OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: On Freedom of Speech

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  • Julie Fairey,

    Ah but the vasectomy comment was made to deflect questions on something Key was uncomfortable about, being held accountable for massive cuts to early childhood education funding.

    But I digress.

    Orcland • Since Dec 2007 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I'm still kind of in awe about that. My cool brother! Outrocks the PM!

    But has Ben congratulated Liu Xiaobo yet? I don't see evidence of it on his blog. How long must we be kept waiting?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'd just seen it as focusing too heavily on the purity of a metaphor which was ultimately made up by a guy with a stick up his arse, who thought that arguments were polite things you had at dinner parties (or at least, the participants ought to behave like they were).

    They're also polite things we have on PAS too, and I don't think saying one of the other commentators has a stick up their arse is warranted. He's just trying to make a point about making points, and abusing him because he can be misrepresented as apologizing for Paul Henry, is actually very much playing into the point he was making, that once you start claiming that abuse is a point, there's no end to it, abuse is all that's left, and the "marketplace of ideas" becomes a farce. Does this thread really need to go Kiwiblog?

    But I'm pretty sure that was actually some of Keith's point in even pursuing this line. If Paul Henry abusing someone can be held up as a point, then abusing Paul Henry can be too. It was a reductio ad absurdum on the "free speech has been damaged" line. Graeme was just trying to straighten the point out - because the reductio is a valid criticism, that means the negation of the point holds - Paul Henry abusing someone is not a point, and nor is abusing Paul Henry. It's an ad hominem attack, an invalid line of argument.

    That does not mean that ad hominem should never be used, nor do I think that Graeme was saying that. He was merely trying to make it crystal clear that it's not an argument, any more than many other informal fallacies would be. If PH said something like that to my face about me at a dinner party, however polite, I expect that some form of ad baculum (like standing up in a threatening way and talking extremely loudly about how offensive I found it) would be quite normal, which is part of the reason PH doesn't do that - bullies are usually cowards, and I've never even seen him take on someone with a sharp tongue, much less a sharp eating implement in their hand.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8584 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    Or we could talk about it some more, maybe so called axioms will diffuse over time.

    You think? Check out today's 'race row' story about the fair-haired, fair-skinned Miss IndiaNZ winner. Her father is Fijian-Indian, her mother is reported to be... a New Zealander.

    I'd say any 'teaching moments' have flown by the press, let alone the bigots.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Ah but the vasectomy comment was made to deflect questions on something Key was uncomfortable about, being held accountable for massive cuts to early childhood education funding.

    Thank you Julie . I'm not insane. We spend so much election time in tears about education and how much our kids need it, then the policy comes up 12 months after,it's totally the opposite of electoral rheteoric....
    and the sweet bored press get totally infactuated and giggly with his testicles and forget totally about the CUTTING OF EDUCATION FUNDS.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Paul Henry thoughts.

    One of my best newest friends is a 4 year old whose recently been diagnosed with autism. They are a trying to get him to not so much deal with his little boy life but introduce consequences into it, as we all do.Paul Henry needs consequences introduced into his humour , into his politics and possibly his worldview.

    Consequence appreciation is the cornerstone of harmony....oh and
    Beauty Pageants are bigoted festivals to start off with, of course they'll get nasty easy.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    today's 'race row' story

    At least they're having to resort to dredging up ones that happened some time ago.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    While we're on media making connections with the topic of the moment, Lynne Pope wrote an eloquent post yesterday about her own experience with the collection in question, in response to the Te Papa story.

    Some taonga repelled me, as though there was a physical barrier I could not see. Others pulled me in. One attracted me so strongly and when I was given permission to hold it, I swear I felt hands holding mine. Fanciful? It probably seems so to anyone who has not had a similar experience around taonga of great power.

    This is the collection the regional museum staff have been invited to see. This is the collection that iwi Māori expect to be treated in a culturally-appropriate manner.

    Too often, we attempt to explain things Māori in terms that are not Māori. We explain guardianship and kaitiakitanga as if they were interchangeable words, yet the Māori concept of kaitiakitanga goes way beyond the simple explanation of guardianship. Māori speak of mana, which we conveniently translate as, "life force". We speak of "taonga" and translate this to, "treasures", which ignores the deep spiritual significance taonga has.

    These European explanations allow non-Māori New Zealanders to dismiss Māori cultural beliefs as archaic, somewhat pre-history concepts. History, culture, spiritualism, and identity, are not separate concepts to Māori, nor are they a part of an old-fashioned, outdated tradition.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16740 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    They're also polite things we have on PAS too, and I don't think saying one of the other commentators has a stick up their arse is warranted.

    Thank you, Ben.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    While we're on media making connections with the topic of the moment

    As if it needed saying, I don't recommend that anyone read the Kiwiblog thread on Te Papa.

    Normally I'd now be posting a slew of whacked-out quotes from the comments but there are some dumpsters even I won't dive in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    you had me at "the Kiwiblog".

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16740 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Just so I know all the rules, what about semen retention or semen loss in the last 12 hours? Should we identify ourselves at Te Papa. I don’t want to offend Maui although I don’t think Maui thought this rule up.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    As if it needed saying, I don't recommend that anyone read the Kiwiblog thread on Te Papa.

    Normally I'd now be posting a slew of whacked-out quotes from the comments but there are some dumpsters even I won't dive in.

    Well, of course, I had to. Favourite:

    ... this is what happens when Christianity declines – superstition takes hold.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    FWIW, I'm happy to respect custom, and like many non-Maori New Zealanders I've absorbed some myself. You won't be putting your arse on my dinner table, right?

    But I did feel a wee bit squeamish at Margaret Mutu seeming to state belief as empirical fact.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    You won't be putting your arse on my dinner table, right?

    Man, I don't want to see your arse anywhere.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    As far as I can tell, it's a warning, or a suggestion, or whathaveyou.

    If you're not afraid of war ghosts entering your vagina, you can just decide to go ahead and go, right?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    If you're not scared of war ghosts entering your vagina

    If I had a vagina I would be disappointed someone is trying to scare me with it.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    While we're on media making connections with the topic of the moment, Lynne Pope wrote an eloquent post yesterday about her own experience with the collection in question, in response to the Te Papa story.

    I'm surprised no one (that I've seen) has made the connection with Virgin Mary in a condom, in which another spirtual belief was (according to quite a few followers of those beliefs) not treated with respect. Slightly different circumstances in that the art work in that instance wasn't given to the Museum by the church with instructions attached.

    Personally I'm happy with the directive that went out. I need to think about whether Te Papa is always consistent though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6201 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    If you're not afraid of war ghosts entering your vagina, you can just decide to go ahead and go, right?

    They should charge extra for that service.

    I don't really have much time for the sorts of suspersition that are too easily foisted on others as though they were not open to debate. I think it's pretty telling that the language used, i.e. "pregnant women are precious to us, it's for their own protection" is not a million miles from the language used to defend the extreme gender seperation prohibitions seen in wahabiist Islam. Cultural sensitivity should never be a reason to discount criticism of the reasons and effects of spiritual beliefs.

    However, there also needs to be room for personal reactions. If a pregnant woman wants to go see these taonga, she should never at any point be made to feel uncomfortable or disrespectful for doing so-but if she chooses not to (for whatever reason) the same rules should apply.

    I remember vividly going to see the Pompeii exhibit at Te Papa-outside the section with the plaster casts of body molds was a little bowl of water with a note that "some people" felt that viewing these mortal remains required a gesture of spiritual cleansing. I went in to the room sneering slightly at this, but after five minutes inside where I was confronted with the death poses of ordinary people, I left thinking that I could understand perfectly why someone would want a ritual "cleansing" to help them deal psychologically with what they had just seen.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    There is no way the Church will ever give me directives that don't make sense, they know that know.

    They know that through art,music, comedy, novels and the occasional newspaper editorial. They know that religion shoud stay in the four walls of the church and do a little bit more soul searching before engaging people who genuinely seek harmony on earth.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Slightly different circumstances

    Surely there's some difference between a public exhibit and an industry-only behind-the-scenes tour?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16740 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    If you're not afraid of war ghosts entering your vagina, you can just decide to go ahead and go, right?

    That seems to be the case, but it certainly wasn't obvious from the way Te Papa originally phrased it. Nor from some of the defense of that original phrasing.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    War Ghosts in the Vagina would be an excellent album name. Perhaps too unwieldy for a band name, though.

    I want something explained, though: the original phrasing was more of the 'ladybits = cooties' variety, yes? Why?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    If I had a vagina I would be disappointed someone is trying to scare me with it.

    I now have a mental picture of someone hiding behind a door sniggering with a six foot tall vagina, waiting to jump out at Jeremy.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    I now have a mental picture of someone hiding behind a door sniggering with a six foot tall vagina, waiting to jump out at Jeremy.

    That kind of sums up the old testament view on ladies.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

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