Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Fairy-Tale Autopsies

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  • Emma Hart, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    which Emma insists is totally not about me, but is an expanded version of a comment she made a few days ago which is . . . about me.

    Ohhhh no it isn't! (srsly, this is where we are now, right? And someone can just repost this whenever Danyl repeats his "oh yes it is!"?)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4354 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    And before you had time to illustrate how your blog post indiscretion differed from Danielle’s tweet indiscretion

    Awkwardly unflouncing, just for you: I don't think it was indiscreet, just funny in a weird way that someone I don't think I've ever engaged with before tonight is crowing about 'fucking with me', which is why I assumed the twitter account was a dummy. If it's not then I honestly have no idea what she's talking about.

    That comment by Caleb you linked to earlier is easy to justify on the grounds that it's completely hilarious. Like I said, if Danielle's tweets about me entertain her somehow, she should go wild. But I don't think it's unusual for me to find it all a bit odd.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Danielle,

    so if anyone would like to do the search, and then break down the statistics for Danyl

    Oh will you children behave?
    And Danyl. When in hole stop.
    Everyone makes mistakes sometimes.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4787 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    That comment by Caleb you linked to earlier is easy to justify on the grounds that it's completely hilarious

    Calling somebody an idiot = completely hilarious. Gotcha. You may resume your flouncing.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7357 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    So this is my 15th post since January 2007, it seems. I guess that makes me a lurker. As apparently one or two other expat lurkers have said (it's taken me a few days to read through this thread and get to the end at a time when I don't have to rush off somewhere and therefore have the time to comment), it's largely relevance. Time zone isn't such an issue for me, being only 4 hours behind NZ standard time. I like to read what's going on here, but having lived in China so long I really don't have much to offer discussions here. If you all started writing more China stuff, I'd have a lot more to comment on.

    But that's ok, because I don't come here looking for immediate relevance to my everyday life in Beijing, or really anything about China. I come here because reading intelligent posts and discussion by people still in NZ helps maintain my faith in the country I intend to bring my wife and daughter back to in the not-too-distant future. NZ Herald and Stuff have the opposite effect. Also, I'm trying to reeducate myself in preparation for the move back to NZ. Keeping up with the news is part of that, but the discussions that go on here are so much more useful to increasing my understanding of what's going on back there.

    And might I say that although I don't actively participate much, I really appreciate the strong, caring community that you've got going here? I very rarely have anything to contribute, but I feel totally comfortable contributing when I do, and that is awesome.

    As for trolls and tinks... Well, I did react to what seems to have been the original trolling post on that "Perverse Entertainment" thread, and I'm not proud of it. See, I saw this comment I found thoroughly offensive and that included a word that looked like a rather rude description of a snack commonly sold from hole-in-the-wall eateries around here, and just couldn't help mocking the offensiveness. My apologies.

    Having said that, I can almost understand the tink phenomenon. People get themselves so convinced they're right that it's too big a psychological risk to admit any other possibility. Or, people depend so much on their beliefs to make sense of this world that the psychological.... made that point already.

    Trolls, though, I could never understand, although I do see certain parallels between trolling and expat life. See, living as a foreigner in places like China is really liberating in that the locals expect you, on the basis of your skin colour, to be weird. Therefore you are free from all the social expectations and restrictions you would face in your home country. Therefore you can get away with a lot more than you otherwise would. Apply that to the old "On the internet nobody knows you're a dog" cartoon. The anonymity allows people to get away with so much more than they would be able to in the real world. Some people take this freedom a tad too far. But why would they do that? What do these people see when they look in a mirror? Even in my single days I don't think I could've handled knowing I treated Chinese people like crap just because the fact I'm obviously foreign allowed me to get away with it (I'm now married in to China, so there's no way I'd be allowed to get away with anything), and yet I constantly meet Westerners - including some with Chinese spouses (how do a Chinese woman and a white supremacist wind up married to each other?)- here who behave as if the International Settlements were still functioning and extraterritoriality still applied. And how do trolls face themselves knowing they abused the anonymity of the internet to behave like complete arseholes to random strangers just because they could?

    What is really confusing is people I've met in the real world, and quite possibly online, whose True Believingness can swing between tinking and trolling depending on the mood they're in or the key words that have set them off.

    And this shows why I generally prefer to lurk. I can't even comment on this without relating things back to China. Sorry.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2056 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Even I have made mistakes. I once admitted I was wrong when I wasn't

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4787 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I constantly meet Westerners – including some with Chinese spouses (how do a Chinese woman and a white supremacist wind up married to each other?)- here who behave as if the International Settlements were still functioning and extraterritoriality still applied.

    Sad but true. Back here we call that Kiwiblog I guess, those that seem to think we are still here to civilise natives and that we have an unalienable right to the worlds resources, that white is right and our ignorance is better than the ignorance of "Others"

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4787 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    That is a very illuminating - and ilustrative- post, Chris W - thank you! I, for one, would be really informed if there was an ex-pat in China giving feedback/info back.

    Thank you.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    to behave like complete arseholes to random strangers just because they could

    But isn't that absolutely what happens? Humans behave, often, appallingly badly towards people they have no connection with - people they don't know - whereas when they do know them, because there's a connection there's a disinclination to be offensive.

    It's easy to be rude about them because they're not one of us.

    And I don't think you should apologize for bringing China into it at all. It's very interesting.

    Sacha - because I've been away from my computer for hours, I didn't see your comment until now. Not sure I know quite what you mean, but maybe I wasn't very clear earlier. I'm quite slow sometimes at framing what I want to say, so by the time I've written, corrected, proofread, re-corrected and posted, a million people have posted before me. With some really good, well-thought-out replies and responses. And that often makes me feel very stooopid.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    It's certainly not only white people... but that's a whole other discussion.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2056 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Islander,

    You're welcome. Although I'm pretty sure there is at least one other based in China who is far more active on these pages and has much more useful stuff to contribute.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2056 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    With some really good, well-thought-out replies and responses. And that often makes me feel very stooopid.

    On the basis of your contributions, I think of you as being very smart.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18827 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    But isn’t that absolutely what happens? Humans behave, often, appallingly badly towards people they have no connection with – people they don’t know – whereas when they do know them, because there’s a connection there’s a disinclination to be offensive.

    You're absolutely right, unfortunately. But in my less misanthropic moments I do believe humans are capable of rising above the tribalistic nonsense we so often wallow in. And the way I see it, if we can behave better, we should behave better, even if, or perhaps especially when, there are no consequences.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2056 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    living as a foreigner in places like China is really liberating in that the locals expect you, on the basis of your skin colour, to be weird.

    Too right. I’ve long referred to my alien registration card as my “lunatic’s licence”.
    Which doesn't necessarily conflict with your later comment

    if we can behave better, we should behave better

    except that that additionally implies we have a duty first to understand why the locals do things their way, before we decide not to follow them.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to linger,

    except that that additionally implies we have a duty first to understand why the locals do things their way, before we decide not to follow them.

    Not quite what I meant, I don't think. I meant that so long as it is possible to maintain standards of common courtesy, we should. The lack of consequences for discourteous behaviour should not be an excuse to either troll or do the spoilt, obnoxious expat thing. And I don't understand the inclusion of 'except' there. Local, tourist, temporary foreign resident or immigrant, we're all human and should treat each other accordingly. It's that whole "Do unto others... " thing, which seems to crop up in a variety of ancient sources of philosophy, ethics and scripture.

    I do think that expats/foreign residents/immigrants do have a duty to try to understand why the locals do things their way, but I don't really want to drag this off into a "What's wrong with Expatria" thread, not right now.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2056 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    This wasn't a cunning plan. O'Connor won't win his seat, and in the next electorate selection he'll be challenged by a union candidate and lose. His political career is over.

    And good riddance to him. Prick voted against Civil Unions. He should have been out long ago.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1640 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Danielle,

    Oh for goodness' sake, Danyl, what utter tosh. Before tonight's silliness kicked off I've probably mentioned you off my own bat about... four times in 4000 tweets, over however many years?

    Having been in a similar situation some years ago, the real problem is that if you ever tweet about him ever again, it will be taken as evidence that he was right. (The difference, of course, is that you're not seventeen and will have the sense to realise that's not so, a concept I took years to grasp.)

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    And that often makes me feel very stooopid.

    Jacqui: I know stupid -- hell, I've been the spokesperson for stupid -- and you're not even on the short-list. Sorry.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11910 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    [O'Connor] should have been out long ago.

    Instead, there he is, still behaving like a classic closet case...

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    This wasn’t a cunning plan. O’Connor won’t win his seat

    Well, not after he had a public bowel movement on everyone who'd allocate resources to key marginal campaigns -- which Tasman-West Coast is. Chris Auchinvole has a far from impregnable majority of 971. And the last (and only) other National MP from the West Coast lasted one term. O'Connor should remember this, because he beat her.

    BTW, since 1922 the West Coast has only returned one other non-Labour MP -- Thomas Seddon (1925-1928), who'd previously "inherited" the seat when his father died in 1906 and lost it in 1922.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11910 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    I’m quite slow sometimes at framing what I want to say, so by the time I’ve written, corrected, proofread, re-corrected and posted, a million people have posted before me. With some really good, well-thought-out replies and responses. And that often makes me feel very stooopid.

    Will you stop? You are erudite and brilliant and a shining star, and I won't have this putting down of yourself.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Will you stop? You are erudite and brilliant and a shining star, and I won’t have this putting down of yourself.

    I heartily endorse this statement.

    Jacqui, here’s a suggestion.

    Instead of feeling all “stoopid” picture yourself as a bad-ass knowledge zombie, chowing down on a free 24-hour buffet of clever-brains – a good number of them folks who usually charge by the hour for their expertise. You don't even have to stalk the silly frakers; they fall right into your trap!

    Sounds pretty clever to me. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11910 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Islander,

    Great I dont have twitter!

    Yeah I thought that too and then I discovered I can get my scientific journal tables of contents via twitter. So now I have a twitter account that alerts me to new science, on my iPad.

    But I probably should two accounts so I can separate Emma from Plant Physiology.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3325 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Damn it, I'm about 12 hours too late to interject with "She doesn't even go here!" into the derailing upthread.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 861 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    Responds, blushing, to RB, JC, and CR:

    OK. I won't call myself anything derogatory on here again, promise.

    However, there are some very, very quick and clear minds who are stunning at grasping the essence of arguments, and putting forward their views by return, while people like me wander around the periphery. But you're right, Craig - it's a feast most of the time. You're sitting in on an intellectuals' coffee break conversation, which is not even their real work - they're doing it for fun!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

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