Absurd Elsewhere

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29 May 2017  |  4 min read  |  2

When the founder of Wikileaks Julian Assante released 150,000 secret files last week to celebrate the Spanish court dropping rape charges against him, one small corner of that internet world got very excited but the buzz went largely unnoticed by the mainstream media. While CNN, the Fox Network, Aljazeera and TV3's The Project all focused on the aspects of Middle Eastern policy, those... > Read more

Back in the USSR (from the White Cage version)

DEATHBED CONFESSIONS: Reality television to die for

28 Jan 2017  |  3 min read

Just when the genre of reality television seemed to have run its course, the doyen of the style, Christie Julian, has, for want of a better phrase, given it a new lease on life with Deathbed Confessions, a series she describes as "a great leap forward which places emphasis on the 'reality' part of the equation". Speaking on her departure for the United States, where she is... > Read more

THE AMBER RILEY-THOMPSON SAGA, PART THE FIRST (2003-04): A child's Christmas and wails

19 Feb 2016  |  4 min read

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THE AMBER RILEY-THOMPSON SAGA, PART THE TWO (2004): More miss adventures

19 Feb 2016  |  19 min read

A little background to these stories which appeared in the New Zealand Herald . . .  Late in 2003 Russell Baillie, the Herald’s entertainment editor, and I were talking about having something light-hearted in the paper over the holiday period. I came up with the idea of following a snotty, stroppy, ungrateful, surly 14-year old girl of the kind you see in shopping malls -- or... > Read more

THE MUSICIAN: A Fairly True Tale

12 Apr 2013  |  1 min read

The young man settled himself into the chair and placed his new guitar case on the floor beside him. His face raised into a natural if boyish smile, the outline of his cheeks rimmed by a flat, soft beard of the kind that many young men grow briefly and self-consciously in their eighteenth year. His hands clasped his knees in a juvenile gesture of delight. The man he was sitting beside... > Read more

JOHN LENNON INTERVIEWED (1995): I hear you knocking

14 May 2012  |  1 min read  |  1

Former mop-topped pop singer and dead megastar John Lennon has given a “thumbs up” to the latest Beatle single Free as a Bird which his former chums in the band have released. “It’s a great song and the lads have really done me proud,” said Lennon earlier this week. “I originally wrote it for the Rutles but to have me old mates do it was a real... > Read more

THE RAMBLERS ENCOUNTERED: It's only rock'n'roll, and I survived it

1 May 2012  |  12 min read

A few years ago at the Herald, to amuse ourselves and readers over the Christmas season, it was decided I would write a piece about a band of roadies who were playing a rare gig. That part was true (hence them mention of real person in what follows). The rest was made up. Sort of. Some of it was drawn from long experience, sometimes shameful, of hanging out with a band. What... > Read more

New Deal

IN AND OUT OF FASHION: The Style Council Deliberates

1 Sep 2011  |  5 min read

When Auckland model Renata and actress Alicia-Anne Crawford stepped out last week at Une Enveloppe to announce the opening of "Fashion Month'' -- Blair Trader's new eatery on Auckland's fashionable Sandringham Road -- there were audible whispers and faux-gasps in the room. Both were wearing outfits -- "consembles'' as Auckland couturier Stef Britta wittily observed -- in the style... > Read more

THE POWER OF SPEECH: A Short Story in a Strange Tongue

14 Jun 2010  |  2 min read

I recently spent a rather distressing luncheon engagement with a moderately well-known author. Aside from hearing much invaluable gossip about better known writers than my friend, I was also treated to a complex deconstruction of language and literary theories that I did not think interesting or even appropriate over a long lunch. For our first cocktails my friend was diverted into a... > Read more


27 Apr 2009  |  4 min read  |  2

Kevin Saatchi, CEO of the New York-based advertising and media company RobertsAndRoberts, said yesterday he was excited about his company being offered the contract to re-brand New Zealand for the 21st century. The five-year contract for RobertsAndRoberts to rename and re-brand the country came at the invitation of the government which has expressed increasing frustration with issues over... > Read more

SNAPSHOTS OF STRANGENESS: A Collection of Odd Anecdotes

7 Jul 2007  |  6 min read

Walt Disney Regrets Last week I spent a morning in the company of a woman who has a curious obsession: she collects soundtracks to those Walt Disney nature programmes which occasionally still appear on television. Or more correctly, she collects correspondence about those soundtracks. I shall call her Sybil because that is what she calls herself. Her story goes something like this.... > Read more