Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: How much speech does it take?

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  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Breivik’s grudge against society appears to have its roots in the humiliation he felt at being forced to learn to knit at Smestad primary school in Oslo.

    Oh, hell yes. EVERY time I offer to teach someone to knit, I am attempting to feminise them. Was that meant to be a secret?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Typing classes would have been a lot more use to me than bloody woodwork ever was. OTOH, being rubbish at something was probably salutary, little smartarse that I probably was.

    Whereas I got in trouble at school for refusing to participate in sewing classes because they were outdated and reinforcing gender norms. Snotty little 13 year old that I was.

    Now, I wish I could sew. Also, type.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    EVERY time I offer to teach someone to knit, I am attempting to feminise them.

    I only knit manly things.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    That reminds me of high school where there were typing classes. They were optional, but all us boys thought the classes were really for girls.

    Likewise (or it might have been called "Document Management" or something) - same went for cooking and sewing. But I found sewing class at school immensely useful for a summer job I had once, sewing parts for robots. Doesn't get much more stereotypically manly than that. I'm still the only person in my house who knows how to thread a sewing machine.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Then at the bottom of this page there's something just for you. (mostly sfw, unless your workplace is really uptight)

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • 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. The former has one poster prematurely declaring the massacre to be one of the benefits of multiculturalism before performing a world record volte face, and I see echoes of Lucia Maria's "OMG they're forcing my boy to play netball" in Breivik's complaint about being taught knitting at school. The latter has a thread on Islamism has a comment as follows: "About time the west lopped a few heads off to show our disgust at thier burning a sacred symbol of our boys sacrifice. Oh sorry its only barbaric, savages who do that sort of thing eh."

    Goodness knows what the difference between keyboard pajamahedeen and people who take it into the real world is. I still don't know where the Urewera crowd sit on that spectrum. I hope the inevitable damage Breivik does to his cause will give activist groups of all stripes a bit more of an incentive to keep an eye on members who might take things too far.

    The thing (of all things) I find odd is that he listed Caprica among his favourite TV shows on Facebook. I guess anyone contemplating terrorism would be intrigued by its terrorism themes, but I'm boggled how anyone could get out of it that it's a good idea.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 813 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder, 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.

    One thing that I'm very grateful for is that I managed to get my UK citizenship shortly before all this nonsense came in. At the time, in the early 2000s, the process of getting indefinite leave to remain - and then, eventually, citizenship - consisted of acquiring various legal documents and sending them off with a cheque. Shortly after I became a UK citizen, they introduced American-style "citizenship ceremonies", where people gather at the town hall and swear allegiance to the queen etc. I just got a letter saying "congratulations, you're a citizen now", which struck me as a fundamentally more British way of doing things.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I took home economics and typing in third form and consider them to have been far more useful to me than sixth form maths (which I, uh, failed). Also, I can still name all the parts of an egg. Albumen FTW!

    I only knit manly things.

    Rugby ball cosies!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    I only knit manly things

    How did that codpiece pattern turn out?

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

  • B Jones,

    We all did cooking, sewing, woodwork and metalwork at intermediate, and in third form, one Computer and Keyboard Skills course kind of integrated the future programmers and secretaries. It's a good way to do things I think.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 813 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Danielle,

    I took home economics and typing in third form and consider them to have been far more useful to me than sixth form maths (which I, uh, failed).

    True, I still make the Cheese Muffins from Form 1.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to JackElder,

    We have those here, you know. I had to shake hands with the queen and swear allegiance to Dick Hubbard.

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

  • Che Tibby,

    yup. cooking and sewing classes for us at intermediate.

    i made a rather fetching denim hat. and can still make a mean cinnamon pinwheel.

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

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Danielle,

    Also, I can still name all the parts of an egg. Albumen FTW

    What's that membrane between the shell and the white called?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to B Jones,

    Goodness knows what the difference between keyboard pajamahedeen and people who take it into the real world is. I still don’t know where the Urewera crowd sit on that spectrum.

    Certainly not all at the same point.

    But a couple of them worried me: it's hard to dismiss an attempt to buy a grenade launcher. It'll be a worthwhile discussion when evidence finally gets before a court.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to JackElder,

    I just got a letter saying “congratulations, you’re a citizen now”, which struck me as a fundamentally more British way of doing things.

    Indeed. There's no need for any unnecessary fuss and flag-waving, is there?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Unlike like many here I don't believe free speech is a right. I believe it is a privilege earned and maintained by hard work.

    I do believe that free speech is a right, but it's balanced by an obligation on the holder to use it responsibly. That's the part that most claimants of their right seem to miss.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2146 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    The Standard has all the hallmarks of ‘we ARE struggling together!”.

    And women are welcome as long as they're quiet, supportive, and supply the tea and scones.

    Two observations.

    First: "What do you mean by 'We', white man?" (Scots, I need hardly mention, are not white but pale blue - it takes weeks of tanning to turn us white). The Standard generally enforces a very monolithic view of progressive movements. There's just too much of a tone of "Whadarya?!" for me to be comfortable there.

    Two, Danielle, I've seen much worse than the expectation that "the ladies" are there to provide the tea and scones, with the possible promotion to the rank of Mother Courage if they're very, very good.

    During the period of the initial extradition process against Julian Assange on rape charges, Prentice himself opened a thread titled... something like "X makes an Arse of the Swedish Justice System" (someone can search, but personally life's too short)... and inevitablly someone showed up vigorously issuing rape apologies of the usual sort: "She initially consented... it's just rough sex..." and so on. Someone did stand up to him, but was directly personally attacked by Prentice on that thread repeatedly while defending the goon. Then someone else chimed in, urging the persecution of the complainants and suggesting the Jews were behind it all. At that point, I ceased to read that thread.

    Lynn Prentice knows what's going on and he actively promotes it.

    Kiwibog may be a sewer and The Standard merely a gutter in comparisson, but I don't care to walk in either.

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

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Kracklite,

    Kiwibog may be a sewer and The Standard merely a gutter in comparisson, but I don’t care to walk in either.

    In a nutshell.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to nzlemming,

    "If a child commits suicide, let us consider not celebrating their lives on our marae; perhaps bury them at the entrance of the cemetery so their deaths will be condemned by the people,” he wrote.

    Boy that certainly doesnt look like responsible use of the communicative faculties. Does he think a child will be worried about where they are to be buried, so worried they wont top themselves. This man is an MP! Which people are supposed to be doing the condemning I wonder. He should be embarrassed, so shamed in fact he should go on a solitary pilgrimage to a cold mountaintop.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    I do believe that free speech is a right, but it’s balanced by an obligation on the holder to use it responsibly. That’s the part that most claimants of their right seem to miss.

    The more common belief is that they ought to be able to exercise their free speech without consequences -- including the consequence of a forthright response.

    Generally held by old white guys who act shocked if they're called on their bullshit, as we saw in the case of Alasdair Thompson.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

  • 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.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18960 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I do still wonder how Farrar can face getting up in the morning and writing a blog post in the knowledge that it will be another opportunity for those people to air their inane and abhorrent views.

    <opinion>The thing to remember about Farrar is that he doesn't actually believe in anything except getting people like him into government. He still thinks Karl Rove was a genius, and that the ends justify the means. Much like Prostetnic Vogon Joyce, actually.

    He would, as someone said, defend the right to free speech and that's why he doesn't ban people, but free speech requires a certain honesty about owning the speech and that's a foreign concept to the Kiwiboggers. I believe Farrar will say anything that he thinks won't harm his brand in order to achieve whatever goal he has set himself. If that means dog-whistling the KBers, he's happy to do that as subtly as he can get away with (many of them seem immune to subtlety so has can't distance himself too much). </opinion>

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2146 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    When we lost a family member to suicide two years ago the beautiful funeral service we had was tremendously healing - to deny grieving families that would be unbelievably cruel and damaging.

    I do think we need to talk about how suicide affects those left behind. I'm not sure if it would affect suicide rates but it would, at least, help those who are grieving and struggling to come to terms with it. I am still furiously angry about how this person's choice has affected my children. They have been hurt in ways that will be with them for the rest of their lives and my mama-heart struggles to forgive. I know how much she loved my kids and I do wonder if knowing what this would do to them might have given her pause.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to nzlemming,

    Now having said that, I'm minded that I myself post under a pseudonym. Most people here know that my name is Mark Harris and that I once was a bureaucrat, but new chums may not. I use nzlemming because that's what I've been using online for over 15 years - there are many, many "Mark Harrises" online but only 2 nzlemmings (and the other one confines himself to a purely Java-based listserv) and I use nzlemming across social media and beyond.

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

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2146 posts Report Reply

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