Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 17. 19th July 1972
The Rock Concert Idea
For the U.K. equivalent of a N.Z. dollar, the average idle English youth could, on a Saturday night, go and see a double (perhaps Who and Hendrix) buy a hot dog and get home again on the train—all inclusive. His American counterpart could wander into a performance of perhaps Jefferson Airplane, or Grateful Dead, or if he was in the right place could clamber in over a broken fence and experience the Woodstock spectacular.
And what does the bored NZ teenager get? For a dollar he would witness a double-bill-pop-spectacular featuring top groups, Space-farm (that jarring confusion of disparate cultures) and Human Instinct (starring Martin Hope between keys).
Lets leave our top groups alone for a while, what does an average long-hair get on the Wellington scene? Again for a dollar he may be allowed into top 'Nitespot' Ali Baba's (Provided he has suitable attire,) he has the privilege of meeting some of Wellington's top thugs, of being deafened by rather 'creative' version of pop music, or perhaps of scoring with a teeny-bopper befor she has to go home to Dad on the 1.05 unit.
Or should he go to Lucifer's - that attic where city money grabbers have made a huge-hearted gesture to students (to gain their patronage) in knocking 50c off the admission fee. Unfortunately the enjoyment value has slipped a little since Highway shipped their charisma off to Australia, and there dissipated it. They were a good group (if a little boring), and if you wanted a laugh you could observe the cliquey groupies and hangers-on maintaining superiority over any casual patron. (Yet I found it hard to believe that the joke was on me.)
How about the University's contribution? Previously, the standard of Varsity music was consistently abysmal yet it seems to be improving. That whole welter of musicians that circled around, Gut Bucket, Rick and the Rockets, and Simon and the Mammals seems to have stabilised itself into Mammal, and they are putting out what I consider to be enjoyable music, Varsity concerts are cheaper, quality of music is still variable, but the concert idea is very bad for getting across the enjoyment factor of music. The idea behind Collusion tends towards a more appropriate mode of getting this form of culture, but even so, the effect of the last weekends show was not what it could have been. The interior of the Union Hall was somewhat akin to a freaked out artist's impression of a clothesline. (And I suspect that much of that was designed to keep non-paying eyes out. With very little additional expense, huge sheets of calico could have been spread all over the walls, and into these all sorts of things (other than blotches of colour) could have been projected. Even the movies may have been projected onto an uneven surface, thus realising to a greater extent the advertising catch phrase that was plastered up all over the university. As it was, one found it very hard to get away from the pervasive utilitarianism of the Student Union building so the total effect was nothing more than the usual teenage dance.
The university perhaps has the opportunity to show ideas in the field of rock music to the more commercially oriented promoters down-town. It will be very easy to also make university concerts (I recoil at the word) commercially successful, but I must emphasise that this is not done by simply raising door-charges.
[And when are you going to do something to help the situation then, Mr. Butler —Ed.]
Just a few words on the antiwar demonstration on Friday.
While marching down Willis Street to the Town Hall the front portion of the march was stopped at an intersection while traffic officers stopped traffic. At this point a spectator rushed in, grabbed a placard from a marcher and smashed it down on the road.
Several marchers reacted violently to this action—with clenched teeth and fists, a scuffle ensued, which was soon broken up. From their appearance, they were prepared to sort out this 'right wing reactionary' etc. etc. right there and then. A sudden transformation from 'marchers against war' to 'fighters for peace'.
Their actions prompted me to try and interpret their motives for such an action.
|1.||Was their personal security threatened by such an act?|
|2.||Did they carefully consider the implications of their actions before resorting to the easiest means of 'sorting out' the problem?|
|3.||Did the fact that someone disagreed with them convictions justify their resorting to violence?|
|4.||Did they have some 'special role to look after the interests of the demonstrators?|
|5.||Was the possibility that the fighting might spread in the personal interests of the demonstrators and in the interests of the demonstration?|
If they cannot answer yes to all of these Questions then how can they justify their opposition to America's violent role as 'policeman' for the 'Free World', in Vietnam. All of the questions are as applicable to the Vietnam situation as they are to the demonstration.
Soppy Mobe Lovers
|1.||What really personal sacrifices in time, money, study do we and these soppy mobe lovers make?|
|2.||Are they genuine? Do they sacrifice a year of almost free study and go out of this factory and talk and preach! In factories, churches and offices, about their and our 'Deep' convictions and beliefs?|
|3.||I've been on four; good fun, weather good social time good, followed by pissups afterwards. I felt we were bloody hypocrites.|
|4.||Wars are a wrong way to settle greivances But these social occassions, these boozy mobes dont really ring true.|
|5.||I've decided it requires genuine dedicated guts and more not a pleasant wander through Wellington on a Friday night.|
|6.||I now even believe some of us like being arrested.|
|7.||I've drunk and boozed often with some oldies. They seem to know more and been on more demonstrations than any of us. They just dont think us "Fair Dinkum".|
|8.||Two, the other night in the Grand, said, "You have greater chances to prove your worth. We aren't against you but you are only playing a game." This hurt a bit. But is it true? I think so now.|
|9.||We dont cut or boycott lectures, strike for a month, or lose our pay.|
|10.||We have greater opportunities to really prove our guts if we have any. But have we?|
|11.||All 'mobe' walkers and 'Badge collectors' should ask themselves this. I'm sceptical and cynical.|
$2000 For The Creche?
With reference to the $2,000 donation for medical supplies to North Vietnam, I do not think it is enough. In fact $2,000,000 would not be enough - a mere drop in the ocean. However while $2,000 may not be enough to patch up even half a dozen of the millions of Vietnamese seriously injured through the war, it sure as hell would go a long way to helping the university creche. According to our President Peter Cullen, the creche is "government responsibility." By what kind of perverted logic are the children of students "government responsibility" while injured Vietnamese are (presumably) Victoria students' responsibility? Think again, Mr Cullen - it seems the facts are very much the reverse.
All honour to Henry Stubbs for his stand. Its time we had less heads in idealistic chords and more feet on the ground. Henry's reasoned argument makes Rob Campbells emotive stuff look pretty sick. To be "aging" is not the sin you imply, Mr Campbell - in fact, unless you've discovered the fountain of youth I strongly suspect you may be aging yourself; and if you can't muster any cogent, rational arguments to support your views, if innuendos and petty mudslinging are the best you can do, for God's sake give everyone a break and stay out of print.
Solo Student Mother.
May I compliment the organisers and participants in last weeks guerilla theatre at S.R.C. For those unaware of the organisers identity, I am now able to reveal that it was a joint effort by the lunatic fringes of the socialist and christian movements on campus.
The christian contribution was of the order which has come to be expected from this group. The repetition of moralistic mouthings followed by recourse to legalisms. At its best a reminder of the illness of our society, at its worst dull and very boring.
The socialists contribution was quite the opposite. This was guerilla theatre at its best. The dramatic irony at a cast of women's libbers playing the part of neurotic women behaving like spoilt little girls has seldom been equalled. To have women behaving precisely as that chauvanist pig Freud would have predicted helped bring home to me how false his thesis was. The emotive response of pure hatred toward the christians and the accusations of perverted sexuality helped show me how well adjusted our women's libbers and socialist are. No one could entertain any doubt that these are the women and men of tomorrow, able to handle rationally their emotions, able to transcend bigotry and prejudice, able to build a world of equality and sister / brotherhood.
God help the revolution.
David L. Cunningham.
C.l. Jones is on to a very important issue. But No 44 Kelburn Parade is only a symptom of a disease, Creeping Paralysis. However a progress report on "44" (copies will be sent to Rt. Hon. R.D. Muldoon, Dr. D.B. Taylor,) 7,8,9, now 10, soon perhaps, 11 long vacant empty weeks, nearly half an academic (26 week) year.
It's high time President Cullen and big tough McKinley and the Exec. demanded and got a full Public Inquiry into this delay and other priorities on space etc? Do other similar situations exist? Salient could then publish the lot.
However, should we ask the Rt. Hon D.R. Muldoon or his deputy to arrange the principles of the Inquiry? We might get efficient and dynamic action. We are sure they would be willing to give their advice; they live in Wellington too.
Space etc was once a very, very urgent problem in the whole of Vic. The University's Public image is seriously involved (see Evening Post 5th July). This vacant house could have been used even temporarily for many purposes over these past 10 weeks.
Perhaps even in co-operation with the very overcrowded "City Night Shelter" (where two of us help) as a social service to the city by the university.
How long? How long do we wait? For Taylor's fearless open community gate? 'They also serve who only stand and wait'. But wait for what? Rob Muldoon of course!
G. Kelly, A. Morgan, R. Grey, J. McDonald.
Journalist Reveals All
In reply to your correspondent "Lawrence Knight", who recommends that I go to meeting read minutes, sneak looks at Prof. Board and Council papers, rifle the president's mail and rape his secretary. May I point out that I do occasionally attend meetings, indeed my speeches at those meetings continually provide me with great copy for my report on the meeting. I tend, it is true, not to read minutes but in my experience the interesting parts of meetings are never placed in the minutes.
As for sneaking looks at Prof. Board papers etc this is part of my regular beat. However for such information Salient tends to rely on sources of information closer to power such as our Correspondent in the Registry.
The Presidents mail is rifled regularly. (It can be found in an accessible pigeon hole in the exec. workroom). Pins are stuck through everything in plain brown wrappers. Over the last two days he has received three ads. for Time magazine, two for Readers Digest, a reminder that his subscription for Tablet is overdue, a letter from the President of NZUSA reminding him that NZUSA exists, and 400 bribes from law students asking him to revoke the decision to give 2000 dollars to the Vietnam Aid appeal.
I have been meaning to have a go at his secretary for some time. In my experience "rape" has never been necessary on such occasions. I am sure that Lawrence Knight, if he tries, will find that the office staff are most accommodating.
Study Lacks Life
The majority of students think in conventional tiers of thought and lack first hand experience of people. Original research for the undergraduate is unthinkable because he is not ready for the responsibility pre digested, cossetted and filtered by the respected authority. These unthinking cretins will never thrill to the joys of a new experience. (I am perpetually re-minded of the poor PBEC delegate who was flour bombed. — It was probably the first time he felt a genuine emotion in his life!)
Occasionally on campus we hear a plaintive cry for relevance in a course of study However, on closer observation we find that relevance is defined as analyzing that which we have already experienced. There is a real reluctance to experience new things. Somehow Life and Study remain two wholly independent entities. I would suggest that prescribed courses of study have caused this reluctance. There is no sense of adventure, discovery, or even immediacy in education today. On second thoughts, this programming probably begins at Kindergarten or even at the Mother's breast.
Writing for, Not Against
Why the fuck doesn't Tony King come out of his library, throw away all his social science bullshit which tells him that everything anyone writes about anything has to be so bloody confused that no one else can understand it and come down to the Salient office and take over from the vituperative guttersnipe he moans about. Stop worrying about the need for ideology or literature Mr King. There is a typewriter and an office girl waiting here for you if you want them.
P.S. Alan Jackson writes fuckwitted letters.
An excellent idea, but only partly true. Lets say Dr. Taylor, Cullen and the Executive decide students use their allowances and bursaries immediately and for the next year at least for housing (solo parents, pensioner flats etc.) as suggested as being very urgent by Lecturer Tim Dyce Wgtn Accommodation Committee, and similar urgent projects. Students can even help and learn to build them and Varsity's reputation. Councillors G.D. Porter and David A. Shand (election year too) are deeply moved by these problems, so their support would be invaluable.
However what's the betting the silent (!) radical (!) and Christian Catholic and SCM (!) demonstrating majority will all combine together and within 48 hours or even less be screaming outside Parliament for bread, prayer, and booze money?
Who was it who said 'Let them eat cake'? Our leaders I hope would say the same. It will test any genuine principles human, moral or animal and the guts of student conscience (Have they any?) After all what's a 28 week year out of a young "jokers" or bird's" life anyway? There is still 24 weeks for fun, more games like demonstrations, etc, and a bit of study too.
Jo. S. Smith
P.S. I've paid all my own way through b Censored varsities without mummy and daddy holding my calloused and grimy hands.
The story in "The Faction Line" (Salient July 12) regarding a party held by the Spartacist League contains an important error.
The police were called to the party not by Bill Logan as the story had it, but by up-tight neighbours. Logan refused to allow the police entry without a warrant.
Nobody was ejected from the party, either by the police or by the unwilling hosts.
Salient's informant made two other errors of detail: his claim that an Asian antique was smashed is without foundation and confirms his incompetence as a reporter, and his suggestion that the uninvited guests were members of the working class rather than members of the lumpen proletariat and the petty-bourgeois bohemian fringe, shows an inadequacy in in his abilities at class analysis.
One of Logan's mates.
Trying of New Caps
Mr. Fyson's open letter to Messrs Shaw and Law is unquestionably well typed and stapled but spoils the ship for a ha'penny worth of tar by erring on a point of fact. The "big red boot stamping on a rat which had SAL on it....." was drawn by me and intended no smear, stain or insult to the Socialist Action League. In actual fact the animal under the Red boot of the New Zealand working class is a field mouse as in "wee tim'rous couwrin' sleekit beastie" which expressed consternation when its nest was destroyed by the plough of the late Robert Burns, as do the ruling classes of all societies at the destruction of their property.
The SAL on the mouse stands for Stop All Liberalism, while the fallen placard is included to symbolise the futility of nonviolent banner-waving demonstrations. The masses, (being the real heroes, while we ourselves are often foolish and ignorant) have taken the cartoon in its true light. — Look around this university and you will see many a mouse nest standing. However Mr. Fyson appears to have tried the cap and found it a perfect fit, even over the rusty ice pick.
I am only a common working man sir, and unused to the ways of intellectual paranoia, but I cannot remain silent in the face of neo bourgeoise mystefication