Russell Brown

Road Maggots take note, this new bike lock makes thieves vomit

Skunk Lock: This bike lock really stinks

Skunk Lock: This bike lock really stinks

The other day Twitter erupted with a first world crisis for Russell Brown, his bike was stolen despite using a bike lock. He posted photos of his bike all over Twitter and all his pals tut-tutted, there-there’d and generally did nothing.

We are far more generous here at Whale Oil and so I’ve found a solution for the next time dear old Russell parks his expensive bike complete with pannier bags at the university.

It’s a bike lock designed to make thieves vomit.

A man approaches a bicycle, handheld electric saw at the ready. He powers it on, starts to drill, and is shot in the face with a noxious spray that makes him vomit uncontrollably. This is the dream of the inventors of SkunkLock.

“Basically we were fed up with thefts,” said Daniel Idzkowski from San Francisco, one of the inventors of SkunkLock. “The real last straw was we had a friend park his very expensive electric bike outside a Whole Foods, and then went to have lunch and chat. We went out and his bike was gone.”

Idzkowski’s friend had used two locks, each $120, whose inability to stop a thief outraged him. “I blurted out, ‘why didn’t it blow his balls off?’

Read more »

Poor form from Pots Pans and Pannier Bags Brown

CC001020160706

And now let me try to use it in a sentence:

You’d have to be a real pokokohua to share something like that about a fellow journalist on social media.

He should stick to discussing lamb recipes and looking down his nose at people who don’t share his values.

 

From one winner to another

As readers will know I won the first Canon Media Awards blogger category in 2014. Giovanni Tiso didn’t and spent some quite considerable time denigrating Canon, and the Awards. In the aftermath of Dirty Politics he even tried, unsuccessfully to have the award removed and force them into distancing themselves from me. He partially succeeded in that I was asked to remove the logo from my website, but in the end I refused. I won that award fair and square and no amount of left-wing activism and denigration could take that away.

So it is with some amusement this morning to find that Giovanni Tiso (he’s an author at The Pantograph Punch) has once again been beaten in the awards, this time by Russell Brown.

It was the only conceivable outcome, but let me say this: you haven’t lost an award until you have lost an award to Cameron Slater.

— Giovanni Tiso (@gtiso) May 9, 2014

And you really haven’t lost an award until you have also lost an award to Russell Brown AND Cameron Slater. How sad must you be as a blogger to lose to both of us.   Read more »

Imagine what we could do with half a million?

David Farrar posted about cost per viewer of some current affairs shows, a post that showed that Russell Brown’s latest incarnation of his mostly boring show gets funding of over $500,000 per annum.

The viewer numbers are pretty appalling, even when you consider some revised figures.

Average viewers per episode (based on Nielsen data):

  • Q+A 99,000 – No It’s 70,600 average viewers for the first play and a further 20,500 for the second play so 91,100 over the two plays.
  • The Nation 49,000 – No it’s 22,900 average viewers for the first play on the Saturday and a further 34,400 for the second play on Sunday so 57,300 total over the two plays.
  • Backbenches 25,400 – No it’s 17,500 average viewers per episode for the first play and a further 2,200 for the second play so 19,700 total over the two plays.
  • Media Take 1,900 – No it’s 5,000 average viewers per episode (20 episodes) for the first run and a further 2,400 (13 episodes). As the last season wasn’t repeated in full you can’t really add these two figures together.

My figures are from Neilsen data for late November/early December. I presume Mr Wallington has data for the entire year. It would be great if this was publicly available. I tried to get annual data off NZ on Air but they refused. I am of the view that they should publish average ratings for ever show they fund.   Read more »

Comment of the Day

With all the weapons grade howling coming from the left that their darling of prime time, John Campbell, could potentially lose his show there is barely any sensible discourse.

Luvvie state funded troughers like Russell Brown and Damien Christie are calling for squillions to be spent on public broadcasting, presumably only for their approved type of shows and people, with scant regard to commercial realities. I doubt they’d be keen on a publicly funded political show fronted by me for example.

One commenter at Russell Brown’s recipe, music and arts blog is Robyn Gallagher…who refreshingly understands the real problem.

Serious question: who here regularly watches Campbell Live? And by that, I mean the full episode, live to air. Not occasionally watching a video someone has shared on Facebook.

I don’t. I really like John Campbell, but I haven’t watched the show since the 2000s, and if Campbell Live had been cancelled five years ago I wouldn’t have noticed.

Campbell Live seems like one of those shows that people like the idea of in theory, but not enough people actually watch it for that theory to work in practice.    Read more »

Did Alistair Thompson rip off Selwyn Pellett to the tune of $250k

NBR has an article [paywalled] about the shenanigans at Scoop.

Reading between the lines it seems some ‘investors’ have been tickled up for a lot of money, even as Alistair Thompson seeks to crowd-fund Scoop.

Ownership changes at news and press release website Scoop mean several shareholders are short of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In December the website’s majority shareholder, Margaret Thompson (mother of Scoop publisher Alastair Thompson), exercised her power of sale under her first-ranked security, effectively wiping out all other shareholders.

Imarda co-founder and chief executive Selwyn Pellett held 20% of the shares in Scoop, with the rest being split between several shareholders including journalists Gordon Campbell, Russell Brown and Pattrick Smellie.

As reported by NBR ONLINE, the Thompsons have plans for Scoop to become “publicly owned” and implement an “invisible paywall.” These changes are part of “Operation Chrysalis,” for which Scoop is crowd funding.

The old Scoop Media is now a shell company and Ms Thompson is the sole shareholder of MOT Group Holdings, the new owner of Scoop Subscriber Services.

For someone who bangs on about ethics in journalism he sure seems to have a wonky view on what that actually means. Firstly he was moonlighting with the Internet Party while a member of the Press Gallery, how he eve got let back in is beyond me. Now it appears he has tucked Selwyn Pellett who is less than impressed.

Mr Pellett tells NBR ONLINE that Ms Thompson was “under financial duress” and had securities over the assets of the company by her loan.

Asked how much he had invested in Scoop, Mr Pellett says, “How much I invested and how much it gobbled up are two different answers.”

“The truthful answer is that I don’t know, but [the total amount lost] would be approaching $200,000 to $250,000.”    Read more »

The truth about TEDTalks

We all like TEDTalks don’t we…I’ve seen some interesting ones that is for sure…but I’ve sort of waned in my interest and only fleetingly wondered why.

Perhaps it was the manifestation of TEDTalks in NZ that did it in for and how the usual suspects lined up to wax lyrical about really uninteresting people talking at them.

But then I read this article at VICE about TedTalks and it clicked.

Over the last few weeks, for example, I’ve been making a sustained effort to watch at least one TED talk a day. I’m not sure what it is about my generation, exactly, but I’ve noticed a weird trend to watch or listen to “informative”, Horrible History-style things for adults rather than actually think. It seems to be a cultural reference point to think about the idea of thinking, rather than actually engaging the old noggin.

Which is why I basically sleep walk through everything. I haven’t had an independent thought in years. Sometimes, I forget my own name.

Maybe it’s because I’m a card-carrying member to a tinfoil hat society for the infuriatingly smug, but I think there’s something inherently wrong with passivity. And yet I write this from my bed.  The most common response I received when I told people I was working on this was, “What? Have you never enjoyed one?” Which, I suppose, is my whole point. When thinking about thinking becomes entertainment rather than a challenge, something has fucked up.

It feels like almost bad manners to have a go at something that is so overwhelmingly positive. But, fuck it, I’m going to do it because, just as Justin Lee Collins making a handful of people laugh didn’t mean he wasn’t a horrible, horri​ble man, TED entertaining you doesn’t mean it isn’t a sneaky pyramid scheme, designed to suck off your ego while pretending to inseminate your mind with world-altering concepts.

From my vantage point, swinging from the nether regions of society,  TED (and all other “thinkies”) is the road of least resistance to thought, dishing out toilet stall profundity willy-nilly for those like me whose cognitive ability languishes somewhere between a turtle’s and a slice of bread.

I have watched, I’d wager, 50 videos at least, because a) I have a lot of time on my hands and b) I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And I’ve concluded that it’s basically having Alain de Botton in your house with a biro scribbling: “AdB woz ere,” on the back of the shitter door and getting applauded for the effort.

Read more »

Russell Brown thinks Little is a disaster

Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown rarely, if ever these days, writes about politics.

He has broken habit by writing about Labour’s just completed leadership election.

Unusually for him it is brief, he’s normally a big fan of the tl;dr post.

I’ll be brief (it’s 5am where I am and have to catch a plane) but the Labour’s leadership result and the means by which it was achieved both seem disastrous for the party and for the prospects of the centre-left.

Little didn’t win the support of the party or the caucus, he loses his electorate more badly every time he contests it, and he’s vowing to dump all the intellectual capital built up by David Parker. I can’t see any good thing about this.

Am I missing something?

Read more »

Russell Brown dissects the election

tearsofimpotentragePosts, pans, and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown is having conniptions over the minutiae of the election.

1. Christ, what a shellacking. Click around Harkanwal Singh’s Herald interactive. In electorate after electorate, polling place after polling place, National won at least a plurality of the votes. Even where voters collectively chose to return their Labour MPs to Parliament, they generally gave their party votes to National. Labour won the party vote in only five general electorates. I don’t think it’s viable for Cunliffe to stay on after this.

No it isn’t. Cunliffe must go and go now….he lost his own party vote in New Lynn FFS!

3. The election was not primarily about policy. Although it will understandably be regarded as a mandate for National’s policies, I don’t think this has been an election about policy, but about who the voters have seen as fit to govern. Where discrete policies have been tested in polls, the public has often-as-not favoured Labour’s over National’s. They just didn’t back Labour to enact them. I’m very concerned now over what happens in education, where I think the degree of the mess National has already made (National Standards is objectively a shambles) is not widely appreciated.

Read more »

Dimpost on the left’s slaughter

Danyl McLauchlan writes about the slaying of the left.

  • The National Party is an incredibly well resourced, well managed, professional political party and it turns out that these things counted for a lot last night.
  • The phone was not off the hook for Labour. Twelve months ago, just after Cunliffe won the leadership of his party Labour were on 37% with the Greens on 12%. There’s a cliche that oppositions don’t win elections, government’s lose them, but Labour lost this election. Cunliffe is probably the worst campaigner in New Zealand political history.
  • Based on the preliminary figures I think turnout will end up being slightly higher than last time but still very low. I was a strong advocate for a strategy of having left-wing parties try and improve their vote by targeting and mobilising younger voters, but it turns that that strategy is electoral suicide! Sorry guys!
  • So the lesson from last night’s right-wing landslide seems to be that older New Zealanders are very engaged with the political process and younger New Zealanders are not. That’s a shame but it’s a message politicians cannot ignore. No one’s going to waste time and energy chasing ‘the youth vote’ again for a very long time.

Youth don’t vote, ever. A few Nat MPs I know don’t bother chasing this vote, the effort required for the payoff means you are better off working elsewhere.

  • I think that the best way forward for Labour is for Cunliffe and ‘the old guard’ – Goff, Mallard and King – to resign. They’ve been at war for six years now and they’re tearing their party apart. I doubt this will happen though. The civil war will drag on for another parliamentary term. That party is dying.

Read more »