Monday, January 20, 2020

Preservation blues

"Wynton Marsalis? I don't know about him, man. But I know he doesn't talk like that when we're alone together. 'Preserve this' and 'preserve that’– the way they're going we'll have blacks back on the plantation. I mean, it already is preserved. Isn't that what records are all about? 
"I just tell people it's like this: I can't wear bell-bottom pants anymore. And I don't drive an Edsel. I drive a Ferrari."

 Mark Rowland, "Miles Davis Is a Living Legend and You're Not,” Musician, May 1987, 90.

Cited in Drifting On A Read: Jazz As A Model For Literary And Theoretical WritingBy James Michael Jarrett. PhD thesis, University Of Florida, 1988, Page 59.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Reno, Nevada

Fairport Convention, 1968. Richard Thompson (19) playing his Grimshaw GS30; Ian MacDonald (later known as Ian Matthews), Judy Dyble, Simon Nicol, Tyger (Ashley) Hutchings and Martin Lamble.

Monday, December 16, 2019

The end of writing

A  message from the New Zealand Society of Authors:

It is a week since NZSA, CLNZ and PANZ Chairs and CEO's attended the December 2 meeting with MBIE to express our anger and dismay at the U-Turn expressed in the MBIE Copyright Review Paper. Two weeks ago MBIE released this revised framework for the review of the Copyright Act. It was a huge departure from the tone of the Issues Paper we responded to in April. It is not part of a normal legislative review process to move the goalposts and objectives part way through a review and the new objectives align with the recommendations of Internet NZ, Google and the Tech Sector. All the engagement with the creative sector over the course of this review over the last several years appears to have been ignored.

We asked that the paper be taken down and argued it was not fit for purpose. It ignores all the work of the late 2016 Creative Sector Study with all the submissions and views from across the Creative Industries. It also cherry-picks human rights legislation, emphasising wider access while omitting all references to the right to IP ownership of writers, economic outcomes and fair payment for creative's output under Article 27.

The paper upholds among other things the notion that consumers have the right to creative content for free, that the "traditional" idea that people should pay creators for content is outdated. The document also states that "our goal is to configure those rules so that creators can derive no more income than is necessary to incentivise further creativity”.

We are fighting to protect our own New Zealand voices, industry and culture. In concert with CLNZ and PANZ we have taken advice from media strategists and people with connections and influence in government.

Our Short Term Goal that MBIE withdraw the paper, so it does not influence the Framework and outcomes of the long term Copyright Act Review.

The Long Term Goal robust, revised Copyright legislation that protects and incentivises our industry and gives appropriate compensation for existing exceptions.
We are working towards both goals.

Before Christmas 

GOAL ONE: To have MBIE withdraw the paper. We have not yet received a satisfactory response from MBIE.
The Copyright Group has prepared a two-page rebuttal of the paper, entitled: The Authors, Illustrators, Designers, Editors, and Publishers who make New Zealand’s Books Reject MBIE’s Radical Attack on the Creative Sector.

You are free to disseminate this two-pager freely.

Following last week’s letters to MBIE and other ministers, a full rebuttal was sent with letters to key ministers this week.

As a sector we have protested to Ministers Faa'foi, Robertson, Twyford and Prime Minister Adern.
We urge our members with political connections to use them. We should (all 1550 of us) write to our MPs, from our own experience, our own views, short or long. (We are advised not to send a rote letter). Again, please feel free to use the rebuttal to give weight to your arguments.

We encourage you to discuss this at branch and hub meetings and explain why the MBIE paper matters and ask members and colleagues to write to their politicians. If you know writers who are not currently members, please also pass this information on to them. Every voice counts and it's important all New Zealand writers are aware of this threat to our income and rights and join our advocacy work.

We will engage with our partners at ReadNZ, Booksellers NZ, the Coalition for Books, Photographers Association et al - and wish to mobilise everyone who is interested in the value of a New Zealand voice in books, music, films. Our work is closely aligned to WeCreate and the Music Industry in our ongoing advocacy and response.

2020 plan

Political pressure 

We will apply political pressure across all parties. It is election year 2020, so we will ask each party about their manifesto with regard to copyright and tell them what we think our creative industry needs most. NZSA has prepared a Manifesto to use to canvas political parties and we will print and distribute this in the new year.


The CLNZ/NZSA/PANZ team is employing a part-time Campaign Coordinator. We will run a communications campaign through our own networks and websites, using our collective contacts to make our case for why copyright matters and why this paper infringes upon it – and the longer-term goal of achieving robust copyright law. We will prepare content - interviews, speeches, social media, email footers, brochures, readings, authors speaking to publishers, podcasts, booksellers talking to authors, cartoons, comics. We will speak about the role of copyright and our right to a vibrant creative culture in New Zealand, at book launches, meetings and when we (as authors) accept Prime Minister Awards for Literature.

Robust copyright that underpins the creative sector is crucial for the survival of our livelihoods.

Remember our favourite Steve Jobs quote: ‘From the earliest days at Apple, I realized that we thrived when we created intellectual property. If people copied or stole our software we’d be out of business. If it weren’t protected there’d be no incentive for us to make new software or product designs. If the protection of intellectual property begins to dissipate, creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there’s a simpler reason. It’s wrong to steal. It hurts other people. And it hurts your character.’


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Rubbing the gendery sleep from their eyes

What Burns misses is that most gender critical women have no real concern for how adults wish to live and to express themselves. Their real worries came when the very act of defining the word “woman” as adult human female was labeled a prejudiced act. Women began standing up and rubbing the gendery sleep from their eyes when the concept of womanhood changed from the culture of those with biologically female reproductive systems into those who costume in feminine garb and claim they feel like women. The gender critical feminist was born when men who wanted to dress, express, and live visibly as women declared that not only are they women now but have been their whole lives.  
That was the first problem. The second problem came when the transgender movement, under the misconception that those adults who transition to the opposite gender had been the opposite gender all along, began foisting this in both ideology and practice onto children. The idea was that if adults had always been trans, there must be trans children, and those children could be saved trouble in adulthood if they were able to transition in their youth. This led to the medical and pharmaceutical industries feeding drugs and surgeries to the young under the guise of a panacea for their lives.

Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls

Thursday, November 07, 2019

On the road

The biographer David Leeming, in Stephen Spender: A Life in Modernism, reports that “the weather was impossibly hot” during the trip and that “one night the only room they could find was in a brothel. More pleasant highlights of the trip were Lenny and Bertie’s keeping themselves awake to drive by singing the complete score of Britten’s opera Peter Grimes; Stephen and Lenny pretending to be T.S. Eliot and Serge Koussevitzky; and the trio’s listening to a recording of Bernstein’s recently released recording of Gershwin’s An American in Paris in a Santa Fe music shop. As the record played, Bernstein stood near a photograph of himself, but no one recognized him, even though his brother and Stephen addressed him loudly several times as ‘Lenny.’ ” 
The impromptu renditions of Peter Grimes made an impression on Spender, who told Secrest: “He was mad about Ben Britten. All the way across America he sang the music from Peter Grimes. Of course, Britten hated him. Britten once told me the only person he had ever hit was Bernstein, in a taxi I think. Auden, too, disliked him. I think he thought him vulgar. I always got on extremely well with him, but I was aware that there was something very public about him, so that it was difficult to have a personal relationship.” 
James M. Keller in The New Mexican
Unrelated photograph of Josef and Anni Albers.
More Lennie:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Straight No Chaser

Soon after high school, Clark Terry traveled with Ida Cox and the Darktown Scandals in the Reuben and Cherry Carnival. After finishing a tour, the group went south from Pennsylvania to its winter quarters in Jacksonville, Florida. Clark said, ‘I was hanging out with William Oval Austin. We called him Fats Austin. He was a bass player. We had no warm-weather clothes. We went to the five and ten cent store to buy some T-shirts. They cost about 15 cents in those days.’ 
The store was crowded and Austin bumped into an elderly white woman who used a cane. She started screaming, ‘That nigger tried to knock me down. Kill him, kill him!’ Clark and his friend edged their way to the door, and as soon as they were outside began to run. A huge, screaming mob formed behind and ran after them. They came to a construction site, where a new round building was being erected. Fortunately for them it was a Saturday and the site was deserted. They ran into it. Clark pulled Austin down into an excavation and the two young men covered themselves with mud and debris. They could hear the crowd running above them. At last a silence descend. ‘But we stayed buried in that mud till dark,’ Clark said. At last, cautiously, they crawled out of the excavation and left.
Gene Lees, Cats of Any Color: 
jazz black and white
Oxford: OUP, 1995, 189

Clark Terry - Flugelhorn 
Bob Brookmeyer - Valve Trombone

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Surrender to the rhythm

For what it is worth, the earliest use of the term ‘pub rock’ I have found is in the November 1973 issue of New Society, the British sociology magazine, in an article by Andrew Weiner titled “Rock to the Top.” He identifies  Brinsley Schwarz (named after the band’s founder), as the first pub rock band, which started as a progressive band but, after a while,  ‘They no longer wanted to "progress." They played much simpler music now, country-rock, and soul, and straightforward rock and roll. Finally, Brinsley Schwarz began playing in pubs, starting with the Tally Ho, and slowly establishing a circuit…’ 

Weiner also writes, 

Clearly, the pub-rock boom was as much a consequence of a decision of a section of the rock audience as it was the result of the actions of a few musicians. Pub-rock began to grow just as the great "progressive" boom in English rock began to peter boom in English rock began to peter out in in a welter of eight-minute guitar solos and rain-sodden mass festivals. Like the new pop music of the teenage idols, such as David Cassidy, David Bowie, pub-rock was a kind of reaction to the fake profundities and cosmic inanities and pure dullness of most progressive rock.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Best practice

The recently revised Ministry website says that “blockers are a safe and fully reversible medicine”. … “to help ease distress and allow time to fully explore gender health options.”  
And the best practice advice says that “although some neurodiverse people may have difficulty in articulating their gender identity, this should not create an unnecessary barrier to access any relevant gender affirming services. Some people may express their gender identity non-verbally.”
In other words children, who may have autism, or be mute or unable to explain abuse, trauma or homophobia may be put on puberty blockers even if they cannot properly express what they feel.