Random Play by Graham Reid


A Tiger by the tail, but not out of the Woods yet

As with Fox Network talking heads, newspaper columnists and a few real people, my world came to a sudden halt when Tiger Woods made his apology.

This was an event of such great import it pushed other pressing issues -- like, whatever happened to Paris Hilton? Or even Perez Hilton? -- right to the back of the brain.

I don’t know much about golf but I know what I like -- and it isn’t apologies that much actually.

What I like is following what others say about them.

Frankly, I’m with Chris Rattue on this, although the Herald also had a nicely sceptical piece by Mike Bianchi.

But I really did stumble at the article about Tony Veitch that the Herald on Sunday ran here.

Not because I care a jot about what Veitch says or thinks, but in the course of the article Matt Nippert -- and maybe this was his little joke? -- spoke to “Victoria University senior lecturer and celebrity apology expert Sean Redmond” for a comment.

You can be a “celebrity apology expert” in the 21st century? In a university?

But Dr Redmond is indeed a senior lecturer (in film) at Victoria’s School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies and at some point I hope to find the time to read his research into this area . . . And there will be some.

This year, according to his profile at the Victoria website, he “has been appointed launch coordinator and editor of a new Routledge journal, Celebrity Studies, with the first edition slated for 2010. For the first issue he is writing an article on the celebrity power of Barack Obama, titled Obamamania: Here to Save the World . . .

“Sean's research interests are in stars and celebrities, film and television genre, particularly science fiction, horror, and comedy, black and Asian cinema, film and television authorship (particularly the work of Wong Kar-wai, Takeshi Kitano, and Kathryn Bigelow), and whiteness and representation. He has a background in cultural studies and a developing interest in phenomenology.”

It seemed a pity then that given the depth of his studies and impressive breadth of his interests Dr Redmond’s only comment which appeared in the Veitch article was, “Tiger was different from Veitch. At least Tiger looked ashamed”.

I agree. Tiger did look ashamed -- but then who wouldn’t in similar circumstances? Well, Veitch according to an expert.

But the world turns and we must look ahead.

There will be another celebrity apologising soon -- I guess Dr Redmond hopes so, anyway -- and right now I am rather taken with more important matters, like that downhill luge thing where two people get on at the same time.

The luge seems to me a stupid thing anyway but can you believe that at some point someone thought, “Hey, what say we add one more . . .”

And lo, it became a Winter Olympics sport.

We live in a constantly amusing world, one where you get to laugh out loud at . . . Well, even serious things.

About a week ago the Herald had a front page story in which John Key said he wanted New Zealand to become an international financial hub specialising in the administration of overseas pension funds.

I think I read that around the same time I saw a re-run on Sky of the controversial but compelling doco The Great New Zealand Fishing Scandal by Guye Henderson.

Put those two together with the recent episode of Martin Clune‘s Reggie Perrin (episode three) in which Reggie delivered this (as I remember it) classic line to a bunch of school children: “We don’t actually make anything in this country, but we know a man who does. So when we want something I e-mail him and he sends it over . . .”

If you didn't laugh you would cry, just like Tiger didn't.

Right now at Elsewhere: New music from Jackie Bristow, Shearwater, the Haints of Dean Hall, the Antlers, Peter Gabriel, Scalper, Gil Scott-Heron, A Mountain of One and the Eels -- plus some classic rhythm and blues box sets, a collection by Freda (Band of Gold) Payne and more. Plus the Velvet Underground on DVD, some excellent Bargain Buy suggestions (Television’s Marquee Moon remastered and expanded for less than $10!). That’s all here.

There’s also a whole new section called From the Vaults in which I haul out a strange, classic or neglected song with a story behind it. That is here..

Oh, and under My Back Pages I have brought to the top my brief encounter with Doug Feiger from the Knack when they came to New Zealand at the height of their brief career. Feiger died about 10 days ago.

Lots to read, listen to and watch. Enjoy, and sign up if you care to. It is free here and the weekly giveaway to subscribers will be done later today.

Graham Reid is the author of the book 'The Idiot Boy Who Flew'.

(Click here to find out more)

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