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The best of The Spinoff this week

Compiling the best reading from your friendly local website.

The Spinoff: We are hiring a comedy editor LMAO!!

“The Spinoff needs an editor to run our pop up comedy section during the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. Sound like you? Read on.”

James Dann: The Port Hills fire makes it clear: Our Civil Defence is simply not fit for purpose in 2017

“Updates were few and far between, and coming in piecemeal fashion from a range of sources – the police, the council, the lines company Orion, Transport for Christchurch. There seemed to be no co-ordination between the agencies, and this wasn’t made much better by the state of emergency that was declared around 6pm. The Christchurch Civil Defence twitter account didn’t even send out its first tweet about the fire until 7:33pm.”

The Spinoff: WATCH: The Great Spinoff Mt Albert By-election Candidates’ Debate

Elizabeth Stanley: Lock ’em up and throw away the solutions that might actually work

“Over 10,000 people are now held in our prisons. In line with the ramifications of colonial economic and socio-cultural stresses, combined with a dose of institutionalised racism, most prisoners are Māori. Many return time and again. Imprisonment is criminogenic – as Department of Corrections research indicates, ‘the more time in the past someone has been in prison, the more likely they are to return’. Despite falling crime rates, the numbers on remand have surged and sentenced prisoners serve increasingly longer sentences.”

Alex Casey: Please tell me this is not all the Chris Warner Penis memes in one place

“The only place on the internet you need to be for the best ‘please tell me that is not your penis’ memes, inspired by what might already be the local TV moment of 2017.”

Madeleine Chapman: Moana composer Opetaia Foa’i on the story behind the best soundtrack since The Lion King

My workmates love to play the soundtrack in the office and they sing along to everything but not to the Samoan and Tokelauan bits. So they wanted me to ask you: are white people allowed to sing the Samoan bits if they don’t know all the words exactly?

Absolutely! It’s just a buzz. This is our culture, the Pacific, to share with the world…Just tell them this: in the Pacific, when everyone sings, not everyone sings in tune. That’s not the important thing. The important thing is that everybody participates. We don’t sit there and go ‘that person’s out of tune’, that’s my upbringing. So tell them”

Adrian Hatwell: Revolution in pink: Kiwi photographer Robin Hammond on shooting Nat Geo’s remarkable transgender cover

“These long-form explorations of challenging social issues have required the photographer to develop a thick skin, so he’s not a ‘don’t read the comments’ kind of guy. In fact, Hammond has managed to find a kind of value in the parade of negative reactions to his portrait of young Avery.

‘On one hand, it made me sad to hear that stuff. On the other, I think for many of us who move and work in circles that try very hard to be accepting of diversity, it’s really good to be reminded there are a big chunk of people who aren’t part of that world. We see this with things like Brexit and Trump.

‘A lot of us, including myself, are very rarely exposed to the other side. I think it’s a really good reminder to those of us in my bubble of the work that needs to be done.'”

Nine year old Avery on the cover of the January 2017 issue of National Geographic. Credit: Robin Hammond / National Geographic

The Spinoff Board of Review: The Spinoff reviews New Zealand #1: Domino’s Korean Sticky Wings

We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. First up: Domino’s Korean Sticky wings.

Maurianne Elliott: New Zealand deserves better than fake news and clickbait, and we’re doing something about it

“Clickbait. Fake news. Media mergers. Layoffs. If you’re of a pessimistic temperament, you’d be tempted to think the end of journalism is nigh. But in the midst of all this bad news for news, there are some shining lights.”

Peter Douglas: Why Nickelback aren’t thaaaaat bad

“Nickelback’s greatest problem isn’t their music, it’s their consistent success. They simply kept punching out modern rock hits and ballads from the exact same template. By 2006 and the peak of Nickelback’s popularity (when All the Right Reasons sold 15 million units worldwide) multi-platinum rock acts were almost extinct. This success in the face of decline was no accident – Chad Kroeger is an incredibly astute businessman, using licensing, writing songs for others, and ownership of the record company that released Carly Rae Jepson’s monster hit ‘Call me Maybe’ to help build his fortune. But, in the wake of these most bountiful years, Nickelback-hatred began to grow.”


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