Hard News by Russell Brown


For Young and Old ...

This week's Media7 looks at concerns about teenage girls being sexualised in the media, with reference to the Miley Cyrus and Zippora Seven controversies.

We also had a look at New Zealand's biggest (181,000 readers) magazine for teenage girls, Girlfriend -- and were a bit shocked at what was in a issue whose reader of the month is 13 years old, and which was announced in the editor's blog with a cheery "Hi girls, how were the school holidays?"

It wasn't that sex was mentioned -- clearly keeping it a secret doesn't work -- but the reckless quality of some of the advice, and the general why aren't you having sex yet? vibe. Who needs peer pressure when your tweeny mag is doing it for you?

Woman's Day editor Sarah Henry disagreed and thought it was the same as the Dolly magazines she read as a lass. She was on our panel, along with Pebbles Hooper and Stella editor Emily Wilson, who kindly stepped in at the last moment.

The ondemand version is here; Windows Media clips are here; the podcast is here and the video will be here on the YouTube page real soon now. There are also some good links in the blog.

On a completely different TV tip, I was persuaded by our producers, Top Shelf, to take part in another show, called The Sitting. The idea is that Stephen Marty Welch interviews people while he paints their portraits.

I went in to the SOCA gallery last night for my "reveal". I liked it; it makes me look quizzical. And I liked Marty too. The series will kick off on TVNZ6 next month, I think. Other subjects include Tiki Taane, Jan-Marie, Kevin Milne, Pam Corkery and Mike Hosking.

The Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts has a significant programme of Maoritanga underway, including a photographic exhibition of moko and a visit from the Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre of New Zealand at the end of this month. There has been some press. And last month the LA Times ran a feature on ta moko.

Chris Bourke goes retro-fiesta on EMI New Zealand:

For EMI men it’s been Mo-vember ever since the legendary 1973 staff conference held at the Chateau. Cold Duck flowed like water, but it wasn’t a good leg opener as the girls all turned up in dungarees. Blame Linda McCartney ...

The photos are a delight. Chris also wrote a magnificent tribute to the late Robin Dudding.

And speaking of lateness and The Listener, I enjoyed Matt Nippert's story in the new issue about the new thinking about funerals -- as in doing away with the things altogether and having a proper party to celebrate the life that's been lived. Matt interviews Kevin Ireland, whoe wife died late last year, her memory celebrated by hundreds of people, with lots of food and drink. It makes sense to me.

The story also mentions our own experience here, farewelling Finn Higgins, as an example of the recent phenomenon of virtual memorials.

So, without wishing to hasten anyone's passage, I thought it might be nice to talk about it amongst ourselves. Which you are welcome to do here at Ways to Go

PS: David Slack is our man in today's Budget Lock-Up. He'll report on the scene tomorrow …

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