Linz Live (not)—Radio Live Editorial, June 25

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-06-25 01:00

Apologies for lack of audio. I didn't make it to the studio today after several hours of bad angina. These are the remarks I had prepared.

Seems it’s over before it’s begun. This show, I mean. As you know I broadcast out of one of Canwest’s Wellington studios—now it seems the studio is about to be reclaimed for some other purpose. Mitch Harris has promised to try to find me another slot, but at this point I can’t say when I’ll be with you again.

I’ve been a broadcaster for all my adult life. Since I was 19, in fact. Of course, there’ve been periods during that time where I’ve been in the wilderness, usually because of my politically incorrect views. Now is one such time, though I’m reassured that Mitch told me he wouldn’t like Radio Live to be minus “the Linz factor.”

In any event, I thought today, rather than devoting my opening comments to the events of this past week, I’d share a few reflections on the state of broadcasting and the state of the world. The two are linked.

A friend of mine, a flight attendant, was recently a casualty of the “downsizing” of staff by Air New Zealand. No problem with that—like me she knows that no one owes her a job, let alone the guarantee of one for life. But it was a shame. She was a very good flight attendant, going the extra mile to please, not treating passengers as The Enemy. She applied for a similar position with another airline. At the job interview she was her usual warm, effervescent self. She didn’t get the job. She knew she wasn’t going to get the job before the interview was anywhere near over. Her interviewers were barely out of their teens, didn’t look her in the eye, mumbled in a monotone and generally projected the fashionable attitude of “Who gives a turd?” She and I joked afterward that had she gone into the interview with the same “cool” demeanour and with sunglasses perched on her head she would have been in—as it was, the very qualities that made her an excellent flight attendant were held against her by these young flibbertigibbets straight out of state schools. People like that, I fear, rule the world.

In a Subway outlet the other day, I ordered a six-inch meatball roll. The assistant was young and surly. I had to strain to hear her. She cut open the roll, slipped in some cheese, then uncovered the meatball pot only to find there weren’t any. They’d run out. Without a suggestion of an apology or concern, but with an unmistakable flicker of glee, she announced there were no meatballs and I’d have to choose something else. I was pretty certain there would be a fresh batch of meatballs out the back, since I’d seen this happen before. But looking at the assistant’s vacuous stare, I figured I would be in for more exasperation if I pursued the matter with someone who clearly saw me as The Enemy Whom She’d Triumphantly Thwarted. People like that, I fear, rule the world.

Then I received, via e-mail, a customer satisfaction survey from my gym, Les Mills. I e-mailed straight back saying I wasn’t going to fill it out because I knew from past experience it would be a waste of time. I had urged them on previous occasions to turn down the volume of the headbanging caterwauling that they thump at menacing levels out of their speakers. I had urged them to heed the result of another of their own surveys where a majority of respondents had asked for mainstream pop music rather than rap, punk and other forms of audio filth. Did they take a blind bit of notice? Nope. I took to wearing earplugs rather than trying to find a gym where such atrocities are not perpetrated, since I would probably search in vain. People like that, I fear, rule the world.

Now, I dare say I could improve my chances of regular broadcasting work by talking through my nose, roughing up my speech, talking over callers and interviewees, never finishing my sentences, abandoning linear logic, and going off in a hundred different directions at once. By betraying myself, in other words. Well, I used to close each edition of my former Politically Incorrect Show with Shakespeare’s “This above all, to thine own self be true.” I meant it then, and I mean it now, with respect to myself as much as to anyone else. Betraying myself is simply not on my agenda. If people like me don’t rule the world, tough for me.

I do try to influence things for the better though, in the self-interested hope of helping create a culture in which sullen slovenliness and the vapid acquiescence to ugliness are not the norm. I have a website,, for people like me. There, a friend has posted the following quotation from C. S. Lewis:

“What I want to fix your attention on is the vast overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence -- moral, cultural, social or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how 'democracy' (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient dictatorships, and by the same methods? The basic proposal of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be 'undemocratic.' Children who are fit to proceed may be artificially kept back, because the others would get a trauma by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval's attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT. We may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of education when 'I'm as good as you' has fully had its way. All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will vanish. The few who might want to learn will be prevented; who are they to overtop their fellows? And anyway, the teachers -- or should I say nurses? -- will be far too busy reassuring the dunces and patting them on the back to waste any time on real teaching. We shall no longer have to plan and toil to spread imperturbable conceit and incurable ignorance among men."

Ladies and gentlemen, I too would like to fix your attention on the conscientious elevation of the anti-mind. This is the Age of Unreason. And where reason is abandoned, freedom will soon be jettisoned too, and “people like that” will, quite literally, rule the world. Don’t let it happen.

Radio Live with Lindsay Perigo … 0800 723 465.

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Linz, I recall that soon

Mark Tammett's picture


I recall that soon after I moved to NZ, in 1999, you told me off about being too optimistic about the future of the country. Well it's my turn now to tell you not to be so pessimistic! The people you describe are common, they perhaps even represent the 'average', but they don't rule the world. Ultimately, the people who create value, the people who provide good customer service; they're the ones that rule the world.

Provided we still have a freeish economy, the extent to which their customer service is bad, is the extent to which they lose business. Even in little ol New Zealand, there's enough competition out there to usually avoid bad service, if you look hard enough. I've made it a habit to ruthlessly punish bad service, by taking my money elsewhere, both in my consumer purchases dealings, and especially my business dealings. In marginal cases (where the service is neither fantastic or terrible), they sometimes need "re-educating" as to my expectations. I might even give them 2 or 3 chances to meet them. But if they don't, I'm outta there. Whilst there are always frustrations with some I have to deal with, I'm generally happy with most of my transactions with the world.

Regarding your radio show, I think there definitely is a market demand for your style in NZ. A lot of people like to hear outspoken, un-PC opinions, boldly expresseded (even if they don't agree with all of it). The fire and brimstone days of your Policitially Incorrect Shows on a Sunday were the best. They were well known, they were famous. They kicked ass! I think a weekly format for you is best. It's hard to sustain the sort of intensity you brought to those shows in a daily format.

Joe wrote: "I think the

Derek McGovern's picture

Joe wrote:

"I think the ordinance around these parts allow for excessive noise until 10 PM, but does that seem rather arbitrary? It's supposed to allow for residents to be able to sleep, but what about the idea in general of property rights and not violating other's being with excessive force?"

I think there has to be a distinction between "necessary" and "unnecessary" noise. Normal traffic noise is unpreventable at any hour, but obtrusive noise from construction work - although necessary in many cases - should not be allowed beyond 10pm. This wouldn't help shift workers, of course, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. Unnecessary excessive noise that can be heard inside homes - obnoxiously loud party revellers, car stereos, boy racers, and music from any source - shouldn't be tolerated at any hour.

What, then, should determine "excessive noise"? I guess the decibel test is as good a method as any. (Incidentally, the noise from the band playing near my house on Saturday night was measured at over 100 decibels - equivalent to being inside a disco.)

*Who* should determine excessive voice? The police, of course! But first our idiotic law-makers have to recognise that noise is an initiation of force, and therefore a criminal act.

Claudia wrote: "It took

Derek McGovern's picture

Claudia wrote:

"It took three calls to Noise control before they did anything. They usually don't act unless there is more than one complaint about the same party."

What Noise Control is basically saying, then, is that numbers sanctify. Well, to hell with that. Violation is violation - regardless of whether one person experiences it or the entire street. What's next? That the police should only prosecute thieves with more than one victim?

But I'm still aghast that my neighbours were willing to appease these morons. (Many of the neighbours are middle-aged or elderly, so it's unlikely that any of them would have actually *enjoyed* having their walls shaken by the headbanging.) Whatever happened to justified moral outrage? Perhaps Atlascott is close to the mark when he writes that only 10% of the population is mentally together. (To which I'd add intellectually and morally.) But damn it, like Linz, I refuse to let the other 90% "rule the world" and sully my happiness.

It's initiaton of force, I

JoeM's picture

It's initiaton of force, I tells ya! Eye

"Someone should come up with a subtle sonic cannon to shatter their windows, if not their ear drums in retaliation."

You've heard of the Thompson Harmonizer? I'm working on the Thompson Equalizer.

Brilliant, Linz!

atlascott's picture

Just brilliant!

As I practice in consumer-oriented areas of the law, I am becoming increasingly convinced that about 10% of the general population suffers from what can only be described as a legitimate mental illness.  About 60%, while not technically mentally  ill, are so mixed up and incapable for logical thought for more than brief stints that they literally float, like leaves in the wind of a brisk October day, from idea to idea, floating about for reasons  that they do not fathom, but many of them are kind people.  Another 20% is comprised of people who I can only describe as logical, generally sensical, but vicious.  That leaves about 10% of the population that is mentally together at all, with some sense of perspective.

There are people who play bass-heavy music so loudly in their sub-woofer equipped cars that the body panels and windows LITERALLY and visibly shake in your car when you are anywhere near them.  Someone should come up with a subtle sonic cannon to shatter their windows, if not their ear drums in retaliation.  It is maddening when one of these morons drives by your home in the middle of the night, when you have your windows closed and you air conditioning operating, and you STILL feel things in your home vibrate.  Ridiculous.
 .dquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.k

More than one complaint

Landon Erp's picture

I can understand that policy, for all they know if there's only one complaint there might not even be a problem and it might just be a case of a person trying to solicit help for a case of personal harassment.


Inking is sexy.


Olivia's picture

Fear of retaliation is a problem I'd never thought about before.

The case that Derek describes is identical to one we had recently where our neighbors celebrated their wedding in their back yard.
The thumping music started at 5pm and by 1.30am I'd had enough.

They were shut down by Noise Control. Then a champagne glass came hurling through my son's bedroom window pane and another onto our deck!

The next day the bride apologized profusely for the behaviour of a few of her savage guests and paid for the window.

It took three calls to Noise control before they did anything. They usually don't act unless there is more than one complaint about the same party.

I'd call that excessive

JoeM's picture

I'd call that excessive force, when the house shakes and the walls vibrate. Remeber the Thompson Harmonizer? Eye

Hi Joe: I do regard

Derek McGovern's picture

Hi Joe: I do regard excessive noise as an initiation of force. By "excessive," I mean gratuitous (or unnecessary) noise, e.g., music, that can be heard when I'm in my own home with all the windows and doors closed at any hour of the day; in other words, noise that I can't escape from. I've been driven to distraction by the constant thump-thump-thump jungle beat of my neighbours.

I've just got off the phone with the local police, who, although sympathetic this time, again pointed out that unless acts of unruly or criminal behaviour are occurring on the offending property, excessive noise alone is not reason enough for them to intervene. This is clearly a ridiculous situation.

Noise Ordinance

JoeM's picture

Interesting topic, one I've been thinking about a lot lately.

I am sympathetic to the plight of those who have to "tolerate" excessive noise coming from car stereos, backyard bands, etc., since I live in a city on a major street where noise is the norm and not uncommon to hear loud noise in the middle of the night. Besides unwanted music, though, there's also actual noise such as excessive traffic, construction, alarms, etc. Most of those noises are transient, but some, like construction and street repairs, can go on all day for months. And in the suburbs, there's lawnmowers and the like.
I think the ordinance around these parts allow for excessive noise until 10 PM, but does that seem rather arbitrary? It's supposed to allow for residents to be able to sleep, but what about the idea in general of property rights and not violating other's being with excessive force? I bring this up because I've been thinking about excessive sound as potentially being an initiation of force. (Loud music can be a torture method in a way that forcing one to view a postmodern painting can't.) Political activists hide behind the first amendment to use megaphones and loud shouting to intimidate and harass their opponents. Content aside, isn't the act of excessive sound an initiation of force? Is one justified in striking back in the name of self defense against those who "get in your face" with megaphones and/or simply shouting in your ear against your will?

Linz's complaint about loud music has limitations, to the extent that it is within private property. But Derek's complaint fits in here because the sound travels past property barriers. And the music doesn't matter, since if the music were opera instead of rock, it could still be unwanted by some neighbors who either don't like opera or simply resent the intrusion. It's not just the content but the idea of unwanted sound.

This brings up the issue of who decides what excessive sounds are allowed. If a resident or contractor is permitted to generate loud sounds in the name of construction or repairs, why is music restricted in the daytime outside of noise ordinance restrictions? Construction sounds and lawnmowers, unfortunately, don't have volume control the way a radio does, so one could argue that one has to be tolerated do to the nature of the noise as uncontrollable. But somehow, it still seems a violation of property rights.

And if it is the case that manageble sounds should respect the individual, then why is loud music and noise tolerated during parades, block partys, etc. (I am thinking more in the city, where block party noise travels beyond the area into apartments and businesses where the sound may be unwanted. Why is this to be tolerated when committed by groups, but not on the individual level where a person may be playing a radio too loud?

It seems that the criteria has been one of numbers with less of an interest in protecting the individual.

And Derek, I think you're right that many people are too intimidated by the threat of retaliation, at least in the cities, where complaining about a car stereo might get you shot (and they wonder why people are wearing "Stop Snitching" t-shirts. This is what it's come to, and it makes me angry to see people get away with literally murder.)

Yes, but...

Marcus's picture

...I wonder what generation has ever said. "Wow the younger generation have got it in spades. It's all onwards and upwards from now on."

Even Aristotle was complaining about the age of crap for lack of Greek heroes of days gone by.

Of course, this does not negate the truth of what Linz has said here.

On a different note...

Let's hope "England" win the World cup...wooohooo!!!!

Linz, thanks for the editorial.

Please get well soon.

Lindsay, that's a brilliant

Duncan Bayne's picture

Lindsay, that's a brilliant editorial - I just hope you've recovered from the angina! Shocked

This is a great editorial,

Derek McGovern's picture

This is a great editorial, Linz, and I hope you get to broadcast it soon. But you've got me worried now about your angina attack! I trust that your doctor is doing everything he can to prevent another one.

I almost had an angina attack of my own on Saturday night when a group of thuggish neighbours - no doubt of the same ilk as those responsible for the aural assaults at Les Mills - decided to invite a heavy rock band to perform in their back yard. This was caterwauling on a massive scale; they inflicted unimaginable volume on a residential area for over three hours before I was finally able to persuade Noise Control (after repeated phone calls) to confiscate their gear. A victory, you might say, but the frustrating thing is that not a single other person complained - and yet over 100 households in the surrounding streets must have been affected by this aural equivalent of a home invasion. Whether my neighbours shared the PC view expressed by the local police that a bit of "give and take" should be shown towards such thugs - or were simply afraid to complain out of fear of retaliation - is hard to know. But what I do know is that within 72 hours the perpetrators will be reunited with their amplifiers and bass machines, and free to unleash their malice on me again.

My Korean partner repeatedly asks me, "Why is New Zealand society so aggressive?" Of course, the problem I'm talking about is not just restricted to New Zealand; it's endemic throughout much of the world - in any society, in fact, where socialism and its contempt for beauty & decency & achievement flourish.

As long as...

Prima Donna's picture

As long as there are people who embrace excellence as Standard Operating Procedure, and people who recognize the difference between that and the rest of what is happening in the world, there is hope to turn things around. That may sound Dagny-esque, but the more minds we help to nourish and inspire by living our lives and conducting our businesses based on a moral, rational code, the closer we are to realizing a vision of excellence all around us.

It may comprise small actions, such as choosing to patronize certain businesses because they put in that extra 10% of effort, or hiring employees that exemplify - or have the potential to exemplify - our ideals. Those small actions snowball, and soon we find ourselves surrounded with "our kind of people." There is no happier way to live, in my opinion, and it makes each day pretty damned fantastic.

Linz, I hope that wench at Subway did not inspire the angina attack. Next time just bitch-slap her. Smiling


-- Food Philosophy. Sensuality. Sass.


Michael Allen Yarbrough's picture

Perfectly awesome and kick-ass, again, of course. quite a shame that it did not appear over the radio; I hope it does.

Michael Allen Yarbrough

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