Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Again: Is everyone okay?

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  • Russell Brown,

    I’m amazed – and impressed – that Radio New Zealand hasn’t even thought to mention that its staff have no access to their premises in Christchurch.

    The building was evacuated on Tuesday and they haven’t been able to get back in. Staff have been working from a motel.

    They have CCTV pics of some parts of the building, where equipment appears to be in working order.

    But worryingly, there are no CCTV pics of the Sound Archives office, and they have no real idea of the state of things there.

    Please, please let the archives be safe.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • B Jones,

    Oh no, they're not predictions. They're "opinions", which means that even when he gets one close to being right, he really shouldn't be taking credit for it. Otherwise he needs to explain all his misses.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report

  • Scott A, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    Gary McCormick's poem just now though, was the shit.

    What the drummer said to the drum

    You miserable low life bastard.
    We saw you on the fourth of September,
    crawling into town on your spineless spine,
    giving us a flick and looking us over.

    It was an earthquake then for the yellow pages.
    Remember the torch, the bottles of water.

    In September you were just the piano player,
    tinkling the ivories. In moustache.
    Pretty out there.
    Eyeing the women on the dance floor.

    Then my, o my, you waited!
    I saw you the other day run up a blind alley,
    full of hatred and dark breath.
    Black clouds only pity us.

    You held us down on the jagged ground.
    You shook the streets and the city buildings.
    You tore the spire from the cathedral,
    and from all those people.

    The tourists taking photographs,
    the babies taken in pairs,
    the hikers in the hills.
    The ones buried beneath us still.

    You miserable bastard of a thing!
    The time has come.
    Said the drummer to the drum.
    When I can make no sense of it.

    I also really liked McCormick's opening comment that it's okay to feel anger at these events, that it's okay to rage. But that it's important to aim the anger in the right direction, and not towards other people.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 133 posts Report

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Scott A,

    I hadn't heard this, Scott. Thanks for that. He does give good poetry, our man, doesn't he? I still remember the one he wrote for the young man that died at Pike River.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Philip Matthews is not only alive, but writing as beautifully as ever.


    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • A C Young, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I just wanted to chime in and say that I feel exactly the same way and am doing pretty much everything that you are (bar the Ken Ring thing). I'm also suddenly, desperately, wanting to learn first aid because I can no longer pretend that I will never be in the position to use it.

    Also, all of the trite sentiments like "how the hell do people keep starting wars when nature alone can do *this* to us" suddenly seem terribly relevant and meaningful.

    With the understanding that none of this compares even slightly to what Christchurch just went through:

    We were at the end of our lunch-break when someone came running over to say that there was a report of a massive quake and that our entire Christchurch office was off the communication network completely and that was the point where normal stopped (wonderfully everyone in the Christchurch office was fine but one of the two buildings is trashed).

    The TVs on each floor were tuned to this for the next 3 days and we just kept clumping around them in silent horror. The sirens were a background to everything we did on Tuesday afternoon. I can't walk through Wellington now without superimposing images of crumpled buildings and running people over streets and buildings I love.

    I was so grateful for PAS (despite not signing up before now), you guys were a voice of sanity even when you were bitching about Coddingtonswallop (maybe especially then, it was something so very normal).

    Wellington • Since Feb 2011 • 35 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to A C Young,

    welcome, and welcome

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • craigm,

    where he said that earthquakes were most likely to happen at the full moon, and the new moon, and two weeks either side. And I guess he’s right, technically

    2 weeks either side of a full or new moon covers the entire month! So basically he "predicts" an earthquake for any day of the year!

    Taupo • Since Nov 2007 • 16 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to craigm,


    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Russell Brown,

    +1 Hope the wonderful sound archive is safe, and aren't the RNZ people doing a great job).
    And thanks for the link to Philip's story.
    The face of education in Christchurch is going to change, at least in the short term.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • 3410,

    Hell of a week.

    Christchurch people,
    We're all thinking about you. I've got to say, you can be really proud of your city. I've followed a lot of the TV coverage (and some radio) and have seen wall-to-wall courage, hard work, kindness, and practical application.

    A close friend arrived back in Akl. yesterday (after a supposed day trip) with minor or moderate leg and foot injuries after the bench that she was sitting on at the time somehow landed on her (She's fine, thanks).

    Special mention of Joe Pohio who was killed while helping an injured woman in the High St. Food Court. A medal, at least, please.

    Best wishes to DH and family, and to all PAS people who are suffering.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace,

    AC Young, I have done the first aid thing in the past (earthquake specific in Wgtn high rise buildings) and even though I was hopeless at it, I hope it would still give me something to follow in my head if the time came, rather than just pure panic (even if just treating shock). They won't need actors for the training videos now.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • giovanni tiso,

    For those who might have missed Emma's tweet, the Haywoods are due to appear on Nat Radio at 11.45 minutes, ie less than 15 minutes.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report

  • JLM,

    They were great! So calm. Perhaps that strange webpage I read about but didn't bother clicking on was referring to the wrong Bob : ).

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 241 posts Report

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I hadn't heard this, Scott. Thanks for that.

    Yes, thanks for that Scott.

    If anyone wants to hear him read it, he is brought in about 12.30m into this:


    I was also struck by his intro, and the immediate reaction of the panel afterwards.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    Big ups to David and Jen for keeping a sense of humour

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Megan Wegan,

    And because Emma may not tell you herself, she'll be on National Radio tomorrow afternoon.

    Public Address: taking over the airwaves.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    Emily Perkins writes in the Guardian about the impact of the quake as a New Zealander.

    But God, there are so many dead. This is a small country. Our major disasters are encoded in the national memory. The Napier earthquake of 1931, the Tangiwai railway disaster in '53, the 1968 Wahine shipwreck, the 1979 Mount Erebus air crash: people still tell these stories, and the names hold a stony, grave power. After Erebus it was said that every New Zealander knew someone who knew someone who was on that plane. Now, as then, we wait for names to be released.


    And yet even as we monitor how much television news we can stomach, or question the sensationalist habits of print editors, some media provide our sense of community. Maybe it feels too personal because, here, it is personal. Being glued to the radio or internet is a poor stand-in for doing something, but perhaps it's why we tune in. We send money and offer beds, but still feel helpless. So we repeat to each other the human voices, stories both terrible and hopeful, for no reason other than to be with them.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    So we repeat to each other the human voices, stories both terrible and hopeful, for no reason other than to be with them.

    Wow. That's a nice piece of writing.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • Matthew Poole,

    And at the risk of inducing apoplectic fits in the PAS populace, Fran O'Sullivan odiously uses Christchurch's misfortune to demand cuts to the already-unbalanced funding that Auckland receives from central government and generally push her right-wing barrow.
    Warning, link may trigger spontaneous acceleration of cranial structures into solid objects.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Yes, I wasn't sure Russell wanted this thread to go the political route or perhaps start another one for that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to 3410,

    Special mention of Joe Pohio who was killed while helping an injured woman in the High St. Food Court. A medal, at least, please.

    Possibly a George Cross?

    And in fairness, FranO was calling on Key "to review the extent of his Government's tax-cuts, which are being funded through borrowing and not healthy surpluses". Still no mention of the Holiday Highway though.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Indeed. It’s worth noting that this site is archived by the National Library, so stories told here will be collected there for people to read in decades to come.

    Thanks for letting us know; I’ll have to a) up my arguing style and b) refrain from swearing. Lest my descendents think I’m stupid and uncouth.

    The first rule of the internet is that you can’t count anything being deleted from the internet.

    Ahhh, but I was working on the assumption that my innane witterings will be lost amongst billions of other sorts of innane (and brilliant) witterings, but the involvement of the NatLib dramatically changes things.

    And like others, I was mentally shifted sideways as well this week. The images, TV, papers etc. Which naturally enough prompts thoughts of how to survive something similar in your home town – in my case Auckland. I asked my nephew (who works sorta in this area) the risk of earthquake in Auckland; low he said. More chance of volcano popping up somewhere. At least there’s several days warning with that, hopefully.

    Right, off to sort out a emergency box….

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

  • Deborah,

    David Haywood and Jen Hay on the radio: http://bit.ly/hH6h6e

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    And Nathan Torkington talks to Kim Hill (streaming, 6 mins) about setting up eq.org.nz

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

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