My 2 cents, for what it’s worth:
I see a large number of people in the industry sick of a culture of jealousy, bitterness. General lack of grace, a readiness to think the worst about one another. In that sense, I don’t see how tearing down Gavin and Rachel helps anyone much. Untested writers are a risk. Networks are under pressure and increasingly risk averse. That’s hardly their fault.
Having said that, the opportunities for writers in NZ to practice what they do are miserable. With all respect to NZOA for the very difficult job they’ve got, I think it’s disappointing that there’s no mandate for NZOA in terms of talent development. The NZ Film Commission have a strong mandate to develop talent right throughout people’s careers, and I think our success in film is largely due to that focus. They’ve achieved that through real investment, not just a bit of micro budget online only stuff. What’s the path between that and network primetime pressures? There’s none.
My 2 cents: I think the major difference in success stems from the right's ability to appeal to naked self interest, and the left's complete failure to understand that as a motivator for voters. Talking about 'fairness' as a concept whether it's rich-poor divide or capital gains tax or whatever will only take you so far, because it's largely a conceptual argument, and more so largely asking people to 'give'. People are not in the mood for that, if they ever really were in a sense of an actual existing voting block. Current economic environment more so, so the more the middle get squeezed, the more they are heading for the right.
The Left are exclaiming: why on earth are people voting against their own self interest? And then suggesting they've just been fooled by John Key's 'anesthetist' smile. Balls. Problem is the left haven't actually given middle NZ anything to vote for except for the self satisfaction of walking around feeling like you've made the world more 'fair'. Sure, the increasing rich-poor divide is the fundamental social issue of our time, but you can't just sit there explaining statistics like a university professor. The leadership of the left simply don't seem to embody these concepts in any kind of visceral way. There's no zeitgeist. I feel like I'm being told how I should feel rather than actually feeling it.
That's why the guts have gone out of the blue collar vote.
I think we on the left see the altruistic side of things as more a motivator than it actually is, and we expect it to have an effect on people than it does. Worse, it sounds like out of touch elitism to make all these conceptual arguments, rather than embodying the 'man/woman of the people'/'one of us' type figure that the left need so desperately, and John Key inhabits so totally at the moment. Jesus, it's not hard to take that ground back. The man's not magical.
Good points Russell, cheers.
Looking forward to a drink again at some point :)
I'm not sure I agree with the thoughtfulness of that column, particularly in terms of the copyright section. I'm not going to go through every part of that section line-by-line, but that part at least looks pretty histrionic to me...
I will say this is outright silly:
Dotcom, who knows how to create systems that ensure artists get paid for their endeavours, could provide valuable insight and knowledge in creating policy that makes New Zealand a key player in neutral and fair distribution of copyright.
I'd be interested to know how the business model for his latest CD has worked out...
At any rate, the monetisation of music sales through the publicity to artists, is very difficult to apply to film. Afterall, you can't tour a film live, for example. But the example of music is constantly brought up and applied to film and television in these kinds of columns, and it reads to me like changing the facts to suit the argument.
I don't think it's too helpful to demonise virtually the entire worldwide tv and film industry who are largely in favour of enforcing copyright laws by saying 'evil Hollywood''s doing it.
Sorry in advance for bringing the ol' copyright debate up. But when we're seriously sitting here saying: 'Gee, Kim Dot Com, would be GREAT to rewrite our copyright laws because of his superb history of supporting artists', I get a pretty strong WTF response :D
Shearer did have some strong moments in that interview though. The fumbling felt like it was around trying to connect his overseas work with domestic issues: 'helping a palestinian through an Israeli checkpoint'? So he's good at helping the 'little guy'. Well, that's nice and all, but it's not really comparable.
Or, wild thought, they could take a stand on what it is they’re about, and sell that, and not make it about personalities at all.
I don't think those two things are mutually exclusive. But I think National have proven that you can be extremely popular without the former, as long as you have the latter.
I guess we can probably agree to disagree, but I think the talk of collectives is nice and all in theory, but evidence suggests you're gonna need a strong leadership for people to unite behind.
Personally, I suspect that it comes down to the fact that Shearer comes with an appealing, interesting narrative, where-as Cunliffe doesn’t. A lot of John Key’s appeal is simply based on his story as a came from nothing, high finance mojo. People simply trust him to know what’s going on. They don’t know or care about the details, by and large the average voter has no clue what JK has or hasn’t done re: the financial crises. It’s all just mythologising the leader. They feel safe he’s handling it all on their behalf. All JK has to do is not put his foot in it, and come across as a smarmy arrogant git (okay, well are least not too much), or have an affair with his secretary or something.
You can talk credentials and experience, but that was Goff and the middle didn’t care.
Labour have got two ways to combat that: their own leader with a strong competing mythology, or go negative and try to convince everyone JK is a rich prick. The last three years have been the latter, and it’s not working.
Caddick remarks on how everyone he talked to was conscious of wanting to do justice to the taxpayer’s investment. Caddick gives the impression he encountered the opposite of a culture of entitlement.
It’s exactly the same at the film and television end. It feels like we’re suddenly all getting painted greedy hollywood wannabes who don’t appreciate what we’ve got, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Problem is attacking art-types is always a good sport for anyone who wants to feel like they’re sticking it to those scumbag elites for the sake of the common man (and nanas, I guess). Not very often you get pompous elitists who think they’re better than everyone else AND welfare bludgers at the same time. Sweet target.
Inspite of some recent disagreement with Chris Trotter, he proves he’s actually a pretty good dude on occasion too with this:
Like so many other populations descended from pioneering stock, New Zealanders place a much higher value on practical achievement than they do on artistic talent or intellectual accomplishment. Artists and intellectuals tend to make most Kiwis nervous…
By contrast, great intellectual acuity and creative power are innate qualities. No amount of hard work can increase our native stock of intelligence and creativity (although it will certainly sharpen the skills we do possess). It’s an inconvenient truth which gives the lie to, and undermines, New Zealanders’ cherished egalitarian faith. That’s why so many Kiwis are suspicious of individuals with too much talent. It smacks of unfairness, privilege and elitism. Such people are not to be trusted.
Don’t completely agree about the innate part, but I suspect most people think that’s the case, so he makes the point pretty well about where the attitude comes from.
Yeah, maybe. That kind of talk just immediately gets my back up.
Maybe I’m being unfair but that thing kinda reads to me like John Drinnan simply just doesn’t *like* the whole damn film/television/music industry.
It’s part of a disturbing culture of entitlement and taxpayer dependency for film, television and music people who believe they are owed a living. So what if Nana has to wait an extra year for her hip operation?
Yeah, we’re all plainly scumbags making poor granny suffer.