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Category Archives: Media

Perils of engaging with ‘full take’ drama ‘heroes’

The revelations about NZ’s GCSB mass, ‘full take’, surveillance of communications in Pacific countries have resulted in far less criticism of the government than Key’s decision to send troops to Iraq. This is in spite of the muddled, inadequate, contradictory responses by John Key.  And it is in spite of some mainstream and alternative media journalists/columnists criticisms of Key’s responses (see for instance, Andrea Vance, Gordon Campbell, David Fisher, Toby Manhire), and the fact that:

most of the targets are not security threats to New Zealand, as has been suggested by the Government.

Images of the likes of ‘Jihadi John’, ready made arch villain, for cowboys versus Indians style narratives, are likely to have a strong influence on many people’s political views – maybe more so than reasoned, evidence-based criticism.

Larger than life images of fictional (and fictionalised real) ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ provides the most direct means for large numbers to engage with political, social and economic issues. In the mainstream, images and related narratives of the likes of ‘Jihadi John’ may have more meaning for many Kiwis than references to faceless GCSB workers, or critics of mass surveillance.

v mask GCSB-protest-17

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Eleanor Catton for democracy & writers speaking out

Author Eleanor Catton speaks about her deeply held beliefs as she travels to world. And she has discovered that in her home country, New Zealand, the right wing government, and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media, do not like it when their government and its values are criticised.

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Rise and rise again….

From myth and legend, and their Hollywoodisation, to the inspiring win by the Syriza Party in the Greek election, there are reminders that victory by the people, for the people are not won in a day.  Each victory inspires hope, but is also a reminder that it is one victory in a long campaign.

I watched Ridley Scott’s movie Robin Hood on TV this week. It’s an interesting movie but not a great one.  The visuals and accompanying sound-scape creates an imagined history of tough times under autocratic Kings – ones who forcefully stole the food and sustenance that resulted from rural villagers hard life of toiling in the fields. The despots called it taxes for the King.

In the movie Robin Hood’s driving motivation was expressed with a catchy line, and biblical overtones: “Rise and rise again until the lamb becomes a lion.”

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