He was born on 29 April 1933, which makes him 82 today.
So here he is in 1997 with his song “Funny How Time Slips Away”:
It was very different in the 1970s when I began to hazard a few words on paper. One was drawn in to this idea that there would be something noble about this profession, and that one might achieve a certain dignity. The more that goes on, the more life goes on, the more you feel how sick that project was. The whole publishing industry doesn’t really work in that way, and that kind of aim—which is just at the end a thirst for celebrity—is pretty depressing as an aim to pursue.
About 70% of novels in Italian are translated, and about 70% of those are translated from America. So half what people are reading is American. They’re not reading from Czechoslovakia or Albania or Russia. They’re just reading from America.
So an American author actually doesn’t have to think about anything. He can just write and think for years for Americans—and in fact, everybody’s becoming Americans. So it’s not a problem for him. But if you’re in Holland, Norway, Sweden, even Italy, to a degree, then apart from the fact that you’ve grown up with the idea that lots of books came from other places and so there’s no reason my book shouldn’t go to other places— and apart from the fact that the number of people buying books in your country is much smaller—your chances of surviving on a book that’s totally in Italy is very small. There’s just a tendency to look outward more.
Anti-copyright activists love to invoke the specter of “big content” in their relentless drive to weaken artists’ rights. They claim protections under copyright really only help the bottom lines of huge corporations who grab rights from working artists. As a working artist, I am concerned about my contract terms with large corporations, absolutely — but at least there is a contract. The existence of a contractual offer for my rights means my right of ownership is being acknowledged and respected. I sure don’t remember being offered a contract for the use of my work when it was pirated online.
Guess who profits the most from this ridiculously inaccurate and misleading line of anti-copyright reasoning — giant corporations who have built a business model on free content.
An inability to answer a random, irrelevant, and often daft question in a French meeting will demonstrate that a speaker is “unprepared”, and thus possibly unsuitable for promotion. Hence he or she must “prepare” by stuffing their presentation with dozens of slides containing table after table of raw data in Font 8 or smaller, which are preceded by five or more slides of “context” containing sentences such as “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” and “When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.” Given French presentations normally consist of the speaker reading the contents of a slide line by line, one after another, it’s no surprise to learn that meetings can run on for hours.
I don’t really have any interest in Jurassic World. If I want to go and see a bunch of dinosaurs, I can always attend an Aosdana meeting.
He is teaching creative writing, and so is she. It is not perfect, but they have to earn a living somehow.
On one occasion, they meet on a panel at a synopsis-writing seminar. Later, as they gossip listlessly about the decline of publishing, he wonders whether he has the energy to make a pass at her, while she works on an excuse to get away from him.
The Guardian is a curiously inward-looking beast. If any other institution tried to market its own experience of its own work nearly as persistently as The Guardian, it would surely be called out for institutional narcissism.
Marcus Greville of University Bookshop Otago agrees about the power of weekend radio. “I’ll often come into work to discover that a book that has been sitting in on our shelves unmolested for two months has suddenly sold out, and the first thought (and usually most accurate) is that it must have been on the radio over the weekend. I think National Radio reviews have a greater reach, in general, than print reviews; there’s something about the articulation of complex thoughts on the part of the author or reviewer, being able to detect the enthusiasm or excitement in a voice, or the frisson between the interviewer and author that can trump written reviews.”
Campbell the best
Which path are New Zealand TV programmes taking? Campbell Live is one of the good programmes people like to watch in their TV.
There are very good questions put to the political leaders and others. Campbell does lots of research, investigates and then produces the programme and he is quick to put the next question depending on the answer he gets.
A few years ago, when Helen Clark was standing for a second term, there was a very good debate and Campbell had some well researched questions, which became a big story at that time.
Even just before the last general election, Campbell put hard questions to John Key. Viewers are well aware of all those questions and the answers they heard on TV. Is there a political reason as to why they want to get rid of this highly popular Campbell Live programme?
What other good programmes do you get in TV, other than violence and murder?
In 1990s, we were able to watch all cricket matches on TV. Now that has disappeared. In all other cricket-playing countries, all the world cup matches were on TV and everyone had the opportunity to view them live, the same as Campbell Live.
Even Radio Sports failed to broadcast all the cricket matches played in Australia and New Zealand.
Let Campbell Live continue for the benefit of all New Zealanders.
Even if we agree, and I believe that sometimes we do, that late agricultural practice is wanting and medicalisation can create as much disease as it cures, we cannot agree that you could find your arse with two hands. With two hands, Google Maps and a year of intensive arse-finding workshops.
As a former professional player in French clubs for 10 years and author of a couple of autobiographical-style books, Daniell is well qualified to reflect on the mercenary-like nature of the modern player and the potential for corruption that we tend to associate more with cricket. Being Rugby World Cup year, it’s likely we’ll be inundated with non-fiction books dedicated to All Blacks history or reflections on rugby by players past. Daniell’s novel makes a refreshing change and contains no boosterism. Rather, the story is a sobering reminder that all is not perfect in the world of union, and that the men and women who play the game are entirely human.
Te Papa to axe its publishing arm
I wanted to let you know about a ‘change proposal’ that was announced to Te Papa staff on Thursday 9 April.
The proposal is to suspend all print publication within Te Papa Press for the next 4-5 years.
It includes disestablishing 4 positions at Te Papa Press: those of Claire Murdoch, Odessa Owens, Harriet Elworthy and Hannah Newport-Watson, ie every person who currently works primarily with print publications.
The reason for this ‘change proposal’ is that Te Papa is redirecting investment towards ‘core museum work’.
The proposal seems extraordinarily ill-conceived. If the objective is purely to save funds, the Te Papa Press budget is negligible in the wider context of the Te Papa budget.
And the dismantling of Te Papa Press would mean such a loss to the museum – in terms of outreach, nationally and internationally; credibility as a research institution; and brand excellence. Te Papa Press is widely perceived as one of the success stories of the Te Papa project, and its highly effective staff have an enviable reputation in the museum and publishing world. If they go, print publishing at the museum will never recover.
I can only surmise that Rick Ellis does not understand the work of Te Papa Press, and is receiving very poor advice from senior staff.
It alarms me that this proposal is being rushed through with great speed and secrecy: Te Papa is calling for internal submissions by 16 April. Staff have obviously been discouraged from discussing it with anyone outside the organisation.
Moreover, there is no evidence that the museum is seeking feedback from external stakeholders.
Given this tight time frame, I think the best option is to contact Rick Ellis directly (rick..email@example.com) to express dismay at the change proposal, and the secrecy with which it is being conducted.
One day he has lunch with the Governor of Malta, Lieut-General Sir William Dobbie. Monsarrat did not invent Dobbie. Dobbie was a keen member of the Plymouth Brethren. A veteran of the Boer War, he was once sent to quell some rioting in Palestine in the 1920s. ‘We will have to fight only four days a week,’ he said. ‘The Arabs won’t fight on Friday, the Jews on Saturday and I certainly won’t on Sunday.’
The Government is about to reduce uemployment to about half of one per cent. Information leaked to the blogger Dripping Tap advises that Government has decided to replace the lonely, single, slightly deaf Siberian who speaks English with a Scottish penguin speech defect. She is to be released from being the sole call centre person for the Trans Pacific Phone Answering network. Dribble & Puddle & Associates, consultants to Government, have advised John Key to make it compulsory for all phone conversations to be answered by a real live person and this will bring back almost full employment. Blogger Dripping Tap is reliable, but like some in government, suffers memory loss and brain fade.
Tuesday, March 24
There was a call of disorder to a house in Stafford St where a male was heard screaming. On investigation he was found just to be excited watching the cricket.