Saturday 14 March's NZ Herald editorial questions the future of the Pasifika Festival, dubbed the "biggest celebration of Pacific Island culture and heritage in the world". A short-notice move from its Western Springs Park home, because of the Queensland fruit-fly quarantine in the area, has been eclipsed by allegations of inauthenticity, over-commercialisation and anti-competitive sales restrictions by major sponsor Tip Top.
Amid threats of boycotts by Pasifika founders, Ateed, the Auckland Council's tourism, events and economic development agency, insisists that the Festival’s “uniqueness and charm” will remain intact. This despite “palagi” (non-Pacific) PR company Orange Productions scooping the contract to stage the event this year and allegations of non-consultation.
Pasifika turns 23 this year. It’s had a pretty good innings as far as events go, particularly spawning from cultural and community roots. I can’t think of another running as long in New Zealand.
On Friday 13 March we launched a new campaign on Kickstarter, which will enable the production of a short, short film called “Who We Are”. Based on an original poem I wrote in the 90s set to music, it will explore stereotypes that people place on others and themselves and question the human condition, both individually and collectively.
It runs until 12 April. Just wanted to let you know — and if you could let others know I'd be very grateful.
This morning someone tweeted this quote from Richard Branson:
"Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple." R. Branson pic.twitter.com/QalLk8u3QG— Juanma Padilla (@juanmapadilla69) March 8, 2015
Richard makes four common mistakes:
My friend Jeannie over at Bikes for Fish posted an article from Huffpost Gay Voices about "bills [that] have been filed in three [US] states to prevent transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity." Described as "last gasp attempts to hurt LGBT people", legal acts like this illuminate a more deeply entrenched assumption about dunnies:
That they need to be gender-specific at all.
I'm not your average bloke, but I've always wondered why public toilets are separated by gender. And what's with urinals? We don't have either in private dwellings.
Since the Pride Parade protest and the GayTM and police pinkwashings, the Muppets' "Rainbow Connection" has been in my brain. I just had to rewrite the lyrics!
Here goes...1, 2, 3...
On Sunday I ranted about the response to the protest at the Pride Parade. It was one-sided, personal (apologies, Richard Taki, if you’re reading) and lacked the usual, considered perspective I like to apply to my posts.
But, I tell you, I’m blown away by how much attention I received. Nearly 2.5 thousand views, over thirty comments. People arguing on my blog — strangers! That’s an increase in my online attention of hundreds of percent.
Since writing, events have been reviewed via camera footage, the protesters themselves and an eye witness. It seems what was initially reported may have been inaccurate, the police were not implicated and, as one commenter on my blog pointed out, I wasn’t there. Fair cop (excuse the pun, it just slipped out).
I had about 30 seconds of doubt but, after applying an essentialist principle — if it isn’t a definite Yes it’s a definite No — I decided not to go to the Pride Parade last night. Waking up to a barrage of outrage on social media about the assault that took place, I'm doubly glad — I have real concerns about the organisers’ response to what happened and I would have hated the crowds.
Win win, for me anyway.
What I gather went down was this: A small group of people (three it seems) were protesting peacefully about the treatment of transgender prison inmates. According to GayNZ.com:
This week saw me recall Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle, one of those nuggets I picked up years ago — probably at some time management course that followed another gem, the 80/20 or Pareto Principle — buried in the 20% of information worth retaining.
Eisenhower divided tasks into four categories:
The principle creates a framework with which to prioritise activities and also what to do with them. Simply put:
I thought I'd busted the myth that I was/am Steady Eddy long ago. But after attending and presenting at a hui on Friday where, by the end of the day people still thought I was joking that he and I are different people, I thought I should, once again, set the record straight (in more ways than one).
Disabled-World.com says, "Steady Eddy is the stage name of Christopher Widdows, an Australian comedian and actor. Initially, Widdows used his disability as the basis for his comedy. Having since made a name for himself, he has branched out beyond humour based solely around his disability."
Steady Eddy visited New Zealand in the mid-late 90s, at about the same time as I started doing comedy. Because we were both touted as disabled comedians with Cerebral Palsy well, I suffered a bit of brand confusion. And I guess 'Steady Eddy' is more memorable than 'Philip Patston'.
I’ve been reflecting on the complex dynamics of employment relationships — let’s call them ERs because of the acronym’s somewhat appropriate onomatopoeia — and what it means when an employee resigns without giving notice.
ERs are tricky things, without a doubt. They are usually initially awkward, in that most ERs begin with a stranger needing to get to know others — at a more than leisurely pace — at least well enough to work toward common goals and outcomes.
An ER, unlike most relationships, is a legal relationship. It shares a latent litigiousness with two other common types of relationship: that between a client/customer and supplier; and, ironically, a marriage. Like the former but unlike the latter, an ER involves an exchange of money — although, well…no, let’s not go there.