Capture by A photoblog

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Capture: Two Tales of a City

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  • mark taslov, in reply to Leigh Russell,

    When I was in Christchurch just prior to the start of the demolition of Cranmer Courts I took some photographs of that, and of course it is now no more

    Thanks for the reply Leigh, I still haven't been able to get through on that link due to the heightened paranoia of the Chinese Communist Party and their wacky yo-yo crackdowns on the internet (VPN, Google etc), which incidently if taken as a sign of things to come bodes very poorly. But I look forward to the day when Messrs Hu, Wen and Xi can pry themselves clear of their info-wowserdom long enough to allow me the chance to check out those pics.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1691 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to mark taslov,

    tell them it's a certain filmstar's NZ wedding and I'm sure they'll oblige.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to mark taslov,

    their wacky yo-yo crackdowns on the internet

    Yeah, not so long ago I was telling friends and colleagues give it a couple of weeks for the Party congress to be out of the way and it'll go back to normal.... But we're still in Party congress mode. You could try this suggestion from Sinoglot, but the comments to that post suggest it probably makes no difference. I look forward to the day we can proclaim "Long live the great Chinese intranet!"

    On a more positive note...

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Russell, in reply to mark taslov,

    Thanks for the reply Leigh, I still haven’t been able to get through on that link

    Hi Mark, you're welcome. The exclusions on the web must be a pain! I do have readers in China so presume that all is not entirely obscured! If you still want to find those photos you could try doing a simple keyword search for rushleigh and cranmer, and either of the two articles should come up straight away, well, hopefully!

    On a lighter note I'm so glad to read, via Lilith's comment on this thread, that restoration of the Arts Centre is under way. News coverage of these important activities is patchy even within New Zealand!

    Otago • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Leigh Russell,

    I do have readers in China so presume that all is not entirely obscured!

    Hi Leigh. The problem for those of us in China is that the government/Party has decided that everything with blogspot in the address is unharmonious, therefore all websites with blogspot in the address are blocked. For a while blogspot.co.nz was open, but the Net Nanny wised up and blocked them, too. You still have readers in China for 2 reasons:
    1: Not all Chinese ISPs are as strict as they're supposed to be at blocking websites deemed unharmonious.
    2: Many in China use VPNs and other such things to "jump the Great Firewall" - tools that put them virtually outside China so the River Crab* doesn't know what they're up to, allowing them to look at stuff deemed unharmonious.

    Don't take being blocked personally, in your case it's simply because your blog address contains the word 'blogspot'. If you were to use blogger to run a blog on you own address, say 'rushleighchronicles.co.nz' or whatever you chose, you'd likely be accessible VPN-free in China. But even then there'd be the risk that your blog would share a server with something the Party took a disliking to and find yourself blocked because the whole server was blocked. Of course, then you could get your host to shift you to an unblocked server..... This could go on a long time. Let's just say China's internet censorship results in a lot of collateral damage. Searching for rushleigh and cranmer will get us in China links to your articles, but we won't be able to open them without a VPN or other way to jump the Great Firewall.

    *Hu Jintao's favourite word, harmony, héxié in Mandarin, sounds almost exactly like the word for river crab, héxiè, only a difference of one tone, so Chinese people use river crabs as a sarcastic way of referring to what they're not officially allowed to be doing online.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Russell, in reply to Chris Waugh,

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    Hello Chris, thanks for your most interesting reply – local colour indeed! Of course I could be like the renown activist Howard Zinn who complained that the FBI didn’t take him seriously enough, but no really, mine is (mostly) a very mildly tempered set of chronicles! I’ll post a few of the more worthy images I have of Cranmer Courts here later on but for the meantime will leave you and Mark with an image I took of a splendid little upside-down camouflage crab that I came across on the beach the other day… Once I turned it right way up its physiognomy (I love that word!) disappeared completely! May the ‘crabs’ thrive!

    Otago • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Russell, in reply to mark taslov,

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    When I was in Christchurch just prior to the start of the demolition of Cranmer Courts I took some photographs of that, and of course it is now no more

    Thanks for the reply Leigh, I still haven’t been able to get through on that link

    Hi again Mark, I am posting a little of the content of my article here since you can't follow the link at present. These photos are only passable, but may serve as a reminder of what was… I was greatly impressed by Mike Hewson’s artwork, which filled door and window spaces with images of people going about their ordinary lives. The other point that stands about about that building is that estimates to restore it were in the region of $40 million. The point I made in my article is that the St Martin’s supermarket – completely rebuilt, cost $20 million, and the construction of another office building of a small number of storeys was cost about the same amount. They both look like concrete bunkers, and the second got the thumbs up from the planning / design panel which presides over these things. Is this the city we want? So the cost of restoring the elegant old stone building was double that? So what! It could have been left standing for however many years until funding and so on had had a better chance of being worked out, and now it is gone for ever. We will never have those sort of buildings again. A proportion of the old buildings were not worthy of being restored but that one had a high heritage rating. Not even the irreplaceable heritage building materials were saved, so these too have been destroyed. First the earthquake, then the great demolition destroyers moved in – equals double destruction.

    Otago • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Gudrun Gisela, in reply to Leigh Russell,

    I fear that in years to come, future generations will regard us as lilylivered creatures for not standing up to a handful of burocrats and kicking them as far as we can. I am off now to record the demonstration regarding the hijacking of our democratic system on Latimer Square. Are we men or mice?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 891 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Russell, in reply to Gudrun Gisela,

    Understood, Gudrun! Hope the demo goes well and there is a good turnout. Wish I was there to swell the ranks! Very important to record the context so that the generations to come will be able to regard it with a degree of understanding of the 'Why' and 'Why not'.

    Otago • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Thanks for this, Chris. Would it explain some of the difficulties I had with some of my Chinese students who returned home once lectures were done in October? They were asked to create a blog, developing a hypothesis around a media issue and then construct an argument using links to six research items. Some of them left this really late and I had great difficulties in accessing their sites, which should have responded to a personal invitation. In the end, I could access most sites (set up under blogger) but they couldn't.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2331 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Ah, yes, if they were using blogger that may well explain the trouble. Anything with 'blogspot' in the address is blocked. There are ways around the block, but they're not always reliable even when the Net Nanny isn't playing silly buggers with the VPNs to remind us we're not supposed to be jumping the Great Firewall. Blogs run using blogger but with their own address are generally accessible (though I don't know if blogger is, which could make it difficult for people in China to run such a blog, anyway) so long as they're not on a server or within an IP range that is blocked and they don't draw the attention of the authorities for posting unharmonious content.

    A few years ago I got sick of being collateral damage of yet another tweaking of the Great Firewall's settings and went looking for a NZ-based blog service, the reasoning being that small services from small countries generally fly under the radar. So far that plan has worked. Another option, which I'm using for my writing class, is to use one of the Chinese blog services and avoid posting anything sensitive. Of course, setting up your own website or arranging to do something on the university website would also work.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Russell, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    river crabs

    Hello again Chris, on re-reading what you wrote I realise that I had interpreted what you said back to front, and my own crab reference is therefore inapposite! Oh well, a crab is a crab is a crab, I suppose. :-)

    Otago • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Leigh Russell,

    Never mind, yours is a much cooller and craftier crab then the river crab that eats the unharmonious parts of the internet.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Russell, in reply to Chris Waugh,

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    Thank you Chris, it is indeed a cool crab. Here it is right side up and next to its lodgings. One of its companions is just visible. Okay, so that's enough page space of my beach-side fascinations!

    Otago • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Thanks, Chris, Useful to know when I do it again next year.

    We should share teaching experiences some day. I have quite a number of Chinese students each year and they provide interesting challenges.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2331 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    they provide interesting challenges.

    Yup. My observation - especially comparing those with some international or genuinely multicultural experience with those who grew up in regular Han China and were dragged through the Chinese education system - is that for most of them actual cultural difference is a purely abstract concept, something they've heard of but can't quite come to believe in. Getting my kids ready to do a degree at/from an Australian university (they have the option of doing the whole degree here or going to Australia to complete it) is difficult. I wonder how the cope when they first get there - I am, after all, sending them off to a fairly smallish town to study in an educational culture that has completely different expectations of them than they've ever heard of. And I've nursed an awful lot of people through culture shock over the years, including more than a few who've found themselves stuck at rock bottom and can't get back up to normal.

    Fire off an email if you want to compare notes.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2168 posts Report Reply

  • Gudrun Gisela,

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    Images from the Christchurch protest. Saturday 2pm on Latimer and Cramner Square.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 891 posts Report Reply

  • Gudrun Gisela,

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    Megan Woods supporting the movement.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 891 posts Report Reply

  • Gudrun Gisela,

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    Green MP Eugenie Sage

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 891 posts Report Reply

  • Gudrun Gisela,

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    Stop The Rip off

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 891 posts Report Reply

  • Gudrun Gisela,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 891 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I have a bunch of images from the rally here.

    I think my favourite moment was when the guy from ACT got his turn to speak and tried to make out he was critical of how the govt had gutted local democracy. A loud dude in an RMTU shirt started heckling loudly and continuously YOU DID IT. YOU’RE IN THE GOVERNMENT. YOU DID IT! A nice woman tapped him on the shoulder, obviously to ask him to give ACT guy a fair hearing, and he turned around, shrugged and in a normal voice said “He did it” to her, and turned back and resumed shouting. I now regret not joining him, but I was too busy laughing.

    I also enjoyed hearing Sam Mahon use his chance to speak to tell a very good shaggy dog story about Nick Smith. The rally culminated in the masses singing Happy Birthday to the Wizard (“happy biiiirthday dear wiiiiiiizard”) and finished with a prize draw and a lost property announcement. The injection of these surreal and quotidian moments into a serious political enterprise made me happy that I am the right city at this time.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2972 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Great shots Gudrun and Stephen, thanks for posting!
    I urge everyone to click through to see more.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Gudrun Gisela, in reply to Stephen Judd,

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    Here is Sam spinning a very entertaining yarn about Nick Smith, cowpats and having lunch.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2011 • 891 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Gerry Brownlee must go!
    From today's Press:

    Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee rejected advice from senior officials that protecting rockfall-threatened Christchurch properties was practical and could save millions of dollars, documents reveal.

    ...and in a small item on Page 2, Brownlee is quoted as saying during a 'robust' interview:

    "...we're getting into the sort of zone of, frankly, The Press again being the enemy of recovery. Happy for you to put that in the paper because I know a lot of people think it." he said.
    Brownlee has said previously he does not read The Press.

    FFS! He doesn't read the journal of record for his electorate or the city he is charged with rebuilding - the man operates in a super vacuum!
    Unfortunately we are the suckers...
    and yet he is still rated as the fifth best politician in NZ by the Trans Tasman political newsletter

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

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