Posts by Craig Ranapia

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  • Hard News: NZME and you,

    golden age when Metro could afford to put writers on crime stories (and hence have them sit in court for a month).

    And they did it, even when they couldn't really. Metro spent an awfully long time being marginally profitable, but no matter what else you think of Warwick Roger he had a very clear idea of what he wanted Metro to be, and proprietors willing to hang in there until it found an audience. It's not just a matter of "cheap and nasty is as cheap as nasty does" but the simple reality is that anyone getting into publishing for a quick and easy profit is a fucking fool.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Into the River/Interim Restrictions, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Everyone’s favourite, 50 Shades of Grey, was submitted for classification in 2012, and passed as unrestricted. A 13 year old can legally read that, but not Into the River. It’s absurd.

    A thirteen year old can also legally read The Great Gatsby and watch Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation. Rewatching it last night, I'd forgotten how many times Joel Edgerton's Tom Buchanan hits women in the damn thing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Into the River/Interim Restrictions,

    The legal issues here are so far beyond my paygrade they've vanished over the horizon, but here's what I wrote over two years and I stand by every word.

    http://publicaddress.net/8647

    One of the least remarked ironies of the editorial was it saw print a few days before the first anniversary of Margaret Mahy’s death. Mahy did “bright, stylish and subtle” like nobody’s business, but she also wrote a string of remarkable YA novels. I hope nobody tells The Herald that her (much under-rated) 1985 YA novel The Catalogue of the Universe contains a startling chapter where a teenage girl recounts almost being raped. They might also just want to avoid The Tricksters (1986) entirely, because Mahy certainly opened my eyes to the notion that teenage girls also think about sex, or at least the possibility of it, and find it terribly messy and confusing. And cringe-inducingly funny. And sometimes even as bright and stylish as the hem of a summer skirt fluttering in a warm breeze.

    To say both novels were shocking, in the best sense of the word, to a teenage gay boy at a single-sex boarding school was a considerable understatement. So were Maurice Gee’s “children’s novels” – particularly the Halfmen of O trilogy, which also appeared in the mid-80’s to this SF/fantasy geek’s whole hearted approval – which worried away at the ambiguities and tensions of Godzone with all the spirited moral ferocity as his adult novels. And not without controversy either: “sordid” is an adjective that has hung around Gee his entire career, no matter who his intended audience is.

    The Herald on Sunday may have as little faith in the discernment of teenagers as I have in that organ’s literary judgement, but that’s no reason why anyone else has to follow suit. Just makes sure to brush up on your Shakespeare, and the keep the latest front page atrocity on the Sunday newspapers away from the kids.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Muse: Worthwhile Literature, Worthless Newspaper,

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Shit.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Judicial caprice is no way to…, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Once again, don’t inflate my argument. I’m talking about an issue for which the democratic process has so far simply not worked. And I’m sick of seeing some of the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community persecuted for it – whilst some of the wealthiest and most privileged profit from it.

    Well, yes... and many many years ago I did my time as not great court reporter and it was pretty hard to miss that if you got caught with a couple of joints on your person on Friday night would was much more likely to get discharged and who wasn't. (Hint: It really helped if you were a white university student.)

    But you don't like the law, convince the legislature to change it but don't expect lawyers and judges to do that. Do you want the judiciary legislating from the bench or, vice versa, politicians and the media and lobbyists acting as self-appointed and unaccountable jurists? That strikes me as causing a lot more problems than it solves.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Judicial caprice is no way to…, in reply to Nick Russell,

    there are a bunch of people down here in Wellington who can actually change the law. Lawyers and courts, not so much

    Actually not at all -- there's very good reasons why we separate the judicial and legislative branches of government. Isn't there?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take Takes a Break,

    Ihug founder Tim Wood and his wife Sasha, have brought private money and business sense. It’s very notable that the Woods’ $500,000 investment in The Dark Horse has already been returned.

    The Dark Horse is also a film that's had a low-key but pretty astute international release -- just getting the basics right, What should be really interesting is how the U.S. release on December 11th is going to go. I'm hoping Fear The Walking Dead is going to be the hit AMC expects, and Cliff Curtis can leverage some attention off that and onto this.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Well, yes. Was very pleasantly surprised to find I'd not only read nine of the longlisted titles this year (including The Chimes), but liked them all. Hasn't happened for years. But with all due and sincere respect to Smaill, Marilynne Robinson's Lila is leading the pack by a considerable margin. This, along with Gilead and Home was well worth waiting two-and-a-half decades for.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Someone in the comments is all “I only read Pratchett and Gaiman”, and I’ve had EXACTLY that conversation with someone I know.

    I've also had that kind of conversation with someone who claims to be a serious crime/mystery reader. I was literally lost for words -- and everyone here should know how rare that is. FFS, I just can't take anyone seriously who claims to be a fan of this genre but says with a straight face they've never read Christie, Sayers, Marsh and Allingham. Or Patricia Highsmith. Ruth Rendell and P.D. James? Anne Rule -- the 'Queen of True Crime' who died earlier this week? Closer to home: How about Kerry Greenwood, Anne Perry and Vanda Symon? Margaret Millar? Gladys Mitchell? Marina Cole? Gillian Flynn? Patricia Cornwall and Sara Paretsky, who (IMO) aren't at the top of their game anymore but still productive? Susan Hill?

    That's just the names I've pulled out of the air -- and none of whom are hard to find in any decently stocked public library or bookstore (new or secondhand).

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Well, Read Women, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    I was well aware of Alice Munro when I lived in Victoria, British Columbia, for a couple of years, as there was a magnificent local bookstore (Munro’s books) which was founded by Munro and her then-husband in 1963.

    And still going strong! I wish I could find the link again, but there was a rather amusing piece about how after she won the Nobel the staff found themselves explaining they really couldn’t put the owner’s first wife on the phone since she hasn’t worked there for over forty years. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12255 posts Report Reply

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