Article – Werewolf

Hi and welcome to the 59th edition of Werewolf, in which we revisit the TPP debate, and critically examine the claims that the Trans Pacific Partnership really is the spiffing, up-to-date document that our government and its business cronies claim …

Enter The ‘Wolf

Hi and welcome to the 59th edition of Werewolf, in which we revisit the TPP debate, and critically examine the claims that the Trans Pacific Partnership really is the spiffing, up-to-date document that our government and its business cronies claim it to be. As this month’s cover story shows, the contentious investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions at the heart of the TPP are something that the European Trade Commission has no faith in, and the US has been formally advised that the Europeans plans to scrap the ISDS mechanisms entirely, and replace them with with a fairer, more transparent and more judicially sound system in all of its major trade deals in future. Which raises the question – why is New Zealand planning to ratify the broken model of adjudication that is contained in the TPP, and thereby perpetuate its shortcomings?

Elsewhere in this issue, we report on the social cost to communities and to individuals of the industrial killing of animals for food – a story that’s based on research into the incidence of violence and other anti-social behaviours in the places where these abattoirs are located. We’re still in recovery mode from the GFC of 2008 – and in this month’s Werewolf, Max Rashbrooke interviews British economist and Financial Times columnist John Kay about whether sufficient lessons have been learned from the GFC to avert the looming financial crisis. Also in this month’s Werewolf….in the age of Facebook, new contributor Ana Avia-O’Connor has made a deeply personal, beautifully argued case for reviving the ancient practice of writing and receiving letters.

The reaction to the death of David Bowie reflected the huge impact that Bowie had on popular culture – and this month, Philip Matthews devotes his film column to the widely reviled, much misunderstood neo-Bowie flick Velvet Goldmine. In anothet Bowie-related story, Werewolf tracked down and has re-printed a stunning photograph of Bowie taken in 1978 by the great New Zealand photographer Laurence Aberhart, and we briefly interviewed Laurence about how the photo came into being. Also… the publication of a great new biography of Tom Petty is an occasion to revisit his difficult life and career, and recall his tour of New Zealand in May 1980.

Japan is one of the most fertile sources of global pop culture, and in this issue, we analyse the Japanese concept of ‘kawaii’( or ‘Cuteness”) and track its role in the evolution of modern Japanese gender relations, fashion and in other realms of popular culture. In the music column The Complicatist, we also showcase a range of Japanese singers, bands and music styles from traditional enka music to J-Pop, noise and hiphop. In his satirical this month, Lyndon Hood traces some pretty obvious when you think about it links between Kanye West’s new album, the travails of Martin Shkreli, and the works of Winston Peters, Murray McCully et al.

Thanks also to Lyndon for helping me post this issue online. If anyone out there ever wants to be involved and talk over some story ideas, contact me at gordon@werewolf.co.nz

Cheers,
Gordon Campbell
Editor, Werewolf

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