Where will you be on the 16th January 2009? by underground
September 30, 2008, 9:24 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Mt Smart stadium, that’s where! If the first announcements are anything to go by, this should a sweet Big Day Out! Yeah, Neil Young should be cool, Prodigy are kind of cool live and the Artic Monkeys should be fun, but there is one reason why you should be at next years festival.

The Living End!

E-boogie/Second Solution

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Votin is lyk soooo kool! lol! by underground

Austria became the first EU country to drop the voting age to 16, in a move to counteract the influence of the country’s aging population. The new voters will be given their first taste of democracy this weekend, granted the right to vote in the country’s general election, which is forecast to be a close race. The move to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote has been controversial and provoked criticism from many who believe the young people do not know enough to vote. Even many young voters do not believe they are ready to participate in democracy.

“I don’t agree with the idea of teenagers of my age being given the right to vote,” said Julia Tauschek, a 16-year-old high school pupil from the Austrian town of Linz yesterday. “We simply don’t know enough about politics and we are not taught much about them at school either.” (From the Independent)

But doesn’t involving young people in the democratic process encourage them to become politically aware? And since when are older people so politically knowledgeable? Are some voters not already suffering from political amnesia when they refer to the ’90s? Continue reading

Tea, Toast and Terror with Bob of Arabia by underground

Foreign correspondent Robert Fisk has interviewed Osama bin Laden three times, witnessed numerous war crimes and atrocities and reported on conflicts from Algeria to Afghanistan and everywhere in between. Paul Harper finds out how and why he continues to report from the most dangerous places in the world.

After the Sabra and Chatila camp massacre of 1982, I actually believed, in my sleep, that corpses were piled on the bed around me. The reason was simple: I had been climbing over decomposing bodies and my clothes smelt of death.

From The Age of the Warrior

If you happen to meet the Independent’s Robert Fisk, you’re best advised not to ask how he copes with what he has witnessed in more than 30 years covering conflict in the Middle East.

“Yeah, look, I think that is bullshit. The only thing that matters when you ask me those [sorts of questions] is how do the poor people cope, who have pariah passports and can’t get visas and spend their entire lives trying to keep their families alive? How do they manage to get through life?” Continue reading

Robert Fisk Interview Hyatt Auckland 9/9/08 by underground

A couple of years back I finished my BA in History and Sociology and had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Disillusioned, I spent two years working full time in a book store. I flirted with the idea of secondary school teaching until I read Robert Fisk’s Great War for Civilisation. People had suggested I look into journalism as a career before, but it was not until I read Fisk’s book on the history of the Middle East that I felt compelled to get into journalism. I loved the passion with which he writes with, the attention to detail, the sympathy he has for those who suffer in the troubled region. His knowledge on the area is unparalleled. I found his reporting inspiring. I feel I owe Fisk a lot, so imagine my delight when I was given the chance to interview my hero for Te Waha Nui.

This is the transcript from my 45 minute interview with the Independent’s Robert Fisk. Please forgive any grammatical errors – it took me eight hours to transcribe! Enjoy. Continue reading

Conservatives: Scared not stupid by underground
September 19, 2008, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Philosophy, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I found this BBC story amusing. According to research published in Science, people who are inclined to support “right wing” causes and have conservative views are more “sensitive to fear or threat”, whereas those who perceived less danger in a series of images and sounds in the study were more inclined to support liberal policies. So next time someone from the right calls you a pussy for opposing war, harsh penalties for crime or torture, point out that they are more “sensitive to fear” and therefore pussies themselves! I suppose it just confirms what many of us have always believed. Continue reading

Music to vote to by underground

As elections loom in New Zealand and the United States, some songs become particularly relevant. Before I cast my vote on November 8th, my MP3 player will probably be playing Bad Religion’s “I want to conquer the world”, or “You are the government”. I fear the following day it might be “Fuck Armageddon, this is hell”! I think American’s would be best listening to Nofx’s “The idiots are taking over”, with a line that could almost refer to Sarah Palin. Hopefully they will be playing a more optimistic song the following day!

Alright, here are my top ten (modern) punk songs to vote to: Continue reading

So is capitalism dead too? by underground

Alright, I don’t understand economics. I got 32 per cent in fifth form economics. I was happy with the grade. I spent the year copying off a girl who got 19 per cent. Anyway, teenage memories aside, what’s with all these investment companies and banks going under? I don’t understand the ins and outs of what has happened, but I kind of get the gist. Excuse my ignorance, but I cannot help but find it ironic that the government that espouses neo-liberal capitalist ideology the most religiously has now assumed ownership of a private enterprise. Has capitalism been undermined?

The Herald’s Brian Fallow wrote this morning:“Capitalism requires enterprises to be allowed to fail and their owners – whether reckless, inept or just unlucky – to lose their money.” Continue reading