Sunday, July 26, 2009

Episode 35 Joys of Human Invention

Episode 35

Joys of human invention

Hello, and thank you for joining me on another super special episode of Jay Wont dart's podcast.

For episode 35 I'll talk about some , such as Alex, the artificial voice that comes with Apple's OSX. My intro was Underwear Goes Inside The Pants, a song by Lazyboy

I like alot of things, both living and not alive. I like birds, bees and blueberries, but also expensive technology, cars, computers and laser death rays. To reference a prior episode about the scary old hospital here, as I walked through the old ruins, its not quite like roman era marble blocks, all weathered away over the centuries, but it sure is awfully dated inside, I started to think about how cheap a lot of man made things are. Things are made to be disposable, things get outdated from how they look. Take buildings, in just 10 years a building will be seriously out of fashion really. I remember thinking Splash Palace, the fancy swimming pool here in Invercargill, it was amazingly modern, it had an expensive, and modern design, kind of swooping lines, like a split open shellfish really. Its in pastel colours too, very light red, green, maybe pink? Made in the late 90's I think, it looks kinda crappy now. The council cheaped out on a lot of the materials, to save money, I seem to remember it costing half what it initially was going to. Within the first year I think, tiles inside started to break off, coming off the walls altogether or chipping, the steam room caused storage areas behind it to rot, the wave pool was designed for kids, it has, well, wave generator machines that make artifical waves that go through the pool, that was useless to teach children how to swim in, because of its odd shape, I know, I was a swimming instructor for a couple years. During a bad storm, part of the roof over the wave pool ripped right off, it was held down with sand bags during repair. The problems dont stop there, the main pool was meant to not really need chemicals to keep the water clean, or they were to be very slight, so you wouldnt get red eyes, that filtering system never worked, so chlorine had to be dumped in, I need googles when I swim otherwise my eyes get all red and sore. Parts of the floor around the pools would get very slippery, made from tiles, and gritty cement, that felt like sandpaper really, you can grate your feet on it. The hydroslide never worked properly, it was completely made wrong, the tubing was from an old Invercargill pool, I loved that hydroslide, it was in North Invercargill, I didnt get to go often, when I did I loved the hydroslide. It was a big deal. The south Invercargill pool before Splash palace, on Connon Street by Pak n Save, it never had anything fancy like hydroslides. When the kinda dingy south invercargill, and ritzy north invercargill pools shut down, the hydroslide was to go at the new, single Invercargill pool. For some reason, they tubing never was right, and so the fancy recycled hydroslide was slow, very short and boring as hell. At first it was rough inside too, you could get deep marks from joins between tubes. I've seen some hydroslides where you need to have foam mats, like the awesome Nelson hydroslide. If you come off, you get scoured by the rough fiberglass.

So, the hydroslide didnt work. The pool needed extra seating, that had to be bolted on to one side of the building years later, it cost a huge amount of money, and the main building had to be extended out over the pavement. A learners pool was eventually made, since the wave pool sucked big time for swimming lessons.

Ok, well, my point is, this huge fancy man made building was so amazing when it opened, the opening ceremony was at night, it was on national tv, that lotto break between the big family movie on a Saturday night, about 7:30PM, where the lotto ticket numbers are announced live. I had to be in Dunedin , and watched on TV. It was a big deal, probably the best swimming pool in New Zealand! But, it was rushed through, money was saved wherever possible, and the thing started to fall apart quickly. Now, its dated looking, and I have bad memories about it. While Im picking on Splash Palace, I should probably mention when I first got to go, there were huge lines since it was new, I think we waited literally hours outside in the queue, you dont normally need to wait for ANYTHING in little old Invers. The sun was so hot, it had melted the new bitumen, fun word to say, the black tar kind of car park flooring, what roads are made from. So we got sticky tar all over our feet. Oh, and then theres that time I did the longest distance for school swimming, 1500 metres, the pool is 50 metres, split into two 25 metres lengths, so thats 30 laps there and back. I started off doing it with Chelsea in front of me, she decided not to do the full distance this time, and got out, I stopped too, to see what the problem was, I was told to carry on, so I did alone. It was weird not following someone anymore, the pool felt lonely, very quiet, and nothing to look at. It took me about an hour to do the total distance, I was going very slowly to save energy. I thought my friends would be watching from the side of the pool, cheering me on. So I had that kinda bravery in my head, like im going to get some respect for doing the 1500 Metres. When I actually had done the distance, I thought I had another two laps to go for some reason, I got smacked on the head with a kickboard, SLAP they go when they hit the water, I got hit on the head, bit my lip and hit the wall! It was the crazy old coach guy, telling me time to stop. He said something like "hmmngg good on ya lad hmmmmggaaach burhogh *COUGH*" as I stood up dazed from hitting the poolside with my smacked head. Turns out, my friends were kinda watching, and saying "hes going to stop this lap, no, this lap", placing bets about when I'd give up, not believing in me at all! Bastards! Whats worse, my two best equal friends had only done 50Metres each, thats 100 metres between the two of them! I could have done that when I were 2 years old! Scum!

This has turned into quite the Splash Palace episode huh? Ok, so what I was saying before, the pool was all cool and new, it was shiny, and the best pool in the country, it was on national primetime television for an opening by the prime minister, I think. But, within a year or two, it was falling apart, and now ten years on, its kinda shitty looking. What I'm trying to say is, often man made things break down, or go out of fashion quickly. Splash Palace was falling apart after a year or two, cutting edge for 5 years maybe, ten years on it sucks. Compare this to a bird, at the old hospital when we were taking things away, I saw some dead birds inside the old abandoned hospital wards, a sparrow that looked like it was sleeping. Its feathers were all perfect, very clean looking. Perhaps it just starved to death, trapped inside after it climbed in through a leak hole in the roof. It was close to a window, it could have been flying straight into the glass until it killed itself for all I know. I hate when birds do that, its really upsetting. Its kind of like they are in a blender.

But even with my gruesome thoughts about how it must have died, it was still so much nicer than all the things around it, this dead animal was so much prettier than any of the bedside cabinets, or the brown paper bags saying "patients belongings", or the metal bedpans old people have crapped in thousands of times. Looking at the pattern of its feathers, it was so perfectly beautiful, in a way that modern colour schemes, fads, fashions, just dont normally live up to. Using the Invercargill swimming pool again, it was dated within ten years, compared to Sparrows that have been the same for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, or even millions, and still look incredibly nice. They're not made out fancy colours like hummingbirds, they cant fly as well as a Dragonfly, and they dont quite have the same appeal as Blackbirds to me, but the dead Sparrow was so much nicer looking than the dead hospital. Just in front is the modern hospital, that was opened 5 years or so ago. Its also plagued with pastel colours, like Splash Palace, theres these painted rectangles on the sides, lavender, light green, light pink, a light blue, a purple I think. Its shitty looking! Absolute bullshit compared to the prettiness of a simple dead bird. Using only three colours, brown, grey and black, the sparrow was so much nicer than the hospital building, with all those awful bright/faded pastel fruit colours.

So, I can understand that aspect to the manmade creation haters flying spittle braying, that most buildings that are slabs of concrete, thrown together by tradesmen, they dont last over time! They are ugly compared to natural animals, or even sand dunes, mountains, waves. I totally understand that.

BUT, BUT, there are plenty of beautiful man made buildings too, things like Skyscrapers, many of those are just terrrific. My favourite that I can think of would be the Chrysler building, in New York. I like it better than the Empire State Building, The Empire State is taller and more well known, but its a more boring looking shape. The Chrysler looks thinner, its rounded at the top, with shiny steel ornamentation up to the spire. Coming off the building, on corners, are giant Eagles, based on a Chrysler car decoration at the time. The Chrysler Building was started in 1928, and finished in 1930. The Chrysler cars of the time are long gone really, and I dont like ANY american cars generally, but the building is still amazing to look at. To think, very soon Chrysler might be a forgotten name altogether, the way the American Car makers have been since the 1970's. I said to my dad recently, its funny that the only time that Americans made arguably good cars was in the 1950's, and 1960's. When the rest of the world had been at war, getting factories and millions of people blown up, and then struggling to rebuild. As soon as the Japanese and Germans had their shit together again, they kicked america firmly in the butt, I dont think theres ever been an american car as good as a German or Japanese car of the same age. If we think that american car companies got it all wrong in the 1970s, thats when America was all tangled up in Vietnam, while Japan had rebuilt and was designed cars American people wanted. Now in 2009, while America is at war in the middle east, their car companies are begging for more bailouts. Thats a good case for Pacifism if ever I heard one!

About buildings, I dont like large crowds, I'm from a city of 50,000 people. If theres a single person at the supermarket counter ahead of me, I consider it a line. If I could have the house of my dreams, I'd actually choose to live underground, somewhat like a hobbit hole. Its apparently very good for the environment, heating costs are basically nothing, its stronger, hence the reason why people were meant to hide in bunkers during the cold war, and its not an eyesore, a grassy hill with a window or two on one side is not going to date that fast, and even if it does, Im sure I can update the window cheaper than most people would spend updating an entire building. To live underground, in a warm and very light home, I think thats great. You could have the entire "roof" of your house for a garden, everyone could have all the fruit trees they needed, there would be no concrete, it would be a paradise.

I think a lot of the worlds problems must be caused by overpopulation. Reading from, the Negative Population Growth organisation site, advocating smaller american families to reduce the number of people living in America, the worlds population was just 3 billion or less in 1950, we hit 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in the year I myself were born, 1987, 6 billion around 1999 and we will be at 7 billion around 20 13. There will be, according to, 7 billion people in the world, in just 4 years. Four years, and remember, as I record this episode, 2009 is older rather than newer.

We were at 3 billion in 1950, 50 years later, the year 2000 we were over 6 billion. We'd doubled in population in 50 years. In another 50 years, says we will be at 9 billion. 100 years, 1950 to 2050, and we will have gone from under 3 billion to over 9 billion people. In that time, new oil wont have grown in useful amounts, the earth itself wont have expanded to make more livable space, the oceans havnt become deeper to provide more water....

There must be an ideal number, a world population where we are not too hot, not too cold, but just right, so sayth Goldilocks. The website I used for my statistics said america would be better at 1950's numbers, about 150 million Americans instead of 300 million as today. So, lets say the entire world should be what it were in 1950, we would have half the number of people as today, just 3 billion, not six.

I dont know about you, but I grew up just living with my mother, 2 people living in the house from what I can remember, I'd live with my dad for a weekend once every two weeks. My whole immediate family is 3 people, and most of the time I only lived with one at a time. I know my family wasnt causing the problem of overpopulation, all 3 of us. My dad grew up with 9 people in his immediate family, thats 3 times more than I had. My mother had 4 people living in her parents house, thats twice what I had.

So, if the developed countries, if you count New Zealand as developed with our slow internet access , and Southlands rolled r'ssssssssss, are declining in family size, who is making up the bulk of population growth? Third world countries? China is trying to control its population, one child per family and all that, China will soon go from number one largest country with 1.3 billion, to second behind India, which is currently somewhere around 1 billion, from having less children, and thus less people. To control other third world countries, do we need more disease and famine? Thats awful, shocking to think about, I thought people were suffering and dying nonstop, especially in poor countries, and yet we've doubled in number worldwide in just 50 years. If I wanted to be crazy, I might say this current Swine Flu deal is an American conspiracy to wipe out people worldwide, I wont go into that though.

So, if we say that with more people in the world, using more resources, making more pollution to achieve the same level of consumerism as America has had for decades, could that be the main cause of what makes things so bad today?

I asked my friend Elizabeth , of NZ Vegan podcast about what she thought about modern life. Elizabeth has lived in New York, Americas largest city, and has many friends from all around the world, so I thought she would have some inspiring things to add to this episode

Thank you to Elizabeth for being on my podcast, yo u can find NZ Vegan podcast on iTunes, just search for NZ Vegan and you will see the real, gen u whine NZ Vegan Podcast itself, as well as a few imitators, including some jerk with a Dragonfly for his podcast artwork.

I'd like to talk about the power we have now that we have never had before. Computers have given so much freedom, for people to share and talk to each other no matter where they live, or what language they speak. Its given governments and "The Man" the ability to track us, but also more ways to get around the mainstream media too. If I dont like that veganism isnt mentioned on tv, theres no Channel 6, the vegan channel, at least in New Zealand, then I can make my own podcast and talk about it, nobody can block me, well, maybe The Great Firewall of China makes things harder for my Chinese listeners, BUT, even people living in China can somewhat easily get around their government as it tries to crack down on internet access. All it takes is one person to figure something out, and boom, everyone can be told how to do it easily, a program could be made by a very smart person, and a not so sophisticated person could be told "double click this, and you'll bypass the restriction". Adam Curry mentions people linking WIFI together, if all the phone lines went down, in theory at least, people could link all their laptops etc together through wireless connections, just one person with internet access could share it through their computer to others who can wirelessly connect to each other.

I dont have a car, I dont smoke, I dont drink alcohol, I dont take drugs, I dont even eat meat. But, take away my computer? Um, thats my one vice, if you consider the greatest invention of mankind a bad thing to use on a daily basis. I always wanted an Apple computer, ever since the Principal at my primary school, St Josephs school on Eye street Invercargill got the school new iMac G3 computers. He was a mac user, and so got the school mac computers. I think each room had an iMac, and there were one or two iBook laptop computers. Some of the teachers hadnt grown up with computers and had to be taught how to use them. I remember the Principal had a top of the line iMac for himself, an iMac DV, the big difference you could tell was that it was not Bondi Blue, or Tangerine in colour, it was see through BLACK. Sure it had a good graphics card inside, but the things I noticed were that it was black, and had an Apple Pro Optical Mouse. I loved that mouse, it was the first Mouse I'd ever seen that used an optical tracking sensor instead of a rubber coated metal ball. I've now collected a few Apple Pro mice, I love the things. Growing up, its not really fair to demand a more expensive computer from your dad but as soon as I made some money of my own, I bought a secondhand PowerBook G4, the cute little 12 inch, and I love it. Its one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I'm recording this podcast on my second Apple computer, a PowerMac G5, and I cherish it every day. The first time I ever saw a G5 in the metal, its made from Aluminium, was in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, in the north island. I saw it as my dad drove the rental car, and screamed "stop!", it was in a MagnumMac store, where Apple computers are sold.

I love all the things I can do with my computers, the information I can find, the things I can release for others worldwide to see, or listen to, its very liberating. My parents grew up in a mostly white country, now in New Zealand there are many more people of all different races, with different languages, different religions. New ideas, new ways of life. Being all one type of people breeds racism I think, people learn from rumours what other people in other countries are supposedly like, they get awful stereotypes. With the internet, or people immigrating to New Zealand , we can all learn from each other the truth. I dont think I've ever had a New Zealand European, otherwise known as "white", best friend. My closest friends are Maori, Pacific Islanders, Half Filipino/Dutch, Thai. My parents grew up only with people from the "Home nations", the british descended people who moved here a hundred years or so ago, there where Irish and Scottish people who had red hair, but basically everyone was fair skinned.

I notice the older generations saying things I consider sexist, or racist, if I bring it up, they dont see it the way I do, and think I'm just complaining for the sake of complaining. They also say things wrong, my dad will say "marry" instead of "mah ree" , and doesnt believe we need to pronounce Maori place names the proper Maori way, but that the bastardised white new zealand way of saying them should stay. Known for many years as the Wanganui River, the river's name reverted to Whanganui in 1991, according with the wishes of local iwi, an iwi is sort of a Maori community. Theres recently been a huge debate about changing the name of the city of Wanganui to the correct Whanganui, just putting an 'h' in. The mayor and many of the locals are PISSED OFF about that, I think its the right thing to do. The river was admitted to be spelt wrong, and changed in 91, why not change the city name to be correct? The current, wrongly spelt, signs would be worth a lot, they would be collectable, it would be an interesting story for people living there to talk about to their future grandchildren. "I remember when we were allowed to say wanganui, now we have to say whunga bloody nui because of some bloody minority oooooh". I think the people who dont want to correct the name tend to be older and cant admit they are wrong, they grew up in a different time where white people could choose how other races spelt the words belonging to their own language. As the world becomes more global, as we move to other countries and grow fiber optic links, the world becomes smaller and more integrated.

I'll now play a long Stephen Fry clip, he gave this talk in an Apple store, hes as big an Apple advocate as I am! I love basically everything Stephen Fry says and does. In the clip I'll play, he talks about computers liberating people, bringing us all together and how new inventions are always regarded as causing problems, and being bad for you.

I love Stephen Fry, yes that was long, but I couldnt cut it down much more, it was from an hour long podcast, I'd love to have played the full hour long clip here.

something that gets an unfairly bad reputation is Genetic Engineering. Am I glad we dont have GE food in New Zealand? Yes, I often think that normal consumers dont get benefits from GE food, its more to make it grow faster, and in larger amounts so large companies make money. There are some evil companies like Monsanto who are doing things to GE food to control people in third world nations. Thats far too big to get into in this episode. However, do I have anything against GE itself? No! Of course not! Fire must kill a million people, or more, worldwide each year. Do we ban fire? No, but we regulate it, and teach people how to be safe around it. Do we ban nuclear power plants etc? Dammit, in this crackpot country we do, oh, except for, lets say, X Rays that show how cancer is growing in people, the Nuclear Medicine that kills off the cancer, of the smoke alarms that protect us from another regulated technology, fire. Normal smoke alarms have a nuclear material inside, in a very tiny amount, on my fire alarm it says its "america-ium". Theres a story about a former Eagle Scout who got as many smoke alarms as he could, for the nuclear material, and tried to make a nuclear bomb, or nuclear power plant in a backyard shed, maybe you want to look that up on Google.

That was a comment left by H dot Aiku, haiku, on the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs blog.

I think GE can help people, sure, its not really any different than breeding dogs with long tails with each other so their puppies have long tails as well. People dont consider that "playing god", but its no different. Its selecting traits we want, so that future offspring have those. Using this on food tends to make it produce more, grow faster, etc. I'm not fond of GE food, I wouldnt eat it if I could choose, but I have nothing against genetic engineering itself.

Its mentioned that GE food is needed to feed the world, that we need more food fullstop. Other reports are that we have enough food already, and its wasted. For example, if everyone were vegan, we would need so much less grain and plant food, as currently its fed to animals like cows, to produce big muscles, for big fat steaks. This process uses lots of food, to produce a relatively tiny amount of meat at the end.

I saw an awesome comment on Slashdot that I'd like to use. The poster is QuantumG, I dont agree with him about other things, he dissed Macs and the iPhone, and so we are mortal enemies, but hes very right about how modern food is made .

I'll read QuantumG's replies to samples from the book Fast Food Nation, which critcised, among many other more shocking things, how artificial flavours are used.

Thank you to QuantumG for letting me use a comment he made on slashdot.

I could go on forever, but I should end this episode soon.

I would like to mention that I care about the environment, it should be looked after, I dont believe in child labour, or out of sight, out of mind policies such as letting China do all the worlds dirty work, while rich countries just get pretty plastic packets packed pefectly on supermarket shelves. I do have hope for the future, not a hundred thousand years from now, but the second after everyone in the world has listened to this episode of my podcast, I hope they will pick themselves up and say "wow, im going to make the world a better place". I believe there must be lots of easy ways to make the world a cleaner, greener place, to reduce pollution while still having a modern lifestyle. The world has never been perfect for everyone at the same time. There will always be people who clean the streets of dog poo, I dont expect President Obama to go door to door washing peoples dishes. I guess thats the class system alive and well, based on who has the most money. But, its not like we moved away from a better system, people moved from hand washing things to washing machines, because it was genuinely better. Could a new and better way of life than what I have come about? I have no doubt it will, and I'm prepared to change as soon as I can.

Andy Warhol had a great quote about consumerism.

"What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it."

I think thats marvellous to think about, no matter how rich you are, you cant drink a better can of coke. I know of purists who only drink coke out of those fancy glass coca cola bottles, but theres not many of them and they get the same product anyway. Wine and other drinks have price ranges, but not coca cola, it has a tremendous brand image, its one of the most well known brands worldwide, and yet is relatively dirt cheap, for everyone.

"Quantity has a Quality all of its own", Josef Stalin.

Consumerism can fund projects, like going into space. I think its fair to say that one day the earth will be "used up" in a sense, at least maybe we will need to import raw materials from other planets, its not any different to one nation importing resources from another country to me. Japan has bugger all natural resources, no oil or iron ore, but it imports metal that cost $1 to get out of the ground, paying $10 for that, and making it into a Japanese car, and selling it as a product for $100 for every piece of that $1 metal. We can be successful even if we dont have any more of the resources we need on this planet, or if we actually need new materials that were never here in the first place, maybe moon rocks cure cancer, who knows?

I dont expect us to get to space in cotton space shuttles, running on sunflower seeds, but biodiesel has lots of potential. I just hope its not made from food crops.

Heres a fun quote about space exploration and cost.

"Space is an unexplored frontier. The fate of the Space Shuttle Columbia reminds us that those who venture beyond the Earth confront real danger. The astronauts themselves have always been mindful of the hazards. I recall attending a lecture given, back in the 1960s, by John Glenn, the first American to go into orbit. A questioner asked him what went through his mind while he was crouched in the rocket nose-cone, awaiting blastoff. He wryly replied " I was thinking that the rocket had twenty thousand components, and each was made by the lowest bidder". Glenn survived to become a US senator, as well as an inspiration to elderly Americans when he ventured into space again, at age 77."

Nuclear Power inspires me, basically how the power stations work is that nuclear fuel heats up water to make steam, the steam drives turbines which create electricity. Nuclear plants often seem to purify water, so thats an added bonus, and they always have excess heat, and steam, which is used in many places to heat houses, this is called "co generation". There are other ways to do this, like coal power stations also make the steam, its the same principle as nuclear, just less high tech, and clean! If you have ever wondered why New York has steam coming from manholes in the movies, its because New York has a steam network, steam rushes through pipes and is used both industrially and by people for heat and steam. I didnt know that myself until recently, and now maybe you have actually learnt something from my podcast :)

I think that there are many things in the world I dont like, poka music, racists, beef flavoured instant noodles. There are many amazing things too though, things that make life now as good, if not better, than its ever been. We have so many new inventions that help us stay in contact with people overseas, to make new friends in different countries. Things we take for granted would have been taken for magic if we could go back in time and show them off.

I dont believe in magic things happening, as Revolver Ocelot said in Metal Gear Solid 2

I was unsure how to end this episode with a positive song, its hard to find contemporary music that is upbeat, every generation has that really, in the 70s there were all the songs against the vietnam war etc. Happy modern music I could think of was all about consumerism, "I drinks de cognac in tha club and smacks my "female dog" in the eye", not very appropriate for my positive view of consumerism!

Instead, I'll end with a clip about the distant future, the year 2000, from some fellow New Zealanders, the Flight of the Conchords with the song Robots.

You can find the script for this episode, as well as downloads for every episode of Jay Wont darts podcast at

If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to, j a y w o n t d a r t @, I'd appreciate it.

Have a super happy day, bye.


World Population figures

astronaut, lowest bidder

Friday, July 24, 2009

Episode 34 Scary Technology

Episode 34

Scary Technology!

Hello and welcome to episode 34 of Jay Wont dart's podcast, where I play endless clips of other people talking for an hour straight.

This episode, I've got a lot of good No Agenda podcast clips to play, about scary technology thats either out now, or coming out very soon, apparently. I dont believe all of this stuff is 100% true, then again, it always takes 20+ years to find out what America has, think about the SR71 recon plane that cruises at the edge of space at Mach 3 spying on people, or the nearly invisible B2 bomber, we know about these things, they are not really used at all now, so America must have greatly superior replacements that we'll find out about, one day in the future.

My next episode will be title "the joys of human invention", it'll serve to counter this crazy and terrifying episode, so dont take that cyanide pill just yet, episode 35 will hopefully give you a reason to live.

So, many of these rumoured technologies will no doubt turn out to be true. The question is, which are real, and will be used against you, and which ones are just a pipe dream?

You can find the script for this episode, as well as downloads for every episode of Jay Wont darts podcast at

If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to, j a y w o n t d a r t @, I'd appreciate it.

Have a super happy day, bye.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Episode 33 Matthew Shepard

Episode 33

Matthew Shepard

Hello and welcome to episode 33 of Jay Wont darts podcast, where I learn life lessons, and talk about them into a USB microphone.

This episode of my podcast, I'll talk about Matthew Shepard, a young man in America, killed for the crime of being gay.

I felt pretty moved by Matthews story, told by his parents mostly, and it made me think about how people use homosexuality as a negative term, its a put down to say "you're gay" for example. Researching this episode, I found this Public Service Announcement featuring Matthews mother

And it made me think of the words I use, and that I hear other people use, and do nothing about. Recently at work I heard people walking out and talking about something that they didnt like , they said "that was gay". I felt like I should say something, maybe confront the couple "what, you have a problem with gay people?", as if I were gay myself. Im not gay, but they wouldnt know that, would they? Instead, I just pretended not to hear them, I dont like to cause trouble while I work, the "customer is always right" and all that. In future I dont want to ever use terms like "gay" to mean a bad thing, and will bring it up if people use the word Gay as a negative slander.

Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) was a student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and subsequently murdered near Laramie, Wyoming. He was attacked on the night of October 6–7, 1998 and died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12, from severe head injuries.

"Shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998, 21-year-old Shepard met McKinney and Henderson in a bar. McKinney and Henderson offered Shepard a ride in their car.[4] Subsequently, Shepard was robbed, pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a fence in a remote, rural area, and left to die. McKinney and Henderson also found out his address and intended to rob his home. Still tied to the fence, Shepard was discovered eighteen hours later by Aaron Kreifels, who at first thought that Shepard was a scarecrow. At the time of discovery, Shepard was still alive, but in a coma.

Shepard suffered a fracture from the back of his head to the front of his right ear. He had severe brain stem damage, which affected his body's ability to regulate heart rate, body temperature and other vital signs. There were also about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face and neck. His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate. Shepard never regained consciousness and remained on full life support. As he lay in intensive care, candlelight vigils were held by the people of Laramie.[5]

He was pronounced dead at 12:53 A.M. on October 12, 1998, at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins.[6][7][8][9] Police arrested McKinney and Henderson shortly thereafter, finding the bloody gun as well as the victim's shoes and wallet in their truck.[3]


The two attackers tried to defend what they did to Matthew as saying that as a gay man, Matthew had made a sexual advance on them, and in their disgust, shock and panic, they had killed him to defend themselves, they had lost control of what they were doing because they were so shocked. Its called the Gay Panic Defense. I hadnt heard of this before, but there have been two well known New Zealand cases in recent times.

New Zealand examples.

* In 2003, a gay interior designer, David McNee, was killed[8] by a homeless drug user and part time prostitute, Phillip Layton Edwards. Edwards said at his trial that he told McNee he was not gay, but would masturbate in front of him on a "no-touch" basis for money. The defence successfully argued that Edwards, who had 56 previous convictions and had been on parole for 11 days, was provoked into beating McNee after the former television host violated their "no touching" agreement. Edwards was jailed for nine years for manslaughter.[9][10]

* In July 2009, Ferdinand Ambach, 32, a Hungarian tourist, was convicted of killing Ronald Brown, 69, by hitting him with a banjo and shoving the instrument's neck down Brown's throat. Ambach was initially charged with murder, but the charge was downgraded to manslaughter after Ambach's lawyer successfully invoked the gay panic defence.

The prosecutor in the case charged that McKinney and Henderson pretended to be gay in order to gain Shepard's trust to rob him.[11] During the trial, Chastity Pasley and Kristen Price (the respective girlfriends of McKinney and Henderson at the time of the event) testified under oath that Henderson and McKinney both plotted beforehand to rob a gay man. McKinney and Henderson then went to the Fireside Lounge and selected Shepard as their target. McKinney alleged that Shepard asked them for a ride home. After befriending him, they took him to a remote area of Laramie where they robbed him, beat him severely, and tied him to a fence with a rope from McKinney's truck while Shepard begged for his life. Media reports often contained the graphic account of the pistol whipping and his smashed skull. It was reported that Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was covered in blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by his tears.[12][13] Both girlfriends also testified that neither McKinney nor Henderson was under the influence of drugs at the time.[14][15]

Henderson pleaded guilty on April 5, 1999, and agreed to testify against McKinney to avoid the death penalty; he received two life sentences. The jury in McKinney's trial found him guilty of felony murder. As it began to deliberate on the death penalty, Shepard's parents brokered a deal, resulting in McKinney receiving two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.[2]

Henderson and McKinney were incarcerated in the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins but were transferred to other prisons due to overcrowding.[16]


There had been other attacks on Matthew during his short life.

Because of his sexuality, Shepard faced physical and verbal abuse. During a high school trip to Morocco he was beaten and raped, causing him to withdraw and experience bouts of depression and panic attacks, according to his mother. One of Shepard's friends feared his depression caused him to become involved with drugs during his time in college.

The anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, led by Fred Phelps, picketed Shepard's funeral as well as the trial of his assailants,[34][35] displaying signs with slogans such as "Matt Shepard rots in Hell", "AIDS Kills Fags Dead" and "God Hates Fags".[36] When the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to display any sort of religious message on city property if it was legal for Casper's Ten Commandments display to remain, Phelps attempted and failed to gain city permits in Cheyenne and Casper to build a monument "of marble or granite 5 or 6 feet (1.8 m) in height on which will be a bronze plaque bearing Shepard's picture and the words: "MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22."[37][38][39][40]

Fred Phelps is well known for being homophobic, hes often in american media protesting gay rights. Phelps and his church claim to have protested over 30,000 events.

As a counterprotest during Henderson's trial, Romaine Patterson, a friend of Shepard's, organized a group of individuals who assembled in a circle around the Phelps group wearing white robes and gigantic wings (resembling angels) that blocked the protesters. Police had to create a human barrier between the two protest groups.[41] While the organization had no name in the initial demonstration, it has since been ascribed various titles, including 'Angels of Peace' and 'Angel Action'.[34][35] The fence to which Shepard was tied and left to die became an impromptu shrine for visitors, who left notes, flowers, and other mementos. It has since been removed by the land owner.

I found this clip of Matthews father talking about the death of his son.

I was pretty moved by what Matthews father said.

Under the current United States federal law[21] and Wyoming state law,[22] crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation were not prosecutable as hate crimes.

A bill was proposed, The Matthew Shepard act, that would serve to protect future victims of attacks on them because they were gay, percieved to be gay, or disabled, it would count as a Hate Crime just as if someone were attacked for being a certain race, now gay people would be protected. Some conservatives, such as James Dobson from Focus on the Family (a group mentioned in GTA Vice City) said that religious people would be forced to accept homosexual people, many religions are strongly against homosexuals, and they felt protecting gay people from attack, under a hate crime offense, that would be basically legalising homosexuality. I'm sad that people still feel so strongly against gay people being granted equal rights.

< press release hoping bill would pass>

Finally, in 2007, the Matthew Shepard Act almost got passed, before the Democrats dropped it before it was approved, President George W Bush had said he might veto it if it came to his desk, George Bush didnt want the bill passed, and most republicans seemed to be against the Matthew Shepard Act.

Before becoming President, Obama had said he was for the bill being passed into law.

On the 2nd of April, 2009 the bill passed, The Matthew Shepard Act became law. Future victims attacked for being gay will be able to class the offense as a Hate Crime, just as attacks based on race, religion or nationality were previously protected.

A play has been made about Matthews story, called The Laramie Project, after Laramie Wyoming near where Matthew was attacked.

Its sad to believe that there are still people out there who feel strongly against gay people. Matthews death was tragic, and has gained a high profile for injustices against homosexuals, I decided to make this podcast episode so that anyone listening would be reminded of Matthew Shepard.

In the years following Shepard's death, his mother Judy has become a well-known advocate for LGBT rights, particularly issues relating to gay youth. She's a prime force behind the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which supports diversity and tolerance in youth organizations.

Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew's story.

The Foundation focuses on three primary areas: erasing hate in society; putting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth first; and ensuring equality for all LGBT Americans.

Matthew was described by his parents as "an optimistic and accepting young man [who] had a special gift of relating to almost everyone. He was the type of person who was very approachable and always looked to new challenges. Matthew had a great passion for equality and always stood up for the acceptance of people's differences."[1]

Thank you for listening to this episode of my podcast.

If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to, j a y w o n t d a r t @, I'd appreciate it.

Have a super happy day, bye.



dad talks video


press release years later

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Episode 32 Freezing Works

Episode 32

Freezing Works

This episode of Jay Wont dart's podcast, I talk about Freezing Works, a New Zealand occupation, basically an abattoir or slaughterhouse where the meat is frozen at the end and exported overseas.

Download Episode directly here

My intro was from No Agenda episode 104.

I'll start with a quote.

The meat processing industry is in a constant state
of change. These changes will continue to meet the
requirements of the 21st Century. The meat plant of
100 years hence will probably feature a high degree of
automation. But this will be beyond our lifetime.

If we
focus upon the immediate future the meat plant of the
21st Century will probably incorporate many of the
current trends or developments.
Operating margins will remain small with the
emphasis upon high productivity and enhanced revenue.
We may see the rise of the mega-plant linked with a
national or international network of specialised added
value operations.
The international demand for meat and proteins is
expected to grow. The challenge of the meat plant will
be to meet this demand and produce a range of products
to the exact requirements of the customer.

'In the public eye, the Freezing Worker is one of the
lowest status individuals in our society. A rough,
irresponsible layabout who jeopardises the economy for
sheer greed and goes on strike at the drop of a hat. He
earns high wages for very simple work. He's at a key
point in the economy, responsible for processing one
or our biggest export commodities. He can hold the
country to ransom. So runs the popular myth.
No-one who has not seen what a freezing works is
like, and the kind of jobs freezing workers do is in a
position to criticise. The industry carries mass
production to its extreme. A freezing works is a giant
dis-assembly line along which carcasses and organs roll
with a deadening inevitability while the men scuttle to
keep up. The machine is truly king. A butcher on the
chain must carry out the same operation over and over
again, day after day until the season ends. Not for him
the carpenter's pride in his skill, the watersiders variety
of tasks, the shearers' sense of completing a meaningful
job. Instead endless, mindless, meaningless work, often
standing in the same place all day using a dangerously
sharp knife, surrounded by hundreds of other men doing
the same thing, and by the unedifying sights and smells
of freshly dismembered animals.'

Kerr Inkson of Otago
University, 1977

I had to look up the term Watersider, it means a person who loads and unloads ships, a dock worker.

In Southland , there are a few different Freezing Works, or "The Works", as they are known colloquially. Freezing Works are common in New Zealand rural areas, farmers grow animals like cows, sheep and pigs, and they are sent off to The Works to be killed. When you go past a Freezing Works, they are quite large factory buildings, normally white, and with lots of metal frames outside, where the animals were kept. Trains or trucks will bring the animals in, they will go through pens, to be stunned and then murdered, or in Freezing Works terms, Slaughtered, inside. Their skin is removed for leather, bones are cut and pulled out, heads cut off, tongues cut out, their muscles sold as meat. Their organs are snatched out and thrown in stainless steel trays for inspection, if they are fit for sale, then they are sold for people to eat. Intestines are used as the casings for sausages, the intestines are like socks that get stuffed with low grade meat, to make sausages. I've read that glands are sold, some powdered up and sold overseas as a health thing, some such as testicles, are probably bought in an attempt to spice up the bedroom. In old photos I've seen, you know from the 80's, hairy old men, without gloves on , are wringing out the intestines to make sausage casings, I assume that nowadays they have to wear gloves at least. The intestines go through a wringer, and get washed.

A little about the history of meat exported from New Zealand. Canning of meat was started in 1869 in New Zealand, only the best meat was canned. In 1874, american cooled meat was sent to Britain, natural ice kept the meat cold.

The first ship to carry frozen meat from New Zealand to the United Kingdom was The Dunedin. The Dunedin used 3 tonnes of coal a day, through a steam powered refrigeration machine, to cool The Dunedins hold, down to 4 degrees celsius. The ship was rigged up for refrigeration in 1881, and its first journey, from Oamaru New Zealand, thats in Otago just north of Southland, left for London on the 15th of February, 1882. It took The Dunedin 98 days to arrive, on the 24th of May.

"It is difficult to realise that only about thirty-five years have elapsed since one of the most important of the world's industries was inaugurated, resulting in the enormous and increasing trade of the present day. And yet the whole of this great industry, and to a very great extent the general prosperity and advancement of New Zealand, hangs on the slender piston rod of a refrigerating machine".

M A Elliot The Frozen Meat Industry of New Zealand - NZ Journal of Science and Technology, May 1918.

How the Freezing Works, work.

The animals are brought in, they are

To do this episode, I read a book about the Alliance Freezing Works here in Southland, the books name is A Cut Above, the book came out in 1985, two years before I were born.

A Cut Above was pretty difficult to read in parts, I read it every day at work while the other people around me ate meat, and I had my normal sandwiches. I'd ask questions to my dad, since he worked at Alliance, and he would casually explain things. Theres lots of disgusting sounding jobs, and sections of the Freezing works. Places like " the fellmongery" , which sounds like something from The Lord of the Rings, its where the wool is taken off sheep.

I'll read a few passages that stood out to me.

Just to explain this first quote, from the 1950s until the mid-1970s New Zealand was a highly protected economy

Ok, hearing that nowadays, with our Free Trade Agreements and all, the idea that the government can deny the right of a company to import a crucial device from overseas, it sounds nuts to me! I asked some older friends, and they could agree that it was the right thing to do, "new zealand jobs" and all, but I dont think its a good plan to just ban imported goods, and instead churn out inferior, and more expensive local versions. Imagine if we could only have New Zealand made computers, that had to have every part made in this country, we'd have to spend billions to reinvent every component, and then still be behind! I dont think I'd want to swap my Apple iPhone for a Kiwifruit brand, Choice-as phone, would you?

This part of A Cut Above is about one of many strikes and protests.

I couldnt believe that happened when I read the book, the farmers were angry that the freezing works were overloaded, they couldnt deal with extra sheep at the time, so the farmers were being forced to hold onto their animals for longer than they wanted. The farmers went crazy, in my opinion, and brought the animals right into Invercargill city, from their farms, and set them free in the main streets, I cant imagine what that must have been like to see. Scared sheep were running about on busy roads, I guess the farmers would have been having a great time, laughing as police struggled to control the animals that must have been running in front of cars, and in every direction. The farmers managed to get the sheep under control, they took them somewhere close to the Invercargill prison, they dug ruts in the ground for blood to flow through, and started killing sheep in public, out in front of tv crews. Thats horrible, the animals were made about as scared as possible, running free on city roads having lived on farms all their lives, the police couldnt deal with it, it would be scary for drivers not wanting to hit an animal, all while the farmers would have been enjoying themselves. Then, to start killing the animals in public, they show no respect at all for the lives of the sheep, they wanted to protest by driving into Invercargill, setting them off on the streets, so they did it. They want to kill the sheep, so they get them back ,take them to another public place and kill them out in the open, on camera, just to get attention. What was their complaint? That they had to wait for the freezing works to kill their animals, and they couldnt be bothered having these poor sheep kept alive that long.

One more section from A Cut Above.

"Continued industrial stoppages in the freezing industry had not escaped the notice of the new National Government which had been elected to office on promises of being tough with irresponsible unions. Late in 1976, it was to demonstrate some theoretical muscle when it introduced the Industrial Relations Amendment (No. 3) Act.

The act obliged those in the industry to give three days notice of industrial action, and they faced fines of up to $150 if they did not kill out sock either in a works or in transit before going on strike. The legislation was an abysmal failure. From one end of the country to the other, the provisions of the act were ignored. A chorus of farmer protest grew.

The Alliance company did not escape and February, 1977, saw a foolish stoppage that made a mockery of the law and industrial relations in general. On 8 February, slaughtermen demanded that security in their dining room be improved, so a door leading from their amenities was locked. During the night, the lock was removed and when some workers other than butchers were found in the dining room the next day, the butchers had a meeting and went home. A meeting was held the next day with union officials and an agreement was drawn up about steps to be taken to prevent non-butchers using their dining room, which included re-locking the offending door.

That upset the freezer workers who decided to go on strike until the door was unlocked. There was no discussion with either the company or the union on the matter. Having made their decision, they simply walked out. Later, Jim Barnes learned that freezer workers were in the habit of using the butchers' dining room as an accessway to their own facilities. The company had, of course, provided an alternative entrance but that was marginally further walking distance. A shed meeting of all workers the next day supported the stand taken by the freezer workers and over the weekend, a series of meetings resulted in the disputes committee chairman, Aubrey Begg, being asked to make a decision.

He, in turn, upheld the authority of the union officials to make agreements with the company, thereby deciding in favour of the slaughtermen.

Work started on Monday, 14 February, with six chains in full production, but ended at 3 PM when freezer workers went home saying they would not return until the door was unlocked. The following day, another shed meeting was held and in a secret ballot, the men decided to uphold Begg's decision and work resumed at 2 pm that day. In the meantime, the company had lost 80,000 head of stock and workers about $150,000 in wages over one door.

To cap it all off, no sooner had work started than there was a telephone call to say there was a bomb on the slaughterboard. This meant evacuating the works while management, including Bill Pottinger, Ray Dunn and supervisors fruitlessly searched for any bomb-like object or container. "

And you're back to me talking again, all that talking is making me tempted to rely on Alex again!

To translate that into modern english, Butchers were annoyed that other people, who worked in the freezer section, used their dining room. The Butchers said that their things were being stolen by the freezing guys walking through their area, and they demanded the door to the room be kept locked. They said they would go on strike if the door was NOT locked. The Freezer workers said they would go on strike if the door WAS locked, they walked through that room to get to where they wanted to go. One side would strike no matter what happened with the door. The door ended up being locked, and the freezer workers went on strike. As A Cut Above says, the Freezer workers had another way to get to where they wanted to go, without going through the locked door, but they said it was longer that way, they wouldnt do it. The whole Freezing Works couldnt work properly without all workers, and in the end they "lost 80,000 head of stock", I think that means those animals would be sent out of Southland to another place to be killed, so the Alliance Freezing works didnt get paid for killing those animals since they didnt do it, someone else would have, and all the workers were not working, so they would have lost about $150,000 1977 NZ dollars in lost wages. I dont know what that would be in todays money, but I've been told around that time you could buy a house for 20,000 or so, 20 grand bought a house, and 150,000 didnt get paid out to the workers because they didnt do their work. All over one door!

I have a special invited guest on this episode, my dad, who worked for a long time at a local Freezing works, slaughtering lambs, his job was to open up the sheep around the back legs.

I'm pretty happy he decided to come on my podcast and talk about working in a slaughter house.

“Thine is the task of blood.
Discharge thy task with mercy.
Let thy victim feel no pain.
Let sudden blow bring death;
Such death as thou thyself would ask for.”

The Slaughterman’s Creed

I've prepared a clip from a BBC documentary, Slaughterhouse, a task of blood to play. I found Slaughterhouse on Veg TV, which you can find at veg hyphen, you can probably find it by searching for veg tv. its in my notes also. I downloaded the 500MB clip, which put me over my bandwidth cap for this month, but its worth it. Slaughterhouse is a very personal documentary, it has actual characters in the different slaughtermen, most are 20 something year old guys with awful English smiles, the crooked and broken off teeth were what upset me the most in this documentary. If you have the time, I highly recommend downloading Slaughterhouse, A Task of Blood.

About the pig mentioned in the last part, if I were cruel, I'd leave what what happening to her to your imagination. But, Im a nice guy, so I'll explain it, the pig had escaped from the pens that the animals are kept in, she was running about the parking lot of the abattoir, and she ran out onto the road. I guess in the end they will have gotten her back inside, but its nice to think that she could have been left alone to run off down the road to freedom.

I liked hearing what the workers think, even if I dont agree with how the animals are treated by slaughtermen. It was interesting to hear one of the jewish slaughterers being concerned about the animals wellbeing, and that he even considered himself an animal lover! I dont know how he can say that, and work in a slaughtherhouse, remember, he said that humans are a higher order, we are above animals, so we have the right to kill them, according to him. I dont agree with that at all, I guess its a matter of perception, that a slaughterer could think animals were great, but that we had to eat them and because we are smarter when it comes to making iPods, we have the right to kill cows.

I liked the vegetarian message at the start and finish of Slaughterhouse, A Task of Blood too, I think it makes a compelling point, who would want to eat meat after seeing inside an abattoir? Not me, thats for sure. However, this clip

is a little disheartening if you read into it like I did, I get the point of "ok, im going to leave off the meat" but its not like you have to eat less if you are vegetarian or vegan, taking off a huge steak and being left with just the steamed carrots and mashed potato on the side, now your main course. Have THREE vegetables on your plate! For the price of the corpse, you could buy a much larger amount of vegan food, you could have chocolate for desert afterwards, being vegan has nothing to do with suffering through mealtimes.

I think its reasonable to think that people who eat meat dont want to see how its made so to speak, how the animals are kept, treated, hacked to bits. I like bringing that up anytime someone says something like "you're less of a man now you're vegan", I can pull out my iPhone and show them Earthlings on it, Im quite used to gory slaughterhouse footage now, I'd be willing to beat that the average meat eating person would be more upset to see how meat is made than I am.

Theres a good vegetarian message to be learnt when you've seen inside of an abattoir. You see the truth, how things really are. I'd like to play a clip from Compassionate Cooks, I love Colleens podcast where she talks about being vegan and cooking. If you search iTunes for " compassionate cooks" it will show up, I'll have a link to her website compassionate cooks .com in my notes as well.

Thank you very much for the work you do Colleen, I've donated some money towards the running costs of your podcast.

My friend Sam is a young New Zealand vegan, its always good to find other vegans in New Zealand, especially guys, it breaks down any perceptions that only women are vegan. I'd like to mention Sam's new podcast, NZ Vegan Teen, you can find it on iTunes by searching NZ Vegan Teen. Sam has many websites up, I first came across his anti Dairy site, here is a clip Sam sent me to play on this episode.

You can find Sam on iTunes by searching for NZ Vegan Teen, also is one of Sams pages, nz vegan teen . blogspot . com.

Howard Lyman is a former American Cattle Rancher, a cow farmer in New Zealand terms, who decided to be vegan. Howard used modern chemicals on his farm, in 1979 he was diagnosed with a tumor on his spine. He was told he could be paralysed from the tumor, he vowed to switch to non chemical methods of farming if he beat the cancer. He survived the operation to remove the tumor, and changed his farm into an organic operation. Around 1990, Howard Lyman faced health problems, he became vegetarian and found his health improved. He started looking into Mad Cow Disease, which was affecting Great Britain.

In 1996 Howard Lyman appeared on Oprah Winfrey's show, he made comments that offended the National Cattlemens Beef Association, he basically said "meat is bad for you, bad things are fed to cows, ground up roadkill, pets who have been put to sleep etc, cows dont naturally eat meat, its wrong." Oprah agreed , shocked by what she heard she said she wouldnt eat hamburgers again. The Beef Association was very mad about that, it was a bit like the recent New Zealand Pork scandal, my term for it, with the Pork Board denying that New Zealand pigs are badly treated in factory farming conditions. The Beef association were hurt by the drop in sales, when people find out how meat is brought to their supermarket, they often buy less, at least temporarily. Both Lyman and Oprah were sued, they eventually won the trial. In time Howard became Vegan. I have a clip of Howard Lyman, from one of his speeches,

Im near the end of this episode, so I'd like to thank you for listening now.
If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to, j a y w o n t d a r t @, I'd appreciate it. My outro will be the song Meat is Murder, sung live by The Smiths, I heard it and rushed off to buy it on iTunes. I've noticed that iTunes doesnt show my earlier podcast episodes, I have the full set of links to each and every episode on my blog page, , so you can download every one of my episodes.

I'd like to put forth a message to anyone who eats meat and who has listened to this episode, go and see what the inside of a "meat factory" looks like, no matter what its called, an abattoir, a slaughterhouse, or The Freezing Works. Its as simple as typing in " slaughterhouse" or something similar into Google Images, theres no cost or inconvenience to you. Have a look, and ask yourself, "could I work here? Could I cut these animals throats, watching litres of blood come out while they are hung upside down? Could I stand the smell of blood, guts, animal waste?" If you think these places are awful to see, well, why would you pay money for them to stay in business? Why would you want to touch what comes from them, if even the sight is upsetting, the thought is upsetting, the sounds are upsetting, the smell is upsetting, why would you want to eat it?

This beautiful creature must die
A death for no reason
And death for no reason is murder

And the flesh you so fancifully fry
Is not succulent, tasty or kind
Its death for no reason
And death for no reason is murder

Kitchen aromas arent very homely
Its not comforting, cheery or kind
Its sizzling blood and the unholy stench
Of murder

Its not natural, normal or kind
The flesh you so fancifully fry
The meat in your mouth
As you savour the flavour
Of murder

Have a super happy day, bye.

========= meat history intro quote about freezing works

A Cut Above book, 1985

My father, who worked at Alliance Freezing Works! Slaughterhouse, a task of blood documentary

outro song, Meat is Murder by The Smiths, awesome song, go and buy it to support musicians!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Episode 31 Michael Jackson's Memorial

Episode 31

Michael Jackson's Memorial


This episode, I'll mention the memorial to Michael Jackson that happened early this morning New Zealand time. I'll play plenty of emotional songs, interspersed with clips from the memorial service. The intro clips were, in order,
I Want You Back,
I'll Be There,
Aint No Sunshine,
Rockin Robin,
Little Bitty Pretty One,
Who's Lovin' You,
My Girl

This is part of an unreleased song, For All Time, it was included on Thriller 25.

Today there was a public memorial, it was held in the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, 17 and a half thousand tickets were given out to lucky Michael Jackson fans to attend. A private Jackson family service was held beforehand, and then Michaels closed casket was unexpectedly taken to the Memorial, it was just in front of the stage for the event. Many famous celebrities took to the stage and talked about how much Michael Jackson meant to them, some performed his songs. Notable people included Mariah Carey, Magic Johnson, Koby Bryant, Usher, Al Sharpton, Brooke Shields, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson and John Mayer.

This is from today Memorial, Stevie Wonder talks about Michael, and mentions a song he wrote for him that was included in the Off The Wall album, I play a clip from the song.

Heres an early demo clip of Michael with his brothers, working on a Jacksons song together, notice the fighting at the end, in lots of the demo clips, recorded at the Jackson Family studio, you can hear the siblings argue. See how long it takes you to recognise the song.

Ok, so thats not really fighting, but on some of the demo tracks, you can hear the jacksons yell at each other, normally Michael will be saying to turn something up or down, and one of the brothers will say something like "do it yourself", and Janet will take Michaels side.

Often when musicians die, fans go through their music and find odd back masked messages, or hints about the singers death. When I heard about Michael going into Cardiac Arrest, and that he had been injected with a drug shortly before, I thought of his song Morphine, from the album Blood On The Dancefloor. They lyrics are all about Michael and his drug addictions to painkillers, Elton John was thanked as helping him off the drugs.

The lyrics to Morphine are kind of scary to listen to now,

He got flat baby
Kick in the back baby
A heart attack baby

Oh God he's taking demerol

I'll play some of the song

Its kind of odd, he named a drug he was addicted to, and mentions a heart attack a decade or so before he pretty much dies from exactly that.

This is one of my favourite sad songs, Someone In The Dark, it was included in the E.T soundtrack and storybook Michael recorded. Michael Jackson said of all the awards he had gotten, he was most proud of the 1984 Best Recording for Children grammy for this song.

Smokey Robinson, a famous Motown artist who wrote songs for other singers, had some fond memories of Michael, he appeared at the Memorial.

This next song is a Michael Jackson Tribute song, called Better On The Other Side, with Puff Daddy, The Game, Chris Brown, Boys II Men and others. It came out the day Michael died.

Al Sharpton had very nice things to say about Michael today at the memorial, he got lots of applause for his message to Michaels kids, its a great quote.

A song that came up at the public service was We Are The World.

Almost through this episode now, I'm trying to keep this episode relatively short. Michaels brother Marlon spoke at the service today, Marlon had a stillborn identical twin brother, Brandon Jackson, who gets mentioned by Marlon at the memorial to Michael.

Very touching.

I'd like to play my second last song, before a clip from one of Michaels children, its very rare for one of his three children to be seen in public, he hid them away from the paparazzi.

Michaels daughter, Paris Jackson was onstage with the other celebrities near the end of the public service, with Janet Jackson and other family members beside her, when she spoke, it reminded me of Steve Irwins daughter talking at her fathers public service. It breaks my heart to hear Paris Jackson talk, for the first time in public.

That was janet giving her advice at the start.

So far, Michael hasnt been buried, theres talk the family would like to have him buried at Neverland Ranch, possibly near the train station he used everyday to go from his house to the small zoo he had near the back of his property. Its an interesting idea, having Neverland Zoo as a Graceland type tourist attraction, I'd certainly like to visit sometime. Whatever happens to Michaels body from now on, his public memorial was very successful.

I'd like to thank you very much for joining me, with episode 31 of Jay Wont dart's podcast. My outro is one last sad song.

If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to, j a y w o n t d a r t @, I'd appreciate it.

Even though Michael Jackson has died, I know his music will live on in me personally, and his millions of other fans worldwide. Im trying not to be sad, and instead be thankful that I was lucky enough to be alive at the same time he was, and to have his music to listen to for decades to come.

Have a super happy day, bye.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Episode 30 NZ Pig Transplants

Episode 30

New Zealand Pig Transplants

Hello and welcome to Jay Wont darts podcast, this is episode 30, about Living Cells Technology, testing on apparently Disease Free pigs near Invercargill, where I live.

My intro was from a 60 minutes episode, talking about people who eat less willingly, and appear to live longer.

A little history about the Auckland Island pigs.

The Auckland Islands are some sub Antarctic islands, Auckland Island is the main island from the group of Auckland Islands. The Auckland Islands are about 500 kilometres south of Invercargill, where I live.

The islands are quite beautiful looking, its mostly shrubs and rock from what I can see on wikipedia, but I think it has a lot of forest too.

The pigs were released onto Auckland Island in 1807, as a source of food for whalers and shipwreck survivors, they were like living emergency rations for any people who needed food. Pretty dark huh? Living in paradise, all alone, just in case some people crash a boat into a rock, they can swim to your island and eat you. For over a hundred years, the pigs were left alone. They basically became a separate breed of pigs, now called the Auckland Island pig. In more recent times, the pigs were judged as an introduced species, they didnt belong on Auckland Island, and they had been eating too many of the plants, and had supposedly been squashing birds eggs, I dont see how this is a big problem to humanity, but DOC and other wildlife groups in New Zealand did.

12th of January, 1999, a party of volunteers left from Bluff, a port town very close to Invercargill. They returned back on the 23rd, with seventeen pigs, including some pregnant sows. The pigs had been lower in number than expected, and were hard to find, forest covered the area they were in, the only way to find them was to use trained dogs to find and hold the pigs. The hunters would then tie their legs and jaws shut, and the pigs were carried back to the base camp where they were put into cages. The site I'm reading from,, in the source notes, says that injuries happened, (not always to the pigs!). So, 17 pigs were rescued, and according to the 3news page, the rest were killed by DOC, for being an introduced species, they had to die according to our Department of Conservation. Department of Culling sounds more accurate to me.

The 17 pigs who were "rescued from auckland islands" as the media have reported, were moved to Invercargill. Rescued? from paradise? Taken to a secret location near Invercargill?

It was found the Auckland Island pig is basically disease free, The Southland Times newspaper here often calls them "disease free pigs". They have been biocertified, acceptable for animal to human transplants.

There is now a company setting up Auckland Island pig farms around Invercargill, theres one currently one building that has just opened, the location is kept secret I believe. The name of the company is Living Cell Technologies, they will handle breeding the pigs and extracting cells from the pigs, to be used in people.

I should mention now, anything I say from now on is pretty much just my opinion, what I think based on what I've found from other sources. I asked for information from Living cell Technologies, and also from Mayor of Invercargill Tim Shadbolt, because I honestly dont know what is going to happen inside the Pig Farms.

Tim Shadbolt, our Mayor, is a big supporter of the pigs being bred, the amount of money being made in Southland is mentioned as being billions of dollars. I wish Living Cell or Mayor Shadbolt had taken up my offer to appear on this episode of my podcast, because I honestly want to know whats going to happen, instead you just get to hear me coming up with crazy ideas. Living Cell didnt get back to me, but I got a text reply from the Mayors office.

Living Cell is going to use liver cells from the pigs, for people with Diabetes Type One, pig cells will be injected into people and they will help the person's liver produce Insulin. In the media, the local Southland Times newspaper, the story about the pigs is only mentioned positively, I seem to be the only person in Invercargill against the use of these animals. The facilities are mentioned as costing millions of dollars to build, and that the pigs will be well treated, and the paper calls them "pig palaces". I've seen a photo of the Mayor inside where the pigs will live, it looked like concrete prison cells, probably only a metre or two across, slabs of solid concrete from what I saw in the photo, that was from when the building was being constructed, I dont know what it will be like inside with the pigs now. I'll now mention some newspaper articles

Ok, sure thing Alex, I'll use you again, just for short things though.. I'll read these news stories myself with a 3 news clip in between.

From The Southland Times,

Living Cell Technologies has received approval to begin clinical trials involving the transplanting of cells from Auckland Island pigs, which are housed in Southland, into eight people with type-1 diabetes.

The pigs are housed at Awarua, near Invercargill, in a $2.5 million hi-tech breeding unit and the company has plans to build up to 80 more units in Southland within 10 years. Each will house up to 500 sows. (by the way, thats sow as in pig, not as in DNA, molecule cells)

Living Cell Technologies founding director David Collinson said the project could inject $1.9 billion into the region's economy in that time and create thousands of jobs.

While clinical trials will be carried out at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital, Mr Collinson said the breeding and cell harvesting in Southland would employ at least 50 people per unit.

The approval, confirmed by Health Minister Tony Ryall yesterday, brings the company closer to the end of its long bureaucratic battle to start trials in New Zealand.

It has been waiting for more than two years, during which time the company threatened to take its technology overseas.

Speaking from Melbourne yesterday, Living Cell Technologies' chief operating officer Paul Tan said the approval was great news.

"Essentially the minister will allow us to do the trials under revised conditions.

"And these revised conditions we totally accept."

They included conducting trials only on severe diabetics and providing patients with more information on what was required of them, as requested by the minister, Mr Tan said.

The revised protocol for the clinical trial would then need to go before the Government's ethics committee before final signoff.

Mr Tan was confident the committee would not have any issues.

"We don't see that as a problem."

Mr Collinson expected the committee to make its decision within a month.

Trials would start two months from the time patients had been selected.

Mr Collinson congratulated Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt for his role.

Mr Shadbolt saved the pigs a decade ago, housing and feeding them out of his own mayoral fund in the hope uses would be found for them.

Last night he said the preliminary approval was great news for the region.

It opened up huge opportunities, including the potential to develop courses at the Southern Institute of Technology to train the scientists and vets that would be needed to staff the pig-breeding units, Mr Shadbolt said.

Diabetes is caused by having too much sugar in the blood because the pancreas cannot make enough insulin.

The pancreas contains clusters of cells, known as islets, that produce hormones like insulin. People with "brittle" diabetes

frequently experience large swings in blood-sugar levels.

The bid for New Zealand approval was boosted in 2007 after researchers discovered pig cells injected into Matamata man Michael Helyer in 1996 were still producing insulin.
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The idea was developed by New Zealander Bob Elliott, who had actually implanted cells in six Aucklanders more than a decade ago, before being shut down by health officials who were concerned about the potential for pig retroviruses to move into the human population.

The new trials will be run by John Baker, clinical director at Middlemore, with four of the patients receiving a dose of 10,000 islet cells followed by four patients who will each have a higher dose of 15,000 implanted.

Diabetes New Zealand estimates 15,000 Kiwis have type-1 diabetes, including 3500 children and teenagers.

Ok, so
a possible 81 pig farms, the one currently built plus another possible 80, X 500 pigs maximum per farm= 40,500 right, 40,500 pigs? Thats an amazingly large number , basically the population of Invercargill , but sad pigs stuck in concrete prison cells. I find the number hard to believe, I wanted it to be confirmed, but as I mentioned Living Cell Technologies didnt reply to my email.

Ok, this clip is from 3 News,

<3 news coverage clip>

A comment left on that 3 News story page, mentions how the pigs feel about how they are treated, in many of these news stories, they make the animals out to be friendly, but we are sure not treating them like friends, taking them from a basically free island, to putting them in concrete prison type cells, for their liver cells to be harvested from female pigs, also called sows! The pigs wouldnt consider the diabetes patients friends, Im pretty sure of that, they must hate living in those awful concrete places.

Back to a Southland Times story.

Secret Pig Palace Officially Opened.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt has officially opened the first of Southland's "Pig Palaces".

In a secret ceremony at the high-tech disease-free building that will house 50 Auckland Island pigs near Invercargill yesterday, Mr Shadbolt, council officials, the builder, architect and Living Cell Technologies gathered for the opening of the $2.5 million unit.

Chief operating officer Paul Tan, founding director David Collinson and founding and medical director Bob Elliot said the opening was a major milestone for the company.

After more than two years of battling political red tape, Health Minister Tony Ryall last week granted the company approval to start clinical trials transplanting Auckland Island pig islet cells into eight severe type 1 diabetics.

They had hundreds of people willing to take part in the trials but eligible patients had to meet strict conditions imposed by the minister.

The conditions extended to the Invercargill pig breeding unit built by Invercargill builders Cunningham Construction and designed by Invercargill architect David Mollinson.

The company's growing herd of Auckland Island pigs were yet to move into their new home and were based at a secret location in Invercargill. The company eventually plans to build up to 80 units in Southland, provided the clinical trials are successful.

Mr Collinson has estimated the industry could be worth possibly billions to the Southland economy.

Dr Tan and Professor Elliot said the pigs would move into the first unit once it had been fumigated and all the pigs re-tested for diseases.

OK, re reading that, I see that my math was off, the first story mentioned the buildings having up to 500 pigs per unit, and there could be another 80 built after this first one. This first one will only have 50 Auckland Island pigs its saying in this story, not up to 500 like the other ones possibly could. So scrap my 40, 500 pig tally, 500-450, ha, thats 50 pigs in this unit, from that last story, the latest to come out about the farms. So,my number has gone down to a tiny 40 thousand, and 50 pigs, assuming the other units do hold up to 500 each. Like I said, I never claimed to have all the facts about this operation, I get my information from the media who only seem to say it will be a good thing, I dont think ive seen any fear about diseases coming from the pigs, or anything bad happening, just that it will bring billions to Southland, give people jobs, and help sick people. Meanwhile, according to my latest crazy number that could be well off again, there COULD be 40 thousand and 50 pigs stuck in concrete prison cells. I wont be upset if Im wrong again, and it turns out to be a lot less, I really want the number of pigs experimented on to be a nice round ZERO.

Ok, one of the questions I had for Living Cell Technologies was how the pigs would be used. I have seen they will have concrete living spaces, I think it will be one pig per little concrete cage setup, and that they will be kept separate from anything that could get them sick, I dont know how that happens, if their food is sterilised before its given to them, if they ever are allowed to be patted by their keepers, that sort of thing. Remember, I dont have any facts about this stuff.

I also wanted to know how their liver cells will be taken from them, are they killed, and sliced open for their liver? And then what would happen, the rest of them, the other 95% of the pig gets thrown into the trash? No, that would be wasteful! So it gets made into ULTRA clean bacon? "certified disease free", hell, thats better than Free Range! a thousand bucks a KG at pak n save?

If the pigs are not killed, then are they kept alive, like the Chinese Bile Bears, where the bears are kept alive with a hole in their body, so their bile, stomach acids, can be sucked out and sold as a phony medicine.

Reading from the wikipedia article, Islet (eye lit)(not sure how to say that word, islet or islet) Islet Cell Transplantation, is taken from dead donors, so the pigs would be killed and then the liver would be used I guess. This also explains the large number of pigs , up to 40 and a half thousand by my bad calculation, so I guess maybe they use each pig just once, for one person, they would go through pigs fast for a worldwide demand.

The islet cells take hold inside the patient, and they help the person produce enough insulin, they may be able to live without taking insulin injections, their bodies will make enough with help from the pigs cells. The pigs need to be supposedly Disease Free, to stop any diseases from the pigs crossing over into the patient, where they might mingle with human diseases and create a major problem, a Swine Flu type plague that affects humans.

I feel very angry about the use of any animals for medical reasons, even if it does help human beings, I still dont agree with animals being kept in small cages, in many cases unable to move, its no different from Factory Farming to me. It is sad for people who have Diabetes, if the media hypes up these poor Auckland Island pigs, "rescued from paradise" to live in concrete pig prisons, if these are made out to be a cure for these people suffering Diabetes, but I am sorry, I just dont agree with how the animals are kept, treated, and probably killed in the end. If I had an illness, and was told that a transplant from an animal could help me, I would reject it. Id rather die my natural life, however short that is, than have a large number of animals kept in small areas, and presumably killed, to help extend my human life.

I'll keep up with any news from Living Cell Technologies, to see if they will use the Auckland Island pigs for other experiments, and to think, its happening very close to where I live, I thought medical experiments like this would only happen in America, not 20 kilometres or so from where I am right now.

Thank you very much for listening to episode 30 of Jay Wont dart's podcast. My outro will be a clip about Animal Rights from Ali G, this might offend some people, he jokes about being mean to animals, with some animal rights campaigners to represent our side. Im playing this to lighten my mood as I feel Im the only one in Invercargill who is upset about the Pig Farm about to suck organs out of pigs to squirt them into sick people, being serious just makes me more upset about how the Auckland Island pigs are being treated. Two of the people who campaign for animal rights in the clip are happily sitting on a leather couch, I think its leather from the video, that upsets me more than a comedian playing a stupid character who mentions stupid , and made up, acts. Also, the woman at the start who looks after hedgehogs is sitting on a cow print chair. These people are meant to be against animals being killed, and their skins being used! These people are real, and should know better!

In the clip, Ali jokes about prodding a dog with a fork to make it talk, kicking a hedgehog, and "doing his own experiments on animals" by putting a mouse in a microwave. I can laugh at how crazy it is, because I know its not real, but if it were real, then of course I would be horrified. Just giving a warning to people who dont want to hear the clip.

If you want to contact me, even just to say you listened, send an email to, j a y w o n t d a r t @, I'd appreciate it.

Have a super happy day, bye.

INTRO: 60 minutes clip
OUTRO: ali g animal rights clip