Posts by Simon Bennett

  • Hard News: Rage and change: RNZ's music problem,

    For someone who has worked in television for the last 25 years, this fills me with terror too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Rage and change: RNZ's music problem,

    While I have no problem with the creation of a new public service radio station, aimed at younger diverse listeners (other than skepticism as to whether this will work in the age of streaming and in an already saturated market), I have a serious issue with what seems to be the subtext of the proposal.

    The reasons given for the cuts are: that Concert FM plays to a small audience; that this audience is predominantly older; and that the Concert FM audience is not sufficiently diverse.

    Firstly the smaller audience: isn’t the purpose of public broadcasting to reach audiences that would not necessarily be served by commercial media? I would have thought the relatively niche content for 170-odd thousand listeners would be exactly the sort of thing public service radio is there to do.

    The older demographic served by Concert FM should be an argument FOR the retention of Concert FM. Who else is serving this demographic? Advertisers aren’t interested in them. They deserve to be entertained and informed as much as anyone.

    The lack of diversity in content and audience is another matter altogether. Putting aside NZ’s track record of fostering outstanding Maori and Pasifika musical artists who go on to excel on the world stage, is there a problem in supporting art forms which originated predominantly in the Northern Hemisphere? Shall we also stop publicly funding the NZSO, the RNZ Ballet, Opera NZ, our regional orchestras, our theatre companies, our dance companies? These are all art forms which derive from European traditions, which tend to appeal to older (smaller) audiences, and which are, dare I say it, elite.

    Yes, ‘elite’. This is a word that is can be an anathema to NZ’s traditionally egalitarian world view. The judgement that no-one is entitled to raise their heads too far above the parapet, underlies our ‘tall poppy syndrome’ - one of the biggest hurdles to anyone wanting to excel at an art form. Anyone who strives to forge a career in one of the ‘elite’ arforms, knows exactly the levels of criticism and opprobrium they have to endure as they try to earn their place. Services like RNZ Concert FM validate these people, affirm their career choices and uphold the possibility of a life and vocation in the arts.

    My unease about RNZ management’s plan to remove resources from Concert FM is compounded by the reluctance of politicians to get involved in ‘operational’ matters. It strikes me that this plan is far from ‘operational’ and is entirely based on policy decisions that are to do with devaluing traditional ‘elitist’ art forms that appeal to older Eurocentric audiences. I’m interested to know whether our government upholds this view.

    In the 30 odd years I have been a professional arts practitioner, I have seen our arts organisations eroded by diminishing real levels of funding, the growth of management tiers at the expense of practitioners, the scaling down of levels of ambition in works due to lack of resourcing, and the collapse of sustainable career paths in the arts for practitioners. I know that arts funding is political hemlock, but am I being paranoid when I see RNZ’s ‘operational’ decision as another deliberate nail in the coffin of this country’s cultural soul?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    'Smocking gun'. The new 'Covfefe'?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    Consent

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    'Greta' – verb: to pour opprobrium upon the powerful

    'Granular' whatever the f*** it means – I’m hearing it all the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    Woke

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Laneway 2018,

    I'm pretty sure he doesn't use autotune. Lots of looping. Amazing virtuoso falsetto.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Laneway 2018,

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    And another : Moses Sumney.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Laneway 2018,

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    Lovely pics, My efforts (if I can get the upload thing working)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Laneway 2018,

    Yes, the heat was unbearable. We arrived at two and had definitely run out of steam by about 5.30. However, we found a bean bag and some shade and had a long rest. This made it possible to get to the very front for The War on Drugs. So pleased we made the effort.

    The stamina factor means that I am seriously considering whether I am getting too old for Laneway. I think in future, I will arrive later.

    Loved Moses Sumney - what a voice!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

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