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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 17. July 18th, 1973

"The Paper" (Tiger?)

"The Paper" (Tiger?)

Dear Roger,

The advertisement read; " 'The Paper' is one of the most determined efforts by the alternative press to challenge the established monopoly capitalist press in New Zealand." So we looked forward to the first issue with drooling mouths....

But what a bore it's turned out to be. The same clique, spewing forth, the same moribund dogma, in the same jingoistic way; the same self-righteous indignation at the plight of the poor worker; the same pathetic attempts to assimilate some kind of "working classness"... If ever a paper was assigned to appeal to the proletariat this one wasn't.

Lenin called revolution "a festival of the oppressed". This thing reads like a dirge. It's all so deadly serious, so ghastly earnest, so.... well, respectable. We hoped for originality, sensitivity, even a glimmer of imagination (the idea is beautiful afterall). We got rigid ideology, masquerading under guise of "radical" and "independent". If you've come to praise Marx, that's cool, but don't bury the bastard.

"This forgetting of the great, essential considerations for the momentary interests of the day, this struggling and striving for the success of the moment without consideration for the later consequences, this sacrifice of the future of the movement for its present may be the result of 'honest' motivations; but it is and remains opportunism, and 'honest' opportunism is perhaps the most dangerous of all


A pot-pourri of clumsy sideswipes at capitalism does not constitute an alternative to the "monopoly capitalist press". Yes folks, it's all here: from the price of bananas and life savers and piss to what really lies behind Watergate. All analysed with that time-honoured method of criticism where you oversimplify the problem and stretch it till it breaks, then you establish the "real" problem (your perspective) and thus point out the "obvious" solution (to you of course!).

This trick is also used by the 'Dom' and other sundry right-wing rags. (The Dom, incidently, only costs 6c, and for that you can follow the Phantom and the Wizard of Id, as well as the cricket and whats-on at the flix). The Dom too masquerades under the myth of objectivity, and its editorial policy is no more restrictive and slanted as "The Paper's" appears to be.

So you see, the alternative is really no alternative at all. You'll find a similar "concern", a similar "indignation", and the same kind of distortion and fabrication in the pages of "Truth".(It's just that the bias exists for different reasons). An alternative? To the 'P.V.' perhaps.

We wrote this in the sincere hope that the next issue is a little more honest. If not, 'The Paper's' intolerance will start to turn people off... and we believe that will be a shame. If you don't want this to happen, we suggest you heed the following few lines:

"What is the underlying impulse in us that will produce the motive power for a new state of things, when this democratic—industrial—lovey—dovey—darling—take—me—to—mamma state of things is bust?

What next?That's what interests me.

What now? is no fun anymore."


Peter Winter

Terence Williams