The Politically Incorrect Show - 09/10/2000
[Music - Die Fledermaus]
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Monday October 9, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
It was the best & worst of things this weekend. The worst was Saturday morning when I received a phone call to tell me that Arthur Clough, Libertarianz stalwart, veteran of the anti-NaZis On Air Campaign, drivers' licence/ID card rebel, well known to Radio Pacific listeners as "Arthur of Port Waikato," had died earlier that morning of a heart attack. Arthur & his wife Margaret were real-life Tom & Barbaras, only without the comedic aspect (at least for the most part!). They had made themselves self-sufficient years ago on their Port Waikato property, generating their own electricity, cultivating their own food, even brewing their own whiskey & gin, which I had the dubious pleasure of partaking of on the odd occasion. Their barbecues were as legendary as the outlandish hairpiece Arthur wore when he had his drivers' licence photo taken.
He had been due to speak at the Libertarianz annual conference on Saturday, & was getting ready to depart for this when his heart attack occurred. I shall miss his chirpy, cheeky calls to this programme. The cause of freedom has suffered a great loss.
The best of things this weekend was National Business Review/Opera New Zealand's production of Die Fledermaus at the Aotea Centre. Now, be warned: a few liberties have been taken with the original, to put it mildly. Meandering sub-plots have been removed & the running time cut by about an hour. This is a good - the thing always was too long. Dialogue has been reworked to include subtle, & sometimes not-so-subtle, allusions to places & events in contemporary New Zealand. For a few hilarious moments Zane Jarvis, who plays Frank the jailer, sings his lyrics to the movements of a haka. Cast & chorus strut their stuff with great verve, humour & commitment. Malvina Major as Rosalinde is in top vocal form. Helen Medlyn as a spike-haired Prince Orlovsky is another stand-out. And, needless to say, through it all is the effervescent music of that greatest melody-spinner of all, Johann Strauss - it's the strains of Die Fledermaus, of course, that usher in this programme every day, a salutation to a benevolent, fun-filled universe. This production is a thoroughly enjoyable romp & I strongly urge you to go see it. You'll leave the theatre dancing.
Opera New Zealand are to be commended on making themselves substantially independent of government funding. I hope that in the near future they wean themselves off the state tit altogether, & I'll be able to say "COMPLETELY independent of government funding." Certainly, I could have done without all the gushing over "our Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Helen Clark" that struck a jarring note at the post-production party on Saturday night.
Several times during the performance, I thought of Arthur Clough - how he would have chuckled at the sublime mischief unfolding on the stage. I'd like to close now with a tribute to Arthur & his valiant efforts for a New Freeland ... in the form of the Free Radical Award.
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