Things I like: Chronic Bitchface and smart talkin

'Things I like' is my proposed new series of posts on - yes! - things I like. Gratifyingly, there are more of them than I initially anticipated, even excluding Vanity Fair which has already had one hell of a plug on this blog (ditto iPads).

Tonight I'm going to shout out to pol sci lecturer Therese Arseneau who did a creditable commentary on last night's leaders debate (Campbell Live, TV3), giving a highly informed opinion on the content presented and contextualising the audience feedback 'worm' results through sharing her own extensive knowledge of the New Zealand political landscape in a concise and accessible way. I know it shouldn't matter but when a woman says brainy stuff on telly it makes me feel like someone is flying the flag for all of us. And it seems to happen surprisingly seldom. Arseneau's commentary contrasts sharply with the lacklustre efforts of Clare Robinson on the panel for the first leaders's debate on TVNZ. She seemed out of her depth and a little defensive with it, which had the unfortunately effect of making me feel like she was a token choice. As in - "we can't find an informed woman to balance out the leaders' debate panel but that's ok - woman don't care about this stuff anyway and they all like John Key, so anyone will do". I hope to god I'm wrong, and I hasten to add, I doubt I could do better. But I also hope that if Ms Robinson is back on the panel later this week, she takes a deep breath, collects her thoughts and does us all proud.

I also have to take a moment to call attention to the colour-coding of each of the major party debates and the arrangement of the studio. Did anyone else find the blue background behind Guyon Espiner a bit too right for comfort? TV3 by contrast did well on being non-partisan, with John Campbell sporting a handsome lilac tie and a pale greenish backdrop. I also really liked the fact that the leaders were facing each other on TV3 rather than facing the facilitator as at TVNZ, and that they got longer to talk about a particular issue. This meant we got presented with less topics, but meant the responses had greater depth as the leaders were able to properly formulate their points, largely without being interrupted or redirected. It was refreshing how polite JC was as well. Quite old school. Love it.

And on a lighter and completely unrelated note - after a childhood and adolescence plagued by strange men coming up to me and shouting "smile - it can't be that bad" in airports and places of worship etc, I finally found this:

Chronic Bitchface

I somehow feel less alone....