14 June 2008

golden wedding (*)

Gold doesn't cut it any more, it probably has to be platinum, or titanium, or both, with bits of argon stapled to the sides.

That was a joke, I don't think argon can be stapled to anything although next time I'm in Office works, I'll loiter around the staplers and ask one of the attendants whether the Acme 3000 staples argon.

Wtf am I on about? Is last night's meandering still under way?

No, it's all about weddings, the cost thereof, and all that's wrong about it. It seems that some footballer and his footballer's wife have spent the sum typical for a footballer and everyone's up in arms. From
different perspectives.

Mrs VVB and I have a view about this issue and it concerns Offspring No 2, because she has been told on many, many occasions that, should the occasion arise, we are not stumping up for whatever the contemporary 'best practice' happens to be for nuptials including themes, wedding planners, expensive venues, fripperies and cakes 9 metres high. And especially 'favours' for guests, any of whom should feel themselves bloody fortunate to get a stubby of light or a glass of cheap fizzy and two glasses of vino collapso without some kind of gift that will end up in the bin by night's end. What the blokes want to drink is up to them.

In fact I believe Mrs VVB has consistently whispered the word 'elope' into Offspring No 2's sleeping ears.

Why anyone needs a wedding planner is entirely bemusing to me - that's what mothers and, in extreme cases, mothers in law do, isn't it? Whenever you read an article on this issue you get comments saying "well when I was married..." and it's no different at Chateau VVB. It was organised by the family, the reception was at a sister's place and it was no worse for having been so arranged as far as I can see.

If we have to underwrite any future union that Offspring No 2 might want to embark on, we'd rather help out with housing than an over-the-top celebration of 'princess' culture.

Offspring No 2 is of course free to provide her own comments on this issue, but caution would be in order, nicht war?

On another topic entirely, Andrew Leigh makes a few comments on Craig Emerson's speech to the Sydney Institute last week. It seems to me that even the more thoughtful bloggers such as Leigh seem too eager to categorise pollies by what they should believe, based on party membership. That said, it probably holds true more often than not and has certainly become a simpler task since the victory of 'markets' over any other model in 1989.

There's no reason why Emerson shouldn't quote Adam Smith - why, I even once managed to get a reference to Hayek into a letter I once had to write to the State Treasury while arguing, no doubt, for some market intervention somewhere. I wish I still had it: while I felt awfully clever at the time, I rather suspect that the argument must have been pretty tenuous.

Anyway, I also believe that more pollies should refer to the Theory of Moral Sentiments rather than the Wealth of Nations, which usually gets selectively interpreted anyway. Abject disclosure: I haven't read either of 'em but I am much taken with the except from the former in Andrew Leigh's post. Certainly security of ownership of property provides the basis for commerce so don't think that I'm one of those who advocates the State grabbing it willy-nilly and distributing it around the polity.

But you do get an awful lot of regulation which tends to entrench a property-owning class, which is not a good thing.

(*) For Woody Herman fans.

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