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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 24, September 27, 1976.


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Letters header

Letters can be handed in at the letterbox just inside the Salient office or handed in to the editor personally. However if you wish to pay 8c postage then send your letters to P O Box 1347, Wellington. Letters should be double spaced and on one side of the paper only.

Katy Comer Bares Her Soul

Dear John,

I've been told to elaborate upon my motives for composing the style of reviews that have been printed to Fax and which seem to upset certain people (wish I knew who you were, would like to have friendly discussion). Ok:
A)Each 'review', excluding Sarstedt, has been regarding a hand/person towards whom I am particularly biased or to whom I owe a large debt, as they have moved my life so far in what I consider to be a good direction. My special love of music lies, in America, in particular. West Coast bands that point is no doubt obvious. This is the reason for my 'writing' as if everyone knows who Jerry Garcia is. Are my 'reviews' different from others; if so, why are you griping - I, personally, have finally had enough of review pages that make me laugh with bitterness and frustration. So from introvert to extrovert.
B)Never have I taken an English course at varsity, and never succssfully at high school, so I may be considered illiterate, if you like. Music is my life, whether you like it or not - I am not being aggressive here. Therefore, it is my fault entirely that my 'reviews' lack specificity. Again, I bargain hard for the LPs I want (though never yet have I received a complementary copy, except P. [unclear: Sarstedt]). Will attempt to be more specific in future, probably annoyingly so, if possible for me, or else become an addict of Abba (impossible).
C)I can't help using the word Feel, because 'my' music - the music which makes me feel content and natural - is inherently related to my US bias. Sorry, Britishers.
D)From now on, since some people seem to be so tense, not fully understanding my motives and thoughts, I will attempt to write normal, dull, specific 'reviews', including as many swearwords and references to Marx as possible. Will that make you happier? Have I cleared up any of your problems?



p.s. I go to the Royal Tiger solely to listen to the music.

p.p.s. Ben, think you'd better print this soon before I get lynched.

If you're referring to Ben Smith, the Rock Reviews Editor, he was last seen wandering around the Union Building muttering "Why does she persecute me?"- Ed.

Rock Reviewer Eats Shit

Dear Editor,

An open letter to Kerry Tool....sorry, I meat Doole!

Dear Kerry,

I guess it really is too much to ask of you to read this after your scathing attack of my 'Cry Tough' review. But in the interests of self-defense ( it is still a democratic country I hope....after reading your letter I'm beginning to doubt it!), I will answer you point by point.

Point 1. It may not have come to your attention but there is not one bum track on that album. Now in all my time of reading record reviews I have seen that a couple of times, I felt 'Cry Tough' deserved, that praise so I gave it! Hardly 'phlagarism' is it? What the hell would you have said? Something like "honestly there is not one poor cut on this album"......still means the same, there is bugger all difference! So to say I 'phlagarised' Steve Clarke on that point is just fucking horse-shit!

Point 2. Seeing that you are such a great follower of the rock scene I guess it wouldn't be too much to remind you that Nils Lofgren played on the same bill as Dr Feelgood on a tour of Britain last year and was quoted by 'Melody Maker' as saying they were his favourite rock act in Britain. It was on that statement that I formed the conclusion that the song 'Cry Tough' referred to them, also if you had listened hard enough you might also have heard Lofgren sing:

'Dr Feelgood you're right down my street', to it could well mean that he digs them and he is saying it in the song. So you can read what you like into it!

Point 3) Having looked at Steve Clarkes article and reflecting on what you said regarding the complexity of the song etc, it also came to my notice that he was not only refering to that one track but also the whole albums complexity in relation to Nils Lofgrens earlier albums. Take a look its at the beginning of his review. My words are simply the same.

Point 4. Anybody with a bit of musical knowledge can see that 'Mud in Your Eye' is a throwback into the sixties era, the changes are classic and what does the piano do if it doesn't fill? I also note that you take two entirely separate pieces from Steve Clarke's review and try to make it look the same as mine! Well fuck you, that what ! heard so that's what I wrote; the lyrics are the same yes....but they are the ones that also came through the headphones and impressed me, that's why I quoted them!

Point 5. What Clarke said and what I said are similar but not the same.

All that's left to say now is that I printed that review two days after the albums release on June 19, it was not printed until after mid-term break, one week later I purchased the said N.M.E. and realised just how similar the two reviews were; in fact several people pointed it out to me but realised I couldn't have plagarised simply because I wrote what I did before that particular issue of N. M.E. had seen the light of a New Zealand day.

C'mon Kerry, lets see you get your shit into one sock! Things like this are bound to happen and the number of times I have seen reviewers write similar, if not the same things, about an album numbers about 1,000 times; you want proof? Take a look at Nick Morgan's review of 'Rastaman Vibration' in last weeks Salient (13.9.76) and then take a look a Robert Palmers review of the same record in June 17 'Rolling Stone" of this year! Now I don't think that Nick Morgan phlagarised 'Rolling Stone' but there are untold similarities!

Which just goes to prove what I say about similarity between reviews.

Still I can't praise you enough in that you spent untold trouble comparing an NME review and mine and came up with your conclusion two months after my review had been printed and 1½ months after NME hit the newstands!

Finally, I wrote the review of 'Cry Tough' because I fell Nils Lofgren deserved notice. You seem to think (or imply) that I couldn't give a blue shit about the record and just ripped off Steve Clarkes piece, well bullshit! Because along with 'The Last Record Album' by Little Feat, 'Silk Degrees' by Boz Scaggs,' 'The Royal Scam' by Steely Dan and 'Rastaman Vibrations' by the Wailers that album enjoys prime lime on my stereo.

So, I dare you to write a revew of an album that tome nit picking bastard like you couldn't go back through every rock mag in creation and find some similarity with.

Thanks for telling me what thousands have,

Grant Cairncross.

p.s. you can put a plague on my cranium but I cordially invite you to go put your head up a dead bear's hum because that's were it belongs.

A Review of '76

Dear Sir,

As my first year at Vic comes to an end and exams approach it is interesting to speculate on the worth of spending a year in this red brick asylum. But who has the time?

There are many forgettable events (or do I mean rememberable). Robert Muldoon was always to be found splurged across the weekly letters column and while this is preferable to having him in the vicinity of the PMs seat, the fact that we have both testifies no doubt, to his absolute popularity. Poor Robert David was the recipiant of much abuse - it did little for his ego, but gave a lot of pleasure to thousands of varsity students throughout New Zealand and was a source of inspiration to numberous 'trendy lefites' of my aquaintence who suspected it all a fascist plot, on sound logic, which at the moment escapes me. His very presence incited many to riot - nobody is sale any more the man should be arrested and sent back to the Ireland he came from.

Should we have become weary of this royal self, there was always the Governor (Rubber Sump) General Yet by some trick of fate he largely escaped mention on campus, wait until 'they' get hold of his successor.

Highlight of the year must have been the lousy cafe food - the beer they served was like vinegar and the tomato sauce must be Watties. (Tomatoes, like the voting public have little choice and always end up in the can).

The STB which National (still the govt?) said, was too standard, was, we discovered, not standard enough. And a good March might have been slotted in somewhere but principles most have been of dubious quality this year, since many ceased to have them, if the rain fell or wind blew.

A pleasant concrete jungle atmosphere was maintained, if not encouraged, as the Cotton and Von 'whose his father' Blacks rose rapidly into the sun set. By 1979 its estimated mat on an clear day the sun will rise in the Rankine Brown court yard at 10am and set about 2.30pm

The August vacation (euphemism) was an interesting phenomenon - many returned in such a bad mental condition that the quantity (and quality) of darts per lecture has decreased to below subsistence level. Campus life never ceased to be interesting however, especially if you minimised wasted time by not attending lectures.

Its a time consuming hobby, but sitting a half dozen three hour exams, another popular past time I understand, will make a fitting end to the year. People, by their very nature, enjoy endurance tests, especially (if not only) when paper and question sheets are provided to (permitted) entrants, so that they can use the time constructively.

One thing disturbs me - these know all cynics and their sarcasms who critise and do nothing to many of them and not enough hard working, right-thinking, decent liberal Americans. (Like the sort who died in the war(s) for people like me).

Signed, yours 'til you get the bad Anoni Mus Redherring (Home Grown)

Those Petty Little Creeps!

Dear Anti Smoker Lobby,

When are you Gods/Goddesses going to pass a 'law' to prevent me from biting my nails?

Or is your example the one to follow?

It seems smoking is anti social?

Just as my smoking it an infringement of your rights to clean air your actions are an infringement of mine.

As to my absence during the voting on this issue - I frankly have more to do with my time than waste it on hung up, petty little creeps. And to get this much together to express my distaste is more than you deserve.

A Lady

The Blue Haze find its Way into the Salient Letters Page

Dear John,

We would like to point out a major inaccuracy in Martin Doyle's SRC report of last week. He refers to some arguments against smoking including the "privilege of clean air". We humbly suggest that there is no such thing. Clean air is a Right not a fucking privilege.

Yours, in the interests of health.

Derek Fikkers,

Gordon Purdie,

p.s. Does the anti-smoking lobby give Left thinking people course for concern as well?

Good lefties are healthy lefties - Ed

The MSA Argument Continues

Dear Sir,

No one who has any sense of morality and a conscience can remain not being outraged at the smear and defamatory campaign going on. Indeed this sort of activity should be outwardly spoken against and condemned.

TLK Cheong, Ding Heiflai, Harun Butuh, & Hussein Wong, Sally "Kam Lan" and "Turn Lam Pah" - doubtlessly the same group of morons with debilitated mentalities - seems bent on tearing certain people's name and image to shreds, as though on a personal vendetta. I for one, will not stand idly nor passively by to witness such flagrant and irresponsible abuse of the free press and freedom of action here by an anonymous group of idiots to discredit persons who have been courageous enough in their conviction and concern for the well being of MSA to identify their thoughts along with their name.

Not all the criticisms made about MSA were extreme or vicious. As a matter of fact, many were made in an attempt to press a point home; some were even constructive. If the previous MSA or this group of numskulls felt that some of the criticisms were indeed ignorantly and malevolently made, then they should have heeded what a certain academic had to say. MSA should have told the people simply and clearly what they were trying to do and why. They should have explained and justified their methods. They should have been frank about difficulties and shortcomings. Only by a deliberate effort of this kind can prejudice and ignorant and malevolent criticism be avoided and a discriminating body of public opinion built up."

It is the kind of warped mentalities and attitudes of the aforementioned group who perceive participation in terms of retaliatory after actions instead of meeting the inquiries or criticisms head-on that is going to cause Malaysians to thy away from MSA. What are these "Tua Lam Pans" afraid of, if they are really interested and concerned about the apathy of Malaysians? Signing in nom de plumes is a definite sign of apathy; a sign signifying people who are afraid to be committed.

It is also deplorable to see this group of carried-away idots spilling over in their attacks on people not concerned with MSA. If this is not an attempt by idiots to manifest their pent-up frustrations and perhaps some irrational thirst for "virtuous vengeance" tell me, what is?

Furthermore, I fail to see what sort of obligations are upon persons who have something to say about MSA. Explain why they are obliged to stand for elections?

I think I need say no more. Forsooth then, sirs and madam, if you truly have the interest of the people at heart, have the decency to let us know who your honourable beings are. If not....shut your goddamn mouths! For if anything will be the death of MSA, it is from irresponsible "character assasinations" by mad moronic ignoramuses like you.

On The Feminist Debate

Dear Sir,

Political issues that cause controversy amongst feminists must be discussed and resolved if women are to achieve liberation.

There is no way of avoiding conflicts of an ideological nature - they are even desirable because they challenge women to think about the system in a critical, aggressive way. And criticism and aggression are things women are not usually equipped to handle.

But women do not have to adopt stereotyped male (capitalist?) methods of solving problems. They are sucked in if they allow ideology to cut them off from the support of their sisters and the self respect there is in affirming a personal definition of what is woman.

J. Charman.

Drawing of a man with a smaller man in his mouth