Questions for Deadheads

TWDAbout a month ago I discovered The Walking Dead and have spent the past four weeks watching the first four and a half series and now I’ve caught up to where the series is at.

With my overdose of TWD I have a few questions that I hope some other aficionados of the show may be able to answer.

  1. Why don’t the survivors sleep in/live in the trees? I mean if they can assemble walls and communities then surely they could make a community off the ground. But even if they didn’t live in the trees, wouldn’t sleeping in them at night be a better idea than on the ground?
  2. Why don’t the survivors head to the water? If there are vehicles that have petrol, then surely there’d be boats etc that could be utilised to live off shore.
  3. Why doesn’t anybody refer to the ‘dead’ as Zombies? Series one was set in present time. This means that every character that lived in the world before it fell would have had an understanding of the mythical idea of Zombies, these are Zombies, why does no one use the word?
  4. How did the dead get such strong teeth? As the rest of their bodies seem to fall apart at the slightest touch, what has happened to make their teeth so strong to tear through skin and muscle.
  5. Why does it seem there can only be one main male black character? T-Dog dies the same episode Tyresse turns up, Tyreese dies just as Noah becomes part of the core cast.

Anyway I realise that it is a drama and doesn’t need to always connect the dots, but maybe you have some thoughts around the programme or maybe just want to share you love of TWD

By 4pm today NZ will be at war

John+Key+Prime+Minister+John+Key+Welcomes+taXx7-vF6yhlBy 4pm today New Zealand will be at war, not ‘possibly’, not ‘figuratively’ but literally at war and it will not be by consensus of the New Zealand Government.

The National Party of New Zealand, under the Prime Minister will have decided to put our troops in harms way without the approval of the people of New Zealand, or the majority of our representatives in Parliament.

There are many things that concern me about this, and to be clear the least of them is retaliation on home soil by an extremist group, but one of the most concerning issues is that even John Key doesn’t seem so clear on the issue.

This morning Mr. Key was on TV 3’s Firstline talking over what is to be announced today with reference to sending troops to Iraq. Mr. Key made a flimsy comparison to what Helen Clark did when she sent engineers to Iraq. This is a practice that the National Government uses often, which is saying “well they did it, so so can we.” It’s an attempt to block attacks from Labour and to try to paint them as hypocrites if they criticise the National Government’s moves. This is a valid manoeuvre if the comparisons are equal and opposite but unfortunately for Key in this instance they are not.

The Helen Clark led Labour Government sent “two rotations of 61 engineers [to spend] a year in Basra from September 2003, performing engineering and humanitarian tasks.” This can hardly be compared to training soldiers to kill in combat circumstances.

The most concerning issue is that Mr. Key claims we are not going to be war, but then also acknowledges that he is not sure if this is war or not.

From the interview when asked if we are going to war.

…on the basis that we provide training neither would we be [going to war]. So, you know, if you’re out there and you’ve got your soldiers running around involved in fire-fights and, y’know, your bombing people or whatever the ‘Yup’ you’re at war, but I’m not sure that’s the same case if you’re providing training.

I’m not sure that’s the case” are the six most concerning words to me in this whole debacle.

There is every chance that NZ soldiers are going to end up in fire fights (whilst training Iraqis) and be killed…and John Key is “not sure” if we are at war or not.

To me it sounds like how Vietnam wasn’t a war but a ‘Police Action’ and my vote is to stay out of it.

The new Paul Henry show

PHENRYI have had some dealings with people inside the new Paul Henry show of recent weeks along with some of the sales team at Mediaworks and I find it intriguing to see the nature in which they are ‘selling’ the new venture.

It’s being spoken of as a Goliath of a show that is going to take the world by storm which makes sense as Mediaworks is currently trying to ‘big up’ the product.

I’m as interested as anyone to see the final product, but I wonder what the new show is actually going to achieve…other than save money.

Radiolive has been the bit-player in a theatre that is talkback radio since it’s inception in 2005 with Newstalk ZB being dominant and not ever taking a hit from having competition in the market place. As an example when I was working 3 – 4 overnight shows on ZB I had the number one show in the country with an average or 100,000 – 120,000 listeners nationwide, per week consistently for 5 years. Over the same period, in prime time day slots, Michael Laws and Willie and JT on Radio live, 5 days a week had about 50,000 listeners. The same discrepancy could be seen if you compared drive show and breakfasts shows on the two stations and things haven’t really changed all that much. Yes there’s been a 5% growth here and a 2% drop off there, but for the most ZB is correct in their advertising that “daylight comes second.” Why there is such a discrepancy between the brands is for another day, but I think I can speak to that as well having worked for both brands.

Up until 2014 there were two products on the Mediaworks brands, Firstline on TV3 and Marcus Lush on Radiolive, so to take both products and make them one will undoubtedly save money, not necessarily in year one as there is a major capital outlay for a new studio etc…but if you now have half (my assertion) the staff you had you are going to see savings long term so I can see the new Paul Henry product as a money savings product but as a challenge to ZB or indeed Breakfast on TVNZ…I don’t see that in the stars.

I see no evidence that people will turn off ZB or TVNZ and head to the new hybrid show. TV3 and Radiolive, as individual entities, have put up good options in the past to challenge the status quo to no avail, in fact Paul Henry was one of those people when he work on the Drive show on Radiolive, which made no depreciable difference to Larry Williams audience on ZB. I don’t see this Paul Henry as anything other than the next incarnation of an attempt to take down the established order. Now, I like Paul Henry, so don’t see me as a ‘hater’ but we have seen very talented broadcasters before try and fail…why should this be any different.

When Sir Paul Holmes went to PrimeTV the audience didn’t follow, we are creatures of habit and those stations which the industry calls ‘heritage brands’ have loyal audiences who don’t travel. TVNZ and ZB are heritage brands. You might see that people float around for a few months then it’s highly likely normal transmission will resume. I’m sure we’ll see press releases that point to a 5 point swing in the 25-54 demographic, but if you see that it usually means “we’re still getting our butts kicks and we need to find any positive point in this whole thing.”

There is also one last issue that the producers of Paul Henry’s new show have to address, and it’s the elephant in the room right now, and that is that this idea that a cross media platform may actually deliver an inferior product to what is currently available. It might actually turn people off both products as the show tries to be a jack of all trades as it may end up being the master of none. The radio game especially has some very exact nuances that may be lost, overlooked or just impossible to achieve when making a television product. Is this going to be a television show that is broadcast on the radio, or a radio show with pictures…both of which will leave viewers/listeners of the lesser valued medium unsatisfied, or will it be a genuine hybrid of both radio and television? But my question is how will that work and is it even possible?

My suspicions are that you will see an improvement on the audience for TV3 that won’t effect the Breakfast audience, and not a significant change to the Radiolive audience.

Honouring all New Zealanders this ANZAC Day

CoinHello team, I’m back for 2015, been a busy few months for me and mine as we’ve moved to Dunedin, I am hoping to blog once or twice a week from the Promised Land and I look forward to your input in 2015

I love, love, love the idea of a commemorative coin for the 2015 ANZAC Day celebrations but I have a question for the Reserve Bank…who are the soldiers on the just announced coin? I notice that there is a Maori design behind the soldiers, but it seems to me that the jaw lines and recognisable facial features of the soldiers seem very Caucasian.

Please correct me if I’m wrong (and I’d dearly love to be wrong) but it would appear to me, that in a country with a bi-cultural agreement we are celebrating two Pakeha soldiers and the Queen (on the other side).

If the designer of the coin could let us know who the soldiers are modelled on I’d happily withdraw my speculation, but from here that’s how it reads to me and if I am correct then someone needs to be educated about Maori who fought and spit their blood on the beaches of Gallipoli.

Again if I’m wrong please let me know so I can redress my observation as I certainly don’t want to cast aspersions.

See video of the making of the coins here or the official announcement here

A message for my American conservative friends

An exceptional speech made by 91 year old veteran Harry Smith who has a message for the Labour Party in the UK, which I think needs to be listened to by the Labour Party of NZ, which was why he voted for Labour first in 1945.

He describes life before 1945 as barbarous and uncivilized. Why? Because “public healthcare didn’t exist.”

Life in the UK pre 1945 had a healthcare system that “was for the privileged few”…sound familiar America?

Profits before people in the healthcare system is a modern evil. It is also idiotic which you can do by simply Googling healthcare outcomes in USA. Look at where they sit on any OECD related graph, at, or around, the bottom in things like infant mortality and life expectancy.

Public healthcare helps the people of the country, its helps the most vulnerable most of all, Obamacare is good for America and anyone who things otherwise either has an agenda based on profit, or they are ill informed. A country without a decent public healthcare system is uncivilised and barbarous.

As a side note, if the Labour Party of NZ don’t get to grips with the message that Mr. Smith shares which is all based around why people used to vote for the left,  then they are doomed to inhabit the cross benches for a very long time. Mr. Smith explains where the left has come from, you need to go back there to re-win your support.

The truth about Lorde finally revealved

Finally the secret is out, Lorde isn’t actually a teenager from New Zealand, but Randy Marsh from South Park and he makes ‘her’ music mostly in the bathroom at work…well that’s what the creators of South Park would have you believe

 

 

In all seriousness this is a pretty huge coup for Lorde. South Park today is like the Muppets were in the 70s or the Simpsons were in the 90s and 00s, it’s the place you want to be mentioned on (or ripped on) as it shows the world wide influence you have. Lorde will be stoked.

See the full episode here

Time for the big broom

21 months ago I made a prediction that Labour would win the 2014 election. I was wrong.

I am shocked though, to look back over the last 18 months and see what a dive Labour has taken since David Cunliffe took over as leader. In my post calling the election for Labour I also made this point.

Cunliffe is liked by many in the left of Labour, but not the centrists and not the public. Going with David Cunliffe would gift the next election to National.

Maybe I wasn’t so wrong in that post overall.

Here are some graphics from TVNZ from the last poll of 2012

Under David Shearer this was the Party Vote in December 2012.  A win to the left block

Labour polls 2012

Under David Shearer, PM John Key is not quite so popular

preferred PM 2012

What this means is that under David Cunliffe Labour has grown their support down 10% and lost the election in, as David Shearer said this morning on Q&A, tragic fashion.

I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I agree with Matthew Hooton, if Labour had stuck with David Shearer there would be a Labour led government today and that’s the problem.

Labour is broken and needs fixing, Labour may well have just lost the 2017 election, Labour may need to grow there nut even smaller though resignations and by-elections, to look to 2020 if they have have any chance of becoming the power they once were.

The solution for Labour.

Well I think there are solutions for Labour, but the first thing to acknowledge is what a horrific state they are in. Here are some statistics for you that are accurate minus the special votes.

National’s overall vote 1,010,464 beats Labour on 519,146

Labour won 21 General Electorate seats (plus 6 Maori seats and 5 list ‘seats’). Of those 21 general seat, National won the party vote in 16 of them and in Dunedin North Labour only has a party vote majority of 24.

That’s right in…

  1. Christchurch East
  2. Dunedin South
  3. Hutt South
  4. Mana
  5. Mt Albert
  6. My Roskill
  7. Napier
  8. New Lynn – David Cunliffe’s electorate!
  9. Palmerston North
  10. Port Hills
  11. Rimutaka
  12. Rongotai
  13. Te Atatu
  14. Wellington Central
  15. West Coast/Tasman
  16. Wigram

Voters put in a Labour MPs, but voted for National to run the country.

To break it down further let’s look at Mt Albert, Helen Clarke’s old electorate now occupied by David Shearer. Shearer won the seat comfortably by over 9,000 votes, but National received 3,000 more party votes that Labour. Aunty Helen would be rolling in her…comfortable UN office lounger.

So this tells us that the public of NZ can get to like and trust an individual Labour MP, but they don’t want Labour to run the country…and that’s the question Labour needs to ask themselves right now…why?

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