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The best of The Spinoff this week: Anika Moa, Mikey Havoc and mass media mergers

Compiling the best reading from your friendly local website.

Michele A’Court: Here, let me help. Start by imagining your penis is bleeding

“So… imagine that you are you, Tom. All good? And that for a few days every month, you bleed out of your penis. Sometimes a little bit, sometimes a lot. And your testicles (which would have turned into ovaries if you’d been born a lady) are painful. They cramp up like they’re being squeezed in a vice. Not the whole time – it comes in waves. In extreme cases, it hurts so much that you vomit. For a day or two, or more, you might feel feverish and achy all over. You’re not actually ill, but you know… your balls hurt and your penis is bleeding, so…”

Aaron Smale: The Kapiti Expressway, Māori road names, and the media outrage machine

“While everyone is free to express their opinion, the media make decisions all the time about what opinions are important and worthy of giving attention to and how those views are portrayed.

Which raises a few questions. Why are two individuals who are apparently completely ignorant of the history of the area they live in and the people behind the names referred to in the story given the front page of a major metropolitan daily to spout their ignorance? Why is this same media outlet not challenging them on their lack of effort to pronounce names that are in one of the official languages of this country? Why isn’t this media outlet giving more historical background to those names that are so offensive to a couple of ill-informed individuals?”

Eamonn Marra: Among the Masculinists

“Whenever rape was mentioned, the room erupted into conversation. Many men at the summit believed false rape complaints was a huge issue, with numbers as high as 50% being thrown around as the rate of false allegations. Rape had become a political tool to suppress men, it was argued, and there were claims of a double standard in the law saying men could not be raped by women. I found this discussion upsetting. There was not a thought given to women’s experiences or feelings once throughout the day.”

Simon Wilson: How good is a $400 dinner in Auckland?

“I ate at Clooney last week. And straight up I’ll say this: yes. Jacob Kear is cooking some of the best food I have eaten anywhere. It’s a gift, a treasure, a night of fantastical flavours. Dish for dish it was the best meal of its kind I’ve eaten in Auckland.

But despite that, Clooney still doesn’t quite work as a restaurant and I think I know why.”

Charlotte Graham: What Broadchurch got right (and then very wrong) about rape

“This season told the story of Trish Winterman (Hayley Cropper off Coronation Street), who is raped at a party. I watched the first episode with my trigger finger poised near the spacebar on my laptop. Surprisingly, the show managed to wring every drop of necessary emotion out of the situation without ever a showing the aggressive act itself.

Instead, the story only ever came from Trish, and Trish was believed by those who mattered. Even when it came up that she’d been drunk at the party, and that she’d had sex with her best friend’s crappy husband the morning of her rape, the message was: that doesn’t fucking matter. Did she ask to get hit with a cricket bat then raped at a party? No. So it’s rape. This should not have been revolutionary, but it was.”

Alex Casey: The Bachelor NZ Power Rankings – Is this The Bachelor or a Saw reboot?

“With the women trying their best at making a low budget Frozen 2, I thought things couldn’t get any worse… until Zac lumbered on out wearing the most hardout Hugh Hefner costume I’ve ever seen. Send my body down a glacier, for I hath died.”

José Barbosa: Cry Havoc

“There have been drugs, rock ‘n roll, parties, running a bar, TV shows, radio shows, marriage, divorce, births and deaths, health issues, public hatred, public adoration, stage shows, petitions, very public schisms with former friends and eventual reconciliation; and in all that tangle revolving around him is bFM, the electron to his proton.”

Alex Casey: Shocking: Anika Moa continues to give no fucks in a Ponsonby cafe

“Interviewing Anika Moa is a little bit like attending a celebrity roast, except she’s the celebrity and you are the one getting mercilessly roasted. She’ll demand that you babysit her kids for “four bucks an hour, probably more than you make at The Spinoff”, she’ll tell you that you need a makeover “like Anne Hathaway in the Princess Diaries” and she’ll gleefully post terrible photos of you on Instagram for her 10K strong following to see. But, thanks to her magnetic personality, a deluge of giggles and the cheekiest dimples this side of Harry Styles, you simply can’t get mad at Anika.”

Duncan Greive: News is a privilege, not a right: why the NZME-Fairfax merger decision is so catastrophically wrong

“The Commerce Commission decision this morning to decline to authorise a merger between NZME and Fairfax’s New Zealand interests is being widely applauded in predictable places, for predictable reasons.

Hearing it and reading it all, I find myself struck by the degree to which the applauders’ proximity to the business side of news production correlates to their satisfaction at a deal not done. That is to say that anyone who’s watching the economics of newsgathering in real time is furious, while former editors, union officials and ex-journalists are happy the status quo will be maintained.”

Stephanie Rodgers: Enough bullshit. After all these years the Pike River families deserve answers

“I got involved early with Stand With Pike, by virtue of being the closest millennial to hand when the crew were trying to get the word out about their picket, battling West Coast cellphone drop-outs and Facebook’s clunky Page Manager app. Contrary to the fever-dreams of Matthew Hooton, I’m not paid for it. It’s just the right thing to do. Because it’s so counter to every value I hold, that after six years, no one has been really held to account for letting 29 men die. Anna and Sonya and Dean and the others should not still be fighting for answers and justice. They should never have had to fight for it at all.”


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