She can do worse than twerking

December 27, 2013

The twerking was bad enough, but Miley Cyrus has come up with something worse:

Follow the link if you want to. It’s on TV3’s news site but it’s not the sort of thing I’d expect to see in news while children were watching.

No doubt it’s designed to get publicity as it has – and I thought long and hard about posting on it because I realised I was giving it more.

I decided to do so because I’m increasingly concerned about the lyrics in popular music and the videos which promote them which are normalising lower and lower standards of behaviour.

Things which used to be considered private are becoming acceptable in public; illegal or immoral acts are no longer considered aberrant and if you raise so much as an eyebrow at them you’re considered a prude.

That being the case I’ll accept the label and be grateful there are still some singers like Sol3 Mio who sell records simply by singing  and some parents who know teenagers need boundaries:

. . . THE REAL LORDE: My name is Ella, that’s who I am at school, hanging out with friends, while I’m doing homework. But when I’m up on stage, Lorde is a character. . .

FINDING TIME FOR HIGH SCHOOL: My parents are really onto it; they know what young people need. My mum takes my iPhone off me at night, because I need to do homework and sleep, otherwise I’d spend all night on Facebook and Instagram. . . .


Sol3 Mio out-sells Lorde

December 23, 2013

Teenage singer Lorde has made the top of the charts internationally, but Auckland opera trio Sol3 Mio have taken the best-selling album in New Zealand.

. . . Despite it only being on sale for five weeks, it is the No. 1 selling album on this week’s Recorded Music New Zealand chart and the No. 1 selling New Zealand album for 2013.

The Samoan-New Zealand group is made up of brothers Amitai and Pene Pati, and cousin Moses Mackay. . .

You can watch. and listen to a Tagata Pasifika profile of the trio here.


Trio of NZers of Year

December 15, 2013

 

The editorial says exceptional talents make one choice impossible:

Dignity, poise and determination to walk their own path are what set Lydia Ko, Lorde and Eleanor Catton apart in a world of copycats.

. . . The choice is never easy, but never has it been more difficult than this year.

Three young New Zealanders made major waves internationally, as well as locally. The achievement of each was, in its own way, so extraordinary and distinct that it would be pointless to try to rank them. This year, therefore, Eleanor Catton, Lydia Ko and Lorde share the accolade.

At a first glance, the feats that thrust the three young women to global prominence appear to have little besides their youth and gender in common.

Eleanor Catton is the youngest author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize; Lydia Ko scaled the heights of women’s golf while just 16, becoming the youngest person and the only amateur ever to win an LPGA tour event; and Lorde, at the same age, became the first New Zealander to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.

But they have some characteristics in common, one of which helps to explain why each has been so successful.

It is the way in which their singular ambitions led them to step outside the usual confines of their respective endeavours. . .

It is difficult to overstate the impact of the trio internationally. In sum, they rendered obsolete any sense that this country’s geographic position is in any way an obstacle. . .

In many ways, the three young women also said something about New Zealand as it is today. Of the trio, only Lorde was born in this country, but then of Croatian and Irish ancestry. Eleanor Catton was born in Canada, where her father was completing a doctorate, though she has lived here since she was 6.

But it is the Korean-born Lydia Ko who says the most about New Zealand’s changing face. Having come to this country as a toddler, she has played a significant role in changing perceptions about Asian immigrants. As a captivated nation cheered her on, a study by the Asia New Zealand Foundation found New Zealanders now share a much greater affinity with Asia and immigrants from that region.

It helped that she showed a notable willingness to embrace her adopted country. Never was this better illustrated than in the YouTube video that confirmed she was turning professional.

Customarily, this would be the subject of a staid media conference. But with a quirkiness befitting her youth and character, and this country’s most abiding passion, she announced her decision to the All Black fullback Israel Dagg during a round of golf.

Lorde and Eleanor Catton, likewise, highlighted their New Zealand togetherness when, shortly after their individual triumphs, they posed in a New York bed, channelling the photograph of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 peace protest.

The three young women were also engagingly similar in the way in which they reacted to success. Global attention at such young ages could easily have led to petulance and an overweening sense of self-importance. But they have all reacted with dignity and poise. . .

These three are exceptional young women who individually and collectively are worthy winners of the title New Zealanders of the Year.


Quote of the year shortlist

December 10, 2013

The 10 shortlisted finalists in Massey’s annual Quote of the Year competition have been chosen and are open to public vote:

Dr Heather Kavan,  Massey’s speech writing specialist, started the competition three years ago because she found her speech-writing students had trouble identifying memorable lines.

. . . “The quotes I knew were too old for the students. Edmund Hilary’s “We knocked the bastard off” was said in 1953. Muldoon’s one-liner about Kiwis going to Australia “raising the IQ of both countries” and Lange’s “I can smell the uranium on your breath” quip were both said in the 1980s.

“I thought there must be some good contemporary New Zealand quotes, but no-one is collecting them.”

Dr Kavan and her judging panel narrowed down several dozen entries nominated throughout the year by Massey students and the general public to a top 10.

She describes the judging criteria: “Memorability is paramount. The gay rainbow line with its colourful imagery is a good example of this. However, many of the quotes appealed for different reasons. The GCSB one stood out because it was funny and most people can relate to having a frustrating experience with a government department.

“We were also keen to get quotes that were relatively spontaneous, such as Winston Peters’ ‘What didn’t he know and when didn’t he know it?’

“Another criterion was context. We chose ‘He’s an extraordinarily lucky cat’ because Moomoo’s story made international headlines and even the word ‘extraordinarily’ seemed like an understatement.” . . .

The shortlisted quotes are:

If there was a dickhead that night, it was me – MP Aaron Gilmore reflecting on how he got intoxicated and called a waiter a ‘Dickhead’ at the Heritage Hotel in Hamner Springs.

Why are you going red, Prime Minister? – Kim Dotcom at the Parliamentary enquiry into the GCSB spying on New Zealand residents.
I’m not, why are you sweating? – Key’s reply to Kim Dotcom.

The GCSB, the only government department that will actually listen to you – Unknown origin but repeated on social media.

Male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel – Man Booker prize winning novelist, New Zealand’s Eleanor Catton.

I’m not a spreadsheet with hair – Auckland singer/songwriter Lorde.

What didn’t he know and when didn’t he know it? – Winston Peters querying John Key’s knowledge of the Parliamentary Service’s actions.

In New Zealand nobody takes you seriously unless you can make them yawn – author James McNeish at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival.

That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer – Gareth Morgan’s Cats to Go campaign website.

He’s an extraordinarily lucky cat – Massey University veterinary surgeon Dr Jonathan Bray after removing a crossbow bolt from the head of Wainuiomata cat Moomoo.

One of the messages that I had was that this bill was the cause of our drought. Well, in the Pakuranga electorate this morning it was pouring with rain. We had the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate – Cabinet minister Maurice Williamson in his speech to Parliament supporting the gay marriage law.

To vote for the 2013 Quote of the Year, visit Massey University’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/masseyuniversity or http://on.fb.me/1dY9SUC

Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday December 19, with the winner announced on December 20.


Lorde & Ko most influential teens.

November 13, 2013

Two young New Zealand women are in Time’s list of 16 most influential teens.

Lorde:

The just-turned 17-year-old New Zealander rocketed to international fame this year with the release of her first album, Pure Heroine. Proof: New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who won the election on a message railing against economic inequality, walked onto stage to Lorde’s defiant “Royals.” The child prodigy—she signed with a label at 13—is already competing with pop’s biggest stars, surpassing Miley Cyrus in September for the top spot on iTunes with “Royals.” The singer-songwriter, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, is forging her own path, turning down an opportunity to join Katy Perry on tour because, as she said at the time, it “didn’t feel right.”

Lydia Ko:
A New Zealand golfer born in South Korea, 16-year-old Lydia Ko has multiple LPGA wins. She turned pro this year—the LPGA waived the age requirement for her to join—and she’s already fifth in women’s world rankings after just 23 tournaments. She’s the youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event and the youngest person ever to win an LPGA tour event (and the only amateur to ever win two LPGA Tour events).

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