Eleanor Catton

Key gives $180k to NZ writers. How odd. I thought Catton said there was zero support?

The corporate welfare from the Key government just keeps on flowing, this time, it is the luvvies who benefit.

This might be the motivation needed to get onto that book you’ve been meaning to write.

Three New Zealand writers have been announced as winners of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement, and will each receive a sweet prize of $60,000 from Creative New Zealand.

But one book won’t be enough to get you there – the awards recognise writers with a body of acclaimed work.

Those honoured for their outstanding contribution to New Zealand literature this year are Marilyn Duckworth for fiction, Atholl Anderson for non-fiction, and David Eggleton for poetry.

They join the likes of NZ literary royalty Janet Frame, Joy Cowley, Patricia Grace, Margaret Mahy, Sam Hunt, Bill Manhire, and playwright Roger Hall as winners.    Read more »

Eleanor Catton movie leaks online prior to premiere at NZ Film Festival

via Metro Mag

via Metro Mag

Eleanor Catton was elevated against her will as a prominent New Zealander after winning the Man Booker Prize for her hefty tome.  Fellow citizens were delighted, and just as they like to bathe in the reflected glory of an All Blacks victory as if they had personally had to pick the mud and grass from their teeth after a try, they claimed Ms Catton’s achievement as their own.

And that’s where things went wrong.

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Face of the day

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Sean Plunket criticised Eleanor Catton as a ‘traitor’ for her comments over the NZ government and ‘tall poppy syndrome’. Photo / Herald file

Today’s face of the day, Sean Plunkett, needs to be careful in future that he doesn’t call anyone an “ungrateful hua” online. Under the new Harmful Digital Communications Bill, Sean could be silenced if someone like Eleanor Catton complains that he caused her harm by saying something mean about her. As long as he sticks to insulting people via the Radio he should be fine. The trick is not to put your criticism in writing. Dead Tree Media is safe but put it on the internet and you are going to immediately be in dangerous territory where Freedom of Speech is under constant threat thanks to every political party except the Act Party.

A talkback host’s comments describing award-winning New Zealand author Eleanor Catton as an “ungrateful hua” and a “traitor” were not in breach of broadcasting standards.

– A newspaper

Plunket cleared for his attack on “ungrateful hua”

Sean Plunket has escaped sanction for his comments on Eleanor Catton:

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has rejected two complaints about Radio Live host Sean Plunket’s reaction to comments made by author Eleanor Catton.

In January this year, Plunket called Catton an “ungrateful hua” and a “traitor” for comments she made criticising the New Zealand Government while she was at a literary festival in India.

“Here’s the woman who’s a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and works at a publicly-funded institution, and has received a lot of financial help during her career to write things,” he said.

“Then she turns around and says, ‘I don’t get a fair crack’…

“That’s my opinion, that’s her opinion, we’re in a free country.”

The BSA received complaints that his comments were “bullying” and a personal attack on Catton.  Read more »

#WeAreEleanor?

The public letter was released last night.


 

Public letter: ‘We are Eleanor’

We the undersigned attest that we understand and agree with what Man-Booker prize-winning author Eleanor Catton has said about New Zealand and its politicians and the Neo-Liberal disdain for culture, intellectuals, and artists.

As a collective voice of the creative sector we are determined to ensure that attitudes that belittle and dismiss art’s value to cultural growth are forcefully challenged; that artistic freedom of expression is always celebrated; and that those who in their wilful ignorance mock the integral importance of art as the impetus for societal change are appropriately condemned as the hollow moribund creatures they prove themselves to be. Read more »

Paul Thomas on left-wing intelligentsia

At times you wonder if we’re all alone in a world that’s gone mad.  At least Paul Thomas seems to see it our way.

Sections of the left-wing intelligentsia appear to believe the Eleanor Catton brouhaha says something disturbing about New Zealand. It doesn’t. It does, however, say something disturbing about sections of said intelligentsia: that they can look at a thing and see something else altogether.

This isn’t new. For much of the 20th century, some left-wing intellectuals had great difficulty acknowledging the obvious reality that the Soviet Union was a totalitarian monolith designed to crush the human spirit, a Nelsonian posture that led to the cul de sac of moral equivalence: insisting there wasn’t really much to choose between the West and the USSR.

We saw it during last year’s election campaign in the strenuous attempts to inflate the molehill of Dirty Politics into a mountain of corruption likened to Watergate. Some of the inflaters went on to portray the Internet Party as something it wasn’t: a legitimate political force operating in the national interest.

Ah yes.  Catton, Dirty Politcs and the Internet Party.  What a true left-wing triumvirate.   Read more »

He could form the Whinger Party with Eleanor Catton

The problem with moaning liberal elite luvvies and socialist “entrepreneurs” is that they like to hear the sound of their own voice.

Last week it was Eleanor Catton bleating on about how un-loved she is and assisting us all to now why.

This week we have Gareth Morgan having another rant.

Of course he’d never want to test his never-ending opinions on almost everything with the voting public would he?

Gareth Morgan is heading to Orewa to confront what he calls the “ignorance of Brash-think”.

The venue and name are a nod to former National Party leader Don Brash, whose 2004 speech in the town led to a heated period of debate about the Treaty of Waitangi.

Dr Morgan is stepping into those uncertain waters tomorrow when he speaks to the Orewa Rotary Club.

He said he had deliberately chosen to speak at Orewa because it was where Dr Brash gave “one of the most damaging speeches ever made in terms of Treaty relations”.

“It’s exactly the cohort I’ve been talking about as having a high level of ignorance on Treaty matters.”

He says there was a hotbed of ignorance which needed to be confronted because of the need for an ongoing relationship with Maori after all Treaty of Waitangi settlements are finished.

“There are still large tracts of people who indulge in Brash-think on this topic. I want to expose that.”

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The bully pulpit is destroying liberalism and freedom of speech

Jonathan Chait explains why political correctness and the bully pulpit of demanding silence from those whose ideas you oppose is creating a reign of terror on freedom of speech, and the worst offenders are those who should know better.

The p.c. style of politics has one serious, possibly fatal drawback: It is exhausting. Claims of victimhood that are useful within the left-wing subculture may alienate much of America. The movement’s dour puritanism can move people to outrage, but it may prove ill suited to the hopeful mood required of mass politics. Nor does it bode well for the movement’s longevity that many of its allies are worn out. “It seems to me now that the public face of social liberalism has ceased to seem positive, joyful, human, and freeing,” confessed the progressive writer Freddie deBoer. “There are so many ways to step on a land mine now, so many terms that have become forbidden, so many attitudes that will get you cast out if you even appear to hold them. I’m far from alone in feeling that it’s typically not worth it to engage, given the risks.” Goldberg wrote recently about people “who feel emotionally savaged by their involvement in [online feminism] — not because of sexist trolls, but because of the slashing righteousness of other feminists.” Former Feministing editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay told her, “Everyone is so scared to speak right now.”

That the new political correctness has bludgeoned even many of its own supporters into despondent silence is a triumph, but one of limited use. Politics in a democracy is still based on getting people to agree with you, not making them afraid to disagree. The historical record of political movements that sought to expand freedom for the oppressed by eliminating it for their enemies is dismal. The historical record of American liberalism, which has extended social freedoms to blacks, Jews, gays, and women, is glorious. And that glory rests in its confidence in the ultimate power of reason, not coercion, to triumph.

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Eleanor Catton carries on her leftist tirades

Eleanor Catton sounds like she is standing for public office, rather than dipping her well trained snout once again into the trough.

She has an opinion piece in the Sunday Star-Times and once again rants on about political things.

She will of course get mightly upset when she gets smacked around the ears for it, you see free speech is only for the left, everyone else has to shut up.

As is usual she thinks because she is a tenured liberal academic elite that what she says, no matter how wrong, is the gospel truth.

Imagine the  sudden dissolution of all sports stadiums, fitness centres and recreational facilities in New Zealand, rationalised by the argument that if kids want to learn about sport they can watch it on TV. Such a proposition is absurd.

But sitting on the couch, watching a game of rugby, bears as little relation to actually playing the game as clicking through websites does to reading a book – especially when that book has been requested, sourced, or chosen according to the individual interests of the child.

The notion that online content is ‘interactive’ in a way that reading books is not is absolutely backwards. Physicality is immensely important to children, as is the enormous sense of achievement that comes when you check out a book from the library, when you finish it, when you return it, when you find it on the shelf again.

A book has dimension. It is a doorway.

A screen is all surface. How many adults can sit at a computer terminal and read diligently and immersively, for hours? How many can then retain what they have read?

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The Eleanor Catton Saturday Series: Part IV

Today we’ve seen my good friend Brian Edwards explaining Catton’s views away as totally justified and not requiring the kind of response we would give an All Black who, after being part of a World Cup winning team, turns around next year to say the coach was crap and he never really got much out of the process of being an All Black.

That of course ignores the problem that Catton attacked the government.  This was political, and had very little to do with a writer not being allowed to criticise the country that claims her achievement as part of their national identity.

But I get it now, Catton doesn’t want to share the reflected glory with any of us.  She did all the hard work.  We “New Zealanders” did nothing, and as a result, as a bit of a pseudo-New Zealander in her own mind, Catton feels uncomfortable when having to speak “as” a New Zealander or “for” New Zealanders.

At best, we can say she isn’t dealing well with fame.  After all, writing is a solitary inward looking pursuit, not necessarily suited to someone who is then asked to go on a huge publicity circuit where she isn’t just there for what she wrote, but because she’s assumed to be there as a New Zealander.

Where she made a mistake was to politicise her frustrations by attacking the uncaring right-wing government.  As we’ve seen from the Tax Payers Union, it is demonstrably untrue.  Catton has received more financial and career development support than I could possibly have expected.  In fact, given a different slant on the situation I would have pinged her for being a tougher.

Explaining is losing, and her own public statement simply confirms her initial intent was to attack the government – never mind that the facts don’t support her assertions.

Basically, She’s just a stuck up liberal elite bludger on the whinge. A Canadian ungrateful; for all the taxpayer support, she can kiss goodbye to getting any more.  Whinging tart.

A perfect example of why subsidies are evil, and the following truism holds:

“Things given for free have no value”.

But the whole issue would have been worth a serious discussion.  There is something to be said about putting people on pedestals and countries taking ‘ownership’ of achievements that they haven’t really earned themselves.

It would have been a good point to deliberate, if Catton hadn’t just turned it into a toxic left-versus-right Government bashing opportunity.