Hard News by Russell Brown

448

A revolting piece of shit

Yesterday, I removed a link in one of our forums to the Dirty Sesh video for 'Forever', and I would be grateful if no one else was to waste my time by embedding it in the comments here. If you want to see it, go and find it somewhere else. It's a revolting, misogynist piece of shit, which should be withdrawn by the record company that produced it.

Unlike some others (the clip is embedded at that link), I'm not inclined to blame NZ On Air for this. I don't think it's practical or desirable to have a government agency dictating content in advance for a $5000 video grant. But the rationale that only the less revolting (but still creepy) television version was funded by NZ On Air, while the online version wasn't, doesn't stand up. Both were clearly shot at the same time and edited in parallel.

I'm deeply disappointed by the judgement shown by Kirk Harding, the founder of the Move the Crowd label. Kirk is a talented man who has given greatly of his time for New Zealand hip hop. He's shown a good eye for talent and an admirable sense of measure. Until now.

But now? Every unflattering stereotype about rap music has been borne out by this clip. If Kirk wants to argue for the social and artistic merit of the music he's releasing, he's already fatally undermined that argument. It appears that others in the hip hop community think so too.

Dirty Sesh (aka Nathan King) himself seems to be a mediocre Eminem wannabe. He presumably, as young men sometimes do, thinks it's cool to be scary like a horror movie. It's just a damn shame there wasn't a grown-up in the room to tell him otherwise.

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And now to the somewhat related theme of this week's Media7: a look at feminism and the media, through the lens of Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch, whose 40th anniversary of publication has been marked in Australia with a miserable little essay by playwright Louis Nowra. The full essay isn't available online, but you really only need to read Helen Razer's brilliant takedown of it.

There's certainly scope to criticise Greer. In recent years she's been inconsistent and irrational at times, and the publication of The Beautiful Boy, which urged women's erotic appreciation of "pre-adult" boys, was dumbfounding.

But I presume I wasn't the only teenage male to pick up a copy of The Female Eunuch in the 1970s because the cover gave the impression it might be dirty -- and discovered a vigorous, visceral argument for the full humanity of women. I think it did make a lasting impression on me.

I expect that the programme will, as much as time permits, cover ground on which we've spent much time and energy on Public Address, including the state of the Guardian's feminist columnists, and the status of sexual imagery. (Yes, come on down Lady Gaga.)

Sarah Daniell has interviewed Marcia Russell, the founding editor of Thursday, a lively and largely forgotten women's weekly magazine, which makes the present crop of "women's magazines" look like a regression. Russell's status as an editor was relatively unusual at the time – yet it's hard to say that the modern presence of women in senior journalistic, editorial and publishing jobs has served the goals of feminism particularly well.

So where are we at? I'll be joined by Marilyn Waring (who was a singular presence the last time we had her on a panel), TV producer Gemma Gracewood, and Sophia Blair, the National Women's Rights Officer for NZUSA, who is writing her thesis on "feminist stuff". This gives us quite a generational span.

If you'd like to join us for the recording **tomorrow**, click here and let me know. We'd need you at TVNZ by about 5pm. Otherwise, feel free to discuss and debate here.

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