Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: How much speech does it take?

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  • merc, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Others apologised for him as well,
    Mana Mental Health Service manager Gavin Pike felt Mr Flavell made his comments out of frustration.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    but you don’t just let him spew his evil – you go down there with your soap boxes and call him out on it …. make sure he and the rest of society know that what he’s saying IS vile and evil

    I got bored with doing that: it does not daunt them and it basically becomes trolling. And on their own blogs, they make it clear they're not interested in an exchange of speech:

    Leftists/”progressives”/socialists are not welcome here. Pay for your own soapbox.

    That's on the home page of Crusader rabbit. Meanwhile, a new and particularly fevered post contains passages like this:

    Despite the media feeding frenzy as they pump up their circulations by deliberately ‘chumming’ the bloodied waters with the subliminal psychological triggers so beloved of Marxist-Socialists and their fellow travellers – ‘right wing’, ‘extreme right wing’, ‘Christian fundamentalist’, ‘Nazis and neo-Nazis’, ‘xenophobia’, ‘EDL’, ‘white racist’, ‘racist, racist, racist’, ‘right wing terrorists’, ‘hatred, hatred, hatred’ and so on ad infinitum – there is something happening below the surface.

    This ‘something’ is deep at the moment, and one only gets occasional glimpses of its passing shadow whilst reading between the lines, but it is certainly there even though it is very difficult to grasp.

    They seem to perceive some great turning point in their favor.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Che Tibby,

    re: Farrar. the farmer is only a little responsible for the dig biting the sheep.

    I’d agree with you, up to a point. but if you’re going to starve and mistreat said dog, and fail to keep your fences in good order you don’t get to throw up your hands and say “nuttin’ to do with me” when said dog starts worrying the neighbour’s flock.

    But, hey, folks like Farrar and Lynn Prentice have heard all this over and over again. They don’t care, and frankly they’ll have no incentive to clean up their passive-aggressive troll-farming until it starts costing them cold, hard cash.

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

  • Che Tibby, in reply to merc,

    Gavin Pike felt Mr Flavell made his comments out of frustration.

    my reading as well. people are reaming him, but, what are we do about suicides? how do you make people, depressed, lonely, [other] people realise how intensely selfish their act is? make them realise that no matter how dark that space they're in is, there is always a light in the high window?

    having been in that room, the only thing that brought me out was knowing the harm and shame it would cause my family, friends, and the future i'd be closing off.

    easy answers to my questions can be sent on a postcard to the appropriate address.

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

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ...the knowledge that it will be another opportunity for those people to air their inane and abhorrent views.

    Case in point, today's thread on Glen Beck's comments.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 214 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Flavell's piece made me want to be sick. The insensitive prick.

    As for Farrar, from the wikipedia entry on Nixon's Southern Strategy:

    He was able to appear moderate to most Americans because the Southern strategy referred to integration obliquely through references to states' rights and busing. This tactic was later described by liberals in the media as "dog-whistle politics'

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 563 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Che Tibby,

    "The MP said he was only passing on ideas he had been told and they were not new ones." (from NZHerald).

    Same old tired line.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon,

    As with most things, the issue is not so much the irrationality spewed out by damaged individuals, but the platforms others provide to validate or unite that anger to a cause or specific hatred. It's nothing to do with freedom of speech, but with decisions

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Che Tibby,

    how do you make people, depressed, lonely, [other] people realise how intensely selfish their act is?

    Ideally, not by inflicting humiliation and exclusion on their families.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Flavell. Being in a cabinet with Paula Bennett might do this to people, I think.

    1. Te Ururoa Flavell is not in Cabinet.
    2. Te Ururoa Flavell is not even a minister.
    3. The Maori Party does not have any cabinet ministers, and never has.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Russell Brown,

    not by inflicting humiliation and exclusion on their families.

    but surely the act itself does that anyway?

    how many parents ask, "why have they done this to us? how can i look people in the eye knowing what they'll think of us?"

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Che Tibby,

    not by inflicting humiliation and exclusion on their families.

    but surely the act itself does that anyway?

    No, it does not. People do that. Mike King has a heart-rending story of an older woman who contacted him via the Nutters' Club. Her husband had suicided and she was revictimised by all his former friends, who excluded and effectively dehumanised her.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Che Tibby,

    my reading as well. people are reaming him, but, what are we do about suicides?

    Well, Che, as someone with a history of severe mental illness and multiple suicide attempts I don’t think douche-bags like Flavill shaming my parents would have done any good at all. And let’s get fucking real for a moment: That’s exactly what he’s talking about. He’s telling grieving Maori parents that they’re so tainted their dead child is unfit to have a tangi or be laid to rest in a family urupa. That’s no answer at all; and this kind of shit from a Member of Parliament is not only vile beyond belief, it’s dangerous when he might still be in a position to vote on mental health funding in the Parliament.

    But, hey, why don’t we take a “hard line” all the way back to the Middle Ages? Exorcisms for schizophrenics and epileptics, anyone – that should school those demoniacally possessed loonies. *eyeroll*

    ETA: Something else, Che. My relationship with my mother is (to put it politely) distant and chilly, but I would never ever hold her responsible for my manic-depression. And whatever I think of her, if I'd bled out or successfully OD'ed, I know she would have honestly mourned and not deserved being shunned and abused.

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

  • merc, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Sadly this is not an uncommon response.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Thank you for that response Craig. Verbalised my anger very well.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 563 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to Russell Brown,

    so they buried her at the gate, when they said goodbye to him.

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

  • DeepRed, in reply to Che Tibby,

    one of the great ironies is that multicultural policies, as implemented in australia and canada, are actually intended to first integrate, then assimilate ethnic minorities. the explicit intention of the policy is to make it easier for minorities to blend in.

    the evidence of its success is places like lygon street in melbourne, and the wholesale digestion of vietnamese, greek and italian cultures by “mainstream” australians.

    My theory is Australian multiculturalism policy is really an 'honorary whites' policy at heart, because somehow it doesn't apply to the Aborigines.

    NZ's ethnic policy isn't a melting pot like America, nor a whitener like France, nor a Canadian tossed salad. I'm sometimes tempted to think it's more of a side dish, because policy seems to care little more than migrant and foreign students' wallets.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4351 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    No, it does not. People do that. Mike King has a heart-rending story of an older woman who contacted him via the Nutters’ Club. Her husband had suicided and she was revictimised by all his former friends, who excluded and effectively dehumanised her.

    And in that kind of situation, I can understand (but never condone) people directly affected by a suicide processing their own toxic cocktail of grief and guilt and anger in the most awful way imaginable. Flavell doesn't have that excuse: He's a fraking Member of Parliament who, one hopes, doesn't write newspaper columns with a ouija board and a bottle of gin.

    And this needs to be repeated: In six months, Flavell may still be in a position to meaningfully influence policy, funding and provision of health services to at-risk Maori youth and people with mental health issues. Given the attitudes he's displayed (and the deafening silence of the Maori Party's alleged leadership), I think I'm justified in being uneasy.

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

  • Che Tibby, in reply to DeepRed,

    because somehow it doesn’t apply to the Aborigines.

    it is an honorary whites policy. the idea was to acclimatize "wogs" so they'd fit in better over generations. they still use it for Asians and Africans. the fly in the ointment was the effect that it was projected to have on the white population (and which it did).

    aboriginal people on the other hand were explicitly excluded from the policy, whereas in NZL we have an implicit multicultural policy for Asians/Pacific Islanders, and an explicit bicultural policy for Maori (and which is allied to, but a different beast from multiculturalism).

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

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    The Standard is not the left-wing equivalent of the sewer. It's a partisan site whose authors stand up for their beliefs.

    On Kiwibleurgh (let alone places like Slater's blog), a majority of the commentators are predicate violent racists and bigots, and they are the ones on the "side" of the blog owners. On the Standard, you will find very few people supporting views at a similar extreme of the left (e.g. spiky anarchists / revolutionary maoists and the like). The snark at the Standard stems from the large number of right-wingers trolling the site and the righteous abuse they attract. IMHO, if the owners of the site were to ban righties from commenting, that would all go away and the site would be a much nicer place. But it's their call.

    This place, OTOH, is a Grey Lynn dinner party. It's accepted that one should be liberal, but not too shrill about it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    s/cabinet/governmental cosy agreement

    ok?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Public discourse about suicide is a strange beast in NZ .... here in Dunedin there's a stretch of road along the crest of the sandhills along a public beach - it ends on a hill with some steep cliffs - for as long as anyone can remember people have been going up there and jumping off - it's an 'attractive nuisance' - a few years back the city closed the road ....

    There's been a long drawn out political discussion about whether the road should be open - it's sort of portrayed as a cars vs. walking/biking fight - but largely because the local paper wont print anything (especially not letters to the editor) about the suicide risk - a years or so ago the council was bullied into opening the road, someone jumped the next day, they closed it again - there are petitions, facebook pages, people with placards etc etc all in favour of opening the road - but the public discourse here is IMHO deeply flawed because no one can talk about the elephant in the room - the local politicians can't win - and there's going to be no resolution of this issue

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2173 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The snark at the Standard stems from the large number of right-wingers trolling the site and the righteous abuse they attract. IMHO, if the owners of the site were to ban righties from commenting, that would all go away and the site would be a much nicer place. But it’s their call.

    Well, clearly, they'd have to ban me too. I got sick of being abused when I commented there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    On the Standard, you will find very few people supporting views at a similar extreme of the left (e.g. spiky anarchists / revolutionary maoists and the like). The snark at the Standard stems from the large number of right-wingers trolling the site and the righteous abuse they attract.

    That has absolutely not been my experience of The Standard. My experience there has been one of astoundingly nasty commenters telling the "ladyees" to sit down and shut up about our issues, because nobody cares about them.

    I avoid both Kiwiblog, and TS, because I don't have the energy for that kind of rhetoric. And my issue with David in particular, is that he baits his commenters, and he sets them up to say exactly what he knows they are going to say. And that's vile.

    On a much much worse scale, it's like Pamela Geller arguing that she is utterly innocent in the Norway massacre. Which is not to say she's responsible, but when you spew bile and hatred, you can't be surprised when someone listens.

    “It’s like equating Charles Manson, who heard in the lyrics of Helter Skelter a calling for the Manson murders,” Geller said in an exclusive phone interview. “It’s like blaming the Beatles. It’s patently ridiculous.

    Actually, it's not.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The Standard is not the left-wing equivalent of the sewer. It’s a partisan site whose authors stand up for their beliefs.

    With all due disrespect, Rich, when you’ve being called a house nigger at both The Standard and Kiwiblog let’s see if you want to split that hair any further. And please… Lynn Prentice can keep blaming those nasty right-wing trolls for everything that’s unpleasant about The Standard, but he’s lying. I say that because I don’t believe he’s that stupid or clueless about his own site.

    In the end, if Prentice and Farrar can live with (and make some pin-money out of) troll-farming, that’s their prerogative. If they can't (or won't) keep the toxic waste out of the comments, that's their (ir)responsibility. It would be nice, however, if they’d cut the crap and own it. Just once.

    That has absolutely not been my experience of The Standard. My experience there has been one of astoundingly nasty commenters telling the “ladyees” to sit down and shut up about our issues, because nobody cares about them.

    Damn right, Megan. But I do find it blackly comic that both Kiwibog and The Standard have a sliding scale for sexist or downright misogynistic fuck-wittery as long as (of course) the women concerned are “the enemy”. I know saying this raises certain hackles here – tough. Truth hurts, take two aspirin and don’t call me in the morning.

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

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