Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Poor Choices

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  • Morgan Nichol, in reply to Virginia Brooks,

    What's with the self righteous judgement against people who suicide?

    I'm going to assume you mean people who commit suicide because of depression, rather than those who do it because of terminal illness - because I don't think people perceive them equally.

    It's going to be a long time before people see mental illness the same as other kinds of illness.

    Everyone understands a broken arm, you can see it at a glance. Everyone understands the flu, because everyone has had it. But not everyone understands depression. Especially when, like OCD and such, many of the people who talk about having it don't - if you're used to people who are merely sad about something claiming they're depressed you won't understand how serious real depression is.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That is one sad column and a horrible high-jacking of someone's (Charlottes) personal life.
    Though the threat of a punctuation attack from an honor defending grammarian is funny...

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Virginia Brooks, in reply to Morgan Nichol,

    Yes. Thanks Morgan. I mean any type of suicide choice really that attracts judgement, whether depression, euthanasia, or other reasons.
    I think it takes courage to choose to end your own life and it is not necessarily a sign of weakness or failing. It is a choice which has its own logic in that moment.

    Since Jun 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Julie Burchill has written a column inspired by Charlotte Dawson’s death.

    Blurgh. Though there is one point I agree with: " if you feel loved in your personal life, and sure of your beliefs in your public life — which I do, in spades — it’s hard to be hurt by the abuse of strangers."

    That surety is very rare, especially for those of us visited by the black dog.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Russell Brown,

    UGH, I can't express how much I dislike most of that women's opinions. I am thankful she seems to have given up on being the Voice of Queerdom in light of her one(?) female affair umpteen squillion years ago.

    But for the narcissism and jumping on every other bandwagon with the big mouth blaring... nothing much changed there. And still somehow considered to be representative of all (most, average?) feminist views, as the UK media seems to continue paint her...? No words.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to nzlemming,

    Yes indeed. Though a columnist writing “I’m sure of my beliefs, in spades” is, regrettably, a tautology these days. Also fits with the “just world” reasoning noted by Virginia above: “I must be right because I have a privileged position”.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1941 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Carroll singing...

    Okay, we’re through the looking glass.

    the Red Queen speaks, spookily from tomorrow's Spectator (March 1st) and the ending says it all

    But for a few of us articulate, secure types, it has opened up a whole new wonderland of verbalicious viciousness.

    - this ain't going away any time soon, it seems...
    he said, securely (but nicely)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to Jack Cottrell,

    Thank you Jack. I am glad to have read that article.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Okay, we’re through the looking glass.

    Julie Burchill has written a column inspired by Charlotte Dawson’s death.

    Holy crab-sticks. Perhaps we can upgrade rule number one to ‘Don’t be a Julie Burchill!’

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Virginia Brooks,

    I mean any type of suicide choice really that attracts judgement

    One reason for the judgement is that some suicides are self obsessed and even selfish acts. Sometimes the things left behind cause a great deal of harm to those living. In those cases, yeah there is some judgypants going on.

    But also I think there is an element of, “if I can judge this person as weak/defective/wrong/selfish/whatever then I can kid myself that I could never be in that state of mind myself”.

    A kind of self defense mechanism that protects those left living from the possibility that they too could feel so bereft that ending all possibility of things getting better is the reasonable solution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Also, NZ is a post-Christian culture and Christianity has taught that suicide is a sin for 2000 years.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’m pretty sure I know who at least one of them was and I think I might know someone who might still have the files – I’ll do some asking around tomorrow when my eyes go fuzzy from hideous excel spreadsheets

    Oh! Please do. I have asked around in the past. I would dearly love to properly republish extracts.

    Dammit the person who I thought might know didn't. He had actually written a couple of episodes for Shorty but didn't know about the script generator and he didn't think the other person I'd suspected to be involved had done it either.

    So sorry doesn't look like it was any of our naughty CRI scientists :(.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Because we really haven’t had enough rambling, narcissistic columns on this topic.

    And of course, Burchill couldn’t resist another snide round of self-congratulation at trolling trans people and getting exactly the reaction she was looking for. (Of course, any pushback from trans people and allies instantly gets framed as “bullying” from “dicks in chicks’ clothing” obsessed with "semantics" – but perhaps we’ve exhausted the useful conversation on that kind of bullshit bingo hereabouts.)

    It's easy to extol the "joys of online hatred" and a good "online bitch-fight" when you're used to setting the rules of engagement -- and pulling the plug when shit gets too real for your comfort. Privilege, it's a thing. And boy, Burchill doesn't like having hers challenged.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And boy, Burchill doesn’t like having hers challenged.

    Tbh, I wouldn't mind so much if she wasn't so patently phoning it in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There's that too - a half-arsed troll is every bit as gross as it sounds. :)

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

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    phoning it in

    Hmmm I wonder if there is such a thing as an automatic opinion column generator. We just think the authors are writing those columns.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    There’s that too – a half-arsed troll is every bit as gross as it sounds. :)

    Burchill's dynamite prose style did use to cover a multitude of sins for me. But that column is lazy, flabby crap -- I couldn't believe people I knew were enthusing about it on Facebook last night. Is this what she's like all the time now?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Every pundit has patches where it's painfully obvious they're just cranking out their 800 words to make the deadline (and get paid), but there's others -- like Burchill who are well and truly past their use-by date. The style had turned into mannerisms, and the zesty provocations are pure shtick. I know this is hipster blasphemy, but basically everything Hunter S. Thompson published after 1980 was embarrasing.

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

  • ChrisW, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Also, NZ is a post-Christian culture and Christianity has taught that suicide is a sin for 2000 years.

    More than just a sin.
    The habitual and almost invariable pairing of 'commit* suicide' conveys the historical condemnation that’s embedded in the language – alongside homicide, patricide, infanticide – 'with intent to commit a crime' …

    So in this case it’s good to see the occasional (but increasing?) use of the noun as a simple verb – ‘to suicide’ – an appropriate expression of its reflexive nature, a neutral descriptor of the action.
    It might even make it easier to talk and write about it.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    On Peter Williams' lying:

    "This led him to believe, incorrectly, that the item was intended to be comic."

    And then there's this logical absurdity: "Williams personally apologised to the network's viewers through TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick."

    Oh fuck.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Cottrell, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    One reason for the judgement is that some suicides are self obsessed and even selfish acts. Sometimes the things left behind cause a great deal of harm to those living. In those cases, yeah there is some judgypants going on.

    I think that it's difficult to realise that many people who commit suicide are self-obsessed because one part of depression is extreme self-absorption. It's a little like narcissism in that you can't think of anyone but yourself only instead of thinking you are brilliant you think everything about you is hideous. It takes up a lot of mental energy, hating yourself that much.

    *TW: explicit discussion of suicide*
    The only suicides I consider selfish are the ones which basically make someone else kill you. Train jumpers, death-by-cop.

    Since Feb 2014 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Grimshaw effectively lecturing David Herkt for not settling down and starting a family, on the other hand, is just silly.

    What the fuck? That's a whole lot of rich coming from someone who has taken a lot of very public exception to being patronized her as a smarmy Remmers yummy-mummy, with a law degree and an (in)famous Daddy, who has made a career out of over-sharing her first world problems.

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

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But also I think there is an element of, “if I can judge this person as weak/defective/wrong/selfish/whatever then I can kid myself that I could never be in that state of mind myself”.

    With a side order of guilt that "I didn't do more because I didn't know"

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jack Cottrell,

    *TW: explicit discussion of suicide*
    The only suicides I consider selfish are the ones which basically make someone else kill you. Train jumpers, death-by-cop.

    Let's not go there at all, please. BTW, Jack, my partner was a train driver when a woman threw herself in front of his train many years ago and is coming up on his 50th year working in the industry. Any rail-related fatality is dreadful for a lot of people, and can have profound and long-lasting effects. We can respect that without getting into shaming value-judgements of anyone.

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

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