Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Poor Choices

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  • Emma Hart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Perhaps it might be better to say “undesirable things that are sometimes said and done in the name of intersectionality.”

    Or we could say “call-out culture” and stop pretending it goes one way. The spurious justification might be different, but the behaviour is no different from the sparkle-pony slut-shaming “you get women raped” bollocks people who believe in intersectionality have always been on the receiving end of.

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time occupying a ‘between’ position in some of these disputes, and I’ve had it from both sides. It’s no different.

    ETA: Ironically, this very issue is one I appear to be smack in the middle of.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard,

    But the people she was talking about feeling silenced or deciding to keep quiet weren't the 'slut shaming' types but simply people (often feminists, POC etc) who conception of politics differed. Being a liberal universalist secular humanist seems to be enough to fall foul of some of the 'call out' brigade.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Perhaps it might be better to say “undesirable things that are sometimes said and done in the name of intersectionality.”

    Or we could say “call-out culture” and stop pretending it goes one way.

    Let's say that, then.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Isn’t a lot of bullying somewhat “in the eye of the beholder” – it’s hard for any given person (the proposed bully) to know what another person (the bullyee) may take to heart.

    I’ve unwittingly said some very hurtful things to some people entirely unknowingly and unintentionally.

    Bullying is in the eye of the victim and yes sometimes the bully does not realise. But the measure is if, after being told that their actions constitute bullying and/or harassment, they continue, THEN they are a bully.

    And as a note NZ society in general is way way too tolerant of bullying. Far to often it victim is told to "harden up" instead of the bully being told to shape up or pack up their office.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hmm. This isn't the only place this is going on.

    Interesting follow-up to Goldberg on TheWire, including the tweets. Kendall speculates that Brittney Cooper was misrepresented, Cooper says she wasn't.

    On NPR, Kendall says that while she might "be someone's bully in their mind" she's not a bully because she doesn't dox them them or call their employers.

    And Suey Park is just a jerk on Twitter.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Hang on a minute: that was a highly justified response to what was an outrageous attempt at exploitation by a major corporation. It was successful, too, as Air NZ backtracked. So people moved on. What's wrong with this picture exactly?

    I picked it as an example because it was a corporation and not an individual, so I didn't cast new light on an example like the media personality who made the racist tweet and didn't see how it was racist.

    Here's the thing. After the kerfuffle, Air NZ added a note to their website saying "We'll re-think our approach & come up with appropriate compensation." That's still what their website says, and no one seems to really care about it anyone.

    However, the bikini models in the new Air NZ safety video - well, that got a few tweets.

    There's always something wrong on the internet.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    That's still what their website says, and no one seems to really care about it anyone.

    How or why would you suggest that people care about it, until such time as the company makes its revised intentions public?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    However, the bikini models in the new Air NZ safety video – well, that got a few tweets.

    And thank heavens our dear old friend Bob Jones was around to put those uppity faux-raged university feminist types like Deborah firmly in their place!

    Deborah added: "I want to be taken seriously (this is a helluva way to go about it) but it seems that suddenly they are saying my sexuality is all that matters about me." For God's sake, Deborah, the video's not about you. But if you're genuinely offended, which I don't for a minute believe, then don't watch.

    Deborah aspires to become an MP and will be an exceptionally good one. But coming across as a prude, which she is not, will kill off any political career.

    Ugh... Of course, if Deborah becomes an MP she also better learn not to come across as "shrill" or "extremist" by betraying the slightest hint of irritation, no matter how dire the provocation, or expressing much of an opinion on anything at all. Be especially careful about the other F-word, "feminist". Don't want to be a divisive splitter, talking about irrelevant issues to the likes of Bomber and Chris Trotter and harming your own cause by being all angry and shit.

    Amirite, Bob?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    I understand Jon Ronson's next thing is going to be about pile-on culture, so that will probably be quite interesting.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    There’s always something wrong on the internet.

    And that'll be true until you rip the keyboard from my cold dead hands, but Robyn, listen, I'm right here and I have a name. Ruuude!

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Is on-line bullying really that hard to see?

    Sometimes, yes it is. Having one person reply to you with "You're wrong!" might be no big deal to most people. Having a thousand, or ten thousand, people say it all at the same time, and for days and weeks afterwards, is potentially emotionally devastating. Especially when each one of those replies is from someone who thinks that they, uniquely, have a duty to say so, and a right to be responded to in return.

    Online modes of communication are so uniquely filtered by individual experience, preferences and asymmetries that there's genuinely no way to tell how someone else is experiencing that communication unless they tell you.

    I'm no stranger to vigorous debate, and generally enjoy it, but I think that it's worth remembering that there's only one person who has authority over whether or not they feel bullied.

    (Late to the party, I know.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Quick poll: is it bullying of me to periodically remind people - including his handle in my tweets - that John Pagani writes on behalf of the oil and gas industry on Twitter for money but makes no disclosure of it?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sue, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    if it's relevant i think yes
    i mean if he's advocating personally for something he's being paid to do then yes please

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Sue, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    I don’t really understand depression as I’ve never suffered from it, but what I am fairly sure about is that it doesn’t really obey the simple rules of logic and reason that we’d like to imagine it does. I

    a great way to understand is to spend a little time at depression.org.nz
    and yes there is no logic, but there is logic to a lot of it, the thing is depression is not just one thing, it's a bit like saying cancer is one thing. there are things that work across the board to treat cancer and depression, but each person who has cancer/depression responds differently to treatment and has different variations.

    So for example a pill that fixes my depression might not yours
    The best practise for treating one type of depression is different for others

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Sometimes, yes it is. Having one person reply to you with “You’re wrong!” might be no big deal to most people. Having a thousand, or ten thousand, people say it all at the same time, and for days and weeks afterwards, is potentially emotionally devastating. Especially when each one of those replies is from someone who thinks that they, uniquely, have a duty to say so, and a right to be responded to in return.

    Yes, this. Which is why I've been quite surprised to see it rationalised away here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Online modes of communication are so uniquely filtered by individual experience, preferences and asymmetries that there’s genuinely no way to tell how someone else is experiencing that communication unless they tell you.

    Another thing about online communication (especially Twitter) is that I don't have comprehensive personal dossiers on everyone who can see what I put out there. And do I really need to to get, say, that further RTing "Gerry Brownlee's a fat cunt - someone should shoot him in the face" would be seriously out of line on every level, no matter what you think of his politics?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    What a rat's nest this stirs up. I can't see much helpful in any of this: the opinion pieces, the comments, the links. Each makes good points in their own way. But, having been close to people who died by their own hands, I perceive all the pieces -- and most of the comments -- to be reflective of the writers and their very alive viewpoints. Trying to make sense of what is essentially a disturbed act is pretty near impossible, and every suicide is different.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes, this. Which is why I've been quite surprised to see it rationalised away here.

    We must still discriminate among our behaviours, though, surely. You had pretty strong words for Willie and JT after their Amy interview last year. A lot of other people did afterwards. At what point did it become a pile-on? What made it okay, if it was okay? Or the DHC column. Was it okay to be among those who pointed out early on that it was, at the very least, in very poor form? Does the fact that people piled on in the evening, turning the dribble of criticism into a progressively more abusive avalanche, mean that the original tweeters were bullies? Should the content and form of our criticism matter regardless of who else is piling on?

    I think it's not a matter of explaining things away so much as teasing out behaviours that aren't alike. Critique is critique. Abuse is abuse. One can turn into the other by sheer force of numbers, but I think it would be dangerous to limit the former for fear of the latter.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I would find this discussion easier to follow if we could carefully distinguish:
    - rape and death threats (almost always aimed at women, it seems to me)
    - rudeness and name-calling and insult (often multiplied by retweets or shares or joining in)
    - “callout culture”

    Because for example, “trolling” as I understand the term could encompass all of these behaviours, but I would respond quite differently. I want to preserve my right to be rude to the deserving, but deny anyone a right to issue death threats. The pileon is a nuanced phenomenon that in some cases is a legit protest campaign and in others a nasty exercise in ostracism and shame.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    but I think it would be dangerous to limit the former for fear of the latter

    But from what I've seen I tend to think NZ society errs too far onto the side of abuse and bullying. It's pretty much standard management training to learn how to bully without getting a lawsuit, not to learn how to manage without bullying but instead to avoid a lawsuit.

    So while I acknowledge the importance of criticism in a healthy society I think we could with shifting the balance that we currently have.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I want to preserve my right to be rude to the deserving

    Stephen Judd, the one who nails it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    John Pagani writes on behalf of the oil and gas industry on Twitter for money but makes no disclosure of it?

    I don't tweet so whaddaIknow .This is only my opinion but yes I have one. I imagine Gio, that, that sounds like pretty basic information. It wouldnt bother me to read those words and i wouldn't find it out of order.

    Another thing about online communication (especially Twitter

    From the words above I suspect that what may start out as one's opinion can quickly become many person's protest. In the (I like to think) good ol' days, people went out to March. Now ,it would seem that people are marching with their fingers and as someone further up said become "keyboard warriors." The mere fact that no matter what one's view is , they will be heard somewhere, is a sense of empowerment so no matter who you are, beit big, small, significant, or not, twitter seems to have created people equal. It's ones opinion of someone else's opinion that is extremely difficult to monitor. The "dont be a dick" rule is defunct when there are dipsticks on the planet. These people haven't been banned from the world for their own stupid opinions which to them isn't stupid. They just think nothing like you. Ignorant even. I don't twitter because I really thought it would get like it is. Just as I don't read Whaleblog, Kiwiblog and even certain journos at Granny. I will say I don't cast all Journos in the same vein or all bloggers in the same vein, I choose who I want to deal with including commentors. If I didn't do that, I wouldn't get anything else done or at least wouldn't give the same attention to what I am doing, so ....rules for Twitter, there are no rules for twitter, just communicate with those you want to and if you don't like something. walk away from the keyboard. It's not so hard. Try it sometime. Take a break ,go on ,you deserve it, you know you can :)

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I want to preserve my right to be rude to the deserving

    I assert my right to snark, rant and be downright rancid about bad arguments and crappy attitudes contained therein. That far, no further. If I consider Gerry Brownlee a terrible minister who had bungled the Christchurch recovery (IMHO & YMMV, of course), that point can be made without slighting references to his weight or appearance, calling him a fag or wishing a painful and violent death upon his head. I'm a lot more interested in Judith Collins and Metiria Turei's policies than who'd make a better personal shopper.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    that point can be made without slighting references to his weight or appearance, calling him a fag or wishing a painful and violent death upon his head.

    That's several steps beyond "rude".

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard,

    The different behaviours GIovanni talks about goes back to my original point among moral policing as opposed to debate.

    Certainly his & Russell's response to the WJ JT thing was a world away from the kinds of shouting down via various ists, isms & phobes you often see.

    I'm sure once the numbers get up, regardless of the language things can seem pretty full on, but there's a world of difference between challenging something that's said or an idea vs simply denouncing the person that's said it.

    It's when it's the later I think problems start & can quickly turn into what someone described as Maoist hazing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 72 posts Report Reply

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