Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So far from trivial

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  • Ian MacKay,

    see that's not how I read the thread at all and why I felt the need to comment. there were a good 17 pages of comments before russell pasted in some txt from the post (unless I missed it earlier in the thread). prior to that it did indeed appear that people were talking about what they imagined had happened instead of what actually had happened. this was nicely highlighted by someone's comment that her spine was "crushed" in 4 places, which in my mind brought up images of veitch as a terminator style cyborg using his machine like endoskeleton to perform superhuman.......etc etc.

    Great to read some commonsense and balance Robbery and I was being straight, not ironic before.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Do you really think Public Address posters would just accept whatever they read in the papers? You've been here for at least a year - c'mon.

    wouldn't have thought so till the early pages of this thread and the baying for blood.

    which means that you're not going to get the proof you seem to desire no matter how long you wait. That's not a good enough reason to say that no action can be taken or conclusions reached.

    well there will be official information to come, we just haven't seen it yet. I'd hope much expanded information from both parties and from police and legal experts. its an interesting case for sure, mostly for the 'paying her off' aspect if that's how it went down.

    and not knowing is a perfectly good reason for not jumping off the lead, but I don't think anyone has said no action should or could be taken, its all a matter of WHAT action should be taken and those being being labeled as veitch apologists are merely noting that in our legal world before you can decide "what action" you need to know details, important details. not the kind of vague details we've had so far, (shatter, snapped, broken cracked, push kick, sustained, merciless etc) butaccurate details. then we can attribute the correct amount of hatin', and in the modern world its all about getting the level of hate just right isn't it?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    and I was being straight, not ironic before.

    then I don't understand how you think I was misreprsenting in order to avoid?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    rob, he's agreeing with you.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    although he does say your sense is common.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Anita Easton,

    robbery,

    I can summon up a lot more hate for someone who does a marfia style beating.

    It's not hate for me, but my judgement of someone who commits acts of domestic violence is no kinder than of someone who is violent for profit or business power. Why does domestic violence bother you less?

    I'm surprised more people don't have a problem with this whole celebrity trial thing

    I think almost all of us do, I definitely do.

    I would far rather live in a society where the cost to the victim of going to the police would have been much lower, where our justice system would have picked this up and dealt with it. Where the media didn't spend the week running round madly being excited about it all.

    Given, however, that is not what happened, I am glad some people have done enough to get this into the justice system.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I think i get yr points, Ian & Robbery. i don't think it's incongruent to abhor Veitch's actions, whilst also acknowledging we don't have the full story. For the record, i don't buy into any "asked for it" routines when it comes to dv, either.

    I suspect what happens over this will be crucial - if he's not charged, what message does that send to everybody else?

    Something that doesn't get discussed alot with regard to dv is the fallout from keeping it secret or pretending it isn't happening in families or social groups. You may be the only one saying "this is wrong and it has to stop" and find yourself ousted for rocking the boat. particularly in better-off families where the abuser is powerful physically, emotionally and financially. My " humiliation and degradation" is someone else's (warped) fair exchange. Happy Families built on lies. Kids brought up thinking it's ok to "lash out" & there'll always be an excuse, or simply no recognition that anything has even happened. It's just normal to them.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Karen Crisp,

    No but really. I feel that my male vs female comment was misinterpreted. Why does it feel that the basis of this discussion for quite some hours now, seems to be gender-split? What if the *bitch* had broken "veitchy's" spine? Or fractured it or whatever?

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Karen, do you mean we haven't paid enough attention to the gendered aspects of the story? I thought you were talking about the gender of posters here, I admit.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Anita Easton,

    What if the *bitch* had broken "veitchy's" spine?

    I think we'd be more surprised, a woman doing that much damage to a man without a weapon would be really unusual, so perhaps we'd be more willing to accept that it was, at least in part, a freak accident. I think we might expect the victim to have thrown a punch as well.

    I also think our attitude to the victim would be different, the attitude to a female domestic violence victim is pretty ho-hum, we know it has hurt her both physically and psychologically, we know from our friends and family what that looks like, what it takes for a woman to rebuild her life. With a female victim we're talking about the physical damage and taking the psychological as a given.

    If the victim was a man I think there'd be more discussion of the psychological damage, what it would take for a man who'd be beaten by a woman to put himself back together. We would be less drawing on common shared experiences and more trying to construct what it must be like.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    that's too bad , i admire a person who is able to think and argue outside their own personal viewpoint

    I suppose you'll have to get used to disappointment. I call that trolling, so I don't do it.

    I wonder if the ideas that you put forward are deliberately misrepresented in order to avoid the ideas expressed.

    Sigh. Not on my part, no.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thanks, Anita.

    I want to acknowledge too that the concerns expressed by Ian, Robbery and others about fairness are in themselves admirable - and actually something positive about being men that is under-rated. I'd feel safer with people like that in any jury.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Robbery: I will have to be more careful how I phrase it. I was and am agreeing with you and applauding your stand. well Done!

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Lynching, incidentally, has almost precisely nothing to do with how we're discussing the incident. No one here has come anywhere near calling for Veitch to be hung up by a tree, burned, beaten, and have his genitals and tongue cut out, while the rest of the community has a picnic and takes postcard pictures. Nor was his infraction an imaginary one based on racist fears of miscegenation or 'uppitiness'. We were just discussing legal, justice-type stuff, because, in case you hadn't noticed, he broke his ex-girlfriend's back. In four places. And, uh, put her in a wheelchair.

    But if you want to crazily exaggerate it that way, be my guest.

    See, at this point in the discussion, I was thinking I would quite like to marry Danielle.

    If you've followed the thread here, Karen, I think you will see that most of the people here, of any gender, think that the substance of the story printed by the Dom-Post is about right, that Veitch's apology was kind of creepy, that we would like to see the matter properly tried in the courts, but that we can understand why the person who was kicked so hard that she ended up in a wheelchair while she was recovering wants to avoid publicity, and we can understand that she might have good reason for taking the money. We're also puzzled about the legal status of that settlement, and we are puzzled by how the various employment law issues will play out.

    And then Deborah said this, and now I want to marry her.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • michael o'brien,

    ...but I don't think anyone has said no action should or could be taken, its all a matter of WHAT action should be taken and those being being labeled as veitch apologists are merely noting that in our legal world before you can decide "what action" you need to know details, important details. not the kind of vague details we've had so far, (shatter, snapped, broken cracked, push kick, sustained, merciless etc) but accurate details. then we can attribute the correct amount of hatin'...

    now that, to me, is one of the most sensible things I've read on this thread, (not that I don't appreciate where everyone else is coming from....)

    I haven't read one comment here that I think is apologist. Far from it in fact...

    I personally don't think that it will get to the Courts (even though I think it should). I think a historical action such as is very difficult to prove and that Veitch's statement was very carefully worded to not admit too much.

    Which means that this may remain clouded in mystery for us all.
    I hope I'm wrong.

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Jackie, marry both of em I say. Damn the consequences.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Michael, it might be sensible but is it useful?

    What is reasonable in the almost certain absence of forthcoming legal action is more the question, and I don't think after re-reading the entire thread just now (I know) that anyone has been particularly unreasonable during this conversation.

    Being sensible sometimes sounds just like the usual reasons not to take action against family violence, as some posters have noted. That's why some phrases arouse suspicion. Clouded in mystery just aint good enough any more. Feel the shift.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Anita Easton,

    I'm very happy with clouded in mystery.

    The victim deserves us to respect her privacy, the last thing she needs is to know that every stranger on the street knows all the guesome details of the worst minutes of her life.

    I hope the justice system does its job, and I think we should make an effort to make that happen. But nothing justifies us poking about in her life without her permission.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Anita, it is her almost certain lack of permission that guarantees the mystery, and I respect that.

    What I'm saying is that it is not a good enough reason to wring our hands and say that that we can't possibly come to any conclusions or do anything because there isn't any legally sanctioned evidence.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • michael o'brien,

    Sacha, I never said that anyone was unreasonable, but some comments read more reasonably to me. That was one of them - and so yes, it was useful.

    All and any action should be taken against family violence. Absolutely. 100% absolutely. It is not OK.

    Yes it ain't good enough anymore, however the circumstances of this situation means it maybe all we have....

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Anita Easton,

    What conclusions and actions are there for us?

    We can conclude that Veitch did a bad thing.

    We can conclude that the justice system should do something about it.

    We can express that we think that Veitch should not be held up as role model or put in positions where he might be seen that way.

    We can express that we would like people and organisations associated with him to express their condemnation of his actions.

    We can try to change our communities so that the next time a man is in the position Veitch was he does not act as Veitch did.

    We can try to change our communities so that the next time a woman is in the position that his victim was she feels supported, and knows that she will not be blamed, shamed or attacked for her attacker's actions.

    Anything else? We seem to have all the evidence we need to draw all the conclusions and take action.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Sacha. You make a good moderator/facilitator. Thankyou.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Jackie said:

    And then Deborah said this, and now I want to marry her.

    YES!

    Of course, I'm not sure what we will do about our respective (respected?) husbands, nor about me living in Adelaide and you in Auckland. Maybe we will have to settle for a meeting of minds instead.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Ethical Martini,

    Cecilia, the link worked to some extent.

    I think your point about salacious media coverage is right. I described it a couple of days ago as "media cannibalism". A self-consuming blood lust - which sounds more dramatic than it is.
    It's almost second nature in a competitive market, but why do we buy into it?
    Have any of the journos who've been covering this story actually 'fessed up to that?
    So far the Dom Post hasn't, so the rest of us are playing catch up.

    Godzone • Since Jul 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I tentatively support the victim's decision to privately negotiate the payment of compensation in these circumstances, although I'd accept that society has an independent interest in seeing Veitch rehabilitated that might justify the involvement of the state. I couldn't say whether the counselling he has mentioned should suffice, but I'd be surprised if he hasn't sought help or been compelled to seek it by the terms of the settlement.

    Sometimes crime and punishment is treated, quite wrongly in my view, as the banal preserve of talkback callers and contributors to the Herald's Your Views discussions. This attitude strikes me as reactionary, but perhaps that simply reflects the undeveloped state of my own thinking. (Although I do not share the perspective of the author, there was an interesting interview with David Blunkett in the Guardian recently.) The issue is always in the news and I'd really like to read a recent assesment of where our government is at - if anyone knows where one is?

    I agree with those who have noted that the tone and content of this thread is unusual for this forum. In a perfect world this case would have attracted the same amount of concern and attention as any other, but inevitably it has recieved much more. (I personally find the public critique of his media-necessitated apology and Matthew Ridge's brave stand in the face of adversity particularly unpleasant.) Obviously Veitch's celebrity makes him no less blameworthy or less human, but maybe the old saw about one case being a tragedy and one million a statistic has some truth. </bromides>

    Since Nov 2006 • 783 posts Report Reply

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