Hard News by Russell Brown


Play Time

Greetings from the floor of Webstock where I have given my keynote speech. It went okay, but being the first person on the stage after Ze Frank is, well, intimidating. His closing keynote yesterday was an inspiring romp through the possibilities of community creativity.

Of all the things he said, I liked this best:

We've become so obsessed with building baseball fields that we kind of forget we're supposed to play in them.

In other words, we focus so much on the platforms and not so much on the human things we can do with them. With Ze, the play's the thing.

Spend some time today with The Scribbler, or the flower garden. Muse on The Atheist Game. And check out his TED talk for the flavour of what people here saw yesterday.

I'm not going to talk about Section 92A today, except to say that I stood up this morning, praised people on the other side of the argument (Ant Healey for one) and implored the people there not to write them off. I can't emphasise strongly enough that this dispute over principle shouldn't be personalised or allowed to turn into a shitfight, even if that sometimes seems to be what a few people want.

On a happier musical note, one of the country's leading moderately-paced rock bands, Cassette, would like you to know that their new album, The Jingle King is out on March 16, and that they'll be touring in support of it next month. (Details on their MySpace).

In fact they're such wags that they're offering you, Public Address readers, the chance to download a very sexy track off the album. For free. Crazy, no? It's called 'Our Dream' and it's here for you.

The other Great New Zealand Song of the Week is, of course, Flight of the Conchords' insta-classic, 'Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor':

That's Michel Gondry directing there. Yowza.

Finally, all of you who have RSVPd for tomorrow's Orcon Great Blend (with Bruce Sterling, Jasmina Tesanovic and Andrew Dubber) don't forget to be at the Pioneer Women's Hall in Freyberg place at 6.30pm. Anyone who desperately wants to come along and didn't make the cut, email me via the 'Reply' button and I'll see what I can do. If I don't get back to you, that means I'm slumped in a corner somewhere. But I'll be alright …

PS: I forgot! There's a tidy Media7 on the economic crisis, science reporting, Top Gear Live, Foo Camp and New Zealand's last hanging, on the wires now.

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