Hard News by Russell Brown


All this and more

Y'know -- no, really, I was -- I had been wondering what Ian Wishart was up to. Turns out that Mr Litterick is still reading this stuff so we don't have to, and he brings news of an extraordinary story from Investigate magazine: a group of Colombians were given a tour of Heaven and Hell by Jesus himself, and in the latter place, they spied John Lennon, who is there undergoing an eternal -- and frankly irksome -- penance.

Meanwhile, Ian has a book so explosive he'll explode if he doesn't get it out soon.

MSM blog fight! In his blog on Stuff, Colin Espiner ruminates on why APN's Bay Report flipped and retracted the John Key "we'd love to see wages drop" quote, and why APN's New Zealand Herald effectively announced it first. Rubbish, says Audrey Young, it's not even a retraction, it's a clarification.

And, given that no one is saying the transcript is actually wrong, an apparently superfluous one. Personally, I'd love to know exactly who has been saying what to whom …

Tim Selwyn is your media trainer.

David Herkt has a fine diary of his trip to Sydney to shoot for a Mardi Gras documentary. I spoke to someone else who went (and who has spent the week redefining the phrase "recovering homosexual"), and it sounds like it was pretty special. For the first time, Mardi Gras was endorsed by the federal government. For first time, members of the Australian Defence Force joined the parade, out and proud. And there was a "58 in 08" float -- referring to the 58 legislative changes the Rudd government will make to bring the rights of gays and lesbians into line with those of other Australians. There is some doubt over whether it will all actually happen in 2008, but it is still quite remarkable.

New Gallup poll: massive dissatisfaction amongst Americans about the US's place in the world. But they do love Canada.

Cause for cheer: young Americans believe that humans and other living creatures "have evolved over time" by a ratio of two to one.

I've linked before to the remarkable YouTube work of Amanda Baggs, a non-verbal autist, but Wired's story on her is occasion to do so again. Her In My Language video offers a profound truth about difference. If you haven't seen it before, take eight minutes and 35 seconds minutes and watch it. Quite seriously, you will never think the same way about thought again.

And some post-rock-'n'-roll to conclude: if you are in Wellington, you will be going to see the L.E.D.s at Mighty Mighty tonight, won't you? There are people in Auckland who would love to see the L.E.D.s play on a Friday night, but it's only you people in Wellington who can do this. Just go. Don't even think about us.

And another fine combo, New Telepathics, play Happy in Wellington tomorrow night. Stop looking so smug.

Anyway, New Telepathics have kindly allowed me to give away a track from their new EP, You Have Been Warned!. It was hard to choose a representative track -- they're all over the dial, from indie-rock to jazz -- but we settled on 'Remember Fela'. You can collect your tune (an 11MB MP3 file, LAME encoded at a sumptuous 320Kbit/s) here for the next few days.

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