Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Funky Seaside Village Revisited

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    It was all.... yellow. And BTW (completely OT) does anyone else substitute the word yellow for white in that Coldplay song about snow?

    I can't listen to any Coldplay song without wanting to make some yellow snow and have sleepy bye-bye time. Was Chris Martin genetically engineered to be a personality black hole?

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

  • Russell Brown,

    What on earth possessed you to re-publish an 8 year old navel-gazing fluff piece like that? That type of writing proves that you are Gen X and that Gen X is a lot closer to baby boomerism than you would probably care to admit.

    I did it to annoy you.

    My favourite line though has to be about getting a better cheap feed in Auckland than in London. Yes, that's the whole point of food. Quantity over quality.

    I don't think I said that at all. I was referring to fresher, better food at more reasonable prices than applied at "good" restaurants in the likes of London and New York. I'd been taken to some fashionable restaurants in New York and decided I'd have done better at home.

    I have to say, however, that if I read anything half as good as that in Metro in 2009 I would probably drop dead from shock

    You like me after all!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    As the stunt unfolded, there came the depressing realisation that it was really the Baby Boomers back again. Roger Kerr, pulling the strings, paying the bills. Paul Holmes, for whatever reason – ratings, realisation, simple ego –

    I fucking hate it that by the accident of birth dates I get lumped in with these f*#^king blights on this country. Where can I apply for a new birth date?
    I think I was one of very few scowling darkly and muttering out of earshot "fucking hippies" in 1969. And knew they would cock things up. I've never fitted in since. Well at least the drugs were cheap and plentiful till T Clark fucked it up. And circa 2001 there was another fine few years.

    And Craig if there ever was a damnable omniscient being maybe Homo sapien neanderthalensis should have been its pick instead of Homo sapien sapien.
    Sure, we would have had slopping foreheads and hairy backs but we wouldnt have bothered with getting hung up about it.

    A fine bit of writing RB I look forward to the up dated version.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I, for one, welcome the baby boomers as my overlord.

    Seriously, I've never been able to get that bitter on my parent's generation just because of the accident of their birth-time, any more than my grannies' generation who perfected the art of slaughter, despite many of the best intentions. Nor am I bitter on younger generations, despite not particularly enjoying their tastes in music, or how fat they seem to have become.

    When you see people in their context, it's hard to hate them. When they are your family, who gave you life and raised you, it's doubly hard. When they are your children, it's just plain stupid.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This far down the line, it's probably not apparent that the opening lines are a reference to Stephen Stratford's much-discussed 'Talkin' 'Bout My Generation' Metro cover story in 1990.

    Which isn't at all to say it was a response. His story was a j'accuse directed at the dreary right-on uniformity of his PC peers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    A fine bit of writing RB I look forward to the up dated version.

    Ditto. I remember that bit of 'fluff' when it arrived originally, and thought well of it then as I do now. It holds up. Russell and I come from a similar time, similar place, have run with many of the same bunch in the same places, and it speaks to me.

    There was a certain part of our earlier years that needed a voice that it wasn't getting from the established media, or even the self proclaimed edgier press, and needed, desperately, documentation. RB sits highly amongst a few (somebody mentioned Chad, and I'll do that too, along with Murray Cammick, Grant Fell and others) who provided that.

    That piece pulled a lot of that together, albeit with a few broad strokes.

    Maybe, Brickley, you just had to be there.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    Ben Wilson <quote>When you see people in their context, it's hard to hate them. When they are your family, who gave you life and raised you, it's doubly hard. When they are your children, it's just plain stupid.<quote/quote>

    Yessss!!!

    after all - who would throw stones in glass houses??

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    whoops
    i fluffed that

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    born 1976 (me)

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Naughty Sock Puppet,

    Hello?

    Since Mar 2009 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Naughty Sock Puppet,

    Apropos Telecom and Gattung: I have been brooding on this all day.

    You know, Gattung did what she was paid to do. Her strategy was approved and encouraged by her board. Her board prioritised dividends over long term returns, and she delivered.

    If we are going to point fingers and blame people, we should be looking at institutional shareholders who are not interested in being long-term owners. It is large institutional investors who have the power to appoint directors and set the tone for the organisation. As long as they are operating on the Greater Fool theory, or happy to strip-mine the equity in what amounts to an extended liquidation, we will see this kind of behaviour in CEOs.

    There are other factors in the destruction of Telecom's shareholders' wealth, like the AAPT disaster, but the general short-term attitude of the management should be sheeted home to the short-term attitude of the owners.

    Since Mar 2009 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    There are other factors in the destruction of Telecom's shareholders' wealth, like the AAPT disaster, but the general short-term attitude of the management should be sheeted home to the short-term attitude of the owners.

    I agree. And for a long time, that short-term attitude was actually applauded. I keep coming back to Peter Harris's report for the CTU in 1996, which quantified the drying up of capital investment in Telecom long before it was fashionable to do so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Rod Deane was there for a long time, was he not?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    I, for one, welcome the baby boomers as my overlord.

    Whatever, but it'd be nice to be able to move beyond the hype-ridden and dehumanising language of marketing.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'll buy that for a dollar! :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    Whatever, but it'd be nice to be able to move beyond the hype-ridden and dehumanising language of marketing.

    yes. baby boomers, gen-x, gen-y, gen-jones (???), blah, blah, bollahh. 95% meaningless bollocks, imho. and essentially US-driven bollocks, too. and btw, the 1981 tour broke the "old national consensus"? ah, the consensus that we all hated muldoon? or all loved him? or that Norm Kirk was a hero? or that he was a dirty commie? or was it the consensus that Maori should just accept their post-colonial fate? or was it the consensus that rugby is more important than anything else? hmmmm...

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • StepDoh,

    Nice article, for someone who was a new arrival to NZ in 2002 to the bustling metropolis of *cough* Dunedin it was amusing home some of the things were still true.

    My dial up connection with xtra was certainly quicker than my Freeserve one in 2002 edinburgh, but cheap pervasive broadband was just kicking off as I excitedly hopped on my plane to Changi.

    Seemed to hit NZ and a move to wellington with the backdrop of huge positivity in the country (The Rhombus album one the one on the stereo as we packed the guts of our Duncan Street flat for the big drive north) and it seemed to be a great time to be yung in nz.

    Interesting thing though was that Britain from the media suddenly looked shiny and exciting too. Oddly I remember movies with a sunstroked london and the now cliched shot of the shiny gherkin and thinking that it was moving on too.

    Moving back to Edinburgh though it just underlines how grey it still is here. your piece made me look forward to getting back and brining our small sciwi child back to whatever funky seaside village we end up in.

    #lovethetron • Since Jan 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Carlos,

    Damn you Russell!

    I've been in and out of Auckland since my 1st OE in '83 and the glass half full/empty view of the Seaside Village(s) swings to and fro. Recently, I made the mistake of reading this Herald message board which was a forceful reminder of one element of Aucklandness I detest.

    Sadly, it can sometimes be easier being away when the pendulum is in the half-empty zone... but now thanks to you it's going to be a weekend of Sauv Blanc & marmite toasties in front of the rugby, with 'Warm Hand' on the stereo.

    CPH.DK • Since Mar 2009 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Whatever, but it'd be nice to be able to move beyond the hype-ridden and dehumanising language of marketing.

    Indeed. I don't think of them as baby-boomers. I think of each individual person I know, by their name. OK, there are some similarities amongst my parent's generation, but mostly, I see difference.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    yes. baby boomers, gen-x, gen-y, gen-jones (???), blah, blah, bollahh. 95% meaningless bollocks

    Yes, I prefer "bourgeois ninnies" myself.

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

  • dubmugga,

    *sigh* if only you werent just brown in name only what a different story you'd tell...

    I lived the 90's in aux and what started out full of promise soon became a nightmare. Nice token reference to that greatest of polynesian contributions to the cultural wealth and heritage...rapsingers heh. The rest is just so skewed white middle class i cant be bothered eh...

    Lookin forward to the update tho and a sort of where are they now type of thing. Last i heard, kapisi was a fat old atheist irrelevent to the current generation.

    As for me, i took my kids and broken heart and got the fuck outta dodge. Settled back into the lovely, boringly safe christchurch of my teenage youth, which i would have loved for someone to have done a comparable piece of then and now given its *ahem* conservative nature and became an internet badass...

    Now, i is in nelson sunning it up, tho not really cos im workin in welli and getting back not so very often but the kids are loving it, living in nelson that is. Got a classically kiwi 3 bedroom suburban house in the middle of a paddock, in the middle of nowhere, down a dead end private road with a private beach to boot and the kids catch an hour long bus ride to nelson boys and girls respectively. Not bad for a native of milton sth otago.

    Accepting myself as polynesian and a generational gapper has taught me how to work the angles and survive the stereotypes better than most. Still i have to wind my neck in sometimes, keep my mouth shut and take a bit of shit from the man but i tend to give as good as i get now cos i and mine are the future.

    BTW russel did you ever used to live down crummer road not far from toast heaven and where did you come from if not Auckland?

    the back of your mind • Since Nov 2006 • 257 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Seriously, I've never been able to get that bitter on my parent's generation just because of the accident of their birth-time, any more than my grannies' generation who perfected the art of slaughter, despite many of the best intentions.

    Agree, nowadays I look back and thank them also.Great drugs,great clothes,great sounds, birthday new years eve, great celebrations.great country.

    RB sits highly amongst a few

    A fine bit of writing RB I look forward to the up dated version.

    Me too. That just took me way back then and got all nostalgic for a mo'.The weird thing for me is that after being being back a couple of years ,it was '91 that felt like I was home and I loved it.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    *sigh* if only you werent just brown in name only what a different story you'd tell...

    Well, yes. If your complaint is that my experience isn't your experience, I can't do much about that ...

    Not bad for a native of milton sth otago.

    Indeed. Nicely done.

    PS: I took out an unnecessary and probably defamatory reference to someone else from your post. Chill out dude, feel that sunny Nelson vibe ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    where did you come from if not Auckland?

    Timaru! :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Will Mace,

    2001 was my last year at school - yes secondary, not uni - which I guess gives you all a few years on me. I think it's fantastic that I have no idea what generation i'm supposed to be in, apart from the perennial whine that we are the "lazy" generation which is easy to ignore (perhaps because i'm lazy). We have no punk, reggae or non-commercial roots music to combine our up-yours attitude into something vaguely organised. Instead we rely on irony to destruct the messages jabbed at us from every PR avenue (and there is no doubt some great bands have sprung from this). I have to report that good honest interaction between individuals and groups seems to be on the rise despite the boom-bust of the economy. And I like to think we can succeed in continuing this, especially with supportive idealists pushing for progressive and productive change in our society. I'm partisan, but the nature of our government is something we all have to face - just ask the "public service manager" who stepped forward on PA last week to tell us how it is. How can we bitch about Telecom, when those regulating the industry are so huddled together that they can't fit in the Beehive door? But still I do what we all do - I keep reading and writing, I keep wondering how I can add something to Aotearoa, and I will keep tripping "sparkly-eyed down K' Rd". Thanks Russell.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2009 • 1 posts Report Reply

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