Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: Friday Music! Mic drops and…, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Not least the way it was widely embraced as ‘Urban Pacific’ and then ’Urban Pasifika’.

    Good point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music! Mic drops and…, in reply to JacksonP,

    There was a good discussion on the ‘Urban’ tag by ethnomusicologist Dr Kirsten Zemke on Morning Glory this week. While covering much of the above, the focus was more on the fact it was an audience defined term rather than a musical genre, in a racially loaded sense.

    I don’t agree with her history at all. She’s right that it’s a radio format, not a music genre, but the urban contemporary format and its name were the creation of the legendary black radio DJ Frankie Crocker. The format’s success was a crucial breakthrough for soul, funk and R&B artists in mainstream radio and it changed the American radio industry.

    Mai FM was the first “urban contemporary” station in New Zealand – Ross Goodwin launched with the format as the founding programmer and it, too, changed New Zealand radio, by identifying a young audience that pop radio had been largely ignoring.

    I suspect Mai’s ascendancy at the time had something to do with the “Urban” name being adopted for the category in the 2003 Music Awards. The press release at the time explained it this way:

    Best Urban Album -

    The category has been broadened to reflect an international trend that has also been evident in New Zealand. Last year the awards celebrated only R&B Hip Hop, but in 2003 this award encompasses the broader spectrum of the urban genre being produced in New Zealand.

    Dance, Pacific Island and Roots were introduced the same year – it was definitely an opening up, an attempt to recognise a greater diversity of music. (“Roots” was blues, folk and country and didn’t last long.)

    Maybe “urban” has outlived its usefulness, but you have to ignore a few things to declare its origins racist.

    I also think Dr Zemke is wrong to say “urban” doesn’t include white artists. Tyrese Gibson complained last year that Top 40 radio was ignoring his number one album while “urban radio plays Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake and Sam Smith.”

    There is a lot of historical debate about this, and I feel Aaradhna did well to use the platform to highlight another way in which we ‘other’ people.

    Yeah, I totally get the need to explode every now and then and she was great doing it. But I see people now declaring racism on RMNZ’s part and I just don’t think it’s warranted.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music! Mic drops and…, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Who knows, but either way, it’s got her a hell of a lot more press than just winning the award.

    Indeed. And like Damian says, it was "a highlight of the show and just fantastic". It was something that couldn't be flattened out by the television production and it gave the whole thing a boost. It's worth knowing some context, though.

    For some unknown reason, I was seated at table 12 this year, rather than down the back with my journalist brethren. It was pretty cool being out of the hubbub zone and able to enjoy what was at a times a hell of a show. Bruce Ferguson's video work is incredible in the room.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music! Mic drops and…,

    The Wireless has also interviewed Damian Vaughn, along similar lines to me.

    I think it's a bit glib to describe Aaradhna's speech as "the highlight/only event of significance" at the awards last night.

    It may well have been the former, but it wasn't the latter. I thought several of this year's performances, including Aaradhna's, were stellar.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    The Washington Post's The Intersect column interviews "the OG of fake news", Paul Horner.

    My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.

    He feels regretful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to DeepRed,

    I think his widely-predicted appointment of the utterly batshit General Michael Flynn as national security adviser suggests a literally unprecedented period of American foreign aggression. American Conservative on the book Flynn published this year:

    Flynn’s specific recommendations seem to involve endless warfare against what he calls the “the terror armies, above all in the Middle East and Libya,” which would commit the U.S. to an unknown number of conflicts for the foreseeable future that would only be concluded when we “win.” In other words, Flynn offers a recipe for perpetual war in predominantly Muslim countries, and if we take his rhetoric about the “enemy coalition” seriously he may be talking about waging wars in other parts of the world as well. His willingness to blur distinctions between disparate and mutually hostile groups suggests that the U.S. would find itself fighting multiple enemies at the same time. Flynn also thinks that the U.S. should “clearly and forcefully attack their crazy doctrines,” which credits our government with a degree of competence and cultural understanding that it has not demonstrated in decades. The U.S. could denounce various foreign leaders as “false prophets,” as Flynn suggests, but why would anyone inclined to listen to these “false prophets” care what Washington said about them? Likewise, “insisting on the superiority of our own political vision” is all very well, but it would achieve nothing except to intensify resentment against the U.S.

    The belief in Trump as an anti-war candidate is a particularly feeble fairy story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Bruce Ward,

    Aren’t these ‘factual errors’ as you call them, the basis of fake news?
    Aren’t we discussing fake news in this thread?

    And it wasn't a factual error, it was a deliberate falsehood. As you say, that's precisely what the post and the thread are about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem,

    NSA chief Michael Rogers on the election and hacking:

    The head of the US’s National Security Agency said Nov. 15 that a “nation-state” consciously targeted presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in order to affect the US election.

    In response to a question, Michael S. Rogers, a Naval officer and NSA director since 2014, said on stage at a Wall Street Journal conference that Wikileaks was furthering a nation-state’s goals by publishing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s presidential campaign weeks ahead of the election.

    “There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s minds, this was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect,” he said.

    As David Corn says, Congress will have to investigate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Bruce Ward,

    Generally means greater than 100%. This sounds like over-egging and I call bollocks. I also note that (very carefully?) there are close to zero verifiable statements.

    Yeah, it’s total bullshit. Forbes has a useful rundown on 2017 rate rises. Double-digit at most. They follow several years of very small increases.

    They are a problem and they’re a consequence of an insufficient risk pool in some states – not enough well people to cover the sick people. States where there has been strong uptake of the insurance exchanges are seeing the smallest rises, states where the exchanges are unpopular or have been obstructed see the largest rises.

    I gather Clinton had proposals to address the issue. Trump, it is now evident, had no plans at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The fake news problem, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Claiming that interim numbers are lies seems a weak argument

    You've utterly missed the point of what David said, and how the story was misleading. And I'm still frankly at a loss as to what your point is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21562 posts Report Reply

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