Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Fix up, young men

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I think demographic, security, cultural cues, lots of subtle stuff, contribute to crowd behaviour. If promoters made “how can we make this event a great experience for women” their guiding principle, I reckon they could do a lot. As a happy side-effect, such an atmosphere would be good for most men too.

    I know the Laneway promoters and they’re good people who will be horrified by this. They’ve made a practice of booking female artists, they have a behaviour code and roaming security and they manage alcohol access responsibly (the empty bars in the evening suggest onsite drinking isn't really the issue anyway). What else do you suggest they do? Sincere question, not snark.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to steve newall,

    About 2/3 of the culprits - other young women who seemed to be "friends". Really foul to watch.

    Makes for a tricky situation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to B Jones,

    I wonder, though, whether it's a change in behaviour we're seeing, or a change in its visibility and acceptance.

    I have a not even half baked idea that reality television and the enormous yet narrow peer group supplied by the internet is contributing to a feeling that one is an actor, performing, that the situation is somehow unreal, and that the (even if horrified) attention of others justifies whatever you do. For the lulz. But maybe I'm just getting old.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • James Dunne, in reply to Tim Darlington,

    I think this has to be it. Police action is one thing, but if the young gentleman in question was now facing a lifetime ban from every major New Zealand music venue and festival, along with his friends, one rather thinks that twelve Billy Mavericks would have had a different effect. And if they hadn't, that would hardly have been a loss.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2013 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Dunne,

    but if the young gentleman in question was now facing a lifetime ban from every major New Zealand music venue and festival, along with his friends,

    I'd love to see that happen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I have a not even half baked idea that reality television and the enormous yet narrow peer group supplied by the internet is contributing to a feeling that one is an actor, performing, that the situation is somehow unreal, and that the (even if horrified) attention of others justifies whatever you do. For the lulz. But maybe I’m just getting old.

    I think there's an element of not seeing your target as a real person, yes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    There's still an enormous wall of Not Ok posters in the foyer of MSD head office. I used to get my morning coffee passing under Russell's watchful eye. The young chap with the bike and tats was rather eyecatching.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So there's part of a solution right there.

    I wasn't there, so I don't know how visible and proactive security were, but when people get visibly slung out for being antisocial, it sends a message.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to B Jones,

    I used to get my morning coffee passing under Russell’s watchful eye.

    It was a conversation-starter for years afterwards in shops and the like. I tried to always make time to talk about it.

    But man, the number of takes it took to get exactly the tone of manly disapproval the director was after ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I wasn’t there, so I don’t know how visible and proactive security were, but when people get visibly slung out for being antisocial, it sends a message.

    That does already happen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It gave both victims and abusers steps to take and information with which to take those steps.

    Well, that sounds like a good approach. Clearly whoever funded Not OK could do us all a favour with another round.

    I'm also thinking about another successful pro social campaign, which involved a young male protagonist "internalising a complex situation."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I haven't been to many gigs or festivals, but Fat Freddy's Drop on NYE was very well staffed and felt safe to me. I saw a couple of muscle bros flexing around, but the crowd was diverse, not particularly young, and there to have a chill time. One fight broke out but was quickly sorted.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    FFS! What sort of society are we becoming?

    I can't help but feel that the violence and obvious misogynism of many hip hop lyrics encourages anti-social and sexist behaviour. Having our mainstream media promote the "boys will be boys" line merely normalises and entrenches bad attitudes.

    And I don't think our Police and lawmakers get off scot-free either. The decision not to prosecute the roasterbusters for stupification and rape of underage girls sent out completely the wrong message to young and stupid males. Even ignoring the fact that one of the perpetrators was a cop's son.

    Kim Vinnell has identified the two gropers who attacked her at the festival. It's time she filed a Police complaint and allowed the courts to set a benchmark for other dumb youths to think about.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What else do you suggest they do? Sincere question, not snark.

    I'm not sure what I'd propose when put on the spot. But if you got a bunch of women who are into that scene and worked with them to find things to tweak/add/subtract,, I bet that would be useful.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I wasn’t there, so I don’t know how visible and proactive security were, but when people get visibly slung out for being antisocial, it sends a message.

    That does already happen.

    You know what I would do, if it were my festival? Music stops until the antisocial ones get ejected. Use the displeasure of the crowd.

    Not much fun for the performers, but hopefully it wouldn't take many halts for the crowd to be self-policing.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    That might help, yeah.

    This has become a massive problem at Australia festivals, albeit one of a slightly different nature. Some promoters are trying to filter for boofheads by banning shirtlessness.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    I’m also thinking about another successful pro social campaign, which involved a young male protagonist “internalising a complex situation.”

    That's good idea. Maybe get something robust together for next summer's festival season?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon,

    It’s not just at festivals and i don’t think it’s the music. I reckon it’s tribal booze culture in a society that no longer tolerates reflection, and where the moral compass is spinning freely on its axis, celebrating material success from the entitled driver’s seat of a twin exhaust 3 litre audi, farting its ugly way through the gentrifying inner suburbs.
    (what the fuck is an examined life?)
    The Rock’s recent National Crate Day, meant booze companies got free advertising from bozo DJs, and we get young, dumb and full of cum dickheads wandering around the burbs, harrassing women and smashing bottles on the road.
    Call them out. Take their photos. Ring their mothers.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    It all comes down to a lack of empathy – people seem to struggle to care, or at least put themselves in the victim’s shoes, without having experienced it themselves. I mean we have a Prime Minister who appeared to struggle with that when he bullied that waitress repeatedly, and how many people leapt to his defense?

    There are studies showing that empathy is a trait we’re born with, but also evidence there’s been a decline in empathy since the 1980s. My theory is the selfish, “me” society, free-market capitalism western nations have been subjected to since Regan’s 80s is mostly to blame. We’re taught to look out for number one, user pays, demonise the underclass and beneficiaries, poor choices leads to poverty and abuse. Empathy is weakness. To survive you need to be selfish.

    As this Wired story says, selfish behaviour breeds more selfish behaviour. The good news is the opposite it true, too – kindness spreads. So, in a hippy dippy way, maybe part of the solution (beyond the immediate of punishing the culprits), is to be nicer to people.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is lighting up on my Facebook too.

    Keegan Fepuleai:

    Unfortunately it's a large part of the make up of festival culture.

    When you have artists throwing cakes, objectifying women constantly this is what you get.

    These kids know nothing, nor are they interested in actual clubbing/dance culture. They have spent most of their lives appropriating, exploiting & ruining movements which without them had become accepting and safe places for women to celebrate themselves and those around them.

    These are all graduates of festivals such as R&V. The most vile of all festivals. It has for a generation created this disgusting culture of binge drinking, rape culture and idiocy at festivals. This is a large part if why they seem to think this acceptable.

    Patrick (Dubhead) Waller:

    Patrick Waller 2015 was the last Laneway Festival NZ I will attend which is a pity, because like yourself and your friends Russell I am a big fan of emerging music and have attended all the Laneway Fests to date. Although your piece focuses on young intoxicated males and disrespectful sexist aggression, my experience last year was more of a generational behaviour issue rather than gender specific. At least 20 wasted millenials walked/ran/barged straight into me. No "excuse me" or attempt to walk around - just straight on through as if I was a door, or invisible. They were male and female, mostly intoxicated, and/or using their cellphones at the time and not looking where they were gong. It's a big a crowd and if this happened say 3 or 4 times, I'd have no problem, but I am not exaggerating to say it was 20 times. I wasn't up the front or anywhere near the mosh pit, but simply standing watching a band, or moving between stages. There exists a "large crowd etiquette" when attending big concerts or festivals and it seems that sadly common sense and courtesy has not yet been learnt by many of the youngsters attending Laneway & Rhythm & Vines. This is not an "old man rant", I would have felt equally disappointed if people had behaved this way in the 1980s, '90s, or '00s. I agree totally with your piece, and would add "Fix Up Young PEOPLE" - it's a big world and you and your wasted mates are not the only ones in it. Open your eyes.

    Simon Bennett:

    I witnessed a fist-fight between two drunk men, three people away from me in the crowd during the Grimes set. Frightening.

    Tina Turntables:

    jesus, that is some fucked up shit, Russel... there were a lot of gross douche-bro's around on those main stages, i found it pretty unpleasant most of the time there, but nothing like that... it's staggering women are still considered 'outsiders' in music, considering how many of them were on stage this year. gah

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Simpson,

    Not promoting this widespread but one of the accounts from the story mentioned how a punch to the stomach stopped the behaviour. Sometimes, just sometimes a well directed smack to the head (or stomach in this case) might be the answer. There won't be much traction gained from appealing to their sensibilities. Preparing myself to get roasted lol

    New Plymouth • Since Feb 2016 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Some promoters are trying to filter for boofheads by banning shirtlessness.

    As well as shirtcocking, or instead of?

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

  • B Jones,

    It's an effective solution, for some. Most people would prefer to live their lives without having to punch people, though, especially if you're small, not very aggressive and not keen on getting punched back.

    I would have loved someone to chase the Sevens dudebros who harassed me once down the street and clocked them a couple, it's just that all my friends and family were busy in their nice clothes trying to celebrate my wedding. Sometimes it's just not on the table.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Werry, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Attachment

    along with his friends, one rather thinks that twelve Billy Mavericks would have had a different effect. And if they hadn’t, that would hardly have been a loss.

    The two guys proudly gave their names in the TV3 follow up piece: Sean Philip and Thomas Insel. If TV3 can track them down then I’m sure the NZ Police will have no problem

    Since Mar 2009 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I feel old.

    I honestly don't remember my mates as a teenager being so utterly horrible to women. As I write that i feel like I'm shouting "In my day..."

    But really I don't remember abuse of women being so pervasive particularly by young men. I DO remember old (you know like 35) men being abusive to women, particularly in the workplace but not teenagers.

    I really just don't understand what has changed, or if it hasn't changed how the hell I missed seeing it when I was a teenager.

    Whatever it is we HAVE to do something about it.

    Part of that change has to come from the very top where we simply cannot afford to have leaders in our communities from the PM to the likes of Paul Henry and Mike Hosking, abuse women and get away with it.

    Why the hell do half of our population have to put up with this shit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

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