Thursday, February 13, 2014

Odd Future: No future in NZ

This is also called "trying to post a blog from my stupid bloody phone."

US hiphop group Odd Future had been banned by the Nz Immigration service (their last visit in 2012 for the Big Day Out saw them dropped off the bill - they came anyway and did a sideshow at the Powerstation, withou incident or any protest). The reason is for inciting violence. This crappy turn of events brings about one of those delightful news blips, where Nz makes the international news, for all the wrong reasons. Major US music site Pitchfork has picked up the story, and gosh, NZ comes off sounding like blinkered idiots.

Keep in mind Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt played here two weeks ago (at Laneway) without incident or protest. And that leading gay  icon Eminem is headlining Rapture, the festival Odd Future were added to when Kendrick Lamar dropped out.

So, what gives? How does a lobby group like Stop Demand have such sway with central government? How does this decision get made so close to the event date that the promoters won't even have time to appeal it? How does his decision make Nz a better place?

What other performers has been banned from NZ over potential offence ? I remember when Ice T came to NZ with his metal band Body Count, in the early 90s- my band opened for them. Apparently the Nz police went on Holmes to object, pointing to Public Enemy's logo as a sign that Ice T hated cops, and really meant what he sang in their song Cop killer. How you confuse PE's logo with Body Count's is beyond me.

When Beenieman pulled out of Big Day Out after objections over his lyrics, one of the protest groups was disappointed he wasn't coming, as they'd planned to protest at the BDO to raise awareness and get some dialogue going on the artist's lyrical stance. Because discussing offensive lyrics with the people singing them is a sign of a civilised society. Banning them from our doors is not. That's shutting down dialogue. There's more nuance going than that, of course. And someone at Immigration appears to have an agenda. Wonder if they'll front to it?

Read Mosscaddie's post on Odd Future's banning here

ADDED, from May 1 2014: Emails reveal Immigration NZ thought it would be good publicity for them if they banned Odd Future... "NZ border operations manager Karen Unwin claimed banning the American rap collective would generate "some media interest".

"I think we have the opportunity to spin this into a good news story for INZ," Ms Unwin wrote in an email sent on February 13..."

1 comment:

Paul Goodsort said...

Dr Nitschke euthanasia books, David Irving (Holocaust Denier) Keith Mann (Animal Liberationist) have all been banned from entering N.Z in the recent past. It’s a regular occurrence to censor thoughts in this country that may upset others. In todays paper advocates are proposing a tax on Coke and Fanta. It is Green Party Policy. Give me fucking strength. You should make your own decisions what you consume whether it be music, food, drugs etc. But based on the last political polls only 1% of N.Z believe in this philosophy support ACT. Half the country actually wants more regulations on top of the one that saw this band banned