Thursday, April 22, 2004

All hail, subserviant chicken!
Okay, it's some tacky fast food promotion, but subserviant chicken is twisted. It's done by a Miami advertising company called Crispin Porter + Bogusky; if you visit their website, they have some more BK ads, plus a video clip called The Package, described as "an unofficial and unauthorized documentary of an inter-office prank."

They've also done ads for the American Legacy Foundation, which includes a homeless man reading out some information about Project Sub Culture Urban Marketing, also known as Project SCUM. It was a campaign set up by a tobacco company in the mid 90s to target gays and homeless people as a potential growth market.

From the SF Weekly: "In its efforts to increase cigarette sales in the mid-1990s, tobacco company R.J. Reynolds hit on a novel bit of niche marketing in San Francisco, according to recently uncovered documents. It created a campaign that focused mainly on two groups of smokers: gays in the Castro and homeless in the Tenderloin [San Francisco]. The company called its new project "subculture urban marketing" and gave it a memorable acronym: "Project SCUM."
Project SCUM details how R.J. Reynolds hoped to capitalize on groups it termed "consumer subcultures," including "alternative lifestyle (gay/Castro)" and "street people (Tenderloin)." The cigarette maker wanted to improve the presence of its venerable Camel brand among gays in San Francisco, amid the relaunch of its retro Red Kamel spinoff in 1996. Meanwhile, plans were being made to push the company's discount brand Doral to Tenderloin residents." Documents on this came to light in 2001.

From thetruth.com...
keyword = :08
Every eight seconds, someone in the world dies due to tobacco.
keyword = Cause
In 1990, a tobacco company put together a plan to stop Coroners from listing tobacco as a cause of death on a death certificate.


Beautiful Music (in Pitt St, off K Rd) are having their closing down sale this weekend, last day saturday. All CDs/Albums $10, 12"s $5. Sad to see em go.

I was going to write something about this picture....

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I'm Having A Bart Moment
I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics, I must not write about Americans and politics (see comments below Steve Earle item)


Speed kills, so do morons.
Karl Tairi; you are a stupid idiot, a coward, a killer, and you should never ever be allowed a drivers licence as long as you live. Eight people in your car, and you think you can escape the Police? No, you crashed into a power pole at speed, killed or injured your mates, and then you ran off from the crash scene.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Five hundred days
I've never been to a mosque - until yesterday.
I went along to a candlelighting service to mark the 500th day of confinement of Ahmed Zaoui in a New Zealand prison, to find out a bit more about this case. The event was organised by Amnesty International, and started out at the Ponsonby Mosque in Vermont St, then crossed the road to the Catholic church. Inside the mosque, after taking off my shoes, two speakers from the mosque talked. One of them, Mr Javed Khan, talked about why was it every time a terrorist was talked about in the news, was it a Muslim terrorist? Someone called out 'because they are', which sent a wave of tension through the room. One of the organisers jumped in, saying 'that's out of order'. (Later, before heading over to the church, the same organiser said that 'we're here to support Ahmed Zaoui, and anyone who feels they can't probably shouldn't be here'. No room for dissenters here.)

Mr Khan went on to talk about how these terrorists were doing what they did for political reasons, not religious ones. He talked about the hatred being generated by talkback hosts and their listeners on radio, and thanked TV1, TV3 and Radio NZ for attending, and sent out a plea for them to please report what they saw in a fair and balanced way.

The Catholic reverend and bishop were in the mosque too. Their counterparts from the mosque came across the road (I wonder how often they visit each other?), and several people spoke, including Amnesty Internationals NZ executive director Ced Simpson. He talked about the sticker he was wearing, that says Ahmed Zaoui - Freedom or Fair Trial. He was wearing it on Friday, catching a plane back from Wellington, waiting in the airport with 60 other passengers for a flight that was eventually cancelled, when a man came up to him and engaged him in a conversation about the sticker, opening with 'You're a bloody disgrace'.

I've been trying to find out more information on Zaoui's case, and it's not easy, especially as Aunty Helen won't release all the information on the case in the interests of national security - her "Helen knows best" attitude is getting up my nose, like her snide comments on the Refugee Status Appeals Authority last week. She's started making an annoying habit of fumbling the ball too often, like the Blues (what was that shambles all about?).

I think Zaoui is entitled to his day in court. He deserves a fair hearing. That's how we do things here, isn't it?
Amnesty International says 'It is a red herring to suggest that a fair trial is not possible because a full disclosure of the sources of specific classified information would endanger New Zealand's security. How a fair hearing can be conducted within national security constraints has been clearly established in Canada and, in cases before and since 11 September 2001, by the European Court of Human Rights.'

And I think Rosemary Mcleod calling Zaoui a dodgy person (and we have enough dodgy persons here already, she claims) is not the sharpest piece of journalism to emerge from the Sunday Star Times. Her logic is dodgy, that's for sure. People are being sucked in because Zaoui is charismatic? Bah.

If you want to find out more about this, check Amnesty's site, or the NZ Herald also has their own take on events.


If you're a Kiwi musician, have a look at the latest issue of North and South magazine - there's an excellent article by Hannah Sperber on Eldred Stebbing and his family business, Stebbings Recording Studios. Its a fascinating insight into one of the great pioneers of the Kiwi music scene, and also contains some sobering tales of how not to make your first album, from the likes of The Dudes and Hello Sailor.

The Dudes first album was done as a deal with Stebbing, where he gave them free studio time,and in return the band gave Stebbing the rights to their album - he owns it, not the band. With Sailor, they have been a little more forthright in claiming their royalties from sales; Harry Lyon talks about how he's been shut out by Stebbings, after hounding them for many many years to get a bits of money out of them. We're talking about albums that feature Kiwi classics like Gutter Black and Right First Time.


And thumbs up to Brooke Fraser on 20/20's cheesy item on Kiwi musicians who are Christians (Zed, Steriogram, Fraser), with her response to the question on how do people take her being a Christian? "When I talk to other musicians, if I say I'm into new age or Buddha', they go 'wow, thats really spiritual', but when I say 'I'm a Christian' people go 'Ohhhh' " (Brooke does the obligatory look of disgust). She says that she goes to church and shakes her booty - "its my mission to bring bootyshaking back to church!" Still can't stand her music, tho.


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