The Tumeke 2011 War on News Awards
Here at the Tumeke, we revel in a year of media banality and political apathy as the country slowly faces the collapse of the entire neo liberal Washington consensus hegemonic structure with all the awareness of a brain dead coma patient. When I wasn't outing neo-nazi founding members of the anti-mmp group and being banned from Radio NZ for criticizing the Prime Minister this year, I was also hosting the only political show that called the election result for National and Labour, which as a commentator, gives me bragging rights until the next election.
In a year that saw the political end to Bin Laden, Ghaddafi, Kim Jong-il, yet allowed John Banks back, we were reminded that there is no justice in the world, so without further ado, let's hand out this years contempt masquerading as awards.
'The-lidless-eye-of-Mordor-focused-on-the-vacuous' mainstream media award for hate crimes against public broadcasting goes to Close Up:
It was a close run thing this year folks, the other contender was the decision to close down TVNZ7 and whore it off to a shopping network, which is akin to using a cathedral as a brothel fronting for a meth lab. But beyond that hate crime against public broadcasting, Close Up's fetish with the banal while the global economy heralds a second depression and inequality explodes in our country is so jaw dropping it demands the sort of special recognition only napalm can justify.
Mark Sainsbury, the walrus of news, spent more time on the personal well being of Happy Feet the fucking penguin than Close Up did on child poverty. The dumbing down of the news by fluffy animal story's is nothing new, but with a steep recession people cant afford to be consumers and remember they are citizens, the media should be echoing that zeitgeist change rather than molesting it with infotainment the way our public broadcaster does.
'The-media-are-so-biased-John-Key-could-eat-a-kitten-live-on-Close-Up-and-the-NZ-Herald-editorial-would-blame-the-kitten-for-being-delicious-award of the year for propaganda goes to David Farrar.
The National Party hard right, pretending to be lite right propagandist and pollster, David Farrar, the bore of Babylon, the fallen one, he of the hoofed feet, has to be this years propagandist of choice for all occasions from bar mitzvah to military coups. That the NZ Herald allows a mouthpiece for the Government to have unchallenged space on their website speaks volumes of the Heralds continual decline into Fox News esk fair and balanced territory.
Farrar peddles soft massaged message points handed to him by the National Party death star and tepidly articulates them the way a drunk child would. Poorly and without charm. That Farrar is the source of most political stories in the mainstream media, is an indictment on our mainstream media, it's like asking Colonel Sanders how delicious his KFC is against any other deep fried chicken competitor.
How a hard right clown with all the social skills of a naked agoraphobic in an open field has managed to become the 'go to guy' on blogging suggests those going to him haven't learnt how to use google yet.
'The-George-Orwell-big-brother-is-watching-you-award for enacting a Police State surely has to go to Simon Power for ramming through the largest erosion of civil liberties with almost no debate whatsofucking ever.
We have lost the right to a jury trial for punishment between 3 months and 2 years in prison, Police can take DNA from you on mere suspicion, and retrospective law legalizing illegal loopholes used by the Police to break into private property and spy on us, caused because of their phenomenal cock up over the Urewera terror raids.
How the Police and state have been handed so much unchecked power without a whimper from the media must be this years entry for 'you are fucking joking right' - why does the Pork board need the power to spy on us in our homes? Who is a threat to the pork board? Vegetarians?
The state should never award itself these powers, and to do so as a means to pardon a police force caught out using an illegal interpretation of search warrants to mean open ended surveillance is something America would try and pull off. That our media would allow such a massive erosion of civil liberties pass without comment should forever remain a deep blot on their collective reputations, may history show them and Simon Power the disgust and justified hatred they so richly deserve for this assault on our collective rights.
The-don't-worry-be-happy-award for most amount of Prozac injected in a 12 month Calender year has to go to the Treasury.
The economy may well be burning, but no one seems to have told Treasury,their ludicrously optimistic forecasts for growth in this country would be hysterical if they weren't so woefully out. Always look on the bright side of life can't be an economic policy, yet Treasury seem to have made it so.
When they are out by as much as 3% of GDP, Ken Ring has more luck predicting earthquakes with the moon than bloody Treasury has of looking beyond their optimistic rose tinted glasses to see the current free market meltdown for what it is.
I have more chance of becoming the President of the National Party with the campaign slogan, 'higher taxes and compulsory unionism for all' than Treasury have of getting the fucking budget balanced by 2014.
'The-Shove-it-under-the-carpet-and-don't-look-at-it-award' has to go to Child Poverty. Under National 150 of the richest families in NZ gained $7billion in wealth while 200 000 children lived in poverty, our inequality rates have sky rocketed and the simple fact is we don't really give a toss because most of them are beneficiary kids. Bennie bashing is NZs favorite hobby next to rugby, alcoholism and domestic violence, we love to bash the dirty filthy Bennie, it's what separates us from educated folk.
It costs $40million per year fighting in an immoral war like Afghanistan, yet it would only cost $30million per year to feed every poor kid in every poor school throughout the country.
We live in a consumer culture where everyone thinks of themselves as a future millionaire meaning we all side with rich people arguments about not taxing the rich because we imagine ourselves rich one day and don't want the Government taxing our mythical millions we haven't created yet.
Under John Key, social justice in NZ is just another relic of the past like universal suffrage or habeas corpus.
The-swimming-against-the-tide-award' for counter productive futility has to go to the Privatization agenda launched upon by National where the only people who will afford to buy shares in assets we already own will be the top 10% John Key has already handed tax cuts out to.
It won't be mum and dad investors in NZ who buy these shares, it will be mum and dad investors from overseas who will be buying up our shares. At a time when free market ideology has died a terrible horrific death caused by its own venal greed, we are adopting even more free maker dogma? It's like being the Captain of the Titanic ordering it to swing around and hit the iceberg again.
Privatizing the NZ continental shelf is bad enough, but privatizing prisons? It's no surprise that the only ones benefiting from our incarceration rate are the newly privatized prisons who make more money when prisoners are kept in longer, despite the CEO of GEO telling the select committee into privatization of prisons that the private model will not save any money!
Crusher Collins gave an incredible answer to the question as to why we have the second highest incarceration rate in the world, her answer was, ‘because of Maori’. Note, it’s not the medieval raw meat law and order policy that Crusher Collins and the National Party have championed, it’s not the private prisons Crusher Collins was claiming would generate $1.2Billion (while costing $1.3billion), our second highest incarceration rate is not because of the right wing political manipulation of anger generated by a crime myopic media - oh no, the Prison Nation National built is all because of dem dere maoris.
The utter denial by National that they have anything to do with the punitive prison nation they have created which will now employ more people than any another department is breathtaking in it’s bare faced lie and is insulting beyond capacity that Crusher Collins would try and duck the responsibility of her Prison nation by blaming Maoris.
Judith Collins is to wise social policy what BP boss Tony Hayward is to corporate responsibility.
'The-Japanese-nuclear-reactor-award-for-melting-down' goes to ACT.
Oh God wasn't it hideous? David Garret forging dead baby certificates, Rodney Hide and Rodger Douglas using perks they once attacked, and then the corporate coup to take over ACT with Don Brash, a man so past his used by date he makes month old milk look tasty. The eventual meltdown with the Epsom Tea Party Tapes produced a homophobic dinosaur like John Banks coming back from the political graveyard to feast on the fresh brains of Epsom voters, but it is in their death spasms we see a party so divided and spent they make used toilet paper preferable.
That MANA managed to gain more votes than ACT was just joyful.
'As-relevant-as-Bill-Ralston-Award for irrelevancy has to go this year to the NZ Herald columnist, Shelley Bridgeman. Since when did being rich, white, and utterly disconnected from reality make for an interesting opinion? Reading Shelley Bridgeman is as intellectually beneficial as drinking from an open sewer, Shelley is a mother and free lance writer for the NZ Herald who puts out a weekly column on their website about her banal experiences in the middle class suburban pumpkin patch wasteland she likes to refer to as her life.
While the NZ Herald defines balance as appointing National Party masochists like David Farrar as their online political columnists, they've truly managed to outdo even their limited standards with Shelley Bridgeman's inclusion to their online squawking menagerie.
In her column, 'Not all families are equal', Shelley proclaims with the type of joy reserved for recently freed slaves or trapped miners that she gleefully defied World Health Organisation guidelines and bottle fed her daughter as the guidelines didn't take into account mothers in Remuera and Herne Bay because breast feeding led those mothers to seeking breast implants.
Open mouthed shock.
I'm sorry, too posh to push and too vain to lactate? Shelley goes onto proclaim that she feared advice to lay her daughter on her back would result in a flat head, so she would have her nanny turn the sleeping baby using a notebook to record how long the baby had slept on which side of her head. There are fully automatic weapons less precise than Shelley Bridgeman.
This intellectually flabby jowl of middle class pretension masquerading as parental advice is made offensive due to the rejoicing Shelley seems to revel in by willfully flying in the face of public health campaigns.
Why not just blow cigarette smoke into your kids face while jamming KFC double down burgers down their throat while we're at it? Justifying bottle feeding because you don't want to ruin your figure is honest in a bad way Shelley and rejecting advice on Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant syndrome by having your nanny turn your sleeping babies head on the hour isn't a solution most people outside the NZ rich list could afford.
After this astounding voyage of self delusion, the NZ Herald had to turn the comments feature off Shelley's blog due to, and I quote, "the number of inappropriate posts". Yeah, people let Shelley know what they thought about her concerns.
She's so the 'daddy I want a golden goose now' type of writer. I suspect she votes the way hubby tells her to.
The-throwing-a-tantrum-like-Cameron-Slater-did-by-leaving-Citizen-A-award-for-childish-behavior has to go to Cactus Kate.
I have to be honest, I'm not sure what I loved most, hauling up Kate's hate mongering words aimed at the poor and their 'breeding' habits which eventually killed off her chances at becoming an ACT list candidate or watching her squirm by my presence at Matthew Hooten's post election party.
Cathy Odgers never thought her venom towards the poor would ever have to be justified and watching her pathetically back pedal after her candidacy was announced was almost as much fun as watching her inability to socialize beyond a keyboard at Hooton's party. Her, Farrar and Slater refused to turn up as a protest against my attendance until Fran O'Sullivan texted her and told her to stop being such a child. She eventually turned up but sat outside and pulled the kind of sour face I make from strenuous bowel movements.
Cathy in person is what drinking is to driving, like Slater and Farrar, she exhibits the same social awkwardness of self conscious teenagers which helps forgive their feral online right wing gibberish because ultimately they are just terribly lonely people (ever notice how Farrar's holiday photos never have anyone else in them)?
That said Cathy continues to be one of the best voices for the right on the blogosphere, which in turn shows you how low that threshold actually is.
And finally ladies and gentlemen, the 'Sleepy-Hobbits-have-spoken-award-for-political-sadomasochism goes to the election of John Key.
How a money trader peddling vacant aspiration has managed to make it so far in NZ politics is perhaps a signal that no one is paying attention anymore because invoking policy that only benefits those already wealthy to the detriment of the majority and getting away with it is surely this years greatest scam. The election was one of the lowest turn outs in 120 years, which isn't surprising as almost everyone has left for Australia.
John Keys love affair with the media was only ruined when he attacked the media during the election and had the police heavy them so with that much uncritical coverage, I'm surprised John Key didn't win by 80%.
If I have to put up with anymore 'I grew up in a State House' bullshit, I think I'm going to vomit. Welfare in the 1960s was gold plated, these days it is shit encrusted. Key walks around in a bubble world disconnected from the reality facing those he rules, his empty optimism is fine for a teenage girl hosting the Breakfast show on The Edge, but not for the leader of a country. Hey, if I had $50million and a Hawaiian mansion, I'd be pretty fucking optimistic as well, but the utter shallow depth of Key is what staggers the most. When he wasn't camp mincing on catwalk runways, mocking detractors of the RWC party central an hour before it almost became a public safety hazard and making cannibalism jokes about Maori, he was telling those needing food parcels that their need was their own fault and explaining to Church leaders that if he cut the benefit to everyone, that 'bugger all would die'. The callous disregard for those Key can't relate to is chilling as is the blind faith so many have put into him to run the country.
In the cold 3 years ahead, all those who oppose the implementation of hard right economic policy as social policy should remind themselves that National only gained 32% of the enrolled electorate, that means 68% DID NO VOTE for this right wing bullshit.
We are the majority, they are not.
- Radio NZs self censorship (their ridiculous justifications for banning me changed daily)
- NZ Listener pretending to be a current affairs magazine (for a Magazine that spends so much time sucking the arsehole of the National Party, you have zero credibility)
- Baby boomers (this venal and greedy generation sold out any idealism they once had when challenging the status quo and now feed like a blood sucking leech on the State while denying Gen Xers any leadership role to clean up the mess they have now created. This bloated locust plague who got their education for free and property speculated Gen Xers out of home ownership must be culled.)
- Simon Bridges not getting into Cabinet (he is ridiculously talented for a National Party MP)
- Grant Robertson becoming deputy leader of the Labour Party - if the answer is Grant Robertson, the question must have been, how can Wellington be unhelpful.
- The demotion of David Cunliffe
- The rebirth of Metro being relevant.
- iPredict beating every other news organization and bullshit landline telephone polls by predicting National and Labour right.
- Jon Stephenson and Nikky Hager for showing everyone how real journalism is done.
- Patrick Gower and Duncan Garner for taking it to politicians the way meth addicts take it to the glass pipe
- The Arab Spring
- The Occupy movement
- Running Israeli blockades to get aid into Gaza
- protests in Russia
- TV3s coverage of the earthquake, John Campbell was amazing
- The Court Report
- Coco Solids 'Pacific Rims' mix tape
- Everything Ladi 6 did this year.
- Jacinda Ardern and David Shearer advancing to the dizzy heights of the Labour Party Coven.