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HARD NEWS 20/07/01 - Letter to Mikey

Approved: Kiwfruit
Subject: HARD NEWS 20/07/01 - Letter to Mikey


HARD NEWS is first broadcast in Auckland on 95bFM around 9.30am on Fridays and replayed around 5.15pm Friday and 10am Sunday on The Culture Bunker. You can listen to 95bFM live on the Internet. Point your web browser to http://www.95bfm.co.nz. You will need an MP3 player. Currently New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT.

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Hi Mikey,

Happy birthday!

How's your week been? Mine's been a bit tiring, on account of the woman I love being stricken with the killer flu of 2001. What a motherfucker. Anyway, I'm taking the kids to school so I can't fit in a broadcast this week. You can read this email out to the listeners instead.

After being immobilised since Thursday, Fiona briefly got up to watch Sex and the City on Tuesday night, which I figured was a good sign. Then we watched your show, of course. I enjoyed it as always but I do despair a bit that everyone who interviewed Naomi Klein in New Zealand was so deferential to her.

She's obviously smart and has a good sense of humour and I really like the way she doesn't embrace that vacuous "beyond left and right" thing and just describes herself as a lefty. She seemed well up for a good old-fashioned argument and nobody really gave her one. Still, it wasn't as bad as the Herald fawning over Brian Mulroney.

Anyway, it's been quite a week for drugs, what with the biennial Parliamentary select committee on marijuana law reform taking submissions from the usual suspects. Greg O'Connor from the Police Association explained that the reason Nandor Tanczos kept getting stopped and searched before he was an MP was because the police saw he had dreadlocks and this gave them reason to suspect he could be carrying a knife.

This might be slightly less ridiculous if it weren't idiotic group fishing trips like one that caught Chris Fowlie of Norml recently. When a policewoman claims she can smell pot and invokes the Misuse of Drugs Act and you haven't actually smoked any that day you have to wonder who's trying to fill what kind of quota in this town.

Still, at least it doesn't kill you. Unlike Red Bull: cue shock-horror headlines about deaths in Europe. Look, one Red Bull and vodka is a perfectly rational choice around eleven on a Friday night; six of them is not. It's not that complicated.

So we had Winston Peters proposing to put the drinking age back to 20 - which is a bit ironic considering that - PLAY WINSTON'S "EV'RY DAY WE GOT HAMMERED" STING HERE, MIKEY!

The Ministry of Health's Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs - bloody hell, how do you get on that!? - has decided that GHB and like substances should be scheduled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Can't say I'm sorry. The tone of the announcement suggests they're not going to go silly and put it up there with heroin.

By the way, Murray Cammick interviewed me for the Real Groove. I said "alcopops and heroin are the Devil's work". Five gets you 10 John Russell uses that as the pull-quote. Some of the other stuff in the interview might worry my Mum, but I think you know about that, right?

Anyway, in a spooky little bit of timing, the Herald discovered salvia divinorum and promoted it to the front page in the hope that it might be the next big thing to get a few stories out of. Look, it's not a party drug, it only lasts five minutes and most of our listeners probably won't even like it unless they're already very keen psychonauts. It's not filling up the emergency wards and the best policy option really is just to let people get on with it. Right?

Just to round out the drugs, ASH is proposing that films be rated not only for sex and violence, but for their smoking content. By the time I'd listened to a bizarre radio interview in which Trish Fraser pontificated on which historical episodes of cinematic sparking up would and would not be culturally justified I was thinking that there is such a thing as going much, much too far.

Anyway, have a good weekend. I can't see myself doing much other than getting up on Sunday morning to watch the rugby. Can anyone tell me what that useless twat Ron Cribb has done to get picked ahead of Jerry Collins? I know: He's Wayne Smith's love child. The curly hair gives it away.

Actually, I did manage to get out one night - and can I just say that Freq Nasty was the absolute, thoroughgoing, post-Aotearoan bomb? I particularly liked the way he dropped 'Stakker Humanoid' and 'When Doves Cry'. But does anybody else over 30 - apart from me, Big Matt and Benny Lee - like this stuff?

Cheers,
RB

PS: I nearly forgot! A New Zealand TV comedy - Love Mussel - was funny! And on the topics of superannuation and the new Britomart, there were two really sound editorials in the Herald! Bloody hell again!

PPS: Troy, can I have a free CD?

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