The hell of liv­ing

Central Leader - - News -

An ugly Auck­land echo of those prob­lems around Welling­ton with the Mon­grel Mob – a sub­ur­ban mother’s cry from the heart:

“Thank you, Mr Booth, for recog­nis­ing dent, and post-grad, as that quiet and de­cent a sin­gle ‘party-minded’ peo­ple have a right 20-some­thing. – God given or not – to “We moved out been­joy the de­cency of cause we as­sumed we the neigh­bour­hoods would be mov­ing into we bought into. a quiet, fam­ily-friend

“I am in­creas­ingly ly en­vi­ron­ment, most ag­grieved and peeved con­ducive to rais­ing by the var­i­ous col­umns our fam­ily, pro­vid­ing and com­ments that op­ti­mum ed­u­ca­tional ap­pear to try and ap­fa­cil­i­ties, etc. pease our lo­cal ‘hoons’ “How­ever, luck of the – be­cause there is no draw – boy, did we luck bet­ter word for them. out.

“Loud mu­sic, bro­ken “Just one un­for­tubot­tles on the street, nate neigh­bour situ­amy autis­tic four-yeartion has changed our old drink­ing beer that new life from idyl­lic to was thrown into our ab­so­lute hell.” gar­den, ‘wheel­ies’ or ‘burn­ing rub­ber’ or what­ever the term is on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

“Se­ri­ously bad lan­guage – to the ex­tent I had to take my fiveyear-old out of her room, and move her into our of­fice, a tiny room that three of us now share be­cause it is fur­ther away from the neigh­bours’ dra­mas.

“I lived in Pon­sonby and Grey Lynn for many years as a stu-

So I am not the only critic of the Mr Asi­aUn­der­belly TV show, al­though my crit­i­cism has prompted its ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Des Mon­aghan to de­fend it in Welling­ton’s Do­min­ion Post where the col­umn was pub­lished.

He de­scribes him­self as be­mused that de­spite my hav­ing no in­ten­tion of watch­ing Un­der­belly: The Mr Asia Story I of­fered a “strongly worded cri­tique”.

“If he did watch it, he would clearly see that the se­ries paints a pic­ture of Terry Clark, sub­se­quently known as Alexan­der Sin­clair, as a cold-blooded killer who sadis­ti­cally came to en­joy killing.

“Screen­time, the creators of the show, do not seek to glam­or­ise crim­i­nals.

“One of the rea­sons we chose to em­pha­sise vi­o­lence was to re­veal just how cruel and brutish the world of Clark and his as­so­ci­ates was. Their world was ter­ri­fy­ing, not glam­orous.”

Mr Mon­aghan de­fends his writ­ers and re­search as metic­u­lous.

“We talked to po­lice, re­porters and a num­ber of crim­i­nal iden­ti­ties who had di­rect knowl­edge of Clark and his ac­tiv­i­ties. News re­ports from the time – in­clud­ing some filed by Booth – were tremen­dously valu­able in our re­search.”

And he says the show does not claim Clark was Mr Asia.

Surely the ad­ver­tis­ing and ti­tle can only add then to the con­fu­sion. Cer­tainly while oth­ers have skimmed around it at least one writer in a na­tional news­pa­per re­ferred to Mr Asia “aka Clark”.

If she was con­fused, what about the view­ers?

A jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of the show from its pro­ducer comes as no sur­prise.

But he does not re­spond to my ma­jor crit­i­cism that dig­ging up a ver­sion 30 years later ex­poses mourn­ing fam­i­lies to a re­play of their orig­i­nal and con­tin­u­ing grief and dis­torts the truth.

The Mon­aghan de­fence does, how­ever, in­cludes a sig­nif­i­cant sen­tence: “Ul­ti­mately, what the show seeks to do is to ac­cu­rately con­vey a sense of what hap­pened.”

A sense of what hap­pened.

But not for The Mer­cury in Ho­bart, where the Tas­ma­nian

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