Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Art with a job to do

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  • Carol Green, in reply to Sacha,

    Ta. Don’t know what happened there.

    A wormhole...

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta,

    It’s rather a depressing argument: that no matter what we think or why we think it, we should just buckle under and shuffle along with the crowd. As an assertion of national identity, it might be a bit too telling

    Euch. My opinion of New Zealand summarized in one depressing passage.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan, in reply to Konrad Kurta,

    “Whadarrryaaa!!”

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • llew40, in reply to Alec Morgan,

    classic manufacturing consent is not conspiracy but a conscious strategy, and the PM has been at it again today with what I’d call dissing the RSA, there are free flags available on request (the two top polling ones currently) for those interested to fly them before referendum #2, I would not be surprised if Nat branches distribute them in bulk, stage 2 of the flag fiasco process will be on full turbo boost shortly

    Heh, I understand that manufacturing consent is a conscious strategy, its just that in this case I don't buy it and I simply don't think there is any grand stage 2 plan that suddenly renders the shitty plan that preceded it a stalking horse.

    I think JK desperately wanted a change of flag as a 'vision thing' and, through a poorly conceived and constructed process, has ended up scoring a screamer of an own goal. It's been interesting to see some of the illuminati on the flag panel quietly trying to distance themselves from the whole thing. When it comes down to it, I just can't see the existing flag getting overturned no matter how many Lockwood flags the Nat Party distributes, and history will only remember a botched opportunity.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Just by the way, New Zealand has grassy-green or snowy-white mountains. Australia has red peaks. Red peak has no meaning for New Zealand.

    It's just the name the design was given. The name is not the same as the flag.

    This whole thing, including the reaction to the vote, is surely self-parody by inward-along out-of-touch Pt Chev and Aro Valley elitists. When it comes to a New Zealand flag, 1.2 million voters cannot be completely wrong. Many of you here, would benefit learning about your country and your fellow citizens. Many of you seem to hold them in contempt.

    You know, I really hoped I'd made it clear in the post that it is possible to feel strongly about the actual designs without demeaning anyone else who sees them differently. You, on the other hand, have been on a sneering marathon and it's lame.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Carol Green,

    one of them ouroboros things

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    a sneering marathon

    great coinage

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Alec Morgan,

    Where does one order the free flags? I was going to get a few hundred and make 'art' with them..

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Oliver Chan’s Red Peak Was Always a Middle-Class Gang Patch is an interesting and good-faith piece of reflection:

    Likewise, Twitter merely served the debate equivalent of sniper showdowns between Twitter personalities that the public by and large weren’t following. Most people don’t generally use Facebook or Twitter to debate politics but to reinforce their online identity – something we ‘politically engaged’ do with left-wing Red Peakism. This is not new, as last year’s Green voter ‘ballot selfies’ was part of a long line of examples of reinforcement rather than outreach. If we seek to change hearts and minds, talking about ourselves isn’t the place to start.

    Red Peak has come to represent a symbolic divide between an upper-middle class social bubble and the public at large. Though our passion for Red Peak is genuine, we misread the situation because we can be insular and sometimes condescending about towards those who don’t share our tastes. Red Peak is probably not going to become the NZ flag in the future if the next referendum fails. Any new designs that are truly agreeable must not only be shortlisted by a more open panel of qualified designers and historians, we must also confront the reality of where New Zealanders’ aesthetic sensibilities lie. If we are genuine about our social media promotion of Red Peak for the greater good, we cannot assume that our ideas are superior. If we merely engage with those inside our bubble, ideas like Red Peak are merely middle class gang patches for our own social media brands rather than visual symbols that represent everyone.

    What he misses, maybe because he was watching from London, is that Red Peak did break out into the real world. I think it’s the only one of the finalists I actually saw in the wild. People have been using it.

    But the main flaw in his argument is the assumption that people who liked it actually thought it would win the referendum. I certainly didn’t – I was just grateful that its addition to the ballot gave me something to vote for, rather than against.

    And, to be fair, it’s not like it had no support. It was topped only by the Lockwood juggernaut – and the 148,000 invalid votes we can reasonably assume were cast in protest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    ...flew aircraft with white tails...

    Spiders On A Plane! perhaps?
    Qantas have red backs...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    apols, can’t refind the link I read Sat night for the winning flag, the email below is for communities to obtain a free set of the 5 which involved various guidelines
    info@flag.govt.nz

    https://www.govt.nz/browse/engaging-with-government/the-nz-flag-your-chance-to-decide/project-updates/referendum-flag-sets-available-for-communities-to-fly/

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Alec Morgan,

    I was on Tokerau beach yesterday :-)
    Do you ever find yourself in the Taipa Tavern?.
    Thar's our "local"

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You, on the other hand, have been on a sneering marathon and it’s lame.

    Russell, the entire Red Peak campaign, and you post here, and the reaction and twitter and in the comments here, has been one long sneer against the 79% voters (including informal) who opted for a fern design because they believe that represents them and their country. I confess to enjoying the result.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 194 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    the 79% voters (including informal) who opted for a fern design

    I was an informal and it was a protest against the fern's denigration. Take me out of your maths.

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

  • Steve Barnes,

    79% of Hooton’s "facts" are, in fact, made up.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    For a start, it’s at most 79% of the 48% of eligible voters who actually voted. Which, if you’re paying attention, is not a majority.
    There is a constituency, almost as large again – the difference between the 48% who voted in this referendum, and the 78% who voted in the 2014 election – who didn’t see anything to vote for in any of the five options, and who are likely to vote against change in the second referendum.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Russell, the entire Red Peak campaign, and you post here, and the reaction and twitter and in the comments here, has been one long sneer against the 79% voters (including informal) who opted for a fern design because they believe that represents them and their country. I confess to enjoying the result.

    What do you have to say to those who deliberately spoiled their ballots?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Todd, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    Jason, as this blogpost is about art and design, rather than the workings of the PV voting system, I will make this response, then leave it at that.

    Firstly, I apologise to you for my terseness last night. I had spent most of Saturday explaining and defending PV on Kiwiblog, and I was pretty fed up (even though it was nearly 24 hours later).

    Your reply indicates to me that you think preference-rankings work the way multiple-FPP works, each ranking – 1, 2, 3, etc. – is a vote, each vote having the value of unity. That is not the case. Your single vote was your first-preference for Red Peak. Any other preference-rankings you gave were not votes, they were contingency choices only, which would only come into play, in successive order, should, firstly, Red Peak be excluded from the count.

    If your preference-rankings included both the Black and Red Lockwoods (say, 3 and 4, respectively), then, when Red Peak was excluded, your vote would have transferred to Black Lockwood at Count 4 (your second preference having already been excluded from the count), to become, in effect, an additional first-preference vote for that option.

    While 1,376,544 people cast a valid vote (as 7 p.m. on Friday) in the referendum, only 1,310,455 people indicated a preference between the two Lockwoods. In the contest between what turned out to be those two remaining options, 662,160 people voted for Black Lockwood (including yourself, as per the preceding paragraph) and 648,295 people voted for Red Lockwood.

    The second and later preference-rankings behind the 1,127,191 first-preference votes given for the two Lockwoods were never looked at. It is completely irrelevant that most of those contingency choices might have been 2nd and 3rd preferences for the other Lockwood and the Silver Fern (Black and White). To be clear, those voters did not block-vote the two Lockwoods and Silver Fern (B and W) to shut out Red Peak.

    I agree with Sacha, Lilith, Simon Pound – thanks, Sacha – and George Darroch that the process adopted to choose the four alternative options was, shall we say, less than optimal, for the reasons they give. (Call me naïve, but I refuse to believe a group of people, comprising “the great and the good”, would participate in a politically-orchestrated set-up.) In addition, just for the record, in my view it was a disgrace that Red Peak was added to the panel’s four choices, which is the main reason why I ranked it at No. 5. (Another reason is, it simply does not say ‘New Zealand’ to me.)

    I think there should have been seven completely different designs to choose from, including no more than two silver fern designs, and perhaps as many as three Māori-specific designs. (I share Michael Meyers’ concern about “the very low voter turnout in the Māori electorates”. Clearly, most Māori felt they did not have “skin in the game”. If we do this again, that needs to be sorted, including there being Māori designers on any panel of designers.) Had that been the case at this referendum, however, it is quite possible that almost all of the 1,204,793 people (87.52%) who gave their first-preference vote to one of the three fern options, would have simply split their votes between the two completely different fern options, with one of them still winning.

    You say, “and the 2 designs which were not ferns might have got more preferences.” You meant more first-preferences. (There could have been as many as one million second or later preferences for each of Red Peak, Koru (and Silver Fern (B and W)) tucked in behind those 1.1 million first-preference votes for the two Lockwoods. I guess we’ll never know (sigh).) Maybe, but it is clear that the overwhelming majority of voters wanted a fern design.

    If there had been one fern design (presumably one of the Lockwoods), then one of the *four*, not two, non-fern designs (including Red Peak) would have had to be pretty amazing for the support for Silver Fern to collapse sufficiently to enable it to come through and attain 50% of the votes. Clearly, in this case, the people decided the two non-fern options we got to consider, weren’t.

    Okay. That’s it! Let the discussion of art and design continue.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Todd,

    Jason, as this blogpost is about art and design, rather than the workings of the PV voting system, I will make this response, then leave it at that.

    We’re never averse to a bit of geekery here, but thanks for considering context and all that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Steve Todd,

    Firstly, I apologise to you for my terseness last night. I had spent most of Saturday explaining and defending PV on Kiwiblog, and I was pretty fed up (even though it was nearly 24 hours later).

    I'm sad for you that you felt the need. Kiwiboggers have never been interested in proportional anything, including response.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    We’re never adverse to a bit of geekery here...

    <ahem_koff>
    averse
    </koff>
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Russell, the entire Red Peak campaign, and you post here, and the reaction and twitter and in the comments here, has been one long sneer against the 79% voters (including informal) who opted for a fern design because they believe that represents them and their country.

    So I should have changed my opinion to fit in? Is that what you're saying?

    I've written about what I like and don't and tried to explain how I see it in terms of a New Zealand tradition and contemporary culture I feel connected to. Go and contemplate your own communications on the matter, and the dickishness thereof.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    <ahem_koff>
    averse
    </koff>
    :- )

    I AM VERY VERY TIRED AND HAVE A LOT TO THINK ABOUT OKAY.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I also have the godlike ability of the moderator to amend my posts at will :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    To add: a fern is a maple leaf designed by committee.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

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