Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • Hard News: About Campbell Live, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Sell it, start from scratch.

    How would you handle the fact that it is called “TVNZ”, and “Television One”? As you’ve noted, TVNZ Channel One by dint of viewer habit can command half a million viewers at 7pm even if they just showed for half an hour a paddock full of retired donkeys peacefully going about their business.

    So really, it is the brand that is worth the most money. I guess we still have the BNZ and Air New Zealand, but I am not sure if they are good examples to follow from a sovereignty perspective.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Campbell Live, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    People obviously watch Seven Sharp and lots of them. But who are they? There must be some out there or does no one want to admit it?

    The problem is we have now so completely destroyed public service broadcasting and serious news and current affairs that we don't even know anymore what it should look like, does look like or might look like. We have to accept that we literally have to start from nothing in rebuilding public service broadcasting in New Zealand.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Campbell Live,

    How can a democracy survive if it's public broadcast media is a dumbed down dystopia of reality TV and fact free shock jocks?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show,

    I’m not. It’s a sweeping generalization. The “classical mind” is a cliche to stand in place of the millions of individual minds of the time, many of which thought diametrically opposite things, and the “Christian mind” is just the same…

    Dude, this post of yours is largely a manifesto to your ignorance so… just… stop. Please. It hurts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show,

    LOL. Yeah, right....

    Whatever dude.

    Seriously, how can you have an entire TV show on Christianity without anyone seemingly having the faintest idea what all the fuss was all about? Tamaki is an ignorant tosspot, so he wouldn't have the foggiest what the big idea, the "good news" actually was.

    The pre-Christian mind thought the richer you were, the more you could afford to sacrifice to a bunch of capricious Gods, and therefore the more likely you were to enjoy a nice afterlife. Since there was no absolute arbiter of good, the most important concept of what constituted "a good and just life" came from firstly, the importance of the difference the way civilised men lived and their civilisation as proof of their superior virtue - as represented by the Greeks then, more importantly, the Romans - from the barbarians who surrounded them, who were regarded as little more than animals unable to contain their baseness. Secondly, there were the Stoics who had (to quote Wikipeida)

    ...the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will (called prohairesis) that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how that person behaved.

    Here is the clue as to why, for example, Marcus Aurelius could write his Stoical "Meditations" (these days very popular with half-educated new agers) and be regarded as jolly civilised chap by his contemporaries whilst presiding over the pathological savagery of the Roman state and the Roman games, which were at a peak in his reign. He was interested in HIS virtue, not the fate of his gladiators. Or (to go back a bit before Marcus Aurelius) it explains Cicero's obsession with the corrupting power of luxury, with it's threat of reducing civilised men to the base pleasure typical of the barbarian.

    The "Christian revolution" was the new idea that all people, rich or poor, are equal in the eyes of God, and it is by the purity of our soul and the goodness of our actions that we shall be judged in the afterlife. This idea is to us so commonplace as for it to be almost impossible to imagine the world view of a Roman before it had been thought of. But that was the Christian "big idea" and it was in the first and second centuries novel, subversive (a good slave wasn't just the equal of any bad emperor in the eyes of God, he was more likely to be welcomed into heaven! God stood supreme, in judgement of us all! No more sacrifices to the Emperor!) and represents an earthquake event in the intellectual development of mankind.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show,

    One other thing – such was the power of the Christian revolution that common sense tells us there must have been something that set it apart from being just another Jewish sect at a time of great religious tumult in Palestine. To my satisfaction at least, the most obvious explanation is the first Christians had a leader in every way even more exceptional in his power to influence men than, say, Alexander the Great was in his own time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show,

    Well, I’d be interested in which sources they’d cite.

    The first ancient account we have of the life of Alexander the Great is Arrian, who wrote his Anabasis of Alexander in the first half of the second century – that is, some 450-500 years after Alexander’s life. All contemporary accounts are lost. There is plenty of sculpture and coins to affirm his existence, but nothing contemporary to tell us anything of the man. By contrast, we have (if the Bible is taken as a source document) accounts written within 100 years of Christ’s, ummmm, passing on – and the earliest contemporary depiction of Christ (from Dura-Europos) if from about 233-5AD, i.e within two centuries of Christ’s life.

    The point is much of what we “know” about the ancient world is what is inferred, reasoned, guessed and described from a remarkably slim set of primary source documents, supported by archaeology.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show, in reply to Alan Perrott,

    it’s an interesting thing the atheistic attraction to theology.

    So is the attraction of butterfly collecting, the key difference being that butterfly collectors of a particular persuasion have yet to massacre entire populations over matters pertaining to the subtlety of interpreting various Lepidoptera genera. And that is the key problem with theology - it is great intellectual fun and games until someone takes it seriously.

    Imagining the classical mind is so hard precisely because it was a pre-Christian one. That is why I am reasonably sure that Jesus Christ existed, and either he or his immediate apostles made a revolutionary intellectual breakthrough akin to the invention of farming, with or without the support of accompanying miracles according to taste. Certainly, something motivated his followers to prolytise a new message, a new way of seeing yourself that was so powerful that they were prepared to defy and eventually conquer the Roman Empire.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Branding a Post-Predator…, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    How about we also plant a bit of cotton (I'm sure someplace in NZ has the climate for it) and set up an antebellum style system of agriculture using teenagers in place of Black people.

    Because my idea is JUST LIKE slavery.

    You idiot.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Branding a Post-Predator…,

    Let's park the moggy business for a little while. Because if we are planning to fight a war on pests, then we'll need to mobilise an army to do it - which we can't afford. Unless we introduce conscription - why not have every 18 year old spend 12 months in a conservation army. Imagine 70,000 plus young people trapping, poisoning, shooting, cleaning, replanting, weeding, spying on dirty dairying, standing sentry on individual Kakapo...

    AND in their spare time they could learn civics, visit old people, discover how to get on with a cross section of their fellow citizens, eat properly, get fit, and even get taught a bit of discipline.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1882 posts Report Reply

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