SunLive         

Two very unusual events  occurred this week.

1. I went shopping at the Warehouse.

2. I was offended.

During a rare visit to the large red store this week I was seriously offended to hear a song in the store advising me that the so-called singer had “A bullet for them, A bullet for you, A bullet for everybody in this room.”  I saw red.

I looked around and saw a large number of people in the room, and figured there would be a lot of lead flying if this broadcast is correct. Later research confirmed the threat from a musical cell known as Twenty One Pilots, even though there’s only two of them.

I was offended and amused because the government can make radical new laws to affect only decent, law-abiding gun owners, that will impact on pest control and genuine, safe and ethical hunters; while idiot songwriters can still bang on about killing people, in public.

The store’s broadcast then, incredibly, continued to spout forth how much they valued the health of their shoppers.

“Have a safe and enjoyable shopping experience… And don’t use the ladders. Or let children play on the trollies.

“But we have a bullet for everybody in this room,” apparently.

Mixed messages

Now I’m not easily offended but quite easily amused. But I draw the line at threats of mass murder via a loud speaker, while buying pyjama pants.

Then in the next breath, being condescendingly warned to not climb the ladders. Tell you what, Warehouse, if the bullets start flying at shelf level, I’ll be the first up the ladder. My stripy little pyjama’d back end will be disappearing up those rungs in a blur of self-preservation, faster than a schoolkid on the rampage with a shopping cart in the lolly aisle.

More bullet points

If the government was serious about avoiding the sort of senseless killing tragedies, they’d:

1. Tighten up the censorship on violent, screw-loose music.

2. Ban shoot ’em up video games and social media threats.

3. Censor blood and guts movies and …

4. The plethora of other killing spree messages that have invaded the minds of the young and impressionable.

Playlists and slaylists

Yes gun laws needed a tidy up, but there’s a whole lot more work to be done and it should not stop at slamming the already law-abiding folk and tackle all the other anti-social, dangerous and threatening behaviour.

The Warehouse and other retailers, in fact anyone making public broadcasts need to take a careful look at their slaylists if they’re serious about safety messages and want to take a stand against senseless violence.

Saved by Jesus

It was a relief to get clear of the store and its nasty soundtracks and get into the sanctity of my car. There, calming me from the dashboard, was “Plastic Jesus” and the soothing croons of Derek Jacombs and the gang from Kokomo, on their new CD, fresh from the Tauranga Jazz Festival.

If you haven’t heard the latest album, Sunset Claws, it’s a must for any fans of Kokomo and especially if you’ve been through some trauma such as being threatened with mass shooting in a department store, or had your  guns confiscated.

One of our favourite tracks, along with “Plastic Jesus”, is Nigel Masters’ new track, “Don’t Take My Car.” It is a classic. There’s a handful of other great new stuff plus a re-work of the brilliant “World’s Most Jealous Girl”, written by Derek and John Michaelz which was, several years ago, awarded the title of “Best Song Ever” in this column. Get your ears around it.

Slush funds

The other big news this week is the announcement of yet another government slush fund. We were delighted to read of the million bucks to be spent on slushy machines for the nation’s prisons.

Not for the inmates, but for the overworked and overheated prison staff who need cool heads and rehydration. This is a great idea to make the workplace better for some of our most dedicated security staff.

It shouldn’t stop just at the slushies. We’d like to see ice cream vending at all secure facilities. It would encourage peace and harmony if Mr Whippy jingled his way around the cellblocks, the haunting strains  of Greensleeves wafting amongst the concrete and razor wire.

Popcorn, candy floss and the hotdog boy would add a relaxing carnival atmosphere.

Let’s not stop at refreshments. Go the whole hog with door-to-door sales and service. The Bon Brush Man would do a brisk trade especially if he branched out into soaps and there would be a strong demand for the mobile locksmith.

Emissions admissions

Finally this week, the news that every diesel car driver already knows: Electric cars are worse for the environment. Well at least according to a new study from Germany that found battery cars account for more CO2 emissions than diesels. And the Germans are never wrong. Except those couple of times with the wars, but we don’t talk about that.

My good friend Oscar Schneider at The Brussels Times reports that mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a  great deal of energy.

“A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre,” the study noted. The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.

When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example.

The researchers take issue with European officials rating electric vehicles as  zero-emission.

So all you pious Prius owners take note: You’re not saving the planet. Not even with a Plastic Jesus.

Brian Rogers
Rogers Rabbits
www.sunlive.co.nz