The Eye of the Fish

December 7, 2011

Calling New Writers!

So, after 369 posts, 5034 comments, and more or less avoiding some 14,963 spam, we’re running a bit low on keen and willing writers here at the Eye of the Fish. Let’s face it, as a form of journalism / interaction with the public, blogging seems unfortunately to have had it’s day – it has become the MySpace of the digital world, as opposed to leaping forward into the growing realms of Facebook and Tweeting, as befits the continually shortening attention span of our – oh, look, a shiny thing! – umm, what was I saying?

Oh, yes, Tweeting. Twits and Tweets, Twittering in the Tweetosphere. I can’t be bothered with all that bunch of Twats really. I know, friends of the Fish have lambasted us personally for not being a Twitterer, but even I cannot be that imbecilic to try to say anything pithy or worthy in 140 characters. That’s not to say of course that we haven’t thought about it, or even tried – but with the world a twitter with the nonsensical rattlings of the inner recesses of teenage-era brains, there really is bugger all point in Tweeting about architecture. There is an art form in the concise text message, but little art in the haiku of sk8ter speak, although no doubt Robyn would disagree with me there, if she bothers to read this still. I wrote an entire short story by text message once, cut and pasted into SMS it came up as 53 pithy chapters, of an exciting tale of derring-do, so I am not entirely adverse to the idea of short and pithy communications, although my output lately has been more pissy than pithy, more escutcheon than escritoire, and sadly more flannel than flaneur.

Mostly however, writing a daily / weekly blog about matters urban relies on two or three things: an urban activity worth writing on, writers keen to write, and readers worth writing to. Of course the later is a foregone conclusion, fine people that you undoubtedly all are, although respondents have lessened over time; as I have got more boring, and you have got more bored with my being boring. Sorry. But the main issue has been the paucity of building as of late – as the construction market continues to stagnate, so too does my enthusiasm for continuing to try to comment on an art form (architecture) that seems to hold little sway in our broody mini Metropolis. Sorry to say, but the desecration of Saint Terry has taken a little of the fun out of the architectural scene – who else will propose such monstrosities as the “explosion in a bling factory” as Roger and Terry proposed for Cuba St? People are more likely to get worked up about a sign saying Wellywood than getting angst’d about a truly hideous monster like the Asteron House for the IRD. One little sign that is up for 5 years gets untold column inches, whereas a permanent despoliation of the capital for the next 50, some 17 times higher, gets little comment at all – what’s the matter with you all – do you truly just Not Give a Shit? Sometimes, truly, I despair.

Of course, other writers write for the Fish also, so the curse of the urban blogger does not fall solely on the (admittedly broad) shoulders resplendent beneath our shiny silver scales. As noted before, more than one author pens lines under the tag of Maximus: the message is more important than the messenger. True, we have had a checkered history with the writers at the Fish – one early writer, Aron, lasted only two posts and then disappeared forever, another quit before he/she even began, Minimus lasted erratically for a couple of fiery, brilliant invective posts, but then seemed to fizzle out, and recently Erentz posted once, a single, solitary, sensible soliloquy and sadly thence has been seen no more.

Exposees of the secret identity of our various bloggers are neither requested nor welcomed – if you know who it might be, keep it under your hat…. Our longest lasting writer, apart from the mouthy Maximus, has been Philip, the guru of the website, the brains behind our beauty, the only one willing to write without a pseudonym, but then again, sadly, it seems, mostly unable to find time to write at all. He is, it seems, too busy: clearly I’m not busy enough at all. Scoop’s: Lindsay Shelton says he especially likes the pictures we print. Why, thank you – but we can’t take all the credit, as we frequently borrow other’s brilliant images. In this case though Lindsay, this one’s just for you… As John Lennon once (nearly) said, “Happiness is a warm Fish”.

Our favourite author to emulate is the BLDG BLOG run by esteemed personage Geoff Manaugh, who writes so well, so excitedly, so prolifically, so authoritatively and so often – its hard to keep up with for those with full time jobs and less flexible occupations – but that is no excuse – he has turned his blog into a book, a career, a vacation – as well as a vocation. The quality in Manaugh’s work lies in the depth and breadth of the work he covers (or uncovers), in the same way that the Fish suffers from a lack of adequate research at times. Mea culpa. So if you like the Fish, and are keen and knowledgable, willing and able, here then is a chance for you, or any other white knight / knights / maidens to come riding in and write for the blog as well. Offers accepted via email to the usual address:

contact @ eyeofthefish . Org Come on in – the water’s fine ! and…… we won’t bite!

60 MPa
7 - 12 - 11

Now Max, don’t be lonely – there is some building activity in these fair shires to be commenting on.
Whilst you may have been attending photoshop school (part time) there’s a new market being thrown up in the deeply unfashionable suburb of Newlands. With that and J’ville getting broadband priority, there is life in some parts of town that might end up fashionable whilst one isn’t looking.

Ok, it ain’t this
but it’s a start

8 - 12 - 11

60 – if there was anything half as good as this in Newlands, I’d be overjoyed. But….

A new market, you say. As in, a Super market? Or an outdoor type farmers market? I might have to hope on the bus and wiggle my way north…

9 - 12 - 11

Hello. I have a list of things I keep meaning to get around to writing about but haven’t yet :) I’ve been a bit busy with a relocation to Seattle, new job, and all that stuff.

Seattle is cold, and cloudy, and despite the locals protesting that it “isn’t actually true” it very much is true that it rains a lot, so please don’t post any pictures of gorgeous sunny WLG for the next couple of months they’ll make me home sick :(

12 - 12 - 11

We could turn it into a cricket blog!

13 - 12 - 11

starkive – really? Wouldn’t that require someone to stand around in a white pullover, rubbing balls in their groin, occasionally raising one hand and saying “Not Out”?

It’s strange – you don’t strike me as a cricket fan – obviously i only know your public, film-obsessed persona, which involves darkened rooms, flickery pictures, the smooth hum of clattering machinery, and gently bubbling aged film stock – so different from the bright, harsh light of the outdoors, the gentle thwack of leather on willow, muted cheers from the 5 members of the public watching it live, and the pfft of a million cans of beer from those watching from the safety of their sofa at home…

erentz – glad to hear you’re still alive – so you’re occupying Seattle huh? yes, that is a good enough reason not to be giving us up to date reports of Wellington architecture – but no reason not to be giving us up to date reports of the latest Seattlease urban transport and architectural solutions…. feel free to post any time…

14 - 12 - 11

Sorry to hear that you Fishes are running low on writers and / or subject matter. We’ve enjoyed having you taking a leading role in the commentary on urban matter in Wellington over the last few years. Rest assured that at the Arch Centre, we’re still going strong on commentary:
Would love to see you over there, if you get bored with this….

15 - 12 - 11


Have just followed Guy’s link to Arch Centre and discovered they didn’t really stop with the Basin flyover posts – I just somehow ended up with the wrong bookmark. Very good to find an overlooked cache of holiday catch-up reading. It does strike me that a number of the same voices are carrying the conversation on both blogs. Having said that, there’s not so much fish fodder from you, Guy?

Personally, I would be sorry to see two blogs enter and one blog leave. The piscine photoshop alone is worth the price of admission. Perhaps there’s a little life in the old dogfish yet.

19 - 12 - 11

Starkive – Seattle has a design review process… would be interested to find out more…

Eye of the Fish | A wide-angle view of architecture, urban design and life in Wellington
21 - 12 - 11

[…] to build more roads? : So: a pause for thought then, and a pause for fresh breathe. Despite our impassioned plea for new writers to join the team, no offers have been forthcoming so far. Should the Fish go on? Should Maximus go […]