The best of The Spinoff this week

Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website. 

Chelle Fitzgerald: Dollar drinks on the dancefloor: the heyday of Dunedin student pubs

“‘Going to town’ in Dunedin was fucking awesome back in the day. There was no need to preload, because all the clubs sold ‘house doubles’ (read: cheap bottom-shelf alcohol) for $2, or, on some nights, $1. Nobody bothered straying toward the Octagon, because that was where older people drank. Besides, why bother going all that way when you had seven student pubs within a 1km radius? These were the main suspects in Dunedin’s student pub scene of yesteryear.

Joel MacManus: Critic editor: why we made the Menstruation Issue

“We printed 4,500 copies, and on Sunday evening, the Menstruation Issue of Critic was distributed to stands around campus. On Monday, the pick up was going well. I personally went through the Central Library and restocked stands twice. It was definitely a cover that got people’s attention. It was feeling like a good week.

At around 7pm I checked on a stand in a lecture theatre where the pickup is usually quite slow, but to my surprise it was totally empty. I checked three other lecture theatres, all empty.

It was clear someone had come through and wiped them out.”

Don Rowe: Minister pledges crackdown on offshore casinos that prey on Kiwi gamblers

Following a Spinoff investigation which revealed Gibraltar-based online casino JackpotCity was targeting New Zealanders through a form of advertising bait-and-switch, Tracey Martin, the minister for Internal Affairs, said it is clear current gambling legislation is no longer fit for purpose.

“Our gambling act was written in 2003,” she told the Spinoff. “And these are all new developments we just don’t have legislation for. These companies are going to push their way into this country, and we have to put in place updated legislation to manage that. If you leave a space, then someone will fill it.”

Tara Ward: What the hell has happened to Lily from the Big Save Furniture ads?

“You’ll need to sit down on your corner lounge suite for this one, because Lily’s legendary Big Save Furniture ads are no more. Gone is the wide-eyed glee, the over-enthusiastic shouting, the crazy costumes and nonsensical gimmicks. Someone has stripped these ads bare, pulled out their Lily-flavoured stuffing and used their fancy staplegun to recover them in a soft, muted layer of sophistication and style.

WHAT. THE. FLIPPING. HECK.”

Madeleine Chapman: Please ban festival audiences from asking questions forever

Over the course of the weekend, I attended seven hour-long events, which means I sat through 105 minutes of audience questions. That’s 110 too many. There isn’t even a spontaneity about it because there are really only five types of audience question and they’re all bad. The Gusher (“this isn’t really a question but I’d love for everyone here to know that I love you”); The Empathiser (“This isn’t really a question but I work in an industry tangentially related to the subject of your book”); The Philosopher (“This isn’t really a question but I have this idea that I would like you to validate”); The Accuser (“This isn’t really a question but I think I’ve found your problem. Please defend yourself”); and The Memoirist (“This isn’t really a question, it’s my life story”).

Toby Morris: The Side Eye: Kings and Commoners

Two Auckland schools went into lockdown recently, so why did one dominate the coverage? The Side Eye looks into the way King’s College and Ōtāhuhu College featured in reporting.

Linda Jane Keegan: Where the Wild Things Aren’t: on the exclusion of children from public places

“I know you’re sorry,” they said unkindly, “but I wouldn’t have brought him.”

The words stung. I felt like a small child being scolded. Tears welled up behind my eyes. I was too taken aback to say, but I thought we were here to talk about engagement from my age group? How are we meant to do that when we have children to look after? Instead I went to the bathroom and cried. But only for about 30 seconds, lest my noisy disruptive child bother people trying to eat their lunch, with his carefree childish ways. How dare he be seen and heard?

And how dare try to be heard?

Kim Vinnell: Life with the hookers of Hawera

“We did the TV thing, filed the story, and flew back to Auckland. But these women stuck with me. Their worldly intelligence, their patience with my naivety. I learned ways to use sponges which had never (and would never) have crossed my mind.

But more importantly, they had really lived. Some people glide through life, never really touching the sharp edges that come with highs and lows. But not these women. They had brokenness and redemption, loyalty and love – the stuff movies should be made of.

So, three years later, I came back.”

Leonie Pihama: Moko kauae is the right of all Māori women. It is not a right for anyone else.

In whatever process Māori women are engaged in, it is our right to wear moko kauae and it always has been. Far too many mythologies created through colonial belief systems have worked against the interests of Māori women to revitalise this taonga. Mythologies that say we have to be fluent in te reo, or old, or that we have to earn moko kauae, or that we have to have permission have all be constructed to deny our women our right to wear our own ancestral symbols.

 

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