Hard News by Russell Brown


Human Space Invaders

I'm in Wellington today at Chasing the Long Tail: Audio-Visual Archiving in the Digital Era, a seminar staged by the Film Archive, so I don't have a whole lot of time to blog before the dread 7am flight.

So I asked Leo to recommend a couple of movies, it being Friday and all. He offered:

Human Space Invaders

And …

Mac vs PC, Gmod Style (embedding disabled).

And indeed, both are rather good, and both make excellent derivative use of other people's ideas. In which vein, you could do worse than read The Ecstasy of Influence, an essay on artistic appropriation, from Harpers Magazine.

OTOH, if you really want to bum yourself out, you could read some of the crazy stuff people are sending to the Herald's Your Views feature about the Bradford bill:

We are more than likely leaving NZ for Australia. I don't want to end up a criminal when my son who is 9 now, gets to early teen years and uses this as a weapon against me.

And this is really how you see your child?

Another step closer to the day when we'll all be forced to hand over our children at birth so they can be raised in State institutions to be perfect little brainwashed clones.

Of course. Much better that they be paranoid loonies.

I will just have to smack my kids so hard that they cant tell anyone about it.

You know what? Never mind whether you'd actually do that. You're a fucking scary freak for even forming the thought that let you write that sentence.

The odd thing is that everyone who wrote this stuff had to wade past the first post there:

Please pass the bill unamended. My mother broke three of my ribs using reasonable force, and to this day maintains that beatings with the ironing cord and Dads belt were appropriate means of discipline.

Yes, I know not every opponent of the bill is a weirdo. There was a good deal of intelligent discussion and respectful disagreement here on Public Address System. And I know the bill's backers are on a screaming loser with the public, at least in the short term. But the kind of people this thing is bringing out of the woodwork, and the way they think, does my head in.

The Fundy Post backgrounds the pro-smacking flying squad from Focus on the Family.

Meanwhile, scientist Bart Janssen emailed yesterday:

Just watched the morning TV and saw Sue Bradford defending her Bill. She was bemoaning the attacks on her Bill and the fact the most of the polls and most of the media refer to her Bill as anti-smacking. And that when she gets the chance to actually explain the facts people generally support the Bill.

All of which I agree with. I think it's horrifying that the TV news continually refer to the Bill as "the anti-smacking Bill". When its clear intention is to prevent "parents" getting away with beating and abusing their children - with fists, steel capped boots, hosepipes and most firmly in my memory a 4x2 - all of which the law in its current form allows as "discipline". It would be more rightly called the anti-child abuse Bill. But I guess that would be too boring for the media.

However, the irony of it all was here was Sue Bradford complaining about ignorance and misinformation distorting a serious public issue. And I couldn't help but remember the marches and protests and speeches by Ms Bradford against genetic engineering. A time when much of what came from her was ignorance and misinformation intended to distort an important public issue.

oh the irony

Lets hope she has more success against the misinformation than we had during the GE "debate".

And if that's not enough, Paul from the Fundy Post has compiled an actual Carnival of the Intellectuals from his recent reading.

Righto …

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