Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: How much speech does it take?

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to B Jones,

    Antifeminism and anti-Islam have a lot of fellow travellers, under the broader heading of general conservatism. NZConservative and the NZCPR forum do a fair bit of both.

    Muriel Newman at NZCPR has long been fond of the PC-is-a-Marxist-plot trope:

    The central problem with political correctness is that even those, who - out of a true sense of right and wrong - strenuously oppose it, are not at all clear what it actually is. This is probably PC's greatest defence. Reduced to its essentials P.C is the polar counter-force to all those values, traditions, and institutions of the Western world that arose out of (true) Christianity. Therefore it is obvious why, in its modern form, it first appeared in Marxist/atheist Bolshevik Russia.

    Political correctness is the inevitable result of applied secular humanism. It is the awful offspring of an unholy coupling of atheistic, or humanistic socialism, pseudo liberalism - and recently feminism and such things as "indigenous activism". The overall aim is to "deconstruct" the entire value system of Western Christendom on the grounds that it is "monoculturally Christian", "European", "patriarchal", 'Imperialistic" etc, and replace it with its own "Brave New World". This candidly stated intention is laughable or absurd only to the most superficial of observers. It must be taken with all seriousness, because it is demonstrably occurring before our very eyes!! Having virtually destroyed the spiritual foundations of old fashioned consideration for others and plain good manners, it now seeks to impose behavioural rules upon society on pain of consequences that become daily more obvious.

    We used to pay her wages, you know.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Frankly, calling me a Marxist is an insult to … well, Giovanni for a start.

    If you put four Marxists in a room they’re likely to give you three different versions of what being a Marxist means, and that’s just because one of them happens to be bound and gagged.

    So I think it pays to maintain a relaxed attitude on the whole naming thing, is what I’m saying.

    However this post by Scott Hamilton on what Kiwiblog commenters understand to be Marxism is still a good read.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to nzlemming,

    Do people see the pseudonyms as part of the problem, that we can say stuff without obvious comeback in our offline lives?

    If someone is using a consistent pseudonym - so people know when they're talking to the same person, and can tag the behaviour to the name - I've got no problem with it at all. Yes, pseudonymity protects arseholes, but

    - it's way more important that it be available to protect victims of domestic violence, rape victims, kinky people, sex workers - people who are vulnerable

    - just how big of a jerk should someone have to be on the net before you feel it's justifiable to have people turning up on their doorstep, or at their workplace?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Some of us have to represent other persons or organisations to the public under our real names and others may make allusions to former employers where there was a payout and a confidentiality agreement... so a pseudonym is preferable. It can be a useful and proper automatic disclaimer.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 980 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Emma Hart,

    - it’s way more important that it be available to protect victims of domestic violence, rape victims, kinky people, sex workers – people who are vulnerable

    Whenever the issue of pseudonymity comes up, I remind myself that I am privileged to be able to use my real name online.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Whenever the issue of pseudonymity comes up, I remind myself that I am privileged to be able to use my real name online.

    And as antsy as I can get about the way people use and abuse the word "privilege", that is absolutely an accurate and profound usage.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    on topic of the norwegian terrorist, a norwegian friend of many years ago linked to this.

    school friend of the terrorist talks about their childhood.

    I lived in London when it slammed 7 June 2005. The perpetrators had then at least more reason to be angry with the society around him, and minority youth with poor prospects for careers in class society the United Kingdom. He has had every opportunity. As far as I know never lacked anything. Not been victim of some injustice from society. Where does this hatred come from?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Okay, fair enough. I only raised it because that, in my mind, is why KB ad TS have become so befouled - the commenters don't have to own their words.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2161 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Whenever the issue of pseudonymity comes up, I remind myself that I am privileged to be able to use my real name online.

    Typically well put Giovanni. I used a pseudonym for a while and, at the time I thought it necessary; it wasn't.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • NBH,

    On the pseudonymity issue, I use a quasi-pseudonym for the reasons Kracklite outlines above. Without that protection, it can be very difficult to participate in online forums if you work as a public servant, are involved in interacting with government officials and Ministers etc. My pseudonym is reasonably obvious to those who know me, but it removes any doubt that my contributions are in a personal capacity, and ensures that my online activities won't hamper the organisations I work/have worked for.

    I also tend to think that the concept of a 'real name' is a bit devalued online - after all, I can always choose to post under a handle like "Sarah White" that doesn't seem to be a pseudonym and yet bears no relationship at all to my real name. As Emma said upthread, consistency is far more important in giving context/value to someone's post than whether or not it's someone's actual name.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S, in reply to Danielle,

    Where does being a technician on industrial knitting machinery leave me on the manliness spectrum?
    signed, curious of Western Springs.

    Since Apr 2010 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon, in reply to Dan Salmon,

    Oops - made by editors, gatekeepers and blog runners.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to NBH,

    I also tend to think that the concept of a ‘real name’ is a bit devalued online

    woof ... er ... I agree

    But it never really occurred to me to use a pseudonym because much of my early online presence was on newsgroups where my e-mail address was my name. It seemed odd to disconnect myself from earlier posts, perhaps I should have :).

    Gio's point is very well made from so many perspectives.

    As for representing my employers, snort. The idea that my opinions are the same as those of the MBAs and accountants who manage the CRI I work in is utterly ludicrous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3417 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Certainly not all at the same point.

    But a couple of them worried me...

    There's also the spectrum of competent political mass murder* and incompetent political mass murder. Breivik's at the competent end - those guys in the UK with cars full of petrol and nails were at the other.

    *terrorism not being a helpful term here, partly because it's conflated with Al Qaeda, but also because I see it as targeting random civilians to generate mass panic rather than targetting political opponents.

    Bringing the two topics together, Breivik's estranged father is reported as saying he should have killed himself. Hells bells.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Just reading the article on Breivik quoting from the Windschuttle paper delivered in New Zealand. This bit stood out:

    "The concepts of free enquiry and free expression and the right to criticise entrenched beliefs are things we take so much for granted they are almost part of the air we breathe," he quoted from the paper. "We need to recognise them as distinctly Western phenomena. They were never produced by Confucian or Hindu culture."

    Without this concept there would have been no Copernicus, Galileo, Newton or Darwin.

    Does this guy (I mean Windschuttle) realise that Copernicus and Galileo were a product of Catholic Europe, whose commitment to free expression was such that the former was always too afraid to publish and the latter was threatened with being burned at the stake if he didn't recant his theories? Or has he read the first thing into the reception of Darwin's theories, and the degree of enmity that they still produce amongst the very people who are most attached to the idea of Western exceptionalism?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Oh Gio, you and your facts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3417 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Dear old Peter Cresswell declares himself the victim, on the basis that people are noticing that Breivik used exactly the same rhetoric as various other prominent wingnuts.

    I commented, but I suppose any more would just be trolling. But seriously, that’s Olympic-standard disingenuousness going on there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I am minded to recall that I was once – for some reason – browsing the forums at Trade Me, and was surprised to see one denizen warn another that I was an “extreme Marxist” and should not be listened to.

    Frankly, calling me a Marxist is an insult to … well, Giovanni for a start.

    Oh, and apparently I'm a fellow traveller. When Public Address Radio started, I had the rather preculiar experience of having to explain how being self-employed in a free market worked to self-proclaimed righties. I guess they'd have preferred me being ideologically pure dole scum. :)

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

  • webweaver, in reply to Rich Lock,

    It’s a debate that’s been going on in the UK for quite a number of years. There is now a government-produced ‘life in the uk’ test that immigrants are supposed to take, but it has been heavily criticised.

    Just for fun I just took The Official Practice (UK) Citizenship Test …and failed. I got 12 right out of 24, and TBH I guessed a lot more than half the answers. Granted I haven’t lived in the UK for nearly 20 years, but I was born there and lived there for longer than that. Stoopid test if you ask me :)

    And in terms of becoming the “right” kind of Kiwi when I emigrated here, my attempts to “assimilate” properly have been along the lines of:

    - convert from Heinz tomato ketchup to Watties
    - support the All Blacks at all times, but especially when they’re playing England or the Lions
    - attempt to cultivate a bit of a Kiwi twang (noticed by people in the UK when I go back for a visit, virtually invisible here to anyone else)
    - wax lyrical about the wonders of Aotearoa/New Zealand whenever possible, to anyone who’ll listen
    - take an active interest in Kiwi politics and many other things Kiwi

    Would I pass the Kiwiness test, do you think? :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I am minded to recall that I was once – for some reason – browsing the forums at Trade Me, and was surprised to see one denizen warn another that I was an “extreme Marxist” and should not be listened to.

    I was once called (inaccurately) a Reithian at a broadcasting conference in the 1990s. Is that worse?

    We were taught to darn socks at primary school. Was that the beginning of the slippery slope?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2317 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to webweaver,

    - convert from Heinz tomato ketchup to Watties

    But isn’t Watties owned by Heinz? You just can’t win!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2317 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Doh! Oh bugger! Is there a more Kiwi ketchup that I've missed? Horrors - I've been doing it wrong all this time!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to webweaver,

    upport the All Blacks at all times, but especially when they're playing England or the Lions

    Weeellll, that one'd fail you on the Coast - it's League from here to breakfast, here-

    *disclaimer: I am totally uninterested in either code, or any other for that matter.

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

  • Islander, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    ut isn’t Watties owned by Heinz? You just can’t win!

    But but - normally it's the one your Mum, or Nanna, or Auntie makes isnt it?

    O! (blush) Sorry, wrong century...

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Does this guy (I mean Windschuttle) realize ...

    Windschuttle, beloved as he is by the Summer Symposium crowd, realises very little. He's just another bigoted hack getting by on bad scholarship courtesy of people who want to believe what he says.

    I should note that he's a recanted Marxist. They're the ones you really want to watch out for ;-)

    PS: My best insider story from Summer Symposium concerns various delegates dancing around a campfire singing, in all seriousness, 'Land of Hope and Glory'. Second best: when Chris Finlayson patiently explained the Treaty settlement process in terms of classic conservative values. Did not compute for a lot of people, I gather.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

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