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Film Pie Theory | 4th August 2007

........................................MODERN TIMES
...................................

....... ...............
........,,,,,,,,,,,...Hopelessly Black and White .

So, the best pie in New Zealand award goes to a vege pie. You can imagine my (fairly predictable) reaction to that one, being a meat pie nut and plagued by vegetarians most of my life.

The morning after the announcement I happened to go into MUZZA`S PIES in Richmond Rd to get one of his standard Bacon and Egg masterpieces.
Muzza was there, as usual, making his famous pies.
His approach was that the vegetarian pie debacle was irrelevant, the whole shebang was a farce;
“Those bakers don't make pies like that all the time.”
He would rant, angry flour dispersing everywhere.
“They just make special ones for the competition.”
“Like the Wither Hills controversy?”
“The what?”
“Never mind.”

I quite admire bakers, it's such an old profession. The have been around forever, kneeding their way through history, from pre-biblical times through when they tried to burn down London and up to the present day when a pie can willingly forgo meat.

A bus driver entered the pie shop and, such is the power of the Muzza pie, that I have half-PIE expected to see a bus full of people outside waiting till their driver was sorted.
We told him about the competition, the winner etc..and his eyes glazed over.. Then he said simply;
“two cheese and mince pies and a bacon and steak.”

I expect being a simple, humble man the stuff about the vege pies was incomprehensible to him. To protect himself he had immmediately wiped the information from his mind, lest this heretic, fanciful notion turn him into a babbling madman.

I also noticed that day surfing, as I do, throughout the radio spectrum, how many Radio B people are on the airways (Marcus, Wallace, Mikey etc) ..BFM really is the best training ground for future media stars. (WHY hasn't Close Up signed up Noelle Mc Carthy to do the youth stuff so Mark Sainbury doesn't have to try to be young?)

During the nineties I was at university and friend had a “Bimboesque”girl, who he hankered pointlessly after, who was forever complaining about “breaking into the media.”
Eventually during lunch at the cafeteria I told her to get a job or volunteer for work at BFM.
She have me the absolute, classic ”Clueless” - “As if” look.

No, apparently there would be no slumming at BFM for her.

I think she fancied a more Paris Hilton “flouncing around looking gorgeous and becoming famous without actually DOING anything” approach.

I say “Bimboesque” because she was quite good looking, was well aware of it and was constantly surrounded by a coterie of doting admirers and attendants.
She also provided THE classic quote from my Film Studies paper.

To be fair it wasn't just her who took the Film Course less than seriously. I think half the kids who took the Film 101 just expected to turn up and watch films and breeze through.. when the paper was part of the English Department did need a small amount of intellectual discussion and vigour.

You know, imagine their horror – looking at “The films of Jean Luc Godard and the use of Brechtian Dranatic Theory OR discussing Roland Barthes effect on film critical theory when they just thought we would be talking about the cheeseburger scene in “Pulp Fiction.”

Anyway, this girl once asked during a tutorial with one of the better lecturers;
“Why do we have to watch so many black and white films?”
Brilliant. The moment couldn't have been more special had I scripted it myself.
I didn't have to say anything. There was like a line of people queing up to set her straight or abuse her.
It was like the hysterical woman scene in Flying High.

It's time for the APRA awards and members are asked to vote for the song of the year.
I think SJD should win, and he deserves to, because he has done so much good stuff. But my vote will go to VOOM'S “Were so Lost.” song.
It's a great, great song.
I heard Buzz do it live on Radio B once and it was so gorgeous it made the hairs on my neck stand up (they were asleep on the job).
Buzz arrived in the studio in typical fashion.
He had to ride down there on a scooter with the acoustic guitar stuffed up his jacket.
You could hear him pulling it out when they asked him to play..
With little pretence he launched into a haunting solo version of the song..
When he finished a listener sent in a txt;
“That was f*ckin beautiful maaan...”
Damn straight.
Go buzz!

The Jimi Page

Small minded Bigotry,Hypocracy, Rascism, Sexism, Xenophobia, Poor Grammar - It's all here.

Also: Media, Politics, Football, Fishing, Quiz Nights and Gluttony.

About Me
Name:
jimi kumara
location: Auckland

more about me
 

Coppers | 7th July 2007

.................................Hello...Hello ...Hello
...
...................................

....... ..................
........,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,...A B C D E .. .

News this week that the quality of our police recruits is falling, some much so, that one of the recruits didnt even know the alphabet, and had to be taught it “in the same style as a five year old”, by a consultant.
I have a few problems with this story.
Surely if he didn't know the alphabet wouldn't that automatically disqualify the person?
Why bring in a consultant.
And what use is a policeman who uses the alphabet like a five year old?
It's crazy.

I have another revealation though. The police in that past weren't always Einstein material either.
“Sacre Bleu!”
said the French toast.

Once, many years previous, I had to wait for a girlfriend at night, in my car, outside her place of work in Newmarket.
PC plod came along and decided an investigation was in order, and, sure enough, soon there was a tap on the window and a couple of constables stood there torch in hand .
“Ere What do you think you are doing here then?”
“I'm just waiting to pick up my girlfriend, she works here.”
“Here eh?. Do you mind if we have a look in your car?”
It was clear that he thought that I was an undesirable, but wouldn't the fact I had a girlfriend mean that, at least, someone maybe desired me..?
Knowing that smarmy cheek had never worked for me in the past I resolved to acquiesce half heartedly to their wishes.

“Not at all.”

The car was a complete mess, crap everywhere.
“You could have cleaned it up.” said the old bill.

He turned over the mat on the floor and there was $40 under there, I hid it under there when I got out of the car cos I had no pockets in my clothes and thought it a good hiding place..
You would think he had found the proceeds of the great train robbery.

“Hello Hello Hello what have we here then.”
He said, shining the torch into my eyes.
“Where did you get this from?!”
“It's my money. it's only forty dollars.”
“I said. Where did you get this from?!!”
If he was expecting me to break down and admit I was a crime lord he would be disappointed.

“It's my pay. some of it. I have no pockets.”
“I dont want to hear about your pockets!”
The boy in blue pressed on.
“Tell me what you are doing here again?”
“I am picking up my girlfriend, she works in this building.”
“What does she do?”
“She is a computer operator.”
“you mean Computer programmer.”
No. computer operator.”
“Programmer.”
“Operator.”
“Programmer”
The cheeky part of me (a very large 'part') wanted to say;
"This is a fascinating conversation officer and I could continue for hours, but really, I have a life to get on with so..."
and these days I would have said “Whatever.”
(but I dont think that word was used with flippant offhandedness, in the same way it is now).
BUT.. I bit my tongue and valiantly tried to explain the difference between to two jobs...
“A programmer writes the programs and an operator runs them.”
Not a glimmer of awareness passed through his eyes.

“So. How long has she been a Computer Programmer then?”

At that point my girlfriend arrived and they seemed surprised by her arrival.
They addressed her wearily.
“Do you know this man?”
“Yes he's come to pick me up.”
“Ok. and ....where did he get...”
Lifts mat and shines torch on the $40.
“THIS FROM THEN??!”
It was ridiculous. After finally convincing them nothing was wrong he tried to take down my details, but his handwriting was primhitive at best, he held the pen like a dagger.
He even spelt where I lived as “hearn Bay”

Many years ago (again) I was with friends at Spirits Bay up north. At some point walking around the rocks we came across an octopus in a rock pool. We decided to play with it.
As soon as the bloody octopus realised what we were up to it reacted as though it was “game on.” And because we were between it and the sea it started to behave evermore desperately.
Soon, it established that two rock pools were linked by an underwater channel. It drew us across to the other rock pool by tantilisingly parading it’s head out of the water and then (in a move Christian Cullen would have been proud of) when we went over to the other pool, it ducked through the channel to the first pool and slithered out and across the rocks to the sea.
We were astounded, we had just been f*cked over by a damn octopus.
And we knew that we had been in contact with a smart creature.
A sentient being with an active brain.
With those cops outside the girlfriends work,
that didn't happen at all…….

Second thing.
I wonder what the arabic translation is for the phrase "These idiots give terrorism a bad name."
Because thats what will be spoken in Al-qaeda and jihadist strongholds the world over after the recent attacks in Britain.
It is of course a blessing, but these guys were bloody hopeless..
What the hell were they thinking?
They might as well have exploded a bomb in the South Pole.

and I am reminded of an article that I read in a newpaper in New Plymouth when I was on tour in a band ages ago..
I was in a typical post gig stupor, seedy and probably hung over and in this state of mind, the newspaper article was gold.
It described how a local judge was so appalled by the incredible ineptitude of the case before the courts that he was moved to comment on the pathetic nature of many of the criminals he saw these days. It was amazing. He was basically saying the crooks need to pull their socks up and do a decent job, otherwise not bother.

In the particular case that day, some idiot had robbed a bank and then caught a taxi with the proceedings back to his house afterwards..
I actually cried over my bacon as I read it.
Sure enough the police arrived on the scene as he opens a bag of cash on the table..
I hope my cop from above was there and I hope he had his torch, because he would have known exactly what to say;
“ere…Where did you get this from??”
“and don’t tell me it was your pay..”

 
 

Boy Racers | 19th June 2007

.......................................Harry Talks ....
...................................

...........
.............,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,...Yay!.

Harry is now 18 moths old and has developed a small but perfectly formed vocabulary, to tell us what’s up and... when we can expect it to come down again.
His latest word is “Roast”, which if anyone needed any more evidence, shows he is absolutely daddy’s little boy.
His vocabulary is listed below and evolved as follows:
Dada
Mama
( now mummm- ma-maaa with excessive lip smacking action)
Hot
Dah
Woof
Uh-oh
Yay!
mmmmmm
Hi
Bye
No
Roast

12 words, but you can be left in no doubt what his intentions are most of the time, and maybe he simply doesn’t NEED any more words, if he can get by with just 12.
Less is more after all, and perhaps we should play dumb a bit more so that he is moved by the power of necessity to smarten up.

Even though Dada was first, he somehow ‘lost’ that one for months and no end of coaching would bring it back.
With Harry strapped in the car and no escape in sight I would turn to him and try to get him to delight me, vocally.
"Who am I Harry?"
"Mama"
"No. Mama's the nice one."

"I'm..m.mm."
"Mama."
Typically shameless prompting would occur.

"You know me..Dada! Daddy!"
"Mama."

Believing it to be lost forever I was in a state partial proud word mourning but ..it’s safely back! So I’m fairly happy ..

Mumama is trundled out pretty much as soon as Mrs K leaves the room and is delivered with a quizzical tone which is really saying;
“Shes’ gone again and she’s taken her magic breasts with her, please assure me she will be back soon..”
When mumama takes too long Harry uses his pointing directional hand linked to my accidental guidance system to send me to where he is closer to her. Either that or I stay put and endure the jumbo jet decibel screaming..

Dah is the catchall omniword, usually voiced as a question and, accompanied by an expressive hand movement or a pointing motion, this word can virtually mean anything;

“Give me the DVD remote to wreck again.”
“Look! I have turned the TV on..”
“I need your Cell phone to throw in this cup of tea..”

After the cellphone is in the cup of tea (bastard, he is soo quick) he then says
“Uh Oh..”

Even though voiced in the most unbearably cute fashion it invariably accompanies disaster..
You know.. the glass of milk is knocked over..
“Uh oh!”
The pin container is dropped out the window..
“Uh oh!”
The Porridge is back on the floor..
“Uh – oh!”

Yes, unfortunately he says “uh-oh” a lot.

When he is particularly delighted with his small piece of mayhem he places an unbearably adorable/cynically manipulative pause inbetween the Uh and the Oh …

What I don’t understand is
a.How did he come upon the phrase?
b.How does he know exactly what context to use it in?
It’s not as though it is something that passes from his mummy and daddys lips all the time…and yet he uses it in exactly the way it should be used …

The precise meaning of Uh-oh is;
“look at the mess I have made. Wow!
….But I am only a cute kid so what do I know huh?…
.. it was just an accident…”
It is disarming as hell but believe me after a string of Uh-ohs! The repeal of the Smacking Bill looks very appealing.

Yay! Came from nowhere too and is best when he throws both is his arms into the air as he says it.
Yay! is usually used as a celebration of some action.. Although sometimes he just comes up with a random yay! when we are in the car with nothing much going on..
I presume these incidents of the unsolicited yay! Mean that Harry has thought of something yay!worthy, like;
‘I’m going to say Uh-Oh for as longs as it can get me out of trouble. Wicked.’

The arrival of No is something of a landmark, as No represents one of our most important concepts. I am sure philosophy classes could have a field day discussing No. Harry, who has no understanding of such things, thinks he is very smart when he yells out No to me when I take something off him, but the bottom line is that NO has more impact for him and next time I say it as he plows into an Uh-oh generating calamity I will expect some sort of response.

“No means No” I will say grimly.

And the only concept that is more important, in his near future, is the awareness of self followed by the hideous awareness of ‘self possession’. OR the arrival of possessiveness, coveting thine toys etc..

It is what the “Kumara Guide To Child Rearing” (OR “How to make babies and Influence Small People”) calls “Infant Mine-ism syndrome”…

Once it starts it rapidly takes hold of a child and they become possession obsessed.
“Mine!” will echo unfettered around our universe.
And I would kinda like to be able to say that IMS is more pronounced with the offspring of materialist bastards (dual, four wheel drive/ jet ski owners) but I suspect all kids go through it. Except the Dalai Lamas nappy fillers, perhaps.

Mmmm is reserved almost solely for food items and in particular yummy food items.. again Where did he get this from??
No one he comes into contact with uses mmmmm overly to express food loving… so once again - is this some sort of primal thing?? deep rooted, hard wired in..whatever…

An mmmmm incident led directly to his latest word Roast..
Grandma chopping up a succulent Roast Lamb passes Harry a slice .. Harry says “mmmmmm” and Grandma says “Roast “
Harry, recognising that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery says, clear as a bovine bell “Roast.”
It is hard to say whether Roast is here to stay, only time will tell..and it may depend on how many roasts we have in the near future.

The way these words can be used in a sitting can be demonstrated in the following scene.. which is, sadly, only just fiction...


Harry is in his high chair banging a spoon into his dinner. A dog barks outside.
“Woof” says Harry.
“Very good darling. Yes that’s a dog. One day they may be your best friend, either that or eat half your face off. Eat your dinner.”

He sorts through the sprawling assortment of food and picks out a baked bean, popping it deftly into his mouth.
“mmmmmmmmmmm”
Spotting a knife, just out of reach on the bench, Harry stretches his arm out towards it..
“dah.”
“No you can’t have the knife..”
“Dah.”
“No Harry. No knife. What would your mother say”
“mum..mama.”
“yes..Mumama will be here soon. ”

“Yay!”

He has the knife.

“Harry! No!”

Seeing me rush towards him he throws the knife on the floor. It just misses my foot.
“Uh-Oh”

I let him out of the high chair and he runs into the lounge. Seeing him head towards my cup of tea, I rush after him, he stops short of it and says..
“Hot!”
“Yes. Hot.”
I place it up on the sideboard.
He reaches up pointing towards the cup.
“Dah!”
“No you can't have it. hot.”

Mrs K comes into the room with a glass of wine.
“Hi.” says Harry.
The wine goes down on to the coffee table and Harrys is on it in seconds.
He picks it up and says;
“bye.”
“No. Your not going anywhere. Give me the wine.”

The wine joins the cup of tea on high.

While we discuss the day Harry has climbed up on the back of the couch, he stands up there with his hands in the air.
“Yay!”
“No. Harry!”
He falls backwards and grabs the blinds pulling them down.
“Uh-oh!”
While we are fixing the blinds he has pushed a chair over to where they wine glass and tea cup are..
Down they go.
I get there just in time to slip over on the gooey wine tea mess on the floor.
“Dada!”
Then, sensing the dad anger peril, he extends his arms towards the wife..
“Mum..mama.”
From the relative safety of Mummys arms he looks at the crap everywhere..
“Uh..........OH!”

OK. Just repeat the above scene forever and thats what parenthood is like.



Finally, someone has sent me an email informing me that the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company are here (oh errrr!!) and performing - King Lear and the Seagull.
and to think, I didn't even know he had a seagull!
Regardless, I will be there with all the anglocentric snobbery I can muster...

 
 
Boy Racers | 20th April 2007

.................I was a Teenage Idiot ....
...............
................Austin A.50 All the speed of a new potato.

Hey readers (if there's anyone left) I have been so absurdly busy lately (day job / come home / night job ...repeat ) just no time to blog... I thought about giving it away but I may continue and just do it as often as I can manage. If it gets untenable I will review it and maybe stop then. In the meantime I may blog once a month or once a week.. I hope that works..

The scene:
A grimy industrial area, waterfront Auckland.
About 40 cars congregate along an unremarkable patch of road. Groups of youths are drinking.
The smell of burning rubber hangs like a toxic fog in the air.
A guy with a mullet, propelled by the ever present boredom, dives in the harbour for a swim.
The mullet escapes with the outgoing tide.
The attendant wag watches our swimmer and yells.

"Shark!"
..and the people in the car next to us laugh with faux enthusiasm.
"Muzza" a motorbike rider, does 'donuts' till he loses control and the bike flies off through the parting crowd, ending up at the waters edge.

A pale green car moves forward, front and centre..
If the driver is expecting a sense of excitement and trepidation he will be disappointed.
He revs the motor and drops the clutch. The wheels spin and the car hurtles down the road at hmmm... lets see ..
maybe 50kms, if they are lucky..

The situation above was in 1977 at a place called Beaumont Street and it would be identical to the 'boy racer' fracas currently exercising the 'authorites' and the nation in general, except that the cars are so pathetic it's hard to imagine them posing a threat to anyone.
The car I describe above was an Austin A55 and in a subsequent 'run' it broke an axle.
It was like a potato with wheels except that a potato would probably beat it in a race and would possibly be more dangerous to your health (if you listen to that anti-carbohydrate propoganda)..

Yeah. So there have ALWAYS been boy racers, the big difference is that they now have access to REALLY fast cars.

To give you an idea of how cars have changed..I saw a TOP GEAR show where they appraised the original Austin Martin (DB 5??) from the first James Bond movie...which I think at the time would have been regarded as the coolest car in the world.
Top Gear determined that in terms of performance, now it would be beaten by your mums Toyota.
So that is the difference (and it is a big and important one)..
But listening some of those in the media talking about 'Boy Racers' this week you would imagine that this generation of kids was uniquely delinquent.

A similar rush of reactionary, irrational blood-to-the head happened, with the party thing a few weeks ago where the two girls died tragicially.
Again, listening to some of those in the media you could imagine that these kids had the invented the party....
I even listened to a feeble debate on talkback about the role that texting played in the whole thing..
(Ban texting!)

It was not as though, when we were younger without texting, that no one knew about a party going down..
Most parties were organised(as I am sure they are now) in advance and were signalled well before, by a number of systems ( Just ring Andy Moore).
I am sure occasionally people may have an 'instant' party which are only possible through the wonder of texting...
You know, 5 to 8 on a Saturday night Johnny says;
"Bugger it. I'm gonna get a keg! text everyone"

But the majority are just like they used to be and some get out of hand and unfortunate stuff happens.

What is different now, is the mentality which first goes "How could this possibly have happened!??"
Followed eventually by a call to legislate - to "Stop it"
Ban Boy Racers!
Ban Gangs!
etc etc..
again forgetting it had, of course, all occurred before..

The Beaumont Street racing thing was a huge deal then too.. Civilisation was unravelling before the grown ups eyes... Something must be done etc etc..
and I was there one night when a police car turned up and was set upon and rocked and pelted with stones..Half the Auckland police force turned up and they even arrived in a massive bus.
We took off in a Vauxhall something and, travelling at top speed would have reached the end of the road before the end of the month...

So yeah, maybe try to do something regarding the age and power of cars... but I dont know, is banning the solution to everything.?.or anything.. ??
Lately it seems to be the first resort of the dull minded conservative..

Regarding the appraisal of youth issues.. it appears to me that for some reason, some members of any particular generation forgets what it was like to be young and looks at the latest batch of teenagers as though they are insane.

I have news for them, they are just being teenagers - forging a life away from their parents, becoming independent, testing boundaries and experimenting.
And all that stuff is an essential part of becoming an adult..you know, the final cut to the umbilical cord.

What my first car represented to me when I was young, ahead of anything else, was freedom. I remember distinctly the realisation that I could drive to Piha if I wanted to...
Glorious.

The first car I ever brought was my mates parents Morris 1100 MG, their pride and joy.
I promptly took it on holiday with my mates at Ruakaka and flipped it on a country road.
After it had stopped scraping along the road I remember my mate saying "F*ck I spilt my beer."
...in the laconic kiwi manner..

We turned the car back over and drove back to our campsite by the beach..

Later on we had a huge bonfire, drank beer and smoked a joint.
I went to look at my new car..and a mate joined me beside the vehicle, appraising it carefully...
Handing me a beer, he said..

"It looks like your car now mate."

It did. I had purchased a vehicle which perfectly represented my parents generation - reliable, trustworthy and sensible...
and had rebuilt it in my own image..
a confused awkward thing - one half perfectly ordered and sure of itself, the other half, a twisted shambolic car wreck...
..
like a good few teenagers I suppose...

But I had learned a valuable lesson.
1. When your in a drift in a front wheel drive car on a metal road, never take your foot off the accelerator when you start to lose control.
2. Never buy your mates parents car and crash it because you will never be able to go to your mates place in it again..

After that car I 'expressed' my self completely, and brought a very cool Mark III Zephyr.
I called it "Hugh Menacing."

So. I was a teenager once too...either that or an an idiot.

Probably both.

 
sports guys | 20th April 2007

..........................meany....

.............................
...............................Roy says "Hi"

It may be simple cruelty, but I do know I have (to some extent at least) what Dame Edna has called “the precious ability to laugh at the misfortune of others”..
This week’s 'mean treats' were delivered by sportsmen on the radio...
and let's face it... who hasn't laughed when those who are physically gifted and talented on the sports field, stuff it up when trying to wax lyrical using our wonderful language..

“I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel.” (footballer Stuart Pearce)

Which is one of my favourites, simply because I have used it in real life and no one has even noticed anything wrong.

Another good one from Welshman Ian Rush

“I couldn't settle in Italy... it was like living in another country”

Bl**dy great but imagine how annoying it would be if these guys were amazing at soccer AND had a command of English like Shakespeare...


Unfortunately most rugby interviews are just a string of hackneyed cliches. I was pleasantly surprised this week then, when Carl Hayman entered the treachrous waters of the ship/sea/sailing metaphor when talking about his decision to leave the All Blacks..
“Even though I have left the ship... I know it will carry on without me…”
I sat up. This was promising, having gone down the shipping metaphor road myself I know how easy it is to come a cropper.
(Road??! Cropper?? -ed)
Ok. Having gone down that shipping lane myself, I know how easy it is to run aground ...
The biggest pitfall is keeping the metaphor going for far too long. Which is what I hoped would happen with Carl...
..you know..
“ but I know the ship has a good captain and that the crew will guide her through, fair wind and foul....
...
as long as we keep on an even keel, all will be well on the All Black vessel.."
Eventually a reporter can enter the swarthy fray..

“Do you think that ship will win the world cup...?”

Unfortunately he kept it brief … and stayed out of trouble.

Luckily almost at the same time, on another radio station Rugby League was delivering the goods, cruel humour wise, when new captain of the Kiwis Roy Asotasi, discussing his leadership style, said he was;
“a man of very little words.”
Fantastic.
Either he has made a wonderful, unintentional blunder OR he has the sense to know his limitations and will conduct very short interviews.
“Yes”
“No”
“bye”
....that sort of thing.


Have you seen this man?

Mr Brett Lane, a friend back from the past, contacted me recently with a cell phone call but I haven't heard from him since.. If anyone has a number please email..

I googled his name and remarkably discovered he was once in the 1982 Green Bay High School athletics team..but very little else.. which kinda demonstrates what the internet can usually offer...

Harry is now 15 months old and in very good form. He was given a couple of those plastic bikes for Christmas and is now old enough to be interested in them. I have tried to capture what he does on them on camera because it is hilarious...
We have shown him how to mount the bike but somehow he gets it wrong, swings the wrong leg over and finds himself facing backwards on the bike... Then he throws his hand in the air in in frustration and groans like the monster on Young Frankenstein (Gene Hackman - Soup Scene) ... because it has all gone horribly wrong.
Certain doting relatives and friends who love him to bits often go on about him being already 'terribly clever' and advanced and at moments like this I can say to them triumphantly …
“Ah ha! I told you he's an idiot!”
Then of course they can look at me sadly with a silent, resigned look that says;

“well someone in the family is certainly an idiot”

We have been trying to find a suitable daycare to send Harry to and I must say it has been hard work. They are either full, too expensive or like sending your kid to the Ukraine for the day.
We went to one in Ponsonby that is just starting up. I think it is aimed at designer mothers from the 'Latte Bastard' family of four. Who own a four wheel drive the size of a small tank. You know, those 'safe' cars that are always trying to run you off the roads on the narrow streets of Ponsonby.

Which is not to say that we wouldn't want to send Harry there if we could afford it. We love that stare.

The trouble is, the b*stards seduce you when you go for a visit by saying things like;
“We try to make the centre as much like your child’s home as possible.”
( I feel like saying 'Why are the lawns mowed then?')

It is a very well presented old villa, fresh and clean. They tell us that the food is, of course, always organic…
but my concerns they will be going too far are raised when they talk about 'Harry's program..'
and they suggest incorporating Harry's favourite games into his 'program' there...

“What does Harry like doing?”
Says the pre-school education facilitator with undue relish.
“He likes put things into things.” We say proudly.
“You know.. putting crap into jars and arranging them..”
“Ahh” She says, using a word in Italian.
“We have book that is a story like that, which involves mathematics too!”
“It will make it a maths exercise.”
“We can put that into his program.”

Program? Italian?! Maths Exercise?!!
Last time I watched him running around the house making a whirring sound Harry was just a toddler and I wonder if they have a 'program' that will teach him how to get on a bike facing towards the handlebars. I suspect not.

But the visit was very convincing. Of course we want the very best for our child. Damn the expense.
Then at home we add up the figures and they seem very large.
It will cost us more to send him there than it will to send him to private school when he's a spotty faced teenage hellion. Crazy.

“The Russian one will be just fine.”
I say, imitating a decisive adult.

But a return visit there finds one woman looking after 7 under two year olds. They are taking turns crying and screaming. It's just not right. Harry won't be going there. No way.
Even if I have to get an extra job so that Mrs K can do her extra job.

Eventually we find a place in the middle of those two extremes. Not too much queing for cabbage and a loving approach, that regards Harry as a kid - more than something to fast track towards future glory on the maths field.
He starts next week.
Gasp.

I must say I find it a bit rich for Bill Ralston to criticise the staff cuts at TVNZ's news department. As the guy in charge who steered the bl**dy news from number one position, through mismanagement and a succession of debacles to where it is now (crap), I would think it is his fault more than anyone else’s.

During an idle pre-dinner channel surf the other night I found myself watching TVNZ's old flagship show “CLOSE UP”.
In a blatant attempt to attract the favoured 18 to 40 demographic they had the band 'The Magic Numbers” on.
It was friggin tragic. Mark Sainsbury trying to talk enthusiastically to the band conjured up your worst 'Uncle trying to be hip' nightmare.
When he said;
“So! What's it like trying to write songs and have an image!”
I could stand it no more. And surfed the hell out of there. It had the highest cringe factor I can award.
When I returned the band started the song and someone had forgotten to plug the guitar in. So they had a tech guy running around trying to make it happen.
Come on TVNZ... You pretty much lost all the demographic you could doing that... and if you have young band on, please get someone young to interview them, who knows what they are talking about. There must be someone young left, if you are sacking all the old guys.. and if you don’t have anyone just grab someone from Radio B.

The thing is that, bless him, when John Campbell talks abou
t bands and stuff you know that he probably knows something about it. I know this because I once saw him at a gig by the very, very cool post punk band WIRE. He looked like he had come straight from work and still had his suit on.
Yeah. The graffiti in Grey Lynn had it right.
“John Campbell is a good c*nt”
…and there is nothing that TVNZ can do about that...

 

The Clean | 6th April 20077..

.............................
Dont Point that Thing....

....................


Sorry, I haven't blogged lately cos I have been ridiculously busy. Their was even a wedding, a funeral and a birth in one day. Not that I am trying to say that was a typical day, just that it has been a particularly active time
(and, I was only required to attend the wedding in the end. . And frankly, if I had turned up at the birth people would have wondered what the hell was going on).
At the wedding myself, and bon-vivant and raconteur little ross Hollands joined old mates swiss family robertson on stage to go through some songs, young and old.
We had only had two practices but they went surprisingly well and at one practice band leader and FOTB MArk said;
“You know I think people are going to really remember you guys vocals this time. I have a feeling..”
He was right!
And I am sure I will be reminded of my little 'performance' for years to come.
My old friend, Cheryl has a video of the whole thing and she has assured me that she will play it to everyone. She should remember that old phrase about 'glass houses' and 'stones' tho (one word "the glean").....

Speaking of filming..
another reason I have had no time to blog is that I have had a little “project” - which has taken up lots of time.
It started simply enough with an idea late one evening.
“Let's film The Clean. No ones done it!”
and the idea could have gone the way of many of my late night thoughts.. into the great kumara scapheap of crap notions..
Except, in the morning.. it was still a good idea..
Because, it was true, no one has done it.. How could they have avoided celluloid or in this case, metallic tape scrutiny..??

Yes, it would be sooooo... simple, grab some cameras, point them at some music legends. How hard could it be.
Then, various people who were keen early on couldn't do it.
Then I had the following, uncharacteristic, terribly sensible but potentially problematic thought:
'If I am going to do it I had better do a good job.”

I met up with Mr Stuart Page, DOP, all round expert on things film and like me, an ex Flying Nun man and Clean affectionado.
We chatted over coffee at an obnoxiously titled cafe; “the Eclectic Eatery”
I expected food at it's most pretentious, you know, ground pomegranate seeds, freeze dried prunes, air flown in by a swiss alp - all at a premium price.
But it was cool; good food, great coffee, nice staff..
Inbetween discussing 'the kiwi condition', things maori and 'the olde days' Mr Page provided me with some technical advice..

Soon, instead of filming on the dv cameras we all owned or had access too, we were going to film on HD cameras.
Cameras no one owned and we had absolutely no access to.

Undaunted, I decided to brazenly phone people (OK, Corporate entitiies like Sony etc..)up and ask if I could 'borrow' theirs...

“You don't know me from a bar of soap but can I use your $8000 camera mate?”


The sound of phones being slammed down still rings in my ears.

Don't these idiots understand how cool The Clean are?
They are New Zealand's greatest band, ever.

They weren't always, of course. For years it was a tossup for me between them and Toy Love.
Sure Split Enz had released that freakish burst of antipodean creativity that was 'Mental Notes' but by the time they had done “True Colours” they had outstayed their clichéd use of the ubiquitous ‘z’.

So it would always be a Dunedin showdown.

Toy Love were such a great band. Easily the best punk band we ever had. I remember at the time people, who should have known better, tried to tell me how good the bloody Terrorways were and the press even seemed to rate them as well. To me they were just a rock n roll band.
But Toy Love were the real deal.
A recent documentary about New Zealand music said they were only together for 18 months, which sounded ridiculous to me.
“that’s bullshit! They were around for years!”
I would say to a long suffering wife, waving my fist at the screen.
Well, it seemed like ages to me..
Mind you I probably went to nearly all of their gigs. Once, I think I even attempted to see them 3 times in one night with a crazy scooter guy called Fraser, who must have been their biggest fan. The evening started somewhere in Parnell and I ended up sleeping underneath a car somewhere on the North Shore.. ahh those were the days.

Then at some stage, a while back, I went to the continually revised ‘Top Ten New Zealand bands ever’ list in my head and noticed that The Clean had edged ahead, and they were now my clear number one. Maybe it was after they played here the last time.
I remember standing next to someone (Russell Brown??) and saying they could have reunions till the end of time as far as I was concerned, if it made me feel THAT good.

Because as good as the Clean records are, the live Clean experience was always something else, something extraordinary.
Without wanting to revert to the sort of easy cliché some journalists will use, their was often a sense that “Anything could happen” when they played live.
David could ‘tour the world and elsewhere’ on his guitar and there was always a degree of frisson or tension, brotherly or otherwise.
They are a band whose total somehow adds up to something greater then the sum of it's parts and they have always had that weird elusive thing called “chemistry”.
Not 'Past me that test tube Eugene' chemistry, but chemistry with magic.

Maybe it's alchemy, because they turn stuff into a kind of musical gold.

The question for our intrepid team of enthusiastic amateurs was - Can you really capture magic?
OR - Can we have some gold please for our video?
Arrangements went all over the place; we had cameras but they weren’t the right sort and, if we got the cameras who was going to 'point that thing' at those things..

At one point someone, with the best intentions in the world, was going to give us money to make it, but then their corporate superiors became involved and they wanted to own everything… Which meant possible compromise and a loss of control and the potential for artististic intervention and then I realised…
..hang on .. wasn’t that the reason why people went with a label like flying Nun in the first place?.. and a reason for the old do-it-yourself attitude.

So that you could do what YOU wanted and had like Total artistic control..


As David Kilgour, the man who could effortlessly make one guitar sound like two said, when I talked to him on the phone;
‘Punk Rock mate..’

Yes exactly. And in the end, though I had to hire some cameras and stuff, we got it done with the help of good mates who wanted to help because they thought something cool could come of it.

“We'll do it for beer!”
“or Pinot Noir..!”

Which is pretty Flying Nun like too.
Mates who like music - make music, are now mates who like music making videos.

And how did it all go in the end?
Well unexpectedly of course.
Uber soundman and mate Tex was to record both The Studio and the Leigh Sawmill gigs onto his laptop but the bloody PC laptop shat itself just before the concert in Leigh. Which pretty much ruined the “The Clean live by the sea” idea we had originally.

(Can I just say at this point how much MORE I hate PC's now , if that seemed possible)..
But… the Studio gig, at which the crowd had seemed a little tame was, on review, pretty good.
I have only had a chance to edit one song “Getting Older” and it is very cool.
So we will just have to go with what we have and THAT will have be just cool.
Get some old footage, do some interviews ..
Punk rock eh..

So if anyone out there has ANY footage (or knows of any) of The Clean in any form, ANY era, ESPECIALLY the original period please let me know..

Younger readers may have noticed a time when their parents; after a few wines (and after they have smoked that funny smelling cigarette), put on an old video tape and pogo'd around the room to blurry images of a band singing about;
'billy, oh billy oh billy ah ha...”
If you are that youngster... Dont Wipe That Tape, give it to me! OK.

Humorous highlights of the Good Clean Weekend:-

I know Andy Moore will be disappointed if I don’t write about “the bogan towel guy” because I know he will still be laughing about that for, like, ever dude..
I hired a house when I briefly thought we had money to make this thing and couldn’t pull out cos They had deposit etc…
SO at Leigh we had this ridiculous house with a pool and everything which I was paying for ..
Anyway after the gig we all ( OF COURSE) went back there to have, you know, drinks…
Typically, these bloody awful people turned up and as can often happen in these situations.. we all thought the Clean guys had invited them and I suppose they thought they were with us…
Eventually this f**King guy is standing next to Hamish slagging the Clean ( I wish I had filmed him cos it was the classic “oh they were out of tune…” bla bla stuff) so we decide this bogan had overstayed his welcome and invite him to leave..

But not before he has a naked swim.
So he emerges from the pool and, casually draped in one of the houses flash towels, prepares to leave.
I’m watching him swan up the drive and I realize that if he leaves with the towel I will have to pay for it.
“F*ck that.”
So I end up chasing him up the drive trying to pull the towel off his naked ass and he’s swatting me of like a damn pervert..

The other incident was at the supermarket at Warkworth and could be called:
“The “GREat 12 item aisle scandal”
I go into Warkworth to buy some stuff for a BBQ for the people who have given their time to help..
I have 4 HD cameras with me so, I am loath to leave the car in the park for long..
I virtually run through the super market..
I get to the checkout and there are massive queues, except at the “12 items of less” aisle..
I do a quick count… 15 items.
Bugger it. I never do this.. but there are hardly any people to be delayed so I’ll push it this time..

I know I’m in trouble when I see this girl packing items into bags in the next checkout counting my stuff. She abandons her post and goes to talk to an older woman who is overseeing her domain in a matronly manner.

I realize I am about to be a victim of small town boredom.

Both woman come over to me and the older one whispers into my checkout operators ear.
Then;
“Sir how many items do you have?”
“I haven’t checked..” I lie.
“but I would say 12 …ish..”
They all count together out loud.
“you have fifteen Sir”
By this time the manager has joined the fray and the OTHER ‘12 item only’ girl has come over too..
“What seems to be the problem?”
says the manager.
“Someone can’t count you honour..” I reply.
The women bristle with pious indignation.
“…and I think it’s me..”
No laughter.
“I appear to have over itemed..”
The manager begins a lengthy explanation of the rules..and when he says
“… because its not fair.. cos you’ll hold up the other customers..”
I turn to look at the now massive queue, snaking deep into the bakery section of the supermarket, with as much irony as I can muster..
If they had simply let my go through I would have been back in Leigh by now..but instead, half the supermarket has come to a standstill..and, I have FIVE people attending to my needs.
“I’ll put some stuff back. Three items.. the stuff you could make the most money out of…”
and grab three things out of the trolley..
The manager is obviously unhappy with the solution but what could he do?
The miniature lynch mob would not let me simply go through.
They all walked away and went back to their posts leaving me and the checkout girl to it.
“I'm sorry I never meant to cause such a fuss.”
Then she said to me;

“do you want that other stuff? It’s ok.”

Very funny.

Anyway thanks to all those who helped with The Clean thing;
The Clean themselves, for letting us do it and for just being The Clean, Tex super sound engineer guy, my wife for looking after the boy and being so tolerant... and all our helpers especially Tiki and Peter..
I couldn’t have done it without you guys…

 

hols | 26th feb 20077..

...............................
The Kiwi Holiday

.... ......................

1
...................

My little family have been on Holiday the last week, touring the country and conducting our own "state of the nation" review, and I can report the beaches , the lakes and the bush are in fine fettle..I was also struck by how sophisticated the hospitality industry has become.. Having, in a previous life, more than a passing interest in where it was headed, I can say now that even in the smallest outpost you can inevitably get a decent coffee or a microthin panini, which to clarify - is just a toasted sandwich with stupidly thin bread which the seller can charge what they like for, because it is italian...
It is all very weird because it has happened in a relatively short time and I know it will make me seem contrary and a person who is 'impossible to please' but I am not so sure I like it entirely..

Which IS crazy because 10 years ago I would have stopped at Cambridge and lamented the fact there was nowhere to get something to eat like I could get in Ponsonby and now that I can, I miss the 'simple country fare of olde' ..you know, flounder deep fried with chips and a salad (which is barely alive), accompanied by that all but extinct kiwi classic.. buttered white bread, on a plate on the side..
"I miss buttered white bread!"
I will say to the wife.
"But, you don't even like white bread.."
"That's not the point..The New Zealand I know is disappearing and being replaced by an italian New Zealand.."

Our first stop was Lake Taupo, which is timely because I recently discovered it is where my kin come from. I am adopted, you see, and through some contact with my birth father I have discovered that my birth mother, who was the maori one, was from the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe , so I guess so am I..(and the boy)

So I told Harry on the way down that we were going to see 'our land' and 'our people'.
But, while finding our land was easy enough, finding our people would be more difficult. I couldn't see any maori anywhere, Taupo town itself was so damn white, either pakeha settlers or the ever present eurotourist.. It would be easier to find a person from Belgium than a maori..
We went to the 'information' centre and asked about a marae.. and the nice lady there looked at us like we were mental and then asked us what tour we were after..
"DO you want the hangi package or the pools and everything?"

I could have said;
"What about the 'whakapapa tour'?"
but that wouldn't have helped anyone. Besides what did I expect if I did turn up at the marae - the red carpet? or even the flax one...

We were there because of the extreme kindness of relatives availing us of the use of their bach down there and ..ln a moment of weakness, they said we could use their boat too...

In the same way that the idea of Auckland can be transformed by going out on the hauraki gulf, going out in the boat completely changed my view of Taupo. Just gorgeous and we eventually found some far flung areas that were like Jurassic Park, and could have been as they would have appeared hundreds of years ago when my tribe hunted and gathered these postcard shores..
I all but expected to see a moa..

"This land is your land, this land is my land.."


Finally out on the water in a beautiful spot (think heaven on earth), I found my maori. There were afloat on an unfeasibly lavish boat. All women, they yelled at us as we cruised by..
"hey! you fellahs film us eh!"
We obliged, capturing them swimming as their people would have for thousands of years, since before the beginning of time, in their mighty lake.. Of course previously without the $100,000 launch..

Tangata whenua "The People of the land" in the water...

I looked at them on their boat, and they looked at us on our one, and we both thought;

"Hello... cuz has landed on his feet..."

We stopped for lunch in a wide bay, opened a cool beer and I can report that from this corner of New Zealand, the great kiwi holiday seemed alive and well...
In fact we had such a great time in Taupo that the lake was elevated in status to number two in the Kumara greatest lakes list, right behind Lake Waikaremoana..

One night we tried to go out for dinner which, with the boy, isn't so easy..
Parents like us have a conundrum you see, we are 'with' family but dont' really want to go to 'family restaurants..

So.. the first place we stop, a woman in an adjacent table just GLARED with great malice at Harry.. as if to say; 'what the hell is HE doing here'.
I couldn't believe it and had to fight the urge to have a go at her..
Actually, I could have throttled the women.
To keep the peace, we left..

Finally, we found a place that seemed ok..
It was a little neighbourhood restaurant, not absolutely touristy..
and they seemed to have a dollar each way in terms of wether they wanted to exist in 2007 or 1987. They sold Shrimp Cocktail without an ounce of irony..but when the waitress delivered the whole sorry affair to your table she said;
"Enjoy!" in the breezy efficient manner favoured in the city..
(I can tell you it's annoying in both city and country setting equally)

Finally the question of how sophisticated the place was or wasn't was settled by the waitress who tried to charge me for a red wine and when I said I didn't order one she said;
"Yes, here look, a Pinot Gris.."
with the 's' part of Gris pronounced and the word rhyming with 'chris'.
I said;
"yes. of course I had forgotten.."
And paid up.
Whcih was funny because the woman carried herself with the confidence an old hand.

Taupo was great. Another fantastic place to add to the countless others I have which make me love this country.
and even though I didn't really contact 'my people' I contacted 'my land' or at least the land..
Which is important for me to do from time to time.

I remember when I was in London years ago and hadn't been in New Zealand for a while, and I walked into a friends apartment and he had painted a picture of a West Coast beach setting, like Piha or Bethells. Even though it was slightly abstract picture it captured the essence of the scene or the atmosphere and the feeling of a West Coast Beach.. and I had the most powerful longing to be on one again.
I will never forget it.
the land was going to drag me home.
I have often banged on about it and somewhere recently I read Russell Brown talking about it too.. The way New Zealanders abroad miss the actual land.
I wonder if it is peculiar to our people because I know the other way round, ie; English people over here, what they miss is their culture - the newspapers, the telly, the local pub..
Whereas it's hard to imagine being a kiwi in Rome and missing SPQR..
So maybe our lack of culture is the reason.

Nah. It's cos the land is so primal and awesome.
This really is a bloody 'gweat country'.

 

New MAc | 32rd january 2007..

...............................
The Big Mac

.... ......................

1

Look at it..
How could I resist...

I have had a terrible time with computers lately, hence the long gap between blogs..
I went away to the beach and when I came back it refused to boot up properly. We sometimes take it with us to the beach, so maybe it was pissed off it was left behind.

Eventually it wouldnt even start.

'It can't have anything wrong with it. '
I would protest to the wallplanner in my study..
'It's a Mac!'

Somehow, possibly seduced by my own gushy Mac patter to friends, I had deluded myself that Macs dont' break down..
Finally, I talked to knowledgable friends and realised the problem was real. As a consequence I found myself in a technical chatroom and mucking about with code in front of a black screen with a unix command line.
The sort of thing I hadn't done since I fixed my own and friends PC's. In those days it was quite exciting when I changed code on a file and fixed the computer, but these days all I wanted is for the bloody thing to just go..

The computer ended up with a technician and we worked out that it was a hardware problem that was possibly, hardly worth fixing.
As he charges $150 an hour it wouldn't take many hours before the work exceeded the value of the computer, and imagine if it took him 30 hours to fix. It would cost me $4500.
urghh..

I was faced with the option of buying one on trade me or, heaven forbid, buying a new one..
Their were none on trade me so I found myself at Harvey Normans in the middle of the Waitangi Day rush..

Because I have experienced the lack of smarts an appliance store clerk can display before, on the phone I asked for;

'Someone who knows about Apple Mac computers..'

'Your speaking to him.'

'Do you sell G5's, the mac pro one?'

"No. We sell an Intel Computer. It's as fast as a PC.'

Now I knew I was speaking to an idiot. Then he told me that the 'Superdrive', which is a CD/DVD burner-player, was something that would;

'help me connect to the internet so that I wouldn't need a modem..'

'I'll come in. What's your name?'

I had to know who to avoid when I got there.

I was relying on my credit rating to let me down, because I knew once I had seen the bloody thing I'd be putty in it's hands. I even left the shop so that I would regain some sanity and composure, away from the retail madness. But they rang me back about a minute up the road.
'you can spend $11,000 dollars today sir..'
I knew i was done. What can I say, I'm weak... and again .. LOOK AT IT.

It has two 2.66 chips, 2 gigabites of memory and a 250 mb hard drive.

It's crazy.


My first computer was something like 24Mhz and I remember when 4mb of RAM was a big deal.
When my third computer arrived in our apartment my friends stood around staring at the glory of it, in wonder.
A pentium 90!!
Which was then state of the art. It had a hard drive with ONE Gigabite space.. which almost seems laughable now.. The modem was a whopping 14,400.
I think the modem on my first computer was like 2400.

Mind you, I was on the Internet before the Internet was revolutionised by the World Wide Web so it was the 'Internet Jim, but not as we know it.'
Certainly not as we know it now with colour, lights action! etc... mostly you just stared at a black screen with a command line and found yourself getting into the back waters of a University in Alabama wondering if you can launch a nuclear attack. Then you find out you have discovered the minutes of a meeting of the canoe club.

In those days speed and technology increased at such a rate that you really HAD to get a new computer after a while because the technological landscape between hardware and software upgrades could have changed completely. Manufacturers must have realised that once computers reached a certain speed, an upgrade was a luxury rather than a neccesity and I have put a few people off getting a new one simply by asking what they use it for and if the answer is word processing and the internet the need for an upgrade would have gone long ago..
Of course when Micorsoft put out a new operating system it always seems to use up twice as much Ram and computer resources as the preceding one, so sometimes you have to upgrade just to run it. Vista, the brand new one, needs 1gig of ram to remain happy. Most of that is used apparently, trying to catch Pirates.
and I thought Johnny Depp had made them acceptable, shows what I know...

The most exciting computer purchase I have ever made was my first Apple Mac.
It was love at first bite.
Overnight, I went from one of these PC guys who bang on about how much power you could get from a PC for the same price as a Mac to, pretty much, the definitive Mac snob..

And lets face it, many Mac owners have a lofty air of condescention about them, especially regarding the great unwashed and their PC's.

I can't remember exactly why I brought a Mac but I think it related to the fact you could just connect your camera to it an edit film, whereas with a PC you had to buy an editing card too.. Which kinda evened up the price.
Regardless of why, that G4 400 was a thing of great beauty to me and I spent the whole weekend with my new mac best friend Mark, installing and tweeking, and was comprehensively besotted.
I even got up in the middle of the night to go and stare at it.
It was like having a new baby.

Once you have owned a Mac, of course, you will never want a bloody clumsy, ugly PC again, and I have never heard of anyone going back.
The consumer magazine reported an almost unprecedented level of contentedness from Mac owners in a survey, something like a 90% satisfaction rate..
So you pay a lot more but you get the best. Design wise , I think only Sony can compare with them. Just gorgeous eh.. Thats why they are used in all the movies. Cos, as you can imagine, that bloody old PC just wouldn't have the wow factor.
... it's hard to imagine say, Ashley Judd playing a high powered lawyer in a film, coming home to her New York Apartment, gazing over the unparalelled cityscape and turning on a whirring, clacking old Dell Computer..
Just wouldn't be right.

Good old National Radio have got something new too....
..an advertising budget, and on first listen the new label - "Radio New Zealand - National" seems terribly awkward and clumsy.
Worse still, is the folksy tagline - "Sounds like us."
Because although I listen to National a lot, as do many of my friends, I don't think 'Us' really do.
Assuming that by 'us' they mean the mythical average new Zealander.
Becasue I listen to a lot of other stations too from BFM through to radion sport and I would say the 'us' demographic to be closer to the Newstalk Zb listener.
I would characterise National Radio's audience demogrgaphic as smarter, older, better educated and probably more left leaning than the average kiwi. Also elilist, obsessed with english language 'rules', more arts orientated and less interested generally in sports.
'Us' would absolutely, much rather crap on about sport than half the topics on an average days National Radio listening.

The other morning a guy was on National Radio's Nine-to-Noon, who was 'asexual', as in had no interest in sex.
The other commentators they had on, with the asexual were; an indian sexologist (Are they ALWAYS indian?) and a professor of Psychology from Scotland.

Are they US?

If the station really did 'Sound like us' the third commentor instead of being a foreign intellectual could have been a maori bricklayer from Te Kuiti. He could have said things like;

"Let me get this straight. You dont want to have sex with anybody?"
Asexual: "That's right."
Bricklayer: "Even that chick from Baywatch?"
Asexual: WHich one?
Bricklayer: The one with the massive...
Catherine Ryan: .Er.. Yes I think we know who you mean.
Bricklayer: Ok..mate..your sunbathing on the beach, got your shades on..a girl comes over and..
Asexual: Look! it doesn't matter
what the situation is. I want want to have sex. Not interested.
Bricklayer: Helll..llo....your starting to sound like my missus..
Katherine Ryan: Let's get back on track here. SO , you have started up a website, where people who don't want sex can connect with other, like minded people, who don't want have sex too...
Bricklayer: What the hell is the point of that! you fellas are freaks.."

Having said all of that though.. I have just looked at the new website for Radio New Zealand and it looks great.. so maybe the ad campaign will work. The ad on TV was pretty good too..
I just wish they had hired Noelle McCarthy instead of Catherine Ryan, or even Graeme Hill..

I have had a few responses to some blogs lately:
Blair Parkes of Christchurch who has a very good memory relating to pies recalls;
'the big cheese' saga on 'Close to Home'? Ken Paget
[baker] faced stiff competition, so he invented a cheese pie.'The Big
Cheese" and.sunk his life savings into it etc.. "
also I have had a correspondence from a German chap called Frederick Stehr;

Hi
the Germans have a number of words for comedy.
lurid, you must be an ignorant dickhead!!!!

Fredrick

In my defence I can only say that I heard the thing about germans having no word for comedy on National Radio and should have checked my sources. If I suggested that Germans dont have a sense of humour, this email clearly demonstrates that I am wrong.