Is this re­ally worth the strug­gle?

Auckland City Harbour News - - OPINION -

Where would you keep a copy of Mein Kampf (‘‘My Strug­gle’’), signed by its au­thor – Adolf Hitler – and worth a six fig­ure sum?

Not at your bed­side or as a cof­fee ta­ble ex­hibit in your best sit­ting room.

What about a Swiss bank vault?

These ques­tions, along with oth­ers, might be pass­ing through Dot­Com’s mind even as you read this.

Along with an­other query: Who knew that he owned a signed copy of Hitler’s best seller and who leaked that fact to Chan­nel Three, the Her­ald, Un­cle Tom Cob­ley and all.

Be­liev­ing, it could be a poll breaker like … well, you know what I mean.

Can’t say that I’ve checked our bulging book­cases look­ing for a cash equiv­a­lent.

What would I do if I found one hav­ing fallen be­hind sports books, primers on Ja­panese art and what­ever? Sell it, that’s what. I don’t favour book burn­ing even if Hitler did. No-one has the right to cen­sor other peo­ple’s books.

So will the SIS, GCSB, MI6, FBI, Mos­sad – or who­ever else comes along for the ride – be look­ing for other World War II mem­o­ra­bilia the next time a chop­per lands on Dot­com’s spa­cious roof? The Churchill cigar holder per­haps ... or a pen from Stalin?

Re­mem­ber when you an­swered ‘‘yes’’ or ‘‘no’’ – even ‘‘maybe’’? I have news for you. The new, all-pur­pose overused op­tion is ‘‘ab­so­lutely’’.

Used up to and in­clud­ing the Bee­hive. I can vouch for that. I heard it lit­er­ally from John Key’s mouth when he was among world lead­ers in re­cent days.

I can’t re­mem­ber the con­text – it could have been about Mein Kampf.

‘‘No com­ment,’’ he said – and then added with and for em­pha­sis: ‘‘Ab­so­lutely no com­ment!’’

You will see/hear less il­lus­tri­ous users, peo­ple who would pre­vi­ously have said ‘‘yes’’ or ‘‘no’’ now trot out ‘‘ab­so­lutely’’ some­times in the hope of shut­ting off a pos­si­ble full-scale de­bate there and then.

Lis­ten to tele­vi­sion

or ra­dio where in­ter­view­ers face a firmly said ‘‘ab­so­lutely’’.

Some­times not only in that tone but also con­vey­ing ‘‘I’m sur­prised you should ask me that ques­tion!’’

While we’re on words which are al­ready well-worn.

Lis­ten too for ‘‘over­ar­ch­ing’’ and ‘‘go­ing for­ward’’ – in this sort of con­text: ‘‘ We be­lieve our over-arch­ing plans are the an­swer, go­ing for­ward.’’

As if you can draft plans for the past!

Lis­ten too for words which de­velop be­fore your eyes and ears.

Rugby pro­duces them sea­son by sea­son and some, it seems, last for­ever.

Two I can trace back to Grant Fox, pre­sum­ably af­ter watch­ing Amer­i­can grid­iron.

De­fence and at­tack be­came ‘‘dee-fence’’ with its run­ning mate ‘‘off-fence’’.

I re­mem­ber when (Sir) Terry McLean came back from his first All Black tour of Bri­tain.

Out of his lug­gage, in­clud­ing a smart tweed hack­ing jacket, fell English rug­ger terms straight out of Tom Brown’s School­days – in­clud­ing ‘‘fly half’’ and ‘‘goal’’ (for con­verted try) while ref­er­ees some­times blew the whis­tle for ‘‘ no side’’ (full­time).

And in­jured play­ers were ‘‘crocked’’. Some still are.

Book­worm: Kim Dot­com’s li­brary is un­der scru­tiny – but what’s the real story?

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