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I don't know whether it is the colossal amount of zombie television on offer, or, within that, Mike Hosking, but people around me appear to have lapsed into an intellectually arid state I can only compare to what I find embedded in the soles of my sneakers after walking through mud.
I think it's Hosking. Younger people never experience this wretched human because they are young and quick of reflex, and the minute his patronising faux-thinker face appears on the screen, they can whip to another channel before he begins speaking.
But I am older people.
By the time I find the remote and remember how you change channels - there are SO many buttons on a contemporary remote - then I have had to endure him for nearly a full minute.
And in that time I have to endure what has recently been named by the World Health Organisation as the most repugnant sight on television ANYWHERE. Yes, all 32 continents.
I am referring to The Hosking Fly. Perhaps it is a designer fly, perhaps it is a popular modern cut of couture.
At the risk of being put in prison, I have been staring at men's flies in the main street for the past month, but NOBODY has a jean fly like Hosking.
Is he doing it for a dare? Is he raising money for breast cancer?
Or does he just have no taste?
Does he think white stripes running over his thingee actually looks like something we want to watch every night, something that justifies the garangtuan licence fee we are charged by the Government?
There IS no licence fee? You see?
Hosking has turned us into a nation of people who no longer think, who no longer understand the difference between right and wrong, who can no longer come up with a quip at a prestigious dinner party that is worth a jot of common salt.
I have been led to this gloomy and negative train of thought after posting a photo of a broken glass jar on Facebook a couple of weeks ago.
Ginger Mango Relish from the Indian deli on the corner of the street. Looked yum.
But prednisone and a lifelong muscle weakness has left me with weak hands and fingers which feel broken, certainly incapable of twisting the lid off a jar.
So being an impatient and, well, the only real other word for it is stupid, man, I generally whang lids off by samurai-ing the base of the lid with the biggest knife I can find, not one from the cutlery drawer, but one from the tool cupboard, the sort of blade you would use to cut down small trees.
And on this occasion, possibly because I am as blind as a gnat, I missed the slender spot between lid and glass, resulting in a jar that became, in the rarified language of relish jars, broken.
I posted a pic of the jar after transferring its contents into another container, and asked Facebook readers if I should eat the remains, bearing in mind there was a slim chance there were thin shards of glass still there potentially headed for my tummy, the sort of subtle killing the Mafia does.
I was expecting sensible replies. Facebook readers could have told me of a place that sells a shards-of-glass magnet which will suck out every glass sliver and leave your relish completely safe and edible - $5 at the $2 shop! - or it could have been suggested I lie on my right side so the left side of the brain, the creative bit, could work better.
Instead, I was told I needed a PA.
So this is where and how the world stands. We are barely breathing in an infestational mist of blinding incomprehension and stupid decision-making.
We are saying the wrong things to the wrong people in the wrong way. Metaphorically, there are shards of broken glass everywhere.
And this is why we have Donald Trump, once, 16 years ago, Season 11, pilloried by The Simpsons in an episode where they had him running for president. Beyond absurd. And this is why we have Mike Hosking.
●Roy Colbert is a Dunedin writer.