Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Rain on his parade

317 Responses

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  • Sam F,

    But of course.

    It's quite interesting to see the five or six outraged replies that reliably follow every post from Dexter. In the antiseptic white behavioural lab of PAS, he's the happy rodent that's found the feeding bar.

    To add another metaphor, I see him almost as part of the furniture by now. It's up to others if they want to use him as a scratching post, and fair enough too given the nonsense he posts, but usually I can't be bothered. Too much other worthwhile stuff being said all around.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    As an old person who grew up in Auckland, I'm really surprised that the parade is legal. Blocking the main street of the biggest city for a pornographic parade - how can that be defensible?

    The women are not just baring their breasts but titillating the crowd with their overall get-up - the knickers, the bikes etc.

    If all the bikes are driven by men and the women are passengers, isn't that terribly demeaning to women? And aren't a lot of the women porn stars - not exactly good role models to any youngsters out there.

    And isn't Queen Street a public place where we should have the freedom to walk and drive without being confronted by this abomination?

    And how could Hamilton ban the boobies (police - no fuss) while Auckland made such a meal of it.

    I fail to see this as a freedom of speech issue. Some things are - yes - but this is like showing adult material during kids' primetime. I think arguing that the council can't ban an advert for a porn exhibition is just plain silly.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    So Grant, lets say you and your friends apply to hold a parade.... for the sake of illustration, lets say the topic is completely uncontroversial, and nobody particularly objects to what you want to say or show..... but the council says no anyway....

    You're saying you'd be perfectly happy with that? They are in charge, and if they say no, then thats it.... they dont have to give a reason.... they dont need a legal backing to decline, they just say no, and you're happy?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech! It has everything to do with proper authority. A geverning body should be allowed to say "Yay" or "Nay" regardless of the request. Why would we need a law to back up every decision they make?

    Grant: I think you've missed my point, though to be fair I should remember that what's blindingly obvious to me isn't necessarily so to others. Would someone care to explain to Grant the difference between a democracy operating under the rule of law, with an independent judiciary, and a society ruled according to the whims of a cadre of oligarchs?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Dexter,

    Why would the council say no to a perfectly reasonable request. And why are they obliged to say yes to pornography?

    If they refused me for no good reason then I probably would be unhappy. So what? Should our governments make decisions based on how happy people are..?

    Taipei, Taiwan • Since Mar 2007 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I'm guessing you haven't been to one recently. I went last year, for the first time since childhood and it was full of enormous motorised billboards with a few elves riding on top.

    I haven't seen the Auckland parade since I was wee, but other parades aren't so bad. The Dunedin one still has a strong community element to it - half the floats are companies viewing it as cheap advertising, giveaways etc, but the other half are community groups, sports clubs, etc etc. It's run by a trust associated with the city council I believe.

    Not unsurprising that the Auckland one would have gone that way though - lots of head offices in Auckland, big city, massive audience.

    Would someone care to explain to Grant the difference between a democracy operating under the rule of law, with an independent judiciary, and a society ruled according to the whims of a cadre of oligarchs?

    Craig, I think you're assuming he'd choose the former. An easy mistake to make...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Dexter,

    Craig the difference between a democracy operating under the rule of law, with an independent judiciary, and a society ruled according to the whims of a cadre of oligarchs is the amount of pejorative you used to describe each.

    No matter what the government type it is possible for them to make the right decision. It wouldn't matter if it were a dictator for life banning pornography or the current regime doing the same thing. Both would be making the right decision.

    Either way, a governing body should not have to have the backing of a law in order to make decisions like this. Primarily because there is never anything wrong with barring pornography.

    Taipei, Taiwan • Since Mar 2007 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Makes them sound like a Yakuza version of the Huxtables though.

    But good lord, wouldn't RZA's soundtrack for THAT movie be magnificent...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Why would the council say no to a perfectly reasonable request. And why are they obliged to say yes to pornography?

    Grant: In this case, I think the Auckland City Council is obliged not to waste public money and the court's time on a trivial action I can't see any reasonable person would have thought had the proverbial snowball's hope in hell of success. I'm reluctant to use words like "trivial and vexatious" (which do have a specific legal usage), but ill-judged and counter productive certainly.

    And you can keep trying to push buttons by using the P-word, but the simple reality is that the ACC made an argument in law that Justice Mathers was not convinced by. You may be comfortable with local government deciding they can just ignore on a whim laws they find inconvenient or disagreeable, but I'm not.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And just as a usage note, Grant, please don't dumb down the definition of pornography to include anything you might find distasteful. If we're going there, Cathy Casey is going into exile south of the Bombays until she de-frumps and does something a little more flattering with her hair.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech! It has everything to do with proper authority. A geverning body should be allowed to say "Yay" or "Nay" regardless of the request. Why would we need a law to back up every decision they make?

    You're right, it is about proper authority. Which the court has demonstrated the council doesn't have in this instance.

    This is Rule of Law.

    It provides consistency, fairness, legal certainty, and equality.

    It means we don't have to suffer the whims of petty minded little dictators.

    And isn't Queen Street a public place where we should have the freedom to walk and drive without being confronted by this abomination?

    Hey, congratulations! You're halfway to getting it!

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If we're going there, Cathy Casey is going into exile south of the Bombays until she de-frumps and does something a little more flattering with her hair.

    But then Whaleoil would feed Bridget Saunders a rumour that a left-wing councillor was living it up having her hair done at Serville's. The only way to stay safe in public life is to stay frumpy. Well, it works for me ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, Steve Crow has complained that a male spectator has punched one of his pornstars, after telling her she was "disgusting" and trying to grope her breasts.

    Well, hey, you're always going to get the odd creepy misogynist along with the rubberneckers, aren't you? Could well be a morals campaigner too, of course -- there is some overlap.

    Meanwhile, protesters were verbally abused, had objects thrown at them, and had people trying to rip their banners away.

    Wow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Dexter,

    No, Craig. The city council is completely justified in attempting to block pornography. If you do not think a porn producer organising porn stars to ride topless down the main street in Auckland is pornography then you're ... well .. you're just lost.

    And, Morgan, if a city council cannot decide which parades it will allow and which it will not, but must appeal to the law then what possible use does a council have? What issue, if this one must be referred, need not be referred?

    Your dislike of a certain cartoon version of an authority type has blinded you. You're jumping up and down insisting that a controversial and pornographic parade be not barred. Tell us .. even if the banning of this parade was unfair in some way .. what would we lose if it were banned?

    Taipei, Taiwan • Since Mar 2007 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    For Grunt, who is obviously taken with the whole executive presidency arguument and seeking a real man to tell him what's right:

    http:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK-Atcio4-4

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    yup. "protecting children"... from boobs. might have to get some new amendments to the legislation regarding safety equipment for breastfeeding babies.

    Indeed - I feel very little call to "protect" my children from the things their eyes first focussed upon

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    No, Craig. The city council is completely justified in attempting to block pornography. If you do not think a porn producer organising porn stars to ride topless down the main street in Auckland is pornography then you're ... well .. you're just lost.

    You know it when you see it, huh? Alternatively: if a porn star goes to a topless beach, is that also pornography? I'm sensing a failure of differentiation between the activity and the performer here.

    Tell us .. even if the banning of this parade was unfair in some way .. what would we lose if it were banned?

    The knowledge that if we stay within the boundaries of the law we do not have to fear arbitrary action against us by authority because they think we're "morally wrong"?

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

  • Maree,

    Yes. The failure to see that there are women behind the 'boobs' (verging on the comic....) is paramount here. Steve Crow's spurious justifications are just as laughable. Pure commercialism with a bit of misogyny thrown in for good measure...the opinion of a feminist (JUST one (proud to call myself one) feminist opinion, may I point out to the previous basher of the women's movement)....

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Dexter,

    Yes, Lucy, it's porn. I haven't seen it and I know it's pornography. Do you think it is not?

    Sometimes, Lucy, the law is wrong. And sometimes it takes people with courage to stand up for what is right. There are many ways to stop this parade. A few of them would be justified. People could not show up (that's not really feasible). The media could stay away (yeah right). The police could crack down on it (they'd have some issues afterward though). The city council could ban it (and face unpopularity). The courts could rightly judge against (that'd be the best way). Unfortunately society is so broken that the few voices from the public and the weak attempts from the council are ridiculed to the point of absurdity.

    You're worried that if you stay within the boundaries of the law might have to fear arbitrary action against you? What arbitrary action against anyone would barring a pornographic parade entail? A bunch of prostitutes who aren't allowed to show off their breasts? And what have you to fear from the insistence that pornography is wrong?

    Grow up, please.

    Taipei, Taiwan • Since Mar 2007 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Grow up, please.

    Bless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Is nudity pornography, Grant?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Newsprint,

    I understand your predicament as moderator Russell -- but I'm beginning to look away -- I mean far away -- when GD jumps on a thread. And he seems to be spreading . . .

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Indeed - I feel very little call to "protect" my children from the things their eyes first focussed upon

    But this is not a group of ordinary women going around topless. It's not a group of breast feeding mothers marching for their rights. Don't the bare boobs belong to women who work for erotica/porn maker Crow? Isn't that a heck of a difference?

    It's not the boobs, it's what they're doing with them.

    The knowledge that if we stay within the boundaries of the law we do not have to fear arbitrary action against us by authority because they think we're "morally wrong"?

    Our society regards racism as morally wrong and I think a pro-white skinhead march would be banned. Isn't the same principal involved?

    I thought that our society tolerated pornography as long as it wasn't flaunted in the full light of day. You don't see dairies or bookshops flaunting their dirty mags - mostly we don't have to face up to in your face porn. (I think the way we are geared to see the women on those bikes is pornographic - might be wrong.)

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Our society regards racism as morally wrong and I think a pro-white skinhead march would be banned. Isn't the same principal involved?

    Actually, they did, in Wellington and Christchurch.

    And they got pwned by the counter-protesters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    Oh this is great, wonder why I've never delved into here before...

    It's not the boobs, it's what they're doing with them.

    Indeed. And if there were breast licking, and overt sexual acts then the law would be pretty clear. But breast, on their own attached to the chest of a woman on the back of a motorcycle are not pornographic, regardless of the occupation of their owner.

    You don't see dairies or bookshops flaunting their dirty mags - mostly we don't have to face up to in your face porn. (I think the way we are geared to see the women on those bikes is pornographic - might be wrong.)

    I think your local dairy is pretty crappy, or you're not look up the top of the magazine shelf.

    Pornography isn't really content, but context. I can show you (well, I could, but I won't) pornographic images where the participants are completely clothed. Similarly there are many famous works of art that feature completely naked figures without much or any disagreement on their artistic merit.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 257 posts Report Reply

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