Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Is there a Sub in the City?

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  • BenWilson,

    Well, much as it lacks originality, I'd much rather read it than Garth George or Deborah Coddington. Takes a few secs, is actually about Auckland, albeit obliquely, and does fondly remind me of how tragic the Auckland bar scene is. I don't think it's entirely because of the drunken old sleazes, either. The girls might need to have a look at their attitudes also.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Ben - Yeah, because when it comes to stuff to read, those are your only choices - Garth George, Deborah Coddington or Blonde in the Bar. That's some poorly served desert island you're living on there, buddy ;)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    A couple of examples...but yes, it would make Lord of the Flies look like Club Med if the Herald was the only paper on my island.

    I'm not quite prepared to write off the blonde yet. The topic itself (local dating) is inherently interesting. If you're not interested, why write such a long article on it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I don't know if the topic is inherently interesting. I think some of the Blonde's posts so far show that even a potentially interesting topic can be rendered anything but, if it's poorly written or not sufficiently developed.

    My interest (and hence my post) isn't so much on the meat in the posts itself, but why the Herald would conceive and persist with such an amateurish approach. For all his faults, even Garth George can string a few paragraphs together.

    The original Sex and the City posts (link above somewhere) were revelatory, interesting and original. Whereas this is just banal. IMHO of course.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    I wouldn't say I'm a regular

    see Damian at a Strip Club here and here

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    see Damian at a Strip Club here and here

    Wow, who'd have thought he had legs like that!?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I guess they don't know until they try. You're right about the amateurism, my point was really that their other opinion columnists have set the bar so low even this doesn't seem too bad to me.

    By inherently interesting I meant talking about dating has wide appeal. But any particular person's driveling on the subject doesn't necessarily, that's true.

    It's the first of their non-newsy lifestyle stuff to even get me to click on it. I'm sure there are people out there who give a shit about a column on restaurant reviews, but it ain't me. Their tech stuff is aimed at people who aren't sure if a mouse is a foot pedal. But I won't knock that stuff any more than I'd knock Russell for talking at length about bands I'll never hear. People have their interests, and that's great. I happen to be vicariously interested in other people's dating experiences, it being something I used to do.

    It's a tough subject to deal with seriously, though. I'm not surprised they've simply ripped off the Sex and the City approach. There's no right and wrong about basically anything in it, just opinion. Of course they choose a female columnist, since men will just use it to lie, brag, and say misogynist things. That women will do the same thing just seems funnier for some reason. I guess it's the inherent tragedy involved, the sheer desperation, that leads them into situations that are really only amusing in hindsight.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I can't even recall what it [The Dominion's similar column from the late '90s] was called anymore.

    Neither do I, although I remember it was written under a pseudonym which would have been all well and good had it not been for the same writer -- writing under her own name

    Emma Someone, maybe Gilkison - she was at least upfront that the anonymous column was hers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Graham,

    Is it really a blog? I always thought an integral part of blogs as offering and implied invitation to engage in debate. Does the Author reply to comments or just she just let the mortals muse upon her sermon from the mount.

    It may just be that I move in different Circles, but there was some initial confusion regarding the meaning of 'sub'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Amen Neil, no follow up shows the Herald still don't know the difference between a blog and letters to the editor.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I don't know about that. Was publicaddress not a blog until The System was added? We never had comments.

    At present there are moderated' comments on the Herald's site, moderated in the sense that they have to be submitted and approved.

    It doesn't have any hyperlinks though, that makes me disinclined to think it's a blog, rather than just an on-line column. I don't know though, if it calls itself a blog, then maybe it is.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The difference was follow up, Damian. But you're right, we don't get to define what a blog is. And it's too early to say if the Blonde isn't going to follow anything up. Perhaps she's still waiting for the first intelligent response.

    More accurate would be to say that it's a blog modelled around a column, rather than the more common free-for-all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I search almost everything using Google. It seems to be better than nearly all site-specific search, not to mention faster.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Google ya say? Nah, it'll never catch on...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    For all his faults, even Garth George can string a few paragraphs together.

    Does he? Last time I looked he seemed to be regurgitating press releases for Families First. Would the Herald have paid for that "work" or does it count as an "Advertising Feature"? I suppose that approach is standard MO for some jornos but for an op-ed who is supposed to provide an insightful, if biased, view on something...

    That being said, I try not to look that often.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yeah, Google is even the best way to search Wikipedia. Scares me. I confess to having a mate who is a search engine spammer, and he says Google is by far the hardest. MS is his bitch.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I search almost everything using Google. It seems to be better than nearly all site-specific search, not to mention faster.

    The major advantage of the Herald's site search is being able to sort results by date. I've just tried combining the site: search feature in Google with Google Experimental's new timeline feature, but it doesn't seem to work.

    Interestingly, Google's new video search is a way better means of searching YouTube than using YouTube's onboard search. More relevant, faster, everything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I'm not quite prepared to write off the blonde yet. The topic itself (local dating) is inherently interesting.

    This morning I was thinking about what would make an interesting subject for a blog at the Herald, if dating tales didn't.

    I realised that I'd be far more interested in an actual blog written by Joanna Hunkin about her life in general, including behind-the-scenes tales of working at a newspaper.

    I don't mean this in the sense of gossip, but more as real, human stories. It might not be as sexy as a "single girl in the city" blog, but at least it would have something original to say.

    There are only so many "Well, this is what singles in American movies and TV do. But, um, we don't seem to do that here" columns that BattB can write before the bottom of the barrel is hit.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Don said:

    Last time I looked he seemed to be regurgitating press releases for Families First. Would the Herald have paid for that "work" or does it count as an "Advertising Feature"? I suppose that approach is standard MO for some jornos but for an op-ed who is supposed to provide an insightful, if biased, view on something...

    That being said, I try not to look that often.

    Indeed, but be thankful he was just regurgitating families first. Quite often our dear friend Darth, when stuck for material, just cuts and pastes from his favourite book ... the bible.

    Not discussing, debating or interpreting the bible mind you. Just copying out a few paragraphs, and appending some asinine line to the effect of "true today as it ever was" or "if only our politicians could speak such sense."

    Truly, truly pathetic.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    she was at least upfront that the anonymous column was hers

    Was she? Good on her. Was she equally upfront about running out of ideas and having to recycle old stories?

    Since Nov 2006 • 166 posts Report Reply

  • Beatrix,

    The really confusing part about this column is that she states that people in Auckland don't date- so what's it about? Surely she's not going to write about drunken one night stands? Maybe she's single-handedly going to bring back 'premium content' after all...

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Was she? Good on her. Was she equally upfront about running out of ideas and having to recycle old stories?

    Can't remember - I can only recall her writing about some married guy with a red tie that she was strumping. I guess she kept him anonymous.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    If she is talking about her actual experiences then there's something original in that. If not, why not, I'd want to know.

    "he really confusing part about this column is that she states that people in Auckland don't date- so what's it about?"

    Whatever they do instead, I hope. Which could be interesting if it's true. How the hell do people here hook up? If they don't hook up, why not? Someone who's genuinely trying could have some insights, or at least experiences to speak of.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    And a year later to the day, she's gone.

    Click for Herald report and final photo identity. Yea verily, displaying all the class you associate with the modern cosmopolite...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Well, here's the dirty little secret about what's wrong with 'Blonde in the Bar': Most of us don't really live very interesting lives, and even fewer of us can make the long littleness of life engaging through sheer style. My gold standard for the 'personal' column is still Alice Thomas Ellis' Home Life and Jeffrey Bernard's Low Life, which used to appear in The Spectator. Worth trying to track down.

    Premium Content is dead

    Yeah, I know it's only been there in name for months now, but presumably they've finally found a way to break it to Tony O'Reilly that the "experiment" is over.

    Heh...Even The Wall Street Journal, which (as far as I'm aware) is about the only paper whose 'premium content' model turned a profit, is expanding the content available to non-subscribers. Interested to see how far that goes.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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