When I was at Tawa College, the editor of the student rag was one of the most popular kids. We all hated his guts. He got all the girls and party invites when the rest of us were masturbating ourselves to oblivion. Now as Salient’s editor I could be getting more chicks and party invites too. I probably will get a whole bunch of wannabes trying to convince me to write their self indulgent stories too.
Here is one.
I am your editor because fi ve people interviewed me, read my cv and liked my fancy answers. The real story is that I failed shorthand at journalism school and have struggled for the last two years to meet my bill payments because the only work I could get as a reporter was freelancing for the Northern Courier and Petone Herald (I did a stint at Capital Times too, and also worked as a roof laborer). I did it because I wanted to write music and produce an album. I was paid thirty bucks per story. I managed to survive and in the darkest times- the weeks when the banks are calling you twice a week because you overspent in the weekend and the interest has become a plague which rolls through thousands of stamped forms, letters, statements and notices- I discovered that I had it all and more.
Most people don’t get to fall in love with a discipline and practise it. When I left Victoria University in 2001 with an Honours degree in Psychology I followed the crowd. I joined the AXA insurance company and suffered because I cared too much about security and money and perceived success. I may have continued down that path if I hadn’t watched a fi lm about American professor Noam Chomsky at the Embassy Theater in 2001. The fi lm was called Manufacturing Consent and it blazed and scorched my mind. That fi lm was like hear- ing punk music for the fi rst time. I bought a laptop and as the footsteps went down and up, outside my window I banged it hard. Writing became a heavyweight fi ght, I hit the keys like the bull when he first charges in.
Chomsky taught me that the mainstream media serves the interests of a small elite group: the government and corpora- tions. He got it right. Most journalists are pussies and box be- low their weight. This year I’m going to try to make Chomsky look like a hypocrite. I’m going to try to serve your interests as students. Let me know how I’m doing. Tell me I’m a wanker. Tell me I’ve got it wrong. But don’t tell me I didn’t try.