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Episode 2: Good News, Bad News and Graphic Design

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Episode 2: Good News, Bad News and Graphic Design

⚡️ Changing social norms and habits through COVID

📰 Consuming too much bad news for information - and entertainment

👨 Simon Bridges’ delight at quitting his job

👨‍🎨 Art imitating life when it comes to innovation, expertise… and demon slaying?

🍆 Unfortunate graphic design choices by the Australian government…





Alicia:                   [ Foreign language 00:00:04] and welcome to this episode of The Alicia McKay Show. This week, we touched some curly issues like COVID changes and what that's doing to our social behaviour and habits.

                           We look at women's issues and take a closer at the kind of news and entertainment that we enjoy and what that does to our perspective on the world. We'll also touch on some lighter issues like Anime, Japanese cartoon styles that are trending the world and graphic design of an unfortunate nature in the Australian department of prime minister and cabinet.

                           We cross law five to a new field reporter, Callum Valentine, we feature two of my beautiful children and as always, have some incredible input from Producer Cam. It's an incredible episode, everyone, and I hope you enjoy. If you do enjoy, please take the time to follow and rate this podcast on Spotify or Apple.

                           Your support makes all the difference to how much energy and effort we are able to put into bringing you a bit of joy from our lives and to yours. So please make sure to show us your support. Enjoy this episode, everyone. It's a goodie.

                           [ Foreign language 00:01:19]. Good morning, everyone and welcome to The Alicia McKay Show on this beautiful Friday morning. It's a bit chilly here in Wellington this morning, which is a sign that autumn is becoming autumn. Which is both exciting for me because as I mentioned, for those of you who tuned in last week, my favourite thing to do is to sit inside when it's warm and look outside at how it's not very nice feel smug.

                           So that works really nicely for me, but also a little bit disappointing because last night, and this morning was a bit of a reminder about what it feels like to actually be cold. Not summer cold where you're like, "I could almost put a Jersey on." But actual cold, which is mildly disappointing.

                           Now, I'm very excited to be here again for you all this morning, bright and early. Please jump in the comments as quickly as you can to introduce yourself to your fellow audience members, to say good morning. Let us know where you are tuning in from and what's going on for you this morning, because it is so much more enjoyable doing this job, watching your comments come through and knowing that I'm not just a mad woman talking into a camera in her house.

                           Good morning, Darren. One thing I didn't think of when I scheduled this last week, now you will be unsurprised if you followed me for a while to learn that when it came time to pus, go on The Alicia McKay Show, there wasn't really a long period of time where we thought about what the best day would be, what the best time would be, whether we were ready, how we were going to work out the optimum time for people's lives. No, no. What happened was last Monday, I called Producer Cam and I said, "Cam, it's time for us to have The Alicia McKay Show. I'm doing it this week. What days are you free?"

                           And so we looked at our calendars and I was like, "I was the thinking Wednesday or Thursday." And Producer Cam said, "No, I've got something on Wednesday or Thursday." I'm like, "All right. I guess we're doing it on Friday then. What time?" Cam said, "I've got something at 9:30. Could we do it at 8:00?" And I went, "Yeah, 8:00's good." We booked it in, checked it on LinkedIn. And then sort of this week, I realised I have kids every second week. So being on camera at 8:00 AM on a Friday morning is quite disruptive to my morning school run routine. Know that this morning I have dispatched a teenager down to the bus stop. I've driven her down to a bus stop to head over the hill.

                           I've got two other children and out there having their breakfast with their lunches made, getting on, maybe not getting on. I'm in here and walked into the studio approximately three minutes before we needed to go live with a cup of coffee, much to Producer Cam's frustration.

                           But here we are. We're here again and I'm very excited to be here to see you all tuning in. We have Kate from Dunedin, Karen from Auckland. We don't know where Glen is, but he's excited. Fabian! We have the beautiful Fabian tuning in from Germany, which is extremely exciting. We've got Barry. Guy Not a Madman is here from Wellington. That's very exciting. Paul, isn't mad either. He's here from Auckland, but I am competing with the council mowing crew. I will take them on Paul and I will take them down.

                           All right. So in today's show, we will be talking about news and not news, what's been going on this week. We're going to introduce a special guest in the field, live reporter. Producer Cam will join us as always with his input and something neat. And I've also got another special guest, but I'm not going to tell you who that is just yet.

                           We'll just keep that under wraps. What's been going on this week. COVID is still here. Probably feel free to let me know in the comments, if you have been affected by COVID this week, either because your family has sent you into iso or because you are sick or because you can't get any ice cream, a countdown because all of the freezers are empty.

                           Sorry, that's just a personal experience. Went in for a hot chicken, thought I could get a two litres of ice cream. Couldn't. The only flavours left were ones that people really, really didn't want, which was obvious. I think from a distributor point of view, should be really helpful information like when there's no ice cream in New Zealand and you can't buy it, but these three flavours are left. That is a very clear consumer indication that nobody wants like Burnt Sesame Passion Fruit Coal or whatever it is.

                           So I think this is a really good time for manufacturers to really understand consumer behaviour, because if there's nothing on the shelves and your product is left, that is not a good sign.

                           Now, as you will know, I had COVID a couple of weeks ago and I'm very excited to no longer have COVID. But more importantly, I'm very excited to feel quite free right now. My freedom day was Saturday. Now, ironically, my day 10 of isolation was the same day that the government decided to reduce it to seven days, which was fun, but we're not going to dwell on that, are we? I'm not bitter.

                           My freedom day was Saturday and I was out and about in the weekend, seeing people going places, going to the shops and I noticed a real difference in the way that I felt being out in public, knowing that I couldn't get infected and I couldn't infect anyone.

                           So I still masked up, still hand sanitised, still checked in although, as we know, they're not doing anything with that information anymore. But I definitely felt a different sense of being in the world compared to how it's been over the last little while, knowing that I couldn't hurt anyone and I couldn't get sick.

                           So that was really interesting to me. I would be really interested to know whether some of you have been experiencing something similar because it's got quite a different vibe. But as we know, COVID is moving on and the government is going all right, what are we going to do now? And they're sort of starting to throw their hands up in the air and go, "Fuck it."

                           I'm pretty sure that's the vibe right now in parliament. They've just gone, "Fuck it. Fine. If the [inaudible] party's going to keep putting up these billboards and National's going to keep pretending they know better than us, let's just ignore the facts that we've kept everybody safe and well for the last two years and let these privileged assholes travel again."

                           Now, that is direct from a transcript in cabinet this week. But obviously that's exclusive information that we shouldn't be spreading any further, but they have decided to just let us go out. It's like we've been grounded for long enough, we've proven we can be trusted and we've decided that our friends can come over too. Australians are coming back in. We are going to Australia. Very soon, we're going to let the people from England and people from America and all over the place in.

                           We're really accelerating it. Now we're like, "Let them all in. Freedom camp. Shit in the bushes. Go nuts. New Zealand is yours. It's been a long cold two years. We need you international tourism. We cannot afford to run our country on our own." So that's big news this week now. Cam, I understand you are currently in Australia.

Producer Cam:       Yeah. I'm in Australia and the mood is kind of different because the release of people, if you like, happened a little bit sooner and so completely in contrast to your experience of having you with COVID and knowing you weren't at risk, I was the complete opposite.

                           I needed to produce a negative test before getting on the flight to come to Australia. So before the flight and the week beforehand, while you had COVID, I was terrified. I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything or expose myself to anything for fear of not being able to get on the flight.

                           What I'd love to do now is share the experience that I had last night, which was going to the football. Now, for the first time in a very, very long time, there were loads of people in the same place, just an incredible number. There were 72,000 people in the MCG though, like this enormous sporting ground and the vibe compared to what Wellington's like at the moment could not have been more different-

Alicia:                   Cam, where are all those people's masks? Where are their masks?

Producer Cam:       Well, the mask now that it's been removed. So there's me and my mum. It was great seeing my mum. I haven't seen her for a year. That was just a delight. The vibe is totally, totally different. So what's really interesting. I think is realising that no matter where you are, there's a different phase going on in the world. The speed of news has slowed right down the source of information or what's going on in other places has really dried up. Going from place to place can be quite a bump.

                           The first day that I arrived in Australia, my nephew and I walked out into the city, and it was thriving compared to Wellington, which has been a bit of a ghost town. Melbourne was absolutely humming. It's quite a different experience.

Alicia:                   Wow. That's really interesting to me. I had a physiological response to seeing 72,000 people sitting in the stands next to each other with no mask on, Cam. That feels-

Producer Cam:       I was having the same thing. It wasn't anxiety, but it was like, "This is weird. Why aren't you people more responsible?" But of course, Melbourne's gone through some of the harshest lockdowns that anyone's had. And so the mood is quite different here. The feeling that the freedom, if you like, is a dangerous word to use in this context, but it's kind of come back. People are a lot more open and willing to intermingle. I don't know if the data's suggesting that's a great idea necessarily, but certainly the population have decided its time.

Alicia:                   I would like to acknowledge Producer Cam to our broader audience, who, as some of you who are quite good mathematicians might have figured out. In fact, he is joining us live from Melbourne currently, which he is. It is 6:00 AM in Melbourne. Now Cam, would you describe yourself as a morning person?

Producer Cam:       I am definitely not a morning person and I will be going straight back to bed after this. It's fair to say I have not had my daily allocation of sleep beforehand.

Alicia:                   So huge acknowledgement to Cam for being online in the green room at probably 5:30 Australian time this morning when the New Zealanders were not even there. What a man, what a time?

                           Now, the Australia difference is really interesting to me because it makes me think about the speed at which we change behaviour or not. I remember going over to Australia when we had The Trans-Tasman Bubble for five minutes last year and having that similar feeling of feeling quite jarred by being in the city and seeing very few people wearing masks at that point. And that was before mask mandates had come back to be fair, but people walking around and going, "Didn't you guys just spend like a year locked down? Aren't you afraid?"

                           But they sort of weren't and thinking about the speed at which we adapt to new norms, I'm going, are we going to be sitting here in three weeks time or six weeks time going, "Oh yeah. Remember when you had to wear a mask everywhere? LOL. That was weird." And just completely moving on or is it going to linger for longer? What do you think, Cam?

Producer Cam:       The pace of the change is really hard to predict isn't it? I think because things are so fickle and because numbers can change quickly and the circumstances can change quite quickly. It's really hard to know. As we are fond of saying to each other time is funny, doesn't seem like a year since I've been here and it also seems like five years since I've been here and the speed that things change makes it really hard to know what it's going to be like in even a week or two weeks time.

                           The thing that I think you have to do is be just soft with people who are in a different phase than you. That's the thing. We're looking around last night in your response to people at the football without wearing a mask is to possibly not view them favourably. It's one of those things where you know yourself that might be you tomorrow, next week or weeks later. So it's not being too judgey about where other people are at, because this has been quite a journey.

Alicia:                   I think it's a really important message. I'm not so much judgey, I think of the maskless but scared and programmed differently, but you're so right. We're all in-

Producer Cam:       And a bit jaded.

Alicia:                   Right. Discerning. I prefer discerning. That's true whether we are in different countries or even if we are in different families and if we've got different attitudes on kids' vaccination. If our family's had COVID in a different family hasn't, if we're living in a different part of the country that's been affected in a different way. Auckland has peaked, but Wellington is nowhere near it.

                           Thinking about how many different potential attitudes and fears and perspectives are currently mingling and mixing out there, it's got the potential to get a bit of a Tinder box. Doesn't it? Not the casual sex one, the sparking-

Producer Cam:       I'm glad to have cleared out that confusion. Anyway, moving right along, hitting the schedule and keeping the dive table here. We're all about love.

Alicia:                   [inaudible].

Producer Cam:       Gotcha.

Alicia:                   Well, something that I've been focusing on this week, I want to bring up before we go any further, is this idea of good news. Now, I run a really excellent leadership programme. I would say that, wouldn't I? For countdown supermarkets. And so I've got the pleasure of training 120 of the leaders this year, to be a bit more strategic and to cope with change.

                           And it is an absolute delight to me running these leadership sprints and getting to know a group of people for a short period of time. But the final assignment in this course is a showcase of your leadership movement. And this is where it gets really exciting. Where after eight weeks together, we have people come out and get on the stage essentially and showcase what they want to see more of in their environment or in the world and it's very exciting.

                           It brings me to tears every time. Now, the wonderful Calvin from Countdown Woolworth's this week, his leadership movement was to see more good news in the world. He said, "We don't have enough good news. So my movement is really simple. When people are spreading information to each other online and meetings via email, we should have more good news."

                           And it immediately touched me. I heard that and I thought, "Yes, Calvin you're so right." Because further to my rant and the last episode about news values, we have got such a warped and disproportionate understanding of safety and bad news. Again, we can point the finger at the media for that a little bit, not exclusively, but a little bit. Now, those of you who are fans of movements like Hans Rosling's Factfulness and if you haven't watched, his TED Talk with the bubbles, just write down right now, Factfulness, Hans Rosling.

                           Write that down because you'll want to go and see that. You'll know that actually on a whole bunch of objective metrics, the world's in the best shape it's kind of ever been. We're the safest we've ever been, crime has lower than it's ever been. You are least likely to die early. Health, pandemics aside, is in better shape right across the world at developed and developing countries. But we don't feel safer and it doesn't feel better. There's a number of reasons for that. Part of that is the visibility of bad news. We can see it more.

                           200 years ago, things were shit, but you didn't know. Unless someone sent you a telegram, you were like, "Telegram? Telegraph. Telegraph?" You didn't know, unless you got it in a letter that came over on a ship four weeks later, you're like, "Things are bad over there." You didn't know.

                           Now, we know immediately. We don't have to wait for a war journalist to come out of their embedding with the troops to tell us how things are in Ukraine when you're on day one. We've got this visibility, that's a product of our interconnectedness, where we see a lot more and good news doesn't get the same level of clicks as bad news, does it? When we trigger the kind of pain end of the spectrum with feelings, fear, anxiety, lack of safety, we get a much stronger emotional reaction from people than when we try to trigger their positive ones. So we know that a headline that says, "Everyone's going to die. Find out why." Is a lot more effective than, "Things aren't too bad, have a sleep in. No, one's clicking on that." We've got that kind of news value thing.

                           We've got the visibility thing and then what I find the strangest and I'm not trendy in this way, is that not only do we consume a whole bunch of news that's actually happening in the world, but we seem to enjoy scaring ourselves for entertainment. That is something that is on the increase. Actual crime, not on the increase.

                           Consumption of True Crime podcasts and documentaries are skyrocketing. We are at there scaring ourselves for fun. So when we look at movies and TV shows and podcasts and everything else, people are out there either engaging in stories about fictional rape, murder and destruction or digging into actual ones. So I don't know. Say what you like about that. I've never been into horror movies or true crime or whatever, because it makes me feel icky because I'm kind of a baby like that. So I'm not trendy like you guys, but when you put all those things together, it means we don't get a lot of good news and it's kind of bad for us to only be surrounded by bad news.

                           I don't even think I need to quote a study to convince you guys of that. If we don't get enough good in our lives, we feel like shit because we think things are bad. Shocking, isn't it? That's a very, long-winded Cam's going coalition time. It's a very long-winded way of saying that I want to see more good news in the world and that what I'd love to hear from you guys in the comments, but in the DMs, sent through to the show, send through to me on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, email through the website, I want your good news stories. I want to showcase your good news stories, whether that's at work or whether it's in your life.

                           So the good news story that I want to share very briefly is that I discovered yesterday that playing Tetris can reduce PTSD, depression and anxiety. Playing the game Tetris, from the '80s where you rearrange the things engages a whole bunch of pattern recognition and visual stuff in your brain that makes it impossible to have flashbacks of bad stuff. And not only that, you should play it before bed if you're struggling to sleep. So everyone who's feeling really naughty about being on their phone before bed, because it's making it hard to sleep, play some Tetris, it's really good for you.

                           Now, if there's anyone I know that's into video games and I do know a few, but not like super closely because I'm not into video games, it is my best friend Callum Valentine. Now, Callum Valentine is he's been a friend of mine since high school and he is a self-described indoor kid. Loves the video games. There are a few things we don't connect on, but there's a lot that we do.

                           Without further ado, I would like to extend a warm Alicia McKay Show welcome to Callum Valentine.

Callum:                 Thank you very much for that incredible welcome and a special credit to Cam for that intro. That's absolutely fantastic. I do though bring some sad tidings in that after approximately 14 seconds as your news correspondent, I'm going to have to immediately shock resign because what I've learned from Simon Bridges this week is that is the way to absolute happiness.

                           I don't know if you caught any of his complete media circuit yesterday, but I've never seen somebody who was so overjoyed to not be doing his job anymore. It almost broke the fourth wall of sort of the pretends of politics where he sort of even had to pretend that he was a little bit sorry to resign. But yeah, that's a man that's never been happier. He kind of at it with his last Renaissance where he had the whole [inaudible] incident.

                           That was memorable and fantastic, but this was next level. Particularly good at his appearance on-

Alicia:                   [inaudible].

Callum:                 On the spinoff, Gone By Lunchtime podcast where he's just kidding around, he's saying too much. He's... There was one story which we may never know that he had to immediately walk back. But yeah, this is a man who's just overjoyed to not be doing his job anymore. I thought I would get in on that buzz as well and yours is the easiest of my roles to resign from.

Alicia:                   Maybe so, but try resigning as best friend and I will hunt you down and slit your throat, CV. Was that too much? I love that a lot. What I'm interested in here is that I didn't realise anybody would be sad Simon Bridges is leaving and this is not an attack on Simon Bridges. I'm sure he is a really nice dude. He wrote a book and people seem to like it and that's really cool. But Tauranga is in mourning.

                           I'm actually blown away by this. I've seen the Chamber of Commerce chief executive all over the news. Everyone's like, "What are we going to do? How are we going to replace Simon Bridges?" Maybe as an under-informed political watcher, I just sort of thought we weren't that into him anyway. What's your thoughts?

Callum:                 Well, it just... It's raised the dreadful zombie prospect of Winston Peters running for Tauranga again. That would just... One of the other reasons I'm resigning as your news correspondent is I'm just burnt out. I did approximately a week's research for it and touching on everything that you've mentioned already about how drenched we are in bad news. It wasn't good for me. I don't think it's good for anyone.

Alicia:                   I agree. Yesterday, heading into looking at what we were going to do today, CV, I Googled New Zealand News and I got, "We're changing the history curriculum." A less whitewashing. Love that [inaudible]. COVID stuff about borders, although we're kind of not that into numbers anymore, are we? In fact, are we still having a 1:00 PM presser? Is that still happening, CV?

Callum:                 Every so often. That seems to be at random.

Alicia:                   We've sort of forgotten about that now. And then-

Callum:                 The way, I'm glad I'm not anyone who Googles incredibly basic terms when I'm trying to approach something.

Alicia:                   What's going on New Zealand? But then about fourth on the list, there was an article on New Zealand Herald behind a pay wall. I just want to point out about Bob Saget death with shocking medical examiner findings. I clicked in because I'm a moppet and they got me and I read the article and what it says is the medical examiner has found that Saget died by falling onto something hard, covered by something soft and was probably dizzy before he died. That's the shocking revelation. Any thoughts on something hard covered by something soft that could have taken out Bob Saget, CV?

Callum:                 Look, I'm not a medical professional, but I'll Google it shortly.

Alicia:                   My man, my man. Well, it was an absolute pleasure to have you debut on the show for your one and only appearance before your shock resignation. But I suspect we might be reappointing you by next Friday. So thank you so much, CV, for coming in with your incredible Bridges commentary, a man who is excited to no longer go to work. That is a movement that I can get behind and I'm not saying it's good news, but maybe. Although we might feel slightly differently if we get old when he blew back on the back on the political circuit, because he is probably tired.

                           All right. This brings me into actually, having CV on the show, into my fad of the week. Now, CV and I are avid fad followers. What we both like doing more than anything is being really into something like really into something for a short period of time. And then by the time the people in our lives that love us have caught up to our current fad, we've well moved on.

                           What's important though, about having a fad person in your life and if you're watching or listening today and you are thinking, that sounds a lot like my friend, spouse, child, then I need you to know that what you can't be ever is dismissive of a current fad because when we are in it, we believe it so deeply and it's really hurtful when someone says, "No, you can't have a veggie garden. Remember the last three times you tried to have a veggie garden and you managed to kill strawberries, mum? Wasn't that a waste of money."

                           Hey, I'm different this time. I'm different. I've read different articles on the internet. I've bought different stuff from Bunnings. I don't need you to have a go at my veggie garden. I can do it this time, but fad of the week for me this week is socialising. That's right. You heard it here first. Socialising is back in fashion. Inspired by Cam's Melbourne, adventure, I'm all about going out.

                           Now that I'm free, I've had my COVID experience and having spent a year basically as a hermit, convincing myself that I don't like other people. I don't like leaving the house. Really what I like is snacks, books and house plants. I've decided that socialising is back on the agenda. Now, CV and I actually kicked off the socialising fad on Saturday and I felt like an absolute rebel sipping on an espresso martini at 2:00 PM on a Saturday at Loretta in Wellington.

                           Thank you, Loretta. The hazelnut is a good touch. I love that. You'll be very excited to hear that 90% of the people on my LinkedIn who responded to my poll, which is a very, very objective audience self-reported feeling like hermits and spending the last year or two in kind of a beige [inaudible] state of nothingness.

                           The good news that is if you'd convinced yourself that you were really depressed and broken and kind of a loser now, join the rest of us. We're all depressed, broken losers. But it is time to turn the curve on that. So things I'm doing in the next couple of weeks include leaving the house, booking flights, buying tickets to things and just generally going into my office in town instead of staying home. It's all very exciting. My fad of the week, going out. All right. Cam, what's been going on in the last week for you aside from travelling to Australia?

Producer Cam:       I think the thing that's been most enjoyable is seeing people again. So having lived the last two years, most of the last two years in New Zealand, I had the pleasure of the first thing I did when I came back to Australia was go to a wedding party. And I walked into a room full of people that I knew. And I hadn't had that experience for a long time.

                           I'd said to a few people, "Hell, it's been two years since I've felt like this, I've been out of the country." And they said, "We've been in the country and it's the same for us. We haven't seen each other in two years either."

                           I think that's a really common experience what you said, the change in how we felt about going out and socialising. It's really taken the toll on people. And so not that you want to do the things you usually enjoy, but you can't bring yourself to do them. It's that you don't want to do them and that's quite a privileged position to not have felt like that a lot. But that's certainly my reflection. It's that this past couple of years has really dealt a hard blow to people who are used to socialising a lot because we haven't been able to and then when it's been reintroduced, some of us haven't necessarily really been able to bring us as to want to.

Alicia:                   Yeah. That's been quite a surreal experience for you, Cam, hasn't it as if we think about the introversion extroversion spectrum, and think that most people lie somewhere in the middle. You don't, do you Cam?

Producer Cam:       Introvert extrovert. I am way on the extrovert scale. Just right off the end. Yeah, it was a battle and I really enjoyed your poll because when I went to answer it, even though I like socialising and I like going out, I had to click the hermit button if I was being honest with myself. And so it's going to be interesting to see how long it takes people to naturally weave their way back into a normal state for themselves because it's certainly taken me a while.

Alicia:                   Yeah. Look, totally great.

Producer Cam:       It'd be great to hear in the comments too. Sorry to cut you off there. I'd love for people to jump in the comment section about that because it was really interesting how many would people jump on your pole.

                           So if people want to jump in the comments on this and let us know how you've found the transition to being able to go out and see people again and whether or not you want to, I'd be really fascinated to hear about the viewer experience.

Alicia:                   So what I think is really neat about that whole experience of polling people and finding out where other people were at was that I think there were a lot of people sitting there with the idea in their head that it was an unpopular opinion or that they were strange or that it was a bit weird to be sitting at home. Actually, as we've seen 89% of people actually felt like they were more of a hermit.

                           Ironically, this kind of outsider feeling was more common than we'd realised. Now, I want to talk about that a little more. And so I'm very excited to extend another warm Alicia McKay Show welcome today to our next special guest.

                           Welcome Charlie to The Alicia McKay Show. Charlie McKay is my beautiful child. And one of the things that makes Charlie very, very special and there are a number of things, but one of the things that makes Charlie very, very special is that they're a very talented drawer. Having an artist in my home bringing me art on a daily basis is an absolute pleasure.

                           But tell me, Charlie, what do you draw most commonly?

Charlie:                 Anime.

Alicia:                   Anime. Now, for those of you who aren't 100% up for with what's fashion like I am.

Charlie:                 Okay, mum.

Alicia:                   Anime is a particular style of Japanese cartoon and it's got a really distinct kind of artistic style that Charlie has absolutely committed to mastering over the last year or so. Would you say that?

Charlie:                 Yeah. Yeah.

Alicia:                   Like how many hours a week would you say that you spend drawing?

Charlie:                 A lot. A lot.

Alicia:                   Would you say more than 10?

Charlie:                 Definitely.

Alicia:                   Would you say more than 15?

Charlie:                 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alicia:                   Yeah. Charlie spends a lot of time drawing and one of the most delightful things I get to experience as their mom is when they bring me a picture that they've drawn to show it to me and to explain where this particular character or scene fits in to the anime universe, which I'm not going to lie, despite being very trendy and up with thing is, usually a learning experience for me.

                           Earlier this week, Charlie brought me one of the incredible creations. Now, Charlie, can you share this with The Alicia McKay Show audience, please? Let's bring that up to the camera so we can see an example of Charlie's artistic brilliance. Look at that, team. Look detail on that. Watercolour. Absolutely magnificent. Now, tell me Charlie, what's the name of this character?

Charlie:                 Muichiro Tokito.

Alicia:                   Muichiro Tokito.

Charlie:                 Muichiro Tokito.

Alicia:                   Okay. Yes. I did all right on that one. Now, tell me what this particular character is all about or famous for.

Charlie:                 Well, he's a demon slayer from the Demon Slay Core and he is only 14 and he's already in the top nine demon slayers in the entire world. He's part of the Hashira.

Alicia:                   Nice. Being in the top nine demon slayers in the entire world at 14 is quite an achievement, wouldn't you think?

Charlie:                 Yeah. I couldn't do anything like that. Then again, I'm [inaudible].

Alicia:                   I believe in you. You could slay some demons.

Charlie:                 Demons don't exist though. And that's kind of my... I have the sword in everything. It's just the demons don't exist part.

Alicia:                   No, that does make it tricky. But I actually think you might find from some of our audience members that we're all battling our own demons right now and we could all do with slaying a few of those. But tell me, how do you get to be one of the best demon slayers in the universe by 14?

Charlie:                 I forgot what age, but he decided he wanted to start slaying demons. Because his parents died. Like his mother got really sick and then his dad went out to get medicine and then fell off a cliff. His mother just died of the sickness.

                           He had a twin brother and things just won't go very great. He decided to start slaying some demons and he started training. He went to final selection, which is where if you survive, killing enough demons, you can go and be a demon slayer. And so he started his journey to be a demon slayer and he just slowly got better and better and started.

                           He even created his own breathing style and he just really created a new thing that is unique and out there. Even though he was so young, he was already making these amazing and being able to kill demons better than so many others that are ahead of him in life. But here he is, still slaying all of his demons.

Alicia:                   This is an inspirational story, Charlie, of what can happen early in your life, if you are willing to innovate. Now, do you think... Sorry, what's his name?

Charlie:                 Muichiro.

Alicia:                   Muichiro. Do you think has many friends?

Charlie:                 No, no, no. I don't think he could. Because most of his life is just murdering man-eating demons.

Alicia:                   Yeah. That takes up a lot of energy. But what I think is nice about this is a lesson Charlie, if we are taking on board important life lessons from Anime as we should, is that if you are willing to commit to something and dedicate your life to it, you can be great. But also that's not enough. If you want true excellence, you can't just copy what everyone else is doing because if he was out there at 14 years old trying to copy everybody else's demon slaying techniques, he'd still-

Charlie:                 He would still be a demon slayer, just not as good.

Alicia:                   Hey. Right. But he comes up with his own breathing technique. He's the mist breather.

Charlie:                 He's muscular at only 14.

Alicia:                   Shoots to the top because he was willing to innovate, because he was willing to forego time with his mates.

Charlie:                 He knew what he... He didn't have any mates. All he had was his twin brother who didn't like him.

Alicia:                   Yeah. I think we've all experienced that.

Charlie:                 A twin who doesn't like you.

Alicia:                   Just siblings being a pain in the ass, I think.

Charlie:                 Oh yeah. Trust me.

Alicia:                   I think you'd be quite familiar with.

Charlie:                 Yes.

Alicia:                   Well look Charlie. I think you've brought to us both some incredible art and some really useful thinking for a Friday morning about what it takes to succeed and make a difference in the world. Thank you for joining us. That was very illuminating. I hope to have you on the show with your art and your perspective in the future because I think you are quite good.

Charlie:                 Who doesn't?

Alicia:                   All right, everybody. That was Charlie, my incredibly talented artist. All right. I'm going to cross to Producer Cam to start to wrap us up for the day with some of his thinking on what's been going on over the last week as we prepare to finish up our incredible broadcast this morning.

Producer Cam:       Awesome stuff. Charlie, love your work. I thought we would look back to a couple of topics from last week we talked about how the news cycle was very fast and that things come in and out of public consciousness very quickly. I thought it might be worthwhile to just revisit a couple of topics from last week.

                           Snow medical is this philanthropic society that donates a large sum of money to Melbourne University. They announced last week that they were cancelling their donations. They released a statement explaining why and we're not talking a small amount of money either.

                           In 2021, they ordered $16 million to the fellowships they were giving to people at Melbourne University. This year announced that they were cancelling any further donation because the six people who they chose to award the fellowships to, the Melbourne University fellowships were six white men.

                           And the Snow Medical Foundation said that does not align with our values and it's time for action and not just talk and so they pulled the funding. Now, that of course isn't necessarily the action that you want. It would be much better if we had more diversity and gender and racial background than pulling funding, but it is a good counterpoint to what we were talking about how sometimes we don't necessarily get enough action and we sometimes get too much talk.

                           Now, that's a very serious topic. What I'd love to do now to close out the show is address a slightly more light hearted one. Now, there was a very, very funny bit of a [inaudible] on Twitter this week when the Women's Network Department logo from the department of prime minister and cabinet was shared with a slightly sceptical look. Now, I know a lot of people are listening and not watching. So Alicia, can I get you to describe in detail please what the Women's Network logo looks like?

Alicia:                   Well, I suppose if I was trying to sum this up, I would say that they've used a stylized sort of double which is purple, the colour of someone say royalty, some would say in engorgement followed by this sort of long phallic-shaped situation coming from the double.

                           Now, if you were to sort of turn your head to the right and you had sort of a filthy imagination, you might say it resembles perhaps a microphone or you might say it resembles something else. Cam.

Producer Cam:       The comparison is pretty clear. What I absolutely love about this is that people absolutely gone on border and for a logo to be so comically phallic-looking the person who dug it up and laughed about it, honestly thought it was a joke. And so we've got this beautiful logo on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website that looks, let's face it, like an egg plant emoji. This logo sits on the prime minister's webpage. And just to give some context for why it looks like it does because I do have a lot of sympathy for the poor person who designed this because they were designing them as a logo set.

                           Now on screen, now we can see the family of logos that this women's phallic network belongs to. And they're all the capsule shape. The person who's put this together has clearly tried to make them all look like they have a theme and the theme is the elongated rounded rectangle, which in the other logos looks merely like poor clip art. But in the Women's Network logo, guys, looks exactly like a dick and bulbs.

                           If you just look at this thing, it is comical in the extreme and it got jumped on by news networks and very quickly the website pulled the logos from the site. Not only that, they released a statement.

                           Now, this is where it gets even better. I absolutely love this. So in this statement from the Prime Minister and Cabinet department, they say in 2019, they rebranded to give the logos a consistent look and feel. Now, if you think I'm above the double meeting of a consistent that look and feel of a phallic-logo, you'd be very, very wrong. And it gets even better because the part I love is that the rebrand was completed internally, i.e. they didn't, I didn't get anyone else external to do this, but they're completing it internally. And the statement about a phallic logo, I think is even better.

Alicia:                   Not mature enough for this conversation.

Producer Cam:       The designs were consulted on wildly, according to their statement. So it wasn't like one person made this and put it up. They were consulted on wildly. So they showed this around at the department and said, "Hey, what do you think of this logo?" And they were happy with this as it went.

                           Now, it is an absolutely stunning own goal from a government department, which isn't getting a lot of great press at the moment in regard to their respect for women or how some very serious issues are treated. It also put me in mind of, if you're a fan of the show, Silicon Valley, you'd remember Gavin Belson's Signature Box ad. He crowdsourced the logo. And as you can see, his signature looks deliberately because this is a satirical show, like a cock and bulb.

Alicia:                   Like a dog with a bone.

Producer Cam:       Honestly-

Alicia:                   Like a dog bone.

Producer Cam:       Something like that. Now, because the prime minister has obviously had a bit of unfavourable press around women's issues at the moment, which absolutely are serious and should be taken seriously, this statement is very clear to say that the prime minister nor his office had anything to do with this logo design. I think we should all be confident about that, that the prime minister... Good time.

Alicia:                   What an exceptional way to close out the show, which is not to be really adding a lot of meaningful discourse to the public, because quite frankly, we've got enough content to navigate out there. But rather, a bit of light heartedness on our Friday to see us moving on with our day.

                           Now, guys we have reached the end of The Alicia McKay Show for this week and I have got the third special guest of the day here to say hello and also to close out the show for the morning.

                           As always, it's been an absolute pleasure to sit with you, to talk about important things like women's issues, social habits, political changes, COVID and other stuff. I've made it seem quite serious, haven't I? That's good. What a serious show we had today. It was an absolute pleasure to be part of your Friday morning everybody and thank you so much for tuning in.

                           I'd also like to make the point as we close out with the beautiful Harriet McKay, who's just about to head off to school, which is why we have to disappear. That if you are not yet following The Alicia McKay Show on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, please go and do that and submit a review for us because we are rocketing up the charts.

                           After one episode, we're this morning at number 83 for the top podcast in New Zealand and I reckon nudge the top 50 by next week, everybody. Don't be shy. Please get out there. Follow the show, submit a review for us because your support means everything and means that we can dedicate as much energy as possible into bringing you a great viewing experience.

Producer Cam:       Have fun at school, Harry.

Alicia:                   Bye.