Irony

What a crazy couple of weeks! Just when I thought I was easing into this big therapeutic stretch, shit went into over drive.

Move In [Thanks Victor & The Vitos!]

Getting Fitted

Filming 10 Eps A Day

Classes / Editing

Ringside @ WrestleMania [Orlando]

Backstage @ WrestleMania [Orlando]

Dial-A-Karakia @ The LA “Pork Pie” Screening

Between moving in, filming, taking on extra classes, editing, WrestleMania and then the stir my last entry ‘Healing‘ incited, I’ve shifted back into 10th gear.

Stirring The Pot

Now let’s talk about this Jagged Lil Pill stir and by that I mean it was that next level Alanis Morrisette having 10,000 spoons when all she needed was a knife IRONIC type shit.

 

I was taken by surprise at how widely ‘Healing’ got shared. Everybody I know was talking about it [whether or not they commented publicly is another story]. I’ve been known to be polarising where you either love me or you hate me – but with this, people who don’t always relate to me as a person could relate to my experiences.

Krit Being Krit

When I noticed that 99% of the people who were spreading it around were brown, I initially thought to myself “this is great but it’s like preaching to the choir – it’s not us who needs to read it.  It’s THEM!” But as more and more comments started coming through, the more I realised that my people did in fact need to read it.  It validated what many of us feel as a community and it raised an awareness that we don’t have to put up with this crap.  This isn’t where the irony lies though.

Typing Out That Double Shot Of Raspberry Tea With A Twist

Grab some gloves to hold ya mugs cuz this tea is coming in HAWT.

 

The Junkee

 

I was approached by Junkee Media to write something up in the same vein as ‘Healing’ with instructions to cut the length by about half. I have to say I was pretty pleased to see an ally take the initiative to increase some awareness on a mainstream publication.  Instead of re-jigging it, I thought I’d pitch more of a follow up call-to-action that could compliment what I had already put out there.  Everything was cool.

Original Title

 

So what happened? A higher up said “it needs to be more positive”. She ordered that it be softened by shuffling parts around, fluffing up the intro and cutting out the harder hitting points.

 

The Fluff

 

Moved All Together To Junkee But Still Edited

It changed the tone completely. Why? To make it more palatable for a white audience. “Speak Out. Make Noise”?  This is what you call silencing. The very f.cken thing the article was against. To have my experiences and my expression of them policed to appease your comfort levels – why even bother?  Another exhibit of how white privilege operates.  Overall I guess it’s something that part of the message is being circulated but this is still bullshit.

 

The Bridge

 

A podcast called The Bridge describes itself as “bridging the gap between social activism, Hip Hop, international affairs and good ol funny shit”.

 

 

After discussing how ‘Healing’ resonated with them, the two hosts throw out “I kinda wish he had said something while he was here…the longer we bite our tongues and don’t address people, they’re gonna keep doing that shit.”

 

First of all, if you’re going to describe yourselves as a bridge for social activism and be taken seriously, you need to do some research on what you say. Your assumption was uninformed and insulting.  My employment was on the line for speaking up every time I did and given that you opened your episode commenting on the importance of maintaining relationships, you should know better than to say some dumb shit like that.  My eventual outpouring was only inspired when I had the time and mental space to really reflect and write about it.  Do not mistake that for me being passive during any stage of my professional career.

Second of all, the contradictions and stereotypes you let run loose on your show are problematic for me.  You want to call out racism but in the same breath refer to women as bitches and make a joke out of sexualities that differ to yours? What exactly are you standing for?  There’s intelligent humour [which punches up by the way] and then there’s just the sloppy behaviour that you exhibited. All oppression is connected. If you want to help create this “bridge”, how about educating yourselves on what that actually takes and that’s unity. As per my message to you, call me up any time. I make myself very available.

 

Ummm

 

Speaking of availability, out of the woodworks came this guy. In ‘Healing’, without naming him, I mentioned how when I first arrived in Australia in 2014, I reached out to the one Pacific person in tv I knew of:

🙂

Started nice enough right?  But then I never heard from him again…

*Fresh Air*

…until 3 years later when out of absolutely nowhere he decided to pipe up with this comment on my page [we’re not friends on Facebook but he managed to find it] when I posted the Junkee article:

???

Not so sure he even read beyond the headline.  My response:

Mmm

 

We gotta stop this fake support.  It’s a shame that it’s so common.  There’s room for all of us to succeed but there needs to be solidarity among us in order to make that happen. We don’t stand a chance divided.  Hit me up when that registers.

 

You Have To Be Twice As Good

 

With everything getting so twisted, I feel like I need to clarify this point.  It doesn’t quite flow in the diluted version on Junkee.  We, as people of colour, have to be EXCELLENT in this world to get even a whiff of an opportunity a white person will get while being mediocre.  I feel like I’ve talked about my experiences enough.  Let me show you someone else’s.

“Treble & Reverb”

The beautiful Aaradhna.  She has an insane amount of talent and she’s stunning.  She shines wherever she goes.  I respect and value her and hold her in such a high regard as a woman, as an artist, as a friend and as family.  The music she makes has become more magical with time and the heat she brought on “Treble & Reverb” was INCREDIBLE.  This was an album that was met with critical acclaim.  For the limited audience outside of New Zealand who heard it.

“Wake Up” Cover

“Wake Up” Video

“Wake Up” Video

And then there’s this…

All About That Bass

Meghan Trainor

Mmmm

Notice anything?  Sound.  Aesthetic.  Language.  Themes.  After Meghan Trainor’s release she’s had every bit of exposure you could hope for and a Grammy to go with it.  I’m not denying she has talent but if you have to put these two records next to each other, one is of a very high quality and the other pales in comparison.  But you know what?  Look up the timeline on releases and if you dig a little deeper you might be able to connect a few other dots.  It’s a small world and this industry is even smaller.

Beautiful Inside & Out

You gotta know what you’re up against and that’s a rigged game.  From athletes to accountants.  It’s not a level playing field out there.  Do not be fooled by the few who make it through – they are exceptions to the rule and used as examples of “anything is possible if you just work hard” to justify what’s really going down.  We are slept on, we are disrespected and what little we have is stolen from us yet we still find ways to prosper.  That’s amazing to me.  We have to be twice as good as them to get half as far and it’s completely unfair but this is what makes our achievements that much more meaningful.

 

SPEAK OUT

 

Regardless of the ironic shit Junkee pulled, it still highlights the importance of speaking out and I want to reiterate that.  We have the power to demand change.  The reaction to my last piece was confirmation for me that I have a voice and a platform that has the ability to move people and I’m thankful for that.  We all have that.  We just gotta push ourselves to use them.  These outdated standards that have been imposed upon us can be smashed if we all work together.  X

2 thoughts on “Irony

  1. Hay Christian, I really felt something reading this! And i thank you deeply for putting it out there as it takes real guts!
    I’ve tried to explain to people my time in australia but no one ever really “got it” .
    I was only 16-19 when I was there, but it’s changed how I really see the world and i now know how lucky I am to be a kiwi!
    I didn’t work in your industry or anything but the friends I made -some I still have to this day seemed to me…. quite cut off from the world, I seemed to know more of their history white and aboriginal then they did, they didn’t know maori were native to nz and had no clue as to the Pacific Islands, this to me is just astounding! I grew up in such a multicultural place i thought everyone did too. Naivete i know! Now dont get me wrong they weren’t racist they just weren’t educated! Sheilded almost from anything other then their own skin.
    It seemed the Asians lived in one area, Greeks, Italians in the other and kiwis started to creep in here and there but no one wanted to know them , no one wanted .to reach out a hand and shake it? It really un nerved me, I started to miss nz t.v because I just wanted to see one brown face to remind me I wasn’t the only one! Nothing on radio even though nz was spitting out some great music at the time, nothing in magazines just no media to represent the ever present changing faces of Australia.
    For that reason I was quite stoked to hear you were getting in on the scene there and thought “about bloody time!” But after reading this I just feel really awful you were put in such a horrible situation, I’m truly proud that you have spoken out its not an easy thing to do and because of it you are a better man and an inspiration to others.
    Good luck in the states and remember there’s always good ol porirua to call home.
    Kira

  2. Fuck yeah. I’ve been fighting this shit since the 90s I’m so blessed to be alive and see you do this afro (my new new nick name for you daha) I wish we had more time to talk when I had met you. I guess we was tryna be Pc in some form. But you fought well over there in Oz balls young man. Yes been saying for years to unite. I guess only the chosen few get it. Ready for the call. #GrooveHouse Love brobro. SIAVANI

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