The whole is ‘worse’ than the sum of it’s parts

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By now most New Zealanders will have heard about the claims of racism on the ridiculously named, and tragically awful ‘Real’ Housewives of Auckland. even if you have no idea what this ‘show’ is, you’ll had heard murmurings over the last week about the fallout between Julia and Michelle.

If you haven’t, long story short, entitled old white woman, who lives off her (and previous) husbands wealth, calls ex-model a ‘boat n****r’…fall out ensues, champagne is thrown in faces, lots of swearing and crying, women divide up into white/non-white groups.

There, all caught up.

The old, white, privileged woman is Julia Sloane, and she tells us that the term “boat n****r” is “an old boating term” and I am sure it is…among racist sailors. Having been involved in sailing for quite a large portion of my youth, and still knowing people who own and sail large vessels I have to say that I have never heard the term, but then again the people I spent time with on boats were not racists or, at the very least, liked to slip in and “joke” using racist terminology.

I’ve only seen (and will only see) one episode of any of the ‘Housewives‘ franchises which was last night and unfortunately it’s something that I can never un-see. It’s like if you were silly enough to see one of those ‘beheading’ videos on the internet, once you’ve seen it, you regret it and realise that it’ll haunt you until your dying days. But even though I have only seen one episode it’s very easy to see unequivocally that Julia Sloane is a moron. A dimwitted idiot who thinks hours after she speaks and for whom this ‘Housewives’ experience will end up only showing the viewers what a lacking individual she truly is. It does that same for the rest of the cast as well, as in not painting any of them in a good light, but as evidenced in last nights episode, Sloane will come out as the worst.

With that all be said, I have to say that Bravo New Zealand, in my opinion, is a whole lot worse that Julia Sloane. As we’ve already made clear, Sloane is dumber than a jar of snot, and has put her foot in it with an off the cuff remark…but the executives at Bravo NZ have made calculated and deliberate decision to benefit from this moment. The sum of the parts of last nights episode were disgusting. but the ‘whole’ which Bravo NZ brought together was even uglier.

The show and the offending “boat n****r” comment have been in the news since the weekend, lawyers have been engaged by the parties involved, and have advised Bravo on the best was to broadcast the episode (see ‘best way‘ as ‘way they are least likely to lose revenue‘). There has been promotion and publicity about the incident pointing people to the show to see what happened and then whilst Bravo made the decision to not have any advertising during the episode, they chose to play as many promotions for other programmes from their stable as possible which then publicised their product to what will likely be their biggest single audience ever.

I am not the kind of person who calls for boycotts as I think they rarely serve a purpose, but what I would like to know, from the marketing departments and CEOs of companies associated with and advertising during  the #RHOAKL what they think of the episode and the messages put out there and having their brands associated with it.

Bravo NZ and Julia Sloane you should be ashamed of yourselves, Sloane for being a revolting person with an ugly hidden vein of racism and Bravo NZ for being a corporate pimp. For putting out into the market place this episode which could have been left well enough alone but as you chose not to it means you have deliberately done one thing…profited off racism and promoted it to get as much bang for your buck.

Sam ‘Tape Face’ Wills final #AGT performance

Sam Wills, a.k.a Tape Face a.k.a The Boy With Tape on His Face, has just performed his final time on America’s Got Talent competing for US$1,000,000.

Here is his performance in full

We’ll let you know, as soon as we know, what the results are tomorrow. Good luck Sam!

The ‘culture’ or Celebrity

celebs

So, I’m going to come off all curmudgeon now, which I don’t want to do because I’m not a ‘hater’ but here is the thing. Stuff.co.nz has a piece up today with some of the ex-contestants off The Bachelor reading ‘mean tweets’ and the graphic refers to them as ‘celebs’ or ‘celebrities’. I have a real problem within the Kiwi culture at the moment of what and who we think are celebrity.

I genuinely think that if people want to go on reality TV then more power to them, and if they can use that exposure to advance a career in the public eye then great for them, however to be a ‘celebrity’ in my mind require more than a contestant on a game show.

It dismays me that dictionary.com describes celebrity as “a famous or well-known person” because that’s bollocks. Clayton Weatherston is not a ‘celebrity’ but he is famous and well known.

In my opinion there are very few celebrities in NZ, there are a lot of famous people, or people with high profile, but ‘celebrity’ should be in another category and require much more than being on a dating contest, or a cooking contest, or the son or daughter of a famous person, or a catch phrase that nek minute is gone. Peter Jackson is a celebrity, Sir Bob Charles is a celebrity, Lorde is a celebrity the runner up to current TV3 reality contest #4 this year…is not.

This is not a stab at anyone person or group, it’s a commentary of where the focus of the media currently is. If someone plays the cards their dealt and rides a wave of temporary fame to get somewhere in life then good on them, but to the industry around them that, in all honesty, is using them now only to throw them on the rubbish heap as soon as they no longer have value, it’s you I have a problem with.

As Jacinda Adern said in a recent article on the direction towards reality TV at TV3 “I get that the world of broadcasting and media is going through some rapid changes, and the best of them are struggling to keep up. People crave content, but on their terms. I understand that means that you’ve started counting clicks, and that in turn has started determining what content is produced, updated and magnified. But that model has the potential to be a dangerous vacuous spiral.”

Couldn’t have said it better.

SCOUT.co.nz is terrible, but the whole news industry is moving this way

Hosking CrosshairsSo I am in shock at the decision by newly launched gossip magazine SCOUT.co.nz to use rifle cross-hairs to target Mike Hosking in what they apparently call an ‘exclusive’ which was that he vacuumed his car in a public street…OMG Stop the presses!!! I’m shocked that this is a story, I’m shocked that this is the way the whole news industry is moving (more on that soon) but I’m mostly shocked that whoever made the ‘cross hairs’ decision seems to have no knowledge of what terrible occurrences that exact idea has lead to in the very recent past.

Anyone remember Sarah Palin targeting Gabby Giffords?

If not let me remind you. Sarah Palin has targeted 20 Democratic seats to encourage Republican voters to do all they can to win them back for the Good Old Party using rhetoric like ‘don’t retreat, reload!’  The map that was drawn up had cross-hairs on the seats and on one fateful day, a mentally unwell person took Sarah Palin’s advice a little too literally and stormed a Gabby Giffords event and shot her in the head.

Now I am not saying that NZ has the same culture that exists with guns in the US, but anyone with half an ounce of intelligence would know this is not the way to report ‘news’ even gossip but the post on SCOUT.co.nz mentioned the salary that Hosking was on, the price he just paid for his house and the street where he lived. The only outcome from the post was to engender a negative feeling, a feeling of jealously and hatred towards Hosking and if an imbalanced person felt like checking him out he or she now has a pretty good idea on how to find him after hours.

Hilary Barry posted a brilliant retort to the ‘story’ by posting an image of herself vacuuming her car with the hashtag #stalkingisnotok and the best item I’ve seen written on SCOUT today is from Russell Brown who goes into a lot of detail on the story, behind the story.

Many of her former Herald colleagues believed she had, at best, jumped before she’d been pushed, and that the final straw had been not her unethical treatment of waitress Amanda Bailey but her ludicrous “conifers” column. The belief was that she was due to be dispensed with in a reshuffle after the departure of editor-in-chief Tim Murphy.

I am also saddened that this is the path that all the media is taking. I am saddened to see when I visit TVNZ News that most of the video on that site is 40 seconds or shorter and focusing on things that rate heavily on Facebook, I think that content producers are missing the point and assuming what we, as consumers, are prepared to spend our time watching and reading and I think they are wrong. Yes there is a place for ‘bite sized’ content, but not at the expense of serious, interesting, challenging news that informs and entertains. We are focusing too heavily on the ‘entertains’ and it’s becoming very un-entertaining.

News radio shows doing 2 minute interviews on the international intricacies of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, television news spending 23 seconds of video on a tragedy where 4 people died…it’s not right and it sure as hell is not good broadcasting which is why most people I know, most people under 40 are turning to alternative sources of news online to get what we need and want, not what is dictated by 9 ad breaks an hour or a necessity to have a certain number of click throughs.

SCOUT.co.nz is terrible, it’s a product that doesn’t work in NZ as we don’t have celebrities, we have people with high profile. Peter Jackson and Lorde. they’re celebrities, daylight is second to the next highest profile person in NZ and they come in well below the thresh hold of what one needs to be classed a celebrity.

If anyone is interested in starting a Give a Little page with the object being to raise money to put a Private Eye on the people running SCOUT.co.nz to expose their lives and put all the excitement of them walking their dog, or washing their car online for all to see, then I’ll happily donate the first $100 and write the story.

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.

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

A delightful Pixar Short – La Luna

Recorded a short film off Sky Movies last week and just got to watch it with the kids. It is one of the most delightful short films I have seen in a long time, subsequent research then taught me that it was nominated for an Oscar at the 2012 Academy Awards. Rightfully so…enjoy!

Interesting what ‘we might like’

It’s always interesting when websites have permanent titles for sections without thinking about the story might follow.

Example, “You might like Justin Bieber bottled on stage”

You may like

Actually that’s something I kind of would like…

Sadly thought TVNZ has considered Justin Bieber being ‘bottled’ as being hit on the hip by an empty plastic container…as opposed to ‘glassed’ as one would maybe have expected…more of a new age, 21st century ‘bottling’ as opposed to what Billy Connolly might describe about life in Glasgow in the 1970s.

If you do want to see Justin Bieber being ‘bottled’ you can go here

And just in case, in this current highly intense time around violence, someone has missed it…this is said with the utmost sarcasm and in no way do we want to see the sweet Mr. Bieber hurt or injured whilst performing to thousands of teenage girls.

No Beliebers were harmed in the writing of this post.

Well done National on the political stunt

Love them or hate them, support them or be repulsed by them you have to admit that yesterday in the house the National Party had a brilliant moment of Political tomfoolery at the expense of the Labour Party turning the leadership run into an X-Factor type popularity contest.

Contestant number one

Well done on whoever thought that one up. I hope that we get some more clever, funny political moments in the next 12 months as opposed to the negative slanging match that we have started to see more and more of over the past few elections.

Eden Park officially support homophobia…albeit subtly

Aaron-Cruden-looks-to-offload-A story came out today about boorish fans at Eden Park yelling homophobic comments at rugby players. This may not seem to be that surprising, or even a news item, apart from the fact that Eden Park supports the actions of these fans…albeit subtly.

A stretch you say. I disagree.

The story so far from the NZHerald

A young woman who asked three All Blacks fans at Eden Park not to use homophobic slurs was told by the men that “it’s just part of the game”.

Hannah Spyksma, 24, was at the All Blacks versus France test on Saturday with her family and the three men were sitting in the row behind.

The men, believed to be in their early to mid 20s, were yelling at players, calling them “homos and faggots”.

When Ms Spyksma complained they yelled back: “If you don’t like us using the word faggot then don’t come to the footy because it’s just part of the game.”

The ‘gentlemen’ then turned on Ms. Spyksma turning on her “for the rest of the match, directing slurs in her ear, tapping her on the head and telling her not to go to the rugby again.”

An Eden Park spokesperson then responded

EdenPark spokeswoman Tracy Morgan said harassment of a patron would not be condoned and the men could have been evicted for that.

But unless everyone else around Ms Spyksma was offended by the men’s slurs, they would likely not have been kicked out. Ms Morgan said it wasn’t EdenPark’s place to “be the PC police”.

“If she’s saying that she was isolated and that it shouldn’t be acceptable, it’s not our job – I don’t believe – to try to move the cultural morals of society.”

Now if Ms Morgan had of stopped at the point of condemning the action I wouldn’t be writing this post today…but she let off the offenders, and subtly supported the actions by adding that it wasn’t Eden Park’s place to “be the PC Police” which of course leads to the only logical conclusion that Eden Park is officially saying that to complain about, or be offended by, homophobic slurs is ‘PC”.

Homophobia is akin to any other discrimination, be it sexism, ageism, racism etc…they are all seen equally under discrimination laws, as they are seen equally by the Human Rights Commission. Therefore an establishment should take them as seriously as one another.

I wonder what Eden Park’s response would have been if these men were yelling out words like ‘Nigger‘ and ‘Jigaboo‘ at a player on the field. I bet they wouldn’t have said they weren’t the PC Police then, they would have unequivocally denounced it and wanted to take action. What about the people sitting around these 20 somethings. According to the story Ms. Spyksma was the only person to speak to these young men asking them to stop, and telling them it is inappropriate language. Would any of the other patrons have spoken up if the language was of a racist manner? Or would their silence confirmed the stereotype that racism too is acceptable “because it’s just part of the game.

I recall an episode of Dr. Phil a few years ago when he talked about the word ‘but‘. He said when people use the word ‘but‘ what they are saying is ‘ignore everything I have just said‘ in other words after the word ‘but‘ comes the persons real opinion.

Now I don’t think it is quite as simple as what Dr. Phil said, but there is some validity to it.

  • I am not a racist but…Asian’s are terrible drivers.
  • I have nothing against this Government but…National are morons selling us up the river.
  • We don’t condone homophobic behaviour in Eden Park but…we aren’t the PC Police.

There is a very famous quote of which the origin is disputed that says “ The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I wonder if the same could be said in this instance.

All that needs to happen for homophobia to exist is that we do nothing. The people in the stands did nothing, Eden Park has responded with a nothing response and now what should you and I do?