Up Front by Emma Hart


Something for Your Hangover

Emma Hart was trying to work out what to call Up Front Awards - Uppies? Fronties? Then realised they should be Emmies, and is now off to die of shame.

"Somebody" wanted to photograph me as an Emmy, holding up a beach ball, but I churlishly refused. That being completely out of the question, we’ll call these the Blue Moons, because that’s about how often I’ll get round to this. I also promise this will be the last List Post I do for a while, and normal service will be resumed once the Bitching and Moaning Season opens again.

These are the people who caught my eye over the course of the last year whose achievements were either so significant or so recent that I haven’t forgotten them yet.

The award for Best Perveying by Social Media goes to Filament Magazine’s Cock Drive. Filament used their Twitter account, among other online presences, to drive a fundraising effort and sold enough copies of issue one to allow them to move to a printer who was happy to print erections. You can now buy Filament off the shelf in Auckland, Wellington and New Plymouth.

Staying with the web, Thomas Beagle takes out the [Redacted] Award for Best Use of the Official Information Act. Someone at the Department of Internal Affairs is probably considering taking out a contract.

The Services to Tissue Sales Award goes to Russell T. Davies for Torchwood: Children of Earth. Or, depending on how you want to interpret that, to John Barrowman for his nude scene in Torchwood: Children of Earth.

The much-vaunted Starskey and Hutch Memorial Award for Services to Slash-Fic goes to J.J. Abrams for Star Trek. Oh, you knew, didn’t you, every time you made them stand just a little too close together, every time you framed the shot for easy caption-adding, every time they exchanged one of those long, lingering looks. And you certainly knew in that scene where Spock gives Kirk the face-groin-face eye flick. Like you didn’t know people were going to do this with it:

Still on the arts, I shouldn’t need to tell you twice that the Xerox Award for Literature goes to Witi Ihimaera. Everything about this has already been said, but it seems the explanation slipped through this column without proper attribution.

The Daniel Radcliffe Award for Growing Up goes to Daniel Vettori. Now that he’s the captain of the Black Caps, and a selector and the coach and gets to open the batting and the bowling and drive the bus, it’s time for me to admit that he’s probably no longer twelve. Still, even the beard makes him look like a twelve year old with a beard. I think we know what has to be done, don’t we, Daniel?

And the Bishop Brian Award for Sincerity in a Recantation of Homophobia goes to Beenie Man. First, he was sorry and we were mean and he deserved an apology, and then he was in Uganda singing those songs again. I’m sure it’s all just a big misunderstanding that will be totally cleared up the next time he’s talking to a non-homophobic audience. And possibly several more times after that.

The I Can’t Believe We’re Still Having This Fucking Argument Award for Services to Feminism was a tough call. It’s been a great year for feminist discussion. The Listener deserves commendation for prompting Tits Out for Ourselves Night. Without them we women would never have been able to feel a real sense of pride and freedom just by choosing our own clothes for a night out. Paul Henry did his bit to keep feminist issues in the media, and in a more personal way Clayton Weatherstone made us examine our own behaviour and how murderable it made us. But on consideration, the award has to go to ALAC for their Lisa ad, for teaching us that calculated rape is our own fault for getting so munted in the first place. Few things have managed to sustain so much rage for so long. Well done, ALAC.

Speaking of Clayton Weatherstone, he does take out a narrow victory in the Jeffery Archer Award for Sense of Self-Entitlement, narrowly pipping Roger Douglas. Sir Rog does, however, win the Nosferatu Award for Best Rising from the Grave to Suck the Blood Out of the Living. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who sometimes hears that laugh in the dead of night.

Before we get truly into the hate, let’s take a moment to spread the love. The Helen Clark Award for Best Combatting of Stereotypes is a joint award. Don Abel wins it for being a witty, approachable, charming Assistant Governor of the Reserve Bank with a great sense of humour, and Grant Robertson wins it for being a witty, approachable, charming politician with a great sense of humour and a deep love of cricket. Remember I did this when you’re Prime Minister, that’s all I’m saying.

The Best Reinterpretation of a Concept Award goes to Anne Tolley, for her performance art of the concept of ‘standards’. Next, I believe, she’s going to give a whole new meaning to the word ‘education’.

The Montgomery Burns Award for Responsible Use of Power goes to Paula Bennett, for releasing the income details of beneficiaries who criticized her. Paula solidified the award recently by announcing plans to “review” beneficiaries’ entitlements after a year, less than a week before Christmas. Anyone who’s been on a benefit knows how stressful any kind of “review” process from WINZ is – and that includes Paula Bennett.

And to end on a strong note, the First Against the Wall When the Big Gay Revolution Comes Award for Services to Bigotry goes to Simon Power, for appointing Brian Neeson to the Human Rights Review Tribunal. As Idiot/Savant points out, Neeson doesn’t even believe in human rights. In his time in Parliament, Neeson was completely unsuccessful in pushing an agenda so Old Testament it might have brought Saint Paul himself to think, “Steady on, that’s a bit much.” Now he has a whole new platform to push off from. His deep-seated opposition to the very purpose of the Human Rights Review Tribunal is a matter of public record, but it’s not him I’m awarding. That would be like giving rain a prize for being wet. No, responsibility for this belongs squarely with the people who thought it was a good idea and made sure it would happen – for reasons which are beyond me at the moment, but will no doubt make their Machievellian brilliance clear in the months to come. Simon, your name is on it, so you get the Blue Moon. Enjoy.

Emma Hart is the author of the book 'Not Safe For Work'.

(Click here to find out more)

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