Posts by B Jones

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  • Up Front: Dropping the A-Bomb,

    Without wanting to go too far down this rabbit hole, I think many lawyers would argue that rights do exist and can be objectively determined (by a court of law) and in some cases can inform and influence, if not overrule, laws duly passed by parliament. A point of view widely held by Catholics, among others, is that there is a natural law that overrides human-made law (and therefore, no abortion); a point of view that's held sway in the US is that the Constitutional right to privacy overrides states' attempts at prohibiting first trimester abortion (and therefore, legal abortion).

    I'm not sure I buy this approach myself, since these natural laws are still discovered and interpreted by human beings, and the ones affected by those laws are still underrepresented among those making/discovering them one way or the other. I believe not a single one of the handful of female MPs in 1977 voted for the law as it currently stands here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The problem of “horror tenants”…,

    My first flat was periodic, and I considered it a concession when I agreed to a fixed term lease in return for the landlord replacing the awful carpet and undersized hot water cylinder. My second flat was a year to begin with, then went periodic. It's a pain when you're young and mobile, to be tied in to a fixed term and need to find someone to take over the lease when you want to move in with someone else, or buy a house, or go on your OE.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Dropping the A-Bomb, in reply to James W,

    Can we be a bit careful of language here? Just about everyone is against killing babies; I'm sure you wouldn't want to imply that some of us are not. Embryos =/= babies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Cool asylum: Porirua Hospital Museum,

    I visited Porirua Hospital as a schoolchild in 1987 or 88 - our school choir and orchestra gave annual concerts there for the patients. It left a lasting impression - the people I could see in the audience were overwhelmingly elderly, and chainsmokers to a man and woman. The fug in the auditorium was unbelievable.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Lighting the Dark, in reply to Danielle,

    Even if nothing “that bad” ever happens to you, there you are with your weaponised car keys and your worries about writing in public and your risk assessment strategies. It’s so tiring.

    And expensive. I spend more to park near my destination, catch a taxi rather than walk or bus late at night, and just miss out on some things I don't feel safe doing on my own because female.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Lighting the Dark, in reply to Russell Brown,

    --"My response, equally understandably, I think, was that here was yet another young man with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis going on a brutal rampage. "

    I'm not sure he did have a diagnosis, given that family friend someone Astaire was reported as saying his family just suspected he was on the spectrum.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Lighting the Dark, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    are gendered terms more helpful when they are positive, like girl power?

    It's in-group/out-group thinking, which is a powerful motivator, but it's like sociological sugar - we need a little bit, but tend to take more than is good for us given the slightest opportunity. It always amazes me how resistent gender is to any attempts at breaking down stereotypes, and how invested people are in not challenging that. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me, about my kids in the 2010s, that girls are like this and boys are like that, I'd be a rich person.

    I think this is why it's harder for some people to see this as overtly political as, say, Anders Breivik. The personal being political is an old feminist slogan, but it's as relevant as ever.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Lighting the Dark, in reply to Moz,

    that means the people around you have to tell you when you get it wrong

    There's the ticket. They need to tell you, and you need to listen. There are ways to tell people they're getting the social rules wrong, and bullying is an unhelpfully popular way of doing this. But if you've armoured yourself in an ironclad ego, even the kindest, most constructive criticism bounces off.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Lighting the Dark,

    The snip I could stand to read spoke to me of a person who had never engaged with other people in a real way. Who speaks of themselves as a supreme, beautiful gentleman? Someone whose self-perception had never integrated anyone else’s unbiased point of view. I think it’s easier to fall into the cultural trap of assuming women are less than human, if you’re already halfway to thinking nobody else is either. That’s an error of youth and isolation. It’s not the crying, it’s the despair that the world doesn’t see him as some priceless wonder that makes him seem young to me.

    But the cultural trap is there, and many ordinary guys fall into it to a greater or lesser degree. Filling that cultural pothole will cut down on minor crashes as well as rarer ten car pile-ups.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Who was George Hildebrand…,

    All we need now is some mysterious dresses with gold sewn into the seams, some opium, and some astrological tables.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

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