This week has been a highlight reel from the Book of Revelation

So the first leaders' debate is tonight. Finally, we'll find out the answer to the burning question: Will Mike Hosking be fair? Or are all the signatures in that petition just bots? My prediction: Jacinda won't be the only one in for a grilling. Bill English could get berated for not being right wing enough.

In America last year, the debates between Trump and Hillary were moderated by different hosts, across networks with plainly (if not honestly) different leanings. But did the debates even matter?

Ultimately, Trump was installed either by Southern slave states - with disproportionate power in the electoral college - or by Putin's hackers. Even when the truth is unveiled, there will be networks which will continue to cover it up, and muddying the waters like highways in Houston.


New Zealand's version of the electoral college is the perennial quirk that Winston Peters gets given way too much clout. Even the Ministry of Social Development now realises Winston is no longer a bachelor; but the question remains, as ever - who will he give the rose to?

The American approach admitted that objectivity is a false god. It's naive to imagine that media bias isn't real, or that it doesn't affect votes. You just hope that the bias evens out, instead of becoming a lucrative propaganda weapon like Fox News.

This may reveal my own bias, but I wouldn't even believe sports and weather on Fox News. I'm surprised Fox News spent eight years attacking Obama, because it would have been easier to just tell their viewers he wasn't elected. Then again, they pretty much did the same thing by saying he wasn't born in America.

Meanwhile, news seems to be accelerating exponentially. I find myself waking up wondering if the world has ended. News this week resembles a highlight reel from the Book of Revelation.

Houston has staged a factory demonstration of climate change, under a government that has expunged the very mention of the phrase from official statements. I'm tempted to call the rains Biblical, but unfortunately, there are people, who think that's a scientific explanation, rather than a turn of phrase.

Trump has tried to sound presidential, but it's all he can do not to call the hurricane tremendous, fantastic, the best. All his statements make it sound like he admires Hurricane Harvey for its record turnout, like the crowd at a rally. Privately, Trump is likely enjoying the deluge because it reminds him of hotel mattresses in Moscow.

We used to think 24-hour news made the media exaggerate just to fill up space. But this week, good grief: Houston; Kim Jong Un; and then, depending on your priorities, either the circus (or the real news) of Game of Thrones, McGregor-Mayweather, and Taylor Swift - or at least that's how it looked inside my bubble.

I've somehow managed not to watch any of Floyd Mayweather's entire career against actual boxers, but this one I couldn't resist. In a way I feel for McGregor.


Here's a guy who knew he could beat up Mayweather anywhere in the building - in the aisle, the dressing room, the parking lot, anywhere in the world, in fact - except this fight was taking place in this one square of canvas, where all the teachers were watching, and rules applied. Sympathy evaporated at the realisation his head hurt less than mine the day after.

Kim Jong Un, meanwhile, vented more spleen and sprayed a missile into Japanese air space, technically a declaration of war, which isn't very neighbourly.

Japan seem to be taking it well, which hopefully doesn't encourage Kim to do more.
I can't imagine what he really wants. Is he trying to get China to pay him out, simply to stop making trouble? Or is he trying to get sponsorship for his next missile launch? If he wants to irk Trump, the best thing he could do is chill out while the Russia investigation continues.

In cultural research, I've studied the Taylor Swift video three times. Is it the sad urge to stay plugged in, and understand what the kids are into? My Taylor Swift fandom has been threatened by the suspicion she voted Trump. But the latest song, in which she settles scores, like Michael Corleone, certainly proves she was lying all these years about just shaking if off.

It's like you can't believe anyone any more.