Posts by dyan campbell

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  • Hard News: Occupy: Don't call it a protest,

    Dyan – that is most emphatically violation of *your* copyright, and is sueable-

    Thank you Islander, but it's not a matter of words, where I can prove it's this passage or that passage. it's a set of ideas.

    I wrote a huge number of letters letters to a few of key people at SPARC - over so many years that I think there were 3 people in one position - that were like the following (see below, and please forgive the length) and I had numerous meetings with them, there was promise of flying me down to Wellington and paying me for my work, if only I'd explain a little bit more what I meant.

    What galls me is how careful I was to name each and every person whose ideas had spurred my own - and then after literally several years of correspondence like the piece below - I picked up a copy of the Listener and saw a whole raft of my ideas being touted as this great new direction from SPARC. That's not strictly illegal. Is it? I'd been talking about this stuff for years to anyone who'd listen, and most people don't want to. Hell, they got Mike Chunn to help, and he'd been one of the people I'd rung, and talked the ear off about my ideas along the way.

    But see for yourself, I say help yourself. All the talk of pay and inclusion in committees never made it to print in their correspondence with me. I did not notice that at the time.

    Please excuse the massive length of the following letter:


    Hullo
    I very much enjoyed meeting you and, a propos of that conversation, here is an overview of some (far from all) of my ideas.

    Making as many links between the categories of school-based education, public education, social marketing (a different thing to public education, as you would well know) the built environment, and as much cross-pollination between the intended demographic groups is the key to success.

    Attached is a copy of an article I wrote about Prof. Lewis Wolpert, who has remained a good friend since the time of the interview, and would be an excellent speaker should we ever decide to have a forum or conference on the subject of depression. He may be coming over to New Zealand for a Great Blend event, as Russell Brown (Public Address Russell Brown) has invited him (no dates chosen yet) and it might be worthwhile to set up a forum or public talk on the subject of depression and lifestyle and invite Lewis as a speaker. The obesity-depression link is very interesting, and the role of the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenals axis is enormously relevant in any country that is simultaneously battling epidemics of obesity and depression.

    I have also attached a copy of the fitness project I developed with friends, but as we have all been extremely busy, it has remained dormant and stalled at the development stage.
    An integrated approach when teaching the fundamentals of diet and exercise that could be dovetailed into a school curriculum has long been a dream of mine.
    Lewis Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology of University College, London, and
    has written extensively (as well as written and presented a 3 part BBC series) about depression and is a keen exponent of maintaining an optimum diet and a fairly high level of exercise as a way of maximizing serotonin production and minimizing anxiety. Lewis (pls. see attached article) was Chairman for the Public Understanding of Science at the time I interviewed him, and he remarked how very interested people are in science, especially as it pertains to their own health. This is true even of children, despite the fact they have no fears of mortality or sickness.
    The level of information can easily be tailored to the age of the student - some of the simplest measurements in physiology such as 1) taking a resting heart rate, 2) doing an interval of exercise 3) taking an elevated heart rate, 4) then timing the return to the resting rate could be taught to children as young as 10 or 11 and would be of enormous interest from the both a scientific and an athletic point of view. A project of this nature could be attached to an already existing physical exercise class.

    While this could be delivered on as small a scale as a single class, requiring only a clock with a second hand and children that can be taught to find their pulse and count, and it could also be adapted to internet communication, via myspace or something of that nature. An interschool or even international project could be undertaken for very little expense, as children in various regions could participate in various projects, and compare results, opinions or ideas with each other.

    In my older siblings' era dance crazes swept North America - so along with the latest hit song would come dances like the Watusi, the Frug, the Pony, the Twist, the Shake, the Mashed Potato, the Dog, and some like the Madison, intended to be performed as a group. The silly-but-athletic, frenetic quality and the accompaniment of music to each of these dances is ideal for the Youtube and Myspace age, the time is certainly ripe for a revival of dance crazes.
    While it is an ambitious dream, I would like to see the competitive aspect of games eliminated in physical education classes, leaving class time to be as sharply focused as possible on lessons, applications and results - and most importantly - the sheer joy of movement and play.

    Michael Groom's "Samba Soccer School" is an excellent example of what I mean.

    HYPERLINK "http://www.sambastylesoccer.co.nz/about.htm"Alegria School of Samba Style Soccer

    In any game where competition is ignored until the players are very proficient in their skills, not only can the sheer joy of play be more readily found, the players actually have a greater chance to develop proficiency that would otherwise not be developed, as it would entail risking a competitive result.

    Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul writes of competition:

    "The theory is that competion draws each individual along, bringing out of him or her the best he or she has to offer. Competition and the resulting fame are thought to be among the great achievements of our rational meritocracy. They promise both self-improvement and participation.

    "The reality is almost the opposite. In a world devoted to measuring the best, most of us aren't even in the competition. Human dignity being what it is, we eliminate ourselves from the competition in order to avoid giving other people the power to eliminate us. Not only does a society obsessed by competition not draw people out, it actually encourages them to hide what talents they have by convincing them that they are insufficient. The common complaint that we have become spectator societies is the direct result of an overemphasis on competition."

    I would add to that - as an ex-coach and ex- gymnastics teacher of many years - competition neatly eliminates any child who actually needs exercise and concentrates all the focus on the few children who are already physically fit. This always struck me as counter-productive. This would be even more so in a classroom - where I taught gymnastics the children were almost athletic to begin with, but in a class where fully 30% are going to be unfit, competition will not only exclude them from the activities but will inevitably turn them against physical activity in general.

    Any lessons on fitness, physiology, nutrition must be delivered in a way that engages students. So any lesson in biology might mention nutrition, and perhaps include both a class garden, from which could flow both lessons in plant growth but also lessons in food appreciation - i.e. teaching perception of "sweet" or "salty" can depend on the context of the food. It would be helpful to teach children that a new food needs to be tried 20 times or so before an individual can actually decide whether they like it or not. This is a single example, but it would be one of many, many facts that are in some way relevant or interesting to students. Most teenagers are very keen to know that vigorous exercise can speed up the healing of a blemish by 70% for instance, or that an increase in calcium rich foods and sufficient vitamin D before the final growth stage can profoundly affect their final adult height, or that sweat that is produced as a response to anxiety is produced on different areas of the body than sweat that is produced as a result of exertion. There are many facts of this nature, and geneticist David Suzuki, whose enormously popular TV show The Nature of

    Another idea I have is a restaurant review written from a nutritional point of view, as well as a culinary one.

    Fitness Life publisher and editor Tania Greig has lamented in print the absence of healthy options on children's menus at family restaurants, and many times I have been perplexed by the absence of vegetables in a menu item that has been presented as a dinner. A review that kept consumers informed as to the nutritional value of the food would be a welcome feature to many besides Tania Greig and myself. This would be of particular interest to parents looking for an option besides fish and chips or chicken nuggets, but would also be relevant to anyone who wishes to get the biggest nutritional bang from a dinner out, as well as the best cuisine. Restaurant reviews of this nature would also serve to link the idea of good food and good nutrition, rather than presenting them as polar opposites.

    Other food oriented ideas I have include population specific recipe contests - such as perhaps a Samoan, Tongan or Maori favorite - puha and pork, hangi, umu or a corned beef and taro dish - adapted by a chef with a view to making a healthy, delicious, superior option. Anne Thorp, who presents the Maori TV show Kai Ora is doing exactly this thing, but I can see each community's favourite dishes being adapted in just such a way. A national contest, one division open to amateurs, another for professional chefs - with the public invited to vote for the dishes they would like to see adapted and also selected to judge the results - could spark trends and facilitate a change in food choices.
    .
    Another idea I have is really from the Canadian organisation:

    HYPERLINK "http://www.mushkeg.ca/"Welcome To Mushkeg
    103 Villeneuve St. W, Montreal, Qc.

    and they have had enormous success attracting First Nations students to hard sciences by delivering the curriculum in the Native language, as well as integrating traditional concepts into the field. In Canada, where First Nations students will happily study literature, history or anthropology, very few ever venture into the sciences. Obviously this had a terrible effect on the number of physicians or researchers they produced, but the Mushkeg programmes have been enormously successful. The principles of their approach could easily be adapted to Pacific Island and Maori culture, and an increase in the number of Pacific Island and Maori health professionals would be very valuable in New Zealand.

    George Orwell observed in The Road to Wigan Pier his upper class friends looked fully 10 years younger than his working class friends by the time they were 30, and the difference became even greater with time. Before the industrial revolution though, the reverse would have been true.

    I have a huge amount of material on these subjects - I will spare you any more literary or historical references as I will spare you all the articles and clippings - but I really have more ideas than I know what to do with. I am going to Vancouver in a couple of weeks, and I will be seeing some friends on the various City Councils (Janice Harris - a NZer originally - is a popular alderman in North Van, and Gordon Price is an old, old friend and is on the Vancouver City Council) and I will come back with even more clippings no doubt. I hope these will be useful to NZ governing bodies, but in any event, I am happy to help.

    cheers

    dyan campbell

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Occupy: Don't call it a protest,

    Dyan – that is most emphatically violation of *your* copyright, and is sueable-

    Thank you Islander, but it's not a matter of words, where I can prove it's this passage or that passage. it's a set of ideas. Even

    I wrote a huge number of letters letters to a few of key people at SPARC - over so many years that I think there were 3 people in one position - that were like the following (see below, and please forgive the length) and I had numerous meetings with them, there was promise of flying me down to Wellington and paying me for my work, if only I'd explain a little bit more what I meant.

    What galls me is how careful I was to name each and every person whose ideas had spurred my own - and then after literally several years of correspondence like the piece below - I pick up a copy of the Listener and see a whole raft of my ideas being touted as this great new idea from SPARC. That's not strictly illegal. Is it? I'd been talking about this stuff for years to anyone who'd listen, and most people don't want to. Hell, they got Mike Chunn to help, and he'd been one of the people I'd rung, and talked the ear off about my ideas along the way.

    But see for yourself, I say help yourself. All the talk of pay and inclusion in committees never made it to print.

    Please excuse the massive length of the following letter:





    Hullo
    I very much enjoyed meeting you and, a propos of that conversation, here is an overview of some (far from all) of my ideas.

    Making as many links between the categories of school-based education, public education, social marketing (a different thing to public education, as you would well know) the built environment, and as much cross-pollination between the intended demographic groups is the key to success.

    Attached is a copy of an article I wrote about Prof. Lewis Wolpert, who has remained a good friend since the time of the interview, and would be an excellent speaker should we ever decide to have a forum or conference on the subject of depression. He may be coming over to New Zealand for a Great Blend event, as Russell Brown (Public Address Russell Brown) has invited him (no dates chosen yet) and it might be worthwhile to set up a forum or public talk on the subject of depression and lifestyle and invite Lewis as a speaker. The obesity-depression link is very interesting, and the role of the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenals axis is enormously relevant in any country that is simultaneously battling epidemics of obesity and depression.

    I have also attached a copy of the fitness project I developed with friends, but as we have all been extremely busy, it has remained dormant and stalled at the development stage.
    An integrated approach when teaching the fundamentals of diet and exercise that could be dovetailed into a school curriculum has long been a dream of mine.
    Lewis Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology of University College, London, and
    has written extensively (as well as written and presented a 3 part BBC series) about depression and is a keen exponent of maintaining an optimum diet and a fairly high level of exercise as a way of maximizing serotonin production and minimizing anxiety. Lewis (pls. see attached article) was Chairman for the Public Understanding of Science at the time I interviewed him, and he remarked how very interested people are in science, especially as it pertains to their own health. This is true even of children, despite the fact they have no fears of mortality or sickness.
    The level of information can easily be tailored to the age of the student - some of the simplest measurements in physiology such as 1) taking a resting heart rate, 2) doing an interval of exercise 3) taking an elevated heart rate, 4) then timing the return to the resting rate could be taught to children as young as 10 or 11 and would be of enormous interest from the both a scientific and an athletic point of view. A project of this nature could be attached to an already existing physical exercise class.

    While this could be delivered on as small a scale as a single class, requiring only a clock with a second hand and children that can be taught to find their pulse and count, and it could also be adapted to internet communication, via myspace or something of that nature. An interschool or even international project could be undertaken for very little expense, as children in various regions could participate in various projects, and compare results, opinions or ideas with each other.

    In my older siblings' era dance crazes swept North America - so along with the latest hit song would come dances like the Watusi, the Frug, the Pony, the Twist, the Shake, the Mashed Potato, the Dog, and some like the Madison, intended to be performed as a group. The silly-but-athletic, frenetic quality and the accompaniment of music to each of these dances is ideal for the Youtube and Myspace age, the time is certainly ripe for a revival of dance crazes.
    While it is an ambitious dream, I would like to see the competitive aspect of games eliminated in physical education classes, leaving class time to be as sharply focused as possible on lessons, applications and results - and most importantly - the sheer joy of movement and play.

    Michael Groom's "Samba Soccer School" is an excellent example of what I mean.

    HYPERLINK "http://www.sambastylesoccer.co.nz/about.htm"Alegria School of Samba Style Soccer

    In any game where competition is ignored until the players are very proficient in their skills, not only can the sheer joy of play be more readily found, the players actually have a greater chance to develop proficiency that would otherwise not be developed, as it would entail risking a competitive result.

    Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul writes of competition:

    "The theory is that competion draws each individual along, bringing out of him or her the best he or she has to offer. Competition and the resulting fame are thought to be among the great achievements of our rational meritocracy. They promise both self-improvement and participation.

    "The reality is almost the opposite. In a world devoted to measuring the best, most of us aren't even in the competition. Human dignity being what it is, we eliminate ourselves from the competition in order to avoid giving other people the power to eliminate us. Not only does a society obsessed by competition not draw people out, it actually encourages them to hide what talents they have by convincing them that they are insufficient. The common complaint that we have become spectator societies is the direct result of an overemphasis on competition."

    I would add to that - as an ex-coach and ex-teacher of many years - competition neatly eliminates any child who actually needs exercise and concentrates all the focus on the few children who are already physically fit. This always struck me as counter-productive. This would be even more so in a classroom - where I taught gymnastics the children were almost athletic to begin with, but in a class where fully 30% are going to be unfit, competition will not only exclude them from the activities but will inevitably turn them against physical activity in general.

    Any lessons on fitness, physiology, nutrition must be delivered in a way that engages students. So any lesson in biology might mention nutrition, and perhaps include both a class garden, from which could flow both lessons in plant growth but also lessons in food appreciation - i.e. teaching perception of "sweet" or "salty" can depend on the context of the food. It would be helpful to teach children that a new food needs to be tried 20 times or so before an individual can actually decide whether they like it or not. This is a single example, but it would be one of many, many facts that are in some way relevant or interesting to students. Most teenagers are very keen to know that vigorous exercise can speed up the healing of a blemish by 70% for instance, or that an increase in calcium rich foods and sufficient vitamin D before the final growth stage can profoundly affect their final adult height, or that sweat that is produced as a response to anxiety is produced on different areas of the body than sweat that is produced as a result of exertion. There are many facts of this nature, and geneticist David Suzuki, whose enormously popular TV show The Nature of

    Another idea I have is a restaurant review written from a nutritional point of view, as well as a culinary one.

    Fitness Life publisher and editor Tania Greig has lamented in print the absence of healthy options on children's menus at family restaurants, and many times I have been perplexed by the absence of vegetables in a menu item that has been presented as a dinner. A review that kept consumers informed as to the nutritional value of the food would be a welcome feature to many besides Tania Greig and myself. This would be of particular interest to parents looking for an option besides fish and chips or chicken nuggets, but would also be relevant to anyone who wishes to get the biggest nutritional bang from a dinner out, as well as the best cuisine. Restaurant reviews of this nature would also serve to link the idea of good food and good nutrition, rather than presenting them as polar opposites.

    Other food oriented ideas I have include population specific recipe contests - such as perhaps a Samoan, Tongan or Maori favorite - puha and pork, hangi, umu or a corned beef and taro dish - adapted by a chef with a view to making a healthy, delicious, superior option. Anne Thorp, who presents the Maori TV show Kai Ora is doing exactly this thing, but I can see each community's favourite dishes being adapted in just such a way. A national contest, one division open to amateurs, another for professional chefs - with the public invited to vote for the dishes they would like to see adapted and also selected to judge the results - could spark trends and facilitate a change in food choices.
    .
    Another idea I have is reall from the Canadian organisation

    HYPERLINK "http://www.mushkeg.ca/"Welcome To Mushkeg
    103 Villeneuve St. W, Montreal, Qc.

    and they have had enormous success attracting First Nations students to hard sciences by delivering the curriculum in the Native language, as well as integrating traditional concepts into the field. In Canada, where First Nations students will happily study literature, history or anthropology, very few ever venture into the sciences. Obviously this had a terrible effect on the number of physicians or researchers they produced, but the Mushkeg programmes have been enormously successful. The principles of their approach could easily be adapted to Pacific Island and Maori culture, and an increase in the number of Pacific Island and Maori health professionals would be very valuable in New Zealand.
    George Orwell observed in The Road to Wigan Pier his upper class friends looked fully 10 years younger than his working class friends by the time they were 30, and the difference became even greater with time. Before the industrial revolution though, the reverse would have been true.

    I have a huge amount of material on these subjects - I will spare you any more literary or historical references as I will spare you all the articles and clippings - but I really have more ideas than I know what to do with. I am going to Vancouver in a couple of weeks, and I will be seeing some friends on the various City Councils (Janice Harris - a NZer originally - is a popular alderman in North Van, and Gordon Price is an old, old friend and is on the Vancouver City Council) and I will come back with even more clippings no doubt. I hope these will be useful to NZ governing bodies, but in any event, I am happy to help.

    cheers

    dyan campbell

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Occupy: Don't call it a protest,

    Thank you Russell, Kate, Joe. I wish I had more time to participate here.

    but is Paul Moon really an academic?

    If you believe that AUT’s a university.

    I nearly said something in defense of AUT’s academic reputation, but as I was bullied by people there into handing over a huge database of information I compiled and subsequently found my name excised from every piece of work I ever did in relation to those projects (representing hundreds of hours of my time)… yeah, well, give them a punch in the academic chops for me.

    The people at AUT were almost as bad as SPARC for helping themselves to my work then removing my name from everything I’d written.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Occupy: Don't call it a protest,

    is Paul Moon really an academic?

    I guess like other professions they have a range of competence.

    Well yes, Sacha, exactly my point. So that's why I asked, is Paul Moon really an academic?

    Gotta go back to work and do menial crap. I wish I was an academic.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Occupy: Don't call it a protest,

    Sorry if this is a bit late to the discussion – but is Paul Moon really an academic?

    He criticises Anne Salmond’s choice of phrases “rights of man” and “human dignity” not realising they have specific practical and legal definitions in the EU Charter.

    "From there, she swerves to the subject of the Enlightenment, where she attempts to illuminate Adam Smith’s principle of the “invisible hand” but nudging it closer to ideals such as the “rights of man” and the slightly more nebulous “human dignity”."

    EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 1)

    Definition

    Human Dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.

    Legal Explanations

    The dignity of the human person is not only a fundamental right in itself but constitutes the real basis of fundamental rights. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrined this principle in its preamble: ‘Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’.

    It results that none of the rights laid down in this Charter may be used to harm the dignity of another person, and that the dignity of the human person is part of the substance of the rights laid down in this Charter. It must therefore be respected, even where a right is restricted.

    When Moon cites “[Adam] Smith’s overt enthusiasm for the pursuit of economic self-interest” he clearly missed the part where Smith wrote “the wise and virtuous man is at all times willing that his private interest should be sacrificed to the public interest of his own particular order or society. He is at all times willing, too, that the interest of this order or society should be sacrificed to the greater interest of the state or sovereignty.”

    I am reminded of that John Ralston Saul wrote about free market enthusiasts quoting a “few words of Adam Smith to support the sort of interest driven civilisation in which Smith actually did not believe.”

    Moon also brings his academic credibility into further doubt when he asserts:

    “And as for the mantra that greater income redistribution is somehow a panacea for whatever social ills we have, Lesotho, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Haiti stand out as examples of countries with high levels of income equality between rich and poor, whereas nations such as Switzerland Canada, Denmark have much greater disparities.”

    Exactly the opposite is true. His assertion is a blatant, um, mistake.

    Moon goes on to say

    "I am sure that if someone told a New Zealander in 1971, for example, that 40 years later, there would be people classified as being in the poorest quartile in the country owning more than one telephone, a car with power steering and air conditioning, they surely would have scoffed at the possibility."

    A New Zealander in 1971 would have been shocked to find that the health of this country’s children was so incredibly poor compared to other developed countries that in some aspects (dental health, pneumonia, rheumatic fever to mention only a few) these health outcomes put NZ on a par with 3rd world countries. The most common and pernicious of these conditions are a result of, and directly correlated to poverty.

    Finally Paul Moon quotes John Kenneth Galbraith

    “Maybe we could both take solace in the observation of the great economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who asserted that economic policy “is the choice is between courses that are almost equally good or equally bad. It is the narrowest decisions that are most ardently debated”."

    But Galbraith’s quote – had it been used accurately – would have been more relevant to Salmond’s argument than Moon’s

    “In the usual (though certainly not in every) public decision on economic policy, the choice is between courses that are almost equally good or equally bad. It is the narrowest decisions that are most ardently debated. If the world is lucky enough to enjoy peace, it may even one day make the discovery, to the horror of doctrinaire free-enterprisers and doctrinaire planners alike, that what is called capitalism and what is called socialism are both capable of working quite well.”

    Another Galbraith quote may be required

    “All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.”

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: Sons for the Return Home,

    Welcome back in advance Jolisa & family! I met you briefly with your happy, charming, abnormally polite, furiously swimming sons at Jackie's last summer. You have exceptionally lovely kids.

    I welcome your collective wisdom and experience. Logistical, spiritual, frivolous, serious. What would you add to the to-do list of a homeward-bound family that’s counting down the weeks? How have you packed up, moved on, settled back in? Any tricks for the phase transition, especially for children? And, if not a cure for timesickness itself, perhaps a happy spell or two to calm the mind?

    It's nearly 23 years since I moved here from Vancouver, but I do remember how hard it is to leave everything and everyone, and it's especially hard give a cat away. If Huckle's new family sent you guys a picture, just once a year, that goes a long way to assuring everyone you made the best choice for him.

    If you have a few rituals - that satisfy the logistical, the spiritual and the frivolous all at once - it can really help. You might have each member of the family to make a 2 lists - 1) everything they will miss in the US and 2) everything they are looking forward to in NZ. It can be good to see that written down, it gives the kids some sense of control over their own destiny.

    In the boys' world there are probably a lot people who will miss them - some who don't even loom large in their lives (shopkeepers, bus drivers etc) and if you encourage them to write a good-by note (just one line would be enough) to everyone they can think of who might be sad to see them go, it can help them deal with their own sense of loss or missing people, as well as make them feel more like they are participating in the move, rather than just having it foisted on them. It's also good for them to have a sense that not only will they miss people, but people will miss them back.

    When our neighbours moved (just to the other side of town) I babysat the 3 kids (4, 7 & 9 years old) for the last afternoon. I had a package of sidewalk chalk for them and I got them to write a "goodbye & welcome to the new family" note to their house and - which kept them occupied all afternoon & delighted the new couple (about to have their first child - they now have 2) who moved in. The 3 girls had drawn a huge picture of their house, themselves, and a list of the best things in their backyard under the title "Enjoy" (swan plants that attract butterflies, a strawberry patch that had gone mad, a resident hedge-hog to look out for).

    When you get to your new house there is a Chinese custom that involves shining a light into every corner of every room of the new house - I think this is so that happiness shines in your lives. This would be a good task to set small boys, and a good excuse to give them new flashlights, which most kids love. And a nice custom for the whole family (courtesy of my Latvian friends Aja & Astrid) is for everyone to sit and consume a few grains of salt, wine (well, grape juice) & bread. The salt represents prosperity, the wine, new friends and the bread, health. You need tomatoes and cheese in there for the salt to be really be very useful...

    I wouldn't bother with the door frame - it sounds like a bit of a project to match timber in an old house, & I don't think it would be a good example for your kids to see you find it so hard to leave something behind. Get the boys to copy it for you - on to a long strip of fabric, or even paper.

    Bring the lamps, absolutely. Ship things via a container ship, but as everyone has said, get the latest advice from MAF about your gardening tools, seashells, wicker, bamboo etc. They even wanted us to have any seashells treated (boiled, them painted with varnish) before we brought them in.

    You probably know this - the last things to be packed & the first to be unpacked should be the stereo & the coffee maker.

    Let us know when the big arrival will be, and I'm pretty sure the PASers here can be very helpful re: welcoming committee to keep you all in casseroles, cakes and scones for at least the first week.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Those were different times ...,

    The tail end of disco was a disaster for the music industry, and most especially the Black independent scene which didn't recover until the mid 1980s and the rise of hip-hop.

    The tail end of disco was a disaster for some in the music industry, But there were plenty of black musicians playing all kinds of music right through the late 70s and early 80s. Not all artists with African ancestry played disco music.

    MTV though, had to be pressured to play any videos by African American artists, including Michael Jackson.

    Garland Jeffreys - Christine

    Fishbone - Date Rape

    Gil Scott-Heron - Madison Avenue

    Grace Jones - Private Life

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Those were different times ...,

    For Jackie

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Those were different times ...,

    At our school everyone agreed that disco was dead; the debate/shitfest was over whether it had been killed by punk or reggae. But this was 1979, by which time Dylan Taite was interviewing Bob Marley in NZ and the punk/reggae split had started to align along ethnic lines.

    Sorry to be so late to this (working 60 hour weeks) but here in NZ there seemed to be very sharp divisions between the music genres which didn't exist in Canada. Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young and DOA sang about the same issues, same politics, different music style.

    I was very surprised to read the "Disco Sucks" movement had any racist subtext, as it is a phrase coined by Joey Shithead (DOA), who wrote a song of the same title to express his irritation with disco, the clothes and the haircuts the disco scene entailed. The punks were as anti-racist as you could get, and were an ever present force at the Rock Against Racism movement. The punks were pro-feminism, anti-racisim, anti-homophobia, anti-corporate and pretty impolite to just about everybody about these subjects.

    Here's Joey "Shithead" Keithley & DOA playing Disco Sucks in Stanley Park (downtown Vancouver) in July 1978, The Groucho Marxist Party burns the Canadian Constitution and the flag, and the police get involved, though not because of the flag burning, but because the cars and trucks carrying the band's equipment are blocking road access and other park users get annoyed,. In those days Joey (who was very cute in a big dumb palooka kinda way) used to play wearing a WW2 Nazi hemet with "RACISM SUCKS" painted across the front.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mercury Special,

    So, so sad to hear of Gil Scott-Heron's death - he was a hero of mine,.

    Whoever made the photo montage to "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" was too young to know who "Julia" refers to in the song.

    The "Julia" Gil Scott-Heron was referring to was this:

    Wiki

    Though Julia is now remembered as being groundbreaking, while on the air, it was derided by critics for being apolitical and unrealistic. Diahann Carroll remarked in 1968, "At the moment we're presenting the white Negro. And he has very little Negroness." [2] The Saturday Review's Robert Lewis Shayon wrote that Julia's "plush, suburban setting" was "a far, far cry from the bitter realities of Negro life in the urban ghetto, the pit of America's explosion potential." [3] Ebony published a somewhat more supportive assessment of the program. "As a slice of Black America, Julia does not explode on the TV screen with the impact of a ghetto riot. It is not that kind of show. Since the networks have had a rash of shows dealing with the nation's racial problems, the light-hearted Julia provides welcome relief, if, indeed, relief is even acceptable in these troubled times." [4] The series also came under criticism from African-American viewers for its depiction of a fatherless Black family. Excluding a Black male lead, it was argued, "rendered the series safer" and "less likely to grapple with issues that might upset white viewers."

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

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