Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The Wall and the Paper

297 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 12 Newer→ Last

  • Russell Brown, in reply to David Herkt,

    [Russell, btw, I have to admit the phrase ‘in defence of Jonathan Marshall’s honour’ is a great one. I bow in admiration…]

    I did smile as I typed it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17983 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom,

    This week, he will doubtless be receiving some stern correspondence in response to Michael Laws' extremely unpleasant column on Sunday.

    And, perhaps, a visit from the police.

    I consulted Steve Price, who doesn't think there's much hope, but I still reckon someone asking the Chief Censor to consider classifying the paper as "objectionable" on the basis of it containing that "let's all go a lynch mobbin'" article might at least draw attention to the fact that people are no longer prepared to passively consume the s**t that's shoveled at them.

    Mind you, readership figures seem to be doing that job.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to James Butler,

    After all, any publicity is good publicity, right? Right? Anyone?

    I know you're being ironic James ( I hope so) - it does have a terrible surface logic to it - I noticed today the top read article on the SST site is of course Law's lynch mob rant.
    Damn I was one of those readers!
    Do you think the SST have gotten that desperate? Will they be lobbying for public flogging of looters next?
    My optimistic side says maybe they just stuffed up and can't figure out how to retrieve themselves from slipping down into the deep dark pit of any-publicity-is-good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 424 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Will they be lobbying for public flogging of looters next?

    Page 3 girls might work better. Isn't the paper aimed at people who don't have the internet?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8040 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Richard Aston,

    I know you’re being ironic James ( I hope so) – it does have a terrible surface logic to it – I noticed today the top read article on the SST site is of course Law’s lynch mob rant.
    Damn I was one of those readers!

    I was.

    But I also have an embarrassing admission to make - I paid money for the SST yesterday. My wife asked me to go out and buy one, and I mentioned that advance reports suggested that it was a bad idea, but I let myself be convinced. I walked home in fear that I would be seen carrying it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I'm guessing you may be in that leaky looking building

    Nope, other side of New North, next to/above the BMW dealership, thank god. The only bad thing about not living in those apartments is that I can see them.

    I love this neighbourhood for the graffiti. A couple of times I've been utterly horrified when someone's tagged one of the pieces, or it's disappeared wholesale, but there's a lot to be said for the slightly different creative model that's less "leave my art alone", and more "sweet, we'll do a new one".

    Exit thru the Gift Shop

    Hitting up my UK friends RIGHT NOW

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Page 3 girls might work better. Isn’t the paper aimed at people who don’t have the internet?

    Public floggings of page 3 girls ? Wow Ben you are one sick puppy

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 424 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Richard Aston,

    You just have to find page 3 girls who like that sort of thing and it's all good?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8040 posts Report Reply

  • David Herkt,

    Paul, there was a certain level of facetiousness in my reply, sorry not to have signalled it more... But in those knitting and sewing columns, which I did specify, Ms McLeod at least had some feel of authenticity, more so than those many of those paid to manufacture weekly opinion.

    I'd have once put Braunias' birds in the same category, but then he slutted them to TV like an avian-procuress, eager for dosh, didn't he...

    There is nothing more unpleasant than those who fake opinions with regularity. And the SST's columns have seemed to devolve over the last few years to the opining of the 'will-say-anything-for-cash' brigade, of which Laws is now the pure exemplar.

    But as I tried to suggest, maybe it is all just the unpleasant flip-side of New Zealand's version of capitalism. Look at TVNZ. Look at the personalities of those the NBR regularly positions on some sort of 'Admirable' list. Look at RadioLIVE. Yuk.

    And I really am beginning to think we should just take up some Pacific relaxed mindset, and just chill, while taking German tourists for rides on outriggers. Be healthier for everyone.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2007 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to David Herkt,

    I also got a bit bothered when Braunias' mangroves sort of vanished off his planet when he discovered birds...
    and, I'd suggest, that generation by generation, a Polynesian mindset (whatever) *is* combining with other mindsets and both sharpening & relaxing our mentalities/mindsets(whatevers...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to David Herkt,

    Paul, there was a certain level of facetiousness in my reply, sorry not to have signalled it more... But in those knitting and sewing columns, which I did specify, Ms McLeod at least had some feel of authenticity, more so than those many of those paid to manufacture weekly opinion.

    Sorry I missed that David, can see it now on re-reading.

    There is nothing more unpleasant than those who fake opinions with regularity. And the SST's columns have seemed to devolve over the last few years to the opining of the 'will-say-anything-for-cash' brigade, of which Laws is now the pure exemplar.

    Couldn't agree more. I will conciously read the views I'm inclined to disagree with if they expressed with good faith. A shill of any variety is a pain in the arse.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Contrast Laws with, say, Karl du Fresne, or the late Frank Haden. They generally have a predictable point of view, but a principled one, which occasionally means interesting surprises. And importantly, I don't believe either one ever wrote a column with the deliberate purpose of pissing off a chunk of readers as their primary aim, whereas I can't help but think that Laws picks his positions for maximum outrage first and good sense by any set of principles a distant second.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Wasn't Haden just a grumpy old man but, rather than being some sort of principled constructive commentator? He just seemed to say Bah Humbug, it was better in my day... I might be doing him a disservice.

    My view was that Gareth Morgan was worth reading for a couple of reasons. Firstly, his deeds seem to match his words. Secondly, he often took a very empirical approach even if alternative empirical arguments could be made. It has been a while since I've been out of the country but...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Wasn’t Haden just a grumpy old man but, rather than being some sort of principled constructive commentator?

    IIRC Haden had a soft spot for solo mums for a start.

    Edit: I googled. I found a lovely tribute to Haden from PAS’ own Deborah noting on his recent demise that Haden’s principled belief as a social conservative in the desireability of mothers caring for children at home lead him to be a supporter of the DPB. Viz “I thank God for the DPB…all that matters is that the DPB enables thousands of children to have their mothers…the special care for which there is no substitute.”

    Further edit: at the risk of dragging this post entirely off-topic, look what I found.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Paul Williams,

    My view was that Gareth Morgan was worth reading

    Who, the globe-trotting financier biker that the Listener has turned into a permanent advertorial for?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Tautoko Giovanni-and waua! Stephen Judd!
    Excellent laugh material - thank you also Dr. Haywood!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Even Garth George occasionally follows evidence and reason into places he'd rather not go, such as his grudging but solid defence of the Maori seats. There was another example, but I can't be bothered wading through his usual self-righteous bullshit to find it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom, in reply to James Butler,

    I walked home in fear that I would be seen carrying it

    Just wrap it inside something less offensive. Beastiality Monthly or some such.

    @Stephen Judd

    You're right. I wrote the occasional piece for the Dom when Frank was OpEd editor. I'd always tremble when my liberal (well, by his standards) mumblings went in and Frank would sometimes call up to debate my conclusions. Took me a while to realise he wasn't intending to cut anything, just wanted a damned good argument :-)

    And yes, more importantly, he followed his principles where ever they led. Lhaws oft-spouted "won't someone think of the children" dribble is at odds with the many stories of women who've used the DPB to extricate themselves and their children from a violent situation and make a new life, and the vast bulk who don't remain on any benefit for long.

    In some ways he's even more annoying to principled intelligent conservatives than to liberals, since he misrepresents their thinking so publicly. Frank never did.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Who, the globe-trotting financier biker that the Listener has turned into a permanent advertorial for?

    He's newsstand gold, I gather.

    There are number of reasons to admire Gareth Morgan, but his godawful prose-writing isn't among them.

    But that -- with very notable exceptions -- is The Listener these days. I flicked morosely through the new one, noting one lifeless intro after another. My suspicion is that without the superhuman subbing bench there, some of that copy would read even more badly than it does.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17983 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yes, Frank Haden wasn't all bad, and he did represent a reasonably coherent view. People might be surprised to learn where I met him: at a Skeptics conference, where we were both speaking.

    His later writings on grammar were completely bonkers though.

    Garth George would turn out the occasional good column until a couple of years ago. The lazy, deceptive cut-and-paste jobs in which he's been caught suggest that he really doesn't care any more.

    McLeod? One in a blue moon she's great, but I generally don't both any more. She was tremendous in the 70s. Indeed, The Listener was extraordinarily fortunate then to have two contemporary writers who could illustrate their own writing. The other being Tom Scott.

    It does seem to me that although there is more opinion being written in local print publications than ever, the quality seems to be draining away. I like Charlotte Grimshaw in Metro, though. She can write.

    I probably should stop before I go into a career-limiting rant about certain other columnists.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17983 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I generally don’t both any more.

    I find one is generally ample.

    [GG Pendant]

    ETA:

    One wonders whether we would have lost the America’s Cup if it weren’t for Ms Gracewood and the rest of her ‘comrades’ at Public Address. Slovenly English has always been the enemy of athletic prowess, as it is of good singing articulation, and of healthy bowels.

    That really is gold.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Who, the globe-trotting financier biker that the Listener has turned into a permanent advertorial for?

    I don't read the Listener anymore, don't know this. I used to read his print stuff and often disagreed but generally his perspective was at least rooted in some analysis and not trotted out to play to the crowds. I was mostly focused on the logic of his views, not their literary qualities (I tend to think an interesting view, even poorly drafted is vastly superior to gloriously scripted crap).

    McLeod? One in a blue moon she's great, but I generally don't both any more. She was tremendous in the 70s.

    I'm sure she was, I recall her cartoons particularly, but aren't there new people coming through? Almost everyone who writes here does so with more coherence, passion and reason than Laws, McLeod et al. Perhaps the problem is the nature of the ideas, not so much the quality of writing. Where is the articulate and reasonable right?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    If such a thing exists???

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2219 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Rex Widerstrom,

    In some ways he's even more annoying to principled intelligent conservatives than to liberals, since he misrepresents their thinking so publicly. Frank never did.

    In other words, the Simon Uptons of this world, who unfortunately seem to be lying low right now. Privately they'd likely be cringing at the very mention of Mr Lhaws.

    And with Gareth Morgan, it's interesting how he evolved from an avowed Kyoto-sceptic to a Kyoto-agnostic ("Poles Apart").

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3912 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Public floggings of page 3 girls ?

    If you're talking Lhaws, that's private flogging *by* page 3 grrls

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15769 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 12 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.