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MediaDecember 28, 2017

10 stories we thought were great but bugger-all people read


It may surprise you to hear that not every article published on the Spinoff is read by tens of thousands of discerning punters. Here are some of the (relatively) neglected crop that we think warranted more click-love in no particular order.

1. The Art of the Thiel

Super-wealthy internet tycoon, Trump-booster and ordinary Kiwi geezer Peter Thiel was spotted in December at an exhibition in Auckland based largely on his ideas. Who better to review the show than (definitely not) Peter Thiel?


2. ‘What if birds aren’t singing, they’re screaming?’: Inside Aldous Harding’s head

A couple of years ago Aldous Harding was just another New Zealand folk musician. Then she found a fierce voice, and started playing a string of mesmerising live performances which now have her on the cusp of international stardom. Henry Oliver sat down with her to try and find out what sparked her transformation.

3. Off course: the pricey private education which left its students indebted and fuming

Private education providers have been in the news this year for all of the wrong reasons. Don Rowe takes a deep dive into a scandal typical of many institutions in New Zealand.

4. A youth worker to New Zealand parents: You need to help our young people

Connor McLeod is a youth worker and activist with InsideOUT, an organisation that is trying to make New Zealand a safer place for our children. Here he calls on parents to help in this vital and important work.

5. Xerocon is Coachella for accountants

Don’t believe the hype, people – or should we? Rebecca Stevenson reports from a slightly cultish Xerocon in Melbourne, and finds accountants (and bookkeepers) just wanna have fun.

6. When the vice squad came calling

From the 70s through the 90s, Auckland’s inner-city streets hosted a population of trans sex workers who were not only outside the protection of the law, but often at the mercy of those who enforce it. Those who survived that era tell Julie Hill about the sexual acts demanded by police, and how they made it through.

7. Communism by stealth: notes on conservatism, neoliberalism, social investment, and a UBI

Danyl McLauchlan writes an epic and extraordinary essay drawing threads from the past and present of political history and discourse and various books that, he said, ‘might be peripherally relevant to the 2017 General Election but to be honest probably won’t be’. In hindsight, they might well have been.

8. Last man standing: life alone on a disappearing island

Climate change is a harsh reality for the Pacific Islands. Madeleine Chapman travelled to the Solomon Islands with World Vision to meet the communities whose lives are already being upturned by climate change in this three-part series.

9. One year on, Losi Filipo’s chance at redemption isn’t just for him

The young rugby player at the centre of last year’s biggest news stories, Losi Filipo made his Mitre 10 Cup debut for Wellington in September. It was a chance at redemption, but not just for him, wrote Jamie Wall.

10. After midnight: An oral history of SKY 1 porn

Remember staying up extra late, one hand hovering nervously over the remote in case of footsteps, waiting to catch a tantalising glimpse of nudity on TV? You were not alone. In what may be Calum Henderson’s greatest work, an anonymous panel revisits the golden era of SKY 1 soft porn.

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