Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: An open thread while I'm down with #OGB

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  • Kate Hannah, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    along with the striped mothercare buggy, I am also a Playcentre kid. 2 generations of our family attended Peachgrove Playcentre in Hamilton..... the withdrawal of funding from such a critical resource is hugely ridiculous. When I was attending with my kids in the early 2000s, the area around Peachgrove had a lot of refugee and immigrant families - for many of those women, we were their only contact with English speakers, since for cultural reasons they largely stayed within a female community. At Playcentre we supported language learning and translated at doctors appointments and discussed minutae of New Zealand culture. That couldn't have happened at a regular daycare centre or even kindy - it was the fact that the model was parent-led that made it accessible and culturally safe for that community of women, who were thus empowered and supported, Quite apart from the excellent early childhood education their children recieved. If my mother was still alive, I imagine she would be reaching out to her old Playcentre Federation, National Association of Women and Homebirth Association chums to organise some kind of protest....

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    While 1981 might have marked some kind of turning point, it wasn't long before we were all out there marching again - another year, another tour to stop. I mainly remember the adrenaline surge every time the protest marches passed a pub and the tanked-up boof heads spilled out looking for someone isolated to beat up. I also remember thinking I was this close to becoming a hooligan myself.

    In 1985 there was even another Don McGlashan musical moment - sadly it proved to be unsingable by the masses (Jordan Luck should have got the commission). The line about Sharpeville rings true for me - my loathing for South Africans stemmed from 1976, but not so much because of the 176 mostly schoolchildren shot dead in Soweto a fortnight before that tour started, or the 3000 dead by the tour's end. I was a little rugby head at primary school back then, and would have been all in favour of protest marches against Gert Bezuidenhout...

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Kate Hannah,

    some kind of protest

    There's this. My wife and kids will be attending.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I almost forgot - not long after I moved to the US some sent me that EP - I didn't have a record player and had no idea what was on it - 6 months later I got someone at work to copy it onto tape for me .... and cried all the way home on the BART ... I was deep into that depression thing that happens 6 months after you move somewhere

    just look at the '80s hair on Chris ...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I also saw Patu! Merata Mita’s great documentary on the '81 tour twice in the US - once in the PFA at a NZ film festival, in a tiny theatre - there were some rather snooty expats in the row behind me who kept commenting how they couldn't see what all the fuss was about, and then again at the much larger old UC theatre in an anti-apartheid film festival, right before the live Rocky Horror midnight show - when Muldoon appeared there was a chorus of boos from the back row which was picked up by scattered kiwis in the packed out audience

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Greville Whittle,

    Thanks for bringing Playcentre up Greville.
    My alarm bells have already been ringing with the pushing of ECE (Early Childhood Education) as a cure all social for our social issues. My issue with ECE is what appears to be an increasing drive to bring academic thinking earlier and earlier into ECE. Even the Gluckman report notes the importance of non cognitive development in early childhood but educational thinking seems to be heavily biased to cognitive development , it does after all emerge from universities where cognition is king.
    But what of play, imagination, creativity , socializing .. um .. being human?
    The very fact that Play Centers use the word Play rather than education says it all, they are onto it. Plus the very strong community connectedness that playcentres bring. So why the hell are they squeezing out Playcentres while trying to drive up academic approaches in Early Childhood.
    Sir Ken Robinson is very articulate on the new paradigms needed in education. Our current system is based on intellectual and economic values - education towards employment. But the world is changing and its just not enough to have a world filled with trained workers. Social problems are on the increase but to think we will solve them by doing more of what we have always done (old school education) and do it earlier and earlier is just so stupid.
    Taking the play, imagination and creativity out of early education ( out of all education!) is a huge part of the problem.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • perplexed,

    NZ History site has some great material on the '81 tour,

    'The 1981 Springbok rugby tour', http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/1981-springbok-tour (Ministry for Culture and Heritage)

    I especially got lost in the media gallery

    Wellington • Since Aug 2011 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Paula Bennett Child
    Indoctrination Centre

    A Division of Tolley Enterprises
    I can't understand this Government,
    on one hand they make concerned noises
    about vulnerable children and how vital early childhood is in the developmental spectrum
    and then cutting Playcentre funding...
    Will they have National Standards for Kindergartens next, and perhaps a chimney cleaning school for toddlers, garment sewing hubs for primary schools - user pays and all that, sigh...

    Heuristic and discovery play is essential, and I'll just remind everyone in Chchch that Creative Junk still exists, and as always needs help, custom and goods - go check it out...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to st ephen,

    sadly it proved to be unsingable by the masses

    Well they could've made it easier for the masses.
    Yaknow the chorus wearing T-shirts with the lyric written on it, animated voice bubbles. They always help.
    Or scrolling lyrics and the ubiquitous ball.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to andin,

    the ubiquitous ball

    Heh (sfw, don't worry)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to TroyHoward,

    Never ever put your age, personal interests or gender on a Resume or CV.

    Reminds me of my friend, very senior in a large civil engineering firm who has a nifty way of sorting out the wheat from the chaff; he chucks out any CV that states early on that I am married to lovely Julie and I have 4 lovely children, or variants thereof. You may be married, have children but what bearing does that have on the job you are applying for?

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to George Darroch,

    What I struggle to get past is the great and apparently sincere speech that BIll English gave at the launch of David Cohen’s book about his autistic son, back when English was in Opposition. In government: not so much.

    Did he realise that these services cost money? Real money? Or was he sufficiently disconnected from the first principles he runs the country on (a small state, with limited capacity for intervention in anything)? I ask these as real questions.

    I'm sorry but let me ask a question; English has been around for yonks, double dipping and all. We all know that. We all know that he knows his way around government, and a set of books at Treasury. So why do people think for a single moment that he actually believed the stuff he said - all the sincere stuff that made you think, oh, wait a moment? That he would somehow allocate a few squillon to disability services? Of course he doesn't believe it. He's acting. For you. People gave him a vote as their sign of appreciation. Doesn't 1984 mean anything?

    I don't think one should reflect on English's behaviour; one should reflect on one's own behaviour in this case.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Doesn't 1984 mean anything?

    As in Orwell's 1984 or Sir Roger's 1984? Or maybe even both?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Richard Aston,

    But what of play, imagination, creativity , socializing .. um .. being human?

    Indeed. My boy is doing great at school, at National Standard for everything, despite the large dead part of his brain that years of therapy have been directed at mitigating the consequences of. But those standards don't account for his most dire need, to increase his socialization, and physical development. In fact, I fear that in some ways pushing for those standards increases his isolation, because they give the impression that all is well.

    I do not blame the school, which has been absolutely fantastic. It's more that the big focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic that pervades our thinking about the purpose of schooling is really, at best, only half the story. It was rather hard to convey any of this to the doctor who assessed him on Tuesday, because all of the doctor's thinking, probing, testing seemed geared towards the cognitive development angle. It takes quite sophisticated assessment to lay bare an autistic child's needs.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Employers: Only employ lucky people. Throw half the CVs you receive away without looking at them.

    #viztoptips

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    On my bedside table...
    While we have a truly open, and random, thread - and not the usual slow motion descent into food, copyright, coffee, whisky and bikes - may I shout out a hearty personal endorsement for the writings of Michael Chabon - a tad behind the rest of the world I know... I first found The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a brilliant retelling of the early days of US Comic books and the Jewish diaspora, which gelled with what I have read of the period, then I tried his Chandleresque The Yiddish Policemen's Union - this is written in rich ropey language that you can pick up and pull apart to admire the strength and weave, holding together a well observed alternate future - the Bomb was dropped on Berlin, and the Jewish exodus ended up in Alaska - now read on...

    If you like words - you'll love this guy!

    I am just about to embark on his Sir Arthur Conan Doyle homage The Final Solution - hope they didn't have too much trouble getting that title into bookshops...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Novelty? More than enough literary threads around here I would have thought.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    and not the usual slow motion descent into food, copyright, coffee, whisky and bikes

    What do you mean slow?

    But yes, thank you for adding some bookish-ness. Was just saying to someone [sic] how much I missed the book threads. Am reading Arivind Adiga’s Last Man In Tower, about modern Mumbai. Finding it quite compelling.


    ETA:

    Novelty? More than enough literary threads around here I would have thought.

    Where? I mean I know plenty, but none that got the same discussions going as I have previously enjoyed on here.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's more that the big focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic

    And I'd add the sub curriculum - keep quiet, stay still, take instructions, report on time, be part of large group etc etc .
    In my work I come across many boys "diagnosed" with ADHD - actually they are fine it's just the institution of school doesn't work for them until they are given Ritalin to slow them down.
    I think the purpose of school in its birth place, the industrial revolution, was just the 3 Rs (plus the sub curriculum) but the western world has moved well past cotton mills and assembly plants. Has our educational thinking moved to?

    Ben, as parent my hat goes of to you for raising an autistic child, not that you have a choice not to but, it's courageous work and can't be easy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    More than enough literary threads

    The impossibility of this phrase should not be allowed to pass unnoticed :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    wheat from the chaff

    It's more a case of finding some criteria, any criteria, to get from impossible number to read properly let alone interview to something feasible.

    I'll also include "entertaining fonts", name dropping as in "I happened to be in the lab the day XXX walked past", notes of admiration for work I didn't do eg "I have always wanted to work in your physics laboratory Professor Janssen, anyone who calls me Professor, oh and anyone who puts folk dancing as their hobby.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    More than enough literary threads

    The impossibility of this phrase should not be allowed to pass unnoticed :)

    I blame Jolisa's lack of blogging, because while I'm entertained by such threads I sure as hell can't contribute to them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I've been waiting for anyone to pick up on the upcoming ban on synthetic cannabinoids. I guess my 2c will be that it seems quite lame, that the brief taste of what was almost like dope being legal in NZ did not lead to the collapse of society. Going to the corner dairy to buy some harmless fun was quite pleasant, and led to practically the only real interaction I've ever had with my local guy, who was able to talk helpfully about the various ones on sale in much the same way the vendors did in Amsterdam coffee shops. Or how tobacco smokers do it with the diary guys, when they sell their slow-death-in-a-convenient-stick. Or boozers when they buy their two-is-fun-6-isn't-8-is-a-bastard-12-will-kill-you in convenient bottles. And totally unlike all the furtive fucking around with gangsters that will be business as usual in NZ next week.

    If there is any good outcome, it is that the long term effects of those substances are less well known than actual cannabis, so people switching back to real weed, as they most certainly will, is probably healthier. I confess to not having really liked those drugs, but the convenience and absence of justified paranoia were occasionally compelling on the increasingly rare occasions that I felt like getting high.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Richard Aston,

    not that you have a choice not to but

    Well I could run away from responsibilities, I guess, but I don't expect a medal for not having done that to my own beloved child. I'm certainly not a superdad, either - that's quite an unrealistic thing to expect of anyone, although I take my hat off to the many parents of much more severely autistic children who have made really big efforts to learn how to maximize the potential happiness of their children. Mostly, I'm just lucky in the support we've had, and Marcus is a poster child for early intervention by trained professionals.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    #viztoptips

    Don't waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand closer to the object you wish to view.
    Fnah

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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