Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: We'll find out where all the parties are

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  • Russell Brown,

    Conservatives arguing over how Conservative political thought might/should be affected by evolution strikes me as a real recognition that evolution could have consequences outside the lab and classroom.

    Ah Neil, if only you were as generous to the Greens over genetic modification ...

    But they're not debating how their philosophy should change: quite a few of them are saying "it challenges our philosophy, therefore we should refuse to believe it."

    I'm put in mind of Stephen Colbert's observation that "reality has a known liberal bias."

    I'm down with the final paragraph of that story:

    As for Mr. Derbyshire, he would not say whether he thought evolutionary theory was good or bad for conservatism; the only thing that mattered was whether it was true. And, he said, if that turns out to be “bad for conservatives, then so much the worse for conservatism.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I have never felt in any danger in innercity Christchurch in the wee-small hours, mainly because I take the normal precautions any city-dweller takes, ie: using well-lit main streets and taxis where possible. Are Aucklander's really such whining pansies. There are parts of the Auckland CBD I wouldn't dream of setting foot in after dark.

    Oh alright, sorry. But the Chch CBD does seem more out of hand to me than the Auckland one on a Saturday night. Nowhere else has had to resort to the one-way door policy, and the differences in the experience with party pills are extraordinary. It just seems different.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    With an ageless Michael Laws as Snake Plissken

    He's more likely to be the comic relief sidekick don't you think?.

    Exclusive plot spoilers

    It is 2100. The100 years President (Michael Laws) is shot down in a passenger craft flying over the prison city of Wanganui on his way to broker a piece deal between warring gang factions (led by Tariana Turia & Helen Clark). A rescue mission is quickly assembled but after thinking about it for ten minutes, decide that finding him isn't worth the effort. Finishes with Snake having aperitifs with the mongrel mob members of Laws' cabinet.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 563 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I have never felt in any danger in innercity Christchurch in the wee-small hours, mainly because I take the normal precautions any city-dweller takes

    Yeah, me either, though I have to admit that I haven't spent much time there since I sprogged and went all suburban. But as a student in the early 90s I was told many times not to walk through Hagley Park at night.

    So of course I did it. And the only people I ran into, two large trenchcoated suspicious-looking individuals, turned out to be good friends.

    But I suspect when my kids (currently 12 and 10) cross that cusp and start partying here, they'll be inhabiting a very different city from the one I do, just as I lived in a different Timaru from the one my mother did.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    I propose a television show for publicly shaming the week's most obnoxious teens, in which they will have the piss taken out of them by Oscar Knightly.

    Isn't this already being done - Studentville on C4 ?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 420 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    parts of the Auckland CBD I wouldn't dream of setting foot in after dark

    Where? K-Rd? Fort St? I wouldn't wander through Myers Park alone but that's a park full of glue sniffers, not a street. Even that's fine if there's two of you..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    yeah, I've very rarely and only in the distant past felt endangered either. and in fact only been beaten up at home (when I called a scungy flat home) a very long time ago.
    i've seen the odd incident, some of which involved crazy guys/road rage/and a couple of tangential/sideways encounters with the harris gang (who deserve their own wiki entry).
    but as emma has wisely noted- we live in a different city from our kids.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The next arrogant SOB who refers to Christchurch as a hick or rural town is getting a be-atch slap from me.

    Say what?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But they're not debating how their philosophy should change: quite a few of them are saying "it challenges our philosophy, therefore we should refuse to believe it."

    Oh dear... Reminds me of a bizarre conversation (well, it was a monologue while I did my best cornered bunny routine) years back I once had a women's studies major who was going to convince me or else biology was a construct of patriarchal normative hegemony. Don't you just love it when science becomes politically inconvenient?

    There's a book to be written on politics as secular religion, and why it's not a very good idea.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12031 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Oh well, if it's not texting or BeBo, then the msm will be back on myspace. And lo, apparently out of control gatecrashers are a problem for Annie Lennox's daughter, not just the good residents of The Flatlands.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    a couple of tangential/sideways encounters with the harris gang (who deserve their own wiki entry).

    Cue flood of repressed memories, and shuddering.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Admittedly, I am a dull and boring person who tries to avoid going into the centre city to party at all costs, but when I've been there...I just feel like I must be living in a completely different city to the one being described. I don't think I've ever even seen a skinhead.

    Lucy, I don't think socializing with electrical engineers is dull and boring.

    Where? K-Rd? Fort St? I wouldn't wander through Myers Park alone but that's a park full of glue sniffers, not a street. Even that's fine if there's two of you..

    Nothing wrong with a bit of glue to be sociable. As-long as it's in moderation.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Emma, you knew the harris gang? We should get a wiki entry going. Ok I've got no real insights or anythin- but it's a great story.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    There's a book to be written on politics as secular religion, and why it's not a very good idea.

    With you there. That tends to be my view of the ghastly excesses committed in the names of Marx and Mao.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Johnson,

    Hm.

    Right, let's see: Christchurch, NZ's second or third largest city, (depending on how you count the valleys of sub-cities around Wellington) has a lively central city with a boozy populace. But wait... I travel NZ frequently in my work, hang in out cities and towns all over the show... and while the concentration of boozy meatheads is higher in central chchch, I'd actually argue that if you concentrated the boozy meatheads from the other cities in the fairly tight social areas that Chch concentrates them in, you'd end up with the same thing.

    This is not a chchch issue. Wellington (Hutt Valley!), North Shore, the entire centre of Hamilton... all of these places could have housed a party that parents didn't know about, that could have spilled onto the road, that could have gone rowdy. Heck, they DO. Most weekends. That's WHY this is news. It's happening all the time and it's a national "issue". This one resulted in some outrageous deaths. I went past a party in Wellington the other night that could have done the same thing, as they were practicing their bottle throwing at passing cars.

    Central Welly has more yuppies, as does certain bits of the Auckland nightlife, which dilutes the meatheads somewhat... but this stuff is happening down the road from you, no matter where you live.

    I feel perfectly safe in most bits of most cities in NZ at night. Bit if I see a boozy party or raucous group spilling out of a bar? I'm crossing the street.

    Auckland, mostly. • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Knew? no. Knew of, had a couple of vague run-ins with, heard copious stories about, yeah. The last I remember hearing about them was when the cops were trying to get a non-association order for them, despite them all being brothers. But I'll bet there are some GREAT stories out there somewhere.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Knew? no. Knew of, had a couple of vague run-ins with, heard copious stories about, yeah. The last I remember hearing about them was when the cops were trying to get a non-association order for them, despite them all being brothers. But I'll bet there are some GREAT stories out there somewhere.

    There's a bit about the Harris gang here

    Criminal family from way back, matey with Timaru's Road Knights, one family member won a share in a a Lotto 1st Division. White trash who adopted neo-Nazi styles at some point.

    I guess the nearest Auckland equivalent would be the Headhunters, but they're smaller and rather more ... businesslike.

    As I mentioned, we had a neighbourhood gang in Christchurch, but I'm damned if I can remember what they were called.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    On the alcohol issue, I remember one anti-drug campaigner issuing a statement telling parent they should be alarmed if their children were drinking water on a night out on the town.

    Because that, of course, meant they were definitely on drugs.

    I think it was DJ Roger Perry who pointed out that, drugs or not, if you spent five hours at a club drinking alcohol you'd be a bloody mess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    There was a certain something about the Harris gang. The oddest/funniest moment I witnessed (apart from the lotto thing, of course) was one day they spent at tvnz in chch, waiting for an interview with Holmes. They sat around patiently for hours: a couple of ginger-beerded zz-top looking hoons, one big, one little. The closest I got was sharing the lift- there wasn't much small-talk...
    But then, about 5 ish, it became apparent the i/v with holmes wouldn't happen (i think it might've just been a link issue) and it was suggested they be interviewed by the local reporter for the holmes programme. They were quite indignant. It was holmes or no-one. They were incredibly sure of themselves- and I felt at the time, of their semi-"mythic" stature. They marched out of the building strutting with self-righteous indignation.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    "As I mentioned, we had a neighbourhood gang in Christchurch, but I'm damned if I can remember what they were called"

    Heh - we just had the 'Naenae Boys' which frankly, lacked a bit of imagination, and was all a bit sub-Warriors (movie not footy team). But worthy of neighbourhood fear nonetheless, and responsible for more than their fair share of mindless violence.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Heh - we just had the 'Naenae Boys' which frankly, lacked a bit of imagination, and was all a bit sub-Warriors (movie not footy team). But worthy of neighbourhood fear nonetheless, and responsible for more than their fair share of mindless violence.

    Ours seems so suburban in retrospect. Stupid, rat-faced white guys who beat up kids.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Thanks for the link, Russell. (hope you're fully recovered, btw!) It's a bit like stepping into another world! tho I never got all the harris stuff from the thread- will go back later.
    I should add: I worked with a guy who was an ex-police detective sargeant- long story, but he arrested their father for the first (I think) lsd bust in NZ.
    The father was apparently running the odd little circus that used to be parked forlornly out by macleans island: half-a-dozen of those rip-off throw-the-ping-pong-ball in the clowns' mouth type trailers. Anyway, my mate reckons the mother was the tough one. Their dad kissed her after being sentenced and asked if she'd wait for him. "F# off" she said- "Who do you think I am?"
    This was back in the late 60s I think, and my mate, who bought a garage and left the force, employed their dad when he got out and was quite washed up. (This is a chinese whisper- I do trust the guy who told me, but the details might be... dramatised)
    The gang also had a truely mad associate, who exploded a nail bomb in the foyer of the Sydenham police station. People who knew said he was the dangerous one. But the Harrises were quite capable of burning down a house or two...
    After being put in separate prisons, they ran up an $8000 phone bill, which they inisted the state pay.
    And then one of them won lotto: $600k. He bought a big house in Westmorland. The neighbours organised a boycott of the real estate agent involved. The Harrises hung out there a lot; once when another friend was trying to film the house, they ran out and shouted at him; another time, they blocked the camera van by putting concrete blocks across the road.
    It was a quite a long-running act...

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    As a former long term resident of the Garden City permit me to say a few words in its defence. In my opinion it's no worse, and no better, than any other city when it comes to violence.

    Sure there were areas where I wouldn't wander alone late at night (Colombo St down by the overbridge being a prime example) but I'd say the same about areas in other cities as well.

    I had a late night sojourn in Newtown not so long ago that had the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end and the pulse racing. I also recall a very dodgy evening nightclubbing in Otara many years ago (white boys go into nightclub, cue Once Were Warriors music and a huge collective stare - gulp)

    As for the issue of cellphones leading to out of control parties I'm not sure that stands up completely. The grapevine has always managed to operate fullsteam regardless of technology.

    Cellphones were completely unknown when I was going through my teenage binge drinking years in Motueka yet that never stopped hordes of people arriving to whichever party was humming on a Friday or Saturday night. Especially after the pubs closed.

    Once my parents came home to find well over 100 people in various states of inebriation lolling around the property. We were about as country as it got yet that didn't stop the multitudes taking the time to drive (largely under the influence) 15 km into the boondocks and descend upon me and my mates. Fortunately my mother had a somewhat steely reputation and by dint of intimidation, and fearsome gaze, had the surrounds vacated within about 10 minutes.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is mass boozy parties have been the norm in Kiwi culture. It's also worth remembering the weekend's events, while tragic, remain the exception and not the norm

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    With you there. That tends to be my view of the ghastly excesses committed in the names of Marx and Mao.

    Um yes... and getting my Polyanna mojo on, it's actually encouraging seeing some conservatives out there who aren't willing to totally surrender the field to the theo-cons. (People I don't actually consider all that conservative, given how fond they are of Mommy Statism, eroding separation of powers or State's Rights when it's inconvenient, and fiscal irresponsibility not seen since LBJ had his arms wrapped around the pork barrel.)

    I'm sure I'm in the minority around here, but I'd rather not see American Conservatism surrender to the Coulters and Dobsons without a fight.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12031 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    I was told many times not to walk through Hagley Park at night.

    So of course I did it. And the only people I ran into, two large trenchcoated suspicious-looking individuals, turned out to be good friends.

    I use to live on Fendalton Rd a couple of years ago and would often cut across north hagley park on the way home, through the soccer fields, passed the toliets and through the golf course, by myself.
    Only when I was drunk and feeling immortal of course. Wouldn't run into anyone and the only danger was tripping in the dark (especially around the golf course).
    That was until one night. It was a week night and I was coming home earlier than usual. There seemed to be quite a few people around the trees along Rolleston Ave between the two bridges.
    I gave them a wide berth and carried on, but one of them followed me through the park. He was about 30m away. So I walked a bit faster, getting ready to hoof it.
    But after 50m or so he disappeared. It scared the crap out of me, so I never walked through there again.
    A few weeks later I was reading an article in the paper and realised that I had walked through the middle of a gay cruising site. The guy I thought was going to bash me over the head, was probably just going to offer me head. lol

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

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