Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: I'll Take Actium and Trafalgar

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  • Mrs Skin,

    Should no-one be allowed to provide the Minister for Immigration with relevant information with which to make the decision?

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    What seems to have been lost in the outrage this week is that homophobia does not exist in Jamaica because Dancehall stars incite it in their lyrics,

    Possibly because no-one ever said it DID. Which would make that something of a strawman argument.

    "Music has no effect on people" is an argument no more sound than "Marilyn Manson causes school shootings". A constructive discussion of reflection and influence could be had, but only if people were prepared not to pretend that their 'opponents' were holding one of those positions.

    (Often when I get into a discussion on a topic like this, I type the phrase "I didn't say that" and put it on my clipboard. Then I count the number of times I have to paste it.)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Should no-one be allowed to provide the Minister for Immigration with relevant information with which to make the decision?

    Should we assume they don't know how to do their job, cos if so , what the hell are we paying them for?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Should no-one be allowed to provide the Minister for Immigration with relevant information with which to make the decision?

    I think if MPs start doing this the union will have to get uppity. Serious demarcation issues.

    Chauvel is doing what hundreds of MPs have done before - making a populist call to do something which would be a lot more difficult if he was on the other side of the house and had to consult actual lawyers rather than political strategists before signing things.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6217 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Should we assume they don't know how to do their job, cos if so , what the hell are we paying them for?

    Well, perhaps they didn't have all the information. After all, if:

    I do think their point was that whilst aware of the contentious man's lyrics, they thought he had changed his way.

    then the BDO organisers can't even be expected to do a google.

    His intention may be in the right place but it becomes immediately divisive.

    Another thing that intrigues me: the way the reaction to the invitation is construed as divisive (a word the BDO organisers used as well) but the initial invitation apparently isn't.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    had to consult actual lawyers

    Not to disagree with the substance of Kyle's comment, but Chauvel IS an actual lawyer.

    I'm not going to comment on the substance of Kyle's comment because I know Charles personally so I'm starting to feel kind of uncomfortable.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I know Charles personally so I'm starting to feel kind of uncomfortable.

    I was just about to throw in how much i do love his work. I do fall back on wanting every human to get along and hoping those who need educating do get it without an us and them mentality. As you were.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    (Often when I get into a discussion on a topic like this, I type the phrase "I didn't say that" and put it on my clipboard. Then I count the number of times I have to paste it.)

    Sorry, I wasn't referring to you specifically but several comments on the matter this week have referred to incitement in the music as if this has a direct correlation to the violence being perpetuated. It's vile and it doesn't help but the homophobia is deep seated and exists within a society where casual violence is commonplace.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 892 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    The final decision is the Minister's job, and their decisions are subject to judicial review if they fail to take into account things that they ought. Everyone needs up to date information with which to make decisions. That's why lobbyists are effective (or pernicious, depending on your perspective).

    I'm not sure how provision of information is solely a departmental job. Chauvel is doing not only what hundreds of MPs have done before, he is doing what hundreds of ordinary people do every day - writing to the Minister. His voice has more reach than most, I'll grant you.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    Peter I think it's worth distinguishing between incitement and causation. Music/lyrics can incite but they don't cause.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    No, but as I've noted elsewhere part of the Auckland Theatre Company's 2010 season is a new production of Romeo and Juliet -- a jolly little play that starts with the kind of gang brawling that gives Michael Laws a woody, goes through what would now be considered statutory rape and ends with a horrible teen suicide pact.

    Yeah but... the good writing aside, weren't Romeo and Juliet the two earliest candidates for the Darwin Awards? (check her pulse, you idiot. Hold a mirror in front of her mouth. Check to see that she's warm. Jeez....)

    It is probably one of the biggest probs I had with Shakespeare - the number of plots which required the audience to believe the main characters could spout some of the English language's finest phrasology while being, simultaneously, as dumb as a sack of spanners.

    Othello - Why Was He Such a F+++Wit? was what I wanted to call one Stage II English Essay...

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 805 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    IS an actual lawyer.

    Thought that was almost a requirement in Parliament ;) and yes Chauvel is entitled to do as he pleased, I have no argument with that. Still I do think if Bman came in , it could have been a bloody good lesson he would most definitely have got.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Peter I think it's worth distinguishing between incitement and causation. Music/lyrics can incite but they don't cause.

    Sure, and reflection, which was my main point.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 892 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Too late. I found it really depressing. I have some deep respect for Gordon Campbell, but I found that column really unfortunate.

    Oh god, are our thoughts merging now? I found Gordon's column odd and unconvincing too.

    And I'm glad you made the point about the society Beenie Man is coming from. Jamaica (thanks largely to the brand of church they run there) is "violently homophobic", staggeringly so.

    The reporting around this has given the impression that Beenie Man is some sort of homophobic David Irving, who travels the world preaching the murder of gays. He isn't.

    He did record those tunes, and he did at one point deny signing the RCA (I'm surprised, at the least, that Gordon left out that bit), but it's not his stock-in-trade. If I hear "Beenie Man" I think 'Who Am I?"' and "hand me the keys to me Beamer!" I've never heard the songs that have caused all the trouble.

    He's not the only dancehall artist to be called on his homophobic bullshit (and there's nothing wrong with that), but he's not exactly a professional at it.

    One theory is that the nasty songs emerged after he'd appeared on the RuPaul show -- which in itself sparked a potentially disastrous whispering campaign about his sexuality. You can see how enticing it would be to start trash-talking the gays in that position, in front of a Jamaican fanbase.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And yet, there is hope: the winner of the Gay Caribbean Pageant last month was a Lady Saw impersonator from Jamaica.

    Although it would be fair to say that that girl could use some beauty tips ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    What all this brings home to me is that I have the option. I can choose not to fight, because I’m safe. I’m privileged.

    Sure hope you are right, because all other things aside Beenie Man has just been afforded the type of publicity money can't buy. He is officially Mr Ojectionality 2009 for "responsible NZers" and that shit sells. Like Bob Marley and Ice T before him he is highly establishment averse.

    I have never heard his music, but if he is anything like good then he is going to make fans of any number of treenage people who feel generally unsympathetic to "responsible NZers". I still remember getting together with my mates to listen to some Body Count.

    The answer to speech we disagree with is more speech, not less.

    I/S is correct

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Although it would be fair to say that that girl could use some beauty tips ...

    NEVER!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6320 posts Report Reply

  • Tessa Houghton,

    I have never heard his music, but if he is anything like good then he is going to make fans of any number of teenage people who feel generally unsympathetic to "responsible NZers"

    True. But also true: I have some of his tunes and quite like(d) them (albeit in passing, they're not something I listen to a lot). They may or may not be homophobic (not noticeably so re: titles), I really wouldn't have a clue because I can't understand what he's saying most of the time, I just like the beats, and I've never bothered to check him out as a person (although I did know about the homophobia in Jamaica). I won't be acquiring any more of his music, and I wonder how many others (if any) are feeling the same way?

    New Plymouth, NZ • Since Aug 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Sure hope you are right, because all other things aside Beenie Man has just been afforded the type of publicity money can't buy. He is officially Mr Ojectionality 2009 for "responsible NZers" and that shit sells.

    As was alluded to before, it's been strongly suggested that these artists only signed the Reggae Compassionate Act because the boycotts had been so damaging to their income.

    And of course those antipathetic to 'responsible NZers' will buy his music rather than pirating it, right?

    And I'm glad you made the point about the society Beenie Man is coming from. Jamaica (thanks largely to the brand of church they run there) is "violently homophobic", staggeringly so.

    It struck me that, given the number of people who were saying they'd never heard of him, that perhaps the Jamaican context was completely missing.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And two more articles via GayNZ:

    Beenie Man's statement

    and a word from Peter Tatchell (Warning: includes Lindsey Perigo.)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4371 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    (Warning: includes Lindsey Perigo.)

    And Simon Sweetman :)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 892 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I'm not going to comment on the substance of Kyle's comment because I know Charles personally so I'm starting to feel kind of uncomfortable.

    I don't know him at all, but it wasn't an attack on him, more a comment on what you can do when you're in opposition (because you don't then have to implement it because you're out of power) which you can't necessarily do when holding a ministerial warrant.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6217 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Wurr,

    I'd be very surprised if the BDO organisers weren't aware of any controversy they would cause by making the initial selection and announcement.

    If not, then someone wasn't doing there job properly.

    London • Since Dec 2006 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    FWIW (probably nothing), speaking as a gamer in which meat shields are common, the party approach is essential, and essentially 3-pronged. The main tasks are Tank, Healz, and Damage. Tank is probably the more common term for meat shield (although I like MS better, it's more evocative).

    The usual approach is this: Tank draws aggro. Healz keeps Tank alive. Damage kills enemy.

    Really, everyone is in the business of keeping everyone else alive because if you lose any part, the whole thing falls apart - if Tank dies, then Healz or Damage gets the aggro and can't handle the knocks. If Healz dies, Tank dies pretty soon after. If Damage dies, the fight lasts forever, until eventually everyone dies.

    Tank is probably the most popular role, followed by Damage, and Healz is usually last. Which is funny because the importance of the roles in terms of party survival is usually 1. Healz 2. Tank 3. Damage. At least that is the order you would least like your party members to die in. Tank can continue to deal damage, so Damage is least important. Healz can keep Damage alive, so Tank is not essential, fights can still be won. But if Healz is lost, the end is nigh, and who wins is only determined by whether Tank and Damage can kill the opponent fast enough.

    It is the mark of an experienced Tank that they appreciate this, and do everything they can to keep Healz alive. Inexperienced Tanks often see themselves as the most important player and the natural leader as a result.

    Indeed Tank psychology is one of the hardest factors to deal with in games - because Tanks are so fully engaged with the enemy, so engrossed, their minds working overtime to keep up with the constant strain of being assaulted from all sides that they tend to lack strategic vision almost completely.

    So many times I've had to talk Tanks down, for the good of the party, and this is hard because Tanks assume they are the leader. They rush into battle, drawing aggro, without checking if Healz has resources to sustain them, or Damage has any resources left to crank out the big shots. Battles are team sports, coordination is vital, and having bitchfights about whose fault things were after losing is not to my taste. I'd rather have the bitchfight beforehand to establish a basic idea of the team strategy.

    I'm not sure if any of this generalizes to the wars Renegade is talking about. Are there healers? Are there people who can dish out massive damage, but are unable to take it? Is this really a useful analogy? Seems to me there's something in it, at least in terms of Tank psychology - the lesson is simple - play as a team, if you want to win.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thank you for that, Ben. Explains the politics of modern life all too well, I reckon.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

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