Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: These things we must now change

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  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But I saw too many people on social media blaming Christchurch and apparently forgetting in their rage that it was Christchurch that was attacked.

    Yeah thanks for that. It’s still happening.

    Columnists and opinion-makers who usually know better : two sickened me before I gave up reading the thinks: Guyon Espiner’s experience of living in Otautahi 25 years ago. Ali Mau’s recycling tired tropes that refer to the well-known export to the North Island.

    How does that go down with locals? I am fucked right off actually. We’re told on social media by out-of-towners that we know nothing about what people in our city are suffering because we’re the wrong colour, religion or are not expressing our grief in the approved manner.

    Do these people not understand that many families still have not had their dead returned to them,. That the victims have not been buried. That people of all colours and creeds have dead friends and family members.

    How incredibly disrespectful. How graceless. How insensitive.

    Leave the arguments and the twisting of this massacre of good people for your own ends until after the funerals and mourning period ends .

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    The white clothing that Tarrant was wearing in court is called a stitched gown. It’s an item of clothing especially designed to be very difficult to rip and turn into a ligature. He’s being kept safe from himself as well as from others. Our system.

    Since Nov 2016 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    The reaction has been strong and tearful.

    This is an attack on Christchurch and New Zealand. It causes resentment or worse between NZ and Australia, which has also experienced terror. It may do similarly with our 5 eyes partners. It certainly makes some of them look bad. It may also damage our tourism or reputation.

    It is an attack on peace and sanctuary. It brings war and mindless hate here and makes refugees fearful.

    The military style planning is chilling. This is different.

    Given the shooters background and travelogue it is suspicious. It leaves open the possibility there may be truths we will never know. Who aided and abetted?

    I hope we are sensible in maintaining a free and open society, while protecting ourselves as best as we can.

    Yet as well…
    Like when Taika said we were a racist country, we must examine ourselves.
    I don’t open think the ‘this is not who we are’ should hide that. Guyon and others sharing their life stories isn’t wrong, though it may hurt and be difficult to reconcile.
    Christ, church and the lion heart are heroes of the Anglo inheritence. Who saves Robin Hood at the 11th hour? These were shining badges of our righteous compassion. Not to all.

    I saw a friend share a tweet asking if there had never been white supremacist violence how come the country is called New Zealand? Inflammatory, but thought provoking.

    We are being challenged from without and within and I hope we emerge closer to our friends and with fewer or no enemies.

    I apologise , having read through, if that is a bit detached for those posting who find this in their neighborhoods, or commute. Aroha and love, hugs.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to tussock,

    Wow at the spread of the live feed. It feels like we are hurt in the middle of others extremist nuttery- but so much? Omg

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    You obviously have no idea how condescending that last paragraph do you.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1828 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I lost all data on Friday and was first alerted by turning on the TV at 5pm. After a minute or two I went and told my teenagers that it looked like there may have been a school shooting in Christchurch (TV1 was interviewing students from Linwood College which had been in lockdown). It took at least 10 minutes before I understood it was a mosque that had been attacked, maybe 20, after returning from telling my fairly disinterested older boys.
    I used to live around the corner from the mosque when I was 21 and further down Riccarton road as a 19 year old and seeing these scenes has been fairly inexplicable.
    I got the internet back on tonight.
    The usual right-wingers who troll me - mainly old and existent friends - had some incredible takes on what had happened. Jacinda was virtue signalling by wearing a scarf was the one that gutted me most. I think she has been so outstandingly creditable that it really affected me that we can't at least agree across the divide that our response and that of our representatives has been brilliant. All party leaders have worked together, seemingly for the first time EVER! Thank goodness for the exodus of John Campbell to TV1. What heart felt reporting, along with crusading journalism by reporters I've never noticed before. The announcement about the families awaiting bodies wanting a 24 hour deadline for return was the scoop of the year. Why didn't 1 fly Hillary Barry down? Simon was great under stress, but looked stressed and hasn't her provincially brilliant mannerisms. No-one is echoing to Simon the Mother of the Nation calls after her incredible work during the Christchurch earthquakes.
    But he did a great job under huge stress and his efforts should also be applauded as he continues on site.
    Where was Hayley Holt this morning? The fact Jack Tame went back to his old school was a great piece this morning but Daniel and the weather guy with a woman I've never seen before (but she seemed okay) seemed a bit weird in the biggest news week in NZ's recent history. I mean overseas websites and TV news still rate this as their three biggest stories.
    I'm glad I went offline. The Weekend Herald had a fact page from 1.40pm Friday. It included up to date figures but part of you did think that it may have been written at that time yesterday. The Herald on Sunday gave more context. I cried for the first time Sunday afternoon and have so since. I used to live round the corner. Long term friends live there still and having gone online tonight I read their messages about being teachers at neighbouring schools and what to do with the parents locked outside, (and agreeing to bring them all in), to friends who play sport and do business with those affected, sharing their grief.
    What a sad sad week. For all of us.
    Even the pro-Trump lobby at the AM Show had to back down over his ludicrous assertion the Crusaders was a good name. Mark Richardson narrowly avoids egging, I'll read next weekend.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I’m processing lots of feelings over all this dreadful stuff.

    I’m in Mumbai. This is making wall to wall news over here. I don’t know if I should be apologising, or accepting condolences.

    I walked into the hart of a Muslim slum today, as I was trying to find a train station. I walked several hundred meters up a laneway unlil it narrowed to the size of a doorway. Thats when I realised I wasn’t on a public street. I felt like an intruder, but I didn’t feel I was in any danger.

    I also visited one of the big Hare Krishna tepals today. Had to go thru metal detector security on the way in. The food was as always, and they offered safe drinking water.

    I’m going to Gudurat on the overnight express train tomorrow. That’s where some of the people who where attacked are from.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Also, on your point about people like the terrorist writing these pretentious manifestos and thinking they are cleverer than they are: it reminded me...

    ...of pretentious PR firm names like 'Exceltium*'
    - oooh faux-Latin! Faux-periodic table contender!
    They must be good and oh so much cleverer than others!

    *(not to be confused with actual French power-brokers Exeltium)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7848 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to Andre,

    I just watched Peter Lineham on the AM Show saying the Crusaders would have to change their name, and fast! I suspect he’s right. Resistance will just suggest that the Chch supremacist sub-culture has broad support in the hinterland.

    Peter also mentioned that he knew the name was wrong back when he first heard it. I had the same reaction at the time. It’s like glorifying war.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Just a comment about the journalists and reporters who have or have not been in Christchurch or those who were or were not presenting as usual.

    These people are human too. And they are probably seeing much more detail than the public sees. My guess is that some folks just aren't able to cope. And they have families to care for as well. Your desire to see Hilary Barry in Christchurch is a nice compliment to her ability to connect with locals but it may be that very ability that makes it impossible for her to do it.

    Empathy is a two edged sword.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A good story by Duncan Greive on The Spinoff, looking at what's been quietly deleted since the atrocity.

    But this is the part that really jumped out for me. It shows that David Farrar knows exactly what kind of place he's been running, and for what kind of people.

    While there has been significant purging of content, much remains live, and many of those who have been or hosted prominent critics of Islam have yet to issue repudiations of their past statements. Whale Oil is still running “This is how New Zealand will turn into a muslim state”. Kiwiblog still hosts “A case for immediate cessation of all Muslim immigration”.

    When I asked that site’s editor David Farrar whether he had contemplated deleting the post, he said that he had, but decided against it. “I think you do more harm when you don’t allow it to be debated,” he said. “Then you drive it to 4Chan [an extremist site Spark blocked on Friday] where people will see far worse.”

    Both the comments on that story and the general debate immediately after the shooting were rife with abhorrent statements about Muslims. Farrar says this did give him pause, and he made the decision to temporarily turn on manual comment moderation. When asked why the slaughter of Muslims would drive his commenters toward Islamophobia, he replied “I think the problem is that people see [the massacre] as part of a global political battle, and they [commenters] haven’t shown enough empathy.”

    So ... he tolerates racists, because if he didn't they'd just go to even more racist websites and that would be terrible. He's such a piece of shit, he really is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Watching people dancing on pinheads debating whether grieving people are using quite the right words to express their grief is a whole pile of not-helping.

    Ugh, there was so much of that on Friday. People yelling about how Lianne Dalziel hadn't said exactly what they thought she should say, less than two hours after the attack.

    I get that emotions are heightened and I've struggled with my own online composure at times, but some people need to learn when to put their scold away.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, wow. So when Duncan did his roundup he got a "nothing to see here" from the National Party, which said its petition about the UN Global Migration Compact was removed weeks ago.

    Turns out that's not the case – people got and tweeted screenshots in the hours after the attack. Duncan is currently seeking an explanation for what he was told and I'm sure there'll be some fudge about an "error", but it seems evident they've lied about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it seems evident they’ve lied about it

    This does seem to be the new National Party normal.

    Just lie, it doesn't matter how outrageous, just lie and keep lying. It's weird.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4445 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    It's a new Trumpian world ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2600 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Hi Russell

    I saw there was some discussion on Twitter (I don't have an account myself) on my criticism above re-Stuff comments. So a quick response/clarification:

    As stated before, I have been very impressed by the reporting since Friday. So this is specifically about the comments policy, not about the journos' work, which I really do appreciate.

    In fact, it's precisely because a lot of the journalism is worth reading, that the comments policy is so disheartening. It is as if the aim was to undermine their own work. There are guaranteed triggers (race, gender, and any mention of the PM) that produce predictably dismal responses. And also predictably, comments are quickly closed again.

    Here is just one example, very much on topic, of how Stuff can provide an outlet for misinformation and prejudice. It is not good enough that most comments are acceptable/harmless - they usually are. But there is always a sizeable minority that are anything but. Nor does the "free speech" argument stack up: I'm not suggesting anything said below the line should be outlawed, merely that a mainstream media organisation should not be seeking to encourage them, and deliberately providing a platform (and it is deliberate, there is no doubt about that).

    Specifically on the situation post-Friday: it raises two other concerns, the random opening/closing of comments, and the up/down voting. There is an opinion piece by a Southland imam which has been immediately undercut by allowing comments, and then closing them as soon as the "whataboutery" began. Either allow rebuttal or don't have comments at all.

    Worse is the idiotic up/down voting. Shockingly, this option was included for the tributes to the victims now closed but well worth reading. Those are incredibly moving tributes, heartfelt and life-affirming, each person adding a distinct voice. But within the thread you can see concern expressed that comments are being voted DOWN. (The votes naturally change, and at time of writing are positive, though I have witnessed them fluctuating). Never mind the extraordinary question of what kind of person would get a kick out of giving minus votes to a condolence ... why the hell is it even an option? What possible service to public debate or free speech or anything of any value at all, is Stuff offering here?

    OK, enough for now. To repeat: I have nothing but respect for the work that the Stuff reporters have been doing, under incredible stress. They deserve better than to be tarred by association with this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1298 posts Report Reply

  • Katita, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    mentioned that he knew the name was wrong back when he first heard it. I had the same reaction at the time. It’s like glorifying war.

    I don't follow rugby - I saw a clip of the pre-match entertainment for the first time as part of that story on TV. "Crusader" horsemen with swords riding around the field. My first thought was that they looked like Klansmen.
    I made the mistake of finding the team's FB page only to read 100's of comments about how the name change was a disgrace, PC gone mad, they have 28 years proud history, what's next renaming 'Christ' church etc. etc. It made me wonder 1. how is it these fans don't see the connection and 2. Surely not all rugby fans this self-obsessed?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    What sort of atonement do we want to see from our politicians?

    Since Nov 2016 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Neil,

    Behaviour change. Not just less racism, but more (much more) willingness to condemn racism especially when it's their own party doing it.

    One thing I would love to see is National offering pairs for the rest of the term if Labour boot their racist coalition partner. As a statement that their shit is not on it would be incredibly powerful and also fairly low-cost for National, at least inside parliament. Outside... well at least we'd get to see who is an absolutely committed racist and who's just along for the ride.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1169 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to simon g,

    criticism re-Stuff comments

    I forwarded your comments and some of mine up the chain at Stuff, there are good people there, I think (hope) they’ll do the right thing ultimately.
    Heck we even agree with the 'Little Budgie Smuggler' now! (see below)

    Startling, but good, to see Mark Richardson and Tony Abbott reversing long-held ‘beliefs’ – who’d think we’d see such tectonic-scale social shifts!
    – I now half-expect fate to throw in a magnetic polarity flip somehow taking out the world’s electronic media as a sign from on high…

    <aside> It seems to me that as denialism and nihilism spread, its proponents just want to destroy any one who does have something to believe in – an insidious tear it all down zombie cancer is loose. </aside>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7848 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Williamson,

    Is there any information about why Friday 15th March? Was this atrocity intended to bury the climate action coverage? Could the murderer have been manged by the enemies of climate action, Mercer & Putin's cyber armies, or am I way of track?

    Westmere, Auckland • Since Dec 2017 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Boden, in reply to Ian Williamson,

    Is there any information about why Friday 15th March? Was this atrocity intended to bury the climate action coverage? Could the murderer have been manged by the enemies of climate action, Mercer & Putin's cyber armies, or am I way of track?

    The Police would have been quite busy with the Climate March, so that may have had something to do with it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ian Williamson,

    why Friday 15th March?

    Hmmmm... It is the Ides of March...
    Brutus force? Or blows against the Empire?
    Neither fits an Islamophobe agenda.

    As this murderer is going to represent himself I hope they keep him on topic, and not allow him to use the courtroom as a propaganda propagation platform.

    <aside> I'm stunned at how full Adelaide's court sitting schedule is judging by this article

    An Adelaide man who posted social media comments in support of the Christchurch mosque massacre has been granted bail on condition he keep off the internet.
    Chad Rolf Vinzelberg, 37, hung his head and wept as he faced Elizabeth Magistrates Court in Australia on Monday charged with one count of aggravated possessing a firearm without a licence and four counts of using or possessing a prohibited weapon.
    ....
    Magistrate Gary Gumpl released Vinzelberg on $2000 bail on the condition he does not access or post anything on the internet, and he will reappear before the court in December.

    Hardly sending a message!
    </aside>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7848 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to Moz,

    Political consensus could only ever derive from agreement about which behaviour is racist. There's been an evident trend in recent years to disregard the standard definition of the term in favour of reinventing it. Consequently, a cultural pattern of folks using the term as a form of abuse, prompted by their subjective emotional reactions, has become toxic.

    Thus, for instance, two judges in a NSW court recently decided that a prosecution failed because islam is not a race. You'd think even primary school children could figure that out, but whoever brought the prosecution lacked their intellect. Perhaps idiocy is contagious.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • flabra, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    What kind of evidence will be for you an acceptable proof of the relation between speech and behaviour?

    Because science long ago determined that speech is a symptom and a cause in human behaviour. It is a fundamental element in the regulation of behaviour. Speech helps to forge motives and goals. It is a tool that set objectives, plans and help to anticipate consequences and regulate the execution of actions.

    Language could be deceptive and prone to perversion. Consider the usage of the poem by Dylan Thomas (Do not go gentle into that good night) as it was used by the murderer to give symbolic power to his actions. He wanted to load his message with an epic and poetic connotation but perverting the words of the poet for his purposes.

    Certainly the killer was able to see and use the power of words. Words convey ideas that can kill.

    If we lost innocence (as has already been said) we have to build on clear and transparent knowledge to heal. We will have to acknowledge the darkness and sick heart of our nation to face the horror. No one can do this for us, we can not hide anymore from this brutal truth. For such task we will need our best creative intelligence embodied in unambiguous words.

    Speech matters, is the flesh of our souls and understanding.

    Nelson • Since Mar 2019 • 2 posts Report Reply

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