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Not Hard News: City Litter From Mark Cubey

In the absence of Hard News today Scoop presents....

CITY LITTER


by Mark Cubey

It's one of those extraordinary sun-drenched Fridays that we love in the capital. We did meeting in the sun on the waterfront. We completed projects. We received lots of nice feedback about our latest issue.

And we waited for our fix of Russell Brown's Hard News... but it didn't come. Perhaps he's still cut up about Auckland's loss to Wellington in the NPC last weekend (mwuaahahahahahah!)

Whatever, it prompted me to resurrect the column I used to write for City Voice back in the mid-90s. Here we go; slight return.

Subject: ANZ Interactive New Zealand Awards, 19 October 2000

Bubbly wine is always fine, but it's not always enough. And because I arrived late to the ANZ Interactive New Zealand Awards, there was none for me. If I'd stayed, there was apparently more after the awards speeches, but after half an hour of those, frankly, I couldn't be arsed.

Picture this: LOOP, one of the few (only?) NZ publications with a hip contemporary grasp on NZ media, culture and the new economy, finds out about this Awards thing by a casual encounter in the street on the day of the awards. (Straw poll today indicates that hardly anyone else knew it was on either).

Maybe that's coz it was run by Auckland-based TUANZ (the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ), who on the evidence of this, should forget about events at all.

Tried to get in touch with them all day to get a free pass (tickets were $65, for Helen's sake), but got caught in endless voicemail loops. Even ringing the kitchen of the James Cook Centra where the event was to be held at 6pm did me no good, though I did get a couple of names for emergency use, though this can be hazardous ("Oh, yes, Ellie said I should come... oh, YOU'RE Ellie.. hi...")

As it was, I just turned up about 7.20... place mysteriously empty... wandered around unhindered... found the right floor... found tickets and nametags all over the desk... laptop bags unguarded (hmmm...)... walked right in...

The low-stud 80s-style seminar room was full of the usual VOMITAS (Very Odd/Old Men In Ties and Suits) crowd, with a few crusty women speckled around. General paucity of cyberchicks and webhunks.

One of the few of the latter there (a contender, though his mob didn't win anything) leant over at one boring stage of proceedings to whisper "I apologise on behalf of my industry."

So was it that bad? Yes.

The boring compere was a Teresa Gattung clone, and for every award the judges were called up on stage to... stand around... and say why winners won. The talking went on and on. And on. It was not Seinfeld There was AV of the finalists' entries. Sometimes the AV had the right clips. Sometimes it didn't.

The number of finalists varied depending on categories. It looked like everyone who had entered was made a finalist. Maybe this was because there were hardly any entries.

If I'd paid the ticket price (discounted $45 for members) I'd have been slutted, unless I'd really gone hard on the free grog and grub. Even then, I can't see how it couldn't have been anything but a downer. even for the winners. (You might be able to find them at http://www.inz.org.cnz though there's nothing there yet.) And if I was sponsor ANZ, I'd be wondering about my value for money. Where was the PR? The pizzazz? The fun?

Verdict: rubbish. Walked out, walked back across the gorgeous waterfront and thought: this Old Economy style business bulldust from fatcats and slackrats is a worrying trend.

Reminds me of the WCC's launch for Smart Wellington a few months ago. Better grog, good grub, great room (Te Papa)... but still, too much VOMITAS. Plus, I was told off for trying to log on to the website at one of the laptops scattered around (sorry, thought that's what they were there for) and one of the keynote speakers promised to speak for "just three minutes" and went on for seven. Little things I know, but these are what get us down.

Which is why now, more than ever, we need more than Smart Wellington - we need Smartass Wellington. Join now. No fee, no membership. Only requirement: attitude.


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