It wasn't even a year ago, on Waitangi Day, that the word "dildo" made the 6 o'clock news, marking a quantum shift in social attitudes.
And now, thanks to Donald J Trump, "golden shower" has entered the family-friendly news vocabulary, and all other news has been extinguished, the oxygen removed as if by a giant explosion in an already burning building.
Personally, I'm fine, morally, with him indulging his fetishes, as long as the well-hydrated Russian prostitutes consented and were paid. Trump's history with contractors in the building industry doesn't bode well for that, but perhaps he pays prostitutes promptly and in full, the way he likes their bladders.
And now, if this scandal is the extent of his dirty laundry, does that mean he is no longer vulnerable to blackmail?
But I'm curious: what would Donald Trump prefer revealed: Russian spy video of his alleged encounters with prostitutes, or his own tax returns?
What might his tax returns reveal, which would be truly scandalous in a public servant? Money laundering from foreign criminal sources? Indebtedness to foreign sources whose goals are at odds with America's interests and allies, including Nato and democratic Europe?
These are questions which the Republican Party do not care about, having nominated Trump without requiring his tax returns. Nor did these questions matter to the voters who elected him. So it's arguable, in fact, that he's been given carte blanche by the American electors, to plunder as he wants.
His secrets, including alleged activity at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, are to me much less disgusting than what he's been open about: his policies which energised the followers at his rallies.
And if this was just a racist trend, a swing on the pendulum which would swing back, leaving the system stronger, that would (kinda, not really, but if it's the only option) almost be OK. At least with Brexit, we can see the UK will suffer for their idiocy, and nobody in the UK will get rich out of it.
If Trump was a cold which would leave the US with a stronger immune system, maybe he's worth it. But he's worse than that. As President, Trump gets to pardon criminals, and he gets to make policy to allegedly enrich his businesses, and take them further from the oversight of law. His tweets already affect share prices, which he no doubt has an interest in. Trump's family businesses and those associated with his Cabinet will become even more oligarch-rich than already. Dictator-rich. Putin-level rich.
Billionaires move beyond the law, and the law becomes irrelevant, an empty jingle, trumped (for want of a better word) by a medieval design of government, winner-take-all, which rolls its eyes at playing by the rules, and where the little people really are little, and where a peasant who speaks out is committing painful suicide.
Once the Arctic drilling begins, the damage doesn't get repaired. We don't get the Arctic back.
Once Trump's Cabinet of evil becomes a dozen more billionaires, the money will not trickle down, or back, or indeed, be seen again by any form of public register.
His gullible followers, who would prefer taxpayer money be spent on a wall, rather than say, free healthcare for themselves, can hardly be expected to turn when his promises of greatness don't eventuate. Their news sources on Facebook will assure them that things are indeed better under Trump, that a wall is good but vaccines are bad, and they will make smallpox great again, only pausing occasionally from their non-blinking to froth or snarl at someone slightly different in complexion or superstition.
The only hope for the forces of good, for the underdog, and the example of freedom, is that he not be inaugurated. If he makes it, we're toast.
On January 20th, Putin rules the world.
Meanwhile, adorably, New Zealand is a downright paradise. It's charming that with our national day approaching, we wring our hands over how precisely to feel about our history.
What if New Zealand's national day was Waiheke Day instead? What if our founding document was the Treaty of Waiheke, a degustation menu stained in excellent reds and various shades of coffee?
Who would be allowed to speak on the marae?
I don't know much about Waiheke. Is it true they have no plumbing? That makes it sound like a beautiful survivalist enclave, full of doomsday preppers with five-star taste in tapas.
There's no homelessness on Waiheke, but I'm sure they can relate because, after all, there's plenty of outdoor furniture.