The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
September 28, 2012

Dot Com for PM

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about Kim Dot Com since the day he burst onto our collective consciousnesses a few months ago. He is an enigma. Not quite “A riddle inside a mystery wrapped in an enigma”, but certainly he is rapidly becoming the most interesting person in New Zealand politics. Perhaps that’s not a difficult target, as the competition is not up to much.

The link, of course, to a blog about urban design and architecture, is the house. Yes, That House. The Coatsville Mansion that first featured on the news as the place where the arch evil mega uploading boss of a secret porn / music / illegal file-sharing empire hung out, and was arrested in a brilliantly master-minded swoop by crack kiwi combatants. Or, at least that is what we were told then. Hmmmmm. Not so sure now.

The early photos we saw of Mr Kim Schmitz, because that really is his real name, ie Mr Smith, reinforced the viewpoint that he was just a fat fool, a wannabe playa, posing with guns and fast cars and faster women, and always wearing black trousers and a black polo neck jersey. Even in the pool, or at the beach. For which we should be eternally thankful, as man-boobs are never a pleasant sight on someone the size of a small whale. But he has gone from being this gargantuan figure with a face and a grin like a tall Benny Hill, and a seemingly obvious mock German accent – Corporal Schultz without the humour – into being our new national hero. Or, our new National hero….

Look at what he has accomplished in just a few short months. John Banks, who nobody liked and nobody wanted, has been publicly exposed as a lying cheating windbag without a shred of decency to commit political suicide and stand down. Banks is ripped to pieces – his credibility rating at zero – and the ACT party now virtually defunct (well played by Rodney Hide too! He got out before the shit really hit the fan….).

Now, John Key has been sucked into the same cess-pit of slime that Banks crawled out of. “I think the Prime Minister has had to make a choice: am I going to uphold high ethical standards or do I want to remain in power.” With these words, our avuncular German / Kiwi hero reveals himself as a very shrewd political player, effectively laying down a political gangplank for John “I don’t really give a shit” Key to saunter down with his usual camp runway swagger. Key reveals himself to have very low ethical standards over this affair, at least. Time, I think, for Key to show some real backbone and rid himself of this vile Banksy creature. A lucky escape for Auckland not to have elected John Banks again as Mayor – it really is staggering that the Aucklanders were even giving him a second chance, after they so firmly dumped the windbag radio host and opted instead for big Dick Hubbard. Now however, Banks can have a new tag line: “New Zealand – 100% Tainted”.

It’s a sad, mad world when a suspected international copyright infringement giant with questionable taste in clothing, cars, housing, and accessories – a living, walking, talking parody of Benny Hill under extradition proceedings from the US – when he has waaaaay more credibility than either our Prime Minister or the (cough) head of the ACT party.

Kim dot Com for PM I say !! At least he knows how to make money for the country. And is less embarrassing than John Key… All we need to know now is, how does big Kim make his money. Is it legal? Assuming that it is not just a front for money laundering (many schemes that have large amounts of cash flowing through are, after all), then is it really just a pile of cash that has grown because 14 year old boys have uploaded their music playlists and films of semi-decent / largely indecent naked chicks to a place where Mum can’t find them? Yes, there must be some illegal file sharing going on there, but then again – that’s rife in the industry, and they haven’t shut down BitTorrent yet. Should New Zealand just call itself Mega-Uploadland and be done with it? What we all just have to hope like hell for now, is that when the inevitable happens, and the extradition case fails, and the cars and the playthings are all returned to Kim Smith, and a groveling apology is given by our PM, that our cheerful fat newfound friend does not sue the pants off the incompetent fools who agreed to try to take him down. I sense a Multi-Multi-Mega-Upload million dollar lawsuit being owed to the Mega Upload empire.

Perhaps then he will be able to buy, instead of rent, that large Chrisco mansion. That, after all, is the real crime here. The mansion is built for that old granny who used to advertise that she would look after our Christmas present money for us, and on the profits of the interest she took for herself, she built that ugly Coatsville pile. That’s the real crime ladies and gentlemen, the bad taste in design of the mansion.

Coatesville
28 - 09 - 12

“It may come as no surprise that the founders of Christmas hamper company Chrisco would build a house with a dedicated Christmas room—a space designed specifically for wrapping holiday presents. And that is just one unique aspect of Richard and Ruth Bradley’s New Zealand estate. At nearly 48,000 square feet, the home in Coatesville, about 15 miles north of Auckland City, is the country’s largest, requiring four years and more than $15 million to build. Designed by local architect Greg Noble, the four-story, English country home includes seven bedrooms, each with an en suite bath, as well as a guest cottage, an indoor-outdoor lounge, a wine cellar, a theater, heated floors, and sophisticated audiovisual and security systems. Framing the property—whose grounds include three man-made lakes, bridges, a formal garden with a maze, a tennis court, and a boathouse—is a 1.2-mile stone wall that took masons three years to build. Elsewhere on the estate are two swimming pools, grape vines, and a six-car garage.” from the Exceptional Properties website

GCSB
28 - 09 - 12

So, dot Com just guilty of crimes against fashion then?

Maximus
28 - 09 - 12

Well, guilty of bad taste in mansions perhaps, but the crime of design is not his. “Architect Greg Noble” we read above is the cause, and the giant Christmas Hamper is apparently “English” and “seven bedrooms.” Something untrue there as well, surely – look at the size of the house! There must surely be more than a measley seven bedrooms in there… And I’m pretty sure that there is nothing much “English” in its design, except by way of Miami Vice. The biggest in the country, apparently. So what has happened to Mrs Christmas that she no longer wants to live there?

denny
28 - 09 - 12

Superb prose Max!

jp
28 - 09 - 12

My sympathies are with the filmmakers, musicians and artists whose works were ripped off by the non-contributing crooks at Megaupload.

Maximus
28 - 09 - 12

jp – do you know how it works? how he gets his money? cos its all beyond me – how can one company make so much dosh?

jp
28 - 09 - 12

The basic idea of Megaupload and similar download sites is to offer a free version with throttled bandwidth and wait periods between downloads, but then offer an all you can eat premium service at a fixed rate per month/year. I think Megaupload had lifetime membership as well for $199. $175 million dollars a year in turnover is a lot of memberships.

Files will generally download much faster from this way directly from a site than via torrent–much more convenient if you’re trying to amass a large movie/music/software/porn collection, or if you simply want to watch a movie right now.

Megaupload also had a streaming site Megavideo, which allowed you to stream 72min of video in the free version and unlimited in the premium. Very handy for watching offshore TV shows especially.

Users uploaded files for free, and were also paid to bulk upload as well by Megaupload. Files are then simply linked to via third party forums and voila you have access to a repository of all the world’s movies, TV and music and Dotcom generates himself $60million bucks.

The troubling part of course is the people who make the content didn’t get paid a cent.

Maximus
28 - 09 - 12

So if Kim D C decides to sue NZ for a years loss of earnings… the country could be well up shit creek….?

Alan
28 - 09 - 12

It’s no wonder then that John Key issued such a quick and speedy apology. Basically, as far as I read it, if the police raid was based on information gained illegally, then the entire case against Dot Com is up the Shute. Nothing Will Stand Up in Court.

davidp
28 - 09 - 12

KDC is starting to piss me off. I run BitTorrent and piracy doesn’t really worry me. I object to the police swooping in to Ugly Mansion with helicopters as if KDC were Osama bin Laden. But, KDC is a fantasist and a self-publicist. Apart from rent and the occasional fireworks display, I don’t see he contributes anything to NZ. In the mean time, we end up paying for whatever drama he’ll find himself involved in. And you can be sure that if he isn’t extradited, then it will be one drama after another.

I think the Banks comments are a beat up. KDC said he wanted to donate but wanted to know how it could be done legally and anonymously. Banks told him. There was no reason for Banks to expect that KDC had actually gone ahead and donated anything. KDC eventually asked for immigration favours. Banks didn’t give them, which immediately means he is more ethical than Philip Fields, Dover Samuels, or Shane Jones. That leaves Banks signing of a form that was incorrect without checking the content. Big deal… David Parker signed an official form that he knew was incorrect in order to save himself a few hundred bucks, and people aren’t banging on at him to resign.

Banks is right that the local electoral finance laws are a mess. Len Brown bypassed most of them by funneling all his donations through a trust. They’re all anonymous. They’re all legal. But I don’t see why Banks is pilloried for failing to disclose an anonymous donation from KDC when Brown failed to disclose any of his donors.

I watched some of the parliamentary questions where the Opposition were trying to trip Key up over Banks. The hypocrisy was breathtaking. The Clark-era Labour government once stole taxpayer money to spend on their election campaign. Their answer once they were caught wasn’t to collectively resign, but to legislate to make the theft legal. And Winston Peters seems to have forgotten that just a few years ago he was caught out telling lies about huge secret donations. Has everyone else forgotten his NO cue cards, that actually should have read YES? He was a minister at the time he was taking that money, not a private citizen as Banks was.

Maximus
28 - 09 - 12

Really David P? That’s really the way you see it? Wow – its amazing how we can both read the same news and yet come up with such different interpretations. Totally agree that KFC is a self publicist and a fantasist. He is living it up large while he can.
But Banks being a decent bloke? I fear you are sadly mistaken. The way I see it, Banks specifically asked KDC for a donation, specifically told him to send it through (make it out to Cash ?) so it could be banked anonymously, and then rang KDC later to thank him for the donation. All of which he has now “forgotten”. Which is why he sounds so freaking dodgy. Fields, Samuels, etc all rather dodgy, I agree, but I can’t recall anything about David Parker. Unless you are David Parker perhaps?

davidp
29 - 09 - 12

Political parties and election campaigns need funding. Politicians ask for donations. KDC expected favours in return. He didn’t get any. I don’t see what the issue is.

On the other hand, unions donate substantial sums to the Labour Party and in return they get a hand in selecting candidates, pretty much get to write their industrial relations policy, and the teachers unions pretty much get to write their education policy. The sleazy Clark government were handing out all sorts of immigration favours in return for cash, of which Bill Liu is perhaps the best example. Their coalition partners NZ First were accepting secret donations from the horse racing industry, and in return Clark appointed Peters as Minister of Racing and he gave our tax money to his donors. Peters is also famous for promising Owen Glenn a diplomatic title in exchange for huge donations to Labour and NZ First.

I’m not a Banks supporter. But I don’t understand why he is being held to a far higher standard than other politicians. If you don’t like him, that’s fine. But don’t try to justify your view on the basis that he is corrupt, because at the end of the day he refused to give KDC any special treatment. If Labour were the government then Shane Jones would have rushed through citizenship and Labour MPs would have awarded him the papers in a special ceremony at parliament.

The only real government incompetence I can see here is granting KDC residence in the first place. He has a string of convictions for dishonesty offences and his line of business sits somewhere between questionable and illegal. He is a drama queen. Why let him in to the country? What next… Lindsay Lohan? She also wouldn’t contribute anything substantial to the country, you can sure she’d also be in the papers pretty much full time, and we’d pick up the bill for her worthless life as well as KDC’s.

deepred
29 - 09 - 12

” So what has happened to Mrs Christmas that she no longer wants to live there?”

She & her husband moved to Sydney a few years back.

Alan
29 - 09 - 12

The Dom has a story today. It’s probably even worse than you thought.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7746904/Dotcom-saga-rebounds-on-Key-Government

mike england
30 - 09 - 12

I find the rationalisations of the True Believers of John Key for his recent track record to be incredible in their self-delusionary fudge of reality.
Come on, for God’s sake. Grow up. You may be profiting from your tax cuts, but are you so far up your own backsides you have lost touch with the real world?

Turn the telescope around, that’s right and point it in the general direction of the Real World, yes it’s the bit outside Middle Earth. Pick a country, any country. Now transfer all that has happened between Dotcom, Key, Banks and assorted agencies to that hapless state and in a moment of knee-trembling Eureka
accept the bloody obvious!

60 MPa
1 - 10 - 12

I go away for one bloody weekend and you lot turn into Kiwiblog commenters.

Maximus
1 - 10 - 12

Well, you’re back now, so would you like to contribute? I don’t read kiwiblog myself – far too rabid – not as mad as whaleoil though – but i am amazed that kiwiblog has such a high readership. I think it is the most widely read blog in NZ? When i last checked, at our highpoint, we got to 81 or something – just ahead of a young politician called John Key. I suspect he has got more than us now….

I must confess – I have absolutely no idea what Mike England is on about. I think he is saying that davidp is a True Believer of John Key and that he should do something with the blunt end of a telescope up his own backside, which sounds neither entirely sanitary, nor useful to the telescope.

Very well. I shall return to commentary on matters urban and urbane…

60 MPa
2 - 10 - 12

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington-central/7752712/New-lower-Kumutoto-Wharf-plans-released

Not sure whether that is a worthy contribution but it’s sorta news