Women of Grammys strike back after controversy

In this file photo taken on January 26, 2018 Lorde performs at the 2018 MusiCares Person Of The Year gala at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (AFP)
Updated 01 February 2018

Women of Grammys strike back after controversy

NEW YORK: New Zealand pop prodigy Lorde has thanked her fans for supporting female musicians, as artists hit back amid controversy that the Grammy Awards neglected women — a spat fueled by comments from the Recording Academy’s president seen as disparaging.
The 21-year-old’s “Melodrama” was the only work by a woman nominated for the most prestigious prize of Album of the Year on the music industry’s biggest night Sunday.
She not only was bested by Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” but she was not given a spot to perform at the televised show in New York. The Recording Academy, which administers the awards, said the roster was full.
Lorde took out a full-page advertisement in The New Zealand Herald with doodlings about the Grammys and a handwritten note that thanked readers “for loving and embracing ‘Melodrama’ the way you did.”
“Thank you, also, for believing in female musicians. You set a beautiful precedent!” she wrote.
The Grammy winners slanted overwhelmingly male at a time of mounting activism by women against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
The Grammy show’s most memorable performer may have been Kesha, who fiercely sang her track “Praying” about a producer she says raped and psychologically tormented her — allegations he denies.
Recording Academy president Neil Portnow told reporters that the music industry needed to show a “welcome mat” to women, but drew controversy as he explained how female artists could win more awards.
“I think it has to begin with women who have the creativity in their hearts and their souls who want to be musicians... to step up, because I think they would be welcome,” he said.

Pop singer P!nk struck back without naming Portnow: “Women in music don’t need to ‘step up’ — women have been stepping since the beginning of time.”
Honoring women would show “the next generation of women and girls and boys and men what it means to be equal, and what it looks like to be fair,” she wrote in a handwritten note on Twitter.
P!nk was backed by pop superstar Katy Perry, the most followed person on Twitter, who hailed women “making incredible art in the face of continual resistance.”
“We ALL have a responsibility to call out the absurd lack of equality everywhere we see it,” Perry, whose latest album was not nominated for any Grammys, wrote to her more than 108 million followers.

Despite this year’s controversy, the Grammys have not lacked female victors in the past.
The last two winners of Album of the Year were both women — Adele and Taylor Swift. And on Sunday, Canadian soul-pop singer Alessia Cara won one of the top awards, Best New Artist.
But Cara also faced criticism on social media with users saying the 21-year-old singer, whose breakthrough hit “Here” came out in early 2015, did not qualify as new.
Cara — whose socially conscious lyricism wrestles with issues such as poor self-image — responded on Instagram that she had not sought the award and added: “I am not going to be upset about something I’ve wanted since I was a kid.”
“I will not let everything I’ve worked for be diminished by people taking offense to my accomplishments and feeling the need to tell me how much I suck,” she wrote.
“Here’s something fun! I’ve been thinking I suck since I was old enough to know what sucking meant.”


Australian man survives croc attack by gouging its eye

Updated 16 November 2019

Australian man survives croc attack by gouging its eye

  • Wildlife ranger Craig Dickmann made a split-second decision to go fishing in a remote part of Northern Australia known as ‘croc country.’
  • ‘That noise will haunt me forever I think, the sound of the snap of its jaws’

CAIRNS, Australia: An Australian wildlife ranger has recounted his terrifying escape from the clutches of a “particularly cunning” crocodile, after wrestling with the reptile and sticking a finger in its eye.
Craig Dickmann, who made a split-second decision to go fishing last Sunday in a remote part of Northern Australia known as “croc country” last Sunday, said a 2.8-meter (nine-foot) crocodile came up from behind him as he was leaving the beach.
“As I’ve turned to go, the first thing I see is its head just come at me,” he told reporters on Friday from his hospital bed in the town of Cairns in Queensland state.
Dickmann said the animal latched on to his thigh.
“That noise will haunt me forever I think, the sound of the snap of its jaws,” he said.
The 54-year-old said he wrestled with the croc on the remote beach as it tried to drag him into the water.
Dickmann stuck his thumb into its eye, saying it was the only “soft spot” he found on the “bullet-proof” animal.
“Their eyes retract a fair way and when you go down far enough you can feel bone so I pushed as far as I possibly could and then it let go at that point,” Dickmann said.
After a few minutes, he said he managed to get on top of the croc and pin its jaws shut.
“And then, I think both the croc and I had a moment where we’re going, ‘well, what do we do now?’”
Dickmann said he then pushed the croc away from him and it slid back into the water.
The ranger had skin ripped from his hands and legs in the ordeal and drove more than 45 minutes back to his home before calling emergency services.
It was then another hour in the car to meet the Royal Flying Doctors Service who flew him to Cairns Hospital, where he is recovering from the ordeal.
“This croc was particularly cunning and particularly devious,” he said.
Queensland’s department of environment this week euthanized the animal.
“The area is known croc country and people in the area are reminded to always be crocwise,” the department said in a statement.
Saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to seven meters long and weigh more than a ton, are common in the vast continent’s tropical north.
Their numbers have exploded since they were declared a protected species in the 1970s, with attacks on humans rare.
According to the state government, the last non-fatal attack was in January 2018 in the Torres Strait while the last death was in October 2017 in Port Douglas.