The best of The Spinoff this week: Sunday 19 June edition

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

Alex Casey and Hayden Donnell: This article about terrible millennials is quite sexist and dumb

“The article – written by the usually great feature writer Mike White – is mostly a collection of rheumy-eyed reminiscings for an imaginary bygone age, where men were men, women were nowhere, and every incredible achievement was met with a gruff snort or a brief nod. Back then people suffered silently through life before stoically dying of smallpox.”



Duncan Greive: ‘Dealing with council, I’m in combat mode’ – The Coco’s Cantina sisters on doing business in Auckland City

Renee: Everyone is pro-business, everyone wants to be an international city, and everyone wants Auckland to be on the top liveable-city list. We hear all these buzzwords all the time.

But the coalface of when you enter anything to do with Council, you feel like you’re going into battle. And their default for the guy on the desk is to just say no straight away – they actually just say no before they’ve even heard what you want to do.”

Gary Steel: Flying Nun: In love with the sound of their own voice, more like

“Ironically, when Flying Nun was releasing its first singles (including the woeful Pin Group, led by Roy Montgomery, and dubbed ‘Roy Division’ for obvious reasons), the rest of the world had already moved on to synth-pop, electronic dance, reggae fusions and hip-hop. The label’s classic sound was determinedly retro, mired in electric folk tropes, and as cutting edge as a toddler’s plastic cutlery set.”

Alex Casey: Throwback Thursday: What qualities make up the typical lovely New Zealand girl (in 1969)?

“Deirdre from Waikato has a hell of an appetite, so finds herself swimming for an hour every lunchtime to keep herself thin. Someone should tell Deirdre about the newfangled foodie trend of lettuce salad. Wendy from Southland also loves playing tennis, because she finds it a fitting ‘opportunity for deportment.’ Deport me straight outta here.”


The Spinoff: Announcing the winner of the Surrey Hotel writers residency award (with pizza allowances)

“Crime reporter Kelly Dennett is the winner of the inaugural Surrey Hotel Steve Braunias Memorial Writers Residency in Association with The Spinoff Award.”

Hayden Donnell: We found the Usain Bolt of world rugby, and he is a lowly touch judge

“As he ran, something strange happened. Houston transformed into a rocket. So-called professional athletes faded into a mist behind him, barely visible in his slipstream. ‘Speedster‘ Hallam Amos, burned into dust. Dane Coles, more like Lame Moles. Houston was a cheetah running down an arthritic house cat. Usain Bolt racing a sack of old bones.”

Don Rowe: Is Stephen Donald the Winston Churchill of New Zealand rugby?

Anna Guenther and Jessica Venning-Bryan: The face of NZ’s brave business future in the world? Men, men and more men

“One of the most noxious forms of sexism, is denying there is a problem. Denying inequality is rife in New Zealand and the world, in the face of all the numbers, all the tumblrs, all the anecdotes and antidotes. Putting your head in the ground and denying is the biggest statement you could make to all women – saying ‘no, I don’t believe you’ – is in fact, another oppression.”

José Barbosa: The creator of Why Am I? on taking smart science to the idiot box – and succeeding

“The project became a passion project, really. Particularly for Irena and I, we wanted to do the study justice. We realised that we were making something that was quite special and we might not get the chance to work on something like that again. We didn’t want to just bash it out, we wanted to make it as good as we could.”

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