Is New Zealand Herald editor Shayne Currie really a slimy two-faced prick, or is he just another clown?

A wannabe academics photo opportunity - New Zealand Herald editor Shayne Curry (the bald one), cocksmoker extraordinaire!

A wannabe academics photo opportunity – New Zealand Herald editor Shayne Curry (the bald one), cocksmoker extraordinaire!

Much has been said over that past week about intellectuals and intellectualism in New Zealand. Apparently its dead. In fact its been alleged, in far kinder words, that New Zealand is the arse end of the educated world of culture, a country that deplores artistic pursuits, redneck central. We could not agree more, although we would add the proviso that Kiwi’s hate tourists more, as a culture they tend to like bashing, robbing, raping and hijacking tourists.

At the forefront of this far from “academic” debate, better described as a hate campaign, has been the unprovoked attack on New Zealand born Booker prize-winning author Eleanor Catton. Earlier today the latest in this Kiwi media driven hate campaign was published, it’s a cracker

Editorial: Author is free to make her criticisms, but her tall poppy claim is a bit rich

5:00 AM Saturday Jan 31, 2015

Editor: Shayne Currie

The lesson to be drawn from the controversial remarks of author Eleanor Catton is perhaps that those who do their thinking on paper have more to lose when they open their mouth. She should be allowed to live down her comments to a literary audience in India this week.

They were not the quality of thinking that distinguishes the novel that brought her the Man Booker Prize, not on a par, either, with the grace and maturity she displayed in interviews at that time.

Among many accolades she received in New Zealand, the Herald named her one of its New Zealanders of the Year. We remain proud of her and do not believe she misunderstands these gestures in a country that was proud of her.

Nobody has claimed her achievement “belongs” to the country. It was hers alone.

Her book is a novel set in New Zealand, authentic in its setting in time and place.

Every country takes pleasure in art that reflects it well and counts itself lucky to have artists capable of doing so, especially if its population is small.

Catton is entitled to criticise the level of public funding of art and express any view of the Government. But to suggest she is a victim of the “tall poppy syndrome” is a bit rich.

If the comment was motivated by missing out on the top prize in the New Zealand Post Book Awards, she has drawn more public attention to that decision than it previously received or deserved.

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11394465 (NZ Herald)

So what exactly is it that Shayne Currie is trying to say? More sour Grapes perhaps? What exactly was the insightful lesson Editor Shayne Currie had hoped to share with his readers, beyond the obvious hangover he must have suffered when writing the crap above…..Its not particularly long is it?

As far as we can see not a hell of a lot really. He has however lied through that big gap between his teeth, or perhaps he was not so much lying as he was being your typical parochial one-eyed Kiwi, they are of course more often referred to by the more switched on amongst the intelligentsia as arseholes

For starters Currie is in no position to be assessing and or grading “lessons”, as far as we can see Eleanor Catton hadn’t agreed to be tested by anyone, let alone some bald-headed egocentric twat, posing as a fucking journalist.

After all Currie is the editor of a nowheresville South Pacific Island shite sheet that may once have been a proper newspaper, but that’s certainly no longer the case, especially since Currie’s been at the helm, the one responsible for shuffling the deck chairs. Currie obviously has not read, or if he had, comprehended Ms Catton’s blog post, the one that she was forced to pen yesterday in an attempt to set the record straight;

A Statement


Eleanor Catton

In the past twelve months I have travelled to England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Spain, Canada, the United States, Australia, Brazil, and most recently India, attending literary festivals and helping to launch foreign-language editions of The Luminaries. To be read and received in different contexts around the world is an unbelievable privilege, one that is constantly shaping and reshaping my relationship with New Zealand, with my book, and with myself. My Maori character’s storyline took on a new significance for me after reading to First Nation elders in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I thought about the Hokitika gold rush differently after exploring the Brazilian coastal town of Paraty, where Brazilian gold, dug by slaves many miles inland, was once shipped out by the ton to Portugal. Talking about astrology in India, and about the nineteenth-century novel in Sweden, and about fiction born of philosophy in France, altered my sense of how The Luminaries fits in with other literary traditions and cultural histories around the world. I have seen also how the novel itself changes according to context: its social and sexual politics, its formal preoccupations, its attitude to history, its language, all become more or less audacious, more or less difficult, more or less successful, more or less interesting, in different parts of the world. The degree of familiarity that international readers have with New Zealand culture and history varies greatly, but one thing remains a constant: everyone I meet who has a personal connection to New Zealand will make sure to tell me all about it, sometimes at length and into a microphone of which they will not let go. I love these moments of connection and the conversation they bring. I am proud that the book is read by people whose lives do not resemble mine, and I am grateful for the opportunity to speak publicly about reading and writing, two of the things I love most. Like everybody I sometimes say things I don’t mean and mean things I don’t say, but throughout the hundreds of interviews that I have conducted since The Luminaries was published I have been conscious of my role as an ambassador—of my country, yes, but also of my gender, of my generation, and of my art.

The New Zealand mainstream media, though quick to flare up over a condensed record of remarks made last week in Jaipur, are in general altogether behind the ball: I’ve been speaking freely to foreign journalists ever since I was first published overseas, and have criticised the Key government, neo-liberal values, and our culture of anti-intellectualism many times. One reason why my remarks have not have been noticed in New Zealand until now may be that in most modern democracies a writer expressing an opinion is not considered, in itself, shocking. The truly shocking thing would be the writer who only spoke in praise of her country; who was unequivocal in gratitude and platitude; who swore fealty to her government, rather than to deep-felt values or ideals; who regarded arts funding as hush money and a part-time teaching position as an intellectual gag. I hope that that author does not exist today; but if she does, she is the one who should make the news.

In future interviews with foreign media, I will of course discuss the inflammatory, vicious, and patronising things that have been broadcast and published in New Zealand this week. I will of course discuss the frightening swiftness with which the powerful Right move to discredit and silence those who question them, and the culture of fear and hysteria that prevails. But I will hope for better, and demand it.

POSTSCRIPT: I will not be making any further comments or conducting any interviews at this time.

Source: http://eleanor-catton.com/statement/

Now LF, undoubtedly like thousands of other concerned citizens of the world, read Ms Catton’s statement, then we looked again, then we did a word search, just to be sure, but absolutely nowhere to be found in her statement was the term “tall poppy syndrome”.

So what the fuck was Shayne Currie talking about? He sure as hell focuses on the expression in his editorial, using quotation marks no less, or was that just for his own emphasis?

Catton is entitled to criticise the level of public funding of art and express any view of the Government. But to suggest she is a victim of the “tall poppy syndrome” is a bit rich.

If the comment was motivated by missing out on the top prize in the New Zealand Post Book Awards, she has drawn more public attention to that decision than it previously received or deserved.

What the fuck are the New Zealand Post Book Awards? To be frank who outside New Zealand really cares, we seriously doubt that Catton does. The fact is that Catton first used the expression in Jaipur whilst referring to New Zealand’s habitual habit of enjoying bagging the few citizens who do well overseas, especially if those citizens have nothing nice to say about New Zealand and or its media. Ms Catton was undoubtedly talking in general terms, there was no mention, implied or otherwise, that she herself had been a victim, at least as far as we could ascertain.

Half baked self obsessed talk-back radio Jock Sean Plunket, the problem is with pricks like Punket is that nobody actually gets the opportunity to talk back

Half baked self obsessed talk-back radio Jock Sean Plunket, the problem with pricks like Plunket, nobody actually gets the opportunity to talk back, he likes the sound of his own voice far to much for that to ever happen.

That has of course changed since an extremely bloated talk back radio egomaniac, Sean “plonker” Plunket, managed to get the wrong end of the stick and started waving it around the studio whilst screeching “ungrateful whore”, later to be passed off as some obscure arcane word, “Hua”, which if one is to believe the so-called remaining Kiwi academics that the New Zealand Herald wheeled out as apologists, is apparently derived from the even more antiquated and obscure Maori Language – but even then no one could agree on how the much touted “Hua”, in context, made any sense, and so decided;

“Hua is a fruit of something or of an endeavour. If it’s a hua of a tree, then it’s the fruit of a tree. If it’s a hua of an endeavour, it’s what you’ve achieved. It’s not derogatory at all,” Professor Temara said. “The context I think doesn’t fit the Maori word. I think he means whore – as in the English context.”

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11394397

Of course whether this inbreed fuckwit, Shayne Currie, likes it or not New Zealand and “Tall Poppy Syndrome” go hand in hand, a bit like Olive oil and Lemons. Of course Catton was not referring to herself when she made the observation, nor was she claiming to have been a victim of this insidious uniquely Kiwi social disease. Catton was simply expressing a concern, that in her view, it remained a very real problem, one amongst many, that prevented those who have the misfortune of being born and raised in New Zealand of achieving their full potential, unless of course they are as thick as pig-shit and happen to be a natural at running around a paddock with two white poles at opposite ends – that type of “high achiever” does very well in New Zealand – they can even pull off sexual abuse, drink driving and murder without so much as denting their reputations or careers.

Of course Catton is not the first to have publicly expressed this view, many before her have – those that have departed New Zealand permanently driven out in want of support for the arts, science and academia in general in particular.

Somewhat tragically possibly the last thing that expat Kiwi actress Charlotte Dawson had to say about the country of her birth publically was something along the same lines as Catton, Dawson warning young Kiwi vocal empresario Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, that she should get the fuck out of New Zealand before her career had been converted to shit by the country’s prolific naysayers.

Dawson, somewhat appropriately, especially given the latest circumstances, went even further. She singled out the New Zealand media for derision, pointing the finger at bald-headed cunts like Shayne Currie as being the ones responsible for rounding up the Tall Poppy posse when they felt that they themselves had not been granted what they considered due deference (apparently Shayne Currie demands a thorough arse rimming).

In fact it would seem that this particular bald-headed cunt, Shayne Currie, has an extremely poor memory, or should that read; no taste for the truth. After all, it was his own pathetic shite sheet, the New Zealand Herald, who among other Kiwi mainstream media outlets, reported on Dawson’s almost prophetic warning to Lorde just twelve months ago – almost to the bloody day:

Charlotte Dawson tells Lorde: ‘Leave NZ’

9:45 AM Thursday Jan 30, 2014

Former New Zealand it-girl Charlotte Dawson is advising Lorde to leave the country.

The 17-year-old claimed on Twitter that her family was pushed and shoved in a media frenzy when she returned from the Grammys at Auckland Airport yesterday.

Dawson, who’s been living in Australia for years, is predicting Lorde will be subject to mounting criticism from the media.

She made it clear to Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking she has no intention of living in New Zealand again.

Charlotte Dawson says Lorde should leave New Zealand before media intrustion gets worse.

Charlotte Dawson says Lorde should leave New Zealand before media intrustion gets worse.

“Unless you’re very mediocre you need to get out of there – you just have to if you want to keep succeeding otherwise it’ll just crush your spirit.”

Ms Dawson told Mike Hosking it will only get worse for Lorde.

“The people of New Zealand are proud …(large piece of Dawson’s quote intentionally redacted by the Kiwi media)….. the media are going to give her a very hard time and my advice is she’s going to have to leave New Zealand.”

Dawson left New Zealand in 2007, telling the Sunday News her reputation had been damaged by “nasty snipes” so badly that “I can’t come back because people don’t want to employ me”.

Lorde slammed waiting New Zealand media for almost pushing over her family during her arrival at Auckland Airport yesterday, calling it “a bit of a sad welcome”.

“nz media almost pushed over myself and my family at the airport this morning in order to get their shots. bit of a sad welcome if i’m honest,” she wrote in her first tweet.

In an uncharacteristic subsequent flurry of tweets, since deleted, the pop star then went on to say she was frightened by the media attention and called the media scrum unacceptable.

She said she was under a “constant, often lecherous gaze” and said she no longer felt safe in her “tiny home country”.

She tweeted: “i understand that people of note are supposedly fair game for everyone to photograph and film but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

“i’m beginning to get used to my image as a public commodity, and the fact that I’m getting used to it frightens me.

“there is a difference between attn from fans, which i love, and the constant, often lecherous gaze that i’m subjected to in this industry.

“i know that success comes with a price tag. it just sucks when you see that in your tiny home country where you previously felt safe.”

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11194158

Of course once Dawson had let the cat out of the bag the Kiwi media, hacks the likes of Currie and his NZH Neanderthal staffers, then started attacking Dawson mercilessly, just twenty days later Charlotte Dawson was found dead in her Woolloomooloo apartment, having taken her own life. By far the majority of expats that team LF have spoken to over the years have quite similar views to both Ms Catton and Charlotte Dawson – Lorde no doubt also shares those same views but wisely chooses to keep her own counsel.

“Ms Dawson moved to Australia to escape the New Zealand media, who she believes had a damaging effect on her career.” (TVNZ)

So according to at least one other ‘Kiwi artist’ that we know of New Zealand as a country does have a serious problem with “Tall Poppy Syndrome”, there are of course many other international artists of New Zealand birth, film, dance, painting and literature who share Eleanor Catton and the late Charlotte Dawson’s views, they too may have been born in New Zealand but that’s where any connection, cultural or otherwise, with the shit-hole ends, relegated to distant often sad childhood memories, without exception they are all now proud expats, all with careers that would not have been possible had they stayed, careers and talents that New Zealand, its people and or government played absolutely no part in either encouraging or funding.

The fact is that even among the so-called “academics” that have made the conscious decision to stay and bash their heads against a brick wall there is the view that “Tall Poppy Syndrome” is still very much alive and well in New Zealand.

University of Canterbury Phd researcher Louise Tapper has deduced that New Zealanders do have an unhealthy tall poppy chopping habit, that its very much a part of the culture.

In fact Ms Tapper’s academic research caused her to follow and monitor the progress of 11 gifted and talented Kiwi students as part of her PhD research over an 18-month period and found that they all played down their abilities; “They were very well-rehearsed in the anti-intellectual discourse that we have here, that we need to make sure that you don’t stand out,”

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 8.44.34 pm

No its not Kiwi brand polish, as despite its name it too has absolutely no connection with New Zealand, but just like Pavlova, Anzac biscuits and Crowded House the Kiwi media just love to own what was never theirs beyond a chance accident in one of the countries maternity wards.

In fact we did not really need to cite the above to evidence the existence of “Tall Poppy Syndrome” in New Zealand – Shayne Currie’s editorial and of course the four extra muck raking pieces Currie instructed his hacks to pen as part of their weekly quota, all supporting another half-arsed right-wing reactionary neoliberal greedy-grey mouth-piece, Radio Live cocksmoker Sean ‘plonker’ Plunket, are evidence enough.

No, our mate Shayne Currie had undoubtedly rounded up the posse, his instructions – get Catton “dead or alive”. Arseholes like Shayne Currie don’t use guns however, they use a far more sinister weapon, bullshit and spin, it’s also often referred to as “turd polishing”, and in this case the turd that they were all busy trying to polish was New Zealand, veinly hoping to pull their country’s reputation of of the gutter, where it in all truth rightly belongs.

One only has to read the other crap that’s been penned, all with an eye to courting redneck New Zealand – Shayne Currie is fucking sickening in his transparent agenda, but don’t worry there is enough well researched literature out there to support absolutely every criticism that Eleanor Catton has levelled at New Zealand, including its abject failure as a country to keep its most talented citizens.

Every single one of her criticisms are also more than justified, in fact apparent in the country’s available political gene pool.  New Zealand is, as we have said many times before, destined for the cosmic toilet unless people start ignoring, or better still standing up to, media bullies like Shayne Currie.

Kiwis have been generous to Catton, says Taxpayers’ Union” Have they indeed? For this arselicking example of Kiwi journalism, clearly designed to target a growing (with emigration) and specific domestic demographic, the New Zealand Herald climbed into bed with none other than Cameron Slater supporter Jordan Williams, in effect seeking the opinion of a less than useless lawyer and National party bum-boy.

Of course for the purposes of this particular New Zealand Herald faerie tale Jordan was, at least according to the Herald, masquerading as the executive director of the fictional “tax payers union”, an entity that in reality has absolutely no standing or credibility and who seem to operate out of offices that look remarkably similar to a small pressed steel Post Office box, although it all undoubtedly looked credible in print, without photographs of course.

Readers will also remember Jordan Williams as the fuckwit defense lawyer who absolutely trashed Cameron Slater’s defense as a journalist in the Blomfield defamation case, at a time when it was before Charles Blackie DCJ, the entire case needed to be revisited in the High Court.

Halfwit Jordan also has a few pretty dodgy links to other extremist right-wing National party cretins, people that, according to John Key himself, exist on the fringe of 21st century political reality, men such as Hawks Bay bush-pig and wannabe neo-something, Simon Lusk.

The fact is Shayne Currie and his New Zealand Herald media cabal have only sought comment from the very people who represent absolutely everything that is essentially wrong with New Zealand, or as Ms Catton so eloquently put it, the “neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry (Bastards) who do not care about culture”.

Left to right; Simon Lusk and Jorden Williams, two glowing example of New Zealand "intellectuals"

Left to right; Simon Lusk and Jordan Williams, two glowing examples of New Zealand “intellectuals”

Of course the other New Zealand Herald articles, all undoubtedly signed off by Shayne Currie, are also tragically twisted efforts to somehow recoup, at least in the sick minds of the authors, a sickening misguided and lost national pride, but we’ve listed them all below anyway, just for the record.

After all when Ms Catton, as she has promised, starts talking to the international media its always helpful to have things all lined up in a nice tidy row. It seems to us however that Ms Catton will not have to work particularly hard at all to put a case together when she does talk to the foreign press – that a “Tall Poppy Syndrome” is indeed alive and well in New Zealand – Shayne Currie and his media bum buddies have actually already made that case for her, albeit we suspect unwittingly;

“In future interviews with foreign media, I will of course discuss the inflammatory, vicious, and patronising things that have been broadcast and published in New Zealand this week. I will of course discuss the frightening swiftness with which the powerful Right move to discredit and silence those who question them, and the culture of fear and hysteria that prevails. But I will hope for better, and demand it.”Eleanor Catton

Before Shayne Currie starts dishing out “lessons” on how others should think and act he really ought get his own house in order. Perhaps he could start by publishing a “real” newspaper, instead of the advertorial shit thats currently masquerading as news and which he’s been comfortable dishing up for the New Zealand public to choke on – all in the name of his one and only God – NET PROFIT.

The joke’s on Currie, but is he smart enough to have figured that out yet? We somehow doubt it!

Herald on Sunday editor Miriyana Alexander - this bitch recons that NZ medai newsrooms aren't shrinking, perhaps its just their brain? One things for sure if anything is shrinking it's certainly not this bitches waistline!

Herald on Sunday editor Miriyana Alexander – this bitch recons that NZ media newsrooms aren’t shrinking, perhaps its just their IQ’s? One things for sure if anything is shrinking it’s certainly not this bitches waistline!

Update: The Kiwi media jingoism continues! Yet another NZ Herald (Sunday edition) editor waded into the debate this morning with this crap – Editorial: Catton funding money well spent. More from the same script, Curries “tall Poppy” mantra, again putting Ms Catton’s criticisms beyond any doubt, “money hungry” indeed.



Further reading, Courtesy of Shayne Currie and the NZH gang:

Author Eleanor Catton throws the book at NZ; labelled ‘traitor’ by RadioLive host Sean Plunket (NZ Herald)

Eleanor Catton’s dad takes on Sean Plunket over ‘ungrateful hua’ (NZ Herald)

Catton saga: Plunket’s ‘hua’ hard to define (NZ Herald)

Kiwis have been generous to Catton, says Taxpayers’ Union (NZ Herald)


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  • And people wonder why, although I love the country, as a 5th generation Euro Kiwi, I can’t bring myself to move back to NZ when I retire…….

    Good on Ms Catton for saying what I and my compatriots say when asked about the NZ government – although she was a lot more circumspect.

  • jingyang says:

    Is it possible that Shane Currie is both a two-faced prick and a clown? If the current state of Granny herald is any indication…

  • Harry Stottle says:

    For an example of the “reasoned debate” see Paul Little’s article, New Zealand Herald, Sunday 1st Feb. 2015 which concludes “it was disappointing in light of all this to see Catton play the tall poppy card ……All too often the complaint of being a victim of tall poppy syndrome is made by people who think they should be exempt from criticism”. Little clearly does not understand the meaning of ‘tall poppy syndrome’ despite his ten seconds of research on Wikipedia. The ad hominem attacks on Catton were not made because of her rise to eminence as a writer but because, as an eminent writer who would be taken notice of outside New Zealand, she criticised the New Zealand government. Little then compounds his inability to reason correctly by the totally unsupported assertion that complaints about tall poppy syndrome are usually made by persons who think they should be exempt from criticism. Have you any supporting evidence by way of examples of these people Mr Little? Of course not. That’s not the New Zealand way is it? We are meant to infer that Ms Catton is one of those people because you suggest she is. Thus fallacy is accepted as truth. As a journalist you are a disgrace Little. Tarquin the Proud wouldn’t have much use for his stick at the NZ Herald but I could suggest what he do with it in your case.

    • Yes the “tall poppy card”, whilst it was not “played” as such by Catton, by god it has been “played” by everyone at the Herald, again by Paul Little, an intergral part of an obviously scripted response. There’s now absolutely no doubt that they are all a part of the same posse, with almost every peice published they’ve all “played’ the same fucking card. Lets hope Shayne’s having another strategy meeting sometime soon, before it starts to get really fucking boring!

  • Both Harry and Hans (below) have refered to the Guardian’s peice, so we thought it appropriate to post a link to that particular story, its amazing just how twisted it makes the NZ media look – http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/30/eleanor-catton-blasts-critics-jingoistic-national-tantrum

  • Read my blog on the subject : “No prophet is accepted in her own country” Posted on January 31, 2015 at

  • Harry Stottle says:

    According to the Guardian newspaper (UK) Catton condemned “the scale and shabbiness of this jingoistic national tantrum”, and believed that “it can be countered only with eloquence, imagination, and reasoned debate”. Great sense of humour Ms Catton! Or were you referring to an audience outside New Zealand?

    • Hi Harry, the “reasoned debate” will of course continue outside New Zealand as usual, but the grunting sounds emanating from New Zealand and its media will no doubt provide a few laughs for international voyuers in the process, oh and a little evidence for social anthropologists to examine, they too will no doubt also take an interest at some point in the future, when they attempt to unravel this “strange cultural phenomenon” and what went so terribly wrong with a 21st century society.

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