Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Panic

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    That would be Mr Jamieson. But I think he agreed with you too.

    D'oh... Didn't mean to sound like I was picking a bone with Alastair Jamieson. (Memo to Self: practice agreeing with people. You'll get better with practice) Just didn't think this was really the best time for Len Brown to roll out the standard anti-tagging talking points, rather than repeating at the top of his voice that taking the law (and a knife) into your own hands is never an acceptable option.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    (Memo to Self: practice agreeing with people. You'll get better with practice)

    LOL.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'm with Craig. The whole media tone suddenly changed when the stabbing wasn't a young thug attacking a nice well behaved kid and switched to the *inconvenience* of a "businessman" getting arrested for a trivial crime like murder.

    My view in cases of vigilantism is that, where there is a view amongst some people that the act might have been excusable/undertstandable/justified, the courts should actually increase the sentence - making the point that people might think that, but the overall community thinks otherwise and is going to back that up with many years in jail to reflect.

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

  • Geoff Lealand,

    About Bridgend. I do know the place as it was a few miles down the road (Cowbridge Road) from where we lived in Cardiff, for the first half of 2004. It is really dismal, as are other parts of the UK. At nights, gangs of chavs roamed, busting up anything they came across.

    The problem is that we tend to get all dewy-eyed about Merrie Old England, and forget that it has a large despairing (and xenophobic) under-class Wales is wonderful but we encountered more crime in our five months in Cardiff than in four years we have been back in NZ.

    If you really want to know about the viciousness and despair of the no-hope classes of England, there is a great (if depressing) article "I'll spit where I like" by Ed Jones in The Guardian Weekly, Jan 18-24 2008 (pp. 23-25). It details the experience of one Ed Jones, who buys a house in Salford and attempts to get to know the locals--who eventually turn nasty and drove him out of the neighborhood, largely because he took in foreign (Polish!) lodgers.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    A mate of mine was a cousin to one & a mate to others of the Ashburton suicide pact of the early 90s. So De Press have a few readers who remember that.

    It really worried the parents to think kids would kill themselves and more so that they would drag their mates into it & all well before Bebo.

    I was of the understanding not talking of suicide in the media was the "correct" path on the issue. So maybe De Press deserve a brick if some lonely teen goes to BeBo & tops themselves.

    Has there been a change of talking about suicide in the media?

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    Just enough to remind me to watch "Suicide Girls - The Italian Villa"...

    awesome..

    Washington DC • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Ivy C,

    While I am not for a moment going to support the lazy and unhelpful coverage of the issue supplied by the Press, I do think that parents do need to be more aware of what their children get up to online.

    I understand that any parents who read this blog are unlikely to be the parents I am talking about.

    I am not suggesting that parents spy on children/young people, but rather set up some boundaries and keep an eye on them, in an age-appropriate way.

    One of the things with the internet is that it does allow all kinds of communities to get together.

    So what?

    While this means lots of great and interesting communities can socialise, it also includes people (who may be suicidal, or have eating disorders, or who abuse children, for example) that prior to the internet would have found it pretty difficult to get together, support and encourage each other.

    While the internet does not cause the problem, it may have an effect on how people manage their problems.

    So while people can reach out to each other and provide some much needed support in times of difficulty through social networking sites, or other internet-mediated contact, they can also expose their vulnerability to unscrupulous people, and meet others who encourage suicide and need help like they do.

    In disparaging poor media coverage, do keep in mind that the way people use the internet can pose a problem. This is not an 'epidemic' sweeping the nation, but still something that has a huge impact on those affected.

    Since Dec 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    From Wired: "an on-campus police officer for a Florida middle school is facing a criminal investigation over his MySpace account. Why? It turns out one of the people on his friends list had a link on his or her profile to an internet porn site."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Daniel Kalderimis,

    The Guardian on Saturday contained a much more measured account, including this interesting comment:

    "Dr Jonathan Scourfield, senior lecturer at Cardiff University's school for social sciences, who has conducted research relating to suicides in Wales, said: 'Most suicides are complex. I think cultural and social beliefs are very influential factors. By that I mean if a relationship breaks down, or there is loss of employment, or terrible debts, suicide only becomes an appropriate response because it makes social sense. They have probably heard of other cases where people have killed themselves in those circumstances, so they think "well, that's what you do".

    'That's where the copycat theory does have relevance - not that young people are goading each other on via websites - but in a broader sense. The more stories that appear about young people having killed themselves in your area, the more it might appear to you to be a reasonable response to a particular kind of crisis. It's about the culture of suicide.'

    A police spokesman said: 'To date there is no evidence of a suicide pact and that theory did not come from the police. At this stage, we have not established any link that is common to all.'"

    (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2247541,00.html)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    (Memo to Self: practice agreeing with people. You'll get better with practice)

    Russell, we need some sort of button, beside 'Post Reply" which auto-posts this and attributes it to Craig. I have the feeling it'll come in useful ;)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    I'm with Craig. The whole media tone suddenly changed when the stabbing wasn't a young thug attacking a nice well behaved kid and switched to the *inconvenience* of a "businessman" getting arrested for a trivial crime like murder.

    Sheesh, where did you get the idea that the media were portraying this as 'trivial'? Of course the tone changed because this stabbing is different from the others. In this case a 50 y.o. man tried to stop a 15 y.o. youth from tagging his fence. The Police say it was murder so they presumably think they can prove the man brought the knife to the confrontation with the intent to kill the youth.
    I'm not so sure, and wonder if the charge will be pled down to manslaughter. But I don't know the facts yet and neither do many others at this stage. Maybe the man has a history of brandishing the knife and threatening taggers, who knows? Maybe he just went down to the fence to tell the taggers to F.Off and brought the knife as some (poorly thought out) form of protection, based on the media reports of youth gangs and the spate of stabbings, and the situation got out of hand?
    That a 15 y.o. youth (dare I call him a boy?) has lost his life because some moron couldn't handle a confrontation properly is a complete tragedy.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Now that I think about it I am kind of surprised that our fearless moral guardians/the Press have not looked at Suicide Girls long since.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    But you've got to wonder about the play's possible influence on vulnerable youths. Don't you?

    This vulnerable youth was mostly influenced to perpetrate the following:


    ACT I

    Titus: Throne? Do not want. Saturninus can has throne


    ACT II

    Lavinia: Oh noes!
    Lavinia: *invisible hands*
    Lavinia: *invisible tongue*


    Act III

    Titus: *invisible hand*
    Martius, Quintus: *invisible heads*


    ACT IV

    Titus: I can has revenge plz?


    Act V

    Titus: Oh hai I maded you a pie.
    Tamora: nom nom nom
    Titus: ha ha lol
    Tamora: Oh noes!
    Titus: Oh noes!
    Saturninus: Oh noes!
    Aaron: i r bad lol

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    InternationalObserver wrote:

    But I don't know the facts yet and neither do many others at this stage.

    Fair enough, and I don't want to give the impression that I don't get the difference between being charged with an offense, and a conviction after the police have proved their case beyond reasonable doubt in a fair trial.

    But do you think its fair comment to ask if the tone and nature of the coverage in the O'Herald would have been slightly different if this was some tagger rivalry gone bad, or a teen tagger facing murder charges today? I also stand by my original comment that perhaps this was not the most appropriate moment for Len Brown to be repeating his anti-tagging stump speech.

    Meanwhile, there's a rather charmless letter from a Steve Sinclair of Manurewa today (not on-line) which reads in part:

    The tagger wasn't murdered. he was killed. The word murder should be used to define only an innocent person's death at the hands of someone else. He was certainly not innocent. Tagging should be a criminal offence, period.

    Um... wonder if Legal Beagle would have a few words on the quality (or otherwise) of Mr. Sinclair's jurisprudence? I rather doubt the Herald would publish a letter even suggesting that Saishwar Naidu or other 'innocent' victims of violent crime provoked their own abuse or death.

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

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Anyway, for the record: Suicide Girls has nothing to do with suicide.

    Gothic cheesecake! It seems to me that if you were a depressed young men or woman, Suicide Girls seems more like something to live for than a reason to die.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Jamieson,

    Just didn't think this was really the best time for Len Brown to roll out the standard anti-tagging talking points, rather than repeating at the top of his voice that taking the law (and a knife) into your own hands is never an acceptable option

    My point exactly Craig.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    __The tagger wasn't murdered. he was killed. The word murder should be used to define only an innocent person's death at the hands of someone else. He was certainly not innocent. Tagging should be a criminal offence, period.__

    Um... wonder if Legal Beagle would have a few words on the quality (or otherwise) of Mr. Sinclair's jurisprudence?

    I don't have too much problem with it :-)

    He's not talking jurisprudentially - he's saying what he thinks should be, rather than what currently is. Certainly the law doesn't currently require an innocent victim for there to be a murder, but this case isn't necessarily murder either.

    I have no idea what happened - maybe there's a self defence argument - went out to confront taggers and then felt threatened. The defence of provocation is still on the books, which might make it manslaughter not murder. And of course, no-one has been convicted of anything, so we should try to avoid labelling anyone a murderer...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Bruce Hoult informs me that Olivia Suicide (aka Olivia Ball), the site's former programming lead (and model) is ... ta-da! -- a New Zealander. Kiwi pride.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    So if I went round the city topping illegal parkers, that ain't murder?

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

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    Sorry to come late to the discussion...

    I was clearing out my basement in the weekend and found a 1988 copy of the Sunday News. It had a wonderful piece of tabloid scaremongering discussing the "bizarre Gothic suicide cult" on Auckland's North Shore. I vaguely remember the media circus around that from my pre-teen years.

    20 years on, still spinning the same old bollocks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 265 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Titus: *invisible hand*

    I wish everyone could find that as hilarious as I did.


    On (other) topic, I'll just say that while I feel a lot less firm on the legal definition of murder (and sometimes when I hear reports of arguments run past juries I'm sure they don't match), I can say that prior intent is not required.

    It would be 'interesting' if he ran a provocation defence based on the tagging. Which might get that one finally abolished if he succeeded.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Looking at the NZH coverage of two stabbings:

    Businessman facing court on Tuesday
    vs
    Father 'shattered' by son's murder

    In both cases, a person has been charged with murder. It may be that there are circumstances to reduce the charge (or indeed that the accused did not commit the act) - this is true in either case.

    The headline for the Tokoroa stabbing leads on the victim impact and uses the term "murder". The article uses the word 'alleged' once and describes the attack consistently as murder.

    In contrast, the article and headline on the Manuakau case entirely concentrates on the impact on the alleged perpetrator. The word 'murder' is used only once in describing the charge. No mention appears of the victims family or the impact of the attack on them.

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

  • Spinner,

    marginally on topic, a recent email exchange with the herald re a lame assed review...(all exchanges are complete I have edited out the sender/addressee info only).

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/author/story.cfm?a_id=208&objectid=10487656

    BEST RUDE ROCKER
    Billy Bragg, who spent much of his set reprimanding the sound guy - "I didn't come all the way from London to give you feedback!" - and complaining about our obsession with sharks.

    My first wasted rant……(itself embarrassingly semi-literate burble that should have been ignored!!)

    I don't know which of you idiots obviously didn't get the concept of irony
    and humour that Billy Bragg is well known and loved for.....he was having
    a joke with his front of house sound engineer... and was making light
    amusing comments about the sharks...(and perhaps your low rent gutterpress
    papers cynical fear mongering shark sighting obsession-hype!!!).....once
    again a staggeringly incorrect and primary school "journalism project"
    level of output from you twits....

    pathetic!!


    The first reply from the herald…….

    Staggeringly incorrect? Kinda obvious he was making a joke. Did we need to
    spell it out to you? We named him "best rude rocker" for his efforts


    Subject
    Feedback from the nzherald.co.nz website

    This message has been sent via the NZ Herald Website

    My response……ignoring the total nonsensical nature of that reply



    "I didn't come all the way from London to give you feedback!"....

    if your going to quote someone then have the decency to get it right!!!!!

    he said....."I didnt bring you all the way from London to give me
    feedback"........he then went on to joke about how his FOH engineer had
    already been in NZ for 4 weeks getting a tan......

    but then accuracy and facts are not something one expects from the
    herald.....hell you lot can't even run a spellcheck over half the things
    posted on the website......

    fantastic journalism!!!!!


    And then I got another bite from this fool….

    You obviously reckon you could write a better review - on the spot. So why
    don't you and we'll post it online. You'd better use spellcheck yourself
    "if your going to quote someone..."
    But first, you'll need a sense of humour.

    To which I (after a few ales in the sun) replied……

    Ahh yes, but i'm not in the business of print media...you are!!!!.....my
    spelling is irrelevant when compared to the ignorant garbage that gets
    spat out in what claims to be one of New Zealand's leading news
    publications....

    (further example of the continued errors and crap that the herald puts out
    as"journalism"...i just looked at the photo montage of Sir Ed's coffin
    being brought into the cathedral.....for a start the caption claiming that
    a wreath of flowers were placed on a photo....that is plainly and clearly
    is the painting from the museum.....and the gentleman your rag states as
    being a member of the police force is in fact from the airforce..the
    errors just wash through your low rent tabloid don't they.....)

    as for writing a review that's not my job...its yours!!!!!! do it with
    perhaps a modicum of professionalism and effort and your lazy ignorant
    attempts might not be quite so annoying...but yes if i had been inclined
    to, I along with most of the kids who passed ncea journalism courses could
    have done a better job than that tripe........

    for gods sake take some pride in your work and "up your game"!!!!!!


    And yet more twaddle from the astute herald employee…

    Alright, point taken. You hate the Herald. And based on one line you
    disagreed with in a review, you've come to the conclusion we are all
    unprofessional, bad at our jobs, lazy, ignorant and stupid. Would you have
    had the balls to say that to my face? I highly doubt it.

    Realizing I was in fact dealing with a child__…..

    Nope!!!..however I do hate the fact that the herald is so lacking.....it
    would be far better to have a decent daily newspaper than the woefully
    inadequate tabloid that the herald has devolved into in the 20 years....
    thanks be to Arts&Letters Daily!!!!

    As for your leaping to the conclusion that i myself have reached a
    conclusion regarding "all" of you at the herald are of a particular
    nature..Hardly!!!....rather a ridiculous leap you make there...not trying
    to crudely set up a "straw man" argument there are you???? Though i do
    believe, based on numerous examples, that your paper, as an organisation,
    is significantly lacking in the ability to perform even the simplest act
    of spell checking, let alone error checking, your output....

    As for my opinion that some of you are in fact "unprofessional, bad at our
    jobs, lazy, ignorant and stupid" well that opinion is based, in your case,
    not as you incorrectly claim, on one line in review, but on several lines
    in the particular review regarding Billy Bragg, and more conclusively, on
    the staggering lack of inductive reasoning and argument you have provided
    in the previous few emails....res ipsa loquitor!!!!

    and yes i would have gladly "had the balls" and inclination to have said
    exactly that "to your face".....(rather schoolyard stuff your getting into
    there!!!)

    __And then im guessing a grown-up at the herald got involved for the final missive I received from her…

    Cheers for the feedback. I have to get back to work now. Have a good week.
    Kind regards
    R*****a

    Remmers • Since Jul 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    This vulnerable youth was mostly influenced to perpetrate the following:

    Mad props for Amy, that was hysterical.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Mr Beagle:

    What's with all this wet commie 'presumption of innocence' bullshit! Its people like you that are sending this country to hell on a handbasket -- which is full of dogs. Or something. :)

    Seriously, fair points and well made. Especially when I've been somewhat critical in the past of media outlets that get a bit fuzzy on the difference between 'an alleged criminal who has been charged with an offence, and a convicted one. Again, I don't want to sound like I'm trying to turn PAS into a lynch-blog.

    A 'provocation' defense would turn my stomach, but if its one that's legally open to Bruce Emery you can hardly blame his counsel for throwing it at the wall and seeing if it sticks.

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

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