be hard to keep up with how the world’s changed in the last 40 years when you watch as much TV as he seems to.


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