Tag Archives: Books

Ian Wishart: Ben Smart & Olivia Hope #murdercase

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Sunday Jan 24, 2016
Wishart: Sounds case solved
Publisher Ian Wishart says a new book will finally solve the infamous Marlborough Sounds murder case. Wishart will next week publish the book, Elementary — The Explosive File on Scott Watson and the Disappearance of Ben and Olivia. The book looks at the disappearance of Ben Smart, 21, and Olivia Hope, 17, in the Marlborough Sounds on New Year’s Day, 1998. Scott Watson was convicted of their murders in May 1999 and remains in prison. He has denied any involvement in their disappearance and death. The remains of Smart and Hope have never been found.
Wishart said he was “pitching” the book as “solving the case”.
Read more

iwishart Published on Jan 22, 2016
Elementary by Ian Wishart

****

● Wikipedia: Ian Wishart (journalist)
● Facebook: Investigate Magazine

THE BOOK
Author: Ian Wishart
Title: Elementary: The Explosive File on Scott Watson and the Disappearance of Ben & Olivia – What Haven’t They Told You?
Pre-order a copy from your bookstore because they will have guaranteed stock on day one. Orders can also be placed at Investigate magazine’s webstore.

Wishart - Elementary front cover

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

48 Comments

Filed under Business, Crime, Democracy, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Police, Politics, Travesty

RNZ Sunday Morning —The Decline of Reason #mediapoliticsculture

Updated post Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 at 3:16 p.m.

Radio New Zealand National – Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman
11:40 Helen Razer – The Decline of Reason

Cover, A short history of StupidHelen Razer and Bernard Keane were going mad over the deteriorating quality of public debate and the dwindling of common sense in media, politics and culture.
So they wrote a book about it: A Short History of Stupid – The decline of reason and why public debate makes us want to scream.
Helen joins Wallace to talk about why so much has gotten so dumb.

Audio | Download: OggMP3 (13′ 47″) Link

BOOK REVIEWS

A Short History of Stupid – The decline of reason and why public debate makes us want to scream
By Bernard Keane & Helen Razer
Published by Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781760110543

I
Reviewer: Gordon Findlay
Posted on December 15, 2014

It would be great to make this compulsory reading for every journalist, blogger and aspiring politician, but I can’t imagine them persevering with it. It would ruin their life’s work.

I think that the deterioration of public debate, and the absence of common sense and moderation in both media and politics, are pretty much givens now. But why? And where did this come from? These are the questions that this apparently light-hearted, yet fundamentally serious, book seeks to answer.
For these authors, stupid comes in many forms, and damages us in many ways. And yes, ‘stupid’ is a noun for these 329 pages. Many different types of stupid are identified, and an attempt is made to find their origins. Far too many ‘species’ of stupidly are identified to list them all here. But the rise of individualism over social responsibility, vaccination denialism, excessive partisanship in politics, the conflict between sentimentalism and reason, postmodernism, fallacious opinion polling and reality TV might be a representative sample. For me the most important forms of stupidity identified were three: the inability to understand numbers, the preference for emotion over facts, and the ignorance of historical contexts.
A real attempt is made to pin down the development of stupidity in its many forms. This takes us into an elementary, and often light-hearted, discussion of the development of some core ideas in western thought. The authors also make a determined effort to be seen to be in touch with popular culture, invoking as many memes from popular culture as can be squeezed in, from Dallas to the Bond movies. The authors are Australian commentators, and quite a lot of the stupidity is taken from Australian sources.
[…] A broad-gauge rant, which is based on gently concealed erudition. But a rant nonetheless. And that becomes the book’s weakness. The writing is always turned up to eleven. In places the F-bomb becomes a carpet bomb. This continuous bombast makes reading more than a little tiring. But it’s a great source of one-liners.
Cont./ Booksellers NZ blog

II
Reviewer: Frank O’Shea
Posted on December 12, 2014

The problem with a book like this is that it encourages the reader to become more alert to Stupid.

This book sets out to show how much of public discourse is guided, not by reason, but by Stupidity. It is the work of two writers for the online magazine Crikey, and even those not sympathetic towards that journal’s independent take on the news, will find much in the book to stimulate and delight.
[…] There are phrases that pull you up with glee: “… the cheap meth of personal development seminars”, “the Oprahfication of wisdom”, “the well of homeopathic opinion”, “a prostatariat of old white male journalists”, “holistic healing … rip-off bollocks with a whale-call soundtrack”. And you feel like cheering aloud when you read psychiatry described as an “iffy branch of medicine … a pseudo-science … an impotent practice”.
The level of Stupidity in public debate in Australia is probably no higher than in other Western countries. It is unlikely that politicians, for whom the luminous vest photo op is more important than any discussion of complex issues, will be changed by what they read here. But then again, their success is based on the well-founded belief that the rest of us are Stupid.
Cont./ Sydney Morning Herald

III
Reviewer: Martin Hirst
Posted [2014], undated

The writers have very different tones and registers in their prose; but the bigger issue is that the book doesn’t seem to really know whom its enemy is.

I am a big fan of both Crikey political editor Bernard Keane and freelance writer Helen Razer. They are intellectually sharp, write with good humour and come across as eminently rational in their thinking. […] Keane and Razer are friends and obviously share a dislike for stupidity in all its forms (and they are many); but they are not cut from the same cloth. Keane comes across as a socially-concerned individualist, verging on the libertarian, while Razer is more than willing to own up to her own proto-Marxist and critical feminist intellectual development. Razer is also a bit of a potty mouth, so if you are offended by the occasional use of c—t, f—k and s—t in your reading material, perhaps you should only read the chapters by the more (ahem) refined Mr Keane.
But I’m not fazed by Ms Razer’s crudities because I love her razor wit and sharp insights. Her chapter on reason and unreason is one of the best in the book and one paragraph in particular sums up her (and my) take on the psychological pressures of modern working life: “When we fail at life as it is so broadly and meticulously prescribed, we call it mental illness. We have failed life. We are not permitted to think it is the conventions of life that have failed us.” (p. 164)
[…] both authors, but particularly Bernard Keane, have a blind spot to the ultimate form of Stupid: the problem of the system itself. Razer calls it “liberal democracy” and Keane calls it “liberal capitalism” and they ultimately concede it is all we’ve got. However, this is an ahistorical approach that denies the evidence of the past that it is the economic system that breeds inequality and that ultimately needs a certain level of ideological Stupid among the general population in order to prevent mass (and organised) public opposition that would be capable of overthrowing it. Previously Stupid systems of political economy such as slavery and feudal aristocracy have been defeated and replaced, so why not stupid Capitalism? If Stupid is in the way, then it is serving some purpose of the ruling class. After all, as Marx once wrote in his critique of Hegel: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” Insert “Stupid” into that sentence instead of “Religion” and read it again—it makes perfect sense!
Cont./ Academia.edu

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

9 Comments

Filed under Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics

Broadcast Notice: RA Lawson, architect

RNZ National
Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday
22 September 2013

9.40 Norman Ledgerwood – Dunedin’s Victorian Architect
Norman Ledgerwood has just published a book about RA Lawson, the architect behind some of the country’s most important historical buildings. Scottish-born Lawson designed the First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle and the Dunedin Municipal Building. In his 28 years working in Dunedin from 1862 onwards, Lawson designed over 250 buildings, and his work also survives in many towns in Otago and Southland.
R.A. Lawson: Victorian Architect of Dunedin, by Norman Ledgerwood, with photography by Graham Warman, is published by the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand.
http://www.cemeteries.org.nz/

● Norman Ledgerwood ( 17′ 56″ )
Writer who chronicles the career of architect Robert Lawson, the man responsible for much of the historic skyline of Dunedin.
Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3

Publication: 25 September 2013.
From the publicity material . . .

RA Lawson Victorian Architect of Dunedin [HCCTNZ]Following the discovery of gold in Otago, Dunedin quickly grew to become the largest and richest city in New Zealand. Among the architects who influenced the young city was the Scottish architect, Robert Arthur Lawson.

Lawson became more than a leading architect of the day, he was deeply involved in the management and affairs of his beloved Presbyterian Church. Over a short period Lawson played a major role in the growth of Dunedin — taking it from a small township to a city of remarkable and enduring Victorian architecture.

Lawson’s most significant works — First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle, Otago Boys’ High School, Dunedin Municipal Building — take their place amongst the country’s most important historical buildings and grace Dunedin to this day, giving the city its distinctive
character, unique among New Zealand’s towns and cities.

In R.A.Lawson Norman Ledgerwood celebrates the life and career of Lawson, and Graham Warman’s photographs offer an elegant tour of the living legacy of Lawson’s most prominent buildings.

This handsome volume is printed on fine art paper and is richly illustrated throughout with historical and contemporary photographs, as well as many of Lawson’s architectural drawings.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Design, Heritage, Name, New Zealand, People

Dunedin Institution: University Book Shop (UBS)

UBS 1 [facebook.com] re-imaged 2378 Great King Street, Dunedin

### ODT Online Fri, 13 Sep 2013
Smaller University Bookshop on cards
By Vaughan Elder
After cutting staff numbers, the University Book Shop (UBS) is now considering reducing the size of its Great King St store.
Staff at the book shop were told in June to reapply for their jobs, as bookstore manager Phillippa Duffy looked at ways to reduce costs in the face of falling revenue. The Otago University Students’ Association-owned shop could be in for more change, with options being considered to reduce the shop’s size and split up its Great King St site.

“The iconic building is very much part of the UBS identity and we have no plans to move.”

The shop, especially now a second branch had been opened on campus this year, did not need to take up as much space as it did, Miss Duffy said. She met architects yesterday and options being examined, including what should be done with the space upstairs previously used to sell text-books and whether to keep the “non-stop sale” upstairs or move it downstairs, freeing up space.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: facebook.com – UBS tweaked not lost by whatifdunedin

1 Comment

Filed under Architecture, Business, Design, Economics, Heritage, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Project management, Property, Site, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium