Dance

And now for something completely different…

Friday night.  Time for some culture, you beasts…

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She quits. I think.

And now for something completely different: Grooves and Moves

Curse that new generation!

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No it is not, porn doesn’t bludge from the tax payer

A boss of English National Ballet is wanting a “man-ban” on recruiting choreographers and has  claimed the current male-dominated perspective shapes the way audiences view things “like in porn”.

Ballet of course is nothing lik porn, for a start porn doesn’t bludge off the taxpayer.

Ballet and pornography may not be the most obvious of allies, but it appears they may have more in common than first thought.

For the new artistic director of the English National Ballet has compared the two genres as she speaks of the high proportion of male choreographers in dance, saying: “Like in porn, it shapes the way you look at things”.   Read more »

Evolution of Dance

Mashable

This robot can dance:

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Cossack dancers set to Run DMC

via Boing Boing

It seems the ‘dance off’ was not invented on the streets of modern-day Brooklyn. Here are some Russian Cossack dancers breaking out some amazing freestyle moves in 1941.

Cossack (or Hopak) dancing originated in southern Russian and Ukranian military communities. The general plan was to have a battle, win, then return and have a big dance off with all your comrades. The party was male-only, of course, and often involved pantomime style re-enactments of battlefield moments, with sabres et al.

Those not content with just re-enacting the battle could look into Combat Hopak, a modern day martial art derived from this dancing.

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Time for a White Knight

Wira Gardiner must be a worried man. Firstly he puts out a letter trying and failing to address the elephant in the room with his candidacy, that of his perceived and real conflict of interest. Secondly by enlisting the aid of the nation’s top blogger and an NBR columnist to try to run his lines for him.

To be fair to David Farrar his post is entirely non-commital which is David’s way of saying he thinks Wira has shot his bolt and hasn’t got a chance, he is just too diplomatic to say so. Matthew Hooton though has a more complex arrangement that he has to manage.

Hooton’s mother in-law, former 1970’s President Sue Wood, appears to have ghost written the article for him this week. She is remembered as the President who single handedly squandered the Party’s property and cash reserves during her term.

My sources tell me that the Ninth floor is said to be furious that the PM’s genial comment to Gardiner of ‘good luck’ when Gardiner told Key he intended to stand for the Board has been interpreted by Gardiner as a personal endorsement. Hooton continues this spin in his column.

All candidates have been thoroughly vetted, with Mr Key’s preference said to be party stalwart Wira Gardiner. Mr Key judges, correctly, that Mr Gardiner – a businessman, former senior public servant, soldier and Mr Fixit for both National and Labour governments – has the administrative backbone to prepare National to take the fight to Labour. Moreover, Mr Key sees Mr Gardiner as important to securing a third term, given the Maori Party will hold the balance of power in 2014, if not 2011.

Key knows better than to get involved in internal Party politics. He has no interest in backing a fair-weather friend. He needs people he can trust not to throw their toys out of the cot when the going gets tough.

What I, as a voting delegate, wants to know is how come Gardiner didn’t offer to stand when there was work to be done and tough decisions to be made?

Gardiner’s fatal flaw is the conflict of interest. Being married to a current MP means if elected he couldn’t possibly hope to carry out the role of a Board member – he’d spend more time out of the meetings than in them.There is little point in electing Wira Gardiner to the board when he is so hopelessly conflicted and it is conflict that cannot be resolved. If he can’t sit on the List Ranking committee then he is of little use as either a board member or as the President.

Gardiner being backed by three failed former Presidents …. Sue Wood, Geoff Thompson & Michelle Boag.

National has moved on from the old presidential blood wars but these old warhorses from yesterday haven’t noticed. And neither has Matthew Hooton.

They are yesterday’s people fighting yesterday’s wars.

There is no mood in the Party to go back to the bad old blood on the floor days.

Hooton gets much wrong and if he gets those simple things wrong then the rest of article including the supposed endorsement of John Key is also similarly wrong.

He wrongly says the Boag brought John Key into the party. In actual fact it was my father that recruited John Key. He also wrongly says that Scott Simpson is John Slater’s man…to my knowledge he hasn’t picked anyone as a favourite and he certainly wouldn’t tell anyone let alone Matthew Hooton.

Basically though Wira Gardiner represents the worst aspects of the old National Party when it didn’t understand MMP.

And Matthew Hooton berates National’s new structure but the results show clearly it works and that the old system didn’t.

Nearly ten years after the last presidential civil war (Slater/Boag) the Boag/Thompson/Wood camp still haven’t moved on but the Party has – leaving them out on the cold – little wonder Wood has time to write Hooton’s NBR column.

Delegates in Christchurch will back candidates who have a real record of Party work and dedication, not some carpet bagger who is a fair weather friend.

It may well be the time for the proverbial White Knight to come charging through the middle ready or not.

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Key firm on Fiji expulsion

Key firm on Fiji expulsionPrime Minister John Key said there had been a unanimous decision to expel Fiji from the Pacific Forum, despite several nations recently breaking from the consensus and announcing their support for the military regime. [Stuff Politics]

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong Mr Key.

Mr Key said there was a desire to see a solution in Fiji by all those who has reached the unanimous decision to expel it.

“All 16 countries in the forum want to see a solution, but the question is what that solution will be.”

Cmdre Bainimarama had not engaged in dialogue with the other political stakeholders, Mr Key told reporters.

“From New Zealand’s point of view, it’s not just a conclusion or an outcome we want to see, it’s an enduring outcome.

“But I don’t think there’s any desire to revisit the decision we made which was to suspend Fiji from the Pacific Forum,” Mr Key said.

Well what do you expect from the Commodore?

All New Zealand ever does is wave the big stick, ostracise and ridicule. If we want the Commodore to engage in dialogue then we have to be willing to listen, willing to help, and willing do something. So far all we have been willing to do is shun them while at the same time throw money at arguably less democrtic countries like Samoa and Tonga.

There seems to be a real double standard over Fiji. When the previous administration was in we signed a free trade agreement with Thailand that as at the time controlled by a military junta, we have Kordia a SOE operating in Burma, Helen Clark gave Musharraf of Pakistan, a military dictator, a State reception and lets not forget our ongoing hand-wringing over Zimbabwe.

Actually when you look at it our mendacity over Fiji is glaringly obvious.

We should be assisting the Commodore not shunning him. meanwhile Thaksin Shinwatra is looking to spend $300 million in Fiji further increasing its strategic importance as a communications hub and all the while China and India are pumping in millions as well, while we sit on our hump wagging a finger at Fiji.

Hooton on Evil

Matthew Hooton writes in the NBR about the evil of Helen Clark. Why his clumns aren’t online is beyond me and the weekly traipse up to the Howick Stationers is a bore. However todays column made the fee for the whole NBR worth it.

Everyone should read at least the summary of this week’s Foreshore and Seabed report, for a timely reminder of the true nature of the regime defeated last November.

From 1999, Helen Clark set about controlling all sources of public discourse in New Zealand.

Clark ultras were progressively appointed throughout the public service, including even the upper echelons of the police, or moved into influential roles in state broadcasting.

Actors, artists and screenwriters, who normally play an important subversive role in society, were purchased with taxpayer indulgences and prime ministerial patronage.

This march through the institutions created a left-wing fog so thick that, even today, the public still perceives a mostly positive picture of Ms Clark’s nine grisly years in power.

That fog is lifting and historians will eventually assess Ms Clark to have been a political monster in the mould of Nixon or Muldoon.

Perhaps Matthew is prone to some hysterics but in the cold light of the truth that has emerged from the dark days of Helengrad we can see that there is some accuracy in his opening gambit.

From the outset, Clark’s regime had a bloodlust for the politics of personal destruction. Whether Peter Doone, Roger Kerr, Kit Richards or “hater and wreckers” Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia, anyone who opposed its agenda was viciously smeared.

Her government stole money, passed retrospective legislation to cover up its crimes, defended criminal wrongdoing by its ministers, outlawed effective criticism of the regime in election year, lied shamelessly even on trivial matters and brazenly removed basic legal rights even from its allies.

Thus, while most intelligent people didn’t care whether there was GE corn in New Zealand, the Clark Government said it did care, and insisted there wasn’t when it knew there was.

Government PR budgets were brought under the control of party activists like Clare Curran, and taxpayers’ money used for pledge cards and other propaganda as if it were party funds.

Whenever caught, Ms Clark would smear anyone from the auditor-general to the charity to which she sent a fake painting. Where necessary, she’d change the law to declare what she had done to be legal.

Again a little theatrical, yet somehow very accurate. We can see a picture of true evil starting to appear.

Against such competition, it’s difficult to identify the most evil act of the Clark years, but the Foreshore & Seabed Act probably takes the title.

This was legislation introduced to Parliament by attorney-general and Clark puppet Margaret Wilson to overturn a unanimous Court of Appeal decision in which she herself was the losing party.

The decision did not award ownership of anything to anyone, being merely jurisdictional.

Nor did it invoke potentially-contentious Treaty law, instead resting entirely on the ancient common-law doctrine of aboriginal title.

If Ms Clark and Ms Wilson disagreed with the decision, they could have appealed to the Privy Council, but they decided not to because they were then trying to abolish that right for everyone else.

Instead, immediately – just four days after the Court of Appeal decision – they announced legislation to blatantly deny a group of New Zealanders the right to explore their common-law property rights in court.

It was a despicable attack on the rule of law and due process, strongly opposed on principle by the business community and a wide cross section of the community, including me.

Inded it was a despicable act, robbing a whole section of our population from recourse before the courts purely on the basis of race. A more racist act in the history of New Zealand would be hard to find. What can Goff do to undo the damage.? All indications thus far on Goff though are that he is contuniing at least with the politics of persaonal destruction, not the least for himself by running dirty little sting and pimping operations. However Matthew Hooton disagrees.

Today, Labour still struggles with these truths, absurdly claiming its hand was forced by Bill English and Don Brash.

In fact, when Ms Clark and Ms Wilson decided to legislate, Bill English’s National Party was dying in the polls and Dr Brash was merely his disloyal finance spokesman.

The Orewa speech was more than six months away; the Iwi/Kiwi billboards two years.

Before it can be redeemed, Labour needs first to be honest about its past. It must admit that it alone was responsible for the outrage, and that it knew what it was doing was wrong, but that it did it anyway.

After the excesses of Muldoon, Jim McClay became National’s leader. Mr McClay proved to have no hope of ever becoming prime minister but he valiantly began the process of eliminating the Muldoon legacy from his party. History judges him kindly.

Like Mr McClay, Phil Goff will never be prime minister but history too will judge him kindly if he uses his time as leader to distance his party from the disgrace of the Clark years.

If Goff is Labour’s McClay then that makes it highly likely that David Shearer is Labour’s John Key.