Killer MPs, Roxy Music and wizards – mayoral candidates reveal their cultural tastes


Could we tell more about a candidate for mayor from his cultural tastes rather than his politics?

What kind of TV shows, movies and music do they like? What about books and video games? And what do these tastes tell us about them?

Things asked the mayors of Christchurch, Phil Mauger and David Meates, about their cultural tastes in order to shed new light on their personalities.

The responses reveal that Mauger, who as a Christchurch councilor often ignored bureaucracy and took matters into his own hands, likes lone fighters and colorful mavericks.

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Christchurch mayoral candidate Phil Mauger reveals his cultural favourites.  Clockwise from top left: Mauger, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music, Anthony Hopkins in The World's Fastest Indian, Line of Duty, The Scream and Edvard Munch's The Thorn Birds.

Things

Christchurch mayoral candidate Phil Mauger reveals his cultural favourites. Clockwise from top left: Mauger, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music, Anthony Hopkins in The World’s Fastest Indian, Line of Duty, The Scream and Edvard Munch’s The Thorn Birds.

Meates, who has long fought central government for resources as head of the Canterbury District Health Board, is wary of political institutions and power.

The answers also reveal which contestant likes a TV show about a murderous politician and who has a fondness for Roxy Music. (Full results below).

Meates’ cultural choices reveal a man who is perhaps skeptical of the virtue of political systems. His favorite TV show is House of Cards – a drama about a psychopathic political figure who murders a journalist to achieve his goals.

KAI SCHWOERER/STUFF

Christchurch mayoral candidate David Meates reveals why he is running for mayor and what his plans are for the city.

“It brings to life everything I hate about politics and the self-centered approach,” he said.

“The show is so beautifully cynical about politics and its depiction of boundless ambition.”

This distrust of political power is also revealed in his choice of the best non-fiction film and book. For his favorite film, he chose Don’t Look Up, a comedy-drama that disrupts the vapid response of political and media institutions to the threat of climate change.

“A wonderful satire of government, political celebrities and media indifference to the climate crisis.

Meates' cultural selections reveal a man who is perhaps skeptical of political power and overreach.

KAI SCHWOERER/Stuff

Meates’ cultural selections reveal a man who is perhaps skeptical of political power and overreach.

“It just underscores the importance of ‘spin’ to much of what we think we know.”

Her favorite non-fiction book was Who Rules the World? by American political philosopher Noam Chomsky.

“It’s a book that covers the dark currents that underlie some of the big issues of our time.

“A terrifying picture of the inner and outer workings of modern imperial power.”

But not everything is heavy. Meates is also a fan of the popular cover of Disturbed Sound of Silence, the Harry Potter book series, and the old-school arcade game Space Invaders.

PETER MECHAM

Christchurch mayoral candidate Phil Mauger talks about his aspirations for the city.

Mauger’s cultural tastes perhaps reveal a love for lone fighters, tenacious heroes, and colorful mavericks. His favorite movie is The World’s Fastest Indian, the true story of a Kiwi who overcomes bureaucracy and provincial thinking to break the world land speed record.

“It’s about a man I look up to – Burt Munro,” Mauger said.

“He had courage and tenacity and fought against all odds.”

His favorite non-fiction book is about another Kiwi fighter who overcame the odds to drive really fast. He named racing legend Bruce McLaren’s autobiography From the Cockpit his favorite.

“As a racing car enthusiast this is a classic motor racing memoir and Bruce was an amazing Kiwi.”

This gallery of colorful mavericks is rounded out by Roxy Music lead singer Bryan Ferry and Norwegian painter Edvard Munch.

However, Mauger’s television tastes are strictly traditional. His favorite TV show is the British crime drama Line of Duty, about an anti-corruption police unit, which beat viewership figures with its series finale last year.

Mauger's cultural selections perhaps reveal a love of lone fighters and colorful mavericks.

Peter Meecham / Stuff

Mauger’s cultural selections perhaps reveal a love of lone fighters and colorful mavericks.

FULL RESULTS

Philippe Mauger

Film: The fastest Indian in the world – because he’s a man I admire – Burt Munro. He had courage and tenacity and fought against all odds.

TV: Line of Duty on Netflix – I like good quality British dramas.

Music: Roxy Music – who doesn’t love Bryan Ferry? Reminds me of my younger years.

fictional book: The Thorn Birds – very good writing by Colleen McCullough. My mother gave it to me when I was traveling abroad in the UK and I read it on the plane.

non-fiction book: Bruce McLaren – From the Cockpit – as an avid race car driver this is a classic car racing memoir and Bruce was an amazing Kiwi.

Video games: Don’t play – I prefer to play outside with the grandchildren.

Masterpieces: The Scream by Edvard Munch – my children introduced me to this work a long time ago. It’s very powerful.

David Meats

Film: The Shawshank Redemption – a gritty and captivating film. I watched it many times and will do it again. Don’t Look Up – A wonderful satire of government, political celebrities and media indifference to the climate crisis. Just highlights the importance of “spin” to much of what we think we know.

TV: Card castle. Brings to life everything I hate about politics and the self-centered approach. The show is so beautifully cynical about politics and its portrayal of boundless ambition.

Music: Sound of Silence by Disturbed – although I still love it, all my kids don’t like this version anymore because it was so overplayed. Bat Out of Hell by Meatloaf – some of the best renditions of this song played in the car with (now deeply scarred) kids playing great air guitars. Nothing like a grateful captive audience.

fictional book: The Harry Potter series. I loved having an excuse to read to the kids.

non-fiction book: Calling [email protected] – Carl T Bergstrom and Jevin D West. A great guide to navigating a world full of dubious claims based on false data. Who Runs the World? – Noam Chomsky. A book that covers the dark currents that underlie some of the great issues of our time. A terrifying image of the inner and outer workings of imperial power today.

Video games: Space Invaders – seems so distant but what a game – offered the right balance to university studies.

Masterpieces: A picture on canvas of Bruce Bay in the South Westland. Robust, undamaged and simply stunningly beautiful.

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