pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
The Marriage (Definition of marriage) Amendment Bill had its third reading in Parliament this evening, and it passed: 77 votes to 44. We watched it live right through. Louisa Wall (whose bill it is) made a wonderful opening speech and a lot of the other speakers were fantastic. It was great to see gay and lesbian MPs speaking about what the Bill means, and that there was so much cross-party support. I didn't expect so many old men of the National party to vote in favour - some who weren't even wearing lavender ties. Maryan Street, Mojo Mathers and Te Ururoa Flavell made amazing speeches. Suddenly I feel like Parliament might be relevant to me more than once every four years.

This makes New Zealand the 13th country in the world to legislate marriage equality and it feels so good.

Yaaay!

Dec. 10th, 2011 07:18 pm
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Election news: the special votes have all been counted at last and the Green party went up to over 11% of party votes, meaning they now get a fourteenth MP in parliament. I've been hoping for this, both generally because the more Greens we have, the better they can try to curb the worst excesses of the National party, and in particular because the fourteenth on the Green list is Mojo Mathers, who becomes the world's fifth deaf member of parliament. She'll be a good advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, discrimination and accessibility issues as well as hearing impairment issues. So exciting!

Before the election I was reading news stories about the possibility that Ms Mathers could get in based on poll results, and of course one shouldn't read the comments on the Herald website but I did and there was the inevitable moaning about the horror of someone getting special treatment and having transcripts made available and a sign language interpreter at taxpayers' expense -- and the next comment pointed out that hey, deaf people pay taxes too, which I found most heartening.

Yaaay!

Dec. 10th, 2011 06:59 pm
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Election news: the special votes have all been counted at last and the Green party went up to over 11% of party votes, meaning they now get a fourteenth MP in parliament. I've been hoping for this, both generally because the more Greens we have, the better they can try to curb the worst excesses of the National party, and in particular because the fourteenth on the Green list is Mojo Mathers, who becomes the world's fifth deaf member of parliament. She'll be a good advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, discrimination and accessibility issues as well as hearing impairment issues. So exciting!

Before the election I was reading news stories about the possibility that Ms Mathers could get in based on poll results, and of course one shouldn't read the comments on the Herald website but I did and there was the inevitable moaning about the horror of someone getting special treatment and having transcripts made available and a sign language interpreter at taxpayers' expense -- and the next comment pointed out that hey, deaf people pay taxes too, which I found most heartening.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I should get around to fixing my bike stand. I'm used to reaching back with one foot and flipping it back up before going around a corner, but today I got my shoelace caught on it attempting this move. Cleverly I got it unhooked while still riding in a straight line, but next time might not be so lucky.

Rugby starts tonight (sorry to add to the oversaturation) and I intended to ignore it as far as possible -- not a fan of rugby for many reasons including these -- but ended up watching live coverage of the opening ceremony and mostly enjoying it. I loved seeing all those beautifully carved waka paddling into the harbour in Auckland, and the singing and dancing and that projection on the stage adding to the spectacle. It's great that the whole world is watching this -- I quite like the celebration of various countries and people coming to visit New Zealand, and the display of flags hanging on the lamp-posts in town is fun. I just wish it could be a celebration of something other than sports.

Oh, and that haka group was amazing, with the women armed with patu and stamping and shouting! I wonder if the warrior women are there for modern sensibilities, equality and stuff, or if they're actually traditional and I've never seen them before because the idea horrified European colonial types and women doing anything but melodious singing and poi used to be suppressed.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I'm watching live helicopter footage of a tsunami engulfing Miyagi Prefecture after the huge earthquake in Japan. You can see cars trying to outrun the water. :(

Thousands of people must be dying. This makes the Christchurch earthquake look like nothing at all.
pebblerocker: A twenty-sided die carved from stone. (d20)
Woo! I've returned to the first Guitar Hero game trying to make progress in my career and tonight (after half a dozen failed attempts) I finally managed to make it through Bark at the Moon on Medium difficulty! Yay me!

(Doing the game's hardest song on Medium may seem really easy to you, in which case I am still proud because it's at the limits of my current capability, or it may seem impossibly difficult, in which case I didn't intend to imply that I'm better than you but I'm still proud.)

Also today Les Paul died, the guitar guy. He was ninety-four. I shall play my genuine imitation Les Paul copy in his honour.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
The headlines say Michael Jackson has died after suffering a heart attack... though the body of the article actually said that nobody really knows anything about what's going on. Live press conference going on right now outside the hospital, though there's no point even attempting to listen in on dial-up. I'm having to be the news hub for people who are at work or haven't got internet access!

I can't help but think that dying is probably a good career move for the guy.
pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
Blazing inferno engulfs Auckland coolstore - from the Herald. Check out the photos - that tower of smoke could be seen from a long way off. Fire crews came from Hamilton and Rotorua to help, and they'll be working there for days yet.

[livejournal.com profile] dr_sponge - how was the view from your place?

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