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The best of The Spinoff this week

Compiling the best reading of the week from your friendly local website.

The Spinoff: The Spinoff announces its mayoral endorsement

“The Spinoff’s War for Auckland psy-ops division has emerged from their underground bunker with their picks for Auckland mayor. – Click here – to discover on whom The Spinoff has bestowed its coveted mayoral seal of approval.”

Guest Post: Real Housewives and the real racism New Zealand prefers to pretend doesn’t exist

“The acknowledgement of Sloane’s racism – and I mean real ‘that was racist regardless of the intention’ acknowledgement – was nowhere to be found in Tuesday night’s episode. But reality television has a way of reflecting the society in which it is produced. Please do not make the mistake of thinking that this is an isolated incident. There are many white people in this country who think it’s okay to say the N-word, and do so frequently.”

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James Dann: Election fever roars into Christchurch, like a bruised mid-90s Ford Telstar

“So why are the local body elections so dire this year? A large part is down to exhaustion. Christchurch people have been fighting EQC, insurance companies, the council, the government, the Wizard, you name it, for more than six years now. They’re just totally knackered. Those who have been dealt the worst hands by the quakes, and are feeling beaten down and frustrated by the struggle – they just don’t have any energy left.”

Don Rowe: De facto decriminalistion of cannabis: politically convenient and terrible for Māori

“Of the 1105 total convictions where possession and/or use of cannabis was the most serious offence, almost 43% of those convicted were Māori.”

The New Zealand Drug Foundation says Māori use cannabis at a rate 2.2 times that of non-Māori, so at 15% of the population, you would expect then to account for no more than 33% of convictions.”

Tara Ward: Turns out Hilary Barry is a bloody legend no matter what channel she’s on

“Oh Hilary, how we’ve missed you. Your warmth, your charm, your ability to move smoothly from discussing the shitstorm that is the UN in Syria to the news that Mel Gibson is to be a father again at 97, without blinking an eye. Hils grooved to music, waved to the cameras, and rebuked Dr John for using the word “penetration” when discussing immunisation rates of girls against the HPV Virus. Brodie Kane said it best: ‘HB, yo, in the house.’ Indeed.”

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Scotty Stevenson: Super Rugby Power Rankings: The entire 2017 draw ranked round by round

12. Round 6
Next to round five, round six looks promising. In the same way that next to death by being submerged in acid, a bullet in the head is preferable. The Stormers play the Cheetahs and although the Stormers have won the last three, you can’t help but watch the Cheetahs, just to see if they are still as crazy as ever. The Lions-Sharks game is the pick of the crop, although the Waratahs-Crusaders match gets a five-star historical rating.”

Peter King: The Monday argument: New Zealand’s literary establishment should be taken out and shot

“New Zealand literature is a cliquey little club run by a certain group of writers for the benefit of that certain group of writers. They give each other gongs, awards and prizes; they give each other trips; and they subsidise each other’s collections of poetry. They have their own little publication (NZ Books) in which they celebrate one another or pass snide (and some believe actionable) remarks about pretenders to the club.”

Madeleine Chapman: Hear us out: That ‘brown face’ Maui costume is maybe okay

“Whether they realised it in development or not, Disney backed themselves into a brown-skinned costume corner by choosing to put Maui on the big screen. He’s the first Disney hero whose skin is an integral and necessary (can you imagine him in a Hawaiian shirt?) part of his look…

…So you have this amazing demigod character with beautiful tattoos that young boys will be impersonating and wanting to replicate. How do you go about making a costume?”

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Hayden Donnell: Something weird is going on with the Herald’s local election coverage

“Did the Herald team decide who to interview based on reverse order of life expectancy?”

 

 

THE THING THAT IS MISSING. PHOTO: DEXTER MURRAY

THE THING THAT IS MISSING. PHOTO: DEXTER MURRAY

Pete King: Public service announcement: The NZ property market can be hazardous to your health

“Textbooks advise that rheumatic fever “occurs after exposure to certain strains of Group A streptococcus”. The microbe mostly causes sore throats and skin infections. The immune system attacks its own tissues, because it confuses them with the microbe. Targets include the skin, joints, brain, and notably, the valves of the heart. Some people have genetics that increase the risk. But as Klebs noted, the one out of four times he was spot on, rheumatic infections never just “happen.” You have to arrange a meeting between Group A streptococcus and people. It works best with poverty and overcrowding.”

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