Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Looking for Monsters

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  • Richard Irvine,

    Shaky-cam? Well, I'm the last person to complain about high-functioning alcoholics in the workplace but Gads man... if you can't hold that camera level, perhaps you need a new career. Or a nap. Whatever - anything that doesn't give me a migraine is A-OK.

    Craig, I reckon shaky hand held is legit in a horror / action situation. It's the 'camera randomly zooming around the place becuase the 19 year old director is still high from last nights' Halo3 session' technique as seen on the CSIs etc that do my head in. Nightline is not entirely blame-free in this area either.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And yet I kept hitting the space bar to pause the action, so I could contemplate the image for longer than the few seconds the programme was giving me.
    It's hard to do that on live TV, but technology lets us add another dimension to the experience.

    You need a PVR!

    I've also been enjoying having Front Row and a remote control on both my new Macs, including the Macbook that plugs into the TV in the lounge.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    I do get sick of the idea that "lifestyle" equates to running around in the bush and jumping off things: for many of us, the chance to live in a great world city isn't just a chance to save up some cash while gritting our teeth and dreaming of summers at the bach; it's an end in itself.

    Hear, hear.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    I do get sick of the idea that "lifestyle" equates to running around in the bush and jumping off things:

    somebody tell that to the Tauranga City Council. and all the oldies who voted them in.

    Apparently a museum in a city of over 100,000 people is an unnecessary luxury.

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

  • Tim Michie,

    Is this the monster at 1.29?

    If so, then there appears to be some preambulating on dry land occurring (although I wish more blogs included the phrase "angry alien whale theory." Especially those on electoral funding.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    I also had a look at the British system, which is in many respects similar to the EFB. The sky hasn't fallen in on free speech there, but the British electoral commission is able to oversee a remarkable degree of transparency in campaigning, and that's a good thing.

    ... I'm not so sure - as a former resident of the place (child of Thatcher :) I do wonder about the lack of intelligent debate sometimes. Maybe it's the Australian newspapers, or maybe it's more balanced than I remember, but there seems to be a distinct lack of depth over there nowadays. I think these things can be much more insidious than we think.

    "Money doesn't buy elections" what planet are they on - we need something that will prevent the farcical pseudo democracy of the good ol' U S of A...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Don - sorry I missed it:

    how does it rule out these meetings?

    It takes a little working through, but It helps to consider the following scenario:

    You're a candidate for an electorate seat. You have appointed an friend with some book-keeping experience to be your financial agent (responsible for your donations, spending and election advertising - the one who carries the can if you spend too much). You will be spending more than $1000 on election advertising in seeking people's votes.

    Election Advertisement is defined as "any form of words or graphics ... that ... [encourages] a voter to vote ... for [a] candidate...". This is obviously pretty broad, and would include oral speech (none of the exceptions to this definition apply).

    However, just because something is an election advertisement doesn't mean the EFB regulates it - all the regulation in it only kicks in when the advertising is published. If you print a whole bunch of leaflets and then never give them to anyone, it doesn't apply, the cost doesn't count toward your spending limit etc.

    Publish is defined as a bunch of different things - printing in a periodical distributed in New Zealand; issuing, handing out or displaying; sending or delivering to a member of the public, disseminating by means of the Internet, etc. It's pretty broad, but one thing that it didn't include was actual oral speech. The select committee added a new thing that it defined as publishing:

    ...(i) bring[ing] to the notice of the public in any other manner

    This is incredibly broad. You can bring something to the notice of the public by shouting, or answering questions in front of an audience of the public at a candidates evening. That it is meant to catch quite a lot of things is made clear in the commentary:

    ... the use of loudspeakers and megaphones would be captured by the new provision...

    Still, we haven't quite got to a ban. An answer to the question "why should we vote for you to be our local MP?" is an election advertisement, and constitutes publishing, but that only implies regulation (i.e. a requirement under clause 53 to include you name and residential address). How do we get to an effective ban?

    Clause 53 also prohibits anyone from promoting an election advertisement unless they are one of the following:

    * the financial agent of a party
    * the financial agent of candidate
    * the financial agent of a regsitered third party
    * someone spending less than $12,000 nationally, or $1,000 in an electorate

    Clause 55 also requires that anyone publishing an election advertisement that encourages someone to vote for a candidate requires the written authorisation of that candidate's financial agent. With the extension of regulation to public speech, any answer given by a candidate at a public meeting would technically require the prior written approval of their financial agent (which in this case, you'll note, was someone other than the candidate themselves - which will be the case for most candidates for major parties).

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Is this the monster at 1.29?
    If so, then there appears to be some preambulating on dry land occurring (although I wish more blogs included the phrase "angry alien whale theory." Especially those on electoral funding.

    Ah, but maybe alien whales can walk. Especially when they're angry.

    Totally loving being the sole Google result for "angry alien whale theory".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    Don Christie asked:

    "I asked this question before...how does it rule out these [election campaign] meetings?"

    I think it comes from this

    In this Act, election advertisement—
    (a) means any form of words or graphics, or both, that can reasonably be regarded as doing 1 or more of the following:
    (i) encouraging or persuading voters to vote, or not to vote, for 1 or more specified parties or for 1 or more candidates or for any combination of such parties and candidates:
    (ii) encouraging or persuading voters to vote, or not to vote, for a type of party or for a type of candidate that is described or indicated by reference to views, positions, or policies that are or are not held, taken, or pursued (whether or not the name of a party or the name of a candidate is stated);


    It's the "any words" "encouraging or persuading voters to vote, or not to vote...etc"

    A public meeting is "any words" and it is about encouraging or persuading people to vote a certain way.

    It may not rule them out but may restrict the way they work. For instance if you attended and asked a question in which you said "do/don't vote for 'x'", you might have to state your name and address as well to legalise the statement.

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    So Graeme as you have worked trhough the day you have been finding more and more fishhooks. Does COG still think this is "great improvement"

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, I reckon shaky hand held is legit in a horror / action situation. It's the 'camera randomly zooming around the place becuase the 19 year old director is still high from last nights' Halo3 session' technique as seen on the CSIs etc that do my head in. Nightline is not entirely blame-free in this area either.

    I'm not saying it's an illegitimate film-making technique, and Gods know it's a damn cool trailer - 'cause if a teaser doesn't... well, tease someone's wasted a lot of time and effort. I guess the brief was 'get people interested enough they're going to front up on January 18th, but don't give away any of the plot we're been trying hard to keep secret." (And I've been geeking out like a good little virally marketed consumerist drone. I confess.)

    But I don't know how I'm going to handle Cloverfield if it's 90 minutes plus of footage that feels like 'Leave Britney Alone' Guy shot the whole thing on his IPhone.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Totally loving being the sole Google result for "angry alien whale theory".

    Tush... get over yourself. :) I'm warming towards the whole 'Cthulhu Is Ready For It's Unimaginably Hideous Close-Up, Mr. DeMille' theory, not least because it should freshly angry up the folks in post-__Golden Compass__ outrage withdrawl.

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

  • insider outsider,

    " post-Golden Compass outrage withdrawl."?

    that one went over at 30,000 ft

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Is this still a "great improvement"?

    Yes. The original bill had most of the same problems, with a lower third party spending cap, and an application to all political speech rather than just electoral speech. It ain't perfect. There had better be some of those minor changes, but it's all but irrefutable that it's better than before.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    that one went over at 30,000 ft

    Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, is better known in these parts as Northern Lights, and a rather big budget film adaptation is being released just in time for Christmas. The usual suspects are rather cross, given that it's an explicitly anti-religious novel written by an atheist who makes Messers Hitchens and Dawkins seem sedated.

    Don't you think the sight of an Elder God trashing the Statue of Liberty would perk 'em up no end?

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

  • BenWilson,

    And I've been geeking out like a good little virally marketed consumerist drone. I confess.

    I seem to have got an immunity going by virtue of not having a Mac. Every time I ever play anything from any format that has anything to do with Apple I get browser crash (Firefox. I'm not even tempted to try IE). Then I ponder whether it is worth updating my codecs to see a trailer. Is 3 weeks of system instability and getting locked out of half of my existing library worth it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    Ben, you should try it in Safari on Windows. Then it doesn't just crash, it freezes and allocates about 5x as much RAM as you have in the machine...

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    insider...many thanks for taking the time to answer.

    Regarding candidate meetings

    It may not rule them out but may restrict the way they work. For instance if you attended and asked a question in which you said "do/don't vote for 'x'", you might have to state your name and address as well to legalise the statement.

    Ok. So what we are saying is candidate meetings may still take place, audiences can still ask questions, BUT if they say "vote for/vote against" they *may* have to make a statement of identity...er, if they are also spending over $1000 in the electorate and pulling a donkey out their arse at the same time :-)

    This seems a far cry from the "meet the candidates" events would be banned free speech dies" talk.

    Again, feel free to correct me, I certainly don't trust parliament to draft sensible legislation.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    It would be reasonable to amend the bill so that anyone spending less than $1,000 didn't have to declare their identity?

    This of course wouldn't in any way satisfy the Nats and their cheerleaders, but would stop them going on about sermons and megaphones.

    (If a church, like Destiny, are actively campaigning at the pulpit then they bloody should be spending capped. Why should political opinion under the guise of religion get special treatment?)

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

  • Emma Hart,

    The usual suspects are rather cross, given that it's an explicitly anti-religious novel written by an atheist who makes Messers Hitchens and Dawkins seem sedated.

    From what I hear, the OTHER usual suspects are also fairly outraged on the grounds that it's been well sanitised and de-balled in order to not offend the perpetually offended classes.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Finn, thx 4 da warn-off. Got a look at it after dling 20MB of Quicktime updates and 20 mins installing, crashing Firefox again, finally IE shows it, but only in a little strip, no maximize button. I'm wondering if this movie is a metaphor for the huge rage that people feel against 'The Apple'?

    I guess they can't really show anything being done to the Apple that ain't been done before, so the Blair Witch trailer style is a good option.

    Lemme think, in the last 10 years, I've seen NY:
    -Destroyed by aliens from the Empire State outwards
    -Destroyed by aliens coming up out of the ground
    -Pulverised by meteorites
    -Knocked over by a colossal tidal wave
    -Flooded then frozen
    -Beaten up by Godzilla
    -Used as a penal colony
    -Nuked by a human atom bomb
    -Nuked by an actual nuke
    -Locked down by the military to catch terrorists
    -Taken over by monkeys
    -Taken over by gangsters
    -Taken over by zombies
    -Taken over by boy racers
    -Taken over by robots from the future.
    -Attacked by actual terrorists (I wonder where they got that idea?)

    Is NY the token black guy who has to cop it before the horror film ends?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    New York is actually Townsville from the Powerpuff Girls.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish Keith,

    Thanks for watching the show - like to make the point that there are no actors and no re-enactments anywhere in the series and I make the point - I hope - that there is NO substitute for standing in front of a work of art and having your own conversation with it. My big bitch about that is that the institutions that care for our culture do their best to get in the way.
    For collectors of film trivia - I hope you spotted the Willhelm scream in episode one?

    Since Nov 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    From what I hear, the OTHER usual suspects are also fairly outraged on the grounds that it's been well sanitised and de-balled in order to not offend the perpetually offended classes.

    Well, Pullman himself seems reasonably happy - and the only way I imagine to make the Magisterium and Mrs. Coulter anything less than very, very scary indeed is not to bother making the film at all. Personally, I'm just hoping this is going to break Nicole Kidman's long streak of crappy films. Been an awfully long time since the Oscar, and I'm pretty sure she'd like getting some ink for being in a good movie rather than her dodgy taste in husbands and speculation about the viability of her reproductive organs.

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

  • BenWilson,

    I think Hollywood needs to complete it's symbolism by having NY crushed by a giant Apple with a small bite taken out of the side by Bill Gates, who circles above in Starship Eve. The joke on Microsoft would naturally occur during the Bill Gates sex scene (played by Tom Cruise).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

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