Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A revolting piece of shit

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  • Sacha,

    I hope someone is having a quiet word to that effect

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    My reading of the point of the legislation was that it was targetted more specifically at a certain kind of people trafficking that was supplying overseas dancers to the strip joints than as a general feminist policy opposed to the nature of stripping

    Yes, not an argument about the rights and wrongs of stripping, more about the economics and mechanics of supplying that industry with workers. But certainly hammered out (and explicitly) within a rhetorical context of human rights and women's rights, and in full awareness of how economics affect employment options for women in particular:

    "In times of economic downturn, it is even more important to tackle this issue. When there are economic hardships there is an even greater danger of criminal activity, like human trafficking and sexual abuse," said [the Minister of Social Affairs].

    And, from elsewhere:

    Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir, the politician who first proposed the ban, firmly told the national press on Wednesday: "It is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold."

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm still in this bind. Watching it is against the best advice of 100% of people on this thread. And yet here you all are discussing it... I guess I have to opt out of that too, if I am to follow the advice people are giving. Kind of a pity, it sounds like an interesting debate...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Ben, you can still join in. There is the wider question of censorship here as well, there is the question of internet filtering particularly and that is part of your expertise is it not?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    I'm still in this bind. Watching it is against the best advice of 100% of people on this thread. And yet here you all are discussing it...

    I suggest you watch it, Ben. It isn't going to do you irreparable psychic damage.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yes, not an argument about the rights and wrongs of stripping, more about the economics and mechanics of supplying that industry with workers.

    Not just stripping: they've adopted the Swedish approach and made it an offence, punishable by up to a year in jail, to pay for sex (this also seems to apply to male sex workers, which I presume Iceland has).

    The usual arguments as to whether this is really a good idea can be had, of course. It'll be interesting to see, although it would be perilous to extrapolate the experience of a country of 300,000 people in the middle of an ocean. And it seems likely that the women working in the clubs will work somewhere else.

    Anyway, my response was more to Bindel's column than the policy itself. She was hailing it as a triumph and a landmark, but it seems like something that will affect a very small number of women, not all of whom will be glad of the help.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I remember Germaine Greer's visit to New Zealand and her fiery talk at Victoria University. She was wonderful. She really shook up NZ - there are some great cartoons from the era in the Turnbull Library.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3213 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The usual arguments as to whether this is really a good idea can be had, of course. It'll be interesting to see, although it would be perilous to extrapolate the experience of a country of 300,000 people in the middle of an ocean. And it seems likely that the women working in the clubs will work somewhere else.

    Maybe the new Commisars of E-Canned could experiment with this in Chch - exchanging bodily fluids will possibly fall within their "water-management" purview...
    Hell, we'll probably need re-sauce consents
    between adults of age...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Not as things stand. That only blocks child sex imagery, although the video might fall under the definition of "Objectionable" in the Films, Videos and Publications Act.

    The Act is -- correctly, in my view -- permissive; far more so than the Broadcasting Standards are. Its practical application is even more light-handed -- the DIA concentrates almost exclusively on child pornography. (OTOH, I think that without any doubt, a video game with the same content would be refused classification in New Zealand.)

    Um, the DIA banned an issue of Critic for objectionable content. No video, no pictures, just text that said the wrong thing.

    While they *claim* that the GFONZ won't block anything but child porn, it has no legal framework, so that can be changed at whim.

    They could easily decide that, given the furore over this vid and it's (possible) classification as "Objectionable" by the Censor, that's the chance they need to extend it to anything classed objectionable, which includes many things.

    Once they've done that, it's a short step to banning hate speech sites, anarchist sites with bomb making instructions, sites advocating illegal direct action, Indymedia, Sea Shepherd, Ploughshares, anything like that.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I suggest you watch it, Ben. It isn't going to do you irreparable psychic damage.

    But what if I'm one of those 99% of the population who does have their perceptions molded passively by things they see? Odds are....

    There is the wider question of censorship here as well, there is the question of internet filtering particularly and that is part of your expertise is it not

    My expertise is about how to filter, not why to. On that, I'm from the school that there actually aren't any experts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Real men don’t spread shit like this - it's not a game, and you're not some big-talking hero of the streets. Real people get hurt when attitudes like this are promoted as OK. They’re not.

    Good job, Sacha. I keep wanting to make a comment, but everytime I compose it in my head I'm forced reject it on the grounds of mild abusiveness. So, thanks.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Yeah, I second that. I'm glad you called Robbie on his comments. I found them quite disturbing.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    But what if I'm one of those 99% of the population who does have their perceptions molded passively by things they see? Odds are....

    I'll describe the first few seconds (all I could bear to watch). Shots of a cabin in the woods, in black and white. A recognisably female limp hand hanging out of a crate. Some blonde female hair in a water trough.

    That was enough to make me very upset. I'm now extremely angry.

    Angry that this man (and those who helped him) thinks he has the right to use the idea of extreme violence and killing in such a way. It should not be illegal, but damn right it should be condemned.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I'm now extremely angry.

    I'm glad you didn't make it to 00:30 then.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thanks, 3410 and Carol - considered it for quite some time before posting. I do hope someone closer to Robbie sits him down for some home truths.

    None of us are saints, but I'd hate any young man to see that and think it's "funny". For those without strong adult social influences, that's entirely possible and it's not healthy for them or any women they meet.

    I doubt many grownups here will be scarred - although you are likely to feel upset and the clip is convincing enough to be triggering for some as Sandra warns on her blog.

    She also provides a concise text summary, and in her follow-up post also mentions the bloodcurdling screams at the end - which along with several other features are also in the shorter version of the clip (embedded in that post).

    You've heard how several of us found it, anyway. Russell's headline is spot on.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Um, the DIA banned an issue of Critic for objectionable content. No video, no pictures, just text that said the wrong thing.

    About date-rape. But, of course, that's an interesting example, because it's one where the censor got it wrong: I think an intelligent reader would have recognised that the purpose of the article was to serve warning of the practices of date-repists.

    OTOH, it didn't help that the article appeared (in the annual "offensive" issue) opposite an interview with the fairly sadistic pornographer Max Hardcore. The chief censor made particular mention of that in his decision. So it might be fair to say that the editor, Holly Walker, got it a bit wrong too.

    While they *claim* that the GFONZ won't block anything but child porn, it has no legal framework, so that can be changed at whim.

    They could easily decide that, given the furore over this vid and it's (possible) classification as "Objectionable" by the Censor, that's the chance they need to extend it to anything classed objectionable, which includes many things.

    Once they've done that, it's a short step to banning hate speech sites, anarchist sites with bomb making instructions, sites advocating illegal direct action, Indymedia, Sea Shepherd, Ploughshares, anything like that.

    Wow. That's quite some extrapolation and speculation you're doing there.

    I think it's worth explaining what has actually happened:

    The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards has (as it does quite frequently) made a complaint under the Act, about a video that even reasonable people seem to find revolting.

    The Chief Censor, Bill Hastings, is obliged under the law to respond to the complaint (in addition to his office's week-in-week-out job of classifying stuff).

    His response has been to say that he's not going to rush into things, and to invite submissions on the work in question. You can make one, Rich. It will be considered. It will be be published, probably. Isn't that just a civil society in action?

    But I do need to ask you again about the age problem here. The censor may well order an R18 classification and -- assuming it hasn't been voluntarily withdrawn -- YouTube will adhere to that. Is that actually a bad result?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    Luddite Journo described the vid as "triggering" which is wholly apt. I like plenty of controversial stuff based on whether it challenges my thinking, or makes me laugh uncomfortably, but this vid isn't clever, or funny, or remotely original, it's just horrible. It seems like someone with no imagination ripped off Saw, sans the twist at the end that apparently justified the means (disclaimer: never saw Saw, just a single scene when my flatmate rented it that made me feel sick). Even beyond that, the music gives a very blasé treatment to the whole video which makes it even worse.

    For those curious & tossing up whether to watch, maybe this will satisfy your curiosity without requiring you to bleach your brain (much):
    SPOILER ALERT
    Mix of two songs: first song (he's rapping about how he's got a stack of screws loose & should either kill himself or a few more women or something), a guy in a black hood repeatedly stabs a young struggling woman behind clear plastic curtains, and there's a montage of graphic photos of mutilated female bodies. Then the song changes and we get a storyline of same girl & her boyfriend having a picnic, bf investigates a hooded figure, disappears, girl gets scared, stops a passing car, guy takes her to his house to use his (disconnected) phone, re-appears in black hood. The final shot is after the music ends: the girl is screaming and being dragged into a back room by her hair.

    The "soft" version excludes the prefixed song with all the stabbing and the end bit with the girl screaming. It's still misogynistic, but I can imagine it getting airplay after the watershed.
    END OF SPOILER

    FWIW: To my knowledge, the selection process for funding is based entirely on the quality of the track (for the NZOA-mandated definition of quality - note that their job is to get kiwi acts on commercial stations). NZOA listens to all the submitted songs back to back with no background notes, and make a shortlist. Then basically commercial station reps feed back whether/which songs they'd play on their station, and that feedback is used to determine the final funding decision. "Forever", the main track is relatively innocuous (particularly compared to the prefix song in the longer video), and suitably commercial, so I'm not surprised it got funded. File under Definitely Not My Cuppa Tea.

    Yeesh, usually I'm defending NZOA when they "overlook" a worthy band... speaking of which, one thing Robbie did get right: Homebrew are awesome.

    ...and on that note, an ad for the RWC just came on with The Feelers singing Right Here Right Now. Curiously enough, this thread's the first I heard of that song selection, but in a fit of nostalgia I bought Jesus Jones' Doubt last week. Feelers != the awesomeness that is Jesus Jones.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks for the precis, Heather. You paid better attention than I could, really.

    And in other news, my original post is now the top Google result for the search string "revolting piece of shit".

    We all make a difference in our own way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    In keeping with female equality aspect of the thread. I wonder what the reaction might have been if the script had been flipped and it was a female killer preying on male victims in the vid ?

    Actually, there was a male victim as it was – his role was just incidental, and his killing largely off screen and quick. It’s that the vid focuses on the torment and brutality inflicted on the woman character – by the protagonist/rapper – that indicates it is dwelling on misogynistic violence. I think that’s why some find it repellent. I can understand that, other than to say the mistake seems to be in taking it seriously. King may think he looks creepy and sinister, but it all looks pretty try hard.

    I'm normally pretty easy going when it comes to "artistic" depictions of violence (I mean, my favourite show is Dexter) but I wastched that video last night and it was just pointless and stupid.

    One of the producers said something on 3 News about how this video was partly inspired by Dexter, and that they were just making a standard horror narrative. That’s about right. It was more derivative than Lady Gaga, for sure. Speaking of whom...

    Ooh, spill! In particular, what is she doing that is more interesting than what Madonna was doing (omg) 20 years ago?

    Better songs, on average. I agree she does seem largely the sum of her influences, though.

    because we are, surely, concerned with cases where the work will certainly (or almost certainly) lead to someone being abused now or in the future.

    Can you name such a work? Would Nathan King’s silly video be in that category? In his blog Rich of Observations did mention he was against “specific incitement to a crime that is likely to be acted upon” – is that the sort of thing you mean?

    Um, the DIA banned an issue of Critic for objectionable content. No video, no pictures, just text that said the wrong thing.

    To me, it’s that banning that is not part of civilised society. Not a mature one, anyway.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    ...oh, just realised that my Jesus Jones nostalgia trip had been triggered by intermittent exposure that marker pen ad that just came on..

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'm not quite sure on what point at which YouTube take down content or put an adult content flag on it. Certainly, any nudity gets stuff thrown off (though there are a shedload of sites that make a living out of *not* having this rule).

    In terms of kids accessing stuff, the internet is full of nasty shit (literally in some cases, though that's illegal in NZ as well). Most children have "parents" or "caregivers" who are meant to monitor what they watch. Yup, that doesn't work. I got to see the excellent movie Phantasm as a 15 year old. Oddly, I've never felt forced to try drilling holes in peoples heads, as depicted at length in the movie.

    In firewall terms, the Aussie firewall has gone from child abuse images, through violent games, to a ban on imagery of women with an A cup size. Why should we be any different?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    @ Sacha

    Thank you.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    My immediate impression of the title, "A revolting piece of shit", had me thinking it was to be a blog on Rodney Hide.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    "A revolting piece of shit", had me thinking it was to be a blog on Rodney Hide.

    Nah that would be "A revolting little shit" :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The not-censor-anything perspective is put eloquently and concisely in this very short clip of author Philip Pullman at a Q&A session about his latest book (h/t @gnat). Mind you, I don't know what his broader perspective is and if he has limits beyond offending christians.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

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