From The Press this morning:
Sila's brother, Ben, spoke last night of how they were involved in a fight at the party.
Police have confirmed they are investigating allegations of racist activity on the night of the party, while also working with Sila's family amid fears of vigilante reprisals.
Gee, Russell. I’m kind of amazed that you are willing to label me inflammatory, provocative, needling, sneering, saying pointless things and imply that I’m self-absorbed. Nobody else comes in for this heavy use of negative adjectives, despite their behaviour, just your ‘new friend’. Yet I couldn’t see any effort on your part to take my arguments seriously, or to recognise that I was genuinely standing up for a principle. Or that a number of people agreed with me, and some were empowered to express apparently long-held concerns.
Fine, I’ll consider myself appropriately tarred, feathered and run out of town.
Nice job of making it all about you, Malcolm. Yes, I did find your approach sneering and provocative. Doing this thing requires a considerable investment of mental and emotional energy and I don't claim to get everything right. Be assured that I try.
I agree with all that Malcom said, I disagree with RB stopping the thread. RB seems to have a blind spot when it comes to Craigs more vituperative postings, RB; it is not robust and it does verge on cyber-bullying, in my opinion
Sigh ... I stopped the thread because David Slack rang up and asked if there was any way of stopping it, because the issue seemed to have been settled and Malcolm was being inflammatory and provocative and stirring it all up again. And that seemed to be what people wanted. But that intervention hasn't gone down well with some people, which I fear will be the case any time I do something like that. My opinion on Tze Ming's recent thread copped at least one angry response.
The Compromise thread unfolded over the weekend, while I was taking a break from reading the site, and the dispute had got some way by the time I caught up. So I had to work out what I thought, and say it.
Go back and read it again: it's a really pointless scrap. Deborah did imply that Craig was being sexist when it's clear to me that wasn't his intention (the original line ended in a smiley, remember). It could have stopped right there on page 8 if Craig had just said no, you've missed my point. But he felt attacked, in part because Danyl had had a crack at him. Then Deborah posted again.
Craig responded to them both:
Now, Deborah and Darryl, do you think I really need to put sarcasm tags around every damn thing or can I assume PA readers are smart enough to not require spoon-feeding?
Tart, but not bullying, I think. Could have stopped there too. But no, Deborah had to imply, again, that he was sexist. Craig makes a lively put perfectly reasonable reply to a post about Brian Tamaki by Hadyn. Could have stopped there.
But now Craig's seen Deborah's third post. Explains himself again then - uh-oh! - says "and if you just don't get it, that says much more about you than me. I don't appreciate being belittled, illegitimately, as a sexist arsehole."
Here we go: Page 8 where Riddley suggests that it's Craig that's rude and Craig responds with that stupid "reading disability" crack in a reply , which might have passed right by people more used to Craig's rhetorical style - but was was rude and worthy of an apology.
Heather chips in to say she's find the conversation "weird" and correctly interprets Craig's point. Page ends with Craig, again responding to Riddley: "I also do try and pay people the courtesy of not ripping what they say so far out of context - or just making shit up - it verges on psychosis."
Then Malcom arrives and starts needling Craig.
Heather calls theatre. Che calls theatre. Another page or two. 3410 responds to Malcolm, stands up for Craig, says people should waste less time scrapping and be "a bit more forgiving of slips of the tongue". Could have ended there.
Deborah comes back with a very unhappy post, and while she has every right to state her feelings, I think she did exaggerate when she said this: "So I had been told that I couldn't get a joke, that I am stupid, I am sexist, I have a reading disability, that I had made up shit, and that perhaps I was suffering from some sort of psychosis." I just don't think that's what was said, and some of it was in response to other (male) people Craig was responding to.
But she has taken it personally and she's obviously really upset and several people are very supportive, which is good. Deborah says she feels better and "Can we go back to the silly jokes now?" Most be over now.
There's some more discussion, including a useful post by Span. 3410 explains several times that he was responding to the newbie, not being unsupportive of Deborah.
Deborah says: "And everyone, I know I made an issue out of it all, with reason, but nevertheless, let's remember that Craig is a very brave man." Not sure what this means.
And then I possibly blow it by trying to give my perspective on the dispute. Craig, who has been steering clear of the thread to try and let it calm down, comes back in at my request and writes a sincere response to Deborah that could have been more like an apology, but is understood and accepted by Deborah who suggests it is time to move on.
It must be settled now!
And then ... it's our new friend Malcolm, employing the only tone he has demonstrated so far in these forums: a sneer - directed at Public Address. He then makes a pointlessly inflammatory paragraph out of every rough word written by Craig over pages and pages. And then, when regular posters are trying to tidy up and move on, he comes back for another go, ignoring Che's request to lay off, he writes yet another post which is largely about Malcolm.
And he's not finished yet. Che again suggests the respective parties have sorted it out, and Malcolm responds with a lecture about "the type of public space this blog wants to be."
I'll tell you Malcolm. It wants to be the kind of space where, ideally, adult members of its community are able to sort out their differences and move on. At some level, for the sake of my sanity, it needs to be that.
I was surprised when Deborah emailed me to say she was leaving and I hope I can change her mind. But this has all been fairly taxing.
I'm thinking of a collaborative culture guide for this sort of thing. If someone has misinterpreted you, say "not what I meant", don't get off your bleedin' bike. If someone says you've misinterpreted them, take them at their word. If you take personal offence at something someone says, say promptly and plainly that you're offended. That sort of thing ...
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.
__ ... could anyone confirm some anecdotal info I had lately - Hemp biomass is highest in cellulose, as well as an excellent nitrogen-fixer. Grows like a weed.
And if this is correct, why aren't we growing more of it?__
While I love universal panaceas, hemp is not a nitrogen fixer...
It has many other virtues, though. And it is legal these days.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”