Hard News by Russell Brown


An excellent evening in Newtown

My brain is feeling a little bit bruised this morning, but night's Orcon Great Blend was absolutely what I wanted it to be. The idea, after last year's multimedia circus in Auckland, was to go back to basics and bring a group of good people together to talk, listen and have a party. Mission accomplished.

Toby Manhire talked about The Guardian; Emma, David and Blair Parkes provided a moving and strikingly articulate discussion of the state of Christchurch and its people; and then the massed bloggers panel talked about their blogs, Public Address and media in general. Around that, people just enjoyed talking to and meeting each other.

A special word for Blair, who put together hours of Music for Gatherings from a munted house in Brighton that has only just had electricity reconnected and still lacks water, sewerage and waste collection. I had an idea, and he made it work beautifully.

Indeed, apart from meeting PAS people in real life, the joy of the thing for me was seeing ideas work out pretty much as they were meant to. Even the old chaps running the bowling club were impressed. I hope there are always bowling clubs.

In other news, Stephen Judd won the raffle and Keir Leslie does not look at all like you think he does.

Thanks so much, everyone. We talked a lot about community last night, but the important thing was the way we made it manifest.

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