Thursday, October 23, 2003

Fa-Fa-Fa-Fashion.
Watching breakfast tv this morning - Mike Hosking is interviewing E-TV's Cindy Taylor, here from the US for NZ Fashion Week. She's all bright and bubbly, typical American TV celeb; she was very complimentary toward our fashion, but wasn't too pleased with the Herald saying she was late for makeup and hair for yesterdays IPG show, where she was modeling. She claimed she was there half an hour early with her film crew, to film backstage happenings. Maybe she was just annoyed at being upstaged by Nicky Watson wearing, well, not very much. Check the picture. The print version of the Herald also has photos of Matthew Ridge (Ms Watsons partner) and his mate Marc Ellis sitting in the front rows grinning like a couple of naughty schoolboys.
Then, while walking to work, I went thru Aotea Square, and this film crew comes out of the back of the Town Hall, by the TV One news van, all American accents, and there she is - Cindy Taylor, in the flesh. Look, a famous person. Except all I can see of her from behind is her hair, so when I walk past her, I do a few checks back over my shoulder. She's quite small, big hair, tank top, jeans and - wait for it - ugg boots. Yeah baby, yeah! The Herald may have bagged her, but if she's cool enough to wear ugg boots, she's alright in my books.

There was a wicked tv show I saw last year - the episode I remember best was one that took a timid young woman studying classical cello at music school, and transformed her into a club DJ, in two weeks. She had two mentors (Lisa Savage and Lotte), and had to perform at a club night alongside two other women DJ's, and the expert judges had to pick which was the imposter. None of the judges even spotted her. One of the judges (Elliot Eastwick) commented that he'd been djing for 8 years, and he couldn't spot her, so anyone could do it (DJ).

Now there's a new show called The Joy of Decks starting, with a similar concept. XLR8R reports that "The six-part Joy of Decks chronicles the trials and tribulations of four DJ finalists, who have been selected from a pool of more than 300 nominees from all over the UK and Ireland. The finalists are then paired with high-profile mentors Mr. C, Tom Middleton, Miss Bliss and Roni Size. Each episode will follow the mentors as they coach the finalists on the finer points of mixing, track production, radio broadcasting and how to maintain professionalism amidst the chaos of an all-night orgy in Ibiza."
Roni Size talks about his influences on the site...
"Q: We read that the film ‘Wildstyle’ was important for you…?
Roni Size: Absolutely. It’s the blueprint. The blueprint of all blueprints. The acting was atrocious. But the story… I had the privilege of interviewing Grandmaster Flash and I asked him about the kitchen scene (no one else had ever asked him)… they were going to do this scene in a club and everything but they couldn’t get the permit… so they said where can we do it? Yeah?…so he was like, well let’s just do it in my kitchen right…and it's the best scene I’ve ever seen … so you know what I did? I set up my decks in the kitchen too…"
Now, can you imagine the same tv show here, say hosted by celebrity DJ Mikey Havoc? Bring it on!

Cuba St Geek mentions the 1001 Day Project - take a look. Kiwi Michael Green plans to complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days, such as...
To have seen all IMDB top 250 movies
Write a letter to every NZ politician
Visit and photograph 5 locations as seen in Graham Sydney paintings
Pay for the person behind me at a fast food drive thru.
Now this is what the internet is all about.

A few weeks back I mentioned the Guardian’s list of the top 40 bands in Britain today, which included a band called Selfish Cunt. I got an email about that post - there's a local connection. Get this...
Mettereitzel commented that: "one of the selfish cunts is a f*cking westie....yes a real one." Kiwi's pop up everywhere, huh?
They're a two piece -Singer Martin Tomlinson and guitarist Patrick Constable - anybody know which one is the westie?

UPDATE - Just discovered that Patrick is the NZer - their single is out soon. Thanks to someone called Yippee for that info.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Bowling for Columns.
I like Michael Moore; he's an entertaining commentator, but man, he sometimes plays fast and loose with the facts (that's why I call John Pilger the thinking man's Michael Moore, although Pilger probably wouldn't appreciate being called that). Moore claims what he does is comedy,as a way of deflecting criticism of his occasional factual lapses - "How can there be inaccuracy in comedy?" he says.
Now his latest book Dude, Where's My Country? (Amazon.com has some interesting reader reviews) has come under the microscope - Spinsanity picked out at least 17 mistakes or factual errors in it. I know he is one of the few visible voices of dissent in the American media which makes him important, but perhaps he's wasting his audience's time if he hasn't got his facts straight. That's one thing you could never say about John Pilger. But then, Pilger is a journalist. Moore is an activist/social commentator.
Its hard to know just what the media landscape is like in the US without actually being there. Moore seems to be creating dialogue amongst ordinary Americans about their government, which, given how apathetic Americans have been about their recent governments, is a good thing. Remember, this is a country where over two thirds of the population believe Iraq had something to do with September 11, even though both the FBI and the CIA have thoroughly investigated this alleged connection and come up with absolutely no proof. There's a very good interview with Moore at the Guardians site, well worth a read.
So, pissing Americans off makes them think. At least if they're angry at Moore, they're feeling something. I admire his courage, but....

total madness... from No Rock and Roll Fun
Tribute band Ultimate Madness has been asked to pay GBP500 for copying the group's 'Nutty Train' dance by Chas Smash's brother Brendan, who invented it in 1979. They've also been told to pay GBP100 every time they use it. The group countered that they only get GBP200 a gig and will seek legal advice.

The NZ Herald reports that hotel workers at APEC had to pass medical tests including rectal swabs. What were they hoping to find up there, weapons of mass destruction? Don't answer that, smartass. The things you do for a buck...

My daily walk to and from work takes me thru Aotea Square - this week its been overtaken with tents for NZ Fashion Week. In the mornings I get to see harried makeup artists running around with their makeup boxes, and on the way home from work, I get to see the fashionistas and the skinny models who need pies standing outside the back of the Town Hall looking terribly important. Its all highly amusing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Walk this way
Russell Simmons co-founded Def Jam Records, and bought us Public Enemy, LL Cool J, and helped his brother Run get started in Run DMC. Here's a comment from a recent interview with Mother Jones magazine.

MJ: If you could meet President Bush, what would you tell him?
RS: Fear is not the basis of governing this country.
MJ: Do you think Bush knows who you are?
RS: I think Colin Powell knows who I am.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Your personal recommendation is worthless to me
Its called whisper marketing. I first heard of this in William Gibsons latest book Pattern Recognition. The main character meets someone whose job is to go into hip bars and talk about their clients product, which then makes it desirable to those less attractive people around them.
Gibson talks about this in an interview on his site...
Q: "There's a phenomenon you describe in the book, in which people are paid to mention products casually in social settings as a part of marketing campaigns. How advanced is this, and are we likely to see more of it?
A: When I was writing that, I had heard of it being done, but assumed it was an urban legend. Then I ran across a news piece that claimed it was being done in Manhattan, but that the public response to it was intensely, almost violently negative. As perhaps it should be."

Its recently hit Sydney...
...and now its arrived here. The weekend papers covered the story, under the headline "Why that pretty girl really chatted you up." Its happening in Auckland right now - local ad agency Dot-ink's Reese Jensen says "Forget the billboards, this is what the consumer of today needs to cut through the clutter." The company had put "product ambassadors" in Auckland nightclubs - groups of attractive young people who order "X-drink" to sway the rest of the crowd to buy the same. They call it tactile media.
Your personal recommendation of a film/book/drink/restaurant/CD could soon become worthless. Just a thought.

British label Ninjatunes recently reissued C is For Cookie by The Cookie Monster - why? Apparently one their artists DJ Food tried to get a tune off Sesame Street for a mix cd a few years back, and its taken a long while to get clearance to release it. The tune is the disco version remixed by famous DJ Larry Levan - his very first remix. The flip is the Pinball Number Count, with backing vocals from the Pointer Sisters. Its a groovy record; I scored a copy from Fat City recently. It's choice! ( I am not being paid to say this - see above story.)

Friday, October 17, 2003

Mad Professor in the asylum of dub.
I spent the last two days in a nightclub, listening to legendary UK reggae producer Mad Professor discuss the art of remixing, with a remix he's doing for Salmonella Dub as an example. Now, its been wonderfully sunny in AK for the last two days, so spending it in a nightclub doesn't sound much like fun. 'Cept this club was Coast Bar, on top of an office block on Princes Wharf, with harbour views.
The Mad Prof also played a bunch of his own work, mixing and dubbing it live, including tunes from some recent as yet unreleased recordings with Sly n Robbie. Salmonella Dub's producer and Pitch Back dude Paddy Free (top bloke) also came along to talk about the recording process for the Dub, very interesting stuff. The remix was put together by Chris Macro of the Dubious Bros, who works as an engineer at Red Bull Studios and MaiFM's studio.
Its been really nice to have the luxury to spend two whole days thinking about music. Usually it gets jammed in at evenings and weekends.
The seminar was organised by Red Bull (thanks, folks), who bought the Prof over from Oz - he's doing a bunch of gigs there at present. None planned here this year, but some early next year.
It was an interesting bunch of people at the seminar - about 30 dj/producers, only two women, a couple of dreadlocks (hello to Gabe of the Dubwize sound Sytem - check their new album, out soon!). Some of the dj types were more interested in talking about mixing on computers, rather than getting their heads around the notion of the mix process as being a hands-on, live performance in itself just like the guitarists or keyboardists performance. Its the spontaneous nature of dub that makes it so exciting. Like the Mad Prof said, the reason he likes mixing live rather than computerised, automated mixing, is you never know whats going to happen - its always a surprise, even to himself.

I caught some of the MTV Movie Awards on TV3 last night -they seem incredibly dated. Some of the films up for awards are like a year or two old. Still, worth it for Peter Jacksons acceptance speech for LOTR (Best action sequence), from the set - boasting about how he had to teach Viggo Mortenson how to hold a sword, and stunt double for Bernard Hill - these two actors snuck up behind him, in full costume, interupted him, then he tried to run away, while they chased him with their swords drawn.
Andy Serkis won for Best Virtual character, and half way thru his speech (also on location in NZ) Gollum appears, and starts swearing and bitching, saying "F**k you, Andy Sirkus, you're nothing without me! F**king Peter Jackson, talentless hack. F**k you MTV, F**king F**kers!" Then Gollum does the fingers, and stomps off, leaving a very embarrassed Andy Sirkus standing there. Cut back to the audience, theres Elijah Wood (Frodo) clapping, and even tho you can't hear it, if you read his lips he's saying "That was f**king amazing". F***k yeah.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Hiphop nonstop.
Its been a hip hop-heavy week. Wednesday saw Philly's finest The Roots hit the stage at the St James for a two hour jam, and the weekend bought the Aotearoa Hiphop Summit back to Auckland for the third time in its 4 year history.

I wrote a whole bunch of stuff about it - read more over at Public Address.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Once Were Muthaf**kin warriors.
Allhiphop.com reports that "Ice Cube has signed on to replace Vin Diesel in the sequel to the 2002 action hit, “XxX.” According to Revolution Studios, each subsequent sequel will introduce a new character in the franchise of films.
Vin Diesel starred as an extreme athlete who became a secret agent in the original flick, which was directed by Rob Cohen. Cohen will not direct the sequel and has been replaced by Lee Tamahori, who directed the James Bond thriller, “Die Another Day.” and "Once Were Warriors".

Meanwhile, over on Ebay, Tupac Shakur's Hummer is back up for bids. Seems the winner of the previous auction didn't have the money to pay, and neither did the second highest bidder.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Red, White and Bland.
The White Stripes got interviewed on hip and groovy ol' TV3's News last night - the story consisted of the reporter making three rather bland points - that the White Stripes have been described as the saviours of modern rock n roll, which Jack White was rightly dismissive of; that he has been romantically linked to movie star Renee Zellweger, which Jack replied to, saying that he was interested in the creative life, not the public life, and when he goes to a musem to look at paintings, he's not interested in what Salvador Dali had for breakfast; and the reporters final comment was on their ticket price of $80, saying for that much they better be good. He also mentioned that Kate Moss was in their last video, for I Don't Know What to do with Myself; but made no mention of Burt Bacharach. Not the most impressive piece of research on the questions front. Sigh.
All I could think was how cool it would have been to see Dylan Taite interviewing the White Stripes. His presence is sorely missed from our screens.

There's a panther wandering round Ashburton, Roy Horn (of Sigfried and Roy) gets critically injured by one of his tigers on stage in Las Vegas, and the New York Police have to deal with a 400 pound tiger being kept in a Harlem housing project. The tigers owner, Antoine Yates, went to hospital for treatment for 'pit bull bites', but hospital staff were sceptical and alerted police, who discovered the tiger living in Yates 5th floor apartment. Yates also had an caiman (alligator-like creature), and had kept them for the last two years.
"Yates, increasingly hard-pressed to control the tiger, apparently decamped to a nearby apartment. He continued to feed the beast by throwing raw chickens through a door opened just narrowly enough to keep a paw the size of a lunch plate from swiping through, neighbours said.
The big cat-ty family started to unravel on Wednesday when Ming the tiger mauled Yates, 37, as he tried to stop him from attacking a pet kitten.
Yates bought the tiger from a couple in Minnesota, who also sold him a lion cub. It wasn't in the apartment when Police went in - where is it?
Here's some pictures of the tiger.
Reports of the tigers weight vary between 400 and 600 pounds. Some news reports also claim it was in a Manhattan apartment, not a Harlem one.
Its just so ghetto.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Bring the noise
Chuck D and LL Cool J testified at a senate hearing on recent legal action by the recording industry to stop file sharing recently.
MTV.com says that Chuck D wasn't about to let online freedoms be curbed. "P2P to me means power to the people," he said. "I trust the consumer more than I trust the people at the helm of these [record] companies."
LL used a rather bizarre metaphor to render the practice of illegal file-sharing down to its basic element: stealing. "If a contractor builds a building, should people be allowed to move into it for free, just because he's successful?" asked Mr. Cool J, as he was addressed at the hearing. "Should they be able to live in this building for free? That's how I feel when I create an album or when I make a film and it's shooting around the planet for free."
What kind of werd-ass housing arrangement is LL down with? If you read that back, in a sense its like he's saying sharing files is like living in a house that someone else had built. Let him keep working for the man.
And Chuck D? He's still on point. This is from his column on PE's website...
"... 911 is no joke now… and here we are two years later... the truths are still hazy and tucked. Thousands of people perished two years ago from a day of tragic infamy. Today the aftermath of the IRAQ invasion, as well as the AFGAN bum rush also has thousands killed, soldiers are getting knocked off on both sides... the Middle East has a suicide bombing every week and can’t get it together, the peeps keep catching hell, and the headz are all still here. The names BUSH, BIN LADEN, RUMSFELD, COLIN, CONDE and SADDAM all sound like characters from an HBO TV show. Again, somebody’s not telling the truth. Governments are the cancer of civilization."

Monday, October 06, 2003

San Quentin, I hate every inch of you.
I ended up watching two tv programs this weekend featuring prisons. Friday was Breaking the Silence: Truth and lies in the war on terror, a documentary by journalist John Pilger (thanks to the NZ Herald for thoughtfully renaming the show The War is a Fraud, just in case you weren’t familiar with Pilgers leftie leanings), and the other was Johhny Cash Live at San Quentin.
Pilger set about examining the war in Iraq, backgrounding the reasons given by the American and British leaders for the war. He picked apart their flimsy justifications, til there was nothing left but bones. It was very depressing.
He showed more of those sickening images of the prisoners of war, or 'enemy combatants' as the US calls them, held in shackles, blindfolds and masks in Guatanamo Bay. The 641 detainees have no rights under the Geneva Convention, as the US doesn't consider them POW's, and they haven’t been charged with anything. They’re in limbo.
He interviewed such US neo conservative hawks like William Kristol, who wrote the document for the right wing group Project for a New American Century suggesting Saddam's removal(supporters include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, John Bolton). When Pilger asked him about Americas new role, in attacking solid democracies, he said they have never done that. Pilger corrected him, noting that America has intervened in other countries 72 times since the Second World War. You really don't try and play fast and loose with a journalist of the calibre of Pilger; he does his homework. Kirstol responded by saying that Pilgers claims were ludicrous. Cut to a list in alphabetical order, scrolling down your tv screen, naming all the countries. When he interviewed US Undersecretary of State John Bolton, after the interview finished, Bolton made a dig at Pilger, saying “Are you a member of the Labour party?” Pilger shot back, “no they’re the conservatives in my country”. “You must belong to the communist party,” replied Bolton, laughing. Yeah, funny.
A former senior CIA officer and personal friend of George Bush senior said that when Bush senior was in the Whitehouse, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld were commonly known as ‘the crazies’. That’s what the Whitehouse thought of them, then. Now, they’re in power. Pilger dug up footage of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam, back in 1992, when the US was supplying Iraq with chemical weapons.
Watching this made me think how can powerful men live with themselves, when they appear on my tv night after night telling lies to maintain their status quo? Pilger’s final words talked of there now being two superpowers, the US government of George W Bush, and the rising tide of public opinion. He talked of the battle between these two forces, closing with the observation that "If we remain silent, victory over us is assured."

And there’s the late Johnny Cash, singing "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." inside San Quentin, to the prisoners, back in 1969. You wouldn't get away with that today; the powers that be woudn't allow it. They'd want to vet your material, check your lyrics first. The modern equivalent might be letting Ice T into a jail in LA to sing Cop Killer.
Cash's performance is amazing; what a brilliant storyteller. He talks about a song he wrote, about getting arrested in Mississippi for picking flowers, and spending a night in jail. "Imagine what they'd do if I'd picked an apple!"
The latter part of the film is intercut with prisoners telling their crimes, and it comes to one prisoner who tells about going to a party, making a pass at a girl, and at the end of the night there's just him, the girl, and her 12 year old son, who was in bed asleep. He and the woman were on the couch, the son comes in and says what are you doing to my mother, and the guy ended up strangling them both - he didn't know why he did it. He got taken to court, found guilty and the judge sentenced him to death. The rest of the film switched between Johnny Cash's performance (including the first public performance of A Boy Named Sue), the prisoner, shots of the gas chamber, and a guard describing the routine of a condemned prisoner. Sometimes I despair for this world, and then I just get angry. Hats off to Bruce Springsteen for saying impeach the President.

I went to the Auckland vs Northland rugby game at Eden Park on Saturday - watched Auckland run out onto the field to my song R U Ready, for the second time. As they ran out I turned to the field, and there they were - half a dozen of those agile young women for the Auckland Sky City Cheerleaders on the sideline facing the stands, dancing one of their routines.... to my song! It doesn’t get much better than that, aye.
Auckland won 50-17, moving up from 8th to 4th in the NPC championship. I wanted to get there earlier, as the Black Ferns (NZs world champions womens rugby team) were playing a World XV - I saw the last ten minutes. There was absolutely nothing about the game in The Saturday Herald, and the Sunday Star Times had no coverage of the game either - good on you, tv news for covering the game. The Black Ferns won 37 nil. They are seriously good.

Thanks to the Guardian’s list of the top 40 bands in Britain today, I now know that there is a band in the UK called Selfish Cunt. For some weird reason, the Sugarbabes sit at number 14 while Mr Scruff is at number 38. That is just wrong.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Paul Holmes has not left the building
Its just come out that Newstalk ZB rejected Holmes offer to resign earlier this week, and has set in place a number of measures, including getting him to write a letter of apolgy to Kofi Annan. Newstalk ZB's General Manager Bill Francis has said Holmes' offer to resign was refused for several reasons, including Holmes' 16 years with the station. "It has been outstanding in a whole lot of respects including humanitarian help in all sorts of areas outside the public gaze." This is the second time Mr Francis has made mention of Holmes' humanitarian gestures out of the public gaze - yes, he gives to charity. So what? So do I, so do a lot of people. Whoop dee do.
Francis said that the company was.... "adopting a policy for its staff, who were in the position to lead and shape opinion, that judgements based solely on race, colour or creed were offensive and would not be tolerated." Its incredible that they didn't already have such a policy in place.
Some Holmes trivia from the NZ Herald...
152 Broadcasting Standards Authority decisions have named Paul Holmes.
May 2003: On his radio show, Holmes relays a barrage of jokes about the French and German military, including: Why did the French plant trees on the Champs Elysees? So the Germans could march in the shade. Complaint not upheld.
September 2002: On his radio show, Holmes called the Catholic Church "rotten to the core", and the Pope "a pathetic old man". Complaint not upheld.
May 2001: On his radio show, Holmes described Ariel Sharon as a "dreadful beast" and as "mad, cynical [and] Arab hating". Complaint not upheld.

On a lighter note, Paul Holmes step-daughter Milllie is alleged (by that tabloid site) "to be engaged to a young man named "Dawg". Millie Holmes (15) is understood to "be over the moon", said a friend of the teen couple. Millie has told college friends that Dawg has romantically proposed to her and given her a ring, allegedly purchased with money earned from pawning off another ring."

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Watch your back
Quote of the week - Mike Puru, host of TV2's 'yoof' news show Flipside, after a news item on the revival of Its In The Bag with Havoc and Newsboy... 'yes, Its in the bag, now there's an oldie but a goodie, bit like Havoc."

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Mike King is a cheeky darkie
Okay, he called himself that, all right? I watched Mike King Tonight on TV last night - yes, its a blatant ripoff of Letterman, but so what? Its not like TV here is reknowned for originality - look at all the other copies of overseas formats we have on at the moment - from Changing Rooms to that ripoff of Fear Factor. It's a very funny show. No, really.
Mike King knows about timing, and he keeps the interviews snappy, and devoid of waffle. Last night, interviewee Lana Cockroft was wearing a GE Free March t shirt, and King commented on it, saying he was into that too - "I'm GE - genitally engineered" and quick as a shot, Lana says "so that must be why everyone calls you a dickhead!" King put his hands on his head and said "You got me". Too right, mate. The NZ Heralds Greg Dixon didn't get some of the jokes... "(King) got his laugh, but this kind of lowest common denominator joke panders to one audience while making the other switch off - can a chat show afford to do this?" Hell, its late night TV, who cares?

Pop star Moby is angry, bless his bald little head. One of Moby's fans is being sued by the RIAA, and Moby is less than impressed...
"personally I just can't see any good in coming from punishing people for being music fans and making the effort to hear new music. I'm almost tempted to go onto kazaa and download some of my own music, just to see if the riaa would sue me for having mp3's of my own songs on my hard-drive."
He's also been thinking about procreation...
"Now, for the first time in my life. I want to make babies," the 38-year-old said. "If anyone wants to make babies, let me know."

Tokyo is cool - now you can take a taxi that's done out in Hello Kitty decor....
"TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- How's this for a relaxing cab ride: slide into the back seat of a pink and baby blue sedan with two Hello Kitty characters painted on the side, sit on a Hello Kitty blanket and listen to Hello Kitty music piped in through the sound system.
This mobile paradise for fans of the popular kitten character is the latest service offered by a Japanese taxi company, Kanachu."

Monday, September 29, 2003

Kiwi battlers!
So, New Zealand music is bigger than ever, just look at the charts, shout the PR hacks. But what about some diversity? Well here you go - heavyweight drum n bass duo Concord Dawn released their latest album recently and lookee, there it is this week at number 9 in the national charts! That is some seriously cool sh*t right there.
"Earlier in the week we'd been told we were likely to be higher than that. When we heard we were No 9 it was like 'Stink, we're not at No 3'," a not entirely crestfallen Evan Short of Concord Dawn says. Think he's taking the piss? Concord Dawn licensed songs to over a dozen different drum n bass record labels around the planet last year. They sold,50,000 records - that's vinyl. Go you good things!

I spent 23 and a half hours in Wellington on Thursday - flew down for a gig there, took my man MC Word Perfect. Had fun wandering thru town with him - he lived there for 3 years before moving up to AK. So every ten feet he saw someone he knew, from graff artist Otis to Pacifier bassist Karl Kippenburger to the folks behind Manual and Staple magazine, both excellent publications (check out the new issue of Staple, it's choice!). That's one of the things I love about visiting Welli - the central city is a friendly place to hang out, whereas central Auckland is a wind tunnel full of suits.

Still can't understand why Newstalk ZB hasn't disciplined Paul Holmes after the darkie comments. His stupid comments have now travelled the globe, reaching Ghana, and Mr Annan. World media describe Holmes as "one of the New Zealand's top journalists" or "New Zealand's most prominent journalist", although Australia's ABC referred to Holmes as a "shock jock". Mediawatch has some good links on the story. The NZ Herald has overseas reactions, such as this...
Maxwell Yifusu, a spokesman for the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, said the national radio station had been inundated with outraged calls. "It shows total disregard for the world's highest-ranking public official and is an insult to our country."
Newstalk ZB's General manager Bill Francis defends his wayward employee, noting that "...Paul's radio show has always had a strong element of comment, heavily laced with satire. Regular listeners know and understand this. He writes his material close to deadline - there's no luxury of lengthy contemplation over its worth." So why did his producers allow him to call Mr Annan a darkie repeatedly - 7 times in 45 minutes? Did no one tell him to shut the hell up?
The latest is that the Holmes Show has lost it's sponsor, Mitusbishi Motors NZ from tonight. The managing director Paul Leighton said the apology from Holmes the following day did little to appease the original complaint. "There are some things you can't apologise for and I am afraid some things when they are done, they are done. They cannot be undone by simply saying I am sorry. That doesn't undo the damage."
What I want to know is, why Paul Holmes said those things? He's made apologies left right and centre, but offered no explanation as to why he said them.

Oh, and let's not mention the rugby - Auckland aint doing so good. Sigh.